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Volume 2, Issue 1 (May 2008 / Nissan 5768)
Article 2/9
   
 

Reflections from Australia: Are Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism One and The Same?
Philip Mendes[1]


Abstract: This paper explores the historical and political context of left-wing attitudes to Zionism and Israel, with particular reference to Australia. Attention is drawn to three different perspectives: the spectrum of views on the broad Left, the Jewish Left, and the Jewish mainstream... It is argued that historically anti-Zionism and antisemitism were divergent ideas.

However in recent decades anti-Zionism and antisemitism have increasingly converged. Left anti-Zionism today, defined as a rejection of the legitimacy of the State of Israel and a desire to negate the reality of its existence, involves a discriminatory denial of Jewish national claims and nationhood. In place of the centrality of the State of Israel to contemporary Jewish identity, Left anti-Zionists portray Israel as a mere political construct, and utilize ethnic stereotyping of all Israelis and all Jewish supporters of Israel in order to justify their claims.

The question as to whether anti-Zionism and antisemitism are one and the same thing inevitably correlates with attitudes to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Those who lean toward the "Greater Israel" end of the spectrum are more likely to answer yes, whilst those who favor the "Greater Palestine" solution are more likely to answer no.[2] As a long-time supporter of Israel but also of two states for two peoples, I sit close to the middle of these two positions on the spectrum, and hence my response to the question is necessarily a complex one. That is, yes and no.

In historical terms, the answer is obviously no. Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are separate ideologies. Antisemitism is a racist prejudice that exists independently of any objective reality. It is not about what Jews actually say or do, but rather about what antisemites falsely and malevolently attribute to them. As reflected in antisemitic conspiracy theories such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, it is a subjective stereotyping based on notions of collective Jewish guilt[3].

In contrast, anti-Zionism (particularly prior to the creation of the State of Israel) was based on a relatively objective assessment of the prospects of success for some Jews in Israel/Palestine. Opposition came from both Jews and the international Left.

For example, prior to the Holocaust, Zionism existed as a minority movement throughout most of the Jewish world. It has been estimated that even in Poland, for example, only 25 to 30 per cent of Jews supported Zionism during the two inter-war decades.[4]

Many Jews appear to have regarded Zionism as an extremist movement with utopian, if not politically dangerous, objectives, and feared that support for the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine would provoke accusations of dual loyalties. Ideological opposition to Zionism was particularly strong from three sources. Jewish socialists, including the numerically significant Bundists, opposed Zionism as a reactionary diversion from the task of fighting antisemitism and defending Jewish rights in the Diaspora. Many Reform and assimilated Jews defined their Jewishness in solely religious rather than ethnic terms. And many Orthodox Jews believed that the rebuilding of the Jewish homeland must await the coming of the Messiah.[5]

Similarly, the international Left was sceptical of the merits of Zionism, although it is important to remember that individual socialist groups and theoreticians espoused a wide spectrum of views. The Soviet Union and orthodox communists were mostly hostile to Zionism, whilst many social democrats were sympathetic. In general, socialists distinguished between the maximalist Zionist aspiration to settle all Jews in Palestine, and the more minimalist Zionist goal to create and preserve a Jewish national homeland or refuge in Palestine. Most socialists were reluctant to endorse the former goal, but many supported the latter.

Common socialist objections to Zionism reflected a range of motivations – idealistic, politically self-interested and pragmatic – and typically included the following: that it was counter-revolutionary, and meant abandoning the battle for Jewish equality to right-wing antisemites; that the disproportionate number of Jews on the Left were desperately needed to ensure the success of the class struggle; that Zionism would have an unfair impact on the indigenous Arab population of Palestine; and that Zionism had little chance of success in the face of Arab hostility and British imperialist perfidy. Socialist anti-Zionism in this period bore no relation to antisemitism, and some of the strongest opponents of Zionism such as the German socialist intellectual Karl Kautsky and the Bolshevik leader Lenin were in fact key supporters of Jewish rights and equality.[6]

