Bill Would Cast Big Brother’s Eye on Anti-Zionists
California Congressman Tom Lantos has quietly introduced a new bill which would combat antisemitism on a federal level. HR 4230, The Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, would “authorize the establishment within the Department of State of an Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.”
Among the bill’s findings, §2 ¶3 states, “Anti-Semitism has at times taken the form of vilification of Zionism, the Jewish national movement, and incitement against Israel.”
While this may, in fact, “at times” be the case, the direct association between antisemitism and anti-Zionism within the context of the bill raises reasonable suspicion amongst activists, such as myself, already concerned with the illegal monitoring of anti-war and anti-globalization groups. Could such legislation not be used to extend the monitoring of anti-Zionist groups to other entities through the employment of roving wiretaps under the premise of interdepartmental information-sharing? Or is this simply part of the same witchhunt against critics of Zionism exemplified by HR 3077, The International Studies in Higher Education Act?
Either way, I find it exceptionally ironic that, under the implied definition of anti-Zionism as antisemitism, this bill would, within the context of combatting antisemitism, authorize the monitoring of groups such as Jews Against the Occupation, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, and even Neturei Karta, who base their positions on authentically Jewish critiques of Zionism.
Don’t think it’ll happen? Perhaps you don’t know your government well enough.