What We Talk About When We Talk About Israel Is it possible to speak out against Israel's policies without disparaging Jewish people? And what happens when people conflate anti-Semitism and criticizing Israel?

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Israel

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Israel

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Israel

What We Talk About When We Talk About Israel

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/702378096/702432181" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: Protestors demonstrate outside of the Verizon Center during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on March 21, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Presidential candidates from both parties gathered in Washington to pitch their plans for Israel. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images) Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images hide caption

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Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: Protestors demonstrate outside of the Verizon Center during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on March 21, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Presidential candidates from both parties gathered in Washington to pitch their plans for Israel. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

How can one criticize the government of Israel, without being antisemitic? People started asking that question again after the controversial comments of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. She has repeatedly criticized support for Israel from the U-S federal government and some pro-Israel lobbying groups, especially considering the treatment of Palestinians. That led to a House resolution denouncing antisemitism and other forms of bigotry, without mentioning Omar by name. The debates over the United States' policies with Israel won't stop any time soon. But how should we debate these policies without falling into stereotypes or stepping on cultural landmines? For that matter, is Israel something Americans are ready to debate at all? In response to Rep. Omar's comments, the House passed a sweeping resolution condemning anti-Semitism and discrimination of Muslims. But that agenda was clouded by a debate over the pro-Israel lobby, which has widened a rift in the Democratic party.

Is it possible to speak out against Israel's policies without disparaging Jewish people? And what happens when people conflate anti-Semitism and criticizing Israel?