No, the Left is not anti-Semitic (Good grief!)

Haberdash and** Terr** have been pushing this one lately. It’s annoying.


I know that there’s a lot of anti-Israeli stuff in the present international communist movement, but that’s rooted in Israel’s ties to Anglo-Saxon imperialism. Remember that Marx himself (and Maxim Litvinov, and lots of other early Communists) came from a Jewish background. Communism isn’t intrinsically anti-Semitic, or against any race, really.

And once you get to the non-Marxist radical left, the center left, and the social justice movement, anti-Judaism starts having even bigger problems. Young USA commies may be leery of Bernie Sanders’s Zionist biases, but it’s not like he’s much more Zionist than a center-right Christian politician would be in that country, and he’s a lot closer to the left and its youth movements on…basically everything.

Now, obviously, Europe is not the USA, nor even the UK. Maybe a huge chunk of the European Left really is saying, “Oh, those shitty Jews!” I don’t know.

But as a Yank, I find it disturbing that someone from the English-speaking world would accuse the Left in general of being anti-Jewish. You realize that a lot of the present heroes, leaders, and celebrities of the “Anglo-Saxon” left are Jews, yeah? At least in economics (which has a lot of members of the Tribe all along the left-right spectrum), Robert Reich, Joseph Stiglitz, & Paul Krugman are pretty big deals and broadly beloved. On television, you have popular centrists/center-leftists like Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart.

Again, maybe a tiny bit less so in the UK.

But it’s incredibly offensive to say, “The Right are the great Friends of the Jews unlike those filthy Leftists.” Students of history remember what the Granddaddies of present billionaires and Bushes did in the 1930’s. The Left may be weak, hypocritical, and confused, but it isn’t Jew-hating in general.

Does that mean that leftists love orthodox Jews and religious Jewish subcultures? Oh, well, not necessarily. Are they spitting at secular society and slandering liberalism? Then we’ll be annoyed with them as we would with Christians or Muslims who do such.

So, what’s going on here?

No, of course not. How else could we remind people that Bernie Sanders is a filthy, filthy Jew (not that *we *hate the Jewish people, no!) whose true loyalty is to the Zionist entity (although he denies it, & it’s racist to even bring it up). :rolleyes:

I’m bemused that it’s apparently anti-Semitic to suggest that someone who lived in Israel might have Israeli citizenship.

[sarcasm] So you admit that Israelis are by definition evil, and to have Israeli citizenship would make one an enemy of mankind. And–Josh Marshall backs this up–that this is not only your opinion, but that of all informed persons, and necessarily both Mrs Rehm’s intention and Mr Sanders’s interpretation. So the fact that she didn’t immediately apologize for this horrible insult to Bernie Sanders makes her an enemy of all the good non-Israeli Jews [look, I don’t entirely understand this train of thought] in America.

Good, glad we are clear on that. When do we bomb Tel Aviv? [/sarcasm]

It is possible that someone just assumed that someone who lived on a kibbutz back in the day had Israeli citizenship.

By what measure is Rachel Maddow “popular”?

That’s like assuming that people who spent their junior year abroad in France are automatically French citizens. Lots of people volunteered on kibbutzim at some point in their lives - from Jerry Seinfeld to Helen Mirren, from Sigourney Weaver to Bob Hoskins - but that doesn’t mean that they immigrated to Israel. Israel doesn’t just hand out citizenships like party favors. Like anywhere else, and more so than in most places, citizenship comes with a ton of rights and obligations, and is not something to be entered into lightly.

It used to be very common from ordinary Danes to take a year in kibbutz in Israel. Even until some times in the 90s. I don’t think it happens much anymore.

Anyway, certainly a valid argument can be made that the leftwing is anti-Semitic. In the absurdly, disproportionate to size of problem and seriousness of transgressions and situation, continual condemnation of Israel over all the other problems of the world. I especially like how when people were fleeing from ISIS into Israel, they still found this to be somehow Israel’s fault.

But by the same measure the rightwing would be Semitic-fetishists. So it appears the world is set upon by by the ills of (mainly European) leftwing anti-Semitics and (mainly US) rightwing Semitic-fetishists. The rest of us are in the middle saying WTF dudes?! Can’t we just leave the fucking Jews outta it? I’m sure the fucking Jews have it the same way.

