What is Jewish supremacy and how is it different from White supremacy?

“New York Jews say: Not in Our Name” poster in a June 2015 march through lower Manhattan

There are more similarities than differences between Jewish supremacy and White supremacy. Both are based on ethnic/nationalist bias and racism. They are both

“historically based, institutionally perpetuated system[s] of exploitation and oppression … a web of interlocking, reinforcing institutions: economic, military, legal, educational, religious, and cultural. As a system, racism affects every aspect of life in a country.”

Within Israel and militarily occupied Palestinian lands, Jewish supremacy is sometimes described as White supremacy, as in this headline:

“Israel’s White Supremacy Agenda Targets Other Jews, Arabs, Africans
Palestinians are not the only target for Israel’s animosity and ethno-centric policies.”

This is because, contrary to Zionist myth, Jews don’t all belong to one race. The Jews who created the racist ideology of Zionism (See Zionism = racism) and initially colonized Palestine (Between 1882 and 1903, at least 25,000 Jews arrived in Palestine, financially backed by European Jewish philanthropists, such as Moses Montefiore and Edmond de Rothschild, (see Palestine and the first Zionist Colony) are Ashkenazim, Jews of Eastern European origin.

Ashkenazi Jews are the elite of Israel and they dominate and discriminate against, not only Palestinian Arabs, but also other Jews and ethnicities in Israel.

The situation in the West Bank settlement of Immanuel exposes the deeply complex ethno-religious relations between European Jews and Middle Eastern Jews in Israel. Middle Eastern Jews have for many decades lived as stigmatized citizens of Israel; their traditional Arabic culture and form of Jewish religiosity frequently objects of scorn and prejudice…In spite of the fact that Sephardim comprise a substantial percentage of the Israeli Jewish population, in socio-cultural terms they find themselves in a subservient position vis-à-vis the Ashkenazim.

However, there are two major differences between the two racist ideologies, White supremacy and Jewish supremacy:

1) In so-called “liberal” circles, White supremacy is uniformly reviled, whereas Jewish supremacy, as it manifests itself in Zionism, is not only accepted but fiercely defended even by those Middle Eastern or Arab Jews mentioned above, who have internalized Zionist racism.

2) Jewish supremacy is wrapped up, not only in a secular Zionist ideology, but in a religious one as well, attracting Jews and evangelical Christians from all kinds of backgrounds and ethnicities.

In the wake of Charlottesville, for example, the ADL — Anti-Defamation League reported that it saw 1,000% spike in donations. The ADL is a Jewish supremacist organization, but it can masquerade in the United States as an anti-racist organization. As If Americans Knew reports, ADL “works to maintain the racist status quo in Israel-Palestine, which keeps Palestinians in Israel as third-class citizens and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank & Gaza stateless and without basic civil rights.” It also keeps Palestinian refugees and exiles from returning to their homes and land, an internationally recognized right.

In 1994, while eulogizing Baruch Goldstein, a Brooklyn born Jew who had emigrated to Israel and killed 29 Palestinian Muslim worshipers at Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, New York Rabbi Yaacov Perrin said, “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” He was defining the essence of Jewish supremacy that now reigns supreme in all of historic Arab Palestine.

Accepting the concept of Jewish supremacy in Palestine, As Sari Nusseibeh wrote,

would be [among other things]to privilege Judaism above the religions of Christianity and Islam, whose adherents together comprise 55 per cent of the world’s population. Regrettably this is a narrative propagated even by renowned Jewish author and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who, on April 15, 2010, took out full page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post and claimed that Jerusalem “is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture — and not a single time in the Qur’an”. Now we do not propose to speak for native Palestinian Arab Christians — except to say the that Jerusalem is quite obviously the city of Jesus Christ the Messiah — but as Muslims, we believe that Jerusalem is not the “third holiest city of Islam” as is sometimes claimed, but simply one of Islam’s three holy cities. And, of course, despite what Mr Wiesel seems to believe, Jerusalem is indeed clearly referred to in the Holy Qur’an in Surat al-Isra’ (17:1) …

Zionist Jews in and out of Israel must confront the reality that Jewish supremacy in Israel, as David Lloyd wrote about Americans and White supremacy in the U.S., “is an intrinsic if shameful element in their history and institutions whose consequences have yet to be overcome.”


Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.