Israel and the European Left

Colin Shindler, Nick Cohen

26/02/2012 9:30 am

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

Colin Shindler is Professor Emeritus and Pears Senior Research Fellow at SOAS, the first UK Professor of Israel Studies. He has written seven books including The Rise of the Israeli Right and Israel and the European Left.

Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen is a columnist for the Observer. He does occasional pieces for many other publications, including Standpoint and New HumanistWhat’s Left? the story of how the liberal-Left of the 20th century ended up supporting the far Right of the 21st was published in 2007. His latest book, You Can’t Read This Book was published in 2013.