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Anti-Semitism and the Left that Doesn’t Learn

A DETERMINED offensive is underway. Its target is in the Middle East, and it is an old target: the legitimacy of Israel. Hezbollah and Hamas are not the protagonists, the contested terrains are not the Galilee and southern Lebanon or southern Israel and Gaza. The means are not military. The offensive comes from within parts of the liberal and left intelligentsia in the United States and Europe. It has nothing to do with this or that negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians, and it has nothing to do with any particular Israeli policy. After all, this or that Israeli policy may be chastised, rightly or wrongly, without denying the legitimacy of the Jewish state, just as you can criticize an Israeli policy—again, rightly or wrongly—without being an anti-Semite. You can oppose all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories (as I do) and you can also recognize that Benjamin Netanyahu, not just Yasir Arafat, was responsible for undermining the Oslo peace process without being an anti-Semite or anti-Zionist. You don’t have to be an anti-Semite or anti-Zionist to think that some American Jewish organizations pander to American or Israeli right-wingers.

The assault today is another matter. It is shaped largely by political attitudes and arguments that recall the worst of the twentieth-century left. It is time to get beyond them. But let me be clear: I am “left.” I still have no problem when someone describes me with the “s” word—socialist—although I don’t much care if you call me a social democrat, left-liberal, or some other proximate term. My “leftism” comes from a commitment to—and an ethos of—democratic humanism and social egalitarianism.

What I care about is the reinvention of the best values of the historical left—legacies of British Labour, of the Swedish Social Democrats, of Jean Jaurès and Léon Blum in France, of Eduard Bernstein and Willy Brandt in Germany, of what has always been the relatively small (alas!) tribe in the U.S. associated with names like Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas, Michael Harrington, and Irving Howe. It’s not so much a matter of political programs, let alone labels, as it is of political sensibility. I care about finding a new basis for that old amalgam of liberty, equality, and solidarity, a basis that makes sense for our “globalizing age.” But I also want a left that draws real, not gestural, conclusions from the catastrophes done in the name of the left in the 20th century.

There is a left that learns and there is a left that doesn’t learn. I want the left that learns to inform our Western societies (a difficult task in George W. Bush’s America) and to help find ideas that actually address poverty in what used to be called the third world—rather than romanticizing it.

After 1989, the left that doesn’t learn was in retreat. It was hushed up by the end of all those wretched communist regimes, by images broadcast worldwide of millions in the streets demanding liberation from dictatorships that legitimized themselves in left-wing terms. You know who I mean by the left that never learns: those folks who twist and turn until they can explain or ‘understand’ almost anything in order to keep their own presuppositions—or intellectual needs—intact. Some of them were actual Leninist; now they more regularly share some of Leninism’s worst mental features—often in postmodern, postcolonial, or even militantly liberal guise. Sometimes they move about on the political spectrum, denouncing their former selves (while patting their moral backs). You can usually recognize them without too much difficulty: same voice, that of a prosecuting commissar, even if their tune sounds different. It’s a voice you can often hear as well in ex-communists turned neoconservative.

Their explanations, their “understandings,” often rewrite history or re-imagine what is in front of their eyes to suit their own starting point. Since their thinking usually moves along a mental closed circuit, it is also the end point. Sometimes it is an idea, sometimes a belief system (which they refuse to recognize in themselves), sometimes really a prejudice, and sometimes just ambition. Goblins were often part of the story for the older left that never learned, and so too is the case today. If things don’t work out as you know they must, some nefarious force must lurk. After all, the problem couldn’t possibly be your way of thinking, or your inability to see the world afresh, or that you got something very wrong in the past. No, it is much easier to announce that you, unlike anyone who could disagree with you, engage in ‘critical’ thinking. And if your critical thinking is criticized in any way, denounce your foe immediately for “McCarthyism.” Pretend that your denunciation is an argument about the original subject of dispute. That’s easier than answering any of the criticism.

Consider the collateral damage done by such cries of “McCarthyism” from professors with lifetime job security: their students will never understand the evils of McCarthyism. Consider how an understanding of the evils of McCarthyism is subverted when its characteristic techniques—innuendo, for example—are used by opinionated journalists in magazines with wide circulations. Take, for instance, the case of Adam Shatz, once literary editor of the Nation and now with the London Review of Books. He published an article half a year before the beginning of the Iraq war suggesting that people around Dissent were busy hunting for a “new enemy” following the end of the cold war, and that they found it in a combination of militant Arab nationalism and Saddam Hussein.

