‘New Yorker’ says anti-Zionism is ‘firmly rooted’ in British left, and it’s anti-Semitic

US Politics
on 134 Comments

As you surely know, Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime leftwing member of Parliament from north London, has been elected leader of the Labour Party. In The New Yorker, Anthony Lane seeks to explain the Jeremy Corbyn meteor. In doing so, Lane gets in some shots at Palestinian solidarity, in the context of Corbyn’s dovishness.

Questioned as to the circumstances in which he would unleash the armed forces, Corbyn said, “I’m sure there are some, but I can’t think of them at the moment.” … [He expresses] standard tenets of the British left, at least in its wilder reaches, and nobody could charge Corbyn with a lack of tenacity. For decades, whether on the backbenches of Parliament or on the streets, he has stuck to his gunlessness, and it is that air of principle—consistent, unspinnable, and pure—that has impressed his allies and foes alike. On the other hand, there is this:

“Tomorrow evening it will be my pleasure and my honor to host an event in Parliament, where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking. And I’ve also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well; unfortunately the Israelis would not allow them to travel here.”

Imagine if an American politician, running for high office, had been filmed uttering those sentences. His or her candidacy would have dropped off a cliff. The truly disturbing aspect, though, is not that Corbyn said such things, which he did at a conference in 2009, but that, when the footage was replayed during the leadership campaign, it caused such a minimum of fuss, and did nothing to impede the march of the Corbyn camp. Anti-Zionism is firmly rooted in parts of the left-wing agenda in the U.K., and protestations that it should not be confused with anti-Semitism bear more than a shade of naïveté, especially in a year when Jews have been targeted and murdered in mainland Europe for being Jews. The honorable traditions of Jewish socialism, in Britain and elsewhere, have suffered an erosion, and it was reported that even Ed Miliband, who is Jewish and the son of refugees from the Holocaust, proved unable to count on the Jewish vote at the election in May. It would have been deemed politically unwise if, as a standard-bearer for Labour, he had failed to lend sufficient prominence to the Palestinian cause.

In the end, of course, whatever Miliband’s private discomfort on the matter, we had no opportunity to see it aired and tested in the spotlight. He was trounced in the general election.

It is now typical of mainstream journalists to express this degree of condescension and dismissal when it comes to Palestinian solidarity. All I can say is that, intellectually speaking, they are playing checkers on the lip of Vesuvius. This is a real movement in liberal/left life. Stephen Colbert seeks to pooh-pooh this movement with a Sabra Hummus commercial, and a good liberal like Digby who ought to know better says boycotting Israel is a fringe issue. They don’t see the wave.

The reason anti-Zionism is now firmly rooted in the left in the U.K. and increasingly the U.S. is because Israel slaughtered 500 children in Gaza a year ago with the avowed political goal of “mowing the lawn” of violent resistance for another couple few years. And because a generational shift inside Jewish life is giving the left permission to embrace the Palestinian cause. Max Blumenthal just came out with a book on Gazan resistance that explains why Hamas has resorted to violent resistance. Chomsky explained violent resistance in Central America and southwest Africa a generation ago. John Brown explained it to Americans 150 years ago– slavery will only be ended by “verry much blood,” he stated, and Emerson and Thoreau celebrated him. You can dismiss these arguments (the press is certainly ignoring Blumenthal) but that doesn’t reduce the historical logic in them.

Lane wants to redeem “the honorable traditions of Jewish socialism” from such an analysis. That’s liberal twaddle (and I say this as a liberal). Jewish socialists have voiced such arguments for a long time. As for the fact that it would destroy an American politician’s career to say what Corbyn says– very true. But would the New Yorker ever say that the Israel lobby has power here that it doesn’t have in Europe? Would it ever seek to explain this chasm in political culture, which also underscores the varying responses to the Iran Deal?

As for the casual equation of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, it’s just thick. One reason that Jews were targeted and murdered in mainland Europe– as Abe Foxman and the Jewish People Policy Institute and Norman Finkelstein all suggest or say– is because of Israel’s massacre in Gaza. Finkelstein (who once explained/justified Hezbollah’s violent resistance as a response to occupation) speaks at Yale tonight. Are young Americans interested in these ideas?

Thanks to Blumenthal. And the Forward has a more thorough and factual report on Corbyn and (some) Jewish fears. 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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134 Responses

  1. b.grand
    September 15, 2015, 12:51 pm

    Hmmm… “the honorable traditions of Jewish socialism”

    Lane is not concerned with advancing the meme of Jewish responsibility for Bolshevism, etc.?

    • Krauss
      September 15, 2015, 1:13 pm

      Jews were massively overrepresented in communist movements in Eastern Europe. Just like we were in America, especially in Hollywood. That’s why the McCarthy era terrorised so many upper-class Jewish households.

      These were Jews who, in many instances, had grown up in Brooklyn where 90% where socialists and they all bought the Forward, most of whom had been deeply involved in the garment industry, the trade unions etc. Socialism and indeed communism was natural elixir for Eastern European Jews for much of the first half of the 20th century. That’s not a myth; it’s a fact.

      That didn’t stop some of them from being ethnocentric nationalists either, just as Doris Lessing’s books show. The Jewish marxists she praises to the sky were fightning Apartheid in Rhodesia – where she was doing the same thing – but also supporting Jewish Apartheid in Palestine.

      Lessing never was smart/brave enough to really question this discrepancy, and why I believe she was unworthy of her Nobel prize.

      • Les
        September 15, 2015, 1:52 pm

        Einstein warned German Jews in the 1930’s that they were massively overrepresented in the media. Should anyone be surprised that the New Yorker’s publisher is a Jewish zionist?

      • catalan
        September 15, 2015, 1:58 pm

        “Einstein warned German Jews in the 1930’s that they were massively overrepresented in the media. – ”
        I couldn’t agree more! That’s why I would like my son to be a doctor, so that all groups get to be fairly represented in the media. Better yet is to marry up.

      • Mooser
        September 15, 2015, 2:09 pm

        “Einstein warned German Jews in the 1930’s that they were massively overrepresented in the media.”

        A ‘cite’ for this would be fascinating! Happen to have one?

      • amigo
        September 15, 2015, 2:42 pm

        “I couldn’t agree more! That’s why I would like my son to be a doctor, – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/zionism-british-semitic#sthash.5e5TbSis.dpuf“catalan

        But why not a teacher so he can cure all those stoopid Americans who have the privilege of having a genius like you as a fellow worker .

        “Americans are awful at math, chemistry, history and pretty much every other subject. They do have the largest waistlines though and are best at whining. It should be a consolation for Giles. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/catalan/2#sthash.GU8vRmyO.dpuf“catalan

        .

      • catalan
        September 15, 2015, 2:48 pm

        “But why not a teacher so he can cure all those stoopid Americans – ”
        Teacher may work too. But let’s not rush into anything. We would not want Jews to be over represented among teachers, or Popes.

      • amigo
        September 15, 2015, 4:02 pm

        “I couldn’t agree more! That’s why I would like my son to be a doctor, so that all groups get to be fairly represented in the media. Better yet is to marry up. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/zionism-british-semitic#comment-153841” cata[an

        Then this .

        “Teacher may work too. But let’s not rush into anything. We would not want Jews to be over represented among teachers, or Popes. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/zionism-british-semitic#comment-153841
        ” catalan

        Pope is out , he is not married.Not sure a doctor is advisable either.The son of a zionist running free with a needle full of ziocaine is a step too far.

      • Les
        September 15, 2015, 4:43 pm

        Mooser,

        I read this in a collection of Einstein’s speeches from the 1920’s and 1930’s published by Soncino Press with the profits dedicated to the zionist cause which he asumedly supported at the time. His observation was very brief but he compared that fact with the absurd notion that Jewish bankers were major players in German banking. This was a very small part of a speech. I would argue that we have a similar association in the US where Jewish ownership of our media outlets goes unnoticed and Jewish money is grossly inflated not just by ant=Semites but byJews as well.

      • Keith
        September 15, 2015, 5:05 pm

        CATALAN- “That’s why I would like my son to be a doctor, so that all groups get to be fairly represented in the media.”

        Like father like son, they say. When will we have the pleasure of Catalan, Jr as a Mondo commenter? Did he inherit his father’s good looks and sharp mind?

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        September 15, 2015, 5:06 pm

        Les wrote: ” … and Jewish money is grossly inflated not just by ant=Semites but byJews as well.”

        I appreciate your cap-doff to political correctness, but it’s hard to grossly inflate the economic power of a group that owns one-third of the economy —
        http://www.jta.org/2009/10/05/fundermentalist/at-least-139-of-the-forbes-400-are-jewish

        (My old link was for 2009, but it’s no lower today.)

      • Mooser
        September 15, 2015, 6:59 pm

        “I read this in a collection of Einstein’s speeches from the 1920’s and 1930’s published by Soncino Press with the profits dedicated to the zionist cause which he asumedly supported at the time.”

