Anti-zionism as an Expression of Anti-Semitism in Recent Years

Robert Wistrich


This is a translation of a lecture held on 10 December , 1984 at Study Circle on World Jewry in the home of the President of  Israel


I have set out to trace some of the links between anti-Zionism and classical anti-Semitism as they have found expression in recent times. This task is all the more urgent as it has become increasingly apparent since the early 1970s that there has been an orchestrated campaign against the Jewish State, Zionism and the Jewish people as a whole, a campaign whose impact constitutes a serious threat to our status in the world and ultimately to our very existence. This campaign has now acquired such a global dimension and resonance that I believe it can be compared to the threat posed to Jews by Nazism in the period of its upsurge – before it assumed governmental power; this in spite of the very considerable differences in the status of the Jews and attitudes towards them in the non-Jewish world which existed then and which obtain now. In spite of all the positive changes which occurred in the wake of the Holocaust, the last decade with its cumulative anti-Zionism has led to a dangerous regression which calls into question the over-optimistic assumptions of the 1950s and 1960s. Then it was still believed that Israel would constitute a completely new beginning and by its very existence lead to the gradual disappearance of anti-Semitism in the gentile world. In fact, the opposite has happened. Not only have anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, historically distinct and even antithetical ideologies, become interrelated: Israel itself is today the prime cause and pretext of a partly novel form of anti-Semitism, as puzzling as it is disturbing.

I will focus on two aspects only, of this phenomenon, both of which are interconnected and which have assumed particular importance in the last four or five years: the attempt to stigmatize Israel as a “Nazi” state, and the parallel campaign by some anti-Zionist circle to rewrite the history of the Holocaust as a Zionist conspiracy or as a collaboration between Nazis and Zionists to murder the Jewish masses in Europe. The very extremism of such claims makes it tempting to dismiss them as the sick product of a lunatic fringe which no sane person could possibly take seriously and which could never hope to influence public opinion. Unfortunately, this is not quite the case and bitter experience has taught us that such paranoid distortions of reality can reach a wide audience and exercise a fateful impact on the future. Moreover, it is precisely the equation of Zionism with Nazism which is in my opinion the most characteristic mode of the new anti-Semitic anti-Zionism in the early 1980s, one which inverts all our assumptions and therefore deserves special attention and consideration.

This is not an easy subject to discuss for emotional reasons on which I do not need to elaborate in this forum. But there are also methodological and intellectual difficulties. How can we be sure that anti-Zionism, even of the more extreme kind that I shall be discussing, is not perhaps the case that even the most vehement anti-Zionism is not really inspired by hatred of Jews? We all know that in the 19th century Jews themselves were among the leading opponents of Zionism and to this day ultra-Orthodox Judaism sharply denounces the Zionist “heresy” and the State of Israel. Many left-wing and liberal Jews in the Diaspora who oppose Zionism would forcefully deny that they are anti-Semitic and yet some of these Jews openly compare Zionism with Nazism. This fact has provided an effective smokescreen for Soviet, Arab and neo-Nazi antisemites to claim that they are “only” against Israel even as they openly discriminate against, threaten or attack Diaspora Jews.

Anti-Zionism has undoubtedly provided a wonderful alibi for anti-Semitism in deeds to cover itself with a theoretical halo of virginal purity and good intentions. It has also permitted anti-Semitic stereotypes to enter areas of the world, particularly in Asia and Africa, where there was previously no tradition or cultural substructure of Judeophobia. While at the same time in the post-war Western democracies anti-Zionism has provided a vehicle for the re-emergence of anti-Jewish attitudes which were for some twenty to twenty-five years partially submerged. This does not appear to me to be an accidental connection or mere coincidence of events. On the other hand, our analytic understanding is complicated by the fact that today nobody wishes to declare himself openly as an anti-Semite. Even neo-Nazis in the West are careful to wrap their racist mania in the appropriate “anti-Zionist” terminology, while on the Left those who shout loudes against “Nazi” Israel are usually self-proclaimed militant anti-racist.

