|The article quoted is part of a sizeable tradition of pieces attacking Europeans, "leftists", or leftists by extension (since Europeans are a bunch of commies) with the charge of anti-semitism based on opposition for Israel. Clearly there have been and are anti-semites in the UK; it's hard to think of any country for which this isn't true. There are doubtless some anti-semites in Israel, though probably not many.|
Historically, anti-semitism has been perfectly socially acceptable. Germany was by no means unusual in this. Finding examples of politicians in the 40s expressing anti-semitic views is hardly difficult. But there's a big and unwarranted jump taking place here. You cannot sensibly use evidence of famous anti-semites disapproving of Israel in the past to conclude that people disapproving of Israel now are similarly motivated. Note that modern examples of actual, officially-approved, uncondemned anti-semitism are pretty much absent. We have:
1. Prince Harry, who was roundly condemned as a twat for wearing a Nazi costume, and has displayed no anti-semitic views;
2. An impressionistic charge of "disproportionate criticism of the Jewish state", which is to start with meaningless because the Israeli state is not "the Jewish state" (the definite article being important here), and continues with the usual criticisms of the BBC and a few other writers and an amusing quote from Julie Burchill of all people - the author apparently not familiar with her status in the media here in general;
3. The fact that Arabs, some of whom may even be anti-semites, are allowed to publish newspapers, conveniently ignoring all of the criticism that has taken place of people publishing and/or promoting anti-semitic material, and of any group associating with anybody who does so;
4. A lot of examples of hyperbole (or maybe not hyperbole, depending on your point of view) comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis. Everyone gets compared to the Nazis, and in the case of the Israeli government the irony involved is going to attract even more lazy comparisons. I can't stand people who say "that's just like HITLER!" but it doesn't actually indicate anti-semitism.
The whole thing is spiked with casual equation of the term "Jews" with the term "Israelis".
Boycotts against Jews arouse painful associations. Attempts to remove Israeli products from Selfridges, Harrods, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and other British chains, under the slogan “Isolate the Racist Zionist State,” are both a symptom and a rallying point for the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Britain.
Many Israelis may well be Jews, but a boycott of Israeli products is not a boycott against Jews.
We do have anti-semites in this country, as I said before. We have neo-Nazis, we have those promoting conspiracy theories that always somehow seem to involve Jewish-identified institutions at some point, we have people casually talking about how "Jews stick together" or "they own all the banks don't they". Those people are going to oppose Israeli actions because the Israeli government self-identifies as Jewish and they are either of the right intellectual level or have an ulterior motive to believe in that. Sometimes we also have people who see crimes by the Israeli government, conclude that those are Jewish crimes and draw conclusions about Jews in general; descriptions of such people can range from "easily led" to "fucking stupid thoughtless cunts". It needs challenging at every stage.
Concluding that British society is somehow deeply tolerant of anti-semitism, however, is simply unjustified. The examples given are not sufficient, the bias in the way that they are reported is clear, and the "Jewish"/"Israeli government" confusion is so frequent and so obvious that one must conclude that the motivation behind the article is to promote that position.
Incidentally, since that article requires subscription, from bugmenot:
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