        Thanks Les. Yes, everybody wanted Einstein to endorse a cause, and certainly Zionism was one!

      • catalan
        September 15, 2015, 7:05 pm

        Like father like son, they say. When will we have the pleasure of Catalan, Jr as a Mondo commenter? Did he inherit his father’s good looks and sharp mind? – Keith
        Better looks and sharper mind. He won’t carry the traumas of Eastern Europe and hopefully will have a healthier self than me. If he has something interesting to say, perhaps he will write a book; rather than communicate anonymously.

      • Keith
        September 16, 2015, 1:00 am

        CATALAN- “Better looks and sharper mind.”

        Better looks and sharper mind? Are we talking the second coming, or what?

      • catalan
        September 16, 2015, 10:56 am

        “Better looks and sharper mind? Are we talking the second coming, or what”
        Keith,
        You are a good person.

      • Misterioso
        September 16, 2015, 4:05 pm

        Les: “I read this in a collection of Einstein’s speeches from the 1920’s and 1930’s published by Soncino Press with the profits dedicated to the zionist cause which he asumedly supported at the time.”

        Mooser: “Thanks Les. Yes, everybody wanted Einstein to endorse a cause, and certainly Zionism was one! ”

        In 1929, Albert Einstein responded as follows to his friend Chaim Weizmann (then president of the British Zionist Federation) who had written to him about the Jewish Zionist question:

        “Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we have learned absolutely nothing during our 2,000 years of suffering and deserve all that will come to us,” he wrote, adding, “Should the Jews not learn to live in peace with the Arabs, the struggle against them will follow them for decades in the future.” (“When Albert Einstein was a Holy Land Ladies’ Man,” Haaretz, February 3, 2015, by Gili Izkovitch)

        In 1939, he prophetically wrote: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people….we must strive for a just and lasting compromise with the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.” (Einstein and Zionism by Banesh Hoffmann)

        To quote Albert Einstein from his testimony before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in January 1946 when he was asked whether refugee settlement in Palestine demanded a Jewish state, he replied: “The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-mindedness and economic obstacles. I believe it is bad. I have always been against it.”

        In his Out of My Later Years, Einstein restated his views on partition, which was then a reality: “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.” (Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, Citadel Press, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1956; p. 263)

        “[Einstein] formulated his fascinating insights after he returned to his home in Berlin, and many years later, when he immigrated to the United States, and when he had to turn down Ben-Gurion’s offer to be the first president of Israel.

        “In a letter to his friend Ezriel Carlebach, he wrote that he would not be able to perform the duties of the office according to his conscience, and that he would have to tell the Israeli people things they ‘would not like to hear.’ ” (“When Albert Einstein was a Holy Land Ladies’ Man,” Haaretz, February 3, 2015, by Gili Izkovitch)

        In his What Price Israel?, Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal recounts that on April 1, 1952, in a message to the Children of Palestine, Inc., Einstein “spoke of the necessity to curb ‘a kind of nationalism’ which has arisen in Israel ‘if only to permit a friendly and fruitful co-existence with the Arabs.'”

        Lilienthal also relates a personal conversation with Einstein: “Dr. Einstein told me that, strangely enough, he had never been a Zionist and had never favored the creation of the State of Israel. Also, he told me of a significant conversation with [Chaim] Weizmann [then leader of the World Zionist Organization.] Einstein had asked him: ‘What about the Arabs if Palestine were given to the Jews?’ And Weizmann said: ‘What Arabs? They are hardly of any consequence.'” (What Price Israel? p. 131)

      • Mooser
        September 16, 2015, 5:29 pm

        “Einstein warned German Jews in the 1930’s that they were massively overrepresented in the media.” “Les”

        Thanks “Misterioso”! Everybody wanted Einstein on their side.

    • Richard Morris
      September 16, 2015, 9:40 am

      It is almost impossible to break through the British Jewish lobby, a phalanx of anti- gentiles even if like me one is married to a Jew. The ghastly Jewish Chronicle spends much of its time searching for anti-semites led by Melanie Phillips, about as big a bigot as one can find in the British Press. I wrote a play and a monologue Bitter Fruit of Palestine(on YouTube and Vimeo.com) and suffered attacks and accusations.
      Both our countries need a debate on the meaning of Zionism and more Jews need to declare that their first love is America/Britain and for once face up to the racism and hatred endemic in both societies. That will not happen whilst you have leaders who cannot criticize Israel without a caveat that Israel must be sure of protection. This was one of Kerry’s biggest mistakes. America should have come first in his speeches and Netanyahu should have been seen off from interference in American politics. Instead he has humiliated and shamed you as have The GOP
      wallsofdespair.blogspot.com
      Richard Morris Writer and Performer Of Bitter Fruit of Palestine

  2. David Doppler
    September 15, 2015, 12:55 pm

    But what explains the difference on this issue between the UK and America, two nations, as Churchill said, divided by a common language? Is it England’s longer history? Is it their closer relationship to things going on to the East of the Mediterranean, due to geography, prior Empire and colonialism? Their educational system?

    England was also ahead of the US in abandoning and outlawing slavery. Were there common reasons for that difference in timing, that suggest that the US following suit on Palestininian solidarity is merely a question of timing? Or are there other differences between the countries that would tend to have the US follow Israel, rather than England?

    History is now and England, wrote TS Eliot.

    • Philip Weiss
      September 15, 2015, 1:14 pm

      US is the imperial power in the world. England is finished. That explains the Israel lobby/difference. 100 years ago it was different. Chaim Weizmann went to Wilson to Amen English Balfour Declaration.

      • Krauss
        September 15, 2015, 1:35 pm

        There’s no question that the U.S. matters more than the UK, but the UK still has a seat at the U.N security council. That’s not something a ‘finished’ nation has, your hyperbole notwithstanding.

        Look at how strong the lobby is in Australia. The ex-foreign minister wrote in his book how influenced Gillard was from the Melbourne pro-Israel lobby, how 20% of party donations came from Jews. Is Australia even a middle power? The UK is far more important.

        Yet the lobby is weaker, much weaker, in the UK than it is in Australia. So I find your argument unpersuasive. It’s not an either-or issue, we can acknowledge that the U.S. matters more interntionally while at the same time question why the lobby in the UK is so much weaker than it ‘ought’ to be given the country’s relative importance on the world stage, certainly far more than either Australia or Canada.

      • echinococcus
        September 15, 2015, 2:01 pm

        Krauss,

        Nonsense. Massacres of York, just as an example.
        “Only nation”? No shit –let’s have a look at places like Italy or Greece.
        By the way, define “pogrom”.

      • W.Jones
        September 15, 2015, 6:21 pm

        Dear Phil,

        Please see my message to you and Adam below (September 15, 2015, 6:18 pm). I think that your article raises an important topic.

      • straightline
        September 15, 2015, 6:37 pm

        As someone who knows both countries well, I totally agree, Krauss, that Australia’s Zionist lobby is much stronger than in the UK – in fact, essentially in total control of Australian ME policy and public awareness. There are no Corbyns or Galloways in Australia – at least they never appear in the media. And the BBC – bad as it is – is not nearly as all-embracing of the Zionist viewpoint as the ABC.

        I don’t see what the massacre of York – vile as it was – has anything to do with this. It happened nearly 500 years before the US became a nation and 200 years before America was discovered by Columbus. At that time England was a profoundly religious Catholic country.

        There were also massacres of Protestants, Catholics, Danes, Druids, Scots, academics, royalists, anti-royalists, MacDonalds, strikers, …

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Great_Britain

      • straightline
        September 15, 2015, 6:56 pm

        The edit facility has disappeared but I’d like to add to the list “Northerners” around 200 years before the massacre of York:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrying_of_the_North

        when many thousands of people were killed for the sin of living in the North of England.

      • Bandolero
        September 15, 2015, 8:50 pm

        Krauss

        I agree with your point that the Zionist lobby in Australia is stronger than in the UK, and I may add, perhaps even stronger than in the US – so the size of global power seems not to be the reason for the strength of the Zionist lobby.

        I would like to offer a different explanation for the different strength of the Zionist lobby in various western style countries. My impression is that the Zionist lobby was really very strong a couple of years ago, say 15 years ago, in almost all western countries. But when the Zionist lobby got their way with almost all their policy ideas it caused sometimes tremendous suffering for many ordinary people. Britain, like the US, had a really strong Zionist lobby, but then, when Blair and Cheney came to power, and they did everything what the Zionist lobby wanted, especially the war on Iraq, they provoked enourmous suffering for the people and serious blowback for the lobby.

        Therefore now many people in Britain and the US are fundamentally opposed to the Blair and Cheney types and though the Zionist lobby has still a lot of power in Britain and the US, the power of the lobby shrinked. Australia has also participated in war for Israel, but people in Australia do well anyway, largely due to lot’s of new resource business with China, and so the backlash for the lobby in Australia wasn’t so serious. that theory might also explain why the Zionist lobby has so much power in Canada and France: these countries weren’t ruined so much by the extremist policies of the Zionist lobby, so the backlash is less serious.