The State of Israel and Beyond: 1948-1967

The Nazi Holocaust and the creation of the State of Israel transformed attitudes to Zionism. Jewish opposition to Zionism largely vanished. The creation of Israel was viewed as a form of compensation for the Holocaust and many years of Jewish persecution. Religious Jews gradually came to see Zionism as fulfillment, rather than contravention of Jewish religious destiny. Many Bundists and socialists remained critical of Zionism's negation of the Jewish Diaspora, but in practice offered strong support for the State of Israel. In general, Jews increasingly turned to national, rather than internationalist solutions.

The international Left also changed its views. The Soviet Union strongly supported the creation of the State of Israel, both via diplomatic means, and through the provision of badly-needed military supplies. To be sure, Soviet hostility to Zionism resumed from the early 1950s onwards, but communist positions on Israel were not uniformly hostile. No communist groups supported Arab calls for the destruction of Israel.

Social democrats in most Western and some Asian countries provided considerable political and ideological support for Israel throughout the 1948-1967 period. Influential factors included the high profile of Israel's collectivist institutions such as the Histadrut and the kibbutzim, and the domination of Israeli politics by the social democratic Mapai (Labor) Party; the impact of Nazism, and the concern to atone for the Holocaust; the reactionary nature of the Arab regimes which opposed Israel; and the virtual invisibility of the Palestinian refugees.[7]

The Post Six Day War Divorce

The 1967 Six Day War pushed Jews and the Left in sharply different directions. Many Jews – even those who identified as non-Zionists – were galvanized during the war in support of Israel. Since that time Jews have increasingly come to define support for Zionism and Israel as a fundamental component of their Jewish identity.

For example, a recent study found that the centrality of Israel to Australian Jewish life and identity was reflected in and reinforced by the following communal structures and frameworks: the significant political influence of Zionist organizations, Zionist education in the Jewish day-school system, high participation rates in the Zionist youth movements, the pro-Israel activities of Jewish university student groups, regular coverage of Israel in the Jewish media, extensive fundraising for Israel, a high number of visits to Israel and a disproportionate rate of aliyah, and significant political advocacy on behalf of Israel.[8]

Similarly, a survey of British Jews found that they supported Israel through fundraising activities, political advocacy, and emigration to Israel. 80 per cent expressed a strong or moderate attachment to Israel, 77 per cent had visited Israel, and 67 per cent had close friends or relatives living in Israel. Overall there was a close relationship between personal and emotional attachment to Israel, and Jewish identity.[9] US studies have also confirmed the centrality of Israel to Jewish life and identity as reflected in communal structures, fundraising, political activity, education, and religious observance.[10]

This means that for most Jews attitudes towards Zionism cannot be credibly dissociated from attitudes to Jews per se.

In contrast, Israel's victory in the Six Day War provoked a sea change in the attitude of Left groups to Zionism and Israel. The radical Left discovered the Palestinians, and the romance with the PLO began. Many younger Vietnam era activists saw the Israeli-Arab conflict as an extension of the struggle between Western colonialism and the Third World, rather than as a regional struggle between Arab and Jewish national aspirations. Much of the newer radical Left – whether Trotskyist, Maoist or orthodox communist – viewed Israel with hostility, if not with apocalyptic hatred. This hostility to Israel inevitably extended to Jews in the Diaspora via conspiracy theories incorporating Holocaust denial and alleged Zionist-Nazi collaboration, and through the attempted purging of Jews from the Women's Movement.[11]

In Australia, Left anti-Zionist fundamentalism (accompanied by significant antisemitic rhetoric) was reflected in the mid 1970s campaign by Bill Hartley and other leading Australian Labour Party leftists to de-legitimize Israel and urge its replacement with an Arab State of Palestine; the 1974-75 Australian Union of Students motions calling for the liquidation of Israel; and the subsequent refusal by community radio station 3CR to grant access to any Jewish supporters of Israel's right to exist.[12] Nevertheless, most of the mainstream social democratic Left continued to oppose any manifestations of antisemitism, and to strongly support Israel's right to exist. [13]

