Tony Greenstein | 11 June 2021 | Post Views:

Why Anti-Semitism is no longer a form of racism –it’s a Marginal Prejudice confined to the fascist fringe

 The major cause of anti-Semitism in Britain today is the Board of Deputies & those who claim to represent Britain’s Jews whilst supporting Zionist War Crimes

The Medieval Blood Libel and Abe Foxman

If anti-Semitism was still a form of racism in Britain today then the equation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism would not find an echo amongst the majority of Jews.

If anyone is in any doubt that supporters of Israel routinely make false accusations of anti-Semitism, then the reaction of Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, when the New York Times published pictures of the 67 Palestinian children murdered by Israel should put those doubts to rest, Foxman saw red. This was a ‘blood libel’.

The medieval blood libel was an accusation that Jews killed Christian children and used their blood for Jewish religious rituals. Thousands of Jews perished as a result of such baseless accusations.

To suggest, as Foxman did, that publishing Palestinian children’s faces was a ‘blood libel’ means that he believes the original blood libel was true.

Separating genuine anti-Semitism from its fake imitation

Labour’s anti-Semitism witchhunt involved the suspension and expulsion of dozens of anti-Zionist Jews. You wouldn’t expect a campaign against Islamaphobia to focus on Muslims. Yet because Labour’s ‘anti-racism’ was not about the fight for justice or equality but purging peoples minds it led to the purging of people themselves.

The problem is separating genuine anti-Semitism from what Zionism calls ‘anti-Semitism’. I except Eastern Europe from much of the following as anti-Semitism there is more central to the political base and ideology of the ruling class in countries like Poland and Hungary.

Just over a year ago, three academics – Ben Gidley, Brendan McGeever and David Feldman – wrote Labour and Antisemitism: a Crisis Misunderstood. They talked of a

‘historical parting of the ways between anti‐racism and opposition to antisemitism. An anti‐racism defined solely by conceptions of whiteness and power… has proven unable to fully acknowledge and account for anti‐Jewish racism.’

What Gidley et al were saying was that though Jews were politically White and economically privileged in the West they were nonetheless oppressed. It begs the question – how are Jews are oppressed?

Their argument is the logical outcome of the Zionists’ ‘anti-Semitism’ smears. Zionist and right-wing opposition to ‘anti-Semitism’ never had any connection with opposition to racism. It had everything to do with support for racism and Zionism in Israel.

Why Does the Board of Deputies Invite Attacks on Jews?

According to the Community Security Trust, which collates & manipulates statistics on anti-Semitism, in the 11 days when Israel was attacking Gaza, there was a 500% rise in anti-Semitic incidents. There was also a 430% increase in anti-Muslim incidents but this was given little publicity. Dave Rich of the CST was quoted as saying:

“It is a depressingly familiar pattern that antisemitism rises whenever Israel is at war, but this does not make it any less disgraceful that British Jews are being threatened, harassed and abused.

The CST described the rise in anti-Semitism as ‘utterly predictable” which renders it strange that the Board of Deputies did everything in its power to increase the number of such attacks.

Attacks on Jewish people in Britain because of Israel’s attacks on the Palestinians should be condemned unreservedly. Such people are not helping the Palestinians, quite the contrary. But who is to blame for these attacks? The BOD and Zionist groups which claim that British Jews are supporting Israel.

At a time when Israel is attacking Palestinians in the name of ‘world Jewry’ you might think that the BOD would emphasise that Israel’s attacks have nothing to do with British Jews. Quite the contrary.

When Israel was deliberately wiping out whole families, what does the BOD do? It issues a joint statement supporting Israel’s ‘right to defend its citizens’ and condemning Hamas for retaliating.

Even worse the BOD organised a demonstration in support of Israel’s attack on Gaza stating that :

This was an important moment for Jews from all parts of the community to come together to show our support for the state of Israel.’

The actions of the BOD in associating Jews with Israel’s attacks were an open invitation for people to attack Britain’s Jews. Yet the liar who edits the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, in a Readers Letter pretended to be perplexed at what was happening:

Quite why people going about their daily lives in parts of North London should be linked to Israeli military action is something which lies in the mind of the Jew haters and their fellow travellers.

