Anti-Semitism on the Left

In the Times of February 3, 2018, I read a shocking interview with Claire Kober, leader of the Labor Party in the Haringey District in London: “The degree of anti-Semitism I have seen in the Labor Party is astonishing. A lot of people think I’m Jewish, even though I am not.” A Jewish Labor member of the District Council was mobbed by one of the candidates of Momentum, a left-wing extremist Group faction: “After the elections in May you will have more time to count your money.” Claire Kober’s attempts to get this man disciplined or excluded were prevented by left-wing extremists. In a district council meeting Kober proposed to adopt the internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism. Many Labor members tried to interrupt her speech with screams and howls, because, so Kober: “Anti-Semitism is tolerated in the Labor Party. I find it inexplicable that Ken Livingstone is still a member.” The Times interview shows the relevance of the book Contemporary Left anti-Semitism, published in late 2017 by the British sociologist David Hirsh, who teaches at the Londoner Goldsmith University. The first chapter is dedicated to the former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who reproaches to the Jews, to fight, in his opinion, a non-existent anti-Semitism to distract from Israel’s crimes. Hirsh calls this accusation the “Livingstone formulation”. Like all anti-Semites, Livingstone sees himself as a victim of Jews, “Zionism” or even the “Israel Lobby”. The claim that Jews are trying to silence criticism of Israel with a dishonest accusation is a symptomatic assertion used today by modern anti-Semites. Livingstone was already a professing radical “Anti-Zionist” when he was editor of the extreme left Newspaper Labor Herald in the early 1980s. This paper was published by the Trotskyist Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP), a party that broke apart because of the rape and sexual coercions of younger members. The WRP was funded by Gaddafi and others Arab dictators.

Livingstone‘s newspaper published a cartoon of the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin titled „Final Solution“, showing him standing, in Nazi uniform, on a pile of skulls, with his right arm raised to the Hitler salute.

In 2016 anti-Zionism had since long become part of left mainstream. But when Ken Livingstone equaled National Socialism with Zionism in a BBC broadcast, claiming that „Hitler supported Zionism ... before he went mad“, he provoked dissent. The British Labor MP John Mann accused Livingstone in front of the camera to be a “disgusting racist” and „Nazi apologist“. Anti-Semitism threatens Jews, but it mainly reveals a more profound disease in democratic movements, institutions and cultures. The investigation and analysis of anti-Semitism is first and foremost a key to understanding what is endangering democratic culture. Left anti-Semites don’t admit being anti-Semites. On the contrary: They try to deny the phenomenon and often use the „Livingstone Formulation“.

In the second chapter of his book Hirsh describes the surprising rise of Jeremy Corbyn‘s 2015 faction. Corbyn, a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, had invited Raed Salah to parliament, a propagandist of the ritual murder legend who had also worked for the Iranian state Press-TV. In the third chapter of his book David Hirsh describes how, after 2016, anti-Semitism in Corbyn‘s Labor Party entered mainstream by analyzing the „Chakrabarti Inquiry into Antisemitism and other Racisms „ commissioned by Corbyn. Furthermore, Hirsh examines the worldwide BDS movement, which is very active in the UK. It disparages the Jewish state as „apartheid“ State and calls for an economic boycott and sanctions against Israel. The anti-Semitism in trade unions of universities employees is also documented.

The analysis of left anti-Zionism is particularly instructive. Democracy is being attacked today from various directions, by left-wing extremists, anti-Semites, xenophobic and Islamophobic right-wing extremists and by radical Islamists, who are suspicious of any international collaboration and who despise the democratic system. Anti-Semitism is one of their common denominators. Who tolerates this in any way, endangers democracy.

Israel has given a home to hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors and integrated millions of Jews. Whoever wants to boycott or even liquidate this state is an anti-Semite, no matter behind which mask he is hiding. Those who resent that the Jews have their own country are anti-Semites, even if they propagate their wish for Israel’s disappearance as “Jews”.