Is the Left becoming anti-Semitic?

March 8, 2016 • 12:50 pm

Well, Roger Cohen of the New York Times thinks so, pointing out in a new op-ed the increased blurring of lines between dislike of Israel and dislike of Jews, as well as the increasing acceptability of slurs against Jews in both British and American academia. And Cohen, like me, always has to include in his articles a caveat about the bad things that, we agree, are done by the Israeli government, including the support of illegal settlements. But the malfeasance of the Israeli government does not justify demonizing Jews, just as the perfidies of ISIS or Saudi Arabia doesn’t warrant the demonization of Muslims. Yet Jews are regularly murdered by terrorists simply for being Jewish, regardless of their views on Israel.

One can argue about Israel’s right to exist, or whether we should have a refuge state based on Judaism. (Of course, much of the Middle East comprises states not only undergirded by Islam, but where Islam is confluent with the state). But it’s too late now: the UN resolutions of 1947 and 1948 established Israel, were passed by the UN, and are faits accompli. To call for Israel’s elimination is not on the table, but to me it’s a touchstone of rationality to also favor a two-state solution, with Israel giving back the illegal settlements on the West Bank and recognizing a Palestinian state. Note, though, that the Palestinians have twice rejected that solution.

But I digress. Here’s part of Cohen’s case for the rise of Leftist anti-Semitism, and I’ve put the last sentence in bold, as I found it striking. (See also Simon Shama’s related argument archived in The Financial Times).

Last month, a co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, quit in protest at what he described as rampant anti-Semitism among members. A “large proportion” of the club “and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he said in a statement.

Chalmers referred to members of the executive committee “throwing around the term ‘Zio’” — an insult used by the Ku Klux Klan; high-level expressions of “solidarity with Hamas” and explicit defense of “their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians”; and the dismissal of any concern about anti-Semitism as “just the Zionists crying wolf.”

The zeitgeist on campuses these days, on both sides of the Atlantic, is one of identity and liberation politics. Jews, of course, are a minority, but through a fashionable cultural prism they are seen as the minority that isn’t — that is to say white, privileged and identified with an “imperialist-colonialist” state, Israel. They are the anti-victims in a prevalent culture of victimhood; Jews, it seems, are the sole historical victim whose claim is dubious.

Again, Cohen’s no cheerleader for Israel:

Today, it is Palestinians in the West Bank who are dehumanized through Israeli dominion, settlement expansion and violence. The West Bank is the tomb of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Palestinians, in turn, incite against Jews and resort to violence, including random stabbings.

The oppression of Palestinians should trouble every Jewish conscience. But nothing can justify the odious “anti-Semitic anti-Zionism” (Johnson’s term) that caused Chalmers to quit and is seeping into British and American campuses.

And I agree with all of that. But equation I see forming is Israel = Jews, and really, who can deny it? When a UCLA student’s ability to be on the university’s student council is questioned simply because she’s Jewish, and therefore might be “biased”, that’s not anti-Israel sentiment; it’s anti-Semitism.

Cohen points out three signs of this creeping bigotry:

The rise of the leftist Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of Britain’s opposition Labour Party appears to have empowered a far left for whom support of the Palestinians is uncritical and for whom, in the words of Alan Johnson, a British political theorist, “that which the demonological Jew once was, demonological Israel now is.”

. . . Johnson, writing in Fathom Journal, outlined three components to left-wing anti-Semitic anti-Zionism. First, “the abolition of the Jewish homeland; not Palestine alongside Israel, but Palestine instead of Israel.” Second, “a demonizing intellectual discourse” that holds that “Zionism is racism” and pursues the “systematic Nazification of Israel.” Third, a global social movement to “exclude one state — and only one state — from the economic, cultural and educational life of humanity.”

Criticism of Israel is one thing; it’s needed in vigorous form. Demonization of Israel is another, a familiar scourge refashioned by the very politics — of identity and liberation — that should comprehend the millennial Jewish struggle against persecution.

I’ve had leftist critics of Israel tell me that, frankly, they don’t care if Israel is pushed into the sea—which of course is the explicit goal of Hamas.  I’ve seen the wrath arise when Muslims are targets of hate crimes. (It was widely believed that the three young Muslims in North Carolina were killed by atheist Craig Hicks because of their faith, but that seems not to be the case.) But plenty of Jews are murdered simply because they are Jews, in Israel, Paris, and elsewhere. Similar bigoted violence against Muslims, based solely on their faith, is insupportable, and is “Muslimophobia,” not “Islamophobia.”  But regardless of what you call it, if you decry that kind of bigotry, you must equally decry the wanton and unjustifiable murder of Jews for their faith alone.