“Though rarely cited explicitly,” Shatz also explained, “Israel shapes and even defines the foreign policy views of a small but influential group of American liberals” (the Nation, September 23, 2002). In other words, these liberals composed the Israel lobby within the left, and they sought the American war in Iraq for the sake of the Jewish state. True, Shatz didn’t hold up a file and say, “I have a list of names of liberals who are really dual loyalists.” Instead he pointed to Paul Berman “and like-minded social democrats,” even though the overwhelming majority of Dissent’s editorial board including co-editor Michael Walzer were opposed to the war.

Shatz didn’t deign to engage any of Berman’s actual points. And those Berman were to advance in the actual run-up to the Iraq invasion did not focus on Israel, but on liberalism, democracy, and totalitarianism. Arguments made by the author of the words you now read, who was a left hawk (and is now an unhappy one), likewise had nothing to do with Israel and were different—significantly so—from those made by Berman. Nothing that appeared in Dissent before or after Shatz’s article lends credence to his innuendos.


HISTORY MAY not progress but sometimes it regurgitates. Over the last decade, a lot of the old junk has come back. The space for it opened for many reasons. They range from the sad failures of the social-democratic imagination in the era of globalization to the postmodern and postcolonial influence in universities to George W. Bush’s ascendancy with its many, many miserable consequences (not only in Iraq). The left that never learns often became the superego of the twentieth century’s left. Its attempt to play that same role in the twenty-first century needs to be frustrated.

Nothing exemplifies the return of old junk more than the ‘new’ anti-Semitism and the bad faith that often finds expression in the statement: “I am anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic.” The fixation on Israel/Palestine within parts of the left, often to the exclusion of all other suffering on the globe, ought to leave any balanced observer wondering: What is going on here? This fixation needs demystification.

In theoretical terms, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are pretty easy to distinguish. Anti-Semitism is a form of race or national prejudice that crystallized in the nineteenth century. In part, it displaced or reinvented anti-Jewish religious prejudice (although centuries of religious prejudice easily wafted into racial and national bigotry). Its target was clearly Jews, not simply “Semites.” It also, for some, mixed matters up further by identifying Jews with capitalism. Sadly, this became a steady feature within parts of the left that would later, habitually, conflate Jews, capitalism, and Zionism. Oddly enough, that is also what Jewish neoconservatives have tried to do in recent decades.

Anti-Zionism means, theoretically, opposition to the project of a Jewish state in response to the rise of anti-Semitism. Let’s be blunt: there have been anti-Zionists who are not anti-Semites, just as there have been foes of affirmative action who are not racists. But the crucial question is prejudicial overlap, not intellectual niceties.

Remember the bad old days, when parts of the left provided theoretical justifications of things like “democratic dictatorship.” In fact, if you understood—especially if you bought into—all sorts of assumptions and especially Leninist definitions, the justification works. Any professor of political theory can construct it for you and it will make perfect theoretical sense. But if you lived in a “democratic dictatorship,” it was intellectual poison. It was also poison if you were committed to the best values of the left.

They are again at stake when we ask: To what extent does much anti-Zionism replicate the mental patterns of anti-Semitism? And to what extent do demagogic articulations of anti-Zionism enhance anti-Semitism? There is a curious thing about anti-Semitism, and it was captured in a remark by British novelist Iain Pears that ought to be quoted and re-quoted these days: “anti-Semitism is like alcoholism. You can go for 25 years without a drink, but if things go bad and you find yourself with a vodka in your hand, you can’t get rid of it.” (International Herald Tribune, August 11, 2003).

Much may be gleaned from the fact that the recent campaign by some British academic unions to boycott Israel was thwarted because it was found to violate anti-discrimination laws.

LAST YEAR, Denis MacShane, British Labour Parliament Member, chaired a committee of parliamentarians and ex-ministers that investigated rising anti-Semitism in Britain and beyond. “Hatred of Jews has reached new heights in Europe and many points south and east of the old continent,” he wrote recently in a very brave article in the Washington Post (September 4, 2007). He describes a wide array of incidents. “Militant anti-Jewish students fueled by Islamist or far-left hate” seek on campuses “to prevent Jewish students from expressing their opinions.” There is “an anti-Jewish discourse, a mood and tone whenever Jews are discussed, whether in the media, at universities, among the liberal media elite or at dinner parties of modish London. To express any support for Israel or any feeling for the right of a Jewish state to exist produces denunciation, even contempt.”