        Germany, though, seems to be a very special case in terms of the power of the Zionist lobby. I would take the feeling of guilt for the holocaust in Germany, a large part of the population educated in socialist GDR, the German non-participation in the war on Iraq and traditional good German relations with Russia as points that are also very relevant in Germany. So, in the end, I guess, there can be many factors what makes the Zionist lobby in result stronger or weaker in a specific country.

      • Elliot
        September 16, 2015, 12:05 am

        England has had a strong socialist political movement for almost the last 100 years, long before the pink was rolled back across the world. On the other end of it, Margaret Thatcher crushed the trades union when Britain was even more finished than it is today.
        The Empire explanation doesn’t hold.
        Perhaps the times are changing. Corbyn was a surprise win. Tony Blair was supposed to have cleaned out the crazies. But then, who would have predicted Bernie Sanders’ prominence as a presidential candidate?

      • RoHa
        September 16, 2015, 12:58 am

        “when many thousands of people were killed for the sin of living in the North of England.”

        I would have thought that living in the North of England was sufficient punishment in itself.

      • echinococcus
        September 16, 2015, 1:35 am

        Straightline,

        That was in response to the following by Krauss:

        The UK is the only nation in Europe which didn’t institute pogroms against its Jewish population

        So I don’t think that the Harrying would qualify.

        Anyway, sorry for having missed the right reply button, and
        editors: is there a way to please have easy reply buttons some day?

      • just
        September 16, 2015, 6:35 am

        “Bernie Sanders rejects ‘vicious’ attack over his support for UK Labour leader

        Democratic presidential candidate accuses Super Pac associated with Hillary Clinton of crude slur after it reportedly criticised his support for Jeremy Corbyn

        An uneasy truce between Democratic presidential frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders broke down on Tuesday as the Vermont senator accused a group associated with the former secretary of state of a “vicious” attack on his support for new British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

        In a war of words that heralds a new phase in the hitherto relatively polite Democratic primary campaign, Sanders was reportedly criticised over his backing of Corbyn – the leftwing socialist who came from nowhere to win a landslide victory in the Labour leadership contest on Saturday – by Correct the Record, a so-called Super Pac that raises unlimited sums from wealthy donors to support Clinton.

        According to journalists who received an email from the group, it attacked Sanders for congratulating Corbyn on winning the Labour leadership election and drew attention to the British politician’s “most extreme comments” on foreign policy. …”

        http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/15/bernie-sanders-clinton-super-pac-jeremy-corbyn#comment-59595036

        And now there’s an uproar because Mr. Corbyn did not sing “God Save the Queen”! Rather he stood in respectful silence…

        http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2015/sep/16/jeremy-corbyn-and-the-national-anthem-a-press-chorus-of-disapproval

        Sheesh.

      • mariapalestina
        September 16, 2015, 12:05 pm

        @ RoHa “I would have thought that living in the North of England was sufficient punishment in itself.”

        As a Lancashire Lass born & bred, I take umbrage. Growing up in Northern England, even through the war years – or maybe especially through the war years – is something I wouldn’t exchange for anything. I feel truly blessed.

      • Antidote
        September 16, 2015, 12:55 pm

        @bandolero:

        “Germany, though, seems to be a very special case in terms of the power of the Zionist lobby. I would take the feeling of guilt for the holocaust in Germany, a large part of the population educated in socialist GDR, the German non-participation in the war on Iraq and traditional good German relations with Russia as points that are also very relevant in Germany.”

        Given the indisputable fact that Nazi Germany explicitly endorsed and loudly promoted Zionism (“Jews back to Palestine”), one may caution against over-ascribing any pro-Zionist attitude in Germany to “Holocaust guilt”. As one historian put it (book title: Jews in Weimar Germany): no single individual did more for Zionism than Adolf Hitler. It is he who should be displayed in the Knesset, next to fellow Austrian Herzl. Zionism like any other Eastern European (let’s remember that ‘Austria’ connotes East, rather than West) nationalist movement, is a blood and soil – movement. The only difference being that Palestine is outside Europe. Any attempt to establish a Jewish state in Europe – and there were such attempts, supported by Imperial Germany – , preferably where most Jews lived already (Poland in the interwar years) was destroyed by Polish (and Jewish) opposition.

        The GDR was absolutely anti-Zionist. Traditionally good German-Russian relations? When? Hitler-Stalin? Honecker-Gorbachev?

        Frankly, to talk about anything ‘German’ is bound to fail miserably given the plain fact that ‘German’ , like ‘Jew’, ‘Arab’, or even ‘Briton’, is a generic term, and ‘Germany’, as a state, a historically shifting and complicated affair. Give it up already

      • RoHa
        September 16, 2015, 6:44 pm

        Finished? Not quite.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptqoSZgh7q8

        Still got James Bond.

    • Krauss
      September 15, 2015, 1:20 pm

      The UK is the only nation in Europe which didn’t institute pogroms against its Jewish population. Expelled, yes, but no physical persecution.

      In addition, the Anglo nobility have always had little love lost for Jews, but the working classes have always loved us. Mosley didn’t understand this fully, because he kept seeing working-class British boys, and especially the Irish, teaming up with Jews in the streets of London whenever he organised his marches.

      So while the liberalism is there, the UK has also often had a fairly vicious press which is in many ways is far less respectful of institutions than the press in America or much of continental Europe. That limits space significantly for any lobby organisation which needs a lot of silent media support.

      P.S.

      British Jews vote conservative by a whopping 63%.
      Just 14% voted Labour in 2015. And this was with a Jewish candidate.
      I’m guessing we’ll see single-digit results in 2020 for Corbyn.

      Source: http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/142677/poll-reveals-7-10-jews-fear-jeremy-corbyn-leadership-victory

      Most French Jews are also voting UMP(right-wing). I wouldn’t be surprised if Le Pen gets more Jewish votes than PS(socialists).

      In Europe, we’re seeing a huge sea change in Jewish voting patterns and muslim immigration is at the center of this, with the increased anti-Zionism of the mainstream left-wing parties a close second.

      Also remember that money plays a much smaller role in European politics. That reduces the need for rich Zionist right-wing donors like an Adelson if you want to keep the parties pro-Zionist. They also exist in the UK, or in France, but their space is far more limited. So if they had the same amount of loose rules in EU as they do in US, I don’t think Corbyn would have survived the primary. This is why the EU is way ahead of the US on the I/P question.

      Finally, do note how many British Jews equate anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism. Those of us who insist the two are disconnected are in a very small minority, at least in the UK. I don’t imagine the situation to be better in the U.S.

    • JennieS
      September 16, 2015, 10:29 pm

      With respect to Israel the only suggestions I can offer are the extreme, and growing, influence of money in the US electoral system and the CUFI phenomenon.

      Abandonment of slavery is easier. Slaves were never common in Britain in post-Roman times serfs bound to the land rather than an individual master were the agricultural workforce for centuries. Tennant farmers succeeded the serfs when the feudal system collapsed. The big plantations of cotton, tobacco and sugar in the southern US and the Caribbean required a huge workforce so Roman Empire style slavery came back into vogue. In the UK most slaves were status symbols in the houses of the wealthy rather than a critical part of the economy.

  3. amigo
    September 15, 2015, 12:57 pm

    Would someone please inform that zioniist rag sheet that anti zionism is not anti antisemitism.

    It is zioniists who planned and carried out the Nakba and continue to steal Palestinians land and murder them in the thousands , to mention just two of their crimes . So it is perfectly normal to condemn zionist israel actions.To not condemn them would be abnormal. Well at least for normal humans who possess the ability to discern the difference between right and wrong.

    Wouldn,t it be antisemitic to turn a blind eye because Jews are involved.Hey , just asking.

  4. Kay24
    September 15, 2015, 1:21 pm

    More ridiculous thoughts/words from the zionist supporters:

    Republicans blame Iran deal for Jews unable to enjoy their new Year:

    “Last night marked the start of Rosh Hashanah — a holiday during which the Jewish people gather across the country and around the world to celebrate the new year.

    Unfortunately, what should be a time for tremendous joy has become a time for tremendous concern. Just last week, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei i expressed his hope that Israel will not exist in 25 years[…]

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/iran-deal-rosh-hashanah_55f82294e4b0c2077efc02d1

  5. John O
    September 15, 2015, 1:32 pm

    “… it was reported that even Ed Miliband, who is Jewish and the son of refugees from the Holocaust, proved unable to count on the Jewish vote at the election in May.”

    Classic lazy writing – the use of the passive voice to avoid having to back up your assertion with facts. Additionally, why should Miliband have had to count on the Jewish vote? It just does not work here in the UK anything like it does in the USA (if I recall corrctly, someone posted a detailed analysis here a while ago, showing that the Jewish vote – if there is such a thing at all – is irrelevant in the UK).

