Is Hannah Arendt an Antisemite Now?

If criticism of Zionism is antisemitism, of course she is

Comrade Morlock
3 min readDec 17, 2023

I’ve quoted Arendt on Israel before, but only briefly. On Twitter — I will call it X when its users have addresses — Samantha Rose Hill, author of Hannah Arendt and What Remains, provided three excellent examples of what Zionists would call Arendt’s antisemitism.

Because what follows is from her Twitter thread, this post is not behind a paywall.

Samantha Rose Hill writes:

The cancellation of Masha Gessen’s Boell-Stiftung Hannah-Arendt-Prize is an affront to Hannah Arendt’s memory. By their own logic, the Boell-Stiftung needs to cancel the Hannah Arendt Prize altogether.

What Hannah Arendt said about the nation-state of Israel was far more damning than anything Gessen wrote.

1- Arendt from Jerusalem in 1955: “On top of that, they treat the Arabs, those still here, in a way that in itself would be enough to rally the whole world against Israel.”

2- In Hannah Arendt’s 1944 essay, “Zionism Reconsidered”, she argues that the Zionist nation-state is an imperialist project in the style of European nation-states and that it will make the Jewish people less safe everywhere.

3) On December 4, 1948, Hannah Arendt signed a letter published in the New York Times in which she, Albert Einstein, Sidney Hook and others argued that the “Freedom Party” was “akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to Nazi and Fascist parties.”

These are only three examples. There are countless more. Hannah Arendt did not believe the answer to the Holocaust was the foundation of a European nation-state. For her, the model of the Jewish people having a European nation-state was a form of assimilation.

There is little question in my mind that Arendt would have been a fierce critique of Netanyahu. That she would have spoken up against the brutal actions of Hamas, the inhumane mass slaughter of Palestinian people, and the historical conditions that led to this political moment.

The Boell-Stiftung refusing to show courage by complying with Germany’s anti-democratic policies that govern what can be said about Israel is an affront to the legacy of Hannah Arendt, a Jewish German woman who fled the Nazis. Who believed all people had a right to exist freely.

— Samantha Rose Hill

Possibly of interest: A Guide to My Posts about Israel and Palestine



Comrade Morlock

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