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Anti-semitism, Israel and Nationalism, Part 3/3

Antony Lerman in conversation with Tony Curzon Price around Lerman's political memoir, The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist - A personal and political journey. Part 3, 25 mins.

Melanie Phillips has been accused of hysteria, even by Israel's sympathizers, for writing about [Independent Jewish Voices as] Jews for Genocide, but the behaviour of these Jews might make Melanie's critics rethink their criticism of her. It is hard for us Jews, whose love for our roots, our heritage, Jewsih hopes and dreams, which is so deep in us, to believe that such Jewish haters could exist, but I am afraid they do. What is it that moves them - cowardice, a need to be loved by the Gentiles, alienation, an assimilation of antisemitic attitudes (of which I wrote about in my Funny, you don't look Jewish)? It has been said that some Jews in concentration camps began to believe that they had done something wrong in order to reconcile themselves to their situation and to relate to their persecutors. Could these Jews be suffering from the same pathology? But for whatever reason they need to be utterly condemned, because they have acted in a manner to deserve the biblical punishment of "being cut off from their people" because they have chosen to do this themselves."
Sidney Brichto, Email, 2007. Quoted by Antony Lerman.

Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
Baruch Spinoza, 1670, Quoted by Antony Lerman.
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About the authors

Antony Lerman is a Senior Fellow at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, Vienna and an Honorary Fellow at the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, Southampton University. He is also a member of the Black-Jewish Forum, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum and a founding member of the Jewish Forum for Justice and Human Rights and the Independent Jewish Voices steering group. He is the author of The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist: A Personal and Political Journey (Pluto Press 2012). He tweets @tonylerman.


Tony Curzon Price was Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy from 2007 to 2012, where he is now contributing editor and technical director. He blogs at

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