Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Note - Israel and the European Left: Between Solidarity and Delegitimization

Mike L.

I have not read this one, yet, and a Tip 'O the Kippa to Oldschool, but I do want to draw attention to Colin Shindler's, Israel and the European Left: Between Solidarity and Delegitimization.

School claims that the book "parallels some of what seems to be the tensions between Jews and the left wing we experience today."

In a review over at Harry's Place, Alan A writes:

Before I go further, I should say that Shindler’s book is superb: a well-written and meticulously researched history of the horrors and ironies of the last 100 years. He shows how screaming stereotypes and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories developed by Marxists — not by fascists or Islamists or Catholic and Orthodox nationalists, but by the Left — have survived while all around has changed.

Given the cramped nature of British debate, I doubt if it will be widely reviewed. The right-wing press won’t like it because it is not a conventional denunciation of the Left. Shindler is a properly impartial historian, but when his beliefs show through he reveals himself to be a social democrat rather than an Israel-firster or man of the Right. The left-wing press won’t like it for the same reason Caliban did not like the sight of his face in the mirror.

A major part of what we do here on Israel Thrives is analyze and discuss the rise of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism on the progressive-left. Because progressives, as well as "progressive Zionists," generally refuse to address the issue, we will do it for them.

Many thanks to School for the notice on this one.


  1. I do not get how these on the left are such opponents of nationalism, it seems, when it concerns Israel, the collective Jew, but not their own nation states. They can call it anti-Zionism, but such discriminatory conduct is antisemitic.

    And no matter how some Jews adopt a class based orientation to existence, they remain expendable in the end to those who see them as representatives of capitalism. The larger struggle has primacy, even if it must be imposed.

    So it seems from experience and practice. No wonder some Jews are so conflicted.

  2. I think that they would argue that Zionism is a peculiarly racist ideology that has resulted in the dislocation and oppression of the indigenous population and is, thereby, far worse than other, more innocent forms of nationalism.

    They can make this argument because they remain willfully innocent of the history of the Jews in the Middle East.

    1. So many folks like to proclaim that Zionism is worse than other nationalisms.

      Tell such folks to compare and contrast Israel's interaction with the "Palestinians" to America's interaction with the Native Americans.

    2. Yes, but Randall, that was from an earlier, more barbaric, era.

      The Zionists are said to be persecuting the innocent Palestinians now.

    3. Boy, I have to say, being a pro-Palestinian / anti-Jewish / anti-Israel advocate is pretty friggin' easy!

      Let's try this:

      "Israel is persecuting the indigenous population. They are stealing their land, stealing their water, and threatening war upon their neighbors. Israel's enemies are not delegitimizing Israel, but Israel is delegitimizing itself through its own behavior."


      I never really understood before how easy, and morally gratifying, it is to be on the other side.

      No wonder talking points are so popular!