Friday, August 1, 2014

Is the Left Anti-Semitic?

Brendan O'Neill at the Telegraph asks the question: "Is the left anti-semitic?" The question seems to me rather like the question whether the Pope's a Catholic, but perhaps O'Neill isn't asking quite the right question. Maybe a better way to frame it is to ask why it is that most people who are outspokenly anti-semitic today are people on the left, but that's a minor quibble.

O'Neill answers his question by averring that there are troubling signs that the left is indeed trending toward anti-semitism, not because of their opposition to Israeli policies in the Middle East but because of the language and the hatred that bubbles up on the left whenever Jews are involved in controversy.

He documents his case well, but one thing he doesn't say much about, perhaps because he's writing in Britain, is the virulent and disgusting screeds that have appeared in the United States. Protestors of the Gazan incursion can regularly be seen and heard calling for Jews to be sent back to Auschwitz or to be otherwise destroyed.

The Jerusalem Post has an interesting piece on anti-semitism in Europe in which, after discussing the surge in anti-semitic incidents during the 2009 incursion called Cast Lead, they write that "such incidents, given their severity and scope, 'testified to pre-planned mobilization among radicals from the left and among Muslim immigrant communities, resulting in a well-coordinated onslaught which employed clear anti-Semitic motifs...' "

There is, to be sure, hateful rhetoric to be found in the comboxes of conservative web sites, but the locus of hate, bigotry, and intolerance in the modern era, particularly for Jews and also for Christians, is on the left. The irony is that so many Jews are leftists. I wonder how long that will last.