John Mann

Accusations of anti-semitic chic are poisonous intellectual thuggery

In recent weeks, claims of widespread “anti-Semitism” in the left have become increasingly frequent. London Mayor Ken Livingstone, the Church of England and the Guardian (over articles comparing Israel and apartheid) are the most recent to find themselves in the firing line. Yet the truth, unbearable to those laying such charges is that the left that identifies with the Palestinians today is largely the same left that identified with Israel in the 50s and the 60s. Moreover, it does so for largely the same reason: instinctive sympathy for the underdog. David Clark, a former advisor to the British government, says that claims of anti-Semitism are being cynically used to shock Israel’s critics into silence.