So today we are seemingly confronted by an anti-Semitism which springs to the defense of all victims of racial oppression except the Jews – the paradigmatic example of such victims - who are now transformed into perpetrators and prototypes of racism! The Zionism is Nazism libel has built on this inversion of images which goes much deeper than is often realized here in Israel. Perhaps only people like myself, who have lived most of their lives in the Diaspora and witnessed the transformation that occurred in the 1970s (in my own case in England), can really grasp the full significance of this change. This does not mean that we should therefore stick the label of anti-Semitism on all forms of anti-Zionism, let alone on all criticisms of the Sate of Israel and its policies. We have enemies enough without unnecessarily extending their number by unwarranted accusations. Moreover, even if it were not anti-Jewish, the contemporary forms of anti-Zionism would be dangerous enough in their own right to demand a searching analysis and effort to develop an antidote.

But it appears to me that there is a basic continuity between classical anti-Semitism and contemporary anti-Zionism which can and should guide us in our search. Both ideologies seek in practice to deprive the Jew of his right to an equal place in the world; to limit his activity and freedom of movement; his human civic and political rights, and even his very right to exist – at least in the more radical formulation. Both anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism imply that the Jews have no claim to be a free independent people like other peoples, to define themselves according to universally acceptable criteria of self-determination, to enjoy the fruits of individual or collective emancipation. Thus both ideologies are built on the negation of Jewish rights and seek to drive the Jews back into a ghetto – whether it is physical or symbolic. The Je4ws must be confined to the status of a pariah nation. In a word, they do not belong.

For the European antisemites of the 19th century, Jews did not belong to European Christian culture. They were “Semites” or “Asiatics”, Eternally alien to Christian, “Aryan”, society. For contemporary anti-Zionist, in particular for most of our Arab neighbors, Israel is ironically enough an alien Western implant in the Middle East, without roots in the region or any right to a legitimate, equal and autonomous presence as a sovereign state. The goal of Arab anti-Zionism is ultimately to reduce Israel (or the Jews as a collectivity) to their age-old humiliated status under Islam, as dhimmis “protected” by Moslem “tolerance” and living on grace rather than by right in its midst. This type of anti-Zionism seeks to de-emancipate the Jews as an independent nation just as modern secular European anti-Semitism insistently sought to de-emancipate the Jews as free and equal individuals in civil society and as an integral part of the body politic of the nation-state. Anti-Zionsim continues the discriminatory theory and practice of classical anti-Semitism, transferring it to an international plane. It wishes to re-ghettoize the Jewish nation, just as post-emancipation antisemites sought to return the Jewish community to the pre-modern ghetto.

In both cases, we witness a conscious effort to delegitimize Jewish self-definition and to undermine the dominant mode of Jewish group existence. In the Middle Ages the main thrust of this delegitimization was anti-Judaism – directed by the Christian church against the religion by which Jews as a whole defined themselves; in the era of emancipation, it took the secular “scientific” form of anti-Semitism – Jews are an inferior race and therefore don not deserve civil equality or else they are dangerous parasites and must be excluded from human society.

In the post-war era of the Jewish State, delegitimization is no longer primarily racial or religious but ideological and political. There are several reasons for this change. In the first place, racial delegitimization in the post-1945 world, which has been decolonized and where “racism” is officially considered by the Third World as the original sin of humanity, is an ineffective weapon. Religious bigotry is also widely considered as a reactionary phenomenon – especially in the West – though much less so in the Islamic world where it continues to play a very significant role in Arab anti-Zionism. On the other hand, ideological opposition, particularly when it employs the fashionable “progressive” terminology of anti-Imperialism, is generally acceptable.

The second major reason is that Israel has become the main embodiment in Jewish and non-Jewish eyes of the modern Jewish group identity and is therefore the obvious target for anti-Semitic invective. Delegitimization of Israel and its ideological basis – Zionism- is the most direct way in our time to damage Jewish interests and prepare the way for the destruction of Jewish identity. This is clear enough to the Soviet Union, the Arab and Moslem states and the Jews-baiters all over the world. It is not apparently clear to many Jews and non-Jewish liberals who still lend their hand, often unconsciously and without always understanding the logical consequences, to the enemies of Israel.

