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The insidious antisemitism of the soft left

Pro-Palestine protesters in London. Leila Dougan/Gallo/Getty

The “largest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust” hasn’t been met with universal condemnation, says Bret Stephens in The New York Times. On Sunday, more than 1,000 pro-Palestine demonstrators gathered in Midtown Manhattan for a rally where the atrocity was gleefully celebrated. The atmosphere was “euphoric”, as if “someone’s team had won the World Cup”. Similar scenes unfolded in London, where 5,000 people turned up at the Israeli embassy to jeer and set off fireworks. At a demonstration outside Sydney Opera House, chants of “free Palestine” soon gave way to the true emotion underlying all this: “Fuck the Jews.”

If nothing else, these bloodthirsty antisemites deserve “points for honesty”. But a far broader swathe of the left must face up to the role it has played in creating the “moral and intellectual climate” for what has unfolded. I’m talking about the bien-pensants for whom anti-Zionism – not just legitimate criticism of Israeli government policies, but the “denial of Israel’s right to exist” – is viewed as a “respectable political position”. Consider the nearly three dozen Harvard student groups that have declared Israel “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence”. Or those who casually traffic in the lie that Israel deliberately turned Gaza into an “open air prison”, never mentioning that the Palestinian territory shares a 25-mile border with Egypt. This is why the nation of the Jews is routinely treated, as some have said, like “the Jew of nations”. If some on the left look on in horror at what happened last weekend, “now is a good time for them to take a long, hard look at themselves”.

🇮🇱 The death toll from the terrorist attack is now 1,200 – around 0.013% of Israel’s population. The equivalent in Britain would be around 8,800 people killed; in the US, 43,450. For context, 52 died in the 2005 London bombings, and 2,977 on 9/11.