Past Events

Past EventsSunday, February 24

The Left and the Jews Since Karl Marx

Robert S. Wistrich

Robert S. Wistrich explored the roots of left-wing attitudes to the Jews, Zionism and Israel in a masterful new study of the pathology of antisemitism. He traced a line of negative stereotypes running back to the days of Karl Marx, when radical and populist movements attacked Jews as “rootless cosmopolitans” associated with industrial, financial and cultural elites.

In From Ambivalence to Betrayal The Left, The Jews and Israel Wistrich identifies a striking continuity of negative stereotypes of Jews, contempt for Judaism and negation of Jewish national self-determination reaching from the 1840s to the contemporary left-wing intellectual assault on Israel.

He explained how and why the Left emerged as a spearhead of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment. His analysis takes in the darker face of socialist and communist antisemitism, class-hatred and hostility toward religion and includes portraits of secular Jewish intellectuals from Marx to Moses Hess, Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky as well as a case study of attitudes in Britain.

Robert S. Wistrich is Neuburger Professor of European and Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. He is the author of numerous books, including Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred and Laboratory for World Destruction. Germans and Jews in Central Europe. 

To buy this book from Blackwell's, click here. Ten per cent of the proceeds of book sales through Blackwell's benefit Jewish Book Week.

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Jonathan Safran Foer discusses his novel Here I Am with Hephzibah Anderson at an out-of-festival event.