B Is For… The Antisemitic Alphabet: From A-Z.

B Is For… The Antisemitic Alphabet: From A-Z.

The A to Z’s of the current moment, from Antisemitism to Zionism. B is for Babylon to Brainwashing, with some controversial stops along the way. Sources & further reading inside.

This is part of a series on antisemitism, Israel, Zionism, and current events in 2023-2024 (5784).

The intent of this series is to educate, dispel antisemitism and bigotry, and combat propaganda that endangers both Jews AND Palestinians. The misinformation around Israel and Jews is vast and ancient, well-designed, and widespread, and contributes directly to perpetuating the conflict and elevating violence above a peace process.


  • The Babylonian Exile began in 586 or 587 BCE, when the first temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and elites of ancient Judea were taken to ancient Babylon in modern-day Iraq. Thus began the Jewish diaspora and the development of modern-day Judaism.
  • The Babylonian Exile began in 586 or 587 BCE with the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem. Elites of ancient Judea were taken to ancient Babylon in modern-day Iraq and thus began the Jewish diaspora, the development of modern-day Judaism, and the unbroken desire to return to the land of Israel.
  • The loss of the first temple and perhaps 90% of the Jewish population was a formative moment. Several books of the Bible, including Lamentations, mark these events, and according to philosopher and scholar Yehezkel Kaufmann: “The exile is the watershed. With the exile, the religion of Israel comes to an end and Judaism begins.”
  • Jews and Judaism survived their first test; today, ancient Babylon is in ruins.

Read more:

Balfour Declaration

  • In 1917, the British Government issued the Balfour Declaration for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. It was the first time a major world power supported the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland, and it galvanized the Zionist community. It also stoked violence and alienated the Arab world.
  • Anti-Zionists like to claim this was the moment the British “gave” the Jews a state; it did no such thing. Balfour had no teeth, and the Zionists had to establish and defend a state themselves. But opponents claim Israel is a European project or even colony; the reality is every Middle East border was redrawn between the World Wars, and most national borders have since been changed again.

Read more:


  • BDS is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
  • Like much anti-Zionist propaganda, the BDS movement quickly turns into antisemitism by calling for the destruction of Israel, the only Jewish state in the world and the only thing keeping half the world’s Jewish people alive.
  • BDS, a non-profit organization, trades in ahistorical lies, a form of revisionism that seeks to delegitimize Israel’s existence and destabilize it and the Middle East. While its intentions are noble—security and freedom for Palestinians—its methods and revisionism are harmful, including calling all of Israel a “settler colony” and opposing negotiations as a part of the peace process.

Read more:


  • The first PM of Israel and its founding father, David Ben-Gurion is attacked for a handwritten letter that may (or may not) prove the founding of Israel would depend on displacing Palestinians. However, a single letter and a single man, no matter his contributions, don’t delegitimize Israel (and the context of the rest of the letter in question doesn’t support this anti-Zionist theory that the Nakba was premeditated).
  • The year was 1937, the local Arab population had attacked unarmed Jews for decades, and the Jews of what would become Israel knew what was coming in Europe. Then, in practice, the 1948 war – not of Israel’s choosing – was a war for survival, a war to prevent a 2nd Holocaust. Palestinians who didn’t fight Israelis weren’t supposed to be displaced; there are no written orders to indicate otherwise.

Read more:

Bias (and BS)

  • Al Jazeera. The IMEU. The UN. So Informed. Middle East Eye. Jewish Voice for Peace. These are biased sources and get quoted and shared by millions.
    • Al Jazeera is Qatari state media, a country with an abysmal human rights record, and runs different stories in Arabic than it does in English—usually antisemitic.
    • The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has a billion-dollar incentive to keep the conflict going; and the UN itself is composed of dozens of dictator-led states, many of whom openly hate Jews and Israel.
    • Above: Times of Israel, 2021. The UNRWA, the dedicated agency for permanent Palestinian refugee status, funds schools and textbooks that promote jihad and antisemitic tropes. And in 2023, at least one UN employee hid hostages.
  • And viral internet accounts like So Informed and Middle East Eye are, ironically, peddling antisemitic tropes and ahistorical distortions about Israel, Jews, and the conflict. The masses confuse having many followers with being morally or factually correct; for example, all of these accounts and sources regurgitate Hamas’ figures for war dead in Gaza which—all deaths are tragic! BUT—importantly, includes fighters. These accounts and organizations also conflate innocent, unarmed Israeli civilian hostages with terror suspects, including child soldiers who attacked families.
    • This post from IMEU is still up, despite it being a lie. The video is from Egypt in 2013. These posts get virally shared and form opinions about Israel, the conflict, and Jews.

Sources and further reading:


  • Bibi, Benjamin Netanyahu, is the current PM of Israel, wildly unpopular, extremist, and the reason for the security lapse that led to Oct. 7. He has stood in
  • the way of peace for decades.
  • He is head of the coalition encouraging settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. His cabinet is a who’s-who of wing-nut racists and troglodytes. He needs to go, and he actively works against peace, harming Israelis and Jews everywhere.
  • See how this is done? You can criticize your own leaders who are only serving themselves to cling to power; looking at you, Israel’s neighbors! You can’t conflate Bibi with all Israelis or Jews, just like Trump or Bush don’t reflect most Americans.

