Why is it Cool to Claim You’ve Been Called an Anti-Semite?

Three years ago, I wrote:

on the one hand, we have friends of Israel who are too quick to label others anti-Semitic, though I believe that this phenomenon is declining, as it has received increasing scrutiny and criticism. On the other hand, we have critics of Israel who try to portray anyone who defends Israel as a hysteric who sees anti-Semitism everywhere. This seems to be on the rise. And the most vociferous critics of the former phenomenon tend to be the most egregious participants in the latter.

Eric Fingerhut has an excellent post discussing the same phenomenon:

[T]he whole Wieseltier-Sullivan episode has served to illustrate an emerging trend among critics of Israel: Their eagerness to allege that they’ve been accused of being an anti-Semite. I do agree that some of Israel’s defenders are too quick to throw out charges of anti-Semitism or “self-hating Jew,” and that’s lamentable and a problem. But it seems that among many of Israel’s critics, claiming that you’ve been accused of being an anti-Semite has become some sort of bizarre badge of honor. And quite a few of those that have allegedly been accused of being an anti-Semite, according to Wieseltier’s critics, either were never smeared with such a term or were only accused of making a specific problematic remark and not tarred with some broad brush of disliking Jews, as they claim….
Why exactly has claiming you’ve been called an anti-Semite become so cool lately? Could it be that those claiming they’ve been called anti-Semites find it easier to do that that actually defend their positions with facts?

Read the whole thing, as they say.

As with other Israel-related posts, this one is likely to attract some very, uh, vigorous comments, and I’m too busy to moderate, so I’m keeping comments closed.

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