The Israeli philosopher behind the National Conservative movement, which launched today in London, has defended a Tory MP against charges of antisemitism.
Yoram Hazony, the conference chairman and an orthodox Jewish theologian, said that Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, was correct to use the controversial term “cultural Marxism” in a speech at the event on Monday.
He told the JC: “I deplore this attempt to smear a friend of the Jews such as Miriam Cates with the utterly preposterous accusation of antisemitism.
“The term ‘cultural Marxism’ is as an apt phrase to describe the cultural agenda promoted by many on the left today.”
In her speech at the inaugural National Conservative conference in Westminster, Cates had claimed that "cultural Marxism" was "destroying our children's souls" and causing self-harm, suicide and "epidemic levels of anxiety".
The backbench Tory MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, who also said young people would not have children if they did not have "hope for the future".
But John Mann, the UK Government’s antisemitism Tsar, slated Ms Cates's use of the term "cultural Marxism".
The former Labour MP said: "The use of the term is rooted in Goebbels' cultural Bolshevism and is a conspiracy theory with antisemitism at its core.
"Its overlap with antisemitism today is seriously problematic and is part of the language being used to target Jewish people in very dangerous ways.”
However, Yoram Hazony, the conference chairman and an orthodox Jewish theologian, insisted that the term was "apt".
He said: “The Edmund Burke Foundation offers no platform to antisemites. We are proud to number Miriam Cates among our speakers and friends.”
Speaking during the National Conservatism Conference in Westminster on Monday, Ms Cates added in her speech: "That hope is sadly diminishing in so many of our young people today, because liberal individualism has proven to be completely powerless to resist the cultural Marxism that is systematically destroying our children's souls.
"When culture, schools and universities openly teach that our country is racist, our heroes are villains, humanity is killing the Earth, you are what you desire, diversity is theology, boundaries are tyranny and self-restraint is oppression, is it any wonder that mental health conditions, self-harm and suicide, and epidemic levels of anxiety and confusion characterise the emerging generation?
"We must end the indoctrination of our children with destructive and narcissistic ideologies.”
The term "cultural Marxism" is often used by those on the right without an antisemitic intention to describe progressive movements and figures, often used to mean roughly the same as "political correctness".
It has appeared in an academic context; the 1997 book Cultural Marxism in Post-War Britain, by American historian Dennis Dworking, is not seen as antisemitic.
Ms Cates has been contacted for comment by the JC about Mr Mann's remarks.