A CNN “Analysis” Explains Antisemitism By Engaging In It

It’s baffling how many people – even seemingly good people – find ways to blame antisemitism on the Jews themselves. CNN’s Stephen Collinson provides the latest illustration of this in his October 31 “analysis” entitled “A new wave of antisemitism threatens to rock an already unstable world.”

It only took Collinson three sentences to attribute blame to the Jews themselves, writing: “So the wave of global hatred directed against Jews – intensified by Israel’s indiscriminate response in Gaza to horrific Hamas terrorist murders of Israeli civilians on October 7 – should not just be seen as a reaction to the Middle East yet again slumping into war.”

Yes, Collinson is saying it “should not just be seen” as caused by Jews. No, that doesn’t make his insinuation any better. And what makes it more disturbing is not just the falsity of the charge, but that the reporter goes out of his way to assume evil intentions on the part of Jews, while simultaneously manufacturing innocent motivations for antisemites.

Since October 7, the Israeli Defense Forces have targeted over 11,000 Hamas sites. Even using Hamas’s unverified casualty figures, that means that for every site targeted, there has been fewer than one Palestinian death. Objectively, that doesn’t sound very “indiscriminate,” especially given the constantly repeated talking point that Gaza is “one of the most densely populated places on earth.”

Moreover, how would Collinson know that the strikes are indiscriminate? Does he have unique access to the decision-making processes of the IDF officers and legal advisors that have been approving each individual strike? Or rather, as seems more likely, is he assuming that the IDF is just “indiscriminately” bombing the Gaza Strip, without regard for its legal obligations or civilian life? That would, of course, be at odds with what has been described by actual military and legal experts, who have described the IDF’s targeting processes as “well-regulated and subject to the rule of law,” with “exceptionally competent, highly professional, and well-trained” legal advisers.

Whatever Collinson’s motivation, he is manufacturing an excuse, one which happens to be an unsupported allegation of Jews behaving badly, to explain why antisemitism is rising.

But Collinson’s attribution of nefarious motives to Jews doesn’t end there. The Israeli government “has sought retribution,” Collinson explained, and that is “contribut[ing] to an atmosphere that risks worsening harassment of Jewish people.”

“Retribution” is a funny way of saying “waging war against a terrorist organization that just murdered and kidnapped more than 1,600 Israelis.”

Collinson’s description depicts the war as one of Jewish vengeance, as if freeing the 240 hostages taken by Hamas isn’t a legitimate motive. He implies it’s not a legitimate motive to destroy the genocidal terrorist organization next door which openly seeks Israel’s destruction and just proved, in a particularly horrific manner, that that’s not an empty threat.

No, Collinson tells us, the motive is just “retribution.” That’s the narrative Collinson is advancing: antisemitism is rising because some Jews overseas are on a murderous rampage of revenge, indiscriminately killing Palestinians.

Which leads us to what motives Collinson imputes to those antisemites. The reporter acknowledged that some “pro-Palestinian protestor” have “appeared to embrace Hamas,” but then suggests they’re motivated by a belief in “Palestinian rights,” and they’re just worried about “civilian casualties.” It’s thus unfair to criticize them for antisemitism, he implies.

Perhaps that’s true of some. But what about those protesters who began organizing demonstrations while Hamas was still butchering Israeli civilians?

A post, from the day of the Palestinian terror attack, by a prominent anti-Israel organization, Palestinian Youth Movement, celebrating the October 7 massacre and organizing a rally in support of it.

What about those demonstrators who weren’t lamenting civilian deaths, but rather were expressing support for the murder, rape, beheading, torturing, and kidnapping of civilians? What about those demonstrators who chant for the erasure of the Jewish state?

These people aren’t hiding their motivations. They’re shouting them out loud and wearing them proudly on their signs and on their shirts.

Collinson assumed a motive of Jewish evil. Then, notwithstanding anti-Israel demonstrators loudly and proudly proclaimed their antisemitic and terror-supporting motivations, he assumed a virtuous motive.

What does that tell you about Collinson’s biases?

In an otherwise important piece, it’s a shame that the clearest example of how antisemitism has been allowed to metastasize so widely came from Collinson himself.

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