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The University of Illinois Student Senate spent much time arguing why anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are not the same without bothering for a moment to define anti-Zionism.

Anti-Zionism is not about supporting the right of Palestinians for self-determination, opposing the Jewish settlements in the West Bank or the restrictions on Gaza or opposing the recent Israeli nation-state law. There are plenty of Zionist Jews, in Israel or in the United States, who both oppose and support these policies.

Palestinian students and their supporters are free to attack those policies and support self-determination for the Palestinian people, and supporters of those policies are free to defend them. The Quad is open to all, even to rabid anti-Semites.

Anti-Zionism is about rejecting Zionism: rejecting the right of Jews for self-determination, rejecting the right of the state of Israel to be a Jewish state.

I fail to see how one can support the right of Palestinians for self-determination while rejecting the right of Jews for the same. I strongly suspect that most of the speakers at the Senate meeting would gladly support self-determination for any ethnic group, with the exception of one: the Jewish people. Is it surprising that they are suspected of anti-Semitism?

MARC SNIR

Urbana

News-Gazette