State Sen. Jeremy Moss: Some anti-Israel protests are antisemitic

Moss says the vandalism on Goodman Acker’s Southfield office was antisemitic.

A press conference held at Goodman Acker after their offices were vandalized.

Michigan State Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) speaks at a news conference at Goodman Acker's office after it was vandalized on June 3, 2024.

Several University of Michigan regents were targeted for protests in May over their refusal to divest from Israeli companies and weapons manufacturers.

A pro-Palestinian, anti-war encampment at the University of Michigan took root on the college campus and was later broken up by police.

Last week, the law office of Goodman Acker in Southfield — which University of Michigan Regent Jordan Acker is a partner — was struck by vandalism. Graffiti urging divestment from Israel and “Free Palestine” were painted on the side of the building.

Both attorneys Jordan Acker and Barry Goodman said the vandalism was antisemitic. Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren has said the incident was a hate crime, but that any charges made in that regard were up to the prosecutor of the case.

State Sen. Jeremy Moss joined WDET during All Things Considered to explore the incident and to understand what constitutes as antisemitism during a time of heightened hostility toward Jewish Americans.

Moss says that the incident that occurred last month was antisemitic, and that some pro-Palestinian protests have lent themselves to antisemitism.

“I would say, not every anti-Israel protest is antisemitic,” said Moss. “But that doesn’t meant that some of these anti-Israel protests are immune from charges of antisemitism just because the people conducting them say that they are focused and targeted on Israel.”

Moss also noted that, at times, anti-Zionist attitudes and rhetoric express themselves as antisemitism because of how closely Zionism feels to many Jewish Americans and Jews around the world.

“If you are even just expressing the belief that Israel should exist as a homeland for Jews and you’re faced with ‘all Zionists should die,’ ‘Zionism is racism’ — all these horrible things that we have been accused of — that…is attacking Jews for what we believe in our value set,” Moss shared.

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  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.