Over the last two years, tens of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in anti-Israel advocacy have banded together in a campaign to accuse Israel of apartheid. This offensive term, used by international NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Israeli NGOs like B’Tselem, is aimed at advancing a narrative of unparalleled Israeli immorality and calling for the dismantling of the Jewish state. Along the way, these NGOs hope to promote demonization of Israel through BDS and lawfare, including in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
While most scrutiny has detailed the offensiveness and inaccuracy of the terminology apartheid, many have overlooked an even more poisonous phrase that appears in publications from the three NGOs mentioned above. Amnesty, HRW, and B’Tselem use the terms Jewish supremacy and Jewish domination. These terms echo antisemitic language used by the Third Reich, the Nazi Party and contemporary neo-Nazis.
The trope of Jewish supremacy, an antisemitic term found in the title of B’Tselem’s apartheid report, gained prominence during the Third Reich. Books on the subject of Jewish power, Jewish imperialism and Jewish world domination were distributed in pre-World War II Germany, propagating the belief that Jewish supremacy would be defeated by a savior, Adolf Hitler. The phrase was often used to indoctrinate young Germans, as demonstrated in a slide from a Hitler Youth educational presentation proclaiming “Hitler breaks Jewish supremacy with his movement.”
In 1940, following the premiere of the preeminent antisemitic Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew, the Reich Security Service published a memo reviewing the movie, stating, “The cartographic and statistical representations about the spread of Judaism (the comparison with the rats was emphasized as particularly impressive) and about the expansion of its influence in all areas of life and in all countries of the world was noted. Particular attention was noted about the acceptance and reception of Jews in the USA. It is surprising how openly the Jewish influence and the Jewish supremacy in the USA are at display.”