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How anti-Semitism is being fostered on campus Academics set the tone and agenda for much of university life

Campus anti-Semitism is the hidden story of the past few years. Credit: Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Campus anti-Semitism is the hidden story of the past few years. Credit: Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy / Barcroft Media via Getty Images


January 5, 2021   6 mins

However awful 2020 was, there was at least one upside: the end of Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as Labour leader. Not that this means the party’s anti-Semitism crisis is over. If only.

The new leader does seem sincere in his desire to decontaminate the party. But however committed Keir Starmer and his allies may be to expelling members, it’s a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. Kick one out and another will emerge.

The problem runs deep. But the problem isn’t Labour per se. The party was never the origin of anti-Semitism in British politics. Members didn’t wake up one morning and decide that because Jeremy Corbyn was leader they would start to hate Jews. The anti-Semitism was latent. It was within them, inculcated and maturing over years. Mr Corbyn gave them a feeling that it was ok to say certain things publicly, but the real issue is why they harboured such anti-Semitism ideas in the first place. And the blame for that lies with academia.

Campus anti-Semitism is the hidden story of the past few years. A Community Security Trust report published last month recorded 123 university incidents in the past two years. Indeed, such is the scale of the problem that, as editor of the Jewish Chronicle, I constantly hear parents and prospective students saying that they will not consider some universities because of their reputation for anti-Semitism.

This is anti-Semitism that hides in plain sight; it is recorded and is a major topic of discussion within the Jewish community. But there has, until very recently, been little focus on it from elsewhere — as if somehow those responsible are merely overgrown kids getting a bit too overheated in debates over the Middle East.

But this is a complete misunderstanding of the real problem. Far from it being the preserve of students, campus anti-Semitism often emanates from, is propagated by and is defended by academics and the university authorities themselves. When examining problems on campus the focus should be primarily on academics, not students.

Take what happened at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). It was reported last week that the university has agreed to pay £15,000 — the cost of his tuition fees — to Noah Lewis, a former student who had to withdraw from his course because of what he called a “toxic, antisemitic environment on campus”.

SOAS’s first ‘investigation’ recommended that Mr Lewis be paid £500 to cover a few expenses. Mr Lewis appealed, and the independent panel set up to consider his appeal was withering in its judgment, arguing that the first panel had simply ignored the student’s broader complaint about the environment at SOAS.

Mr Lewis had complained that there were racist daubings on campus and that criticisms of Israeli policy “often morph into attacks on the State of Israel and then further progress into blatant attacks on Jews in general”. The full account he provided to the appeal is shocking even for those of us used to this sort of thing. That’s probably why the appeal panel recommended setting up a further independent investigation into what it said was prima facie evidence that there was indeed a “toxic, antisemitic environment” at SOAS.

The real importance of the appeal ruling, however, is not that it upheld the accounts provided by Mr Lewis. It’s that the appeal exposed the institutional failure of SOAS’s own academics to treat Mr Lewis’ complaints properly. This is a story that is repeated time after time.

Worse, it is often the academics who are responsible for fostering such an intolerant atmosphere and who are then protected by their colleagues. Fifteen of the incidents described in the CST report were perpetrated by academic staff, including four at the University of Warwick, two at the University of Leeds and two at the University of Nottingham.

In November 2019, for example, a Jewish student at the University of Warwick alerted CST to a lecture on Israel and Palestine by Goldie Osuri, Associate Professor of Sociology. The student reported that the lecturer had said to students, “this idea that the Labour Party is antisemitic is very much an Israeli lobby kind of idea…”.

Warwick’s Jewish Israeli Society then released a recording of these comments and submitted a complaint to the university on behalf of the Jewish student, who wished to remain anonymous. In response, Dr Osuri emailed the entire class informing them of the complaint and recommending that her students look at the website of Jewish Voice for Labour (a notorious Corbynite group set up solely to deny claims of Labour anti-Semitism) which, as Dr Osuri put it, “argue that the claims of anti-semitism against the Labour Party are orchestrated”.

The Jewish student understandably felt targeted and intimidated by Dr Osuri for being involved in a complaint, even before it had been investigated. Then the university said it could not consider the recording and would seek to punish whoever was responsible for it as it breached data protection.

The investigation later dismissed the student’s complaint, ruling that Dr Osuri’s statement was legitimate “within the principles and values of tolerance and freedom of speech”. But — extraordinarily — the president of the Jewish Israeli Society (who had submitted the complaint against Dr Osuri on behalf of the Jewish student) was told by the university authorities that a complaint had been made against him by Dr Osuri and another academic, and that he was being charged with “Violation of the Policy on Recording of Lectures by Students” and “bullying and harassment and a defamation of the academic reputation of Dr Goldie Osuri”.

It took three months for this investigation to be completed, with all charges dropped.

The whole sorry episode reeks of attacking Jews for daring to complain about perceived anti-Semitism. It effectively sends the message to Jewish students and those who represent them that they should shut up and put up with whatever they are faced with, to exculpate the offender and find a way to blame the complainant. To blame the Jew for his own victimhood, in other words — an all too familiar theme in history.

Another example, at Bristol University, is equally revealing. In February 2019, two Jewish students reported to CST what they considered to be anti-Semitic content taught in a lecture in the course “Harms of the Powerful” by David Miller, Professor of Political Sociology at the university. Prof Miller was said to have shown a PowerPoint slide with a diagram featuring a web of Jewish organisations, placed under or subservient to the “Israeli government”.

The topic was ‘Islamophobia’, and the slide was part of Professor Miller’s explanation of his theory that the “Zionist movement (parts of)” is part of a global network that promotes and encourages hatred of Muslims and of Islam. The PowerPoint presentation used by Miller during the lecture included CST and other mainstream UK Jewish organisations and leaders in this diagram, implying that they are part of this alleged Islamophobic network.

A Jewish student in the lecture gave CST a written statement that “as a Jewish student I felt uncomfortable and intimidated in his class. I know and understand what he says is false, it is clear however that a number of students in the class believe him, just because he is an academic”. The same student claimed that “I fear that if he found out that I was Jewish this would negatively affect my experience throughout this unit”.

A different Jewish student in his class further stated that “I don’t think it is right that I should have to sit in a lecture or seminar in fear. Fear that he will offend me personally or for fear that he is going to spread hatred and misinformation to other students who, in turn, can pass on these false ideas”.

Out of respect to the students’ desire to remain anonymous, CST wrote to the university authorities. Their response, in all seriousness, was simply to say that the Head of School had discussed the letter with Professor Miller through his line manager. Indeed, because the students wish to remain anonymous, Bristol still refuses even to consider that there has been a formal complaint.

In a Zoom meeting this August, Prof Miller described CST — a charity which exists solely to examine anti-Semitism and protect the Jewish community from it — as “people who must only be faced and defeated”. He elaborated in a newspaper interview, saying CST “is an organisation that exists to run point for a hostile foreign government in the UK…this is a straightforward story of influence-peddling by a foreign state”.

The University of Bristol authorities responded by seeming to closing ranks, describing CST as an “external third party”, saying that it would therefore not enter into a discussion with it over Miller.

It is quite rightly said that what happens on campus is a prelude to what happens in real life a generation later, as fashionable academic ideas seep out of the academy and as the students influenced by those ideas move into positions of influence in wider society. These are the academics who set the tone and agenda for much of campus life — and for those students who, over the next decades, will be setting the tone for national life.

That is why, quite apart from the facts of these incidents themselves, they matter so much.

Defeating the intellectual cancer that has spread among some academic communities will be a difficult and lengthy process. But there is a more immediate and practical step that can be taken. Last month, Oxford University became the latest to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism (which, you may remember, was the cause of a long battle within the Labour Party during the summer of 2019). The vast majority of Russell Group universities have now adopted it — as has Warwick. 

It is helpful because as well as offering a clear definition it provides a series of concrete examples which demonstrate why certain behaviour — such as holding individual Jews responsible for the actions of a foreign government, Israel — is anti-Semitic.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson may not have many fans, but he has been a tireless advocate of the IHRA definition, even warning that universities could face cuts if they refused to adopt it. The real test will come when one of the institutions that has adopted it has to confront the behaviour of one of its own staff members. We will, I fear, not have long to wait.