The Soviet Union has played a special role in the world-wide campaign of delegitimization of Zionism, Judaism and Israel since the late 1960s. It has taken over in practice the heritage of Nazi anti-Semitism and already in Stalin’s last years, the paranoid theory of the world Jewish conspiracy in Marxist-Leninist disguise, acquired an “anti-Zionist”. tinge. In the past 15 years, it has also been the Soviet Union which has stood in the forefront of the global campaign to equate Zionism with Nazism, just as it orchestrated the infamous Zionism is Racism resolution at the U.N. in November 1975 in conjunction with the Arab states. The slander that Israel is a “Nazi” state should be seen as an escalation of the earlier campaign, one which in the early 1980s has moreover achieved some resonance in the West, especially after the violence and destruction in Lebanon. The Arab role in the propagation of the Zionist-Nazi equation is today no less significant, but in the past it was not so evident- possibly for the reason that many Arab nationalists in the early post-war period still identified with Hitler and Nazism. Their only regret was that the Germans had failed to truly complete the “Final Solution” and as a result the State of Israel had emerged.

For the Arabs and above all the Palestinian leadership, the Holocaust was never really absorbed in its horrific dimensions of inhumanity, and the real collaboration of certain Arab leaders (beginning with Grand Mufti of Jerusalem with the Nazis was repressed. Instead the Nazi Holocaust was perceived mainly as a political tool in the hands of Zionist. To counteract this weapon, the Palestinian tragedy had to be inflated into a new and even more horrific Holocaust instigated by Israel itself. Zionism was allegedly responsible for this terrible and unique crime; hence Ahmed Shukeiry (the first leader of the PLO) could declare in a U.N. speech of 4 December 1961: “Zionism was nastier than Fascism, uglier than Nazism, more hateful than imperialism, more dangerous than imperialism. Zionism was a combination of all these traits.”

In the late 1960s the PLO began to grasp the utility of projecting the Nazi horror directly onto Israel and utilizing the prestige of the European anti-Nazi resistance for their own cause. For Western consumption, PLO propaganda now stressed the similarities between the Palestinians’ condition in the Middle East (as a result of Israeli “oppression”) and that of the Jews of Europe under Hitler’s rule. Were not they, too (that is, the Palestine Arabs), a homeless, persecuted people evicted from their lands, defenseless, stateless, refugees deprived of independence and basic human dignity? One can recognize the factual elements in this presentation without necessarily sharing the extremely one-sided and demonological view of Zionism as the sole or even main culprit, responsible for this state of affairs.

What is more important for our purpose tonight is the real impact of this inversion of traditional images of persecutors and victims on Western public opinion since 1967. It was a major propaganda coup for the PLO that it partly succeeded in adapting “Zionist” terminology for its won purposes – turning the symbolism of the “return “ of an exiled people to its homeland against Israel itself. This campaign is implicitly anti-Jewish in a subtle and insidious sense, deliberately playing on the guilt feelings and sensibilities of Europeans regarding the Holocaust. By destroying or driving the Jew out of Europe, it is argued, Zionism led to an even greater “crime” – the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs by Israeli Jews. Therefore it is the moral responsibility of the West to unconditionally support the Palestinians. How often one has heard this Arab argument repeated by European statesmen and intellectuals in the past fifteen years pro-Arab policies generally adopted for quite different and very cynical reasons of self-interest.

At the same time, Arab propaganda has deliberately sought to strip the Nazi Holocaust of its unique and Jewish content- that is, when Arab money is not actually financing the publication of so-called “revisionist” literature, which denies that the murder of six million Jews ever took place! These efforts did not achieve much resonance in the West until the Lebanon war. Suddenly a significant section of the Western press – by no means “anti-Zionist” in an ideological sense – began to draw startling parallels between Lebanon and Lidice, Israelis and Nazis, the Star of David and the Swastika, the Palestinians and the embattled Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. Was this anti-Semitism, latent or manifest, old or new, or simply media sensationalism and the desire to package a great human tragedy in black and white terms, with the Israelis as the natural villains?

Perhaps anti-Semitism is not quite the right word, though as the former editor of the London Observer, Conor Cruise O’Brien, pointed out in that newspaper, June 1982. For the people in question, to quote this astute observer, were even extravagantly philo-Semitic these days, in their feelings for the Arabic-speaking branch of the Semitic linguistic family”. Obrien suggested a new term, “anti-Jewism” – “it’s an ugly word, so it fits nicely”. He proposed “a pragmatic test, for possible “anti-Jewism” in discussion of Israel” – namely “if your interlocutor can’t keep Hitler out of the conversation, if he is… feverishly turning Jews into Nazis and Arabs intro Jews – why then I think you may be talking to a anti-Jewist.”

