The deep hatred that taints significant parts of the British left has been painfully visible for many years, but very few stood up to fight this disease. The Labour Party’s recent selection of Jeremy Corbyn, whose loathing for Israel is undisguised, appeared to mark a new low point. What is often termed “the new anti-Semitism”, meaning the obsessive rejection of Zionism and self-determination for the Jewish People, seemed invincible, particularly in the United Kingdom.
But these attacks crossed an invisible red line, and dozens of officials, including Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, were suspended due to their anti-Semitic remarks…But as the anti-Semitism is gradually being exposed and rejected, step after painful step, it’s clear that this toxic political disease isn’t confined to the British Labour party.
Some powerful charities and human rights groups have promoted campaigns singling out Israel for sustained attack, including boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). These groups are allied with radical Palestinians and fringe Israeli anti-Zionists, promoting false allegations of war crimes, apartheid, genocide and other outrageous and immoral claims. Largely erasing Palestinian terrorism, they repeatedly issue blanket condemnations of Israel, while, at least until recently, all but ignoring blatant atrocities and human rights violations in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Libya.
As these and other examples show, the mix of old and new anti-Semitism on the left goes far beyond the U.K. Labour Party. To truly rehabilitate themselves, these groups must close the gap between espousing progressive values and actually implementing them, starting with the immediate end to hatred of Israel and the Jewish People. This process has finally begun, but there is still a long way to go.