Maybe I’m simply overly sensitive because I have a Jewish background, or maybe that background makes it easier for both Cohen and me to sense the insidious strains of anti-Semitism growing within the Left. But I agree with Cohen that they’re there, and that one component of the Authoritarian Left is its growing disdain for not just Israel, but for Jews. Why is it growing? I am not sure, but may have something to do with a bigotry born of “higher expectations.”

73 thoughts on “Is the Left becoming anti-Semitic?

  1. You are decades late to this development. I am not Jewish and I noticed this in the early 80s. Easier to see perhaps if you are not emotionally committed to leftism.

    I have never been sure why. It may have to do with the unstated assumption many on the left have that there is a hierarchy of victims. But the Jews don’t fit quite, being both largely white and historically oppressed. Cognitive dissonance reaction perhaps. Just a speculation.

    But that Cohen is right is undeniable.

    1. I’ve been saying this for a while too (though I can’t claim a history as far back as the 1980s). There is a strong strain of anti-Semitism on the far left; the same people often fail to recognize any faults in the Palestinians, including excusing all Hamas actions as justifiable because of Israeli oppression.

      Anti-Semitics in places like France and Germany, which have laws forbidding denial of the Holocaust, are taking advantage of the situation too; in those countries anti-Zionism has become an excuse for anti-Semitism.

      I’ve noticed it in commenters on my own website as well. I’ve come to suspect that attacks on atheists there (by other atheists) are sometimes influenced by the attackee having a Jewish background. There seems to be no other explanation for the irrationality that enters the discussion when certain people are discussed, except that it mirrors that which occurs whenever we discuss the Israel/Palestine issue.

        1. Yeah, I’ve always wondered about that – how most American Jews are so liberal, then you get the Orthodox crowd who all seem to be trying to make up for all the others! It’s an interesting part of a very interesting report.

            1. Although, if they seem to abhor contact or proximity to womenfolk as much as some of them appear to demonstrate on various aircraft, precisely *how* they multiply is anyone’s guess I suppose…

            2. Except for those babies in the New York community who contract herpes from the mouth of the dude who sucks away the blood during the circumcision rite.

    2. Remember that the stereotype Nazis had of Jews as successful (parasitic) business people is one people on the far left would also hate, successful people owning lots of money, rich old white men.

      1. You have a point, but it turns out that not only Nazis had this stereotype of Jews:

        “Demonstrating that you do not have to be gentile to be an anti-Semite, Karl Marx characterised Judaism as nothing more than the cult of Mammon, and declared that the world needed emancipating from the Jews. Others on the left — the social philosophers Bruno Bauer, Charles Fourier and Pierre Prudhon and the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin — echoed the message: blood sucking, whether the physical or the economic kind, was what Jews did.”

        The left’s problem with Jews has a long and miserable history

        1. Depressing read.
          The conspiracy minded have always looked upon successful groups of people with suspicion, and for whatever reason the Jews have often found themselves in the spotlight of flourishing in lucrative areas of life.
          Many on the left and right have a gut-reaction to success being born from cheating, the logic goes for example that corporations can’t get money without pulling the wool on someone, so they must be engaged in shadowy business if they are doing well.

        2. I like this part:

          Why is it somehow proper to boycott Israeli academics and cultural institutions, many of which are critical of government policy, but to remain passive in the face of Saudi Arabia’s brutal punishment of anyone whose exercise of freedom of conscience can be judged sacrilegious?

  2. This is the flip side of Netanyahuism, where opposition to the policies of a group within a larger entity is equated with hatred of the entity. In this case, opposition to Likud’s policies, or the Occupation, is equated with anti-Semitism.

    Others: Opposition to ISIS is equated with hatred of Muslims, support for the Girl Scouts’ cookie drive is equated with Anti-Catholicism, opposition to brutality is equated with hatred of the police, opposition to a war is equated with hatred of one’s country, and so on.

    In most if not all cases, the pushback has to come from within the larger group. Pressure from the outside merely reinforces the paranoia.

    1. This has less to do with Netanyahu than views of the new left. The only causes the new left will support are LGBTQ and brown. Israel / Jews = rich old white men, the sworn enemy of the new left.

