General Antisemitism

Some sort of problem with Jews? The Holocaust, the Left, and the Return of Hate

Much has been written about the problem of antisemitism in the British Labour Party, but few commentators have attempted to contextualize ongoing revelations of anti-Jewish bigotry among party activists by providing a broader historical and intellectual analysis of antisemitism within the European Left.

Jamie Palmer, a freelance writer and independent filmmaker, set out to do just that – in a thorough, incisive and simply masterful essay published at The Tower.  

Here are a few introductory paragraphs from Palmer’s essay:

Over the past few years, a palpable sense of alarm has been quietly growing amongst Jews on the European Left. At the heart of an often-fraught relationship lies the following dilemma: The vast majority of Jews are Zionist, and the vast majority of Left-wing opinion is not.

But the problem goes beyond the question of Israel itself. It also involves a general sense that the Left is unconcerned with Jewish interests and unwilling to take the matter of rising anti-Semitism seriously, preferring instead to dismiss it as a consequence of Israeli policies or a censorious attempt to close down discussion of the same. The horror with which many Jews greeted the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party was outstripped only by the realization that his supporters felt that his fondness for the company of anti-Semites was unworthy of their concern.

This is a complex subject, with roots that stretch back to the beginning of the last century. I have attempted to outline in necessarily broad fashion some of the trends of thought that have informed the relationship between Jews and the Left, as well as the shifting attitudes towards Israel in particular. In doing so, I hope to shed some light on their implications.

The key question facing the European Left is whether or not it can change in such a way that Jews can once again feel part of the Left’s political family. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future the answer to that question appears to be no.

We strongly suggest that you read it in full here.

128 replies »

  1. I well remember Jewish friends who left to live in Israel in the 50s and came back to Holland in the 70s telling me that they didn’t know where to turn. Right wing organisations in Holland had always been anti-semitic (a sort of built-in prejudice) and now all their former left-wing friends were also expressing what were supposed to be anti-Zionist opinions but were in fact thinly disguised anti-semitic opinions.

      • This could elicit a flippant, a sarcastic and a serious answer. Let’s take them in turn

        The flippant answer is: the same place as your snide remarks come from.

        The sarcastic answer is: how about writing a sentence with a proper grammatical structure – do you also suffer from premature ejaculation?

        The serious answer: the “left intellectual” always has a tendency to feel sorry on behalf of somebody. Sorry for the exploited proletariat, sorry for the exploited woman, sorry for the blacks in south Africa and the US, sorry for the poor Jews being killed in concentration camps, sorry . . . . The intellectual left feels quite passionate about some or other sorry state of affairs, because it makes them feel good about how much concern they are seen to feel about other people. Whether this concern actually helps these poor unfortunate people is a secondary matter – the important thing is to be seen to be concerned. Each member of the intellectual left strives hard to be more concerned than his fellow intellectual.

        Once the intellectual left had got over feeling sorry for all those poor Jews who had been murdered in World War II, they could start looking for other people to feel sorry about – women, blacks and Palestinians. The Palestinians were a natural target for the feeling sorry syndrome of those “left intellectuals” – a sort of perpetual trough in which to wallow. However, rather than look at the way their Arab brothers treated the Palestinians, the intellectual left chose to blame the Jews.

        How the Arabs treated the Palestinians was and remains shameful, but is largely ignored by the intellectual left. It was the Jews that started it all, they were the real troublemakers, like they always were – and back we are again at the 2000-year old prejudice. Now in modern clothes – please, we are anti-Zionist, not anti-semitic – but still the same age-old attitude.

        • Even Mondoweiss’s inept lies specify ‘US Jews’ whereas you say ‘vast majority of Jews’
          If you’re going to quote sources do read them before just slamming them down before getting on with your general denigration programme.

  2. The statement “This is a complex subject, with roots that stretch back to the beginning of the last century.” is false. It is not complex and it has extended back well beyond the last century, it has been over 2,000 years. The EuroNazis hate Jews period.

