The majority of extremist murders in the United States in recent years--including recent attacks on synagogues--have been the work of white nationalists, motivated by the violent conspiracy theories emanating from the extreme right. It's not surprising, then, that many on the left view anti-Semitism in America as exclusively a problem of the right. When confronted with disparaging remarks about Jews from people of the left, these individuals often resort to one of two excuses: first, that these leftist bigots are powerless and therefore irrelevant to any discussion of anti-Semitism; second, that individuals associated with the anti-racist left can't, by definition, be anti-Semitic.
One need only look across the Atlantic to the Labour party of the United Kingdom to understand the inadequacies of these justifications and the danger arising from growing anti-Semitism on the left.
The best synopsis of the anti-Semitism catastrophe that is consuming Britain's Labour party is documented in a recent report by Alan Johnson titled "Institutionally Antisemitic: Contemporary Left Antisemitism and the Crisis in the British Labour Party." Johnson is a non-Jewish political theorist and self-proclaimed socialist. He paints a devastating portrait of a party that long prided itself as a protector of minorities but that now, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, is becoming a safe haven for anti-Semitic speech and conspiracy theories.
"Institutionally Antisemitic" describes a "two-camp" worldview that has infected a significant part of the UK's left. In this mindset, the world is divided into only two camps--"the good-oppressed vs. the bad-oppressors." Applied to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, a highly complex historical conflict is reduced to a cartoonish struggle between good and evil. In that struggle, Israel and the vast majority of British Jews who feel an affinity toward Israel are the personification of evil.
As Johnson describes it, this mindset plays out in three types of anti-Semitism found among many of Corbyn's strongest supporters. The first is a form of anti-Zionism that is merely a cover for anti-Semitism. Scores of Labour elected officials and activists have made statements of this kind. Some claim the Mossad is in control of ISIS. Others state that "Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity." One local elected Labour official shared a video on social media produced by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke titled "CNN...