Prompted by recent events I am currently reading “Globalising Hatred: The new antisemitism” by Denis McShane.
The book arose from a cross-party parliamentary report a decade ago looking at the rise of antisemitic incidents across the world. Jew-hatred has not been consigned to the past; people may attend Holocaust memorial services and claim “never again” yet walk away in total denial about what is going on around them, and in how they are contributing to the poison of contemporary Jew-hatred.
The book does not make for easy reading – 12 pages of one chapter simply lists examples of antisemitic attacks across the world in 2006 alone.
One phrase though should give some small hope – the author, a Labour MP, states that his political community – that is progressive, left, liberal, pro-European, supporters of human rights, etc – “needs to understand that until neo-antisemitism is confronted, contained and rolled back the chances of movement on the Israel-Palestine question are slim.
But I did say some small hope. These words were published a decade ago. Plenty of time for party leaders and activists to take heed and take action, yet here we are, 10 years on with a Labour Party at best, in complete denial that there is a problem, or even worse, aggressively dismissing the concerns of British Jews as a politically motivated smear and attacking those who are genuinely concerned about the rise of antisemitism.