      • I will remind gee59, respectfully, that even from the beginnings of the Communist Movement those of us who excelled, brought fresh strong ideas were often eliminated or sent to the Gulags since human nature jealousy, fear, took over; Trotsky being one of many famous cases. The ending Stalinist Era the Doctor’s List was created and although I’m sure the KGB and NKVD new this was looney without merit; they went along with it, it was only Jewish Members. In the US, you had Nixon’s enemy’s list. It wasn’t exclusively Jewish but since we figured into many movements considered subversive and/or Leftist we were prominent amongst the members. Interestly its come out that Nixon had little patience for American Jews and a tremendous amount of respect for Israeli Jews and their Army IDF He considered the latter tough! This coming from the Right and an Anti Semite

    • Is it only European Nazi’s who hate Jews or do other Nazi’s elsewhere, also hate them? Moreover, do Nazi’s hate other religious/ethnic groups too or is their hatred specifically a Jewish phenomenon?

      I hadn’t realized that the notion of Jewish exclusivity had extended to the racism directed against them.

    • I’m always weary of the why question since if by G-d you do hit the nail on the head then what and so what. Our concern should be this is the problem, can it be changed and overturned, managed, or is it a lost case. Under all three scenarios what should our approach and actions be? In the US Political system we have our own niche within the broader Political broader spectrum; the Republican Jewish Coalition and the National Jewish Democrat Council both push for their perspective of Jewish concerns within their own Parties.

      • Perhaps we should list country by country the Jewish’experience’ also we can list the number murdered our exclusion from Guilds limited opportunity and forced ghettos (segregation)

  3. There are a few twisted individuals who believe that any ideas to combat anti-Semitism In the British Labour Party are part of a devious and cunning plan to turn the Labour Party into an extension of the Israeli Embassy.

    Who would spout such gibberish? Why none other than one of our very own Axis of Arseholes, little Stevie Bellend.
    “stephen bellamy • 2 days ago

    That faux Angell piece was written by Jeremy Newmark, branded a perjurer by the Tribunal in the FUCU case. The objective is to turn the Labour Party into an extension of the Israeli Embassy”

    Bellend is consistent on every website. Once an Arsehole always an Arsehole!

    • The Labour Party has been hijacked by bigots, racists, fascists, socialists, islamofascists.

    • On the contrary. Palmer’s piece has as many holes in it as does the Iron Dome. Nowhere does Palmer mention the ideological and historical links between Zionism and Hitler fascism. Moreover, Palmer doesn’t substantiate his contention that “the vast majority of Jews are Zionist.” In the United States a silent majority of the diaspora have never supported Zionism, while others less silent refuse to accept that the destructively nationalistic ideology of political Zionism represent them or their identity as Jews.

      The crude appeal to sectarianism that Palmer evokes, predicated on inconclusive or questionable evidence indicative of the perceived beliefs attributable to no more than a handful of marginal political figures, is the kind of exaggerated feature similar to the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950s.

      While not suggesting that Corbyn is an antisemite by name, the inference of guilt by association is clear. Politically, the purpose of the misuse of antisemitism, is to quash all legitimate criticisms of the Israel state and its oppression of the Palestinian people. As is the case with the inappropriate and liberal use of a word like ‘fascism’, the result of the demonization of all those who question Zionist narratives, is to devalue antisemitism, thereby undermining any genuine attempts at dealing with it.

  4. “The key question facing the European Left is whether or not it can change in such a way that Jews can once again feel part of the Left’s political family. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future the answer to that question appears to be no.”

    The premise it itself racist since it is predicated on the notion that Jews are a generic and homogeneous group.

        • History is not your forte Margrain. The left was the first making a pact with Hitler in 1939. But as usual with your kind of Jew-hating wannabe campguards don’t let the facts influence your opinion

          • I guess the anti- fascists who fought the Hitler-loving Blackshirts at Cable Street were really all Tories….LOL.

            • Battle of Cable Street limited to a few streets in London – 1936.

              Socialist SHITler and Socialist Stalin non-aggression pact which resulted in the Socialist invasion of Poland – 1939.

              • You are clueless. Socialism and Stalinism are irreconciiiable ideologies. In any case, ultimately if it was not for Russia, many more Jews would have died because Russia lost 26 million fighting Hitler fascism.

                • Stalins USSR – Union of Soviet SOCIALIST (there’s that pesky word again) Republics wasn’t SOCIALIST too.

                  Seems like EVERYONE get Socialism wrong. Who gets it right???

                  • Edward, Edward, you are wrong to call Margrain an ignorant git.
                    Ignorance can be cured by education.
                    Margrain is stupid, and as he clearly demonstrates stupid is forever.

                    • Migraine has been brainwashed to hate Israel like Hamass brainwashes children to hate Israel, to stab Jews.

                    • As opposed to you Margrain who is an incomplete imbecile.
                      Are you a failure at everything you do?

                  • Yes I’m aware of that you Muslim-hating racist. The bigger picture, however, is that if it wasn’t for Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler would have triumphed and so consequently the suffering Jews would have suffered even more, Furthermore, Stalin was a totalitarian dictator who had nothing in common with Marxism. Hitler wasn’t a socialist either. Such a notion is preposterous. .

                    • If England hadn’t entered the war even more Jews would have suffered, no? And if the US hadn’t entered the war even more Jews would have been killed. Let’s not pretend that the Soviet Union fought Hitler to help the Jews or that it was a priority for any of the Allied Forces. Jews surviving the holocaust survived because Hitler didn’t win. Most didn’t survive. Now we have a state that will defend Jews as its first priority from any and all Jew hating racists up to and including the ones you support.

        • “the left were the vanguard who fought against Hitler” – logic is not really your forte, is it, silly ignorant man?
          Nor is knowledge of the most basic facts of history, for that matter.

              • Except when it really mattered. If not for the Soviets,many more then 6 million (or whatever the real number is) of Jews would have perished and your Holocaust industry would have been even bigger.

                • Margrain your anti-Semitism is clearly on display again.

                  “many more then 6 million (or whatever the real number is) of Jews would have perished and your Holocaust industry would have been even bigger.”

                  To call into question the numbers of Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust and to use the morally repugnant term “Holocaust industry” shows what an anti-Semitic piece of shit you are.

                  • Yep, anybody who dares question Israel and the official Holocaust industry narrative is an antisemite. “My country, right or wrong”

                    • Margrain as usual anti-Semites like you are not very intelligent and very predictable.
                      But even the facts that you are a racist, a liar, as well as an idiotic phoney do not excuse the repugnant remarks you have written questioning the numbers murdered in the Holocaust and using disgusting phrases such as the Holocaust industry.
                      I do not care how many videos or articles by others who repeat the same vile bilge as you do. It does NOT absolve you from your remarks.
                      Now go hang your head in shame you are a sick anti-Semitic piece of shit!

                    • So sez Migraine, a member of the Holocaust DENIAL Industry with friends in high places in IslamoFascist Iran.

                      Migraine, Eat your black fascist racist Socialist heart out.

                • “Except when it really mattered.” You mean when it really mattered to THEM. It mattered to the Soviets when Germany attacked.

              • The Socialist Left only began to fight Socialist hitler after hilter attacked the Soviet Socialist Russia in June 1941.

              • The left fought the Blackshirts as did many of Brits whowee active socialists who fought the Nazis during WW2. You are a complete tool.

                • The left had no problem with Socialist SHlTlers BROWNSHIRTS until Socialist SHlTler attacked Russia in 1941.

          • You like to project don’t you Jeffrey. At no point have I suggested that the Soviets, or indeed the allied, motivation was to save the Jews. As you probably know, many within the high echelons of the ruling class were actually rabid antisemites including the owner of the Daily Mail, Lord Rothermere, who propagandized against them after the war. Despite this, many Jewish columnists work for the rag today.

      • Leah, Jews are a multifaceted people comprising a wide range of outlooks and opinions. To imply otherwise is racist.

        • Ethnic groups do comprise people with a wide range of outlooks and opinions within a common culture. To suggest that ethnic groups are not comprised of people with a wide range of traits (as you have) is racist. But I am glad that you have acknowledged that the Jews are in fact a people. Jews are a diverse people, and as a people overwhelmingly support the right of the State of Israel to exist and flourish on ancestral Jewish lands independently and not subservient to the views of supremacist/genocidal Muslims or their hand maidens from the nut job Left.