Left anti-Zionism in Australia and most Western countries seemed to go on the backburner during the period of the Oslo Accords. However, the outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada in September 2000 provoked a renewed outburst of anti-Zionist hysteria. The antisemitic rhetoric used at the United Nations Conference in Durban, the various proposals for academic and consumer boycotts of Israel, and the growth in verbal and physical attacks on Jews in Europe, the UK and elsewhere all suggest an increasing Left hostility not only to Israel, but also to Jewish supporters of Israel.

Ggenerational change is important here. Many younger people on the Left don't remember the Holocaust and the earlier status of Jews as a victimized and persecuted group, don't remember the earlier Left support for Israel, don't recall the close link between the far Right and antisemitism, and don't understand the connection between the historical oppression of Jews and the Jewish need for a nation-state. Their sympathy is not with the Jews, whom they tend to stereotype as a powerful and influential group, but rather with the Palestinians and Arabs who are seen as victims of Israel and the USA.

The Current Political Context: What Is or Isn't Antisemitic?

Historically, the Australian Left has incorporated a wide spectrum of views on Zionism and Israel ranging from unequivocal support for Israel, to even-handedness, to hard-line support for Palestinian positions. Today there are probably three principal views on the Left.

One perspective – that held by the Australian Labor Party leadership, a significant number of Australian Labor Party (ALP) MPs from all factions, and some social democratic intellectuals and trade union leaders – is balanced in terms of supporting moderates and condemning extremists and violence on both sides.

A second perspective – that held by the Australian Greens, some of the ALP and trade union Left, Christian aid organizations, some Jews represented in groups such as the Australian Jewish Democratic Society, and probably a majority of Left intellectuals – supports a two-state solution in principle, but in practice holds Israel principally or even solely responsible for the continuing violence and terror in the Middle East. This perspective holds that an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is the key prerequisite for Israeli-Palestinian peace and reconciliation. In general, adherents of this view recognize that not all Israelis are the same, and understand the difference between particular Israeli government policies and the Israeli people per se.

Some components of this second perspective may reasonably be characterized as unbalanced and naïve at best, and as failing to offer a corresponding critical analysis of contemporary and historical Palestinian actions and strategies which have acted as serious barriers to peace. Little reference is made, for example, to the Palestinian rejection of Israeli offers of statehood at Camp David and Taba in 2000/2001, the extreme violence of the Intifada directed at mainly Israeli civilians, and the continued extremist demand for the return of 1948 refugees to Green Line Israel, rather than the Palestinian Territories. But their criticisms of Israel are generally not antisemitic per se given that they are related at least in part to real, everyday events in the Occupied Territories.[14]

The rights and wrongs of Israeli actions in the territories are legitimately subject to a robust international debate. This debate also takes place within the vibrant democratic structures of Israel itself. And many of the concerns about either the efficacy or morality of Israeli actions are shared by a significant minority of Israelis and Diaspora Jews.

For example, the former Israeli coordinator of activities in the Territories, Shlomo Gazit, recently condemned the continuing Israeli presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as that of a "foreign and alien occupier."[15] Similarly, the former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami labeled the creation of "a dense map of settlements throughout the territories" as "the most absurd march of folly that the State of Israel has ever embarked on". [16] It is important to note that Gazit and Ben-Ami are not marginal figures on the radical Israeli fringe; they are rather influential mainstream centre-left commentators.