However there is a very simple remedy if Pollard and the BOD oppose anti-Semitic attacks then next time Israel wages war against the Palestinians there can be a joint statement by the different Zionist groups deploring Israel’s attacks and informing the public that British Jewry dissociates itself from Israel’s actions and that it bears no responsibility for them. Until then they should put up or shut up.

The link-up between Zionists and the neo-Nazi right was demonstrated at the demonstration when Tommy Robinson was welcomed onto the demonstration with a hug and cheers.

Do Jews bear any responsibility for anti-Semitism?

“Anti-Semitism as an ideology has nothing to do with the behaviour of even one single Jew , let alone of all Jews.’

wrote Steve Cohen, in That’s Funny You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic.

Zionism was founded in the belief that Jews were to blame for anti-Semitism. The founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl wrote in The Jewish State that it was the Jews who were ‘carrying Anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.’ Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first President, likewise believed that

‘‘Whenever the quantity of Jews in any country reaches saturation point, that country reacts against them.’

Nathan Birnbaum, who coined the term ‘Zionism’ ascribed anti-Semitism to the

‘The base spirit of usury that has kept our hand from the labor of the plow and the hammer, the senseless deceit that eagerly anticipates the undoing of others…’ [Selbst-Emancipation ‘Our Drawbacks’]

Anti-Semitism had a great deal to do with what Jews did. Jews were the agents of money in pre-capitalist society. They performed an intermediary role as tax collectors, money lenders etc. to the nobility, arousing the hostility of the peasantry.

Today the majority of Jews are performing a similar role, politically not economically. Barnaby Raine wrote that

Once they saw us as dangerous Semites infesting European society. Now instead we are their favourite pets: heroic colonists in the Middle East and successful citizens in the West…. Jews are conscripted as the alibi of white society. We are the useful props for a moral panic

Jews, not the ‘wrong sort’ of course, were used as a battering ram against the Left in the Labour Party with the complicity of the BOD and the majority of British Jews.

In August 2019 I overheard in a Brighton supermarket two people discussing how ‘the Jews’ had tried to stop Chris Williamson speaking in Brighton. One wonders where they got that idea if not from the Board of Deputies which claimed that it is ‘the voice’ of British Jews.It was reasonable for people to believe ‘the Jews’ were engaged in trying to silence critics of Israel. If that is anti-Semitic then the responsibility clearly lies with Jews who did not speak out.

Not only the Board but a host of Zionist groups, claiming to be Jewish, such as the Jewish Leadership Council and the Holocaust Education Trust joined in the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn. Why should people not assume that this was in the name of all Jews?

Is it anti-Semitic to ask Jews to dissociate themselves from Zionism?

As the Institute of Race Relations observed in their submission to the Chakrabarti Inquiry, identity politics ‘personalises the political and individualises the social’. Thus it is claimed that it is anti-Semitic to expect Jews to dissociate themselves from Israel’s actions. Erica Burman, a liberal Zionist wrote that it was ‘objectionable’ for people

‘to demand that Jews uphold a specific, deemed ‘correct’, position because they are Jews… This demand is antisemitic.

Steve Cohen also asked

‘Why should we be obliged to speak out ‘as Jews’ about what is happening in the Middle East any more, for example, than Italians should speak out ‘as Italians’ (p.50 That’s funny You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic)

There is a very obvious answer. The Italians are not carpet bombing Gaza and Italian organisations in Britain are not declaring their support for such atrocities. Jewish organisations are. When the Israel state, which declares that it represents, not its own citizens but ‘the Jewish people’ ethnically cleanses the Palestinians and Zionist organisations that claim they are Jewish, like the BOD, give Israel unconditional support then it is incumbent upon Jews to speak out. There is nothing anti-Semitic about such an expectation.

Racism and anti-Semitism has always been the preserve of the Right including the Labour Right

Some of the main actors in Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’ purges, such as Tom Watson and John Mann, were to the forefront in demonising asylum seekers, defending racist Labour MP Phil Woolas and supporting the Tories 2014 ‘hostile environment’ Immigration Act which led to the Windrush Scandal.

Racism is the preserve of the Right not the Left. It is how capitalist society divides its opponents. When the Czarist pogroms spread across Russia it was the Bolsheviks who outlawed them. When Jews were persecuted in Germany it was the left which fought it.

Brendan McGeever has recently published a book which argues that the Bolsheviks used anti-Semitism and launched pogroms in order to maintain power. McGeever has rewritten the history of the Russian Revolution.

