Anti-Zionism is “simply antisemitism minding its manners so it can sit in a seminar room,” a prominent British Conservative politician said on Friday.
In an op-ed published in the Times of London, Michael Gove — the MP for Surrey Heath and a former secretary of state for justice — wrote, “Antisemitism has moved from hatred of Jews on religious or racial grounds to hostility towards the proudest expression of Jewish identity we now have — the Jewish state.”
“No other democracy is on the receiving end of a campaign calling for its people to be shunned and their labour to be blacklisted,” he continued. “This is antisemitism, impure and simple. It is the latest recrudescence of the age-old demand that the Jew can only live on terms set by others. Once Jews had to live in the ghetto, now they cannot live in their historic home.”
Antisemitism, Gove emphasized, “deserves to be called out, confronted and opposed.”
Furthermore, Gove noted, “the fate of the Jewish people, and the survival of the Jewish state, are critical tests for all of us. The darkest forces of our time — Islamic State, the Iranian leaders masterminding mass murder in Aleppo — are united by one thing above all: their hatred of the Jewish people and their home. Faced with such implacable hatred, and knowing where it has always led, we should not allow antisemitism any space to advance, or incubate.”
Gove ended with a call for the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration — in which Britain announced its support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” — by moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.