So, in summary, the following issues clearly fall within the realm of legitimate non-antisemitic political debate:

Questions about the legal and moral legitimacy of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip;
Concerns about Israeli military incursions and assassinations within the Territories;
Concerns about the impact of the Jewish security fence on the daily lives of the Palestinian population in the Territories;
Concerns about continuing discrimination against Palestinian Arabs living within Green Line Israel;
Reflections on the extent to which the creation of the State of Israel contributed to the historical injustice that has befallen the indigenous Palestinians;
Reflections on the extent to which a resolution can be found to the Palestinian refugee tragedy that reasonably satisfies both Israelis and Palestinians.[17]

Having clarified what constitutes legitimate debate about Israel, it must be acknowledged that some Israelis and some Jews do label all criticisms of Israel – reasonable or otherwise – as antisemitic. I would call such false allegations "crying wolf." For example, former Australian Labor Party Minister Barry Cohen alleged that antisemitic critics of Israel were "now rampant in the Labor Party".[18] Yet Cohen's diatribe failed to provide any real evidence to support his serious allegations, made no distinction between critics (however unbalanced) of Israeli policies and those who deny Israel's right to exist, and overly exaggerated the influence of pro-Palestinian partisans within the parliamentary ALP.

Such wholesale attacks are not only inaccurate, but also counter-productive in that they play into the hands of hard-line critics of Israel who both deny even the possibility of a linkage between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, and simultaneously allege that Jews are not willing to permit a rational and evidence-based discussion of the Middle East conflict. In short, they seem intended to stifle the free speech and robust criticism that is necessarily part of democratic societies, whether that of Israel or Australia.[19]

In contrast, more sophisticated Jewish and non-Jewish friends of Israel acknowledge that criticisms of Israeli policies do not necessarily correlate with antisemitism. For example, four of the speakers who spoke in favor of the Australian Parliamentary Resolutions Against Racism and Anti-Semitism – Michael Danby, Senator Ursula Stephens, Petro Georgiou, and Senator Kim Carr – carefully distinguished between reasonable criticisms of Israel, and criticisms that were driven by antisemitic rhetoric and agendas.[20]

At the same time, many Left critics of Israel respond with their own fallacy: that Israeli actions are directly creating antisemitism.[21] This analysis has two fundamental flaws: it makes no distinctions between particular Israeli government actions and the Israeli people, and hence appears to legitimize the ethnic stereotyping of all Israelis or all Jews whatever their political perspectives; and it has the potential to blame the Jewish victims of racism, rather than targeting the perpetrators.[22] It appears to reinforce age-old notions of collective Jewish guilt and perfidy. Instead of all Jews being responsible for the actions of a few, now all Jews are being blamed for the actions of Israel.

In contrast, I would argue that Jewish solidarity with Israel as a nation-state does not make Jews everywhere responsible for all Israeli actions anymore than all Americans should be held responsible for the Iraq War, or all Australians should be held responsible for former Prime Minister John Howard's policies towards asylum seekers. And we need to remember that only antisemites are responsible for antisemitism. Having said that, it needs to be acknowledged that the tendency of many Jews worldwide to interpret Jewish solidarity with the Jewish nation-state of Israel as involving absolute endorsement of all Israeli government policies (hawkish or otherwise) without qualification does at the very least raise some serious political and moral questions about the potential limits of such solidarity. And some pro-Israel lobby groups seem to use methods of verbal bullying and harassment which are more likely to create, rather than combat anti-Zionism and antisemitism. For example, the privately funded Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) was widely accused by the Australian media of using bullying or undue influence in its unsuccessful 2003 campaign against the awarding of the Sydney Peace Prize to Palestinian intellectual, Dr Hanan Ashrawi.[23]

It is within the third Left perspective – which I call anti-Zionist fundamentalism and others label as simply a form of "eliminationist antisemitism"[24] – that anti-Zionism and antisemitism undoubtedly converge. This perspective, held mainly but no longer exclusively by the far Left sects, regards Israel as a racist and colonialist state which has no right to exist. Adherents hold to a viewpoint, opposing Israel's existence specifically and Jewish national rights more broadly, which is beyond rational debate, and unconnected to contemporary or historical reality.