  6. Palikari
    September 15, 2015, 2:08 pm

    Anti-Zionism is no more than politically correct anti-Semitism.

    • Philip Weiss
      September 15, 2015, 2:31 pm

      So Zionism is Judaism?

      • Sibiriak
        September 15, 2015, 3:54 pm

        So Zionism is Judaism?
        ———————

        Anti-Semitism isn’t restricted to anti-Judaism. Just sayin’…

        (Not that I think anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism)

    • eljay
      September 15, 2015, 2:42 pm

      || Palikari: Anti-Zionism is no more than politically correct anti-Semitism. ||

      Both anti-Semitism and Zionism are unjust and immoral. Only a hateful and immoral hypocrite would condemn acts of injustice and immorality committed against Jews, but support acts of injustice and immorality committed by Jews.

    • talknic
      September 15, 2015, 2:57 pm

      @ Palikari “Anti-Zionism is no more than politically correct anti-Semitism”

      Judaism is Zionism? AMAZING!!!

      • Kay24
        September 15, 2015, 3:47 pm

        Anything to shut the criticism of zionism and Israel. Anything.

        Pathetic.

    • diasp0ra
      September 15, 2015, 5:08 pm

      There is no such thing as politically correct racism.

      • echinococcus
        September 15, 2015, 8:38 pm

        Well, the only incorrect racism according to the Powers That Be seems to be opposition to Zionism or tribalism.

      • Kris
        September 16, 2015, 11:24 am

        The only “politically correct” racism is against Muslims. Here’s a news article about a Muslim 9th-grader in Texas; this could never happen to a Jewish boy in the U.S. or England. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/16/they-thought-it-was-a-bomb-ahmed-mohamed-texas-9th-grader-arrested-after-bringing-a-home-built-clock-to-school/ From the article:

        Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed just wanted to get noticed by his teachers.

        Instead, he got arrested. In an incident that has raised allegations of racism and made a Texas school district the target of online outrage, the ninth grader was pulled out of school in handcuffs after a digital clock he built himself was mistaken for a bomb.

        Mohamed, a self-assured kid with thick-framed glasses and a serious expression, had just started at MacArthur High School a few weeks ago. The Irving, Tex., ninth grader has a talent for tinkering — he constructs his own radios and once built a Bluetooth speaker as a gift for his friend — and he wanted to show his new teachers what he could do. So on Sunday night, he quickly put together a homemade digital clock (“just something small,” as he casually put it to the Dallas Morning News: a circuit board and power supply connected to a digital display) and proudly offered it to his engineering teacher the next day.

        But the teacher looked wary.

        “He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” Mohamed told the Dallas Morning News. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’”

        …But the English teacher kept the clock, and during sixth period, Mohamed was pulled out of class by the principal.

        “They took me to a room filled with five officers in which they interrogated me and searched through my stuff and took my tablet and my invention,” the teen said. “They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’ I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”

        But his questioner responded, “It looks like a movie bomb to me.”

        Mohamed told NBC-Dallas Fort Worth that he was taken to police headquarters, handcuffed and fingerprinted.

      • Mooser
        September 16, 2015, 1:02 pm

        “But his questioner responded, “It looks like a movie bomb to me.””

        That must be the local police department’s “terrorism and security expert”. He’s an ex-squea…. I mean ex- Navy Seal.

    • Mooser
      September 15, 2015, 6:18 pm

      “Anti-Zionism is no more than politically correct anti-Semitism.”

      Wel, Pali old pal, see, that’s what happens when you start and operate a state like Israel and call it “the Jewish State”.
      I know, it’s supposed to work the other way round, calling it “the Jewish State” is supposed to insulate it from criticism. And it might have worked, if Israel’s transgressions were limited to folk dancing and Israeli rap music. But since Israel decided to ethnic-cleanse and politically manipulate and kill, make war, in the name of the Jewish people, you simply must expect this. Sorry.
      Why, Palikari, do you know a single f—king thing you can do about it?

    • Yossarian22
      September 16, 2015, 11:15 am

      And what is Zionism if not a socially acceptable form of Islamophobia/anti-Arab racism? After all, opposing an ethnocratic apartheid state does not make on a bigot, but supporting it does.

  7. ckg
    September 15, 2015, 2:20 pm

    …a good liberal like Digby who ought to know better says boycotting Israel is a fringe issue.

    Let me get this straight. A regularly contributing writer to Salon, where the most read article this week is “’I have never turned heads’: What it’s like when you’re not the object of desire,” is complaining that the NYT published what she called “nonsensical drivel”?

    • Donald
      September 15, 2015, 2:36 pm

      Salon is a weird mixture these days of worthless embarrassing crap and some good articles. Digby is usually good,which is what was so infuriating about her stupid condescending ignorant garbage about the BDS movement. I read her regularly and was stunned by that piece–she is generally anti-interventionist, sometimes cites Chomsky or Glenn Greenwald and I just wasn’t expecting that piece from her. The charitable assumption is that she just doesn’t follow the I/P issue closely and stuck her foot in her mouth. Could happen to anyone, I guess. Snark not intended–we are all probably ignorant or insensitive about some issues. But I hope she improves.

      As for the New Yorker, I haven’t read the article yet, but that’s the sort of crap I’ve seen for years in the “liberal” press in the US–the deliberate conscious conflating of anti-semitism and anti-Zionism with contempt for all of Europe thrown in. Europe is to some degree outside the bubble we have in the US where anti-Zionism is beyond the pale, or so I gather, so journalists like Lane carefully let their readers know what they are supposed to think about that.

      • Philip Weiss
        September 15, 2015, 3:16 pm

        Should have hat tipped you for the Digby, Donald. You directed my attention to this and told me how to think about it.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 15, 2015, 4:04 pm

        it’s worth a whole post on it’s own phil. since i read it i’ve been skewering it over in my head. that full mediate.com article is a joke (they even claim ‘liberal’ israelis started the boycott movement and have no idea apparently that american and international companies who profit off the occupation are targets of BDS). that digby is not aware of the pervasiveness of the movement on american campuses or the pushback sanders or warren have gotten over palestine, really, the whole premise that bds is a fringe movement is way behind the times.

      • Donald
        September 15, 2015, 5:56 pm

        Don’t worry about hat-tipping, Phil. I don’t care about that stuff.

        On digby, I wonder if it is a generational thing–you talk about that with the Jewish community but I think it is more widespread. We’re both about the same age, I think, but my vague impression is that many liberals about our age or older were brought up subconsciously to think that criticism of Israel was a touchy subject, bordering on antisemitism unless you watch your step and are very very careful to say that you are only criticizing certain aspects of Israel’s behavior and of course there are other people who are worse and they live in a tough neighborhood and so it’s understandable if they overreact sometimes or aren’t perfect and that’s why one should never single them out and for goodness sake, Zionism is not in any way shape or form even remotely connected to any form of racism at any time. By the time one is finished with all the caveats it’s time to hand them another 3 billion dollars for weapons purchases.

        This would be why it is difficult to get the liberal mainline churches to support BDS–I’m guessing some of the older folk are walking around with a voice in their head something like the one I just channeled. With such an attitude BDS would seem like a really fringy thing.

      • ckg
        September 15, 2015, 7:58 pm

        @annie. A few of Dan Abrams’ most recent pieces at Mediaite are

        –​Even Israel Condemns ‘Jewish Terror,’ Yet Obama Admin Still Can’t ​Do Same for ‘Islamic Terror​’
        –Conservative Blogs Explode over ‘Report’ Obama Threatened to Shoot Down Israeli Planes
        –Thousands of Homes Now Being Razed on Gaza Strip Border, So Where’s International Media Outrage? [“Well, because its Egypt and not Israel taking the action.”]

        He is always good for a laugh and to show what the firsters are thinking.

      • ckg
        September 15, 2015, 8:06 pm

        @Donald, I actually think she is the best writer Salon has.

  8. Froggy
    September 15, 2015, 2:21 pm

    The New Yorker has turned into The Daily Mail:

    • Annie Robbins
      September 15, 2015, 2:43 pm

      thanks for the video froggy. what a funny song.

    • amigo
      September 15, 2015, 3:00 pm

      Thanks for that Froggy.

      The Daily mail is the British Paper of record .Right.

      • lysias
        September 15, 2015, 3:20 pm

        Daily Mail does do a better job of reporting on the Westminster pedophile ring than the other papers do. (With the honorable exception of the Web site Exaronews.)

      • Froggy
        September 15, 2015, 4:47 pm

        Lysias : Very occasionally the DM does some splendid reporting. It’s rare, but it does happen.

      • Froggy
        September 15, 2015, 3:27 pm

        ~LOL~

        Sadly, the English paper of record is little better

      • straightline
        September 16, 2015, 1:19 am

        The British paper of record? The Times – Rupert Murdoch – say no more!

