By BB Portnoy
Anti-Zionism is “simply antisemitism minding its manners so it can sit in a seminar room,” a prominent British Conservative politician said on Friday.
In an op-ed published in the Times of London, Michael Gove — the MP for Surrey Heath and a former secretary of state for justice — wrote, “Antisemitism has moved from hatred of Jews on religious or racial grounds to hostility towards the proudest expression of Jewish identity we now have — the Jewish state.”
“No other democracy is on the receiving end of a campaign calling for its people to be shunned and their labour to be blacklisted,” he continued. “This is antisemitism, impure and simple. It is the latest recrudescence of the age-old demand that the Jew can only live on terms set by others. Once Jews had to live in the ghetto, now they cannot live in their historic home.”
Antisemitism, Gove emphasized, “deserves to be called out, confronted and opposed.”
Furthermore, Gove noted, “the fate of the Jewish people, and the survival of the Jewish state, are critical tests for all of us. The darkest forces of our time — Islamic State, the Iranian leaders masterminding mass murder in Aleppo — are united by one thing above all: their hatred of the Jewish people and their home. Faced with such implacable hatred, and knowing where it has always led, we should not allow antisemitism any space to advance, or incubate.”
Gove ended with a call for the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration — in which Britain announced its support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” — by moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
On Thursday, in an op-ed published in the Jewish Chronicle, the head of Gove’s party — British Prime Minister Theresa May — vowed “to do everything possible” to protect her country’s Jews and fight antisemitism.
“The fact that antisemitism is on the rise again in mainland Europe should sicken us all; the fact it is on the rise here in Britain should shame us all,” May wrote.
“Put simply,” she said, “there can be no excuses for any kind of hatred towards the Jewish people. Full stop.”
May concluded, “Together, we will keep Jewish people in our country safe and defeat the scourge of antisemitism by standing up for our values and our way of life — today, and for every generation to come.”
(c) 2016 The Algemeiner Journal