LOL. I remember when anyone who disagreed with Ariel Sharron was anti-Semitic.

Treatment of the Palestinians reminds me of how the British state viewed the Irish for much of that abusive, murderous history.

I think it’s probably fair to say a large chunk of Europe has huge sympathies with a population that has been effectively stateless refugees for 70 years, and that is now collectively and fundamentally traumatised.

Now it seems to be that anyone who disagrees with Netanyahu is anti-Semitic. So I guess, along with the Left, that includes half his country.

Yeah, some idiots always say that sort of thing. You just have to ignore them.

That doesn’t mean that anti-Semitism doesn’t actually exist. And while I’m pretty sure you won’t find much of it in the left (at least compared to the right), the problem is that many leftists have allied themselves, whether officially or by association, with organizations that actually are anti-Semitic, while at the same time being in no way, shape or form left-wing. And that’s the problem. I can be reasonably certain that the leftist opposing Israel isn’t an anti-Semite, but seeing as the Hamas supporter protesting next to him probably is, how is there any effective difference?

In short, left-wingers aren’t anti-Semitic, but all too often they serve as useful idiots for right-wingers who are.

Just for the record, Rachel Maddow’s not Jewish. Her paternal grandfather was, but none of the rest of her grandparents, and she was raised Catholic.

Your last sentence contradicts the rest of your post. If you have to ask “how is there any effective difference” between A and B, then A is the same as B.

Leftists who oppose Israel are often anti-semitic.
They just leave it to others to do the dirty work of actually killing the Jews, while they stand by and cheer from the sidelines.
A rough comparison is the attitude of many “nice” whites in the deep South in the 1930’s…they didn’t actually join the KKK, but they stood alongside and enjoyed watching the lynchings.

A leftist may not want to admit to himself that he’s a bigot. But when he stands alongside Hamas, and enjoys watching terrorists shoot at Jewish nursery schools— he’s not just a useful idiot…he’s an anti-semitic bigot.

As with any charges of bigotry, you have to define the term. What is anti-semitism? If you’re against much of Israeli policy, you probably aren’t. But, if you:

  1. Don’t acknowledge Israel’s right to exist
  2. Actively side with Israel’s enemies
  3. Believe that Israel is uniquely evil for its human rights abuses
  4. Believe that Israel is the biggest threat to world peace
  5. Use the word “Zionist” in ways indistinguishable from “Jews”
  6. Want aid to Israel cut off but not aid to its neighbors

then you’re probably anti-semetic.

Fair enough. I’d be willing to provisionally accept this if I thought you could then provide evidence that “the left,” in aggregate, hold those positions.

Great assertion, with no basis in fact.

Wow, that guy is a complete asshole. But…“a leftist?” Which one would that be? And you’re somehow equating this supposed leftist to all leftists…I suppose you can back it up with actual evidence?

Oh, wait, no you can’t. Because it’s a stupid, stupid argument.

It definitely seems to me that a large faction on the left sympathizes with the Palestinians, to the extent of being apologists for Hamas and their ilk. At the very least, they are anti-Semitic by association.

Confirmation bias is a harsh mistress.

And I’m not sure you want to go down the rabbit hole of “if you support some group, in any way, you support everything that group does and says.”

As a Jewish Lefty who reads a lot of Left-Wing blogs, Facebook pages and news sites and folows about 2,700 people on Twitter, almost entirely Lefties, I can assure you the vitriolic hatred of Jews from the Left is very real and very disturbing. The filth that I have read, the lies, the propaganda, and the personal attacks spewed at me would leave you speechless. Sorry, but it’s true.

The Left isn’t immune to anti-Semitism, but that hardly makes it a distinguishing characteristic.


Shayna, I don’t disagree at all. Hatred knows no ideology but its own, and Jew-hating scumbags are all too plentiful across the board.

But the idea that “the left” is essentially anti-Semitic is fucking absurd.

It’s not hatred of Jews generally, it’s hatred of Israeli state policies.

Some people might be confused about that distinction - on both sides, some even genuinely.