Zionists believed that anti-Semitism could be calmed through actions taken by Jews to give their enemies what their enemies wanted: a place, a place elsewhere, to which Jews could and would go. It was as if Jews were acknowledging that their existence as a minority people was a problem, and therefore remediable.
What this hope of normalization ignored was the fact that the doctrine of anti-Semitism arose in the 19th century not to address the realities of the Jewish situation but to meet the political needs of others and to satisfy the political ends of others. The error lay not in the confidence placed by Jews in their capacity to establish a homeland but in the expectation that doing so would mitigate or put an end to the hostility directed against them.
As it turned out, anti-Semitism was launched against a people without a homeland, but it would work just as well against Jews with a state of their own.
Anti-Semitism works through the strategy of the pointing finger. Through political prestidigitation, the accuser draws attention away from his own sins—in the case of Arab leaders, the systematic oppression and immiseration of their own people—by pointing to the Jews, whose demonically inflated image and luridly portrayed wickedness make them a plausible explanation for whatever ails his regime. The pointing finger keeps negative attention focused on the Jews—or Israelis—and the latter, as often as not, obligingly fall into the trap by accepting responsibility for a situation they cannot control. In politics as before the law, whoever points the finger is the plaintiff, and whoever stands in the dock is the defendant. Unless they were to file a countersuit, simply answering to the charge of which they stood accused placed the Jews under the constant obligation of defending their innocence.