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The Case of Judith Butler: The Anti-Semitism that Defines Today's Western Left

In other words, Butler claims not to be anti-Semitic or a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, but only a critic of Israel who works and writes in the Jewish tradition. Her explanation is standard left-wing boilerplate, in which enemies of Israel claim to be its real friends and spend their entire time condemning Israel for the “occupation” and never attacking its serious foes that are devoting themselves to its destruction. Moreover, as Dovid Efune writes, her words at the Berkeley event were “by no means descriptive but strongly prescriptive.” Moreover, it is telling that by calling Hamas and Hezbollah anti-imperialist, she in fact uses that to point out that it is accurate -- as indeed it is -- to see them as part of the global left that Butler identifies with. The truth, as Efune and many others have pointed out time and time again: these organizations are proxies of Iran and aggressive and violent opponents of Israel. Indeed, they regularly use terror and violence in their campaign to bring down the Jewish state.

It is no wonder that throughout Europe and Israel, the announcement of the Adorno Award for Butler has produced major opposition. The Jerusalem Post first called attention to her award, in an article by its European correspondent, Benjamin Weinthal.   Later, someone began to circulate a petition opposed to giving her the award. Adorno, it pointed out:

 ... himself was a victim of the monstrous Nazi race laws, not only was forced to save his life by going into exile; he was deprived of academic teaching because he was considered Jewish. His insight that Jewish statehood may be the only means to protect Jews from persecution arose his concern for Israel’s ever present endangered existence. More than 20 years after the Shoah he wrote: "We are in extreme worry about Israel. … One can only hope the Israelis will be superior enough to the Arabs militarily for the time being to uphold the situation.”

As the petition pointed out:

[Hamas and Hezbollah] are terror organizations whose declared goal is Israel’s annihilation as well as the murder and expulsion of the Jews from the Middle East and the establishment of an Islamist theocracy founded on terror and murder. In a perfidious twist of reality Butler not only belittles these anti-Semitic gang of killers with their aspiration to establish theocratic-fascist dictatorships but also to equate the only democracy in the Middle East -- Israel -- with Apartheid South Africa and the War on Terror after 9/11 with the actions of the Nazis against the Jews.