Hate from the Right and Hate from the Left

Nadav Eyal is doing an important job exposing the new faces of Europe’s old anti-Semitism. In a series called “Hate” aired on Channel 10 Eyal first dealt with German Neo Nazis. Yesterday he dealt with BDS supporters in London. The first piece poses no problem. Right wing anti-Semitism is blatant, unambiguous and undisputed. Exposing the young generation of German Neo Nazis therefore is, so to speak, an easy job. And yet, what is so interesting with the Neo Nazis of today is the way in which they present their poisonous ideology. They no longer speak of historical facts but about the validity of conflicting narratives and the right to hold different opinions, even if they are viewed by others as illegitimate. “It doesn’t matter what really happened” said Patrick Schrader to Eyal, “I don’t know how many people died in the concentration camps. I learned in school it would be six million but I don’t know it … in your opinion it were six million Jews okay, doesn’t matter to me.” In a world where narratives have replaced truth, this kind of justification for anti-Semitism can still be objected only on the ground of past values anchored in laws that prohibit it.

When it comes to Left wing activists, however, Eyal hesitates whether or not he should to label them anti-Semites or just vitriolic critics of the state of Israel. Talking about BDS activist expressing his resentment to the Jewish claim of being a “chosen people,” Eyal commented in his facebook that “it doesn’t mean that these allegations are anti-Semitic but let us say that they were pretty close.” Put it in simple terms, while there should be no dispute concerning Right wing anti-Semitism, Left wing bigots who equate Zionism with racism, claim that Israel is “doing a holocaust,” engaged in ethnic cleansing and even has participated in the Rwandan genocide don’t persuade Eyal that he is facing anti-Semites; not even when protesters are holding maps of Israel colored in green, a clear signal that it has no right to exist.

This hesitation comes from old paradigms of enlightened left that fights against the forces of darkness. However, BDS activists, just like the Neo Nazis, are holding on to the same fictitious narrative that accuses Israel/Jews of all sorts of heinous crimes. By doing so the Left and the Right extremes have been united. As far as Israel is concerned, the fanatics of the world are dancing the same enchanting deadly dance that aimed at numbing the world’s conscience in order to achieve the same goal – the demise of the Jewish state. It is in this context that Netanyahu finally had to admit that “those who wear the BDS label should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot.”

About the Author
Ph.D. in Jewish history. Born in kibbutz; author of the book Flesh of our Flesh: Jesus of Nazareth in Zionist Thought (Carmel, 2008). Freelance writer for the monthly magazine Israel Today.