British daily drops claim that West Bank settlements are ‘the trouble with Jews today’

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — The Independent daily in the United Kingdom revised an op-ed that called West Bank settlements “the trouble with Jews today.”

The change was made Thursday to an op-ed by the influential philosopher Slavoj Zizek published two days earlier titled “There is no conflict between the struggle against anti-Semitism and the struggle against Israeli occupation.”

It contained an apparent defense of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, from allegations of anti-Semitism.

The original language said that “the trouble with Jews today is that they are now trying to get roots in a place which was for thousands of years inhabited by other people.”


Following an outcry and allegations that the language used was anti-Semitic, The Independent replaced the phrase “the trouble with Jews today” with “the trouble with the settlement project today.”

The online article does not indicate that it had been revised.

In the op-ed, Zizek, whom the German Der Spiegel newspaper in 2015 described as “one of Europe’s boldest intellectuals and also a self-avowed leftist,” also condemned British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’ warning last month about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party ahead of the Dec. 12 election as “ethically disgusting.”

Zizek also wrote: “I, of course, indisputably reject anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

The Independent was established in 1986 and has its digital editions are accessed more than 20 million time a month, according to the Newsworks website.