After years of rising concern about left-wing anti-Semitism, the New York Times reported this week about a study for the American Jewish Committee. Written by professor Alvin Rosenfeld of Indiana University, the study describes the spread of a virulent anti-Zionism in many quarters on the left that has helped legitimate anti-Semitism. Some people have seized on the study to argue that these extreme anti-Zionists are really anti-Jewish bigots. Critics reply that criticizing Israel, even harshly, doesn’t prove animus toward the Hebrew people.
So, how can you tell if you’re a good liberal who simply thinks the West Bank settlements are bad policy—or a closet Judeophobe whose progressive views mask a serious attitude problem? Take this quiz and see.
1. Who deserves the most blame for the Iraq war?
a) George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld
b) Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Bill Kristol
c) Blame? Don’t you support the troops?
2. Which group exerts too much influence on America’s Mideast policy?
a) Conservative jingoes
b) Not the Jews per se but a “pro-Israel lobby” composed mainly of wealthy New York financiers (who may well all attend the same shul)
c) Arabists at the State Department
3. How would you characterize debate about America’s Mideast policy?
a) Robust, with a full range of opinions available in various publications
b) Nonexistent, since all criticism of Israel is “taboo”
c) Biased, because the Sulzberger family of the New York Times is afraid to seem “too Jewish”
4. Which state’s offenses against humanity bother you most?
5. Criticism of Israel is:
a) Sometimes warranted, but needs to be kept in context and perspective.
b) The civic duty of every truly patriotic citizen who cares about America’s self-interest.
c) Why are you always criticizing Israel?
6. What do you think of Joe Lieberman?
a) I liked him OK when he ran with Gore, but he lost me on Iraq, school vouchers, and Social Security.
b) The most dangerous man in the Senate
c) At least there’s one Democrat who isn’t soft on terrorism!
7. On what basis is Iran a threat to world peace?
a) I’m concerned that its unchecked nuclear-arms program will destabilize the region.
b) I’m afraid Israel will use its saber-rattling as a pretext to start World War III.
c) I pray Ehud Olmert will have the chutzpah to pull another Osirak.
8. Jimmy Carter’s use of the term “apartheid” in his new book is:
a) intended to provoke debate but clearly ill-considered
b) a gutsy, rare example of someone “speaking truth to power”
c) more of the same from the putz who put Andy Young at the UN
9. Which describes your view of the Holocaust?
a) The most horrific crime in recorded history
b) A tragedy that, incidentally, gets far more hype than the Turks’ slaughter of the Armenians or the white man’s annihilation of the Indians
c) Child’s play compared with what Iran’s Ahmadinejad has planned
10. The term neoconservative suggests:
a) Erstwhile leftie radicals who grew disenchanted with the welfare state.
b) A cabal of pro-Israel intellectuals who have hijacked our foreign policy.
c) A code word for “Jews” used by the people who answered (b).
Give yourself 1 point for each (a) answer, 2 points for each (b) answer, and 0 points for each (c) answer.
0-3: OK, you’re not an anti-Semite. But you’re not a liberal either. You win a lifetime subscription to Commentary and this sheaf of old AIPAC newsletters.
4-7: You display trace elements of atavistic fears. Your prize: a copy of The Plot Against America.
8-12: Phew! You’re an unbigoted liberal—painfully capable of striking a middle ground and excruciatingly tolerant of all points of view. Please enjoy this complete set of Barack Obama’s speeches.
13-16: You’re clearly not nuts about Zion, but Abe Foxman won’t be calling you just yet. To be safe, steer clear of any petitions emanating from British universities. Meanwhile, please claim your dinner with Tony Judt and two tickets to My Name Is Rachel Corrie!
17-20: You’re an anti-Semite! You win a tour of synagogues in Italy, Argentina, and Turkey bombed by militants who are merely anti-Israel and not anti-Jewish. Also, an extended director’s cut DVD of The Passion of the Christ.