Stephen Pollard is Editor of the Jewish Chronicle.

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Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago

This article is an attempt at providing factual support to the widespread claims that anti-semitism has become common at universities, and that it is not fostered only by crazy ignorant kids marching under banners such as “free palestine” etc, but is developed and encouraged by some academics with limited academic skills but with extreme biases, not worthy of true scholars.
The initial responses below seem to hide under that pseudo facile blanket of “Israel should be subject to criticism as should any country”, and that trying to stop such criticism is “interfering with an academic’s right to free speech”.

There are many problems with these attempts to rationalize bias and prejudice.
The most obvious being that tiny Israel is subject to an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of such “criticism” in comparison to countries that truly behave in nasty rotten ways towards their own citizens and others.

In addition though, when the true facts are made public, such as that Israel does not commit genocide, that Israel is not an apartheid state – unlike many Arab states which kicked out all their Jews whose ancestors had lived in the country for hundreds of years and contributed enormously to the country, that in Israel there are Arab members of parliament, Arab doctors, lawyers, judges, Arab political parties, and on the day to day level, there are absolutely no signs on beaches, or outside restaurants saying “no Arabs allowed” – none.
But there are ignorant idiots – even within Israel – walking around proclaiming that Israel is an apartheid country,

When such facts are stated, the anti-semites never apologize, never correct their incorrect abusive allegations.
And in academia, it is much worse because of the emotional power and influence the older, supposedly more mature professor, has over the much younger and often still immature student.
When it comes to a personal relationship, an older teacher cannot seduce a student and plead the innocence of “mutual consent” because of the power difference, and the teacher will lose his or her position,
but for “seducing” and corrupting young minds, so far there has been little challenging, and university administrators are often the most complicit in this rotten appeasement behaviour.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

Joseph, how does Avigdor Lieberman’s role in Israeli politics equate with your claims?

leznikm8
leznikm8
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

and in what particular way existence of Avigdor Lieberman rejects the facts that: ” in Israel there are Arab members of parliament, Arab doctors, lawyers, judges, Arab political parties, and on the day to day level, there are absolutely no signs on beaches, or outside restaurants saying “no Arabs allowed” – none”

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Perhaps you should be the one reflecting on that question. How, indeed, does the existence of one politician in Israel have any bearing whatsoever on the multiple, disgraceful instances of anti-Semitism in academia (and, indeed, the British Labour Party)?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Since Avigdor Lieberman is widely regarded as the Kingmaker in Israeli politics, and was made Defence Minister by the current Netanyahu administration for 2.5 years (May 2016 – Nov 2018), he’s not just “one politician”.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Is it, then, your contention that this one politician in Israel is the reason for all the instances of anti-Semitism in academia?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

No, but he is one of the reasons for legitimate (non-anti-Semitic) criticism of the State of Israel. Some on this thread explicitly state that all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.

Incidentally, if you are going to try to occupy the moral high ground as an opponent of racism, you might look at Lieberman’s statements over the years. But perhaps, like so many on the Right, you are happy with anti-Moslem racism while condemning criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism?

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

As I have said above, the views of a single Israeli politician have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the anti-Semitism of the British Labour Party or some UK academics. Even if I thought Israel was the most evil country on Earth and even if you showed me evidence that Israelis were literally eating Arab children, I would still condemn the Anti-Semitism of the Labour Party.

I have not read every post here, but I have not seen one that states that “all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.” Rather, I have seen posts that – rightly in my view – point out that many “critics of Israel” have nothing to say when precisely those actions of which they accuse the Israeli state are carried out (and much, much worse) by other countries. And, like me, the people pointing that out strongly suspect that the reason for that is simple, old-fashioned anti-Semitism.

Note that I am deliberately ignoring your snide and irrelevant effort to divert the topic to “islamophobia.”

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

no, no, no. He was called the “kingmaker” because at one time he tried to play off political parties against each other when an election left no clear majority and he had a very small number of seats, that could have tipped the balance either way
.
Although he represents a certain element, secular ex-Soviets (he is Moldavian, not Russian) people with more experience of life in Israel tell me that he has never succeeded in any of the ministries he was briefly in charge of.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

excellent response

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

In a similar way to the role of Tommy Robinson in British Politics or some of the less savoury members of the RUC in NI.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

Don’t forget that for every few real antisemitic people, there’s a person who focuses criticism against Israel because they think this Israel should do better than other countries.

This is of course an example of the soft bigotry of low expectations. I believe all of Israel neighbours have awful human records, but they’re not viewed as sort of western.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

“I believe all of Israel neighbours have awful human records, but they’re not viewed as sort of western.”

This is one of the strange, and arguably colonialist things about all this. Some countries are expected to behave well and are held to higher standards, while others are not. As if we are saying – well what do you expect of (insert non-western ethnic group here).

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago

It’s one of the quirks of academia that they will fall over themselves in self accusation of anti black racism, but antisemitism is a dirty little secret.

In academia, and the Labour Party, antisemitism really does seem to be a special case which cannot simply be bundled up with racism generally. Precisely those who are most vociferous in attacking racism and Islamaphobia seem to harbour anti Semitic prejudice. Hence our suspicion every time Corbyn was questioned about antisemitism, and responded in terms of opposition to all forms of racism.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Can you help with some examples that justify the “seem to harbour” statement.

I don’t personally know of any evidence that will help me agree with that …. and I do crave evidence that I can systematically consider ….

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

“Can you help with some examples that justify the “seem to harbour” statement”

A simple wander through the catalogue of Corbyn’s disgusting transgressions should do the trick for you.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

My point was aimed at the generalisation rather than Corbyn in particular.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Ian – you’re really not going to find scientific evidence on this. Even if research were done to try and uncover antisemitism amongst academics (say) you would just be faced with arguments over what did and did not constitute antisemitism.

And few people now are openly and avowedly antisemitic.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

But when the then-leader of the party is obviously anti-Semitic, as Corbyn clearly is, it is hard to argue that the people willing to put him in the PM job don’t harbour anti-Semitic inclinations. Corbyn’s anti-Semitism was so clearly demonstrated, repeatedly*, that is was impossible to ignore – and the contortions people engaged in to explain it away were embarassing.

Then there were also the blatherings of Livingstone, Williamson, Shah… really, no need to cite any others. The attempted “rebuttals” (e.g. the Israel diversion) were as crass as Klansmen attempting to explain away their hoods by claiming they were mosquito repellants.

*Corbyn’s anti-Semitism was so clearly demonstrated, repeatedly:
The mural
The wreath
The book forward
…I could go on.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

I’m sorry Chris, but this sounds rather like projection.

I don’t think anyone positively welcomes the mistreatment of Arabs.

The bit I can agree with is that the right – even the quite far right – has become concerned about the Jews in a way in which they certainly weren’t before. Apart, of course, from the ones who think that filling Europe with Moslems is part of some bizarre Jewish plot.

I think there is genuine widespread concern about the rise in antisemitism.

Frank Freeman
Frank Freeman
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

They may not welcome the mistreatment of Arabs, but the BBC have stopped reporting it. Perhaps they are afraid of being labeled “antisemitic”.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

I actually think that there is something remarkably nuanced about modern racism – if that is even the proper term for it. There now seem to be quite a variety of likes and dislikes based around race and religion running between various groups.

Your assumption that there is a group of people, presumably white, who are anti black, anti Moslem – and presumably anti everything else that is not like them – and read the Telegraph is a bit dated. Modern “racists” are remarkably picky, and most certainly are not all white.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

I’d agree that it’s complicated. But I don’t see that it’s possible to discount the Daily Telegraph mindset. When one of this country’s two major parties contains an actual majority of members who wouldn’t accept someone like Sajid Javid as its leader because he’s Moslem, that’s pretty influential.

leznikm8
leznikm8
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

What do you mean by Israeli annexation of Jordanian territory? Can you please be more specific?

