We’ve Seen This “Antisemitism Crisis On The Left” Script Before

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readJun 16, 2024


Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

It sure is a crazy coincidence how western politicians and media always start urgently telling us about an invisible epidemic of left wing antisemitism every time western military ties to Israel are subjected to widespread public scrutiny.

It’s getting bad, and it will likely get worse.

The mass media are filling up with op-eds and cable news segments about how antisemitic leftist anti-genocide protesters are becoming.

Instagram progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently hosted two virulent Zionists in a livestream where the three spent their time concern trolling about the rise of antisemitism in left-wing activist circles.

Whoever runs Joe Biden’s presidential Twitter account for him is tweeting about “horrific acts of Antisemitism” by demonstrators, citing four incidents which were demonstrably not in the least bit antisemitic.

These same false claims about antisemitic activity by protesters are being used by US officials like House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to push through the “Countering Antisemitism Act”, a bill which would give the White House new powers to “counter the spread of antisemitism online” (read: government internet censorship to promote US and Israeli information interests).

And it’s so important that people who are new to this understand we’ve already seen this “crisis of antisemitism on the left” song and dance before; they ran the exact same script a few years ago in the UK to kill the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, who supports Palestinian rights. It’s the exact same bad faith concern trolling op where the whole political-media class suddenly starts pretending to believe something that is transparently ridiculous in order to protect an agenda of the empire.

It’s also important that everyone understand that every part of this is 100 percent cynical manipulation. The people pushing this narrative are fully aware that it is false. Everyone knew Jeremy Corbyn was a lifelong anti-racist who didn’t have an antisemitic bone in his body. Everyone knew there was no crisis of antisemitism in the Labour Party. But they pretended to believe otherwise because they didn’t want to see socialism and anti-imperialism gain a political foothold in the UK. The same thing is happening in the US and throughout the west right now regarding protests against the genocide in Gaza.

So when you see people aggressively rejecting the concern trolls on this issue, that’s why. They’ve seen this schtick before, and they know how politically devastating it can be. They’ve seen how it can be used to suck all the oxygen away from real discourse about real things and funnel it all into this insanely vapid, idiotic conversation about a problem that exists nowhere outside the imaginations of the people talking about it. It’s a deeply evil, disgusting thing to do, especially now in 2024 when it’s being done to facilitate an active genocide.

There is no crisis of antisemitism on the left. It is not happening. The people pushing this narrative know it is not happening. Even the claim that anti-semitic incidents overall are on the rise is highly dubious, given that the figure everyone always cites for this claim comes from the Anti-Defamation League, who after October 7 began categorizing pro-Palestine rallies as antisemitic incidents — including rallies organized and attended by Jewish groups.

People get into left-wing politics exactly because they oppose racism and injustice. Nobody who actually understands the pro-Palestine movement sincerely believes all these peaceniks and commies have suddenly morphed into Jew-hating Nazis in contradiction of their entire worldview. They might pretend to believe this is a real thing that is actually happening in order to advance a political agenda, but they won’t actually believe it.

There’s plenty of hatred for Jews to be found on the extreme right, where the ideological inability to acknowledge capitalism and western imperialism as the source of today’s ills leaves a void for blame that will be filled by anything from Jews to immigrants to Satanic pedophile cabals to drag queens. But it’s always the lefties who get the overwhelming brunt of the antisemitism accusations, because their pro-peace, pro-justice, anti-colonialist, anti-racist activism makes them an obstacle to the information interests of Israel and the murderous empire which supports it.

We saw it with Corbyn, and we’re seeing it again today.


My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece here are some options where you can toss some money into my tip jar if you want to. Go here to find video versions of my articles. Go here to buy paperback editions of my writings from month to month. All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.

Bitcoin donations: 1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Featured image by Chris McAndrew via Wikimedia Commons (Attribution 3.0 Unported)