Antisemitism claims mask a reign of political and cultural terror across Europe

Cook, Johnathan
Date Written:  2020-12-11
Year Published:  2020
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX24724

Cook explores the "cultural, political and intellectual reign of terror" in European countries, primarily Germany, after the German parliament equated non-violent boycotts of Israel with antisemitism. He documents the hypocrisies of European countries who fight for free speech but outlaw criticism towards Israel, and the ways antisemitism has been weaponised.



Jewish organisations and their allies in Germany, as Haaretz reports, are openly weaponising antisemitism not only to damage the reputation of Israel’s harsher critics, but also to force out of the public and cultural domain – through a kind of “antisemitism guilt by association” – anyone who dares to entertain criticism of Israel.

Cultural associations, festivals, universities, Jewish research centres, political think-tanks, museums and libraries are being forced to scrutinise the past of those they wish to invite in case some minor transgression against Israel can be exploited by local Jewish organisations. That has created a toxic, politically paranoid atmosphere that inevitably kills trust and creativity.

But the psychosis runs deeper still. Israel, and anything related to it, has become such a combustible subject – one that can ruin careers in an instant – that most political, academic and cultural figures in Germany now choose to avoid it entirely. Israel, as its supporters intended, is rapidly becoming untouchable.

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