MacShane points out that this sort of behavior is distinct from specific disputes about this or that Israeli politician. Criticism, the investigatory committee “made clear,” was “not off-limits.” Rightly so; the same should be true with the policies and office- holders of every government on the globe. But MacSchane also warns that something else has been going on, that old demons are reawakening and that “the old anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism have morphed into something more dangerous.” The threat, he says eloquently, doesn’t only concern Jews or Israel, but “everything democrats have long fought for: the truth without fear, no matter one's religion or political beliefs.”
What is “truth without fear” when we speak of the relation between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism? Is it to be found in Tony Judt’s declaration to the New York Times that “the link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is newly created”? (January 31, 2007). How a historian—or anyone else—could assert this is astonishing. Consider what it airbrushes out of the twentieth century—the anti-Semitic binge of Stalin’s later years, just for starters.

And surely Judt, who is based at New York University and is now taking what has turned into obsessive anti-Zionist campaigning to the École Normale Supérieure in Paris [1] 
NYU’s Remarque Center, which defines its goal as “the study and discussion of Europe, and to encourage and facilitate communication between Americans and Europeans” is opening a center there and Judt, its director, will, according to its website, inaugurate it not with an address European or French politics or transatlantic relations but rather: "Is Israel Still Good for the Jews?"
recalls the arrests and assassinations of the leading Jewish cultural figures of Soviet Russia on the grounds that they were “Zionist agents of American imperialism.” Surely a historian of Europe like Judt—who was once a hard leftist but then rose to intellectual celebrity in the United States in the 1980s (that is, during the Reagan era) by attacking all French Marxists for not facing up to Stalinism—recalls the charges of “Zionist conspiracy” against Jewish communists who were victimized in the Czech purge trials in the early 1950s.

If he doesn’t recall them when he speaks to the New York Times, he might check them out in his own book on postwar Europe. There he cites Stalin’s secret police chief, Lavrenti Beria, urging Czech Communists to investigate the “Zionist plot” among their comrades. Surely a historian of Europe, especially one who now refers to himself as an “old leftist,” recalls the campaign in 1967 and 1968 to cleanse Poland of “Zionist” fifth columnists (I suppose they were the Israel Lobby of the Polish Communist Party). If Judt doesn’t recall it when he talks to the New York Times, he might again look at his own book which cites Polish Communist chief Wladyslaw Gomulka’s conflation of his Jewish critics with Zionists. Since he is a historian of Europe and not the Middle East, perhaps Judt hasn’t noticed how “anti-Zionism” in broad swaths of the Muslim and Arab media has been suffused by anti-Jewish rhetoric for decades—rhetoric against “al-Yahud” not Ehud Olmert or Ehud Barak.

Remember how air-brushing was done in the bad old days? Trotsky (or someone else) would suddenly disappear from a photo. Lenin or Stalin and the cheering crowds would still be there. The resulting picture is not entirely false. Does all this make Judt an anti-Semite? The answer is simple: no. It does make his grasp of the history of anti-Semitism tendentious. And tendentious history can be put to all sorts of pernicious use.

Judt’s political judgment complements his historical perceptions, especially when it comes to a declared concern about Palestinian suffering. Recall his article in the New York Review of Books (October 23, 2003) advocating a binational state to replace Israel. A Jewish state, he explained, is an anachronism. But since then, Hamas, a political movement of religious fanatics, won the Palestinian elections, and later seized power—by force—in Gaza. Israel, in the meantime, had withdrawn entirely from Gaza and torn down all Jewish settlements there in summer 2005. Yet if you follow Judt’s logic, Israel should not have withdrawn but instead integrated Gaza into itself. Obviously this would have enabled a new, better life for Palestinians, perhaps even have prevented them from turning to Hamas. And it would have taken a first happy step toward saving Israel from its anachronistic status by affording Israelis, together with Palestinians, a domestic future of perpetual ethnic civil war—a feature of modern politics that farsighted historians, but perhaps not policymakers, who have to worry about real lives, will also imagine is an anachronism. Likewise, I suppose India can save itself from being an unfortunate anachronism by a reintegration with Pakistan.

A FEW YEARS ago I sought to outline commonalities between anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist discourses in a scholarly journal. It is worth reproducing. Here are major motifs that inform classical anti-Semitism:

1) Insinuations: Jews do not and cannot fit properly into our society. There is something foreign, not to mention sinister about them.