It is the Left which has always opposed Anti-Semitism

The narrative that says that the Left is anti-Semitic began with the ex-Trotskyist Alliance for Workers Liberty. Many of the neo-cons in the US, such as Nathan Glazer and Irving Crystal, also began life as Trotskyists under the influence of Max Schachtman, who ended up supporting the Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

Opposition to anti-Semitism has always been confined to the Left. Historically the Right has been the mainstay of anti-Jewish racism. Of course some on the Left such as Proudhon, especially in its earlier years, were anti-Semitic. That the Right today purports to oppose anti-Semitism is an indication that not only has anti-Semitism been redefined but that it has also changed. Holocaust historian Ian Kershaw wrote of his

admiration for the courageous minority – overwhelmingly communist workers – who fought uncompromisingly against the Nazis… is boundlessthe vast proportion of them workers’ were put in ‘protective custody’ after 9 March 1933. [Popular Opinion and Dissent in Nazi Germany]

Zionist historian Robert Wistrich of Tel Aviv University wrote in Socialism and the Jews that ‘opposition to anti-Semitism had become a badge of honor for the workers movement (in Germany).

Anyone who doubts this should read my review of ‘Anti-Nazi Germans’ by Steve Cushion and Merilyn Moos. Whilst Tory MPs from the Anglo-German Fellowship were wining and dining Nazi diplomats, communists and trade unionists were placed in concentration camps, tortured and beheaded. It was only the working class and the Left who provided any resistance to Hitler.

The Right and its academic fellow travellers have adopted Jews as if they were pawns in an attack on the Left. Foremost amongst these is David Feldman of the Institute of Anti-Semitism.

Remember the confected hysteria against Corbyn for not mentioning, in his introduction to John Hobson’s Study of Imperialism, his anti-Semitism? Feldman penned The historical left really was ‘for the many, not the Jew in the anti-Palestinian Jewish Chronicle. It was academic prostitution. Writing what you want others to hear. As Black intellectual Claude MacKay wrote, Bolshevism:

“is the greatest and most scientific idea afloat in the world today… Bolshevism has made Russia safe for the Jew. It has liberated the Slav peasant from priest and bureaucrat who can no longer egg him on to murder Jews to bolster up their rotten institutions. It might make these United States safe for the Negro… If the Russian idea should take hold of the white masses of the western world… then the black toilers would automatically be free.”

It was conservatives not socialists who supported Hitler

It was Germany’s conservative parties which put Hitler in power and supported him until they perceived he was a threat to their own interests. Prime amongst the supporters of Hitler when he came to power were Winston Churchill and Lloyd George. Churchill proclaimed that

if our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.

American Consul General Kehl wrote, on March 31 1933, that 

‘It must be admitted that the National-Socialist organization before it came into power and since then the Nazi-Nationalist Government, have rendered invaluable services to the world at large in crushing Communism in Germany.’

Lloyd George waxed lyrical writing that:

‘Whatever one may think of his methods – and they are certainly not those of a parliamentary country, there can be no doubt that he has achieved a marvellous transformation in the spirit of the people, in their attitude towards each other and in their social and economic outlook.’

‘He rightly proclaimed at Nuremberg that in four years his movement has made a new Germany.’ (Daily Express, 17.9.36.)

The Daily Mail of 20 August 1938, warned that

“The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage: the number of aliens entering the country through back door – a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed” ‘German Jews Pouring Into This Country’

Daily Mail Lord Rothermere, the Mail’s owner, visited Hitler and wrote in the Daily News on 4 September 1933 that

‘I WRITE from a new country on the map of Europe. Its name is Naziland. Of all the historic changes in our time, the transformation of Germany under Hitler has been the swiftest, most complete,’

‘They have started a clamorous campaign of denunciation against what they call ‘Nazi atrocities,’ which, as anyone who visits Germany quickly discovers for himself, consists merely of a few isolated acts of violence.’

These ‘few isolated acts of violence’ included gaoling thousands of communists and trade unionists in concentration camps. In 1933 alone 60,000 communists were gaoled, of whom 2,000 were killed.