      • Rashers2
        September 16, 2015, 10:28 am

        If the “Daily Mail” is Britain’s “journal of record” then something has happened since last I was in London (6 weeks ago)! I would argue that, for some decades (roughly since Murdoch acquired the “Thunderer”), the “Daily Telegraph” has been considered the journal of record. The DM has a distinctly chequered editorial history, having flirted in the `30s with Sir Oswald Mosley & his Blackshirts; and as late as 1938 having strongly opposed Jewish immigration from Nazi-controlled Europe. Today, with few but honourable exceptions, the DM generally toes the Zio-path line when reporting on I-P. That paper is several things, but the UK’s journal of record, it ain’t!

      • Froggy
        September 16, 2015, 1:22 pm

        Ah, Rashers2…. Amigo is Irish. He knows that despite my being French, I really like the Brits. I even married one. Amigo is just winding me up. ;)

      • Rashers2
        September 16, 2015, 1:43 pm

        To Froggy: Sometimes, I can be very literal-minded:-)

      • Froggy
        September 16, 2015, 3:13 pm

        LOL So can we all.

        I’m off to London tomorrow. I’ll keep you informed. ;)

      • amigo
        September 16, 2015, 3:02 pm

        “Ah, Rashers2…. Amigo is Irish. He knows that despite my being French, I really like the Brits. I even married one. Amigo is just winding me up. ;) – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/zionism-british-semitic#comment-153841” Froggy.

        Quite so Froggy.I have a certain suspicion for tabloids . 65 % pictures , 30 % ads and the balance mostly gossip or small talk. Proof of their value can be found strewn on the seats of public transport left by those who hurriedly scanned the headlines (you know the ones that almost always end with , ????? , as in, did so and so do such and such , which makes it a question rather than an accusation and keeps the Solicitors at bay ,) and donate the remnants, minus page 3 , to the next commuter .

        You would do well in Ireland given your penchant for self deprecation (calling yourself Froggy or is that your spouses pet name for you), as we Irish always fend off criticism by beating others to the punch.

      • Froggy
        September 16, 2015, 3:58 pm

        Amigo : Like you, I don’t trust the tabloids. However, I have seen the DM do some great reporting. It’s rare, but it does happen.

        Back in the US one of the local kids wanted to know why my sons had such strange names, like Loïck and Tugdual. When my sons explained to the kid that my family came from France and that we spoke French and Breton at home, the kid replied, ‘Y’mean she’s a frog’.

        It started with the kids and then spread. Funny thing: When I got to France it was only a matter of months before the local people started referring to me as ‘La Grenouille’. It’s part of an old Breton legend.

        The French laugh about being called ‘Frogs’.

        As for the Irish, all our closest friends in England are Irish. (‘Closest’ as in they have keys to our house.) We’re all musicians, and I was lead singer until I relocated to France. Just the other night I got a request from a local Breton neighbour who speaks no English at all to sing a Song for Ireland and Bright Blue Rose.

        Great people, the Irish.

  9. JLewisDickerson
    September 15, 2015, 2:21 pm

    RE: “‘New Yorker’ says anti-Zionism is ‘firmly rooted’ in British left, and it’s anti-Semitic”

    FOR SOME BACKGROUND, SEE: “Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle” / by Evan Jones / Counterpunch.org / August 28, 2015

    [EXCERPTS] Jeremy Corbyn is a longtime British Labour MP, hitherto little known outside Britain. Following the resignation of Labour leader Ed Miliband, Corbyn is one of four MPs who have nominated in the leadership contest, currently subject to ballot amongst Party members and supporters until 10 September.

    Corbyn has been subject to a tsunami of criticism and abuse since his nomination, providing abundant evidence on the odious character of the current British political establishment and on the farce that is curiously labeled the democratic process.

    Moreover, Corbyn, supporter of the Palestinian cause, has experienced full guns blazing from official British Jewry. On 12 August, the Jewish Chronicle broadsided with ‘The key questions that Jeremy Corbyn must answer’. With the emphasis on ‘must’.

    Soon after, Jewish Labour MP Ivan Lewis becomes ‘the first senior Labour politician to attack Corbyn’s credentials on anti-Semitism’. And there will be more to come. How could anyone who finds Israel’s actions unacceptable imagine that they had the right to become leader of a major British political Party? . . .

    . . . Thus the pro-Palestinian Jeremy Corbyn is naturally a target of this trusty weapon. Frankly, I don’t like his chances. If he manages to transcend the slur and its baggage, it will be a new day.

    On the subject of this crime by Zionism against Jewry itself, one is perennially drawn to the stance of the philosopher Michael Neumann, outlined in Cockburn and St. Clair’s 2003 The Politics of Anti-Semitism. Neumann notes that definitional inflation cheapens the currency. (One might add that, as in Gresham’s Law in economics, ‘bad money drives out good’.)

    With respect to the growth of Arab anti-Semitism, Neumann notes:

    “… its chief cause is not anti-Semitic propaganda but the decades’ old (sic), systematic and unrelenting efforts of Israel to implicate all Jews in its crimes.”

    Is opposition to the settlements (the Jews’ claimed historic right toEretz Israel) anti-Semitic? Claims Neumann:

    “… since we are obliged to oppose the settlements, we are obliged to be anti-Semitic. Through definitional inflation, some form of anti-Semitism becomes morally obligatory.

    “… anti-Zionism is a moral obligation, so, if anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism is a moral obligation.”

    The Zionist armory, if one can be excused a mixed metaphor, has no clothes. It is long overdue that Zionism and its incarnation in the state of Israel be subject to the supposedly universal standards of reason, humanity and moral integrity.

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/28/zionism-in-britain-a-neglected-chronicle/

  10. Annie Robbins
    September 15, 2015, 2:48 pm

    just followed the digby link, wow is she ever wrong — behind the times on what the left us up to. maybe she’s not aware netanyahu task a cabinet ministry to deal w/the ‘threat’ bds and funded that effort w/millions. or that billionaire adelson is dedicating 50 mil to fighting it. i’m sure colbert knows this as do his advertisers.

  11. yourstruly
    September 15, 2015, 3:02 pm

    Lane envisions Labor MPs as being opposed to Jeremy Corbyn’s leftist proposals. Initially maybe, but watch them move to the left as the popular support that gave Corbyn his victory puts pressure on Labor MPs to rally behind their new leader. And despite Lane’s belief that proposals for public ownership of railroads and dismantling Britain’s Trident missiles belong to a prior era, opinion polls indicate that such proposals still resonate with the public. Having participated a half-century ago in one of Britain’s Aldermaston Marches, I can attest to the strength and fervor of the antinuclear movement there, today just as much as yesterday, based on the Scottish National Party’s call for ridding itself of the Trident.

  12. piotr
    September 15, 2015, 3:10 pm

    “the honorable traditions of Jewish socialism” was historically anti-Zionist.

    Once I was quite startled. I was web surfing and I stumbled on a web site of ONR, a Polish acronym that is lovingly resurrected from 1930-ties, “National-Radical Camp”, in 1930-ties they represented radical right wing opposition to the statist government. And one old-timer was reminiscing about those good old days when his group would collaborate with Betar boys to trash offices of Bund. Betar, Jabotynsky’s organization, was perhaps fascist and perhaps not, same as ONR, but both had the habit of beating up socialists and at occasion they were doing it together. I must stress that I knew about it from family anecdotes too.

    Clearly, what confuses Lane is that Corbyn represents the surviving internationalist (contrasting with nationalist), and anti-colonialist strain of Socialism (which in Britain was never truly Marxist). That prompts him to invite the “natives” to present their perspective, and to address them politely, hence “friends”. Liberals were never egalitarian internationalists, but applying “properly vile” language to “uncouth natives” drops from their tongues with less ease than for the right wing.

    Liberals are kind of hybrids. They believe in equal rights, but they also believe in capitalist order where the ruling class has their well deserved place, and tries to achieve an amalgam. They feel best as “technocrats”, and they absorb elitism that effectively treats the “natives” as subhumans. So, my friend Phillip, you are not a true liberal, you are not a hybrid. HRC is definitely a liberal, Bernie barely makes it. I know that there are appalling quotes about his foreign policy views, but to me it seems that he did his darn least not to be booted out of Democratic Party caucus, or slapped with some type of label like “Caution, an extremist, he bites”.

    So to Lane visit to Corbynian England was something of a tropical adventure, “ubi leones”. Denizens should be assumed dangerous (e.g. anti-Semitic) and approached with utmost caution. Luckily, he lives to tell the tale and shares his harrowing experience with the readers of NYT. But his mind is still reeling, so the account contains incongruities.

    • Philip Weiss
      September 15, 2015, 3:18 pm

      Thanks Piotr, for excellent taxonomy, which I didn’t know. I accept the hybrid designation! P

    • straightline
      September 16, 2015, 1:41 am

      @piotr: “anti-colonialist strain of Socialism (which in Britain was never truly Marxist)”

      Morgan Phillips – one-time General Secretary of the Labour Party: “The Labour Party owes more to Methodism than to Marx.”