2) Complaints: They are so particularistic, those Jews, so preoccupied with their “own.” Why are they so clannish and anachronistic when we need a world of solidarity and love? Really, they make themselves into a “problem.” If the so-called “Jewish problem” is singular in some way, it is their own doing and usually covered up by special pleading.

3) Remonstrations: Those Jews, they always carp that they are victims. In fact, they have vast power, especially financial power. Their power is everywhere, even if it is not very visible. They exercise it manipulatively, behind the scenes. (But look, there are even a few of them, guilty-hearted perhaps, who will admit it all this to you).

4) Recriminations: Look at their misdeeds, all done while they cry that they are victims. These ranged through the ages from the murder of God to the ritual slaughter of children to selling military secrets to the enemy to war-profiteering, to being capitalists or middlemen or landlords or moneylenders exploiting the poor. And they always, oh-so-cleverly, mislead you.

Alter a few phrases, a word here and there, and we find motifs of anti-Zionism that are popular these days in parts of the left and parts of the Muslim and Arab worlds:

1) Insinuations: The Zionists are alien implants in the Mideast. They can never fit there. Western imperialism created the Zionist state.

2) Complaints: A Jewish state can never be democratic. Zionism is exclusivist. The very idea of a Jewish state is an anachronism.

3) Remonstrations: The Zionists carp that they are victims but in reality they have enormous power, especially financial. Their power is everywhere, but they make sure not to let it be too visible. They exercise it manipulatively, behind people’s backs, behind the scenes – why, just look at Zionist influence in Washington. Or rather, dominance of Washington. (And look, there are even a few Jews, guilty-hearted perhaps, who admit it).

4) Recriminations: Zionists are responsible for astonishing, endless dastardly deeds. And they cover them up with deceptions. These range from the imperialist aggression of 1967 to Ehud Barak’s claim that he offered a compromise to Palestinians back in 2000 to the Jenin “massacre” during the second Intifidah. [2] 
These sketches of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, with just some variation, were originally in Mitchell Cohen, “Auto-Emancipation and Anti-Semitism: Homage to Bernard-Lazare,” Jewish Social Studies (Fall 2003).

No, anti-Zionism is not in principle anti-Semitism but it is time for thoughtful minds—especially on the left—to be disturbed by how much anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism share, how much the dominant species of anti-Zionism encourages anti-Semitism.

And so:
If you judge a Jewish state by standards that you apply to no one else; if your neck veins bulge when you denounce Zionists but you’ve done no more than cluck “well, yes, very bad about Darfur”;

if there is nothing Hamas can do that you won’t blame ‘in the final analysis’ on Israelis;

if your sneer at the Zionists doesn’t sound a whole lot different from American neoconservative sneers at leftists;

then you should not be surprised if you are criticized, fiercely so, by people who are serious about a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians and who won’t let you get away with a self-exonerating formula—“I am anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic”—to prevent scrutiny. If you are anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic, then don’t use the categories, allusions, and smug hiss that are all too familiar to any student of prejudice.

It is time for the left that learns, that grows, that reflects, that has historical not rhetorical perspective, and that wants a future based on its own best values to say loudly to the left that never learns: You hijacked “left” in the last century, but you won’t get away with it again whatever guise you don.

Mitchell Cohen is co-editor of Dissent and professor of political science at Baruch College–CUNY. He recently wrote on French politics and the 'new' Atheism.

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Paul, I just feel that the Jewish people need to know that so many of us appreciate them, there is nothing worse than feeling that you stand alone... I know of many people who use their time to do all sorts of things to get money to send too Israel, to help people those who need it, especially the children..

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-16 14:17:48 GMT

paul2 I am so sorry that I gave you the wrong impression. I totally agree with all that you say in regards the left and I know that their is anti-Semitism in the world caused by the likes of the left and the left media. The Jewish people and then next the Christians are on their list for extermination, simply because of our morals, perhaps because it makes them feel guilty when they want to do their own dirty immoral whatever. But our laws have come from God, and centuries of logic and experience has shown us and proven why God insisted in these laws, some of which are only now being found out why medically.. They think that they can destroy God. I was just meaning that every race is racist and the part that I didn't agree with you on is that many of us out here are NOT against Israel and the Jewish people, many of us are very much behind Israel, and appreciate the contribution that Israel has given the world in so many things.. The left in every country are against even their own countries..and their agenda is the same world wide.. We see the left in the world as very evil, very much like Islam, same tactics..