The O’Brien litmus test is certainly a useful guide for identifying a major component of contemporary anti-Semitic anti-Zionism in both Eat and Wet. In the Communist world, this type of “anti-Jewish” dates back at least 30 years to the period of the Slansky trial in Czechoslovakia and the so called “Doctors’ Plot” orchestrated by the dying Stalin. But it only attained full force after the massive Arab defeat in June 1967, when the USSR, to revive its own damaged prestige, embarked on a systematic campaign to totally discredit Israel, Zionism and Judaism, One of its most widely used weapons was the remorseless repetition of the legend that the Zionist had already sought in the 1930s to create a “pro-Nazi” state in the Middle East, that they had actively participated with the Germans in the mass destruction of European Jewry, that they had sabotaged Jewish resistance in the ghettos and served as a “fifth column” for the Wehrmacht in the conquered territories of Europe. Both Nazis and Zionist supposedly signed secret agreements which condemned the Jews of Europe the gas chambers in return for German support for Jewish “fascist” aims in Palestine!

The interesting fact is that in recent years these grotesque Soviet blood-libels have been taken up by a part of the radical Left – especially the Trotskyists – in Western Europe and America. This trend is most striking in Great Britain, of which I have the greatest first-hand experience – a country which in the last decade has proved increasingly receptive to the most varied kinds of anti-Zionist rhetoric. The willingness of supposedly anti-Soviet radical leftists to swallow these made in Russia fabrications, provides food for thought. Are they in fact nothing but puppets of His Master’s Voice in Moscow or bought lackeys of Arab petro-dollars? Perhaps in some cases, this is indeed the reason. But the truth, I think, is more disturbing than that. Anti-Zionism has in the past fifteen to twenty years, gradually become an integral part of the cultural code of many Leftist and some liberal circles – an enemy on a par with Imperialism, racism and militarism – and invariably identified with these evils.

Precisely because it sees itself as “anti-fascist”, this Western radical culture is militantly anti-Zionist and can very easily slide into the ultimate step of equating Nazism with Zionism, the Third Reich with Israel, the Wehrmacht with Zahal. Unlike the radical Right, it does not desire the rehabilitation of Nazism, it does not deny the Holocaust and at least in theory it believes that anti-Semitism is a reactionary, racist doctrine to be fought no less strongly than Zionism itself. Nevertheless, I would claim that the falsifiers of the anti-Israeli Left who now rewrite the history of the Holocaust as a story of Nazi-Zionist “collaboration” are no less dangerous than the neo-Nazi “revisionists” and possible more effective. Unlike their Soviet models, they may actually believe the libels they propagate and this gives them a certain credibility - especially when they are Jews. Their emergence was made possible by the general climate of anti-Zionist opinion in the West, greatly stimulated by the turn to the Right in Israel after 1977 and the Lebanon war, which provided the opportunity and the opening. Recent works by Lenni Brenner, such Zionism in the Age of  the Dictators, or Tony  Greenstein, Zionism – Antisemitism’s Twin in Jewish Garb – both written by Jewish Leftists (one American, the other British) – are increasingly symptomatic of the times we live in.

Much more disturbing was the way that the Lebanon war provoked an orgy of media denunciation directed at Israel’s so-called “genocide”, a fantastic legend briefly given credence even in the so-called quality press in the West. Suddenly, ideological opinions on the “fascist” or “Nazi” nature of Zionism which had belonged to the margins of Western society, were taken seriously and acquired a new respectability. Yitzhak Shamir’s past as an underground terrorist was, for example, scrutinized with extraordinary intensity when he became Prime Minister in 1983 and his alleged contacts with the Nazis were inflated into wild accusations about the historically rooted “fascist” character of Zionism. It was not only the radical Trotskyist fringe of the Labor and Left-wing press in Britain and other Western countries that indulged in such analogies. They could also draw sustenance; it should be pointed out, from irresponsible voices in Israel itself who are frequently quoted in anti-Zionist literature abroad to provide cover against charges of anti-Semitic bias and prejudice.

