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0 The debate over anti-Semitism, By RUCK KUHN The Canberra Times.

There is less popular support for Israel in Australia, Britain and many other countries than ever before.

In the effort to rebuild Israel's credibility, a political fight is going on over the word ''anti-Semitic''. 
Supporters of Israel want to shift its meaning from hatred of Jews to include criticism of the Israeli state. They have had some success in the campaign to smuggle this formulation into common sense. From 1961, Webster's Third International Dictionary, the standard reference to English in the United States, defined anti-Semitism as both ''hostility toward Jews'' and ''opposition to Zionism: sympathy with opponents of the state of Israel''. 
Zionism maintains that there should be a state which gives special rights to Jews.
In 2005, an agency of the European Union adopted a definition of anti-Semitism that included ''Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg, by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour''. 
The US State Department has embraced this definition. This verbal manoeuvre paints Nazis and those who support the Palestinian the same shade of storm-trooper brown. It licenses apologists for Israel to claim that everyone who wants a single, secular state for Jews and Palestinians on current Israeli and Palestinian territories are the same as Adolf Hitler.
The equation of hatred of Jews with criticism of Israel reinforces the claim that the interests of Jews and Israel are identical. In practice, this subordinates the security of Jews to the interests of those in charge of the Israeli state.
The partisan definition of anti-Semitism favoured by apologists for Israel justifies labelling anti-racist activists as anti-Semites while treating overt racists as allies. 
Friends of Israel in Australia have, for example, been prepared to tolerate the presence of members of the extreme right-wing Australian Patriotic Defence Movement at their mobilisations to undermine the campaign against Israeli-owned Max Brenner chocolate shops.

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