This is a topic I've written extensively about in various forms. A goodly portion of my thoughts were expressed in the comments of other Feministe posts, specifically this one and this one (Feminist Gal excerpted some of her favorite comments so you don't have to slog through). I've also written related posts asking Can Zionism Be Defended by Proxies?, and lamenting the tragedy of left-wing zionist advocacy.
I am thus very happy that this post was written. I think it is a conversation that the left definitely needs to have, and I applaud Girl Detective for getting the ball rolling. That being said, I think the way she frames this issue has significant problems and doesn't actually take seriously anti-semitism as a structural manifestation of power and subordination. Instead, it is extraordinarily deferential to the prevailing power structure, doing nothing to challenge anti-semitism as embedded within our modes of thinking about Israel and Jews, rather than an aberrant exception to our general liberal souls.
The structure of her post is to list a particular argument ("Israelis are just like the Nazis!") and explain what's anti-semitic about it. It's not that I disagree with her on any given point. But by grappling with specific claims piece-meal, she ends up presenting the problem as episodic -- individual incidents which are disconnected from the broader thrust of how Israel is discussed in both leftist and mainstream circles.
Framing the question this way invites arguments over the particulars of specific claims (as evidenced by the people in comments who seem very wedded to preserving the linkage between Israel and Nazis), rather than analysis about how the whole discourse is integrated within a broader structural condition which acts to subordinate Jews. Is the Israel lobby influential? Yes, clearly it is. But that doesn't mean that the discourse around it isn't influenced by the stereotype of Jewish hyper-power. Most pertinently, that AIPAC is influential doesn't mean that it represents the only avenue by which American policymakers hear about the Israel/Palestine conflict (it's not like our Arab allies are shut out of Washington), and it's not as if AIPAC's influence in DC extends globally (the UN is virulently anti-Israel). Arguing about it in isolation, however, allows folks to turn the focus away from the broader context in which pro- and anti-Zionist arguments are made in the public arena -- which includes not just US Congress but the United Nations, college campuses, the EU, and many others.
The incidental focus also sometimes means Detective Girl doesn't really seem to
The main reason this comparison is unproductive is that Godwin's Law doesn’t allow for much in-depth analysis. A description of the specific crimes that the Israeli government is committing should be more than enough to constitute a call to action; anyone who's not swayed by the facts on the ground probably isn't worth trying to sway. And, like condemnations of "the Zionists," comparisons of Israelis to Nazis also come directly from anti-semitic propaganda.
It's not so much that this is wrong as that it misses the major point. The reason "Nazi" is used against Israel as opposed to the myriad of other horrible regimes (Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Attila the Hun) is because of the perception that the Holocaust is critical to the legitimacy of the creation and maintenance of the Jewish state. Consequently, suppression of that experience is a critical part of anti-Zionist discourse. In the extreme case, this comes out in Holocaust denial. But the Nazi comparison serves roughly the same purpose -- it seeks to break the link between the Nazi extermination of the Jews and supporting Israel by depriving it of its unique horror (while at the same time, piggybacking on that revulsion to muster support for Palestinians). But that tactic is facially anti-semitic: it tries to suppress Jewish experience and fundamentally alter the nature of our history and reality. That's inherently wrong, but it takes on particular significance given that we're talking about an experience of blood and death: washing it out of the historical memory makes Jews more vulnerable by removing the impetus to fix the problem and weakens our vigilance looking out for signals of future anti-semitism.
The other thing the focus on particular instances of rhetoric does is that it externalizes the problem only to the extremes. Again, the amount of people who are invested in talk about Israel being Nazis shows that this isn't insignificant. But the trouble is that if the problem is Jewish anti-subordination on a structural level, it's incorporated in the very fabric of our discourse. It is interwoven into our basic assumptions and perceptions about the conflict. Anti-semitism is not only implicated when someone says "Israel is the Jewish vanguard of world domination", anymore than racism only occurs when someone says "all those n***ers should go back to Africa." Anti-semitism, to borrow from Taunya Lovell Banks, is often restricted only to "rabid hate and/or violence." But anyone who has seriously looked into anti-subordination studies knows that the mechanics which keep certain people in power and others down are rarely that simple. Put simply, DG sets the bar too low: it is way too easy to talk about Israel without being "anti-semitic" under her taxonomy, in ways that don't require the speakers to do any critical engagement with how their own lives and perceptions might be influenced by anti-semitism. Instead, she engages in soothing bromides about how Jews are, in fact, "paranoid" about anti-semitism -- as if the whole post is just to assuage our (totally unfounded!) fears on the issue. Talk about blaming the victims! There is certainly nothing approaching an analysis of "gentile privilege" here.
Anti-semitism doesn't occur (merely) as sporadic incidents of hate or extreme rhetoric. It is embedded in all of our perspectives of what Jews deserve, what their role is in the global community, and fundamentally who we are. A progressive praxis that is truly committed to liberation of all peoples has to be willing to listen to Jewish voices and Jewish stories about our own experience and history. When we tell you that we perceive something as anti-semitic, listen -- don't chide us about our paranoia in the wake of millions of dead Jewish bodies. When we tell you what we need for our freedom and security, take us seriously, and realize the burden ought to be on you, not us, to offer realistic alternative paths if you don't like the one we're travelling on now.
The gentile world has not earned Jewish trust. That it nevertheless demands that we defer to them, live under their rule, and substitute their judgment for ours is an expression of arrogance (I'd like to say unparalleled arrogance, but it sadly is quite reminiscent of how many privileged groups -- Whites, men, heterosexuals -- have treated those they keep under their boot). It is not something progressives can tolerate any longer if they wish to keep the name. We need to engage with anti-semitism beyond the superficial, and get down to the deep, deep roots it has laid in all branches of western and global society.