‘Zionism is depicted as a conspiracy’

August 28, 2008

Antisemitism does not solely consist of the hate crimes that CST reports on each year; it is also about rhetoric, words, and imagery that influence attitudes towards Jews, and that damage Jewish morale.

In Britain today, very few commentators would ever be so crass as simply to castigate Jews for being Jews.

Nevertheless, Israel has inherited apartheid South Africa's mantle as progressive society's hate target, and Zionism is depicted in conspiratorial terms that can only be rationalised in their variety and intensity by reference to traditional antisemitic myths and stereotypes.

Today's anti-Israel and anti-Zionist rhetoric is shot through with continuities from previous antisemitic types. The antisemitic discourse in all of this may be partly concealed, but the combination packs a powerful antisemitic punch - it is British Jews who suffer the social isolation, political derision and physical attacks that arise from the surface hatreds of Israel and Zionism.

If we want to tackle these negative impacts, we must understand the complexities and hidden charges that underpin them. We hope this new annual publication will help our community and its partners in the struggle against antisemitism to achieve their goals.

Last updated: 1:15pm, August 28 2008