  3. I wonder if it is not the far left brain not recognizing the bigot when it is his own bigotry. Surely I, the left liberal force of good could never have such a flaw.

    The same takes place with the attack on the new atheist. Another example could be seen in the debate at Yale and a person such as Jason Stanley. It is a blindness that is hard to accept until you see it in person.

    When you see Ben Affleck go off on Harris or when you watch Stanley in action at the debate you see…there it is, sure as hell.

    I don’t think it matters if you are a Jew or not. I am not but I see the bending over backward in sympathy for the Palestinian cause to a point where all Jews must be blamed for this injustice. The line between political cause and an entire people becomes distorted. Maybe the bigotry was there all along but now it is wide open.

    1. I have met a few racists, and only one of them actually realized they were racist. So other forms of bigotry may also be easily cloaked in ones’ own mind.

      1. Yes and my guess would be that the few racists were liberals on the left who would deny it as just not conceivable. All the racists on the right will generally admit to it and many are proud of it.

        Many African Americans will tell us they are more comfortable in the south because they know where they stand and in the north more uncertain.

  4. “Maybe I’m simply overly sensitive because I have a Jewish background…”

    It’s more a marker of the blinding lack of both self-awareness and consistency on the left that you would even need to consider your life experience a bug instead of a feature.

  5. You’re not oversensitive. Good old-fashioned Jew-hating is now hip again, and all the rage among a sizable part of the SJW crowd.

    On the one hand, that’s despicable. On the other, maybe that kind of naked bigotry will help ensure the decline of their influence. Their brazen hatred of straight white men is still too easily tolerated to make a dent.

  6. Do you think that some of this arises out of the leftist preoccupation with fighting what they perceive as Islamophobia?

    1. I think some of it arises out of the conflict in the liberal mind between brown, minority Muslim vs white, minority Jew. The brown Muslim seems more oppressed so therefore more deserving of support.

      Another issue is the millennia of Jewish systemitized oppression in Christian Europe. Religion doesn’t forget all that easily and you can still hear the phrase “Christ killer” whispered among Catholics and I suspect other conservative Christian groups.

      1. That “Christ killer” thing is just so illogical. If Christ (a Jew, BTW) had not been killed, we wouldn’t have Christianity. (Usual disclaimer about his unlikely existence in the first place).

        1. Yes, but these same people believe they consume the literal blood and body of Christ during communion and that there was a talking snake that screwed things up for us all by tricking a woman.

  7. I have no doubt that there are those on the far left who would like to see Israel disappear. Their logic is simple, although flawed: Israel oppresses Palestinians, Israel is controlled by Jews, and therefore all Jews are bad. This logic is similar to that used by the far right to demonize Muslims. People on the extremes of the political spectrum are extremists by definition, so such views are hardly surprising. Realization of nuance and ambiguity are not their strong suits.

    Israel is a much divided society between religious and secular Jews in addition to a significant Muslim population. Just today Pew Research has issued a major report on the state of Israeli society. Only about half of the Jewish population is secular. The other half is divided among three religious groups. And, most importantly, the secular and the very religious do not get along.

    As Pew puts it:

    “Although they live in the same small country and share many traditions, highly religious and secular Jews inhabit largely separate social worlds, with relatively few close friends and little intermarriage outside their own groups…Moreover, these divisions are reflected in starkly contrasting positions on many public policy questions, including marriage, divorce, religious conversion, military conscription, gender segregation and public transportation.”

    These tensions between the secular and the religious create difficulties for the Israeli government, which has made many concessions to the religious. As Pew shows, more of the religious than the secular think Israeli settlements improve the nation’s security.

    In my view, the Pew poll demonstrates that right-wing religion (in this case the Jewish variety)as always hurts the chances for a peaceful world as well as resulting in whole groups being demonized due to the actions of a relative few.

  8. in the US there are far more hate crimes against Jews than against Muslims, so you are right to be disturbed. Personally I see a good deal of the ‘bad behavior’ of Israel more as a case of their hand being forced. Things from rocket attacks to stabbings to the constant propaganda urging Palistinians to attack and kill Jews put an otherwise liberal government in a very difficult spot. They are behaving with more restraint than many other governments would.

    1. Given what I have learned from this web site about the rampant anti-Semitism in Palestinian lands, I find the restraint of Israel to be pretty amazing. A lot of the stuff in their media seems straight out of Nazi propaganda.

