The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights rightly condemns “beastilization,” the likening of Jews to barnyard animals, as a form of anti-Semitism (“From BDS To Beastialization,” Aug. 29). For the same reason, we should avoid likening Muslims and Christians to grass, or killing them to “mowing the lawn.”
Beastilization is a problem because likening people to beasts leads to thinking of them as beasts, which makes it easier to kill them without taking responsibility for killing a human being. But referring to attacks on Gaza as “mowing the lawn” poses the same problem. Mowing the lawn is a task that must be done periodically, annoying to humans but painful only to grass. Referring to bombing in that way obscures the fact that, despite the IDF’s efforts to minimize civilian deaths, Israel is killing children and other innocents. I do not write to condemn Israel’s choices but to say we must discuss them candidly.
Jews are not animals to be slaughtered, and Muslims and Christians are not grass to be mowed.