How is the left anti-Semitic?

Left-wing extremism

Daniel Kilpert

To person

1996 - 2001 studied political science, sociology and philosophy in Bonn and Berlin, has worked as a freelance journalist since 2002. He is doing his doctorate at the "Center for Research on Antisemitism" at the Technical University of Berlin on the subject: "Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in the German radical left in comparison to the radical German right since 1990".

Anti-Semitism from the left? This is still new to many today. It shows up, among other things, as uncompromising partisanship for the Palestinians and in the sometimes anti-Semitic vocabulary of globalization critics.

An Orthodox Jew kisses his brother, one of the freed hostages from Entebbe, Tel Aviv, on July 4, 1976. When Entebbe was hijacked, the terrorist command made up of members of the PFLP and the German "Revolutionary Cells" separated the aircraft occupants into Jewish and non-Jewish people. jewish. (& copy AP)

The fact that there is also left anti-Semitism is still new to many. However, there is a tradition of anti-Semitism on the left as well. A look at history shows the well-documented and researched anti-Semitism of the early socialists, the European labor movement of the 19th and 20th centuries and the Marxist classics. Particularly remembered are the anti-Semitism in the Eastern Bloc states after 1945, the Stalinist campaigns and anti-Semitic show trials "against Zionism and cosmopolitanism", the "Slansky trial" in Czechoslovakia and the "medical conspiracy trial" in the Soviet Union.

Despite all the differences in detail, radicals from the right or left, according to extremism research, have the same claim to sole representation, the rejection of pluralistic democratic systems, dogmatism, friend-foe thinking and fanaticism. Anti-Semitism comes into play when, for example, the "Jewish capitalist" appears as the epitome of the "greedy capitalist" with secret powers in the background

be identified as invisible pullers, whose portrayal is reminiscent of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and Israel, as a "Jew among the States", is the only country in the world denied its right to exist. Anti-Zionism is a specific form of anti-Semitism after Auschwitz that can be found among the radical left as well as right-wing extremists and Islamists. A very clear parallel to right-wing anti-Semites is the "aggressive defense against memory", which includes, for example, equating Israeli military actions with the acts of the National Socialists. This also includes the designation of the Palestinians as "victims of the victims". The projection of Israeli politics onto the behavior of all Jews in the world is also one of the indicators of left anti-Semitism.

The sociologist Thomas Haury blames left anti-Semitism on the "anti-imperialist worldview" on which the radical left is based. According to this, modern society is controlled by a power bloc made up of capital and the state that acts internationally and oppresses the ruled population. According to this binary worldview, the good oppressed peoples demand their self-determination against "evil foreign rule" and "imperialist exploitation". Applying the anti-imperialist scheme to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians leads to anti-Zionism. Israel is portrayed as the "bridgehead" of the USA in the Arab world and the USA is accused of unilateral support for the interests of Israel, which is explained by this fact, and which is directed against the "liberation movements".