No one, I think, now denies that the story of Minneapolis cops learning neck-kneeling from Israel was a fabrication. But, in the wake of Rebecca Long Bailey’s sacking from the Shadow Cabinet, some still suggest — for example, in Momentum’s 1 July Zoom report-back from Labour’s National Executive — that it wasn’t antisemitic.
Denunciations of Israel (so the argument goes) can’t be antisemitic, because only antisemites can identify Jews with Israel and consider a denunciation of the Israeli state as an attack on Jewish people.
But here we have a very special sort of denunciation. That it’s untrue is the least of it. It attributes to Israel and its international connections a great and malign global power which only supernatural forces could gain for a tiny state with a small diaspora.
Even if the mechanism of that global power is named as “the Israeli lobby” or “Zionism”, rather than “the world Jewish conspiracy”, it’s the same idea.
Jews outside Israel may well dislike the Israeli ruling class. Almost all, however, will have some identification with Israel, at least to the extent of not wanting to see it overrun and its population subjugated or dispersed. They have family or friends there, and they know it has been the “liferaft state” for survivors of the Holocaust and refugees from other antisemitic persecution.
Inescapably they’re targeted by stories which tell us that Israel and its international connections are the hub of evil in the world.