What distinguishes antisemitic propaganda from legitimate criticism, then, is the stubborn insistence on holding Israel to standards from which other countries are exempt, and the demand that Jews be denied a right to which other peoples are entitled, even obligated, to exercise themselves. Nevertheless, one cannot dismiss the new antisemitism as a modern version of the same old hatred; in some sense, after all, postmodern universalism deeply identifies with what the “Jew” was supposed to stand for. And it is precisely this identification that leads, we will see, to the widespread denunciation of the Jews so common today….
The mantle of righteousness assumed by this unique species of Judeophobia makes it extremely appealing to people of conscience. Good-hearted activists and intellectuals—Israelis among them—are lured into joining the growing public campaign against the Zionist state, all in the belief that they are fulfilling their moral obligation to humanity, and perhaps even to the Jewish people as well. True, their denunciations of Israel are often over-zealous, motivated by a fierce desire to prove themselves worthy in the eyes of their partners in the struggle. But most of them are not really self-hating Jews, as their critics assert. They are instead just terribly misguided, unwitting parties to an insidious campaign.