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The point of view, prevalent on both the Left and the Far-right in Europe, which considers the state of Israel as ‘racist’ and habitually cruel, is so familiar as to seem part of our ideological furniture.

According to this tradition, the Israelis (and their Zionist predecessors) are little more than European invaders, arrogantly displacing a non-European people from their ancestral territory. Israeli society meanwhile, is imagined as uniquely unjust, racially charged, and energized by an attitude of supremacism.

If there was a catch-all term for these indictments, it would be that Israel is ‘intolerant’.

It isn’t enough to call this view ‘wrong’. To do so does not reflect the scale of both the error itself, and the ignorance and myopia involved in its invention.

According to the ethical principles of this movement, Jews have neither the right to their ancient homeland, nor the right to engage in the political life of those countries which host their diaspora. Both spell trouble for non-Jews, the logic implies; in the first instance for the Palestinians, and in the second, for the Gentile Europeans.

Zionism you see, can mean absolutely anything these days, and is as much at work in Tennesee as it is in Haifa. All European misfortune is organised by its design, and all European ills would be relieved by its destruction.

Zionism is at once guilty of Communism, Fascism (a ”reaction’ to Communism), Capitalism, Imperialism, anti-Imperialism, Socialism, inter-racial marriage and globalisation.

Logically then, Jews have no place in the world at all, except maybe as a vulnerable pariah commune on the rotten outskirts of a Western capital.

The fact that ‘Anti-Zionism’ – the fashionably clothed demon of Anti-Semitism – still draws in sophisticated advocates is a terrible indictment of our times.

The situation in Modern Israel is not a lesson in Jewish or Western intolerance – but rather its opposite; the belief that everyone has a place, no matter what their ancestry, faith or temperament. I don’t expect the Left to concede this any time soon.

D, LDN.

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