Israelis and their Jewish supporters are depicted as inherently evil oppressors by the simple process of denying the historical link between the Jewish experience of oppression in both Europe and the Middle East and the creation of Israel. Conversely, Palestinians are depicted as intrinsically innocent victims.[25] In place of the fundamental and objective centrality of the State of Israel to contemporary Jewish identity, anti-Zionist fundamentalists portray Israel as a mere political construct, and utilize ethnic stereotyping of all Israelis and all Jewish supporters of Israel in order to justify their claims.[26]

The purpose of negating the reality of Israel's existence is to overcome the ideological barrier posed by the Left's historical opposition to racism. Any objective analysis of the Middle East would have to accept that Israel could only be destroyed by a war of partial or total genocide which would inevitably produce millions of Israeli Jewish refugees, and have a catastrophically traumatic effect on almost all Jews outside Israel.[27] But advocacy of genocide means endorsing the most virulent form of racism imaginable. So instead anti-Zionist fundamentalists construct a subjective fantasy world in which Israel is detached from its specifically Jewish roots, and then miraculously destroyed by remote control free of any violence or bloodshed under the banner of anti-racism.[28] And of course the perpetrators cannot reasonably be accused of antisemitism because they deny holding any prejudices towards Jews. [29] Problem solved.

Anti-Zionist fundamentalism typically incorporates a number of manifestations including:

A pathological and obsessive hatred and demonization of Israel unrelated to the actual actions and reality of that state. For example, claims that Israel is the world's worst human rights abuser, or that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.[30] Some of this critique seems to be based on the discriminatory notion that because Jews experienced the Holocaust, they have a moral obligation to behave better than any other people. Yet no such obligation is imposed on other historically oppressed groups. Conversely, examples of Palestinian extremism such as suicide bombings and calls for the military elimination of Israel are either denied, or alternatively approved as a rational response to Israeli policies;

Proposals for academic and other boycotts of Israel based on the ethnic stereotyping of all Israelis. The aim of such caricatures is to impose pariah status on the whole Israeli nation. These campaigns have resulted in a number of examples of discrimination against Israeli scholars and researchers in British academic institutions;[32]

The extension of the denunciation of all Jewish Israelis to all Jews – Zionist or otherwise – who are supportive of Israel's existence, whatever their actual ideological and political position on solutions to the conflict. For example, John Docker, one of the key Australian proponents of an academic boycott of Israel, has attacked all Jews who support Israel. According to Docker, "The Australian Jewish community lies in moral ruins." Australian Jewish leaders and intellectuals have "disgraced" themselves, have engaged in "written and verbal abuse, misrepresentation, insult and slander," and have lost their "honor and dignity" due to their "implicit support...for the past and continuing genocidal assault on the indigenous peoples of Palestine."[33] Elsewhere, Docker has accused Diaspora Jews of condoning war crimes and mass murder,[34] whilst his son Ned Curthoys argues that left-wing Jews who defend Israel's right to exist should effectively be excluded from progressive political discourse.[35] A Canadian academic Michael Neumann is even harsher, accusing Jews of "complicity in Israeli crimes against humanity" no different to the complicity of Germans in Nazi war crimes.[36]

Stereotypical descriptions of Jewish behavior, and attacks on alleged Jewish wealth and influence. Conspiracy theorists accuse Jews of controlling western governments, banks and the media, and of responsibility for the US-led war in Iraq.[37] For example, Labor backbencher Julia Irwin accused Jewish lobbyists of using their financial clout to impose pro-Israel policies on the ALP. According to Irwin, "Political influence requires the currency of ideas, not cash. Labor cannot be bought".[38] Similarly during the Hanan Ashrawi Affair, a number of commentators accused the Jewish community of exerting undue financial and political influence.[39]

