British Author Howard Jacobson on Left-Wing Anti-Semitism

Regular readers will recognize some themes from my blogging on related matters. Jacobson:

If we are to talk of tactics, then routinely accusing your critics of employing illegitimate tactics is a common, illegitimate tactic in itself. This particular one — that, as every criticism of anti-Zionism is motivated by bad faith, there can be no fair criticism of anti-Zionism — is widespread. The syllogism goes like this: Not all critics of Israel are anti-Semites. I am a critic of Israel. Therefore I am not an anti-Semite.

In this way has anti-Zionism become an inviolable space. Question it and you are deemed to have cried anti-Semitism (this, whether you have or you haven’t), and since to cry anti-Semitism is a foul, no position from which it is rational to question anti-Zionism remains allowable. By the infernal logic of this magic circle, the anti-Zionist is doubly indemnified, firstly against any criticism of his position whatsoever, since the status of such criticism has been reduced to that of “tactic,” and secondly against the original accusation of anti-Semitism, which anti-Zionism cancels out….

So now, the Jew is mistrusted, not for what he is, but for the anti-Semitism of which he is the cause. And no Jew is more the cause of anti-Semitism than the Jew who speaks of anti-Semitism.
Jews are considered to have forgone their right to own even a part-share in defining anti-Semitism, or to judge the extent to which they are, or indeed ever were, its victims. By virtue of their failure to learn the lessons of the Holocaust and implement them in Israel — or indeed in any other parts of the world they continue to scheme, lobby and exploit — they have cancelled out all entitlement to the usual decencies, let alone the usual legalities, in matters of racial discrimination and incitement.

Thus has the shame of thinking anti-Semitic thoughts been lifted from the shoulders of liberals. Since there can be no such thing as anti-Semitism — Jews having stepped outside the circle of offense in which minorities can be considered to have been offended against [DB: I’ve noted time and again on this blog how many left-wingers, especially in Europe, take liberties with Jewish sensibilities they would never dream of taking with the sensibilities of other historically oppressed groups, e.g.] — there is no charge of anti-Semitism to answer. The door is now wide open for those who truly believe they have nothing in their hearts but love to stroll guilelessly through to hate.

Read the whole thing…