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Can you cite any examples of this ‘islamophobia’ of which you speak? Please don’t refer to Johnson’s column mocking the burka, as that would be foolish and irrelevant.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

Certainly (though I’m repeating stuff I’ve posted elsewhere on this thread, so I’ll do it concisely).

(1) Hope not Hate survey showing massive Islamophobia among Conservative party members. Islamophobic attitudes among more than 50%.

(2) Numerous examples of verbal aggression against individual Moslems, more offensively phrased (I think) than has been quoted in examples of Labour anti-Semites arguing with pro-Israel Labour people.

(3) Comment of a card-carrying Conservative member of my long acquaintance, made to me: “I don’t see why you Lefties are worried about Western military action killing Moslem women and children. We’re going to have to kill the Moslems anyway, so if we don’t kill them when they’re children, we’re going to have to kill them when they are grown up”. That guy is still a Conservative party member and was one of those who elected Boris Johnson as leader.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

So the only substantive piece of data you have is a dubious survey? The survey (I have read it) is barely worth the time it took to read it.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

And conversely, those who clutch their pearls over anti-Semitism are happy to indulge in racism generally. The Conservative party is riddled with racism, but wishes to attack the Labour party as anti-Semitic.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

you have swallowed palestinian propaganda without any awareness that what you write is utter nonsese historically.

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

“As a Jewish student I felt uncomfortable and intimidated in his class. I know and understand what he says is false, it is clear however that a number of students in the class believe him, just because he is an academic”.

Bit like being a straight white male then, eh?

The same student claimed that “I fear that if he found out that I was Jewish this would negatively affect my experience throughout this unit”.

Now you know how traditional Christians feel in most institutions in the country.

Identity politics. Horrible…but inevitable.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

Have an upvote, although I suspect that Jews have known what this feels like a great deal longer than straight white males and British Christians.

Michael North
Michael North
3 years ago

Israel used to be the darling of the left, when it was seen as all kibbutzniks singing Hava Nagilah.
Things changed after 1967, when it started winning wars.

Daniel Björkman
Daniel Björkman
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael North

Not unreasonably so. Losers need help and forgiveness. Winners need to be held to a higher standards. That’s not some kind of Marxist heresy either, it’s just noblesse oblige adapted to a more fluid post-aristocratic age. Showing yourself to be strong means showing yourself to have no excuses for not also being good.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago

Strong? That strength is an illusion.
Israel cannot afford to lose a war. The consequence of defeat would make the genocide in Srebrenica look like a vicar’s tea party.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Which was exactly the excuse that the Soviet Union used for treating Eastern Europe as an occupied buffer zone – “we lost 20 million due to German aggression”. I doubt if you swallowed that Soviet propaganda, so don’t accept it for armed-to-the-teeth Israel either.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

” Losers need help and forgiveness”

That depends on their own behavior. Losers who accept their responsibility for aggression, maybe they do need help and forgiveness. Germany and Japan for example. Both were rebuilt after WWII, and they accepted responsibility for their actions. The Palestinians have not done that. Nor have they agreed to stop attacking Israel. You don’t get help and forgiveness under those circumstances.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago

excellent response

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael North

And occupying Arab territory, and then annexing it to the State of Israel. Britain occupied part of Germany in 1945, but we did not annex it as British territory.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

No, because we were a bankrupt pensioner of the USA, and it was verboten!

Surely you are aware that before that we had acquired the greatest (in size) Empire the word had ever seen?
We just couldn’t stop grabbing stuff, India, Canada, America, West Indies, choice bits of China and even nano Malta, plus off course Ireland, Scotland and even wee little Wales.
Now sadly we are down to the Isle of Wight!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The allied occupation did not end until 1955 after West Germany joined NATO and signed an agreement that specifically prohibited it from certain types of weapons. When you’re the aggressor and you lose, you have to negotiate the return of captured territory just as West Germany did.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Well Jews need somewhere to live don’t they.
They have been hounded out of their homes throughout the Middle East, but you would deny them even one small plot where they can live in relative safety.
I find it appalling that after the horrors of the 20th Century there are still people who can talk as you do

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Israel has tried to negotiate a settlement on territories captured from aggressors and it has been successful in some cases. But others have refused to negotiate and therefore don’t get the territory back. At this point, I doubt that Jordan wants it back.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

Israel has never negotiated anything in good faith and more than one Israeli historian has said that. The goal has always been to take all of Palestine, when they can work out how to get rid of 6 million plus Palestinians, and then to move on to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon etc., as part of the Great Plan for Eretz Israel. Yes, it is delusional but the Israeli State has hardly demonstrated much sanity in its brief time of existence.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Apparently yours is a minority opinion even in the Middle East. The world has moved on, it’s not the Middle East of 1967.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

What is the difference between Jews being hounded out of some places in the Middle East, I note they refuse to leave Iran, and Jews hounding Palestinian Christians and Muslims out of their homes and their country? The hypocrisy is breath-taking.

Jews are followers of a religion. Religions do not get land rights, homelands or self-determination. If they did then all religions would have the same rights. They do not.

Most Jews do not live in Zionist Israel or Occupied Palestine, never did and never will. Indeed, even during the Second World War, most Jews lived safely in many countries, including parts of Europe.

The concept that a theocracy, a religious State for Jews should be set up because of what the Nazis did is ridiculous. Yes, one can understand how the Zionists succeeded in swinging that line at the time, but, in saner times, with a better understanding of history, the concept was ridiculous and doomed.

The horrors of the 20th century involved many groups and not just religious groups. On a per capita basis the Gypsies lost more people at the hands of the Nazis than did Judaism.

Stalinist Russia killed tens of millions. To try to make the suffering of one group, members of Judaism, greater than any other is dishonest and dysfunctional. Even worse – to allow that suffering to ‘justify’ the atrocities committed against the Palestinians since 1947 is criminal insanity.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Please stop obsessing over the unique wickedness of the Jews (Zionist is just a euphemism), because to be frank, I find you, and people like you, to be weird to the point of crazy. When I was young, maybe about your age age now, I would wonder how people could have thought and behaved as they had in the so recent past and was thankful that it was over. I look around me today and see that the swivel-eyes are back, still rationalising their essentially irrational hatreds.
I think in general that censorship creates more problems than it solves and that sunlight is the best disinfectant. But another part of me thinks that you need to be stopped, because I know where you’re going.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

“Jews are followers of a religion. Religions do not get land rights”
I came across this in Haaretz today:
A Scion of Zionist Aristocracy Wants to Quit the Jewish People. Will Israel Let Him?

‘Why Avraham Burg, who has served as Knesset speaker, interim president and head of the Jewish Agency, is asking Israel to annul his registration as a Jew
This extraordinary act, which seems light-years away from most of Burg’s well-known public activity, comes in the wake of the enactment in 2018 of the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People.

“The meaning of that law is that a citizen of Israel who is not Jewish will suffer from having an inferior status, similar to what the Jews suffered for untold generations,” Burg states in his affidavit. “What is abhorrent to us, we are now doing to our non-Jewish citizens.”

Burg: “I don’t know what the nation-state of the Jewish people is, according to that law. I do know that if you were to take the law as it stands and change the words, and enact it in a place where there’s a Jewish minority ““ you would term it antisemitic and declare all-out war against it.”’

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

I’m not denying them “one small plot” (Israel’s 1948 boundaries), I’m questioning their right to occupy part of someone else’s country to expand their own.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It isn’t Jordanian territory anymore, they lost it in 1967.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

“Britain occupied part of Germany in 1945, but we did not annex it as British territory.”
Yes, but had Germany refused to accept that the war was over, and persisted with a public commitment to cause British territory to be placed under German control, I expect we might have not just withdrawn…

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

are you serious, or just being a provocative ignoramus?
Israel hasn’t occupied or annexed any “arab territory”. Learn some history, not just false propaganda.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

East Jerusalem. West Bank. Both Jordanian territory, occupied by Israel since 1967.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael North

Spot on. The left loves an underdog, even one who acts as the aggressor.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael North

The support for the original colonisation of Palestine by European Jews was sourced in deep ignorance and even less interest by most people. In the wake of a traumatic World War, the Zionists were able to manipulate a situation whereby they could take someone else’s country and fill it with colonists of a particular religion, who, would then, through necessity, given the nature of the Zionist political system, deny any rights to the indigenous people of the land they had stolen.