The anti-Zionist mood intensified across the political spectrum in the West and thus a revision of the past and present with regard to Zionism began to take place, for the first time reflecting motifs long familiar from Soviet propaganda. For example, it was now alleged that Zionism had  always allied itself with reactionary forces and rabid antisemites in order to achieve its “criminal” goals. It was not only detrimental to Diaspora Jewish interests, but it had deliberately and callously abandoned the Jews during the Holocaust to their fate. It was, moreover, a cruel racist doctrine of chosenness, which had inevitably and logically led to the “genocidal” policies of Israel in Lebanon. In the radical Leftist and neo-Nazi press, and also in writings by ultra-Orthodox Jewish fanatics, Hitler and the Nazi mass murder seemed to pale into insignificance alongside the new Israeli “fascism” in the Middle East –depicted as a threat to humanity as a whole.

Wild rhetoric on this scale was fairly novel in the West, but in Soviet Russia it had been official Orwellian Newspeak since June 1967 when Soviet Ambassador Fedorenko denounced the Israeli “war criminals” in the UN for pursuing Hitlerite  policies in the Wet Bank, while the war was still in progress. Brezhnev himself at that time gave the signal to the Soviet media by stating that the Israeli “invaders” were seeking to imitate the actions of the Hitlerites. The Soviets did not wait for the advent of Mr. Begin or Mr. Sharon to brand Israel’s leaders as fascist executioners. The late Moshe Dayan and Golda Meir, leaders of the Israeli Labor government, were favorite targets in the Soviet disinformation effort of the early 1970s, accused of ruthlessly pursuing the Nazi derma of Lebensraum, of ruling hapless Arabs in the spirit of a masterace (Herrenvolk), of establishing concentration camps and even of sterilizing the local population.

At that time, however, there were few people in the West ready to credit such obvious falsehoods. The Nazi-Zionist equation only gradually infiltrated the Western world, partly through the channel o the communist parties and the growing influence of Arab money and diplomacy after the oil crisis of 1973 In addition, there were local causes, at least in Western Europe, which helped prepare the ground. Rising anti-Americanism (and the perception of Israel as an American stooge) was one factor; neutralist tendencies and the growing strength of the peace movements, the policy of appeasement (towards Russian and the Arabs) and the Third Worldism of many European politicians and intellectuals, exacerbated the process.

At the same time, a subtle revision of the Hitler era took place in popular works, films and even books by serious historians which perhaps indirectly lent itself to the irresponsible comparisons that have been drawn in the early 1980s between Nazism and more current phenomena. The result of all these trends which were to culminate ingrossly disproportionate Western reactions t the Lebanon war, was the definitive end of the brief era of European “philosemitism” and pro-Israel ism, which under the impact of the Holocaust had in fact sentimentalized the Jews as model victims. In their place came new victims, above all the Palestinians – themselves sacrificed, so it was suggested by the anti-Zionists, to make way for the creation of a Jewish State in which they were fated to be objects of racist discrimination.

These symbolic post-1967 reversals of image had their origins in the subculture of the new Left in the late 1960s, which peaked just when the Six-Day War had sent shock waves through the world and had transformed the European and Western perception of Israel and the Jews. Though the New Left quickly faded as a political force, its influence penetrated intro new and more lasting trends such as the “Green” (Ecological) and Peace movements, Feminism, a new immigrant and ethnic militancy, the impact of Arab and Third World elements and causes at Western universities, etc. The anti-Israel and anti-Zionist ideological bias of the radical Left was considerably strengthened by these developments and it also spread onto the media – especially television- where it began to exert amass influence. By no means all of this anti-Israelism was anti-Semitic in intent and much of the reporting of Israel and the Middle East was no doubt motivated by sympathy for Palestinians more than by hatred of Jews. Nevertheless, the overall, cumulative effect was to create a very negative picture of the Jewish State.

It is this background along with a significant generation change which has ultimately made possible the current fashion of drawing the Zionist-Nazi parallel even in the Western democracies, The political , cultural and moral damage to Israel and the Jewish people of this process of delegitimization has been considerable, though it is not necessarily irreversible.

Images are notoriously volatile and Western public reaction to the Middle East in the long term is difficult to predict. One cannot say that the Arab cause has made tremendous gains in Western opinion, but the erosion of Israel’s standing and good name over the past decade is certainly palpable. Many gentiles in the West and the Third World who in former times were sympathetic to the Jewish State clearly feel let down and disappointed. Sometimes this disappointment can lead to hatred. On the other hand, there are also many influential people in Western politics and cultural life who have not allowed themselves to be swept along by the anti-Israel hysteria. Moreover, in the United States, where the situation is fundamentally different in many ways from Europe, the image of  Israel and Zionism, while somewhat dented, still remains largely positive.

