Mr Gove emphasised in his article that “anti-Semitism has moved from hatred of Jews on religious or racial grounds to hostility towards the proudest expression of Jewish identity we now have — the Jewish state”.
Condemning the singling out of the Jewish State by those who advocate for boycotts of Israel, he wrote: “No other democracy is on the receiving end of a campaign calling for its people to be shunned and their labour to be blacklisted”.
Mr Gove said that proponents of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel “argue that we should ignore ideas from Jewish thinkers if those thinkers come from Israel and treat Jewish commerce as a criminal enterprise if that business is carried on in Israel”. He underlined: “This is antisemitism, impure and simple. It is the latest recrudescence of the age-old demand that the Jew can only live on terms set by others. Once Jews had to live in the ghetto, now they cannot live in their historic home”.
He said that the “world’s oldest and most durable hatred” has “many more adherents and has taken many different forms”.
The former Justice Secretary wrote that it “should have been the case that antisemitism died in the furnaces of the Holocaust. But the hatred survived. And, like a virus, mutated”.
Writing about the Balfour Declaration which paved the way for the birth of a Jewish State, Mr Gove said: “It is to this country’s eternal credit that we rejected centuries of prejudice one hundred years ago and pledged to extend to the Jewish people the rights enjoyed by Germans and Italians, Japanese and Mexicans — the right to a land they could call their own. The Balfour Declaration in 1917 was followed in 1948 with the creation of the state of Israel. Since then, that state’s success has been near miraculous”.
Praising the State of Israel’s success, Mr Gove wrote: “Surrounded by enemies who sought to strangle it at birth, continually threatened by war and constantly under terrorist attack, a nation scarcely the size of Wales with no natural resources, half of whose territory is desert, has become a flourishing democracy, a centre of scientific innovation, one of the world’s major providers of international humanitarian relief and the only state from Casablanca to Kabul with a free press, free judiciary, a flourishing free enterprise economy and freedom for people of every sexual orientation to live and love as they wish”.
He underlined: “And that is the reason it attracts such hostility. Not because of what Israel does. But because of what it is”.
Mr Gove said: “Anti-Zionism is not a brave anti-colonial and anti-racist stance, it is simply antisemitism minding its manners so it can sit in a seminar room. And as such it deserves to be called out, confronted and opposed. Because the fate of the Jewish people, and the survival of the Jewish state, are critical tests for all of us”.
Click here to read Mr Gove’s article in The Times.