Zionists got away with something in 1947, for many reasons, which would never be tolerated today. While more than one soldier would know where Palestine was and that it had a people living there, most in the world would not, and, after that ghastly war, very few had time to even care.

If Israel had done what all other nations founded in recent history through colonisation, had done, and created one state shared equally by all, a democracy where religions were secondary, we would not be having this conversation.

But that did not happen. The Zionists, who had been talking about colonising Palestine from the late 19th century, long before any Nazis appeared on the scene, had the sole goal of setting up a State for Jews where Jews were and would remain the sole power. The presence of Palestinians was seen at the time as a mere inconvenience. The South Africans made a similar mistake.

However, in the age of the internet more and more people, including more Jews, know the truth and reality of the Israeli colonial State and judge it has no place in a civilized world. If Israelis are lucky they will find a De Klerk, or a De Klerk will find them. The Palestinians certainly have more than one ‘Mandela.’

Matthew Freedman
Matthew Freedman
3 years ago

Some of the comments I see written by far-left anti-zionist academics on Twitter are awful. You have people studying for PHDs who don’t even know that around 50% of Israel’s Jewish population have no links to Europe. Yet I see tweets that “Free Palestine” will mean sending the Jews back to Europe. How low can they stoop?

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

People are poorly informed but they are better informed today than they once were. This is why things are changing for Israel. More people know the truth of its foundation and the apartheid nature of its State.

And 50% is not strictly correct because many from this group are from Southern Europe. They are just not northern European Jews, or Ashkenazi. The rest are from the Middle East region.

I think many people take the view that one-state is the only solution and those Jews who do not want to share the land they have colonised with indigenous Christians and Muslims, can return to the countries they, their parents or grandparents left to colonise Palestine. Or, as South Africans have done since the end of apartheid, apply to emigrate somewhere else.

Indeed, there are many young Israelis already voting with their feet and returning to the countries their parents or grandparents left. One of the biggest communities is in Berlin which stands as a wonderful healing touch on every count.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

you have such a perverted ignorant view of history, you are so wrong on so many issues, and I suspect you have a deep anti-Jewish bias,

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago

My sympathies are with the author, but:

The student reported that the lecturer had said to students, “this idea that the Labour Party is antisemitic is very much an Israeli lobby kind of idea”Š”.

really should fall within the area of open debate. It is not in itself anti Semitic. These sorts of idea need to be challenged, and evidence demanded. They are certainly partisan, and we might deplore the lack of balance and professionalism of the lecturer, but they are not racist in themselves.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Without further quotes and context, there is no clear evidence of a “lack of professionalism and balance” either.

This subject never seems to be discussed in an evidence-based non-partisan manner – which I find extremely frustrating.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

From what the author says, it is hard to tell whether the claim was backed up with evidence or not. It sounds like an off the cuff response.

If it was not backed by evidence, but was simply an expression of a one sided view by the lecturer (whether pro labour, anti Israel or actually anti Semitic) then I think it is fair to describe it as partisan and unprofessional.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Agreed, but the “if” is critical ….

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

they most definitely are, the labour party was recently condemned by many within the party itself as being anti-semitic, trying to blame a vague “Israeli lobby” is pure anti-semitism and provoking hatred towards those British Jews who may be a child of an Israeli parent, or have briothers or sisters living in Israel.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

A vague Israeli lobby? Al Jazeera’s ‘The Lobby” was quite specific about some of the Israeli agents operating in the UK.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

If I had had tea in my mouth, I would have sprayed it with laughter.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

The situation we have here is parallel to that around islamophobia.

Some claim that any criticism of Islam or Islamic culture(s) must be motivated by racism. It’s a kind of disguised racism. They may be right in some cases.

But that should not be used to put any criticism of Islam beyond the pale. It is perfectly reasonable to want to critique religion without being motivated by racism. And indeed, there is plenty of criticism of religion where race obviously plays no part.

Similarly:

I accept your question: why this obsession with Israel? And like you I think it is based in antisemitism. But in any individual case, I don’t think we can assume that any criticism of the Israeli government must be grounded in antisemitism. And I don’t think we can level that charge every time criticism is made.

More subtly – even if it is motivated by antisemitism the criticism may still be valid.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Quite so, there are a lot of parallels. While there are certainly plenty of instances of people who hate Muslims and Jews, accusations of “Islamophobia” and “Antisemitism” are both used disengenously to wall off debate on a vast array of things.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  M Spahn

It certainly seems to be an effective technique.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Agreed. The author may have some valid points, but that is truly a Kafka trap. A denial that the Labour Party has a serious and particular problem with antisemitism is in itself evidence for that very thing. Isn’t that convenient. Denial is proof of guilt.

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago

Universities a source of over inflated egos that allow insecure man babies and twats to educate the next generation.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Vivek Rajkhowa

” man babies and twats”

Is this a gender distinction, or do you Intend both expressions to be gender neutral?

Vivek Rajkhowa
Vivek Rajkhowa
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Gender neutral. After all, feminists have us believing women are just like men.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago

This was a terrible article.

The other day I came across an actual newly-minted anti-Semite. He said some terrible things. It was hard to steer him around to more sensible ways of thought because I have had so little practice. And one of the reasons for that is the number of commentators insisting that any criticism of Israeli policy is anti-Semitic.

Equating criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism hammers home the idea that every misstep in Israeli policy is inherently Jewish. It is a virtual propaganda machine for hard-right Islamists.

Whether you like it or not Muslims in this country are here to stay, and I am going to keep working with them, buying my dinner off them and getting my hair cut by them.

I will also continue talking to them, because I refuse to treat Muslims as an underclass. I refuse to disengage. I consider it my duty to personally disentangle the threads of their anti-Semitism, for if not I, who?

Next time I see my anti-Semitic acquaintance, once I’ve worked on him for a bit, I might allude to the fact that half of my family are Jewish. That side of my family never stop criticizing Israeli policy, but then again they are Labour party members, so there is no helping them.

I want to live in a country with both Muslims and Jews, and I am appalled that exactly the same anti-Semitic propaganda viz. ‘Hard right Israeli policy is inherently Jewish’ is being peddled by both hard-line Islamists and the editor of the Jewish Chronicle alike.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

“Whether you like it or not Muslims in this country are here to stay”
Sounds more like your own fantasy. I wouldn’t be so sure.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

It appears there are over three million Muslims in the UK, assuming that is the country Adrian was referring to. Eliminating them all would require extreme measures that I, for one, hope never become reality, and preferably cease being anyone’s fantasy.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Let’s invite even more instead.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I didn’t read “eliminate them all” in Daniel’s post. How do you know they would even want to stay? With the UK now out of the EU, some Muslims may determine that they’d be better off somewhere else in Europe.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

A tendentious attempt to gloss an obviously Islamophobic/trolling comment. Notmyopinion’s post below sums it up perfectly – if anyone had posted “”Whether you like it or not Jews in this country are here to stay“ Sounds more like your own fantasy. I wouldn’t be so sure.” you’d be screaming about anti-Semitism. So would I, actually.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Actually the surge in anti-Semitic crime in the UK is causing some Jews to consider leaving.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Though probably not as many as the Washington DC inhabitants considering leaving if they are going to continue to be subjected to the thuggery of gun-toting supporters of Donald Trump. Who has just told the thugs, on national televison “we love you”.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Polls show it’s about a third of British Jews.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

Well said.

Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown
3 years ago

Although this is in itself a serious problem, while googling the various profiles of the academics, I couldn’t help thinking of an even wider issue: namely, what on earth are all these people doing?

It never ceases to amaze the capacity of second and third rate universities to generate acres of waffle on subjects in which nobody of any sense has any interest. I am all for intellectual exploration but reading the bios of the likes of Osuri and Miller, I can’t help thinking of an old Jewish aunt who would often be heard to mutter “By this, he makes a living?!”

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

it’s interesting how some hatreds are treated as acceptable while others are crimes against humanity.