    2. “in the US there are far more hate crimes against Jews than against Muslims, so you are right to be disturbed.”

      Rarely do you see my fellow leftists who decry hate crimes directed at Muslims show the same level of outrage for hate crimes directed at Jews. Not only are Jews disproportionately the targets compared with Muslims, according to FBI statistics, but I don’t think they are as easy to identify (in most cases) as Muslims. Jews aren’t brown skinned, and except in small enclaves they don’t wear clothing, or facial hair that would make them obviously Jewish. That makes the hate crime discrepancy even more striking, given they aren’t as easilly identifiable as targets.
      I hate to think this, but it’s almost as though there is some feeling that Jews, unlike Muslims deserve it, or perhaps they fear that by decrying hate crimes directed at Jews they will be perceived as supporting Israel.

      1. My gut tells me that the lack of shock value comes from various levels. One being that Jews are not considered a repressed minority, so crimes against them are a case of ‘punching up’.

      2. The same people are apparently not troubled at all that, by decrying hate crimes directed at Muslims, they will be perceived as supporting Saudi Arabia and even ISIS.

        1. “The same people are apparently not troubled at all that, by decrying hate crimes directed at Muslims, they will be perceived as supporting Saudi Arabia and even ISIS.”

          Because they aren’t really particularly troubled about injustice. It’s all about virtue signaling, and letting your tribe know you’re a right thinker.

  9. The apparent increase in antisemitism might be illusory, due to the “availability heuristic”. I’d have to see some polls to think it’s real.

      1. Gosh, thank you.

        The first link contains data to support the 21% increase in 2014, but does note that this is a reversal of the previous trend. We don’t know if the trend continues in 2015.

        I’m not sure which report in the second link is most representative, but there is a 2015 campus report that shows that 2015 had many fewer anti-Israel incidents than 2014, which suggests a decrease in antisemitism.

  10. I, an atheist of gentile heritage, admire the Jews for being a minority that has contributed more to the advancement of mankind than any other minority that comes to mind yet I’m far from being pro-Israel.

    To demonize American or European Jews because of Israeli policy is like denouncing all Christians for the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church.

  11. “It’s a touchstone of rationality to also favor a two-state solution, with Israel giving back the illegal settlements on the West Bank and recognizing a Palestinian state. Note, though, that the Palestinians have twice rejected that solution.”

    No, Israel has never, not once, offered to give back the illegal settlements (and note carefully: ALL of the settlements are illegal, not just the tiny outposts Israel designates as such). If you’re including things like Ehud Barak’s “generous offer” there, you need to research the actual parameters of that offer.

    In fact in the early 2000s the Israelis were offered a final resolution of the conflict embodying all the principles of the international consensus you describe along with full recognition by Arab/Muslim states (and a cessation of all hostilities) as part of the Arab Peace Initiative sponsored by Saudi Arabia and other countries. This was not just a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict but effectively a comprehensive Middle East peace plan–a landmark by any measure.

    In response, Israel went into panic mode and did everything in its power to submarine the offer (and has continued to do so ever since)–no counteroffer, no negotiations, no discussions, no interest, no nothing:

    Nine years ago, 24 Arab states came out with an Arab peace initiative. But Israel was so alarmed that it has preferred to ignore it to this very day. Nine years have also elapsed since Syrian President Bashar Assad proposed peace in return for the Golan Heights. His outstretched hand was also rejected with contempt.

    This policy of rejecting any attempt at negotiations was invented by Yitzhak Shamir. Whenever such an attempt occurred, he would say: “Nu, good.” And when his efforts to reject the initiative bore fruit, he would say with satisfaction: “The threat of peace has been removed.”

    Benjamin Netanyahu, his diligent pupil, is even more adept than his mentor. He spends most of his time looking for new ideas on how to present himself as someone interested in negotiations, in contrast to the other side, which is torpedoing them. In this way, he can gain another month and another year without moving. Former Labor MK Amir Peretz said of him this week: “He doesn’t reject peace, he plays games with it.” How right he is.

    In fact the massive Israeli invasion and reoccupation of the West Bank in 2002 was very likely intended in part as a response to the Arab Peace Initiative, which threatened to end Israel’s territorial ambitions forever. Sharon’s top advisor Dov Weisglass was very clear about Israel’s stance toward the peace process (in reference to Israel’s Gaza disengagement):

    “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

    Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Haaretz for the Friday Magazine.

