The Left’s Jewish Problem, and Its Long History

The Jewish co-chair of the Oxford University Labor Club has resigned over that organization’s increasing anti-Semitism. Responding, Simon Schama reflects on the resurfacing of the European left’s historical hatred of Jews and, in time, the Jewish state:

In the 19th century, . . . the left made its contribution to [modern anti-Semitism]. Demonstrating that you do not have to be Gentile to be an anti-Semite, Karl Marx characterized Judaism as nothing more than the cult of Mammon, and declared that the world needed emancipating from the Jews. Others on the left—the social philosophers Bruno Bauer, Charles Fourier, and Pierre Proudhon and the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin—echoed the message: bloodsucking, whether the physical or the economic kind, was what Jews did. . . .

The Communist Moses Hess, who had been Marx’s editor and friend, became persuaded, all too presciently, that the socialist revolution would do nothing to normalize Jewish existence, not least because so many socialists declared that emancipating the Jews had been a terrible mistake. Hess concluded that only self-determination could protect the Jews from the phobias of right and left alike. He became the first socialist Zionist. . . .

[Now, with] the collapse of the Soviet Union and the retreat of Marxist socialism around the world, militant energies have needed somewhere to go. The battle against inequalities under liberal capitalism has mobilized some of that passion, but postcolonial guilt has fired up the war against its prize whipping boy, Zionism, like no other cause. Every such crusade needs a villain along with its banners—and I wonder who that could possibly be?

Read more at Financial Times

More about: Anti-Semitism, Karl Marx, Leftism, Moses Hess, Simon Schama, Socialism

 

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7