When it comes to anti-Semitism on the left, the political scientist Mira Sucharov can be too cautious. In 2016, after a speaker at Vassar College gave what seemed to me and many others an obviously anti-Semitic talk, Sucharov seemed to agree. Sure, the claim that Israelis delay returning the bodies of Palestinians because it takes time to harvest their organs “quacks like an infamous anti-Semitic myth,” she wrote. But that doesn’t make it anti-Semitic. Huh?
When she considered the “Deadly Exchange” campaign led by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), even Sucharov felt “queasy.” The Deadly Exchange campaign cynically seeks to exploit the relative popularity of Black Lives Matter by pinning anti-black discrimination on Israel and the American Jewish organizations opposed to the demonization of the Jewish state. JVP specifically targets educational trips to Israel by U.S. law enforcement. As JVP itself puts it, such trips advance “discriminatory and repressive policing practices,” such as “extrajudicial executions, shoot-to-kill policies, police murders, racial profiling, massive spying and surveillance, deportation and detention, and attacks on human rights defenders.”