Deliberate attempts are made to diminish and trivialize the extent of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust by comparing Jews with Nazis. For example, numerous critics have equated the Star of David with the swastika, Prime Minister Sharon with Hitler, claimed that the Israeli army is the equivalent of the Nazi SS, and argued that the assault on the Jenin refugee camp was reminiscent of the Nazi assault on the Warsaw Ghetto. [40] Some Left commentators go even further and allege that Zionist Jews collaborated with the Nazis to perpetrate the Holocaust in an attempt to shift the blame or responsibility for the Holocaust from the Nazi perpetrators to the Jewish victims, or in some cases endorse overt Holocaust denial.[41]

Conclusion

Criticisms of Israel per se are not antisemitic, particularly when they involve judgments about real Israeli actions and policies. The worst that can reasonably said about most such judgments is that they may be unbalanced, and reflect a partisan pro-Palestinian view of the conflict. This does not mean that Jewish concerns about the possible motives of some persistent critics of Israel are completely unfounded. It is also understandable that a historically oppressed group may interpret (from their experiences of persecution) such attacks as reflecting anti-Jewish prejudices, rather than more dispassionate political or ideological agendas. But in my opinion, more often than not such concerns appear to be a response to, and a part of, the political intensity and harsh rhetoric associated with the conflict, rather than reflecting any objective documented evidence linking specific criticisms of Israel with overt racial hatred of Jews.

Nevertheless, anti-Zionism does become antisemitism when critics of Israel shift the analysis from one of objective reality to subjective fantasy. Instead of depicting Israel as a real state with real people – most of whom are either refugees themselves or the descendants of refugees fleeing oppression – anti-Zionist fundamentalists collectively label all Israeli Jews and their supporters as guilty of colonialism and racism. And traditional antisemitic prejudices around disproportionate Jewish power, influence and wealth are utilized to justify these stereotypes. The complex debate about the relative merits of Israeli and Palestinian claims is removed from its real national, cultural and historical context, and instead reduced to a mere political conspiracy in which Jews are constructed as inherently evil and immoral oppressors trampling over the rights of innocent Palestinians.

About the Author

Dr. Philip Mendes is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy & Community Development in the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University, Australia, and the author or co-author of six books including joint editor with Geoffrey Brahm Levey of Jews and Australian Politics, Sussex Academic Press, 2004.

© Covenant - Global Jewish Magazine 2007

Notes:

[1] I am grateful to Geoffrey Levey, Ben Cohen, and James Craft for their respective comments on an earlier draft. Obviously the views expressed are solely my own.

[2] For a criticism of the former position, see Mitchell Plitnick, “Reclaiming the Struggle against Antisemitism,” in Henri Picciotto & Mitchell Plitnick (eds.) Reframing Antisemitism: Alternative Jewish Perspectives (Oakland: Jewish Voice for Peace, 2004), p.1. For a recent example of the latter position denying any link between hardline anti-Zionism and Antisemitism, see Ali Kazak, “Who is responsible – the Jews or the Zionists?”, Australian Rationalist 68 (Spring 2004): 27-31.

[3] Brian Klug, “The Collective Jew: Israel and the New Antisemitism,” Patterns of Prejudice 37:2 (2003): 124 & 135.

[4]. Bill Rubinstein, “Zionism and the Jewish People, 1918-1960”', The Jewish Journal of Sociology 43: 1-2 (2001) 14-15.

[5]. Ibid, pp.22-23. On Bundist opposition to Zionism, see Mario Kessler, “The Bund and the Labour and Socialist International” in Jack Jacobs (ed.), Jewish Politics in Eastern Europe: The Bund at 100, (Hampshire: Palgrave, 2001), pp.183-194.

[6] Philip Mendes, “An Historical Analysis of Left Attitudes to Zionism and Israel,” Australian Journal of Jewish Studies 11 (1997): 95-105.

[7] Ibid, pp.105-112.

[8] Danny Ben-Moshe, “Pro-Israelism as a Factor in Australian Jewish Political Attitudes and Behaviour”, in Geoffrey Brahm Levey and Philip Mendes (eds), Jews and Australian Politics, (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2004), pp.128-132.