  13. amigo
    September 15, 2015, 3:12 pm

    It,s amazing how the British left has always been antisemitic.Harold Wilson was a leftie as was Barbara Castle———- but ?.

    “What is now forgotten is Wilson’s staunch Zionism – an unfashionable trait today among the Labour left from whose ranks he originally hailed. And Wilson’s commitment to Israel was intimately connected to his socialism. As his political secretary, Baroness Falkender, later explained: “Wilson admired Israel’s determined development as a socialist state.”Alongside his hero, Aneurin Bevan, and perhaps his two closest political allies, Richard Crossman and Barbara Castle, the future prime minister formed close relationships during the 1950s with a number of young Israelis who were later to become leading politicians: Yigal Allon, Chaim Herzog, and Teddy Kollek. For Wilson, these young men were “social democrats who made the desert flower”.

    http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/comment/123990/wilson-

    • straightline
      September 16, 2015, 1:25 am

      Wilson was brainwashed, as I was at that time. At the time, I saw Israel as some kind of socialist utopia because we weren’t told about how it had been achieved and the realities of the Nakba. Palestinians didn’t exist in the information sources we read at the time. I don’t believe Wilson would be a Zionist knowing what we know now.

  14. lysias
    September 15, 2015, 3:13 pm

    Earlier in the month, the New Yorker ran an excellent piece by Ruth Margalit making it clear how awful the lives of even those Palestinians who are Israeli citizens are in Israel. An Exile in the Corn Belt: Israel’s funniest Palestinian writer decamps to the Midwest.

  15. piotr
    September 15, 2015, 3:16 pm

    By the way, can one of true liberals (not you, Phillip!) explain what UK gains from purchasing nuclear missiles from USA and operating submarines that carry them? Germany, Japan, Spain, South Korea etc. are doing just fine without them. I would also like an explanation of the superiority of private Amtrak and British railroad companies over French and German railroads.

  16. piotr
    September 15, 2015, 3:33 pm

    About the weirdness prevalent in Corbynland: “…archetypal resident of the British far left: a bearded, bicycle-riding, teetotal vegetarian from Islington, in north London. The image is lazy and unjust; in Corbyn’s case, unfortunately, it also happens to be true. ”

    What is unfortunate here: the beard, the bicycle, or the lack of ethanol and meat in the diet? Or is the combination singularly obnoxious? Frankly, I have hard time understanding Lane’s thinking. I mean, I understand that faced with the unknown that is beyond the realm of his experience he resorts to a bemused and patronizing posture, and regains his mental equilibrium by reciting common wisdoms that was drilled into him (including the bit about “anti-semitic left”), but I have hard time getting any empathy for it.

  17. Brewer
    September 15, 2015, 3:33 pm

    “Imagine if an American politician, running for high office, had been filmed uttering those sentences ” i.e. proposing talks with Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Nothing could more graphically illustrate the parlous state of the U.S. media-driven group-think.
    The only way to accord with one’s perceived foes is through dialogue. Abandon dialogue and all that is left is violent conflict. Violent conflict leads only to greater polarization and, no matter who wins, sews the seeds of later and greater conflict.

    • JWalters
      September 15, 2015, 8:33 pm

      Violent conflict is the goal. The wealth of war buys up the media and keeps the people ignorant and thrashing at each other.

  18. Sibiriak
    September 15, 2015, 4:24 pm

    Anti-Zionism is firmly rooted in parts of the left-wing agenda in the U.K., and protestations that it should not be confused with anti-Semitism bear more than a shade of naïveté, especially in a year when Jews have been targeted and murdered in mainland Europe for being Jews.

    —————–

    Zero logic. How do instances of Jews being targeted as Jews (i.e. instances of anti-Semitism) demonstrate the “naïveté ” of rejecting the anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism fallacy? Instances of anti-Semitism can only prove the existence of anti-Semitism, period.

    • JWalters
      September 15, 2015, 8:37 pm

      You are completely correct, of course. The war profiteers who control the media, like all con artists, must wave their hands to obscure actual logic.

      How else to explain such apparently blind and stupid media owners?

  19. MHughes976
    September 15, 2015, 4:26 pm

    The argument that opposition to Zionism has long existed on the Left in this country but that it must be snti-Semitic, ie based on prejudice against Jews, because some Jews have been murdered for being Jews elsewhere, and only recently. – so not particularly relevant to long-held ideas – is wildly illogical. If there has been an anti-Jewish atrocity in recent times the existence of this atrocity does not prove, does not even suggest, that all objections to something done over the long years by people who are Jewish are without rational foundation. Who has bewitched these journalists and their besotted readers?

  20. a blah chick
    September 15, 2015, 5:15 pm

    “Corbyn is dangerous…and he’s unelectable!”

    ?

    • RoHa
      September 16, 2015, 1:08 am

      ? indeed, a blah chick. Corbyn can only be dangerous if his party gets elected into power.

  21. Keith
    September 15, 2015, 5:56 pm

    PHIL- “As for the casual equation of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, it’s just thick.”

    Not long ago I would have agreed, now I am not so sure. I am slowly working my way toward the conclusion that there are two types of anti-Semitism. The classical definition involves hatred and/or bias against individuals who are Jews simply because the are Jews. Objectively, the levels of classical anti-Semitism are low relatively speaking. I am now beginning to think that when Zionists talk about anti-Semitism, they are not talking about classical anti-Semitism, rather, they are referring to attitudes and actions which pose a threat to the Jews as a people, that is to the exclusivist Jewish tribe and all of the advantages which tribal solidarity and kinship provide.

    “Yeshayahu Leibowitz, an observant Jew, said years ago that the Jewish religion had practically died 200 years ago, and that the only thing that unites all Jews now is the Holocaust.” (Uri Avnery)

    I think that this is more or less true. Zionism, exploiting the Holocaust, has replaced Judaism as the unifier of the Jews as a tribe/people/kinship network. It is this ideology of victimhood which unites the various strands of Jews, anti-Semitism being most anything which threatens this unity and/or group goal seeking. From this perspective, anything which threatens Jewish group power and influence is considered an existential threat to Jews and Jewishness. As such, there is a hyper-sensitivity to any criticism and/or opposition to Jews, Jewishness or Zionism. The very notion of an anti-Semitic “trope” is little more than a dismissive label. Has anyone ever written about an anti-Gentile trope? Or taken massive numbers of polls to measure Jewish attitudes towards Gentiles? Ultimately, it comes down to the anti-Semitic threat posed by assimilation, something which terrifies most Zionists.

    “Therefore, the real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past. The most important part of such a critique must be detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.” (Israel Shahak)

    • MHughes976
      September 16, 2015, 3:21 pm

      We may all define terms as we like. If anti-Semitism is anti-Jewish prejudice it’s irrational and wrong. If anti-Semitism is opposition to plans and projects to which a substantial majority of Jewish people are strongly committed it may not be irrational or wrong, because no human group is impeccable.

  22. ritzl
    September 15, 2015, 5:56 pm

    Hmmm.

    And because a generational shift inside Jewish life is giving the left permission to embrace the Palestinian cause.

    Not because the “left” is acting on the easily observable’ crystal clear morality of the issue, with or without “permission” from anybody, Jewish or otherwise?

    I think normal people ARE acting on the morality, completely independent of Jewish sentiment. The Jewish “generational shift” is a result of that action, not the cause of it. The shift comes because younger Jews who venture outside the cloister/”community” (or to MW!) get an earful or several.

  23. W.Jones
    September 15, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Dear Phil and Adam,

    As you can see from the title of this article that you have posted- and you are excellent writers, one of the main issues is the charge and sensitivity over anti-Semitism.

    My question for you is whether it is appropriate for us to declare that even when anti-Semitism is real, in the current context there is too much sensitivity about it? The problem with making a declaration like that though is that I don’t want to deny anti-Semitism’s existence either.

    Let me give a few examples. Iran had a kind of Holocaust “Revisionist” conference a few years ago. That’s nasty, and of course it’s right for people to criticize it. But it seems that some people go overboard to the extent that it becomes a motivating factor driving the war with Iran. I mean, I think that people are genuinely incensed and feel very strongly about that, or about something that they might find in the Hamas charter referring to Jews, which I don’t need to recite here. But in truth, Hamas and Iran don’t actually propose intensely persecuting the Jewish people like in WWII Europe, since there is a significant Jewish population in Iran. At the same time, there is clearly no desire on our part to see any discrimination or theocracy in Iran as positive – it is harmful.

    Just objectively speaking, it seems like there are two factors driving confrontation with Iran and Hamas. One of them of course is militarism and a drive to have armed conquest instead of resolving things peacefully, a militarism that reflects the Clash of Civilizations.

