When it comes to how it treats the Jews, Europe is reverting to type.
By Richard Mather
In 1973, Abba Eban, the foreign affairs minister in Israel, spoke of the rise of the New Left that identified Israel “with the establishment, with acquisition.” The New Left, he observed, is the “author and the progenitor of the new anti-Semitism.”
It is now 2015 and nothing has changed. If anything, the Left’s war on Jews, Judaism and Israel has got worse, particularly in Europe. What’s especially troubling is the Far Left’s descent into aggressive “brown shirt” activism.
The original “brown shirts” were the Sturmabteilung (SA) or Stormtroopers founded by Hitler in 1921. Outfitted in brown uniforms, the SA roughnecks would march in Nazi rallies, assault Jews, and stand menacingly in front of Jewish-owned department stores, saying “Go to Palestine!”
Fast forward to 2015 and we have our modern equivalent of the Sturmabteilung comprising Socialist Worker thugs, Stop the War morons, anarchists and wanna-be jihadis, who march in anti-Israel rallies, assault Jews in the street, and stand menacingly in front of Jewish stores saying “Free Palestine!”
Today’s street fascists – these modern-day brown shirters who parade through our cities and barricade Barclays Bank and Marks & Spencer – view Israel through the anti-Semitic prism of money and influence. In the mind of the average anti-Zionist thug, boycotting Israeli products is just one way of disrupting capitalism. And capitalism, of course, is associated with Jews.
Meanwhile, the EU is planning the first European boycott of Jewish goods since the Nazis. As MK Michael Oren says, “The EU decision to label Israeli products is anti-Semitic. There are dozens of border disputes and ‘occupations’ in the world but the EU decided to single out Israel. They are not labelling products from China, India or Turkey – only Israel.”
We shouldn’t be surprised. Anti-Semites – whether they be Catholic, Arab, Nazi or European – always adopt boycotts as the first weapon of choice against Jews. Of course, these things never end with boycotts. Boycotts of Jewish business are part of a delegitimisation process, and are always harbingers of violence, of death.
In the years after the Holocaust there was much hand-wringing and talk of “Never again!” But Europeans have short memories. Europe is reverting to type. 1933 and 2015 may be decades apart, but anti-Semitism, it seems, is timeless.