“I don’t think it is right that I should have to sit in a lecture or seminar in fear.”
how often has that appeared in American media from a non-white person, over something as ‘sinister’ as Huckleberry Finn or To Kill a Mockingbird. The difference is that the powers that be rally around the offended party and the accused is hounded into resignation or termination.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Which perhaps is what was also desired for the lecturer who voiced a statement which offended the University’s Jewish Society.

Bison Canning
Bison Canning
3 years ago

The bond between the actions of Israel and accusations of anti-semitism needs to be broken once and for all. Legitimate criticism of the state of Israel is so often shut down by cries of anti-semitism and yet central to the definition of anti-semitism is the rejection of “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel”. Who defines when”criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic”? (IHRA) The wilful slurs of anti-semitism against legitimate criticism of Israel muddy the waters.

Just as anti-semitism should not be tolerated so should opportunist accusations of anti-semitism be shown up as such. It sucks the life out of any debate…..but maybe that’s the point? There’s always the trump card to pull out when the criticism gets too close to the bone.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago

It’s a great pity that comments here are dominated by what appear to be private debates between opposing parties. It is also disappointing, to say the least, that a number of UnHerd readers involved in these debates appear to me (a non-Jew BTW) to be clearly anti-semitic and/or anti-Israeli. Like many people exhibiting these noxious characterestics they have a curious and blinkered obsession with Israel & Palestine, ignoring the undeniable fact that the former is the only genuine democracy in the middle East and the latter at least partly under terrorist rule.

Why does this particular conflict dominate their thinking and ‘activism’ when much greater injustices are being perpetrated on larger numbers of people in, for example, Burma, China, Venezuela or Zimbabwe?

By thr way, it is interesting to note that one of the guilty parties mentioned by Pollard is a professor of “political sociology”, which pretty well speaks for itself. Rather like a guy being interviewed on Talk Radio the other day who was a professor of “media diversity”. Amazing what arcane subjects you can now claim to be a professor of in some of our seats of ‘learning’.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Ralph Windsor

And, to use your own logic and wording, why does the Right obsess about Venezuela when it is indisputable that “much greater injustices are being perpetrated on larger numbers of people in, for example …..China” ?

Perhaps the Right is in the grip of Venezuelaphobia? And the EHRC should conduct an enquiry, since the Right creates an atmosphere of hostility which must make British people of Venezuelan origin very uncomfortable.

Or then again, perhaps the Right has legitimate criticism of Venezuela just as others have legitimate criticism of the State of Israel? And the real issue is the histrionic response of defenders of Israel, and their smearing of any such criticism of it as anti-Semitic, even when it isn’t? They would be better off confining that accusation to genuine anti-Semitism, just as the tediously ‘woke’ on the Left would be well advised to limit accusations of ‘racism’ to genuine cases.

Robert Cannon
Robert Cannon
3 years ago

The British government’s stated policy of supporting free speech in British universities is on a collision course with its policy of giving group rights to a small ethnic minority above and beyond those of others.

I witnessed myself the hubris and hypocrisy of the so-called Jewish community leaders when Rabbi Jonathan Romain spent two years leading a campaign against the opening of a Catholic primary and secondary school in Richmond-upon-Thames while at the same time Rabbi Romain’s wife, herself a rabbi, was supporting the opening of a Jewish primary school in neighbouring Wandsworth.

The Catholic schools eventually opened and are oversubscribed. The Jewish primary school opened and could not fill even half the places. Old people were turf out of a care home in order to free up the building for a school that in demographic terms had no prospect of filling its places but was nonetheless approved by the state.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Cannon

The problem is religion. I’m not sure we should be opening more catholic schools any more than opening additional Jewish schools.

Robert Cannon
Robert Cannon
3 years ago

Do you get what I am saying: it’s the height of hypocrisy for Jewish rabbis campaigning against opening of Catholic schools while campaigning for the opening of Jewish schools. It’s easy for the Jewish community to be against the opening of “additional” religious schools. Jewish state school places are already significantly oversupplied relative to the size of the Jewish community.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Cannon

I see what you’re saying, but do you apply that to all religious schools?

I can understand that the Jewish community might want their own schools for reasons of safety… however, I believe all communities should assimilate and practice their religions privately at home.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

I would have more confidence in the article if I wasn’t aware of the numerous apologies and associated damages payments the Jewish Chronicle, with Pollard as editor, has had to make recently at the instruction of the Independent Press Standards Organisation for making false statements alleging antisemitism.

Google Jewish Chronicle, apologies, for evidence.

That said, of course holding individual Jews responsible for the behaviour of the Israeli Government is antisemitic. Would be like blaming individual Muslims for the behaviour of the Saudi Arabian Government.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

“holding individual Jews responsible for the behaviour of the Israeli Government is antisemitic”

But equally, it is reasonable to consider the actions of a government – including negatively – regardless of whether someone listening might be offended.

We wouldn’t want a situation, for example, in which any discussion of the actions of the Chinese government led to an accusation of sinophobia.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

the problem with your comment is that of the numerous countries in the world that behave very badly towards their own citizens and towards others, only Israel is singled out for such excessive attention and criticism,
that is why organizations, groups, and especially academics are quite justifiably accused of anti-semitism,

voodoopolitics
voodoopolitics
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

Because Israeli essentially holds itself out as a democracy of the European type and therefore is held to those standards. The USSR hated Israel and so that also infected the Left to this day.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

I see a lot of criticism on the left about the US Government for its policies regarding the treatment of minorities.
I saw a lot of criticism on the left about the UK Government for its policies in Northern Ireland.
I see a lot of criticism on the left about the UK Government for its hostile environment policy.
When the Prime Minister of a country states about his country that it is “the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people” that is bound to attract criticism. It would be the equivalent of Trump or Johnson stating their countries were the national state of white Christians.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

“of the numerous countries in the world that behave very badly towards their own citizens and towards others, only Israel is singled out for such excessive attention and criticism”
I’d suggest you try watching the BBC, which regularly draws critical attention to China for its alleged treatment of its Uighur minority, and frequently depicts Russia as a threat to Western nations.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

It’s partly because Israel is a democracy. Any attention and criticism could, in theory make a difference to policy. Israel is no different tio the US and UK in this regard. That is a good thing.

It’s partly because Israel is competent and successful. Five minutes watching a BBC ‘comedy’ will give you an idea of how even successful people view success.

It’s partly because of anti-Semitism. To tackle that you’ll have to tackle the difficulty that the historical pre-existence of Jewish religion smashes into Islamic and Christian foundation myths. Also to be tackled is the cyclically recurring insistence that everyone be alike and think alike whenever there is a crisis. Trying to silence specific libels won’t address those two deep underlying flaws with humanity.

And finally, it’s because Israeli planning law enforcement policy, especially at the borders of Israel needs addressing.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

Partly this and partly that and finally something else. Might not the theft of Palestinian and Syrian land, continued military occupation and building of illegal Israeli settlements, repeatedly censured in UN resolutions, have anything to do with it?

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

I don’t disagree with you. But equally Israel cannot be placed beyond criticism for fear of an accusation of antisemitism.

I do take your point though – it is all too easy for anti semitism to mask itself as criticism of Israel. And, like yourself I think, I believe that this is precisely what is going on.

I just don’t think we can have, as a general formula, an approach which says governments can be openly criticised except the government of Israel because that would be antisemitic. Ditto for other countries and islamophobia or racism (or sexism if the head of state is female).

Adrian Grant
Adrian Grant
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Hmmmm…. I thought Israel was supposed to be a democracy. Of course there are Jews who voted against the government, but surely those who voted for parties supporting government policy SHOULD be held responsible.

All this unlike Saudi Arabia.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian Grant

Not all Jews live and have a vote in Israel.

If you live in Israel and you voted for their current prime minister you are open to criticism for that – whether you’re Jewish or not.