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-16 14:11:15 GMT

I do not wish to engage in a debate with Gaye, but I will make these last few comments on asnti-Semitism and the left. While the left very properly pays lip service to equal rights for all, Jews included, and condemns the Shoah, it equates Zionism with apartheid, ethnic cleansing, Naziism and colonialism, something that bad Jews disloyal to their countries practise. Good Jews by contrast fit in, support the left agenda and make no waves and are super loyal, even to the extent of not protesting anti-Semitism as in the case of Pollard, the AIPAC staff or Israel's humilation at Annapolis. There is undoubtedly good will towards Jews, but in many quarters, it is conditional. While Jews have always had a sense of humour which has helped us to survive, laughing off out and out bias, or ignoring it, endangers not just Jews, but all of civilised society.

Posted by paul2 on 2007-12-16 13:17:48 GMT

If we read Marxism, Fabian, Socialism and communism we can see why there is so much hate from the left.. Destroy all that stands in their way.. so lies, deceit, hatred, etc are all part of breaking things down and then they will come in with the answer to make it right again.. It is all part of getting rid of any religion, party, organisation etc which stands in their way of bring in globalisation, or a one world socialist government.. I wouldn't be surprised if many kingdoms will fall in the push to do just this.. So my dear Jewish friends we are all in this together.. and I have no doubt that hatred towards Jews and Christians will rise, but at the moment here in Brisbane Australia I don't see much of it..

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-16 03:47:26 GMT

paul2, I am sorry, but I cant agree with you, I find that all of my friends and my husbands colleagues are very genuine towards Jews and have no problem with them.. I feel that people like disasters and we have to be sure that we are not perpetrating the same problem where there is very little.. No one can tell me that there is not racism against others from all cultures so of course there will always be a bit of hatred, I have felt it coming from NZ, but I have been able to joke and be silly realizing that they sound grough sometimes and appear to be some what hard, but seeing past that and joking with them they quickly soften thus I do not succumb to a victim status.. The Jewish people are an incredible people and must not see themselves as victims, laugh it off, make jokes and join in with fun, make jokes about yourselves and you will be seen as one of works..There are lots of jokes about Kiwi's and I tell them as good as anyone, and later I also make jokes about Australians and we all laugh...we must not allow ourselves to be bullied no matter what race we come from.. I will not allow anyone to say things about the Jewish people as a nation, and of course I know that there are bad ones just as in any race, but..

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-16 03:38:39 GMT

"The man who is not a socialist at twenty has no heart, but if he is still a socialist at forty he has no brain." The left take from those who work their insides out to get somewhere and give it to those who spend their money on having fun, drinking and gambling.. The left say to take more taxes of those who work many hrs a day to have something for their old age.. the left punish those who work hard.. and say look at the rich we must take from them..

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-08 12:04:45 GMT

Well Dear Mr Cohen, if you oppose all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories which were won in the 6 day war, and you expect Israel to give it back then you had better start organizing other countries to give their land back to the original owners starting with America..America took land from the Indians put them onto reservations, and instead of making them equal as Israel has done with Muslims, America destroyed the lives of the Indians.. White man took it from the Maoris in NZ, Australians from the Aboriginals, Romans took from ????? etc.. Socialism is part of the Fabian society, or should I say that the Fabian society used the left to bring in their agenda, and socialism is an identical twin to communism. all for one and one for all, and people can't have a goal, they cant strive to do better they have to all be the same and it takes away the heart of people, see Russia...

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-08 11:58:24 GMT

The Arabs who lived in the Israel area were only to happy to sell their worthless land to the stupid Jews, thinking that they had made money on nothing.. this is land which Mohammad had originally taken from the Jews in the first place, so not only did Mohammad take the land killing the men in the process. Then in the 1940's the Jewish people had to buy it back and now that it is flourishing once again, Mohammad's men want to take it from them once more and of course for nothing, calling for the killing of all Jews yet once again.

Posted by Gaye on 2007-12-03 22:19:04 GMT

MM wrote "The Left just want us to disappear...". Sorry to keep responding to MM, but let us not forget the Jew hating rabid Right, in Australia, the USA, but especially in Eastern Europe. Let us not forget either the Islamofascists or racists like Desmond Tutu, who see Jews as whites, hence oppressors. There are many fronts on which we must fight before the world pracises our vision of a just and tolerant humanity, rather than merely giving lip service to those concepts.