But if the picture is not entirely black , there are many troubling points of concern. It must be realized that there is a new generation in the West which has now entered politics and is also acquiring influence in cultural life. Many of the new generation have been nourished on extremely negative ideas concerning Israel and Zionism. The image of the ugly Israeli, which they have acquired through various channels, has undoubtedly shaped their outlook on international politics. In place of the money-grubbing Jew or the subversive Jewish revolutionary of anti-Semitic mythology, they have been exposed to new and more up-to –date stereotypes – those of the militarist, racist and now even the “Nazi” Jews seeking to dominate the world by force. An image of lust for power and reckless militarism can already be added to the rich armory of anti-Semitic type-casting nourished over generations by Christian, Moslem, Marxist and right-wing demonology. A reflex anti-Zionism which may not always have been anti-Jewish in origin and intention, today all too easily falls into the established groove of an endemic antisemitism that has been an central feature of civilization for more than two millennia. This development is particularly dangerous for the future of Israel and the Jewish  people because through anti-Zionism, a revival of all the latent murderous potential of antisemitism is in fact already taking place. Those responsible for decision-making in Israel have in my opinion. Been too slow to appreciate this fact and its negative political significance.

The Jews of Israel have perhaps tended in the past to dismiss the seriousness of the ideological and political enmity that has built up in the outside world towards them. Unfortunately, as recent development have shown, what the gentiles think and say can be as important as what the Jews actually do  -  words do have political consequences! The power of propaganda, of the media and images can often be as decisive as winning wars –a fact that was once very well understood by the Zionist leadership, but has tended to be forgotten in more recent years. The negative consequences of anti-Zionism have been most palpable and obvious for Israel in the international sphere – in its standing in the United Nations and its diplomatic isolation.

But the internal dangers should also not be forgotten – for example, the growth of isolationist and extreme nationalist currents in Israel and even the seeds of an Arabophobic tendency which in the past was much less significant. These trends need to be uprooted while they are still only potential dangers, if the anti-Zionist propaganda offensive from without is not one day to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Israeli society is still far from corresponding to the diabolic fantasy-image constructed by those who seek to destroy it. But it is also no more immunized than any other democracy from disintegrative trends, from extremism, racism and intolerance which may tear it apart from within.

There is no less serious danger contained in the anti-Zionist drive of recent years when we come to consider Diaspora Jews. In my opinion, one of the objectives of the anti-Israel campaign has been to drive a wedge between the Jewish State and its exposed Diaspora hinterland. The more wicked and diabolical the State of Israel seems in the eyes of gentile public opinion, the less likely Diaspora Jews are to support such a State – this is surely the calculation of our enemies. How could World Jewry back a “Nazi” State after what happened during the Holocaust? How can it support and subsidize racial discrimination in Israel? There has, in fact, been a growing chorus of gentile voices even in the West in recent years suggesting that the Diaspora Jewry dissociate from this so-called “racist” aggressive Israel or else it can expect to pay the price in terms of a justified (?) revival of antisemitism. For, as accomplices in Israeli “crimes” through their financial and political support, Diaspora Jews are ultimately no less guilty. Clearly this type of moral and political blackmail may have its impact on Jews outside Israel and the long-term consequences are unpredictable.

It may, of course, well be that if anti-Zionism continues to assume an extremist and antisemitic character, then Diaspora Jews will be obliged to organize themselves, and to strengthen their ties with Israel and Zionism. To some extent, the Zionism is Racism campaign did eventually have this effect. On the other hand, an opposite result is no less likely. For it is, after all, easier for the Diaspora Jew to lower his profile in Israeli-related affairs when the temperature of anti-Zionism rises or even to join in the anti-Israel consensus, than it is to swim against the current. Only time can tell whether Diaspora Jewry will wilt under the pressures of a hostile non-Jewish environment.

One thing should, however, be clear from this necessarily brief overview of the current situation. Anti-Zionism of the type I have tried to describe is a poisonous flower which has deliberately encouraged a process of alienation between Israel and the nations, between Israel and the Diaspora, as well as a sense of self-alienation within Israeli society itself. It has thereby created the danger of irrational reactions on all sides in order to overcome concrete political and moral problems by violent means. Hence the urgent necessity to analyze and struggle against this phenomenon.