In Britain Moseley’s British Union of Fascists conducted a reign of terror in the East End of London. My father told me that there were certain streets where Jews could not walk down without taking their life in their hands. Yet it was the left, the Communist Party and the ILP, not the right, who organised physical opposition in the Battle of Cable Street (4 October 1936) which stopped the fascists. Yet the BOD, now so ‘concerned’ about ‘anti-Semitism’, told Jews to stay at home and not oppose them. Labour too did nothing.

The Tories were hostile to the entry of Jewish refugees. In 1905 Arthur Balfour, the Zionists’ hero, introduced the Aliens Act whose purpose was to prevent the entry of Jews.

Weizmann described a conversation he had with Balfour, who told him that he had met with Cosima Wagner, the widow of Richard Wagner. Balfour explained that ‘he shared many of her anti-Semitic postulates.’ Instead of protesting Weizmann

pointed out that we, too… had drawn attention to the fact that Germans of the Mosaic persuasion were an undesirable and demoralizing phenomenon…

The Police and the civil service were infested with anti-Semitism and fascists. The Labour Party expelled Bevan, Foot and Stafford Cripps for working with the Communist Party’s Popular Front.

Although my dad moved to the right he never forgot or forgave the Tories for their sympathy for Moseley and remained till the end of his life a Labour voter. When anti-Semitism was a real and living phenomenon in Britain, the Tory Party was the enemy of the Jews.

Tory and right-wing labour opposition to ‘anti-Semitism’

Why are right-wing Labour and Tory MPs concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’? Why should a White Supremacist like Donald Trump attack Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar for being anti-Semitic? Clearly their real concern is not anti-Semitism but anti-Zionism.

Historically Zionists and the Zionist movement had no problems with anti-Semitism. In the words of Jacob Klatzkin,

‘If we do not admit the rightfulness of anti-Semitism we deny the rightfulness of our own nationalism… Instead of establishing societies for defence against the anti-Semites who want to reduce our rights, we should establish societies for defence against our friends, who desire to defend our rights.’

If you don’t believe Jews belong where they live and that they should live in Israel then you are either an anti-Semite or a Zionist (or both). Trump combined ardent support for Israel with the belief that Israel was the ‘real home’ of American Jews.

In 2004 Boris Johnson wrote 72 Virgins which depicted Jews as controlling the media and fiddling elections. Yet those who were busy digging up tropes and quotes of Corbyn were not concerned about Johnson because he supports Israel.

The campaign to paint Labour as anti-Semitic was about as genuine as an 11 bob note. Statistically a party of over ½ a million was bound to have a few anti-Semites in it but it was no more overrun by anti-Semitism than it was by paedophiles, who it was also bound to have.

It was not a left wing Labour MP who consigned thousands of Jews to Auschwitz by refusing to admit them as refugees to Britain but Peter Mandelson’s grandfather Herbert Morrison. [Excuses Excuses The Failure to Amend Britain’s Immigration Policy Lesley Clare Urbach].

Ramsay MacDonald when visiting Palestine in 1922 spoke of

‘the rich plutocratic Jew, who is the true economic materialist. He is the person whose views upon life make one anti-Semitic. He has no country, no kindred… he is an exploiter of everything he can squeeze. He is behind every evil that Governments do… He detests Zionism because it revives the idealism of his race.’

And where was this printed?  In a pamphlet published by Poalei Zion, (today’s JLM)! Yet somehow Feldman failed to spot it.

State Racism and Anti-Semitism

The Editors of Jewish Currents wrote that

Though some may regard every oblique—or even straightforward—trope as a track laid on the way to an American Auschwitz, it’s difficult to point to a contemporary state-backed or structural regime of antisemitism to stake it in the ground. In this context, antisemitic tropes seem to function largely as vacant signifiers—the shed skins of venomous snakes.

Racism is structured into the State and how it operates. It is about oppression and discrimination not tropes or stereotypes. The great trope hunt by Labour’s staff was about anything but racism. When you redefine racism, from objective actions to subjective feelings then anything and anyone can be racist, including the victims of racism.

Posts additional to Labour’s Leaked Report showed John Stolliday, head of the Compliance Unit, referring to Ed Miliband as ‘beaker’. Referring to Jewish people by their noses is normally anti-Semitic.

According to Black writer Jewish Currents John Stolliday, head of the Compliance Unit, referring to Ed Miliband A Sivanandan there is “The racism that discriminates, and the racism that kills.” Yet for Jews in the West, anti-Semitism neither discriminates nor kills. There is a third type of racism. The racism that offends. Except that it isn’t even racism. What offends establishment Jews in Britain is opposition to Zionism.

