Photo

In order to advance our appreciation of its prevalence, Alan Maddison has explored this topic with a  particular focus on the influence of political affiliations, using  relevant data drawn from L Daniel Staetsky’s important recent study for the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, Antisemitism in contemporary Great Britain.

Among the interesting findings presented here, we discover that the risk for a critic of Israel being antisemitic increases as we move from left to right across the political spectrum.

The implications of this analysis for the Labour Party include responding vigorously to any victim complaints, but having appropriate actions based on differentiating between legitimate criticism of Israeli policies, a minority motivated by antisemitism, and those where antisemitic comments may be made out of ignorance rather than any hostility towards Jews.

Antisemitism takes different forms in different ages, writes Rabbi Jonathan Sacks… “Today [Jews] are hated because of their nation state, the state of Israel.”[1] This is, supposedly, the ‘new antisemitism’.

There are clearly many valid reasons for criticising Israel – its occupation, its treatment of Palestinians, its violation of international law and more. Such criticism  can also  sometimes be motivated by antisemitism. To differentiate between the two we have to look at whether such criticism is associated with antisemitism, defined independently of Israel.

We have recently challenged misleading reports that critics of Israeli policies are ‘highly likely” to reflect expressions of this ‘new antisemitism’, when evidence suggests the very opposite. [2]

In this article we explore the patterns of strong anti-Israel attitudes and any associated strong antisemitic attitudes, or ‘new antisemitism’, in British society. In particular we analyse the variations across political groups, and ask if there is any justification for the relentless McCarthy-like focus on the Labour Party?

Our best guide comes from the biggest survey ever undertaken into antisemitism by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research. Its results were published in 2017 under the title Antisemitism in contemporary Great Britain. A study of attitudes towards Jews and Israel.[3]

Top Tweets About The Story

Top Stories