    But the second factor appears to be a sincere opposition to anti-Semitism, but one that seems to be an overreaction, considering the current balance of forces. To give another kind of example closer to home, look at the firing of Steven Salaita or MJ Rosenberg’s past diatribes against Ali Abunimah. I think that at least one partial motivation is that the accusers are sincerely concerned about anti-Semitism, and they see it indirectly in Salaita’s tweets about Gaza or Ali A’s comments about Zionists. The other motivation is of course their own positions on the IP conflict, which prevents them from seeing that Salaita and Ali A are genuinely opposing militarism directed against Palestinians and are not chiefly coming from some kind of anti-Semitic background.

    So considering these two factors, is it appropriate to not only object to the militarist “answers” that the Neocons and hawks propose for the Middle East, but also to explain that their concerns about anti-Semitism are oversensitive? Is it OK to advocate openly for less sensitivity about anti-Semitism? But to do that would also feel wrong. How could it be appropriate to tell people to care less about intolerance? Wouldn’t that be downplaying genuine feelings of concern? If so, should that debate or motivation simply be avoided?

    What do you think, Phil and Adam?

  24. Mooser
    September 15, 2015, 6:26 pm

    “The shift comes because younger Jews who venture outside the cloister/”community” (or to MW!) get an earful or several.”

    Just as an estimate, what % of American Jews are ,inside the “cloister/”community”?
    What would you put it at?

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      September 15, 2015, 7:29 pm

      Mooser asks: “Just as an estimate, what % of American Jews are ,inside the “cloister/community”?”

      I would like to hear ritzl’s (and everybody else’s) answer to this too.

      My estimate is still extremely high, somewhere around 95%.

      • Mooser
        September 15, 2015, 9:03 pm

        “My estimate is still extremely high, somewhere around 95%.”

        So you think 95% of six million Jews are in the community/cloister? MJ Rosenberg says 82% of American Jews have no affiliation with organized Judaism. It’s hard to know what to think.

    • ritzl
      September 15, 2015, 8:53 pm

      Mooser,

      Inside? Using the Pew poll of a few years ago, I’d say somewhere between the 69% who are strongly or somewhat attached to Israel (aka Zionists), and the 56% who are not intermarried.

      Call it 50% given that “somewhat” is pretty vague and I’m pretty sure it’s possible to not be intermarried and still be aware of/disgusted by the violent oppressive reality in Palestine. Probably less than half in the under-40 age group (58% intermarriage rate in the last 15 years).

      http://www.pewforum.org/2013/10/01/jewish-american-beliefs-attitudes-culture-survey/

      Outside, or in-out-in? Enough to get an alternative data dump of sufficient quantity and volume to cause questioning/a generational shift.

      That’s US.

      Inside Israel, the number inside (per Elliot’s personal anecdotes and Dan Cohen’s article on the “free-thinking” Tel Aviv bubble) probably approaches 100%.

      Globally inside? Say 75%.

      Imho.

  25. RoHa
    September 15, 2015, 7:53 pm

    One of the pillars of the old Labour Party left was Ian Mikardo. He was also a staunch Zionist.

  26. JWalters
    September 15, 2015, 8:53 pm

    “[I]ntellectually speaking, they are playing checkers on the lip of Vesuvius.”

    The slaveholders in America reacted to the abolitionist movement with scorn, condescension, and indignation. But history was not on the side of their supremacist assumptions. Their tenacity only multiplied the eventual useless bloodshed.

  27. yonah fredman
    September 15, 2015, 10:51 pm

    “Anti-Zionism is firmly rooted in parts of the left-wing agenda in the U.K., and protestations that it should not be confused with anti-Semitism bear more than a shade of naïveté, especially in a year when Jews have been targeted and murdered in mainland Europe for being Jews.” I don’t know the nuances of antiZionism in the U.K. compared to the US or other locations, but I find the sentence by Anthony Lane to be superficial.

    I find this retort from Phil Weiss to be highly insufficient: One reason that Jews were targeted and murdered in mainland Europe– as Abe Foxman and the Jewish People Policy Institute and Norman Finkelstein all suggest or say– is because of Israel’s massacre in Gaza. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/zionism-british-semitic#comment-153841

    AntiSemitism in Europe by the Muslim European population cannot be dismissed as merely a consequence of Israeli policy. If you are a Jew at a kosher store or bringing your kids to a Jewish school and you are murdered, there is no solace in the claim: Oh, they killed you because of what israel did in Gaza, not because you were Jewish per se. as if this is solace or sufficient explanation. This is superficial in its own way.

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/zionism-british-semitic#comment-153841

    • Donald
      September 16, 2015, 9:41 am

      The point, I think, is not that violent anti-semitism doesn’t exist or that it can never be linked in some cases to anti-Zionism. The point is that Lane is illegitimately smearing the idea that Palestinians have the right to live in their own homeland. He is being racist himself, unconsciously no doubt, but that’s the implication of his words.

    • Rashers2
      September 16, 2015, 11:46 am

      YF: “Anti[-]Semitism in Europe by the Muslim European population cannot be dismissed as merely a consequence of Israeli policy.”
      1) So European anti-Semitism is principally the preserve of the Muslim European population, is it? And how many European Muslims from e. g. France, Germany or Britain do you consort with and count among friends? I’m sorry to disabuse you, but a lot of negative sentiment towards the obviously Jewish (i. e. Orthodox) segments of European Jewry is PRECISELY because the sainted Mr. Mileikowsky and his cohorts persistently conflate Israel/Zionism with world Jewry, encouraging outsiders to identify all Jews, everywhere, with the policies being prosecuted by Israel against Gaza and the OWB; and within Israel against non-Jewish citizens – who, I don’t need to tell you, are predominantly Arab and Muslim. This is not any kind of an excuse for anti-Semitic violence against Jews but it IS blowback from Israeli policies and from the deliberate attempts by Israeli Zionists (and some of their non-Israeli apologists) to aggregate Diaspora European Jews, be they in France, Denmark or elsewhere, with the Zionism of the “Jewish state” in Israel.
      YF: “If you are a Jew at a kosher store or bringing your kids to a Jewish school and you are murdered, there is no solace in the claim: Oh, they killed you because of what [I]srael did in Gaza, not because you were Jewish per se. as if this is solace or sufficient explanation.” I have not seen it argued anywhere here to the contrary. No, of course it is no solace to the families; and it is of course not a sufficient explanation. Have you, however, considered whether, had Israel NOT embarked upon “Protective Edge” (and on “Cast Lead”; and on “Pillar of Defence”) and killed so many innocent children, elderly and other civilians in Gaza; and if it did not routinely commit thefts and extra-judicial killings in the OWB and East Jerusalem; the Porte de Vincennes supermarket or the Toulouse atrocities would have occurred? What motive did the perpetrator of the Toulouse attacks give for his actions? “The Jews kill our brothers and sisters in Palestine.” Ask yourself, too, whether the murderer (who was, from the MSM accounts, not the sharpest nail in the toolbox but a psychotic, radicalised petty criminal) would to same extent have identified French Jews in Toulouse with the actions of Israeli forces against Palestinians, if Zionist politicians didn’t continually claim to speak and act in the names of all Jews.

  28. RoHa
    September 16, 2015, 1:14 am

    Nice article here, along with a wonderful picture of Corbyn in Labour Party uniform.

    “Jeremy Corbyn: The Marxist-Maoist Hiding Under Your Daughter’s Bed”

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/jeremy-corbyn-marxist-maoist-hiding-under-your-daughters-bed/ri9746

  29. unverified__5ilf90kd
    September 16, 2015, 10:04 am

    Corbyn said “our friends from Hezbollah” – everyone in the UK knows that this is polite way of saying “the people from Hezbollah”. It is nothing more than this. But as usual some Jews and others in the UK and the USA are trying to use this to slime him. They are upset with him because he cares about the poor and marginal in society. They also want to punish him because he criticizes Israel honestly and supports Palestinian solidarity and BDS. As a UK citizen it is my opinion that he would agree with our Mondoweiss group about nearly everything. We would find him to be an admirable colleague. Ron

    • Froggy
      September 16, 2015, 10:48 am

      Ron : My English husband agrees with you wrt the British use of ‘our friends’.

      This usage is not something I ever heard when I lived in the US.

      • Kris
        September 16, 2015, 10:58 am

        We used to hear it in the U.S. Senate. Senators would refer to each other as “my good friend, the Senator from (wherever),” whether they were really friends or not.

    • echinococcus
      September 16, 2015, 11:25 am

      And even if it weren’t just a figure of style, what’s wrong in being friends with the Hizbullah?

      Why do you feel that strange urge to try and excuse the word or suggest it was not meant as such?

      The Hizbullah just happens to be the one and only force on Earth that fought and fights effectively against Zionist invasion. Unlike you, me, Mondoweiss, the UN or the treasonous PA puppets. I understand that Zionists and their allies would feel that being friends with the Hizbullah is a slur.

      Corbyn being honestly opposed to Zionism is not, I am sure, unfriendly with freedom fighters. The only ones, in fact, that have both handed their ass to the Zionist invaders and kept Lebanon together against huge odds.

