From a letter in yesterday's Guardian written by Karl Sabbagh:
Accordingly, loud and clear now, three things.
Let it be said loud and clear - it is entirely possible to criticise Israel without being antisemitic. To deny this is to argue against freedom of speech.
(a) To deny that it's possible to criticize Israel without being anti-Semitic is not to argue against free speech; it is itself an exercise of free speech. It may be wrong in its content - see (b) - but freedom of speech permits people to say things that are wrong, and saying this particular thing prevents nobody from saying the opposite or whatever they like.
(b) It is entirely possible to criticise Israel without being anti-Semitic. Entirely possible and it happens plenty.
(c) It is also possible to criticize Israel and be anti-Semitic, or to do so in ways that at least invite the worry; and this too happens quite a lot.
Further to (c): One of the things that may be noted amongst people criticizing Israel while insisting that there's nothing anti-Semitic about doing so, is how untroubled many of them are, in affirming (b), about the truth of (c); and how untroubled many of them are about the fact that Israel's antagonists in the region are, to put it mildly, not above deploying anti-Semitic themes in their hostility towards Israel; and how ready many are to explain away such anti-Semitic hate-mongering as mere rhetoric, or as an inconsequential 'superstructure' upon political rivalries, and of no independent weight; and how untroubled many are about the way in which criticism of Israel that swears blind it is not anti-Semitic will sometimes rely on standard anti-Semitic tropes nonetheless (such as Jewish money, control of the media, control of American foreign policy, Zionist overlaps with Nazism, and so forth), as if anti-Semitism were only ever overt spluttering hatred and not also about stereotypical ideological themes; and how untroubled many are that the representation of anti-Semitism in this restricted way gives it a unique status such as is not accorded generally to racism, for which it is widely recognized that it's not only about hateful intent.
It is a moral scandal that so soon, historically speaking, after the greatest calamity the Jews have ever suffered, forged upon a millennial European hatred, there is such complacency about the return and clear presence of this vile beast.
That's brief but, I trust, loud and clear. It needs a more extended (non-blogpost) treatment.