Prominent British Cabinet Member: There Is No Difference Between Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism
There is no difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, a prominent British Conservative politician declared on Monday, the UK’s Jewish News reported.
Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Israel event in Manchester, Michael Gove — currently the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs — said, “At a time when people say that ‘I’m not an antisemite, I’m just anti-Zionist,’ it is important that we should say no, anti-Zionism is antisemitism.”
Referring to the 100th anniversary of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration — in which the British government announced its support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” — Gove exclaimed, “At a time when people are casual, cruel and callous towards the fate of the Jewish people, it is time for all of us to say that over the last 100 years if we have learned anything we have learnt one thing, which is that when there is prejudice and hatred directed towards the Jewish people darker times will follow, and it is our moral duty to say that what begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. We stand with Israel. We stand with the Jewish community.”
In March 2016, Gove — who was the secretary of state for justice at the time — was honored at The Algemeiner’s third annual “Jewish 100 Gala” in New York City. In his remarks at the event, Gove bemoaned the rise of antisemitism in Europe, referring to it as a “virus which mutates.”
“In medieval times, antisemitism was religious, and it found its manifestation in ghettoization and forced conversion,” Gove said. “In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, antisemitism, under the perverted guise of scientific racism, led to eliminationist politics in Austria, in Germany, and the greatest crime that mankind has ever witnessed.”
But, he continued, “antisemitism has changed. And now, it finds its expression in opposition to the Jewish people’s collective identity and the existence of the State of Israel.”