Are Jews oppressed as a minority?

Geoffrey Alderman’s The Jewish Community in British Politics (1983) was subject to a concerted effort by the BOD to persuade him to censor the parts concerning racism in the Jewish community. What Alderman showed was that nearly 400 Hackney Jews had voted for the neo-Nazi National Front compared to zero for the Communist Party candidate.

Compare this to 1945 when an estimated half the votes for Phil Piratin in the Mile End constituency were Jewish resulting in the election of England’s first communist MP.

Alderman noted (p.137) that in 1961 40% of British Jews were to be found in social classes A&B compared to less than 20% nationally. It is this, not Israel, that explains both Jewish voting habits and also the fact that British Jews are not the targets of state racism. There is no reason to believe that British Jews are poorer today than 60 years ago. If anything the trend has probably been reinforced.

According to the Pew Report for 2016 44% of American Jews earn more than $100,000 a year compared to 19% of the general population. By 2020 this had increased to 54% with 23% of Jews earning $200,000 a year compared to just 4% of non-Jews. At the other end of the scale 10% of Jews have incomes of less than $30,000 a year compared to 23% of non-Jews. Does anyone serious suggest that America Jews are oppressed, deprived or go hungry?

Jonathan Freedland, in one of his regular apologetics for the Israeli state, asked that Jews should be treated ‘the same way you’d treat any other minority.’ In other words because the majority of Jews identify with Israel people should accept Israel’s legitimacy.

82% of American Jews say caring about Israel is either “essential” or “important” to being Jewish. ‘Anti-Semitism’ has become a defence of Jewish privilege, which is itself bound up with support of Israel. Perhaps we should accept the identity of Hindu racists with India’s occupation of Kashmir because they too are a minority?

But the Kashmiris too are a minority so what we have is a clash of minorities! The problem of identity politics is that there is no means of resolving such clashes. If everyone has the right to define their own oppression then the oppressor too can become the oppressed.

There are no guiding anti-racist principles because identity politics accepts all identities as equal. All is subjective. It becomes a clash of subjective opinions. This leads, as David Feldman wrote to ‘conceptual and political chaos’.

Freedland is adept at using the language of identity politics to protect Zionism and Jewish Supremacism. That is why Zionism hates intersectionality which relates oppression and exploitation to objective factors such as race and class. Oppression isn’t one dimensional.

It’s true that Jews are a minority but they are not an oppressed minority. Millionaires are also a minority but they are not oppressed. Racists are also a minority which is why the far-Right identitarian movement uses the language of identity politics.

In the United States police violence is a leading cause of death for young Black men, 1 in every 1,000 of whom can expect to be killed. Despite being only 13% of the population Black men make up nearly a quarter of those murdered by the Police. The names – Eric Garner, George Floyd, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor trip off the tongue.

In 2020 out of a total of 1021 people killed by the Police 241 were Black. In the first 5 months of 2021, 71 out of 371 killed were Black.

I don’t recall the names of Jewish people murdered by the US Police. I’m sure that some Jews were killed but not because they are Jewish. There was a time, in the 1930s and 1940s when Jews too were targets for state violence. However that was then not now.

There is no offence of driving whilst Jewish but driving whilst Black is a crime. Jews are not victims of police violence, imprisoned or found dead in police custody because they are Jewish. There is no discernible discrimination against Jews.

Of course there is individual prejudice, a legacy of the past. Occasionally, as with the shooting dead of 11 Jews at the Pittsburgh synagogue, Tree of Life, that can turn fatal. This was a consequence of Trump’s campaign against Latin American refugees.

Israel immediately sent over Education Minister Naftali Bennett to provide political cover for Trump along with Israel’s Ambassador Ron Dermer. As Alison Kaplan wrote American Jews May Never Forgive Israel for Its Reaction to the Pittsburgh Massacre.

British Jews have changed. They no longer live in London’s East End. This is best symbolised by the demise of Blooms the famous kosher restaurant in Whitechapel. I remember as a child queuing half an hour for a table. Yet in 1996 it closed its doors. Why? Because Jews have migrated to north London and Golder’s Green.

There is no longer a specific Jewish working class. Jewish voters gave up voting for Labour long ago. It had nothing to do with Corbyn.