[9] Stephen Miller, Marlena Schmool and Antony Lerman, Social and political attitudes of British Jews: some key findings of the JPR survey, (London:Institute for Jewish Policy Research, 1996) pp.7-8. See also Paul Iganski & Barry Kosmin, “The New Anti-Semitism Debate: Background and Context,” in Paul Iganski & Barry Kosmin (eds.), A New Anti-Semitism? Debating Judeophobia in 21st Century Britain, (London: Profile Books, 2003), pp.8-9.

[10]  Benjamin Ginsberg, “Identity and Politics: Dilemmas of Jewish Leadership in America”, in Sandy Maisel (ed.), Jews in American Politics, (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), pp.21-23.

[11] Philip Mendes, ‘Left Attitudes towards Jews: Antisemitism and Philosemitism”, Australian Journal of Jewish Studies 10 (1996), 108-118; Gill Seidel, The Holocaust Denial: anti-Semitism, racism and the new right. (Leeds: Beyond the Pale Collective, 1986), pp.86-97

[12] Philip Mendes, “Left Attitudes towards Jews: Anti-Semitism and Philo-Semitism,” Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal 13:1 (1995), 110-115.

[13] Philip Mendes, “An Historical Analysis”, pp.114-118.

[14] Brian Klug, “Anti-Semitism: Real & Imagined,” Jewish Forum for Justice and Human Rights, 2004 (http://www.jfjhur.weblogger.com).

[15] Shlomo Gazit, Trapped Fools: Thirty Years of Israeli Policy in the Territories (London:  Frank Cass), p.334.

[16] Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p.212

[17] Michael Lerner, The Socialism of Fools: Anti-Semitism on the Left (Oakland: Tikkun Books, 1992), pp.87-94

[18] Barry Cohen, “Labour Pains”, Australian Jewish News, 22 (October 2004). A revised version of this article also appeared as “The Anti-Semitic Labour Party,” The Age 25 (October 2004). For another example of “crying wolf,” see the attacks on leading US Jewish Left (and broadly pro-Israel) figures Susannah Heschel and Michael Lerner in Gabriel Schoenfeld, The Return of Antisemitism (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2004), pp.136-137.

[19] Michael Cavanagh, “ALP Circles Wagons against Barry Cohen”, Australian Jewish News, 29 October 2004; Kevin Rudd, “Labour has Always Supported Israel, and Continues to Do So”, The Age, 10 December 2004. For a British view in favor of democratic debate, see Jonathan Sacks, “A New Antisemitism?” in Paul Iganski & Barry Kosmin, (eds.), A New Antisemitism? (London:Profile Books, 2003), p.41.

[20] Australian Parliamentary Resolutions against Racism and Antisemitism, B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Melbourne, 2004, pp.14-15, 16, 29 & 38. See also Ellen Willis, “Is there Still a Jewish Question? Why I’m an Anti-Anti-Zionist”, in Tony Kushner & Alisa Solomon, Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, (New York: Grove Press, 2003), p.227.

[21] Uri Avnery, “Manufacturing Anti-Semites”, in Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St.Clair (eds.) The Politics of Anti-Semitism  (Petrolia: AK Press, 2003), 44-45; Tony Judt, “Goodbye to all that?”, The Nation, 3 January 2005.

[22] Ben Cohen, “The Persistence of Anti-Semitism on the British Left,” Jewish Political Studies Review 16:3-4; Dawn Cohen, “An Ancient Prejudice in the New Age: Antisemitism in Alternative Australia”, Overland 175 (2004): 45.

[23] Geoffrey Brahm Levey & Philip Mendes, “The Hanan Ashrawi Affair: Australian Jewish Politics on Display,” in Geoffrey Brahm Levey & Philip Mendes (eds.) Jews and Australian Politics (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2004), pp.219-220. There were no physical threats, but definitely evidence of verbal abuse and intimidation. For example, even longstanding defender of Israel, Michael Danby MP, was attacked as an alleged “appeaser” of antisemites for his mild criticism of AIJAC.