          • Jeffrey, there are atheistic Jews, religious Jews, poor Jews rich Jews, neoZionist politically motivated racist Jews, There are Tory Jews, socialist Jews, Israeli Jews, diaspora Jews. Jews are as multifaceted as any other ethnic/religious group. Nobody except racists believe that Jews are somehow exceptional or chosen.

            • Margrain, you use the word “chosen” the way antisemites always do. That’s a “tell.” You’ve been faltering a lot lately. We’re all just waiting for that moment when you completely lose it, as those who’ve come before you have. It’s just a matter of time.

              • Many of your responses are merely projections. The above is no exception. All fascists believe themselves to be exceptional.

                • It’s not projection, just a response your idiocy and accompanying arrogance – an unsavory combination.

                    • “Nobody except racists believe that Jews are somehow exceptional or chosen.” – Margrain

                      There it is again, Margrain. Learn to own your words.

                    • I’ll try and be clearer because clearly you have comprehension problems. NeoZionism is a racist and fascist ideology and those who adhere to it, are by definition, racists and fascists who believe that they are exceptional. Go it?

  5. “The vast majority of Jews are Zionist, and the vast majority of Left-wing opinion is not” – talk about mincing words. A huge proportion of left-wing opinion (I don’t know how this can be quantified accurately) is anti-Zionist and therefore ntisemitic.

    • “A huge proportion of left-wing opinion (I don’t know how this can be quantified accurately) is anti-Zionist and therefore ntisemitic”

      Anti-Zionism and antisemitism are not synonymous..

      • “Anti-Zionism and anti-semitism are not synonymous” – not according to the dictionary. That is the clever ploy of all these sea lawyers. And any time that a Jew is being singled out for the anti-zionist treatment and protests “Why are you picking on me, I’m not a Zionist” he’s told that all Jews, whether they are open about it or try to hide it, are Zionists, and therefore can be treated as such. It is the old story of “all Jews are Zionists, except John Morgan, and he is Jewish, though he tries to hide it.”

      • “Anti-Zionism and antisemitism are not synonymous..”

        Much of the time they are, and sometimes not, but they are both discriminatory and racist.

      • After the Holocaust anti-Zionism and antisemitism are exactly the same – the first is simply a PC expression of the latter – it is like applying lipstick on the pig’s mouth.

              • Everyone learned what Islamofascism is from Brussels, San Bernardino, Boston Marathon, ISIS videos, Fascist Iran…

                  • What, all of them?
                    Jeez, you really are a strong contender for the stupidest little shit on the Internet.

                  • “Again, Jewish Israeli scholars would disagree with you.”

                    Those would be Israeli scholars such as Norman Finkelstein? lol

                    • It’s the ignorance of the antisemitic anti-zionist who conflates “Israeli” with “Jew” while insisting that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are totally separate phenomena.

              • Wow – one whole person in the entire world that sure is a lot of authority – only to a total racist moronic NaziTroll

          • An ignorant, thick, Jew-hating piece of shit calls me ‘fascist moron’.
            I must be doing something right.

            • I don’t hate Jews, otherwise I wouldn’t of favoured the Soviets and Western governments’ who helped liberate them from the Nazi’s. So wrong, AGAIN. Is there actually anything you are capable of getting right? I suspect the answer is a resounding, “NO”. And I thought you were supposed to be ignoring me. How’s Tel Aviv these days? Or don’t you live in your “Homeland”. If you do, perhaps you might be able to enlighten me as to how you cope with running into your protective shelters from missiles that invariably hit their “targets” far away from population centres? Or is that another example of what you racists euphemistically refer to as “Pallywood”?

    • ” talk about mincing words. A huge proportion of left-wing opinion (I don’t know how this can be quantified accurately) is anti-Zionist and therefore ntisemitic.”

      So you can’t quantify it, but you’re certain about it. No mincing words.

      My experience has been that those who claim to be anti-Zionist don’t know what Zionism means. Therefore, they can’t accurately be described as anti-Semitic since they’re too fucking stupid (see Migraine) to identify what these words actually mean.