Posted by paul2 on 2007-11-19 06:27:09 GMT

Many thanks for your very interesting articles. Dr. Sigmund Mittler, M.D. Professor

Posted on 2007-11-18 20:53:27 GMT

This is an excellent article, which I believe every Jew or democrat should read and email it to his friend.

Posted by Dr. Sigmund Mittler, M.D. on 2007-11-16 19:15:00 GMT

It is ironic that many Jews in America are Leftists more than they associate with their Judaic heritage. The Jewish people in America to vote fringe Left of the Democratic Party. Nonetheless I suspect There are more Leftist supporters of Israel than not. It is interesting that Mitchell Cohen makes a distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Cohen has a valid point; however in Israel I suspect there are Zionists on the Left and the Right. Zionists may be separated on different poles of the political spectrum or how Observant they may be to Judaism; however the one thing in common is the belief in a Land that Jews can live at free from government sanctioned or government passivity toward anti-Semitism. The thing that separates Zionists is the path to protect that Land from anti-Semites like Muslims primarily in the Middle East. There are Zionists outside of Israel that support the existence of a Land of Israel yet fear the dangers of blood thirsty Muslims always rattling their swords proclaiming Israel is Palestine and part of Dar al-Islam. It is interesting that former Leftists who have grown weary of the obviously failed ideology of the Marxist Left have abandoned the Left to become Neoconservatives who are disliked by their former comrades on the Left and many Conservatives on the Right (Paleoconservatives). Neocons tend to meld the ideology of the Right with the government management attitude of the Left. Neoconservativism is far from a unified movement tended to be a collection of people with a lot in common ideologically yet disagrees on various points individually. It just so happens that many of these Neocons are Jewish pro-Israel secure America’s National Interests head on kind of people. Being former Leftist there is a view that a pro-active government will find solutions hit and miss. It is typical of a Leftist to bring McCarthyism as a bad thing. The Left has brainwashed Americans that McCarthy was a deluded man looking for the evil of Communism under every rock and making up Communist threats where there was none. Even today this view is taught in schools through College. I know of Ann Coulter trying to redeem McCarthy as a person that was right; however academics have written off her books as having little scholastic value and so probably delighted in including Coulter as an image of a Right Wing McCarthyist. However now there is an astute scholar with the documentation to prove his assertions that McCarthy was not as off base a Leftist would have the masses to believe. M. Stanton Evans has written a scholarly book backed up by discovered former Soviet documents (among other sources) that point the American Government was invested with Soviet spies or agents attempting to manipulate a favorable disposition toward the Stalinist Soviet Union. Cohen goes on to say he is an anti-Zionist but not an anti-Semite. Well I proud to say I am a Christian Zionist, a person that totally supports the existence of a Land Jews in the roots of their heritage – Israel. Without Zionism Israel would never have come into existence in 1948 and if it did, Israel would have collapsed like a paper bag from the crush of anti-Semite Muslim Arabs who did not even care about the Land until enterprising Jewish people basically terraformed the Land to make it valuable for agriculture and business. Shazzam then there were employment opportunities for Muslim Arabs. I am no fan of the Left. Saying that I do admire Cohen’s stand on anti-Semitism that is a growing phenomena in Europe, I am simply not clear on Cohen’s concept of separating Zionism from Judaism especially since Zionist fore-fathers are the reason Israel exists.

Posted by on 2007-11-16 15:34:58 GMT

MM is generally correct, but I would add that even if the non-left anti-Zionists have no influence on the left, their opposition to Israelis still sought. The left includes Jew haters, but more to the point it identifies the Arabs as colonised underdogs and Jews as agents of the colonising West. Many of them are very supportive of Jews, particularly dead ones, and they are accepting of all Jews in whom all precepts of peoplehood has died; non-Jewish Jews. The anti-Zionist Jews seek to immerse themselves into their societies for convenience and security, forgetting that their status is the result of the existence of Israel and would be more enhanced if Israel's leaders became independent and bold as their predecessors were.

Posted by paul2 on 2007-11-16 12:42:29 GMT

This article makes one realise that anti-Semitism is practiced right across the political spectrum. The far right of the 1930's has a successor in the far left of today. “I am anti-Zionist but not anti-Semitic.” Does this remind us of "Some of our best friends are Jews". Yes we have heard it all before with minor cosmetic changes and we shall unfortunately hear it again. The key is to always actively refute this poison wherever and whenever it appears.

Posted by Wazza on 2007-11-16 09:10:36 GMT