Read more:


  • The most culturally appropriated object in the world is the Hebrew Bible.
  • The Bible and Jewish culture have been so appropriated that if you say “Bible,” it’s assumed you mean the Christian fan fic, not the original Torah.
  • The Torah is the origin story of the Jewish people and the source of its law, tradition, and culture. It in no way was meant to be any of those things for others, let alone to be replaced (see Christian and Muslim supersessionism).
  • No other culture has its founding stories and documents stolen, rebranded, mistranslated, and then weaponized against them. Christians and Muslims not only did so, they even conquered the lands, killing countless innocents.
  • The Hebrew Bible and its practices establish a strong, unbroken link to the Land of Israel for 3,000 years.
  • But that isn’t why we are there. Jews never left Israel; we’ve been continuously there, and even when we were exiled through genocidal conquests (yes, more than one!), we always returned and rebuilt Jerusalem. And when prevented from returning, strived to do so in our holidays and prayers.
  • The Torah isn’t a historical document, and those claiming that the Israel-Palestine conflict is solely a religious war are mistaken.
  • Most modern Israelis are secular, and only a select minority, far-right settlers, live where they do and escalate violence because of their religious beliefs.
  • Most Israelis want peace, they just don’t trust Palestinians to maintain it.

Read more:

Black and BLM

  • BLM: Black Lives Matter was widely supported by Jewish orgs in America, and visibly so starting in 2020. In 2023 BLM chapters, alongside university groups, began making statements not only condoning the Oct. 7 terror attacks on innocent civilians—but outright celebrating them, and elevating Hamas as some sort of liberating party. Many in BLM and other leftist groups see Jews as an enemy: White, powerful, and guilty.
  • Black Community: See Civil Rights Movement. Jews were in the vanguard of Black, women’s, and queer movements. MLK was an active, vocal supporter of the Jewish community, and Jews marched with him in Selma. We’ve been allies for decades.
  • Blood Quantum: Measuring DNA or ancestry in racial science (IE, racism). It’s related to the “one-drop rule” in the segregated southern US, which stated that anyone with even one Black ancestor was considered Black, whether they looked Black or not. This is highly related to what occurred in Nazi Germany with Jewish ancestry and today is applied to Israelis. Now Jews are accused of being European—even those who never left Israel, and are asked to show their DNA results. Most Jews in Israel are dark-skinned, and Ashkenazi Jews – those displaced in the European diaspora – are closely related.

Further reading:

Blood Libel

  • The Blood Libel is the ancient antisemitic trope that Jews are deadly and bloodthirsty. Originating in the Middle Ages from ancient Roman distrust and stereotyping, blood libel includes lies such as:
    • Jews kill Christians (especially babies)
    • Jews use blood in matzah and in rituals (um, we don’t, it’s not kosher)
    • Tied closely to tropes about power, blood libel is related to the “G-d-killer” lie (Deicide); that Jews killed Jesus
    • All of the above are used to justify horrors against Jews, usually starting with treating us differently legally, and ending in pogroms or genocide.
  • It should be said that all antisemitism is projection, and blood libel especially. The lie that Jews are murderous is used to murder us, for example.
  • Jews in the land of Israel have been slaughtered for going on 3,000 years. Since the late 1800s, that murder coalesced around Arab nationalism in a steady stream of blood that does nothing to serve Palestinians or to form a state. But when Israel defends itself they’re called “baby-killers”; blood libel is then projected onto all Israelis and Jews.
  • All war results in tragic civilian losses, but there’s a unique vitriol reserved for Israel. Jews are uniquely condemned for self-defense to the point we can not agree on what self-defense looks like for Israel. The loss of even a single Palestinian is tragic; the war needs to end. But if Israel were truly trying to genocide Gaza, it would have taken 1 day. Her critics would still want her destroyed, even if there were zero civilian casualties.

Sources and further reading: Blood Libel

Borders / British Mandate

  • The British Mandate was the name for the region of Israel, Palestine, and Jordan that activists now confuse with a sovereign country of Palestine, which has never existed. Its borders are literally colonial; the green maps you see are wrong for several reasons.
  • The “ancient” country of Palestine is claimed from British borders after carving up the defunct Ottoman Empire after 1917 (WWI). The British and French arbitrarily carved up the Middle East with no regard to native groups or conflicts; Israel / Palestine was the last area standing, and when a civil war broke out, the British fucked off and left the Jews to rot. That’s right; the British didn’t “give” Israel to anyone; in fact they abstained from the 1947 UN vote and then armed the Arab armies, who were bigger and outmatched the Jews when they invaded in 1948, intent to destroy Israel and the Jews.
  • No one complains about modern Iraqi or Syrian borders (drawn by France and Britain), or that Jordan annexed most of what would be Palestine and to this day is where most Palestinians live. In fact, Jordan occupied the West Bank from 1948 to 1967; there was no violent resistance like there is to the Israeli occupation. Britain also drew the borders of India and Pakistan, creating Pakistan entirely; yet the world doesn’t delegitimize it.Those green maps (previous slide) also show the initial UN partition plan—which the Palestinians rejected! How can you complain about land loss when you didn’t take it when you could? And the first map marks everywhere Jews didn’t live as “Palestine” including empty and private land. Truly misleading.


  • Brainwashing is the process of pressuring someone into adopting radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible means. Often, this is propaganda.
  • A new movement of young Jews claim they were brainwashed by their Jewish educational upbringing: never told the truth about Palestine and the formation of Israel. Learning an incomplete history or even propaganda isn’t brainwashing, however. And different things can be true at the same time:
    • The Palestinians have suffered AND: Israel is legitimate
    • Jewish education is lacking, for example it often prepares youth for their B’nei Mitzvah (age 13) and little else; AND: you can learn more about the conflict without doing a complete 180 and no longer supporting Israel’s safety and security
    • You can hold in your heart that Israel nearly didn’t re-form and nearly didn’t survive and celebrate that as a grand survival story of our people, AND: you can want the same for the Palestinian people, including dignity and success.
    • Many of these young activists fail to grasp multiple truths at once and instead turn on Israel, spreading ahistorical lies and thus perpetuating the conflict by thwarting compromise.

For more: