"One of Wistrich's most startling discoveries was what he thought was a Soviet anti-Semitic trope turns out to have originated from the British Labour movement at the turn of the last century. "What struck me quite forcefully when researching this book was how much Great Britain is responsible for its own indigenous - and contemporary - anti-Semitic traditions." Among them are the widespread theories of Jewish world conspiracy manipulated by the British Left during the Boer War of 1899-1902. Wistrich argues that that war - as contentious and polarising as any in the modern period - saw the emergence of a radical anti-war movement which coined conspiracy terminology such as "Imperialist Judaism" to describe how prominent Jewish financiers in South Africa allegedly plunged the British Empire into a disastrous conflict. These ideas would resurface with the emergence of Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, who accused Jews of dragging Britain into war with Germany, and again with the radical anti-Iraq War movement and its accusations of "Jewish cabels", neo-conservative conspiracies and claims of "Zionist imperialism"." - Winston Pickett, Jewish Chronicle, June 29th, 2012 "Professor Robert Wistrich is the world's foremost scholar on the ideological pathology of anti-Semitism... From Ambivalence to Betrayal is a warning we can nolonger afford to ignore. Anti-Semitism, driven underground by Kristallnacht and Auschwitz, has returned to the mainstream of Western politics. Our generation will be judged by the speed and mettle of our response, just as our fathers' and grandfathers' generations were damned by their failure to act until after the gas chambers had done their worst." - Stephen Daisley, Standpoint, September 2012 "A new, substantial contribution to material examining the hardening of the political left, notably in relation to Israel and the Jews, comes from Robert S. Wistrich. Entitled From Ambivalence to Betrayal, it is analytical and wide-ranging and written by an expert in anti-Semitism studies."-Jewish Chronicle, November 2012 "A new, substantial contribution to material examining the hardening of the political left, notably in relation to Israel and the Jews, comes from Robert S. Wistrich. Entitled From Ambivalence to Betrayal, it is analytical and wide-ranging and written by an expert in anti-Semitism studies."-Jewish Chronicle, November 2012
From Ambivalence to Betrayal is the first study to explore the transformation in attitudes on the Left toward the Jews, Zionism, and Israel since the origins of European socialism in the 1840s until the present. This pathbreaking synthesis reveals a striking continuity in negative stereotypes of Jews, contempt for Judaism, and negation of Jewish national self-determination from the days of Karl Marx to the current left-wing intellectual assault on Israel. World-renowned expert on the history of antisemitism Robert S. Wistrich provides not only a powerful analysis of how and why the Left emerged as a spearhead of anti-Israel sentiment but also new insights into the wider involvement of Jews in radical movements.
There are fascinating portraits of Marx, Moses Hess, Bernard Lazare, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, and other Jewish intellectuals, alongside analyses of the darker face of socialist and Communist antisemitism. The closing section eloquently exposes the degeneration of leftist anti-Zionist critiques into a novel form of “anti-racist” racism.