By Donna Nevel and Elly Bulkin
Within a national and international framework, we consider Islamophobia in the context of its relationship with Israel and the U.S. “war on terror.” We have written the following four pieces (see links below) to analyze these intersections and to make more visible a topic that has so often been taboo within, as well as outside, the Jewish community.
Our first article, “How the Jewish Establishment’s Litmus Test on Israel Fuels Anti-Muslim Bigotry,” examines the ways in which the mainstream Jewish community applies the “good Muslim-bad Muslim” paradigm, most often in relation to Israel, to determine which Muslims (or Arabs) are “good” or “bad.” “Follow the Money: From Islamophobia to Israel Right or Wrong” documents the financial connection between Islamophobes and right-wing pro-Israel politics. “How the Anti-Defamation League Fuels Islamophobia” describes how the Anti-Defamation League, which bills itself as a premier civil rights organization, participates frequently in fomenting and perpetuating Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, especially against those who do not share its adamantly pro-Israel politics.
Finally, “How Pro-Israel Forces Drove Two Virulent Anti-Muslim Campaigns” considers the lessons we can learn from two Islamophobic campaigns, one involving an Islamic cultural center and one an Arab dual language public school, in which Israel politics played a central and destructive role. We hope that the articles, published in Alternet (the most recent published on 9/21/13), can be useful resources in the struggle to understand Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism and to challenge them as effectively as we can.
Elly Bulkin is a writer and editor. Donna Nevel is a community psychologist and educator. They were founding members of Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition and steering committee members of Communities in Support of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, and are helping to develop a new project–Jewish Voice for Peace Network Against Islamophobia. They can be reached at challengingislamophobia@