In April 2015, well before Corbyn became Labour’s leader Marcus Dysch wrote Blame toxic Ed for Labour’s loss of support. According to Dysch 69% of Jews intended to vote for the Tories compared to just 22% for Labour.

Jewish Racism and Islamaphobia

The misnamed Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, a Zionist organisation published in April 2016 a report “British Muslim anti-Semitism.” It included a graphic “profile” of the ‘typical Muslim male’. If such a profile had been written about Jews it would have been called anti-Semitic. The CAA alleged that:

On every single count, British Muslims were more likely by far than the general British population to hold deeply antisemitic views. It is clear that many British Muslims reserve a special hatred for British Jews… yet astonishingly British Muslims largely do not recognise antisemitism as a major problem.

It has long been suspected that sections of the British Muslim population harboured hatred towards British Jews. This survey goes some way to identifying pockets of prejudice, but it also shows that the prejudice is horrifyingly widespread. [see Campaign Against Antisemitism is a campaign against Palestinians]

The Elephant in the Room – Jewish Racism

The elephant in the room is the attitude of British Jews to Arabs and Muslims. In my experience it is extremely high. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than 50% of the Jewish community could be characterised as anti-Arab racists and Islamaphobic. An Opinion Poll has never asked British Jews about their views of Muslims because opinion polls are reserved for the victims of racism, Muslims.

Anti-Semitism as a form of Anti-Racism?

When the French National Assembly and President Macron declared that anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism what they were telling people was that to support the Palestinians they must support anti-Semitism. Some people will accept that as a price worth paying. They are being forced to make a binary choice between opposing Zionism and Israeli racism or opposing anti-Semitism.

Since the suffering of the Palestinians, at the hands of those calling themselves Jewish, is infinitely greater than that of Jews, the choice is not a difficult one. The false ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations force people into becoming or considering themselves as anti-Semites.

At the same time the Zionist movement consolidates its alliance with anti-Semitic US Evangelists and people like Viktor Orban.

Displaying Israeli flags inside & outside synagogues

It might seem like a no-brainer. Surely if someone attacks a synagogue then that is an anti-Semitic attack? In most cases yes but not necessarily so. There is a growing tendency among synagogues in the United States to display Israeli flags, not only inside but outside the synagogue.

To Palestinians the Israeli flag is the equivalent of the swastika to Jews. It is the flag of a state that has massacred and ethnically cleansed them. If during the recent Israeli attack on Gaza a Palestinian who had lost friends or relatives had attacked a synagogue because it was flying the Israeli flag, would that have been an anti-Semitic attack or revenge for the death of loved ones? The motivation for the attack would have been because of the identification of the synagogue with his friends’ killers not because it was a place of Jewish worship.

When Zionist organisations deliberately conflate Jewish premises with the actions of the Israeli state they are inviting anti-Semitic attacks. One does not have to be cynical to realise that Zionist organisations will not be unhappy at such a scenario.

Herzl wrote in his Diaries that ‘the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.’ Joachim Doron in Classic Zionism and modern anti-Semitism described this as the Zionist dialectic: ‘anti-Semitism was the historic force that “would always strive toward evil but work for the good.

The rise of anti-Semitism has always meant Jewish emigration to Israel which is one reason why we should oppose anti-Semitism. Ordinary people, horrified at Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians, will understandably blame Jews when Jewish organisations go out of their way to support and identify with the Israeli state. See Why Israeli Flags Don’t Belong in Synagogue — or American Ones, Either

Why does the far-Right oppose ‘anti-Semitism?

There is no more fervent opponent of ‘anti-Semitism’ than Alternative for Germany, a party riddled with neo-Nazis. AfD calls itself ‘‘Israel’s one true friend in parliament’ as it pushes for stronger legislation against BDS. This is not without consequences.

The President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, summed up the reactionary character of the State’s anti-Semitism campaign. He agitated against immigrants “calling for the destruction of Israel,” spoke of the “problem of an imported anti-Semitism from Islamic-dominated countries,” and denounced the “anti-Semitism of the far-left.” At the same time, he defended the AfD against the accusation of anti-Semitism and praised them as an ally in the struggle against it!

In parliament, the AfD is also awkwardly attempting not to be pushed into the anti-Semitic corner. Like all other parties, it voted unanimously for the establishment of an anti-Semitism commissioner for the federal government and for a resolution on anti-Semitism.

