Measured by its impact, the BDS campaign to isolate Israel has been about as successful as the Charge of the Light Brigade, say, or the theatrical run of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, or any other cataclysmic failure that still inspires us, decades later, to ponder the bottomless depths of human ineptitude. And now, not content with their floundering boycotts, the champions of the anti-Israeli left have found a new villain: J.K. Rowling.
Why? Because Rowling is an outspoken critic of the anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-Semitic Labour Party, a thought crime among those moral and intellectual degenerates who refuse to condemn hatred of Jews when it comes, as it so frequently does these days, from their side of the aisle.
Steven Salaita—the disgraced academic whose muddle-minded attempts at thinking got him jettisoned from a host of universities worldwide and who now spends his days theorizing on why Israeli hummus leads to genocide—entered the anti-Rowling fray, asking if it was possible to hide Harry Potter from his children, because, truly, there’s no better mark of an open and curious mind than attempting to censure your children’s reading list based on your political beliefs.
Not to be outdone, Rafael Shimunov, of the radical group Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, accused Rowling of depicting “viciously antisemetic [sic] scenes in Harry Potter that destroyed Jewish kids who loved you and now they’re grown up and you think you can make it up by using right wing Netanyahu talking points about Corbyn. But that’s also antisemetic [sic].”
Just what sort of wicked deeds did the beloved author commit to warrant the accusation of destroying Jewish children, a charge previously limited to, say, the Einsatzgruppen? In a flurry of tweets, the studious Shimunov goes on to explain: In the Harry Potter universe, the banks are controlled by Goblins, and the chief Goblin is called Griphook. Get it? Grip, because he has a tight grip on money, and hook because he has a hooked nose! Which means he’s a Jew! Which makes J.K. Rowling some sort of slightly more feminine Goebbels!
The hatred is revealing. In their well-scrubbed moments, the boycotters insist that singling out the world’s only Jewish state for opprobrium even though—or even because—it’s a pluralistic democracy has nothing to do with Jews. You can, they insist, be an anti-Zionist and not an anti-Semite. L’affaire Rowling proves yet again that you can’t: The author had nothing to say about Israel. Her concern was the hatred of Jews in Britain, a hatred the community itself had unanimously and unequivocally characterized as a clear and present threat. And for that the BDS lowlifes pounced, arguing that anyone who bravely stands with Jews and speaks out against anti-Semitism must be some sort of bigoted emissary of the dark King Bibi himself.
Previously, this sort of reasoning was reserved to those who dwelled in padded cells and spent their days lining up for meds. But now we have Twitter, where such mad drivel can pass for sophistication. But hey, it’s the holidays, time to be kind and compassionate to each other. So in the spirit of brotherly love, if you believe that singling out the world’s only Jewish state for harsh criticism is totally not anti-Semitic but criticizing a man who declared Hamas and Hezbollah his friends truly is, I hope you get all the help you need.