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Chilling video captures the moment socialism morphs into anti-Semitism

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“Anti-Semitism,” quipped nineteenth-century German socialist August Bebel, “is the socialism of fools.” However, a chilling new video shows that socialism helps prime leftists to espouse anti-Jewish sentiments in an instant.

The UK’s Labour Party in general, and party leader Jeremy Corbyn in particular, have long been accused of being indifferent to, or vaguely supportive of, anti-Semitism. “A new poison – sanctioned from the very top – has taken root in the Labour Party,” wrote the apolitical Chief Rabbi of the UK, Ephraim Mirvis, in a letter to the UK.

To test this proposition, a member of the Israel Advocacy Movement asked activists at a left-wing rally to comment on a series of provocative statements. However, he falsely attributed most of these to Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

For instance, Jeremy Corbyn described J.A. Hobson’s 1902 book Imperialism: A Study as “a great tome” and wrote a foreword to the 2011 printing. A characteristic passage comes during one of Hobson’s jeremiads against finance:

These great businesses—banking, broking, bill discounting, loan floating, company promoting—form the central ganglion of international capitalism. United by the strongest bonds of organisation, always in closest and quickest touch with one another, situated in the very heart of the business capital of every State, controlled, so far as Europe is concerned, chiefly by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial experience, they are in a unique position to control the policy of nations.  (Emphasis added.)

When attendees believed Prime Minister Johnson made these comments, they condemned them as anti-Semitic and agreed anyone who made such statements should be disqualified from public office.

But when they learned (almost) all the statements had been made by Corbyn, virtually all the interviewees began to justify the comments – on the grounds of economic envy.

The most disturbing about-face came from a man who said, “The Jews have got a lot of power and a lot of money, haven’t they? They do manipulate things. Power is money.”

He was holding a “Fight Bigotry” sign produced by the Socialist Workers Party.

Another said Jews only fear a Labour government, because “they’ve got all these offshore accounts, and they don’t want to pay tax.”

Socialism provided the intellectual framework for bigotry.

In virtually every socialist society, the envy that demonizes the wealthy soon turns its green eyes upon the Jewish population. The driving force of the modern Left, identity politics, teaches that all disparate wealth accumulation 1) is immoral, because 2) the system is rigged for the benefit of its creators, and 3) bestows ill-gotten “privilege” which the Left ascribes to all members of various racial groups. Publicly castigating the Jewish people rarely occurs in polite society, but these comments make clear that the engine of economic envy readily converts to racial and religious animus.

It is a small step from this mindset to full-blown anti-Semitism, a step you can witness in the video below:

 

(Photo credit: Jeremy Corbyn. This photo has been cropped. CC BY 2.0.)

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Rev. Ben Johnson Rev. Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of the Acton Institute's flagship journal Religion & Liberty and edits its transatlantic website.