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The far right represents a real threat to Jews; criticism of Israel doesn’t

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An international Jewish pressure group has launched a blistering attack on the pro-Israel lobby and Israel’s Ambassador to the United States over their comments comparing Palestinian supporters with white supremacists. The comments in question were made in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack in which 11 people lost their lives to a gunman who shouted “kill all Jews”.

Rabbi Alissa Wise, the deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace, was taking part in a TV debate on the popular US network MSNBC when Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer defended Donald Trump’s widely criticised response to the shooting. This is not the first time that the US President has been coy about criticising right-wing violence. He caused outrage last year when he said there were “a lot of fine people” on both sides of a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville that left one counter-protester dead.

“I see a lot of bad people on both sides who attack Jews,” said Dermer, echoing Trump’s words. “Anti-Semites are usually not neo-Nazis, on college campuses. They’re coming from the radical left. We have to stand against anti-Semitism whether it comes from the right or whether it comes from the left.”

The JVP’s Rabbi Wise described the Israeli diplomat’s comparison of college students defending Palestinian human rights with a mass murderer as reprehensible, insulting and dangerous. “Criticising Israeli policy or defending Palestinian human rights is not in any way anti-Semitic,” she explained. “However, employing white supremacists, as Trump and other politicians have done, is indeed anti-Semitic. Moreover, making false claims of anti-Semitism........

© Middle East Monitor