German neo-Nazis are integrated into the political mainstream via their support for Zionism. Meanwhile the German Jewish community is left facing two ways – they support Israel but oppose the AfD. See Once more on the issue of anti-Semitism in Germany


Anti-Semitism is not a form of racism and it hasn’t been for well over half a century. There is no evidence that Jews are subject to discrimination or singled out for violence. Ipso facto anti-Semitism is no longer a form of racism. Anti-Semitism of course persists as a form of prejudice and should be condemned on that basis but as the IRR argued, it is necessary to

“distinguish(ing) between ideas/ attitudes/prejudices – which are all subjective and ‘not provable’ – and the objective acting out of such prejudice – in discriminatory acts, physical violence, institutional bias…

It is because Jews don’t experience racism that Tory Ministers, the Labour Right and the Tory press are concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’. If anti-Semitism was a form of racism today does anyone seriously believe that the Mail and Telegraph would be concerned about it?

The CAA claimed that more than half of British Jews felt that anti-Semitism today echoed that of the 1930s. As Ha’aretz’s Anshel Pfeffer observed, if the CAA and British Jews

actually believe that, then it’s hard to take anything they say about contemporary anti-Semitism in their home country seriously.”

Pfeffer added that such a belief showed

a disconnect bordering on hysteria … not only are they woefully ignorant of recent Jewish history but have little concept of what real anti-Semitism is.

The majority Jewish identity today is bound up with Israel. Jews in Britain are neither an ethnicity nor a religious group. Synagogue going Jews form a political community. Identification with Israel is their religion. The ‘anti-Semitism’ they experience is the same as that which Muslims experienced when Salman Rushdie brought out Satanic Verses. It is an anti-Semitism of offence not persecution.

Challenges to identity may be offensive but giving offence is not racist although racism is always offensive. For a majority of British Jews, opinions which they find offensive are deemed racist. Witness the hysterical reaction of Jewish students when Ken Loach was invited to St Peter’s College, Oxford. They felt their safety was jeopardised because he was invited to speak. The young ruling class snowflakes of Wadham College were more than happy to support them, even while the statue of Cecil Rhodes is allowed to stand.

To Marie van der Zyl, President of the BOD, the decision of St Peter’s College to invite Loach to speak was “entirely unacceptable.” If anything causes anti-Semitism it is arrogant behaviour such as this.

The campaign to dismiss David Miller at Bristol University is based on having given offence to the Israeli funded Union of Jewish Students. British Jews define anti-Semitism, not in terms of violence or discrimination but in terms of Zionism i.e. the oppression of others. This in itself proves that anti-Semitism is barely alive.

Anti-Semitism like Jews themselves has changed. As Hajo Mayer observed, ‘An anti-Semite used to be a person who disliked Jews. Now it is a person who Jews dislike.’ As anti-Semitism has changed so have the Jews. Zionism is likely to be the last Jewish identity since there is now no distinctive Jewish socio-economic role in society.

Tony Greenstein

Below is a petition by Jewish people. Please sign it.

Open Letter Take Down the Israeli Flag

We Jewish people internationally appeal to Jews and Jewish organizations around the world to remove Israel flags from communal spaces, whether at Jewish schools, Jewish Federation offices or synagogues. It is clear to us – and much of the world – as the reports of B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch have demonstrated – that the Israeli State is an Apartheid regime and therefore, as international law correctly confirms, it is an ongoing crime against humanity.

The government of Israel, since its start, has been determined to totally subjugate or remove the indigenous Palestinians from the land they’ve lived in for centuries. The Jewish supremacist state of Israel is deeply discriminatory and necessarily violent towards Palestinians who naturally resist oppression and expulsion. Israel logically allies itself with Far Right and Anti-Semitic forces even though this endangers Jews worldwide. That may seem astounding, but these noxious alliances have long been the practice of the Zionist organizations that worked to create Israel.

It is increasingly important for Jews to distinguish between Judaism and the State of Israel and its policies. By featuring an Israeli flag prominently in our communal institutions we permit anti-Semites to believe that our interests are inextricably linked to those of a state whose policies we abhor.

The Israeli flag has the status of the Confederate flag.

We are appalled at the idea that it represents us.

It should be taken down.

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Tony Greenstein

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