Dear Rabbi and Susan,
I’m not sure if you’ve heard what’s going on in Ireland, and I’m trying to figure it out. [In Ireland and in many other places, attempts are made—often under the banner of the Palestinian led BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement to isolate Israel, especially when it comes to products made in the disputed territories.]
What I’m trying to understand is if there is any truth to this or if it’s a new form of ant-Semitism. But I also respect everyone’s right to disagree and to speak out when it comes to their beliefs even when I have a hard time with it.
I believe in standing for everyone’s freedoms and rights. I want to see no one hurt or rights suppressed. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on if that makes sense. Is this good or bad; is this a new form of anti-Semitism?
In general, we are not fans of accusations of “isms”. By that, we mean sexism, anti-Semitism, racism and the like. We dislike these accusations because the terms are often undefined and used as cudgels with which to bludgeon and destroy people. Too often, there is absolutely no way in which to defend oneself against an “ism” allegation.
Having said that, we are also not fans of the double standard. When a double standard exists, two entities are treated differently based on a factor that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. If a professor demanded a 90% on a multiple-choice exam from all students in order to earn an A but demanded that those of a certain color, religion or nationality earn 95% to earn the same A, that would be an example of a double standard.