The Left's Jewish Problem

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The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti‑Semitism is a 2016 book by British author Dave Rich.[1] The book argues that new antisemitism is "masked as anti-Zionism" in left-wing politics.[2]

Rich began writing the book in 2011 as his doctoral thesis at Birkbeck, University of London[3][4] and his studies were funded by the Community Security Trust.[5]

Writing in The Guardian, Nick Cohen described the book as an "authoritative history of left antisemitism."[6]

Leslie Wagner reviewing the book described it as "an important one that should be read by all those seeking to understand the New Left’s obsession with anti-Zionism and its inability to recognize, let alone deal with, its own antisemitism"[3]

Benjamin Ramm reviewing the book wrote that " a guide to a contemporary malady that is undermining the integrity of the left, Rich’s book is essential reading"[7]

Beginning of New Left antisemitism[edit]

Rich traces the origin of what he believes to be contemporary left-wing anti-Semitic anti-Israel rhetoric and of antisemitism in the Labour Party to the early 1970s, when Peter Hain and Louis Eaks of the Young Liberals wing of the Liberal Party reconceptualized the national liberation movement of the Jewish people as an imperialist project imposing apartheid on an indigenous people. Philip Spencer, Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kingston University, accuses the Marxist New Left of inverting reality to blame Jews, "the victims of the most murderous racism, were now the real racists, inverting the Holocaust."[8] Rich argues Anti-Zionism turned into Antisemitism and how is used to hide it under the guise of the first.[3]

Simon Humphreys in The Mail on Sunday described Rich's book as relating "how ideas spread through grassroots campaigners and activist groups, showing how, after the Six Day War in 1967, a new, more youthful, radical, anti-apartheid, antiwar Left went from being pro-Israel to pro-Palestinian. It is a story of factions, activism and student politics, with Israel cast as an apartheid state based on racial segregation."[9] According to Humphreys, Rich maintains that, "Criticisms of Israel... become suspect when they use language and ideas that draw on older anti-Semitic myths about Jews."[9]


  1. ^ Aslon-Levy, Eyal (1 September 2016). "A Deep Look at the 'Sickness' of the British Left (review)". Tablet. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  2. ^ Johnson, Alan (16 October 2016). "MPs have shone a light on the tide of anti-Semitism engulfing the Labour party". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Wagner, Leslie (2017-01-02). "The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism". Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs. 11 (1): 105–108. doi:10.1080/23739770.2017.1320738. ISSN 2373-9770.
  4. ^ Fraser, Jenni (3 October 2016). "This man wrote the book on British Labour anti-Semitism — literally". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  5. ^ Rich, Dave (6 September 2016). The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism. Biteback Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-78590-151-5.
  6. ^ Cohen, Nick (13 September 2016). "The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti‑Semitism – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  7. ^ Ramm, Benjamin (2016-10-01). "The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism". Jewish Quarterly. 63 (4): 71–71. doi:10.1080/0449010X.2016.1270517. ISSN 0449-010X.
  8. ^ Spencer, Philip (Autumn 2016). "The Left's Jewish Problem (review)". Fathom. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  9. ^ a b Humphreys, Simon (11 September 2016). "The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel And Anti-Semitism (book review)". Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 8 December 2017.