Radical politics reviving antisemitism


One of the newly elected USA Congresswomen, Ilan Oman, has been called out for her latest antisemitic tweet by the Democratic Party leadership. Given her allusions to Jews controlling politics and her previous assertion that “Israel has hypnotized the world…“, as well as her support for BDS, the latest incident is likely not to be the last.
Ms Oman is not alone in US politics to hold extreme views that are directed at Israel and Jews – Rashida Tlaibaccused US Jews of dual loyalty, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bashed Israel before admitting she is clueless about what is going on there.
A similar pattern is clear in the UK, where an ongoing scandal of antisemitic incidents involving Labour Party members continues.
What is remarkable about the above examples is that the antisemitism is coming from the extreme left of politics. This phenomena was articulated well by Bret Stephens in the New York Times recently. He wrote “What’s unsettling is that the far-left’s hostility is now being mainstreamed by the not-so-far left. Anti-Zionism — that is, rejection not just of this or that Israeli policy, but also of the idea of a Jewish state itself — is becoming a respectable position among people who would never support the elimination of any other country in any other circumstance.”.
And we are not immune from similar breaches of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism in New Zealand politics. Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has accused Israel of committing “genocide” and “apartheid” while co-leader, Marama Davidson, joined the “flotilla” attempting to breach the legal blockade of Gaza and support Hamas. And Labour MP, Duncan Webb, proudly supported a petition to divest from Israeli banks and hosted a lunch in honour of Mike Treen’s “flotilla” adventure.
While other leaders might harbour views that go well beyond legitimate criticism of Israel, they haven’t voiced them. For those that have, it is incumbent upon us to stand up to the bigotry and hatred lest it grow and radical politicians revive the oldest hatred any more than they have already. The Democratic Party in the US has done so and we can learn from their example.