Mark Lilly
Mark Lilly
3 years ago

About 50% of the anti-semitism I have witnessed has originated as a response to precisely the kind of subdued hysteria and hypocrisy evident in this article. (This hysteria often takes a violent form as in the disgraceful attack in public on Ken Livingstone by the thug John Mann, who was later rightly censured severely by his own colleagues.) The writer simply opposes free speech.
This intemperate article makes no distinctions between the various referents of the word ‘Jew’. (Racial identity; religious adherence; Israeli, etc) This is always done and it is always deliberate. It allows the writer to imply that, typically, pro-Palestinians in the Labour Party hate Jews on racial grounds. It equates political disagreement to a sort of Nazism. The proof of this will very soon be seen in the comments which will follow my post here.
The last person I met who was anti-semitic on racial grounds was during the Eichmann trial in c.1960.

If you want to find real, hardcore bigotry and hatred, turn to the archives of the Jewish Chronicle. A few decades ago, civil rights’ organisations including Amnesty International and (what is now called) Liberty – on the executive committee of which I served – had to dedicate much time to both a large group of Hassidic Jews calling for the death penalty for lgbt people, and the then chief rabbi’s (Emmanuel Jaocovitz) call (outlined in Chaim Bermant’s biography) for the reintroduction of imprisonment [sic] for same. The Jewish Chronicle at the time refused to speak out against this monstrous (and of course consequently ennobled by Thatcher) leader. Today, the continued deployment of ancient religious canonic gibberish to justify homophobic statements and policy positions (go to the relevant websites of these religious authorities for proof) represents a level of intolerance spectacularly more injurious and odious than any so-called anti-semitism in universities. My many secular Jewish friends loathe Judaism as much as I Christianity.

So, just so we’re clear. Religious Jews revere a book which, amongst injunctions to rape, murder and enslave, includes the famous line (Leviticus, 20): ‘If a man lie with a man, he shall surely be killed’ (still quoted frequently with approval); whilst at the same time happily slicing away at the penises of defenceless babies in a riot of genital mutilation whose consequences are so severe that there are male victim groups in every large European country. I’d say, Mr Pollard, you find yourself in a rather large and vulnerable glass house.

Look to your own practices, and your own bigotries, Mr Jewish Chronicle. Oh, and by the way folks, this guy inter alia worked for The Daily Express, the very model of gay-friendly progressive thought.

simon taylor
simon taylor
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Lilly

Forgive me if I`m wrong but to my knowledge, contemporary Jews have yet to stone any women to death for adultery, throw any gay men off tall buildings or try to establish a world wide caliphate under sharia law

Mark Lilly
Mark Lilly
3 years ago
Reply to  simon taylor

Thugs who advocate for murder unsuccessfully are not morally different to those who succeed. Of course Islam is also bad. So what? The whole of my argument remains unaffected.

Once again, don’t be unconvincingly defensive – look to your own household. And change it.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  simon taylor

The argument which you use and which is often used by Israelis and their supporters, runs along the lines of….. but they are worse! Which proves nothing. No court would accept a plea that someone should get a lenient sentence because he, or she, only murdered 12 people and someone else murdered 15.

The backward and primitive practices found in all fundamentalist religions, including Judaism, are not the bar by which any civilized standard should set its goals.

Yes, some orthodox Muslims do terrible things. But, in Israel, people who claim to be civilized, educated, sophisticated, democratic, also do the most terrible of things and they should know better one could argue.

Fundamentalist religions are the same everywhere and pretty much hold the same backward beliefs whether they are Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists.

However, Israel is forever claiming it is a modern democracy so while it may not be stoning its own women to death anymore, it certainly denies them many human rights and it most certainly kills, maims and abuses millions of Palestinians for the crime of not being followers of Judaism.

And that is the only ‘crime.’ When the colony of Israel was set up in Palestine it offered immediate citizenship to all Palestinian Arab Jews, thereby proving, it had no problem with Arabs or Palestinians. The only problem then and now was and is with non-Jews.

For a country pretending to be a modern democracy that is more of a disgrace than some poorly educated Muslim in an impoverished backwater, stoning his cheating wife to death.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago

Stephen. I agree but I am afraid to tell you that it is your friends the Labour Party who are responsible for all of this. They are the ones whom have turned tertiary education on its head by tripling the number of students and pumped it full of useless navel-gazing wokeness. Thousands of sociologists who will never earn enough to pay for their fees but not enough nurses or programmers.

Georgina Franks
Georgina Franks
3 years ago

lets get together

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

Al Jazeera’s ‘The Lobby’ provides a different point of view. All four episodes appear to be available on Youtube.
The Wikipedia page for ‘The Lobby (TV series)’ tells how “Shai Masot, an official at the embassy, was recorded as seeking in a conversation with a British civil servant to “take down” British politicians.” He “was sent back to Israel and resigned, as did the civil servant involved.”

robert scheetz
robert scheetz
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Yes, and Walt & Mearsheimer’s book does it even more definitively.

How comes it “Unherd” gives a guy like this space, implicitly excusing the criminality of Israel by slandering her critics?

matthew1
matthew1
3 years ago
Reply to  robert scheetz

That;s what UnHerd was set up to do. In a way it has succeeded too well. This current bigoted idiot aside it attracts good writers and hence an increasing and intelligent readership, only a proportion of which falls for Israeli propaganda.

robert scheetz
robert scheetz
3 years ago
Reply to  matthew1

Yes, but I suspect they wouldn’t print a parallel nazi screed.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  robert scheetz

The foundation of our civilized world is freedom of speech. I respect any media vehicle which gives a voice to varying views. The writer has every right to his views and readers have every right to challenge them.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

I think that the term should be: “anti-Jewish and anti-Israel”. Take a walk from Paddington Station to Hyde Park and you will see streets thronged with Semitic people.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

I edited my previous, poorly phrased statement…perhaps I should take a nap…

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
3 years ago

The Guardian article cited references Lewis as complaining:

He claimed that during his time at Soas, Jews and people who were
pro-Israel were labelled as “Zionists”, antisemitic graffiti and symbols
were found on lockers, desks and toilet walls, and many people publicly
stated their support for the BDS movement, which promotes boycotts,
divestments and sanctions against Israel.

My dictionary says a Zionist is:

a person who believes in the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.

It seems to me that being “pro-Israel” and “Zionist” are much the same thing. Neither is being a supporter of BDS proof of anti-Semitism. If you don’t like the policies a country’s government follows why shouldn’t you be free to boycott it?

Last month, Oxford University became the latest to adopt the
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of
anti-Semitism (which, you may remember, was the cause of a long battle within the Labour Party during the summer of 2019).

I’d advise everyone to read the IHRA definition:

https://www.holocaustrememb

It is a document so vaguely worded that it allows almost anything a Jewish or pro-Israel person dislikes to be labelled as anti-Semitism. Kenneth Stern, the academic who wrote the document on which the IHRA definition is based has condemned their use of it repeatedly.

https://www.youtube.com/wat

Mr Lewis had complained that there were racist daubings on campus and
that criticisms of Israeli policy “often morph into attacks on the State
of Israel and then further progress into blatant attacks on Jews in
general”.

The slippy slope? It works so much more quickly it reverse doesn’t it? When any criticism of Israeli policy morphs instantly into an accusation of anti-semitism.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

The term anti-semitism has been rendered meaningless by misuse.

For this term to have relevance, certain things must be recognised:

1. criticism of Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestine is not anti-semitic.

2. most Jews do not, never have and never will live in UN Mandated Israel or Occupied Palestine and so criticising Israel’s appalling treatment of the Palestinians cannot and does not reflect on all followers of Judaism.

3. Israel may claim to represent Jews and Judaism but it does not. Nearly a quarter of Israelis are not Jews and most of those who call themselves Jews are not Jews either because they are atheist/secular. I fully understand some people believe in the modern delusion of an atheist Jew but such a reality is, by any Jewish standards and any religious assessment, utterly impossible. The percentage of real Jews in Israel is very small, so once again, Israel’s actions and justified criticism of those actions cannot and does not represent Judaism or any of its followers.

4. Until Jews openly separate themselves from Zionist Israel and more and more are doing this all the time, then errors will be made in many people ‘assuming’ that what Israel is and does has the support and approval of Judaism and all of its followers.
In other words, until Jews make it clear they do not support Israel, then the ‘mud’ Israel creates will to some degree also stick to them and their religion.