    “The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” he said. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”

    So the reason there isn’t a solution is because Israel does everything it can to avert “the threat of peace” (in other words, the threat that peace represents to its territorial ambitions). And Israel will continue to apply whatever “formaldehyde” is required to continue the conflict as long as possible to expand and solidify its theft of land from the Palestinians.

    1. 1. Settlements are not illegal. They might be unwise from political point of view but there is nothing in the international law which says that Jews are forbidden to live to the west of Jordan river. After British cut the Palestinian Mandate into one Arab part (today’s Jordan) and one Jewish part (today’s Israel + West Bank) there was no binding international decision which changed the binding decision of League of Nation in San Remo, confirmed by UN. UN’s later resolution 182 would be binding only if both parts (Jews and Arabs) agreed to it. Jews agreed, Arabs didn’t and this RECOMMENDATION remained non-binding.
      2. Olmert proposal was to give Palestinians all the West Bank and Gaza, except for 6,3% of land for which he offered compensation in form of 5,8% of land from different place in Israel. He also offered to divide Jerusalem. I wonder how this was not a generous offer. Abbas refused (obviously having the own state was not so very important. After all, Jews accepted much, much less generous proposal from 1947 – but they wanted their own state really badly.)
      3. The Saudi proposal for peace was a Trojan Horse. Except the return of West Bank and Gaza there was a demand for Israel to accept on its own territory all the millions of descendants of Arab refugees from 1948. This would be the end of Israel as a Jewish state and a national suicide.

      Your other comments are equally poorly anchored in truth and reality, so I will stop here.

    2. Ms. Lobricks has joined the 100% wrong club. The reason that there has not been an agreement between the Palestinians and Israel is very simple. It is the demand of the Palestinians that Israel agree to resettle the Palestinians currently living in refugee camps in Israel. This is their bottom line demand, which is tantamount to demanding that the Government of Israel agree to go out of business.

      Up to the present moment, they have refused to relinquish this demand. Any Israeli Government that acceded to such a demand would be voted out of power within 48 hours. As long as the Palestinians refuse to relinquish this demand, there will be no agreement. If Ms. Lobrinks doesn’t like it, tough nougies.

    3. There’s some real information in your post. Unfortunately it’s also a great illustration of why there’s an impasse. Stating that there’s no solution “is because Israel…” is simply ignoring a whole universe of factors, most obviously the continually stated existential threat to Israel, the disingenuousness of many of the Arab proposals, and numerous other factors. On the other side, there’s Netanyahu making sometimes equally strong and often skewed statements about Israel’s righteousness and rights to the West Bank settlements. A rock grows in my stomach every time I think or write about this, so I’ll stop here, but the blindness and prejudice on both sides is just mind-boggling. There will be a two-state solution, or nothing, with the latter seeming to grow ever further out of reach.

  12. It’s worth pointing out that it’s probably anti-Zionism driving the anti-Semitism, rather than vice versa.

    You might be right that Israel (rather than China or Yemen) became demon de jour in the first place because of a bigotry of higher expectations; but once the country attained the status of official villain, that status took on a life of its own; and as with all official villains, people began to compete with one another in their condemnations, straying into other kinds of bigotry in order to do so. (A similar thing happens with the United States.)

  13. Anti-Semitism is not solely the preserve of the right, nor does it seem that it is particularly new to the left (not to say that either the entire left or right is anti-Semitic). Certainly since the 19th century, the elements which have viewed modernism/cosmopolitanism/commerce as bad have tended to identify Jews with those things. At the same time, though, Israel has become a new source of disdain, as has Israel’s position as a successful, modern democracy in the mid-east. I have the impression, in fact, that disapproval of Israel has increased in relation to its success. I would add that Israel’s right to exist rests not only on the UN resolutions, but on the recognition afforded her by other nations, and by the oldest test of all: its ability to defend itself.

  14. Nice post, I’d say an overdue topic. No way are you overly sensitive, I believe. I agree pretty much exactly with the tradeoffs in your Israel vs. Palestinian view.

    I do think it’s important to acknowledge the bothersome rightward shift in Israeli leadership. While I’d never excuse the rise in antisemitism by pointing to Netanyahu, he’s not doing Israel any favors as far as shedding a favorable light on Israel’s place in the mideast, and at his worst he’s outright provocative.

