The Canadian Left and Israel
Date Written: 07/07/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21047
Accusations of Left anti-Semitism may mask a more significant racism problem on the Left.
Many who bemoan "Zionist controlled governments" and other such formulations are referencing stereotypical tropes about Jewish control. Some 'Jews as Jesus killers' prejudice also lingers in a country with Christian (colonial) roots. Anti-Semitism should be condemned since all forms of ethnic/religious discrimination are wrong. Additionally, simplistic ethnic/religious explanations of power do a disservice to movements seeking to make the world better a place.
But, while it exists, left anti-Jewish prejudice should be put in context. Is there more anti-Jewish prejudice on the left than anti-black, indigenous, south Asian, Chinese, etc. racism? Or how about patriarchal attitudes? Or even class bias against "unskilled" workers? But, unlike indigenous or black people or women, Jews are not underrepresented in positions of influence on the Canadian Left, just as they are not underrepresented in the structures of power in this country.
So, what is going on with this focus on the left's anti-Semitism? The answer is obvious. It is a way for supporters of Israel to shut down criticism of that country.