5. All Jews are not Zionists and all Zionists are not Jews. This is particularly important. Zionism, which is the foundation of the colonial State of Israel, is a political movement which selectively draws on some of the most backward teachings in Judaism, i.e. Jews are superior as human beings, (because only Jews have a soul, but of course atheists do not believe in souls) is a political movement and a racist political movement to boot. Many ardent Zionists are Christians, so, in essence, criticism of Israel should also be anti-Christian and yet it is not.

6. Using the term anti-semitic to deny, hide, and dismiss the horrors committed by the Zionist Israeli State, diminishes civilized standards and democracy, since Israel delusionally claims to be a democracy despite being an apartheid State.

Most that is called anti-semitic today is not in the least reflective of a hatred of all followers of Judaism, but is instead valid criticism of the Zionist State of Israel. To allow the misuse of the term in any way betrays everyone and continues to allow Israel to give Jews and Judaism a bad name.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

“1. criticism of Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestine is not anti-semitic.”

Indeed it is and here’s why. In any other conflict in which the aggressor lost territory, no one would expect that territory to be returned to the aggressor absent an agreement between the parties and assurance that there would be no more aggression. For example, Germany was the aggressor in WWII and it was occupied by the allies for 10 years afterwards. It was only after Germany agreed not only not to repeat the aggression but also not to develop specific weapons that the occupation by the allies ended. No one would have suggested that allied occupation should end prior to that.

It is only Israel that is expected to relinquish territory it won after being attacked and absent an agreement by the aggressor not to continue aggression. No other country would be expected to do that. And that is anti-Semitic.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

You have not made a case. I did not mention territory. Although for what it is worth, following changes to international law after the Second World War, Israel has no right to anything but the original UN Mandated borders and even that was not finalised and has not been tested in a court of law.

In addition, the Palestinians were not the aggressors, they were the defenders. The Palestinians in terms of the Zionist invasion and occupation of their country equate with the French and Poles and others invaded and occupied by the Germans, or the Chinese, invaded and occupied by the Japanese.

Yes, Germany was the aggressor in WWII and Israel is the aggressor in Palestine.

Israel does not have to relinquish territory, it just has to end the occupation and give full and equal rights to everyone, indigenous non-Jews both in Mandated Israel and Occupied Palestine.

Israel cannot hold more than 6 million Palestinians under murderous military occupation, denying them human and civil rights simply because they are not followers of Judaism. Neither can it kill them all or drive them out. It must give them freedom and justice.

Every other country would be expected to do that.

Anti-semitic means hatred of followers of Judaism. Israel does not represent Jews or Judaism, most Jews do not live there and never will, and most Israelis who call themselves Jews are not followers of Judaism and therefore not Jews.

It is therefore impossible for any criticism of Israel to be anti-semitic.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Occupation concerns territory. You can’t have an occupation without it. Israel has the same rights the allies had after WWII which is why no one called for the allies to end the occupation absent an acceptable agreement by the aggressor. And the Palestinians were indeed the aggressors, or Jordan was. The people you refer to as Palestinians are actually Jordanians. No other country has ever been required to return territory captured from an aggressor absent an acceptable agreement between the parties. Only Israel. And yes, Israel can and has maintained the occupation. It will continue to do so, the window for an agreement has likely closed.

In any case, it no longer matters since the Middle East has moved on and the conflict no longer stops progress. The recent peace and trade deals between Israel and Muslim countries were made without settling the Israel/Palestinian conflict and more will come. They should have made a deal sometime in the last 50 years. Since they didn’t, they’ve become irrelevant. Today the concern is Iran, not the Palestinians.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

You said: Israel has the same rights the allies had after WWII…

How do you work that out? Israel is the equivalent of Germany and Japan. Israel is the invader. It has no rights to Palestine and never did.

Now I know you are in a Tel Aviv bunker. No, the Palestinians are not Jordanians although if we run with that theory of yours, it gives Israelis even less rights to Palestine since they are 99.9% immigrants. There are Palestinian refugees holding keys to their homes in Jerusalem where their families lived for a thousand years. Some seventy years of the colonial State of Israel is meaningless.

And no, Israel will not be allowed to continue the occupation. Like South Africa its economy will be crushed and it will have no choice but to end its backward theocracy and set up a democracy shared equally by the colonisers and the indigenous Palestinians.

If you think the ‘deals’ Israel has purchased from a few Arab countries means anything you are in La La Land.

The horrific abuse of the Palestinians by Israel is known by more people around the world than ever before, including more Jews, particularly American Jews. BDS grows in strength as do university campaigns to prevent Israeli involvement in academia. That will cause pain to the Israelis who take the same view of themselves academically as the South Africans had of themselves in the sporting arena.

The die is cast. Apartheid Israel is on the way out, even if they do try to start a war with Iran.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Yes Israel has the same rights as the allies after WWII. And absent an agreement such as made with Germany, no territory should be returned. And after 50 years it won’t be.

Not only is Israel not on the way out, it is increasingly relevant to Muslim countries in the middle east as a bulwark against Iranian aggression. Why do you think Muslim countries are tripping over themselves to make peace and trade deals with Israel? And it’s the US backing these deals. No, the world isn’t moving in the direction you think it is. By refusing to come to an agreement with Israel, the Palestinians have made themselves irrelevant. You’re living in a fantasy world.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

No, Israel does not have the same rights as the Allies because the Allies were defending other nations against an aggressor, Germany.

In Palestine, Israel is the aggressor so any rights it has can only equate with Nazi Germany.

By the way, what do you see as the future of the inconvenient 6 million Palestinians held under military occupation? Any solutions in the pot?

For starters, Muslim countries are not tripping over themselves to make peace and trade deals. They are being bribed to do so. Of course the US is backing these deals, the Zionists/Jews/Israelis pretty much run the US.

I have followed this issue for a long time and it is clear to see whereas 20 years ago on such a discussion, 90% of comments would support Israel. Today, on such threads, support for Israel is down to about 30%, and many of those are kids sitting in bunkers in Tel Aviv typing out propaganda.

In addition, the American bastion for Israel is changing. More young Jews are marrying out and more and more Jews in general, but particularly in the US are distancing themselves from Israel.

In Israel itself, younger generations loathe the apartheid state and are returning in droves to the countries from which their parents and grandparents emigrated, Germany and Russia being the main goals.

And, the older Israeli colonists are dying out. They were the ones educated in Europe and other Western nations who made a huge contribution. Given the parlous state of Israeli education, the slow decline of ability is already evident and will only continue.

Lastly, BDS grows and particularly in the US and Israel is less powerful than South Africa was, not in the least self-sufficient, and increasingly a pariah in the world. That pressure will increase.

Times have changed indeed.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

Muslim countries are being bribed to sign up to Israeli deals.

The fantasy is that Israel thinks it can continue to subjugate the indigenous people of the land it has colonised or even rid themselves of them.

By the way, do you think the Tibetans and West Papuans know it is their fault they are occupied and colonised? Someone should tell them.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Maybe Germany can explain it to them. Or Japan.

Refusing to understand how the ME has changed won’t help you in the long run.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

I have followed this issue for a long time and it is clear to see whereas 20 years ago on such a discussion, 90% of comments would support Israel. Today, on such threads, support for Israel is down to about 30%, and many of those are kids sitting in bunkers in Tel Aviv typing out propaganda.

In addition, the American bastion for Israel is changing. More young Jews are marrying out and more and more Jews in general, but particularly in the US are distancing themselves from Israel.

In Israel itself, younger generations loathe the apartheid state and are returning in droves to the countries from which their parents and grandparents emigrated, Germany and Russia being the main goals.

And, the older Israeli colonists are dying out. They were the ones educated in Europe and other Western nations who made a huge contribution. Given the parlous state of Israeli education, the slow decline of ability is already evident and will only continue.

Lastly, BDS grows and particularly in the US and Israel is less powerful than South Africa was, not in the least self-sufficient, and increasingly a pariah in the world. That pressure will increase.