      Therefore, how do we know that they are preaching Left leaning principles? You’re going to trust them, the people who can’t define what they hate about Zionism? Or am I supposed to trust (gasp) some Right whiners who do nothing but associate Nationalistic Hitler with Liberals because he hated smoking and eating meat? No, I won’t choose that, either.

      Sorry, Folks! There’s nothing Liberal about denying the Jewish connection to Israel.

        • So is that you complaining about me saying things you don’t understand, or is it you declaring that you don’t care about things you don’t understand? It’s pretty clear what my comment says, which is the people who like decipher between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism aren’t very credible because they refuse to define those terms by their original intent; ergo, why would I trust these people calling themselves Left wingers when, really, they are nothing more than a bunch of racist, Jew hating, nationalistic morons?

          If that’s a Word Salad, then maybe you need shorter sentences.

          • Or maybe, alleged ‘teacher’, you need to learn that the onus is on the communicator to communicate clearly. Did they not explain that to you at teacher training college?

  6. “MY EXPERIENCE has been that those who claim to be anti-Zionist don’t know what Zionism means.”


    • In your case, he happens to be right. You are far too thick and ignorant to grasp the concept.

      • Right, his biased personal experience is a methodology that trumps academic research? Awkaaaaay!

        • Margrain,

          koufaxmitzvah is using his experience as a teacher. He is using his mind to reason. This is something a plagiarist like you can’t even dream of doing, because even dreaming requires one’s own thoughts.

        • The fact that I hate Hate Mongers, and that I consider myself 1000000000 times smarter than a Hate Monger, says nothing about the Hate Monger’s race, religion, or color of skin.

          Make no mistake….. Migraine is mad at me for declaring my brain is smarter than his brain. Migraine, then, gets flustered and feels that this is an attack on his color, race, or creed. And yet I don’t know anything about the man other than his strikingly clear and more than obvious obsession with Jews, Israel, and making himself look like a pathetic, dipshit victim.

          You’ve had quite the weekend, Danny Boy.

  7. Since socialism in the pure state cannot work on any large scale, let’s say in a country as big as the USSR, then nobody can be a practicing socialist in any big country. That goes for Stalin and Lenin and Trotsky and a host of socialist lesser lights, in Britain too. Then we also have the problem that politicians falsely portray themselves in order to win support. So if a politician wants to be supported the working class and lower middle class voters, he promises them pie in the sky based on “socialist principles.” That is what Hollande did in France in 2012. He actually drew up a list of 58 promises to which his party and the Commies in France and the Greens. It was obvious before the election that he could not keep those promises since the money for them would not and could not be found. In the end, he did keep one promise: gay marriage [mariage pour tous] which did not especially call for large amounts of funding. Just the money to pay to police all the demos [les manifs] pro and con.

    As to Adolf, let us recall that he declared himself not only a socialist but he described his party as a “workers party” no less [nazional sozialistische deutsche arbeiter partei]. Now if the Nazis or Nasos, as they were also called, were socialists, then why can’t Bernie or Jeremy C or the Arab faction, the “Popular Front for the Liberation of palestine” be socialist? Or the Algerian FLN, for that matter?

    I will take Jeremy and Bernie and the rest of the clowns more seriously as socialists when and if they attack the horrendous working conditions in Qatar and other oil rich Arab states and statelets. The Guardian, by the way, described the labor situation in qatar as slavery [for the foreign workers building the sports stadiums]. Now, why are we not all boycotting qatar? We can’t do without oil and gas, which are fungible anyway, but we can boycott the 2022 soccer world cup and so on. Where is bds? where is the “left” when it comes to slavery?

    • I consider myself to be a social democrat. I hate Israel in the same way that I hate any kind of colonial settler fascist state. Why much of the media focus on Israel as opposed to other colonial settler states in the ME is because the latter don’t pretend to be liberal democracies.

        • So are you claiming that Hitler fascism would of been defeated without the aid of the Soviets?

  8. corrections for my longer comment above:
    . . . be supported BY the working class and lower middle class. . . .

    . . . 58 promises to which his party and the Commies in France and the Greens SUBSCRIBED.