Ten years ago, predictions of the global return of anti-Semitism were dismissed as paranoid, but, tragically, they turned out to be accurate. The recent murderous attacks on synagogues, the rise of Jew-hating European ultra-nationalists, and the vilification of Israel in church and campus BDS campaigns, reflect this bitter reality. From left and right, Jewish conspiracy theories are in vogue again, echoing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery.
As dramatically highlighted in a recent BBC documentary, much of the hatred in the British Labour party and from its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is focused on Israel. Their hostility is not due to specific policies (“occupation”) or individuals (Netanyahu), but with the existence of a Jewish-majority state, in any form.
Modern anti-Semites want a reversal of the 1947 UN Partition vote and the outcome of the 1948 War, including a “return” for millions of descendants of 1948 refugees, three generations later. These measures, wrapped in the language of justice and human rights, would mean that Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish people, would cease to exist. The language may differ from the blood curdling threats emanating from Tehran, but the goals are the same.
Eliminationist campaigns began in the UN shortly after Israel survived the 1948 war, fed by Stalin and his successors in the Soviet bloc, and the growing number of Muslim countries. In the 1970s, with European acquiescence, they produced the infamous General Assembly Resolution which branded Zionism as racism. In 1991, the resolution was finally rescinded, but the UN machinery producing this vicious anti-Semitic rhetoric, including the Department of Palestinian Affairs, remains.
Similarly, the UN Human Rights Council continues to pound away against Israel. The reports and statements of Michael Lynk, the “Special Rapporteur for Palestine”, and a former faculty member at the University of Western Ontario, are eliminationist primers. The libel-filled repertoire includes apartheid, war crimes, human rights abuses, violations of international law, genocide and ethnic cleansing.