How did it take so long for this point to be made about Dalyell’s recent comments?

As it happens, George Bush’s cabinet is the first in decades not to include a single Jewish member. The result is that those bent on sniffing out Jewish influence have to go to the second, third and fourth rungs of the administration to find it. Among the neocons the heavyweights are not Jewish: they are Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Some other good points made by Jonathan Freedland in his Guardian article, particularly in reference to the now wide-spread use of ‘zionist’ as a codeword for Jew.

But it’s worth wondering if that distinction cuts much ice at street level – where anti-Jewish incidents in Britain have gone up by 75% compared with the equivalent period last year. If Zionists are constantly accused of having dual loyalties, of wielding untold power, of pursuing a secret agenda to reshape the world, all classic charges long hurled at the Jews, then one has to wonder whether one is hearing the same racist slur now voiced by Tam Dalyell – just expressed less openly.

There have been a few voices on the left, such as Workers Liberty , who have been willing to condemn the rise of a new form of anti-semitism, dressed up as ‘anti-zionism’ and loudly proclaimed by the likes of the (British) Socialist Workers Party. Dalyell is proof that such thinking is much more widespread than people might like to think.