Bad Consciences: Projecting Israel's Racist-Settler Aggression onto Labour Party “Antisemitism”

Les Levidow


During 2016-19 there were persistent high-profile allegations that Britain’s Labour Party had ‘endemic antisemitism’, causing ‘hurt to the Jewish community’.  This campaign, its drivers and consequences are illuminated here by linking Kleinian psychoanalysis with decolonial perspectives.   The Zionist settler-colonial project has developed an endemic hatred and systematic violence towards the indigenous Palestinians.  Through a racist paranoia, those feelings have been disavowed and projected onto the Palestinians, so that the colonisers can imagine themselves as victims.  When pro-Palestine campaigns highlight Israel’s institutionally racist role, this triggers the bad conscience of pro-Israel Jews and offends their self-identity as morally special.  In parallel the British elite has promoted a philosemitic agenda essentialising Jews as a homogeneous pro-Israel ‘Jewish community’ being victimised by pro-Palestine antisemitism. This narrative has inverted anti-racism and pro-Israel colonial racism.   When the Labour Party membership elected a pro-Palestine anti-imperialist leadership in 2015, the British elite had a ready-made framework to counter the threat.


racist paranoic projection, Zionist settler-colonial project, weaponizing alleged antisemitism, the Jewish community, UK Labour Party

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