How Anti-Semitism Took over the Left at Oxford

March 17 2016

The co-chair of the Oxford University Labor Club (OULC), Alex Chalmers, recently drew attention to left-wing anti-Semitism in Britain by resigning from his position rather than joining the club’s endorsement of “Israel Apartheid Week.” He writes:

During my year-and-a-half as an active member of the OULC, I found that [anti-Semitic] attitudes were prevalent. The word “Zio” was part of the club’s lexicon, despite its [clearly anti-Semitic] connotations eventually becoming widely known, the song “Rockets over Tel Aviv” was a favorite among a certain faction of the club, and the concerns of Jewish students over issues such as Israel Apartheid Week were ridiculed. . . .

What prompted me to resign in such a public fashion was witnessing just how passionate, over the top, and catch-all “anti-Zionism” was. I am no stranger to bad-tempered meetings or sharp debate, but the sheer hatred people felt was visible in their eyes. The motion [regarding Apartheid Week] was written deliberately to make me feel uncomfortable: [it] mandated that the co-chairs condemn “Israeli Apartheid” when asked to do so. In the meeting, members of the club were shouted down by a small clique, Jewish students were laughed at, and there was an attempt to deny paid-up members of the club who opposed the motion the right to vote.

Added to this, I was denounced as a Zionist stooge, and while I was counting the votes, someone stood over me suggesting that my Zionist sympathies meant that I might try to rig the ballot. . . .

In a way, the anti-Semitic incidents I witnessed in OULC are less troubling than the culture which allowed such behavior to become normalized. It is common to encounter anti-Semitic individuals in all walks of life, but the mass turning-of-a-blind-eye that has come to characterize vast parts of the left is chilling. As anti-Semites can double up as vocal critics of Israel, there is a marked tendency on the left to view them as fellow travelers whose hearts are in the right place—so their rhetoric passes the test of social acceptability.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Leftism, Oxford, United Kingdom, University

Israel Doesn’t Violate International Law When It Allows Jews to Live and Build Houses in the West Bank

Nov. 20 2019

When the State Department announced yesterday that it no longer regards Israeli settlements outside of the 1949 armistice lines as illegal, it went not only against the opinion of the Carter administration but against a view widely held by journalists, policy analysts, and governments the world over. Yet, like other widely held beliefs, this one is incorrect. Alan Baker explains why it has no basis in international law:

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More about: International Law, Settlements, West Bank