Yet such parallels are creeping into mainstream left-wing discourse, even in the United States. The new book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel by Max Blumenthal, heavily promoted by The Nation—the leading magazine of the American left—features such chapter titles as “The Concentration Camp” and “The Night of Broken Glass.” (Even Nation columnist Eric Alterman, himself a vocal critic of Israel, has slammed Goliath for, among other things, the “implicit equation of Israel with Nazis.”)
There are even more striking examples of the fusion between Israel-bashing and Jew-bashing. A 2011 tract called The Wandering Who? by Israeli-born British musician and self-styled “self-hating Jew” Gilad Atzmon not only asserts that Israel is “far worse than Nazi Germany” but suggests that historical anti-Semitism in Europe must have been the Jews’ fault. Atzmon brags about getting suspended from school as a child for asking the teacher how she knew that Jews didn’t really murder Christian babies for ritual use of their blood. He also blames American Jews in the 1930s for provoking Hitler by calling for a boycott of German goods.
While some anti-Zionist leftists and pro-Palestinian activists denounced Atzmon’s book, it received a disturbing amount of praise—including a blurb from University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer, co-author of the controversial book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. A major British newspaper, The Guardian, carried The Wandering Who? in its online bookshop before pulling it in response to criticism.
In this toxic climate, the lines between “new” and “old” anti-Semitism keep getting more and more blurred.