  30. Vera Gottlieb
    September 16, 2015, 11:40 am

    And those who opposed Hitler…what would they have been called?

  31. Vera Gottlieb
    September 16, 2015, 11:41 am

    And what would those Germans, who opposed Hitler, have been called??? NO, MONDOWEISS, I HAVEN’T POSTED THIS COMMENT BEFORE.

  32. SnowLeopard
    September 16, 2015, 11:49 am

    “….playing checkers on the lip of Vesuvius.”

    I’ve never heard this phrase before and find nothing about it on the web. Phillip, from where did you this interesting turn of phrase?

  33. Rashers2
    September 16, 2015, 12:09 pm

    Writing as one unlikely to vote for the Labour Party (and thus for Mr. Corbyn as Prime Minister) in a British general election, his convincing win of the Labour leadership strikes me one of best things to have happened in British political life for a generation. This, not least, because I hope that his elevation to principal spokesman of the main parliamentary opposition group will bring discussion and debate over I-P into the mainstream political arena; and tear down some of the taboos and shibboleths, which have existed since the end of WWII.
    It would astonish me if Corbyn were an anti-Semite or anything close to it, except to the extent that the expression is attempted to be “redefined” by Zionists as “anyone opposed to or critical of Israel/Zionism” or, “anyone who stands up for Palestinian equality and dignity”!
    The antic side of me hopes that Corbyn will encourage George Galloway, from whom the Labour whip was withdrawn over the Iraq war, to return to the Labour Party fold and, next year, contest the London mayoralty as the party’s official candidate! How I might vote in that election would be between the ballot box and me…

  34. ivri
    September 16, 2015, 5:01 pm

    Just curious: whatever happened to the arrest-petition for Netanyahu in the UK? Is he in jail there? I guess with Corbyn`s election now it could be quite scary for him there

  35. straightline
    September 16, 2015, 5:24 pm

    You too can go to the site, ivri – here it is. It’s does not have a password only known to anti-Zionists.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105446

    It is still getting signatures albeit a little more slowly since it hit 110000. It’s now at 112009. Scary for who? Netanyahu? Good! Perhaps he is safer to stay home. Of course, Corbyn is only so far elected to be Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition. However, I think the petition and the election of Corbyn will make the Prime Minister think think twice before issuing another invitation in the near future. Sara will have to do her Harrods and Fortnum and Mason shopping by mail. And I suspect other countries – leaving aside the US of course – will take note.

    • mariapalestina
      September 16, 2015, 5:58 pm

      Sadly a similar petition in the U.S. protesting Netanyahu’s visit next month has garnered only 2780 signatures so far. Not much chance of reaching the 100,000 goal by October 8th. The British petition was open to Brits & residents of the U.K. This one is open to everyone. Go figure.

      https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/netanyahu-hold-talks-new-york-month-under-international-law-he-should-be-arrested-war-crimes

      • echinococcus
        September 16, 2015, 7:15 pm

        Welcome to the US of A. All it needs is somebody who can buy a TV corporation.

      • Froggy
        September 16, 2015, 7:41 pm

        Mariapalestina : “This one is open to everyone. “

        Even non-citizens who live abroad?

      • mariapalestina
        September 16, 2015, 8:41 pm

        Seems so. You don’t even need a zip code, and I see nothing about its being limited to U.S. citizens or residents.

      • Froggy
        September 17, 2015, 3:44 am

        Oh goodie! The entire family will sign.

      • ivri
        September 16, 2015, 10:51 pm

        “Only 2780 signatures” (in the US)
        Don`t give up too fast. If I am not wrong the scheduled date of the visit is a month later: Nov 9.

      • RoHa
        September 17, 2015, 5:37 am

        If It is not restricted to US citizens, I shall append my august signature.

      • b.grand
        September 17, 2015, 6:34 am

        Ivri,

        Bibi wil be in NY at the end of Sept. (this month) to speak at UN. But that date, or his Nov. meeting in DC, are not the deciding factor. White House petitions are given one month to reach their goal.

        OCTOBER 8 is the DEADLINE. (Says so right on the petition.) If you want to try again for Nov., you have to start from square one.

        (If a petition reaches 100,000 within the time limit, people can continue to sign until the White House makes its response.)

      • b.grand
        September 17, 2015, 6:47 am

        Maria,

        Thanks for the reminder. As well as having less resistance to activism (like the Europeans),
        obviously the Brits were better organized and really pushed this thru social media. These things can’t go viral unless people know about them, and believe it or not, that takes effort– not just signing, but mega-sharing.

        BTW, Annie and other MW editors refused to give this petition its own page under Activism, (I sent them an email at For submissions contact: [email protected]) so it’s random luck that I even saw your post today.

        Petitions may be futile gestures, but in this grossly asymmetric battle I think we should be needling our gov’t. and the Israel Lobby when and wherever possible.

        Thanks again, Maria

      • straightline
        September 17, 2015, 3:48 pm

        @RoHa I think it would be better to append your September signature.

      • RoHa
        September 17, 2015, 7:23 pm

        I like living in the past.

      • straightline
        September 18, 2015, 7:19 am

        It seems – according to RT – that the British Government has rejected the Netanyahu petition, stating that under international law heads of government are immune. The commenters, by and large, realise this is a lie. As one said, “Would Assad be immune?”.

        http://www.rt.com/uk/315763-rejected-parliament-netanyahu-arrested/

  36. mariapalestina
    September 17, 2015, 4:28 pm

    On the subject of petitions, this one that demands an end to the Gaza blockade is doing very well. Haaretz reported on the fact half a million signed in just the first day. Currently it’s at 664,271 and could well reach a million.

    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/gaza_blockade_aida/?cPtiBbb

    I’ve been checking in occasionally to note the different countries indicated by people who’ve signed. I know there are others I’ve missed, but these I’ve seen. (Interesting so many in Mexico and South & Central America. Sad to have seen so very few from Israel or Palestine)

    Albania
    Algeria
    Andorra
    Argentina
    Australia
    Austria
    Azerbaijan
    Belarus
    Belgium
    Bolivia
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Brazil
    Bulgaria
    Canada
    Czech Republic
    Chile
    Colombia
    Congo DPR
    Congo PR
    Costa Rica
    Cote d’Ivoire
    Croatia
    Cyprus
    Denmark
    Dominican Republic
    Ecuador
    El Salvador
    Estonia
    Ethiopia
    Fiji
    Finland
    France
    French Guiana
    French Polynesia
    Gambia
    Germany
    Gibraltar
    Greece
    Guadeloupe
    Guatemala
    Guinea
    Honduras
    Hong Kong
    Hungary
    Iceland
    India
    Indonesia
    Iran
    Ireland
    Israel
    Italy
    Japan
    Jordan
    Lebanon
    Luxembourg
    Malaysia
    Malta
    Martinique
    Mauritius
    Mexico
    Morocco
    Mozambique
    Netherlands
    New Caledonia
    New Zealand
    Nicaragua
    Niger
    Norway
    Pakistan
    Palestine
    Panama
    Paraguay
    Peru
    Poland
    Portugal
    Puerto Rico
    Qatar
    Reunion
    Romania
    Russia
    Saudi Arabia
    Serbia
    Singapore
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    South Africa
    South Korea
    Spain
    Sri Lanka
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Taiwan
    Thailand
    Tunisia
    Turkey
    Ukraine
    United Arab Emirates
    UK
    USA
    Uruguay
    Uzbekistan
    Venezuela
    Vietnam

  37. Gregory Wonderwheel
    September 18, 2015, 9:37 am

    Lane lives with the delusion that anti-Zionism is exactly the same position as anti-Semitism, so there is clearly nothing that can be done to change his opinion. He is just delusional in his “Israel can do no wrong” position. Basically, Anthony Lane is an agent provacature and lobbyist for Israel.

  38. Boo
    September 18, 2015, 11:23 am

    “Imagine if an American politician, running for high office, had been filmed uttering those sentences. His or her candidacy would have dropped off a cliff. The truly disturbing aspect, though, is that … it caused such a minimum of fuss”

    What disturbs me is the reprehensible philosophy that underlies an analysis like this, and the writer’s expectation that there’s such widespread public agreement with it here in the US — and it’s such a shibboleth issue — that any candidate who said something similar to Corbyn’s would immediately render herself unelectable.

  39. DaBakr
    September 18, 2015, 5:56 pm

    So PW is angry because the US hasn’t embraced the wonderful friendship of the Hamas and Hezbollah. And he blames Zionists completely blind to the millions of American citizens with integrity loyalty and common sense.

    • Mooser
      September 18, 2015, 6:33 pm

      “And he blames Zionists completely blind to the millions of American citizens with integrity loyalty and common sense.”

      I fully understand your high freedom-of-speech ideals “DaBakr”, but do you think it is wise, considering the damage PW could do to impressionable young Jewish minds, to let him go on posting on your blog?

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