Review of

PragerU Video: If You Hate Israel, You're No Friend of the Jews

Our summary: Dennis Prager enumerates a number of reasons that Israel-haters are illogical. Anti-Zionists claim to only criticize but in actuality think Israel doesn’t have the right to exist. Israel has always been one of the components of Judaism, and the Bible states many times that Judaism is a nation. Relatively few Arabs were killed during the modern founding of Israel, and Palestinians keep rejecting offers to found their own state.

Incoherent Analogy

Alaina Levinson Wheaton, IL Published 18 Dec 2019

If I’m understanding Dennis Prager correctly, being “anti-Zionist” doesn’t necessarily imply “anti-Semite”:

If you seek to destroy the one Jewish state, you don’t have to hate every Jew to be an anti-Semite.

Hmm. Upon further inspection, it seems like he may be saying anti-Zionist is anti-Semite by definition. But if they are equivalent, then why is there any controversy at all? Hmm. Then he also implies that being anti-Semite doesn’t necessarily mean you hate Jews. Or, is it that you have to hate at least one Jew to be anti-Semite? Ack, I give up.

I’d like to focus here instead on his Italy analogy, which is incoherent. His setup:

Imagine a group of people who work to destroy Italy because, they claim, Italy’s origins are illegitimate. Imagine further that these people maintain that of all the countries in the world, only Italy doesn’t deserve to exist. And then imagine that these people vigorously deny that they are anti-Italian. Would you believe them?

The analysis is difficult because it’s unclear how Prager wants us to understand the meaning of terms he’s using, including:

  • to “destroy” – So, do They want to incinerate Italy with nuclear bombs? Or, to overthrow its current government? Or, to pressure it to stop subjugating the Venetians?
  • “illegitimate” – Unjust? Imposed by force? Imposed by heretics, by deviants?
  • to “exist” – To have self-rule? To populate a land area? To continue breathing?
  • are “anti-Italian” – Hate the country? Hate people with a particular language, or religion, or residence, or genetic makeup?

Let’s try, in spite of these difficulties, to describe the situation with Israel and the hypothetical Italian situation, bringing out the parallels:

Certain unspecified anti-Zionist people want to incinerate or pressure Israel, because the Israelis didn’t start the country in the right way. They say Israelis don’t deserve to be there. Yet, unbelievably, these anti-Israel folks claim to not hate the people living there.

Just like:

Certain unspecified anti-Italy people want to incinerate or pressure Italy, because the Etruscans or Romans or more recent founders didn’t start the country in the right way. They say Italians don’t deserve to be there. Yet, unbelievably, these anti-Italy folks claim to not hate the people living there.

Q.E.D. Those Italy-haters obviously hate Italians, just like those Israel-haters obviously hate Jews. What could be more simple and self-evident? No other explanation is possible.

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