[24] Pierre-Andre Taguieff, Rising From the Muck: The New Anti-Semitism in Europe (Chicago: Ivan R.Dee, 2004) p.17.

[25] Ibid, pp.51-53.

[26] Philip Mendes, “Much Ado about Nothing? The Academic Boycott of Israel Down Under,” Midstream. 50:2 (February-March 2004), 9.

[27] Anthony Julius, “Is there Anything New in the New Antisemitism”, in A New Antisemitism?, pp.72-73.

[28] Pierre-Andre Taguieff, Rising from the Muck, pp.121 & 164. For a local example of such an argument, see David Glanz, “Inflammatory,” The Age, 16 June 2004. Glanz recommends the dissolution of Israel in favor of an Arab State of Greater Palestine, but denies any association with anti-Jewish racism. Similarly the veteran anti-Zionist Israeli Uri Davis talks about “the dismantlement of the State of Israel as a Jewish state in the political Zionist sense of the term…and its replacement with a democratic Palestine”, in  Apartheid Israel (London: Zed Books, 2003), p.2. See also Anne Alexander, The New Intifada: Israel, Imperialism and Palestinian Resistance, (London: Socialist Workers Party, 2002), pp.22-23.

[29] Phyllis Chesler, The New Anti-Semitism, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass), pp.87-88.

[30] Philip Mendes, “Left Attitudes towards Jews: Anti-Semitism and Philosemitism,” Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, 10:1-2 (1996):100-101; Michael Lerner, The Socialism of Fools, pp.97-101.

[31] Paul Berman, Terror and Liberalism, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004), pp.130-139.

[32] Philip Mendes, “Much Ado about Nothing,” p.10.

[33] John Docker, “New History and the New Catastrophe,” Arena Magazine.66 (August-September 2003): 32-36.

[34] John Docker, “Thirteen Untimely Meditations,” Arena Magazine 55 (2001): 11.

[35] Ned Curthoys, “An Argument for a Moratorium,” Arena Magazine 64 (2003): 26.

[36] Michael Neumann, “What is Anti-Semitism?” in Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St. Clair (eds.) The Politics of Anti-Semitism, (Petrolia: AK Press, 2003), pp.4-5.

[37] Pamela Bone, “Anti-Semitism: the Old Hatred Returns,” The Age (31 July 2004); Mitchell Plitnick, “Reclaiming the Struggle against Anti-Semitism,” pp.4-5.

[38] Julia Irwin, “Wanted: Political Currency,” The Australian, (16 July 2003).

[39] See, for example, comments by Sydney Peace Foundation Director Stuart Rees and Sydney Morning Herald journalist Margo Kingston cited in Levey & Mendes, “The Hanan Ashrawi Affair”, pp.220 & 228.

[40] Ellen Willis, “Is there Still a Jewish Question?”p.229; Michael Lerner, Healing Israel/Palestine, (San Francisco: Tikkun Books, 2003), pp.149-151; Peter Pulzer, “The New Antisemitism, or when is a taboo not a taboo?” in Paul Iganski & Barry Kosmin (eds.) A New Antisemitism? (London: Profile Books, 2003), pp.94-97. See also in the same volume, Howard Jacobson, “Wordsmiths and Atrocities against language: The Incendiary use of the Holocaust and Nazism against Jews”, pp.109-110; Jonathan Freedland, “Is Anti-Zionism Antisemitism?” pp.120-121; Winston Pickett, “Nasty or Nazi? The Use of Antisemitic topoi by the Left-Liberal Media,” pp.155-156; Paul Iganski & Barry Kosmin, “Globalized Judeophobia and its ramifications for British Society,” pp.285-286 & 290.

[41]Steve Cohen, That’s Funny You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic: An Anti-Racist Analysis of Left Anti-Semitism, (Leeds: Beyond the Pale Collective, 1984); Philip Mendes, “Left Attitudes,” pp.108-118.


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