  15. For American leftists to denounce Israel as a “colonial” state supposedly oppressing the indigenous “Palestinians” is quite breathtakingly hypocritical. When these people have handed over their houses to whichever Native American tribe formerly occupied the land, and bought themselves one-way tickets back to Europe then I’ll take them seriously, but not before. And European critics of Israel are no better. In the 1930s their demand was “Jews go to Palestine”. Now it’s “Jews out of Palestine”.

    The main reason I’m a strong supporter of Israel is that, for all its faults (and yes, there are many), the Jews have built a secular democracy which respects individual, religious and sexual freedom, where people of all races and religions can live however they choose, provided they do so within the law. It’s the only country in the Middle East where an atheist, a feminist or a gay person can live freely without fear of persecution by the state or death by vigilante mob. Despite having virtually no natural resources Israel has a productive, innovative economy, and punches well above its weight in science, medicine, technology and the arts.

    If the “Palestinians” so beloved of the left are allowed to create their own state, will they do the same? I think we all know the answer to that. It’s a racing certainty that a “Palestinian” state would be either an oppressive,festering dictatorship or an even more oppressive theocratic cesspit, incubating terrorism, producing nothing and contributing nothing to the advancement of humanity – unless by geological accident it happens to sit on a valuable natural resource, and even then it will be dependent on outsiders to extract, process and market it. We know this because this is what Gaza the West Bank, and all Arab states from Morocco to Iraq are already like. It seems to be the only type of state Arabs are capable of creating.

    1. The leftist explanation for their focusing on the Palestinians and ignoring the Native Americans in the US and the First Nations in Canada actually amounts to the claim that the statute of limitations has run out on the latter two peoples.

  16. Becoming antisemitic? It’s been antisemitic for years. They’ve just reached a new level of open-ness about it.

  17. Meanwhile the death toll in Yemen rises above 7000, but brown people killing brown people is too complicated for some people. Too hard to pick a side and scream abuse at the other.

    What stuns me about the “anti-Zionist” (i.e. anti-Jewish) mob is their near total ignorance of, and complete lack of curiosity about the issues surrounding this conflict. All they know how to do is scream slogans and repeat the same demands over and over.

    And if they really wanted to support the Palestinians in a useful way, they should teach them about what effective political activism looks like. For all their vicious bluster in recent decades, the tactics of the left don’t seem to have yielded any real improvements at all. They would blame that on Israeli scheming of course, but for how long do you want to keep claiming the reason for your failures is that the other side keeps outsmarting you?

    1. “the reason for your failures is that the other side keeps outsmarting you?”


      As pastor Ray Mummert said in a different context:

      “We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture”

  18. I wonder if leftist anti-semitism has something to do with the stereotypical rich, greedy Jewish banker/industralist versus the poor, hardworking labourer? This is just a wild guess, perhaps somebody else knows more about that.

    1. Hmm. I think those leftist, pinko Nazis in Germany said the same thing. Anti-semitism uses the same lies no matter what political direction it comes from.

  19. “Yet Jews are regularly murdered by terrorist simply for being Jewish, regardless of their views on Israel.”

    Isn’t there a Koranic injunction to kill jews?

  20. It’s always amused (and appalled) me that there are people who think that a group of people who make up less than half of one percent of the world’s population, one that is losing members at the rate of 50,000 a year (Jewish births aren’t equaling deaths, and they’re not big on proselytizing), is engaged in some sort of vast conspiracy to control the world or actually already DOES control the majority of the banking and media interests in the world- I say, “If the Jews are that clever, perhaps we SHOULD let them run everything!”

    1. I wonder how a conspiracy nut gets through his day. Getting dressed, brushing teeth, making a cup of coffee, opening the newspaper, concluding the Jews are still in control of Congress, the banks, the media and everything important; and then it’s off to work or buying groceries.

      If even a fraction of what conspiracy nuts say is true, how could they possibly get out of bed or sleep at night?

  21. Of course antisemitism goes way back, but perhaps some part of the OP increase springs from the perception that Jewishness is a fundamentalist religious identity, same bucket as pentacostals or wahabis. Tarred with Anti-Accomodationism.

  22. What I found fascinating in the report was that 1/2 of Israeli Jews felt that the “Palestinians” should be expelled.

    This has been my position for a while but I had no idea the position was so popular in Israel. The idea makes sense.

    The idea is that, contrary to popular opinion, the “Palestinians” already have their own state, a state created with a single mission – to provide a homeland for displaced Arabs from Palestine. It is a state much larger than Israel and has 1/5th the population density. It is a state that expelled all Jews from it when it was formed. And it is less than 1 mile away. It is called Jordan.