Times have changed indeed.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Yes, times have indeed changed. The Israeli/ Palestinian conflict no longer stops progress. It’s at most a side issue now.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

That did make me laugh. In fact I find it encouraging. When Israeli supporters say things like, ‘it is almost a side issue’ it is clear they are very, very frightened. BDS is hitting home. Good to see.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

I find it encouraging too. Personally I like to see peace and trade deals. It used to be that they would have been prevented by a very old conflict. Not any more.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Israel does not merely “continue the occupation”, it plants settlers on the occupied territory in large numbers. Accompanied by Israeli right-wing rhetoric that the occupied territory is “Judea and Samaria” and “Greater Israel”.

The Allies did not plant settlers in Germany, nor would we have done even if we had found the Germans difficult to reach an agreement with, and we did not indulge in rhetoric using first millenium population movements as an argument that Germany was part of the lost territories of an Anglo-Saxon England encompassing not only the British Isles but also the original Saxon and Westphalian kingdoms with the intention of absorbing German territory into the UK.

That’s the difference.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The Germans really couldn’t be difficult to reach an agreement with though, could they? I mean, they’d been not only defeated but obliterated. They had no choice but to agree. The Palestinians are in the same boat. If they want territory from which they continue to attack Israel, they’ll have to make some changes just as Germany did. Among those changes will be the cessation of attacks on Israel. So far, they haven’t done that. So they don’t get the land. This isn’t rocket science. No country is going to turn over land won after beating an aggressor without agreement on the part of the aggressor that the aggression will stop.

In any case, the ME has moved on. The issue no longer sucks all the oxygen out of the region, they waited too long to sue for peace. The dogs bark but the caravan moves on.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

You spin it as Israel regretfully being forced to retain, colonise and annexe territory to defend itself, but Netanyahu, Lieberman and their ilk are more honest. They talk about “Judea and Samaria” and “Greater Israel”. It’s militaristic expansionism.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I don’t know about regret. Certainly the allies would have had no regret about occupying Germany and Japan. It’s likely much the same with Israel. Countries do what they need to do, what they see as being in their best interests.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Ethnically Jewish people are clearly not Jews by your definition then.

Mark Lilly
Mark Lilly
3 years ago

Um, I think you left out the bit about the fact that the territory Israel ‘is expected to relinguish’ is largely conquered land taken by … the Israelis.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Lilly

A mere technicality in the Tel Aviv bunker.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Lilly

After being attacked. Yes. And when you lose land through aggression, it’s up to you to negotiate to get it back.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

If European Zionist colonists had never invaded, occupied and colonised Palestine they would never have been attacked. That is what you ignore. Needs must.

Can we be clear? Your view is that the occupied people are the aggressors and the occupiers are the victims? So, you supported the Germans and Japanese in World War Two?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Yes, in the Palestinian case, the occupied people were the aggressors. Same as Japan and Germany.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

Oh dear, you probably believe that.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Just a fact. It was Jordan actually. There is no country called Palestine.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

Palestine was mentioned by the ancient Egyptians some 5,000 years ago. The Palestinians invaded Egypt more than once which was the way of things in those days and in turn the Egyptians invaded and occupied Palestine. Which is why the Biblical stories of Jews in Egypt, which the ancient Egyptians did not mention, fleeing to Palestine does not work because they would have been running from the Egyptians to the Egyptians.

Some 2,000 years later they also mention a tribe which wandered into Palestine and set up camp, Judea.

The fantasy that Palestine did not exist is Zionist propaganda. We know the Romans were there, and the Ottomans, and the British and we know world wars were also fought in Palestine and now we know the Zionists occupy Palestine.

Palestine has a rich and ancient history.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

And yet there is no country called Palestine.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

But the rich and ancient History of the Jews is to be denied if the Arabs were to get their way.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Anthea before that Israelis the British were the colonisers(same as they still are in northern Ireland, Falkland’s ,Gibraltar etc) and before that the Ottomans. Your ignorance is boundless.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

Israel does not have the same rights as the Allies because the Allies were defending other nations against an aggressor, Germany.

In Palestine, Israel is the aggressor so any rights it has can only equate with Germany and Japan.

By the way, what do you see as the future of the inconvenient 6 million Palestinians held under military occupation? Any solutions in the pot?

For starters, Muslim countries are not tripping over themselves to make peace and trade deals. They are being bribed to do so. Of course the US is backing these deals, the Zionists/Jews/Israelis pretty much run the US in terms of this issue anyway.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

You can refuse to face reality. But that doesn’t change reality. The allies were defending themselves. So was Israel.

The Palestinians have always had the option of negotiating peace for their land back. But they will have to stop attacking Israel.

As to the Middle East deals, this must be a tough time for you.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

Israel was the invader. If you take that view then the Germans were just defending themselves in the countries they occupied.

No, the Palestinians have not had the option of negotiating because occupied peoples are powerless because they are occupied.

How much power do you think the Poles had negotiating with their German occupiers, or the Chinese with their Japanese occupiers? NONE.

And Palestinians are not attacking Israel it is Israel who continues to attack the Palestinians. Indeed, the Palestinians apart from a brief few years have been remarkably patient and non-violent.

I take it you are unaware that occupied peoples have a right to fight for their freedom? That means the Palestinians have a right to continue their fight for justice and freedom and Israel has NO right to stop them.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago

The Middle East deals are just meaningless theatre.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Then you’re not unhappy with them. Sounds like we agree on that at least.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

Anthea your words are anti-Semitic! Your claim that “the Zionists/ Jews/Israelis pretty much run the US in terms of this issue anyway” is right out of the examples of internationally accepted definitions of what anti-Semitism is. Shame on you.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Claiming that opposing Israel’s colonisation of occupied Arab territory with settlers as part of Isreali annexation is actually anti-Semitic….. really beyond parody.

But then you come from the political tradition which in the 1950s was accusing any American who expressed admiration for Britain’s NHS of being a communist because “they have socialised medicine in the godless Soviet Union!“.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Expecting Israel, alone among nations, to cede territory it won in war back to people who continue to this day to attack Israel is what’s anti-Semitic.

The 1950s? Really?

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
1 year ago

Accusations of “antisemitism” are in the same league as claims of any other kind of racism – almost entirely fictitious. The difference is that the “antisemitism” hysteria comes mostly from the right, and is nearly always “punching down”. Woke racism and Zionist propaganda manipulate the same weakness in Western people – we’re too easily fooled into thinking we are bigoted. In fact, we are the least bigoted people who have ever existed, and Jeremy Corbyn is an exceptionally good example.

ard10027
ard10027
3 years ago

So, setting up a group to deny Labour is anti-Semitic is anti-Semitic?

Frank Freeman
Frank Freeman
3 years ago

By conflating criticism of Israel with antisemitism, the author is crying wolf, whenever I hear the term “antisemitism” I always assume someone is critical of Israel’s policies of ethnic cleansing, mass murder and mass maiming. If the author is genuinely opposed to antisemitism, he would find more in the Tory party than the Labour party.

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

Unfortunately the woke, thugs have infiltrated the teaching staff and there views are promoted by lecturers that should know better but then the majority of tertiary education is infected by the left wing. Defund the universities and privatise.

Wendy Coke-Smyth
Wendy Coke-Smyth
3 years ago

The trouble is that if the actions of Israelis against Palestinians is condemned then one is accused of being antisemitic.

Simon During
Simon During
3 years ago

the problem is of course that accusations of ‘anti-semitism’ are being used for narrowly political purposes by the Israeli nationalist right and others linked to them. Our intense sympathy for the Jewish people who have been the target of so much persecution and prejudice over centuries is being cynically exploited by those who wish to defend a regime that is condemning Palestinians to misery and powerlessness. The ironies of this are measureless and its dangers real since these false accusations (along with Israel’s injustice to the Palestinian people) help foment real anti-semitism. But hopefully the cynicism is so obvious it won’t continue for long….

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon During

Sure Corbyn and the Arabs are the victims and the Jews deserve anti-Semitism because of the way the government of Israel behaves. Did you research the definition of antisemitism and devise your comments to exactly meet the criterion?