Israel and the European Left
Why has the European Left become so antagonistic towards Israel? Is such antagonism in opposition to the policies of successive Israeli governments? Or, is it due to a resurgence of anti-Semitism?
The answer is far more complex. In his new book, ‘Israel and the European Left: Between Solidarity and Delegitimisation’, Shindler argues that the new generation of the European Left was more influenced by the decolonization movement than by wartime experiences, which led it to favour the Palestinian cause in the post 1967 period. Thus the Israeli drive to settle the West Bank after the Six- Day war enhanced an already existing attitude, but did not cause it.
Starting with Lenin and Trotsky and finishing in 2012, this session comprised of a historical overview and analysis of the changing attitudes towards Zionism and Israel.
Colin Shindler is Emeritus Professor and Pears Senior Research Fellow at SOAS. He is also Founding Chairman of the European Association of Israel Studies. The first professor of Israeli Studies in the UK, he has written widely on Israeli history and Jewish affairs. His History of Modern Israel was published in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel.
Nick Cohen is a British journalist, author and political commentator, currently a columnist for The Observer and the TV critic for Standpoint magazine. He is the author of What’s Left, Waiting for the Etonians and most recently You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom.