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‘anti-zionism is Neo-anti-semitism’ New Left Called ‘progenitor’ of New Anti-semitism by Eban

August 2, 1972
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“The New Left is the author and progenitor of the new anti-Semitism: anti-Zionism is neo-anti-Semitism,” Foreign Minister Abba Eban declared last night in an address to the opening session of the American Jewish Congress’ tenth annual American-Israel Dialogue. Israel will never be popular among New Leftists, Eban said. “The alienation is inherent,” he explained, “since the New Left advocates negativism, nihilism, anarchic revolt and contempt for human legacy” in contradiction to Jewish tradition.

Eban said Israelis and Jews should try to see Israel’s unpopularity with the New Left in its proper perspective. Israel, he noted, is “excessively preoccupied with its image” and has a “neurotic insistence on being admired”–the result of historical Jewish insecurity. But no State, he contended, has won universal love, and thus it is not the fault of Israel’s foreign policy that it is not loved by everyone. The test of a foreign policy, he said, is whether the country maintains sufficient political, economic and cultural relations with other countries; and by this yardstick, he concluded, Israel has succeeded–even in Africa, where the Arabs have contacts with more than 30 States.

It is untrue, Eban continued, that revolution and Jews have always marched hand in hand. Many revolutionaries, he explained, have advocated Jewish emancipation only to ‘liberate the Jew individually but liquidate him collectively.” Extremism is inconsistent with Jewish tradition, Eban asserted, and anyone who tries to separate the State of Israel from the Jewish religion is illiterate.” Traditions must be “modernized and humanized,” he allowed, but the secular majority would solve nothing by sweeping religion aside.

On defense matters, Eban compared the Arab population in pre-June, 1967, Israeli-held territory–22 percent–with the projected Arab population within the current borders in 1990–40 percent. The solution, he said, is to find a medium between secure borders and acceptable demographics.

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