    1. And one wonders why there are problems in that neck of the woods when insights like this make the solution so simple!

      1. Of course.

        In the instance I referred to

        “But it’s too late now: the UN resolutions of 1947 and 1948 established Israel, were passed by the UN, and are *faits accompli.* ”

        it’s clearly a plural.

  23. Some thoughts:

    1. A distinction must be made between “Jews” as a religious group vs.”Jews” as a “people” when talking about in anti-Jewish sentiment. Not all people who are considered Jewish are religious Jews. And, as we know, there are no “races” of people that aren’t mixtures of many different ethnic groups of people. There are no “pure-bred” people.

    2. One should never tar any particular group of people with the same set of sins.

    3. The whole “Christ-killer” stigma is beyond ludicrous. As has been pointed out previously, if Jesus existed, he was a Jew and was killed by Roman legal authority. The blaming of the Jews was created by the Catholic Church and flourished over the centuries. That fiction has been, and still is, largely responsible for much of the suffering of the Jews.

    4. Usury/banking was one of the few employments permitted to Jews during the Renaissance and was considered a disgusting activity. The Catholic church of that time thought that most people should be paid wages to support their basic needs (enough to provide a workman’s tools of trade, a domicile and food). Loaning reserves of money for interest was a terrible trade. It seems particularly pernicious that a profession with such an onus should be forced on the Jews (at which they became superlative) and should become even further reviled over the centuries.

    5. Jewishness is not restricted to white people. Although the Jews migrating to Israel were predominantly white Europeans, there also were black, brown (and, probably, yellow) Jews.

    6. Although, Jews are not known for proselytizing at present, many centuries ago, they did proselytize.

  24. I think the problem is (as we have discussed at other times) that “the left” is too heterogeneous an entity to talk about usefully in all but vague terms.

    Also, it is *incredibly* easy to be sloppy on one’s attributions. Of *course* bigotry exists, but to assume that someone’s viewpoint arises from it rather than say ignorance is difficult. (This works both ways, of course.)

    The current topic seems to me to involve many fallacies of relevance, more than usual. For example, I agree that a Hamas-run state wouldn’t be friendly to gays. This is terrible, but is it a legitimate reason to prevent one by *people not involved*?

    Also, and one other thing, directly from talking to people: it is *very* insulting to people to tell them to *move to Jordan* because “that’s the Palestinian state”. Well, no, it isn’t. Or at least not in its current form, since it does not include where the people actually come from or live! I have no easy answer about nationalisms, but to prohibit forming another state because one exists already that is *somewhere else*? Think of China and Taiwan; should Taiwan be absorbed into China simply because “that’s the state of the Chinese”? Should we oppose Taiwanese nationalism purely on those grounds? (The PRC does, as it happens!)

    1. To me, it is clear that a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza would be unsustainable in every respect. And I do not see what distinguishes the West Bank Palestinians from the Jordanians across the river, and the Gazans from the Egyptians, other than the commitment to destroy Israel and push the Jews into the sea.

    2. ” it is *very* insulting to people to tell them to *move to Jordan* because “that’s the Palestinian state”. Well, no, it isn’t. ”

      It’s not? Then why, for decades, did the rulers of Jordan give public speeches where they repeatedly said:

      “Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan”?

      1. I think you answered your own question. Jordanian rulers =/= people of the West Bank. Again, the Chinese analogy is parallel: the PRC rulers say that Taiwan is China. The Taiwanese have a problem with that. (Again in both situations there are exceptions, of course.)

  25. I think it is natural for the Left to be anti-Semitic, because many Muslims are, and currently the authoritarian Left sees the Muslims as the force that will destroy the bad Western civilization. This Left used to put much hope in the native Western working class (white, Christian-heritage, mostly male) to do these. When it turned out that white workers would never dig the grave of capitalism, the authoritarian Left not only abandoned them but turned against them, with the righteous anger of a betrayal victim. Then, the Left hoped that the women would provide enough subversion, but as soon as a more subversive, misogynist force appeared on the stage – the Islamists, the authoritarian Left pushed women under the bus. Also, classical Left propaganda often repeated the Marx quote that religion is the opium of the people. This is never quoted anymore, and outspoken atheists are bashed by authoritarian Leftists, because the new favorite is Islam. We must be careful if we find ourselves in a group favored by the authoritarian Left.

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