Yet it is a bizarre paradox of modern Britain that there is now a climate of increasing hostility towards Jews, particularly in those Left-wing intellectual circles which otherwise make a fetish of their concern for racial sensitivities.
Dressed up as criticism of the state of Israel, anti-Semitism is becoming not just tolerated but even fashionable in some of our civic institutions, including the universities and parts of the media.
Thanks to the Left’s neurotic hatred of Israel, we now have the extraordinary sight of self-styled liberal campaigners launching McCarthyite witch-hunts against anyone deemed to have Israeli connections, as in this week’s debate at the University and College Union’s annual conference at Bournemouth calling for a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions.
Respect for democracy, individual rights and freedom of speech are being crushed beneath the juggernaut of shrill indignation.
What is particularly disturbing is the way opposition to the Jewish state descends into vicious antagonism against Jews themselves, as shown by this sickening recent outburst from writer Pamela Hardyment, a member of the National Union of Journalists, which in April voted to boycott Israeli goods.
Explaining her support for the NUJ’s stance, Ms Hardyment described Israel as “a wonderful Nazi-like killing machine backed by the world’s richest Jews”.
Then, like some lunatic from the far-Right, she referred to the “so-called Holocaust” before concluding: “Shame on all Jews, may your lives be cursed.”
Such words could have come straight from Hitler or the most fervent supporter of Osama Bin Laden.
But Ms Hardyment is hardly unique.
Read the article in its entirety.
Also, academics and students hit back at the UCU
Among those condemning the UCU decision are the Russell group of research-led universities and the National Union of Students
In a hard-hitting statement, the Russell group "rejected outright" the boycott call.
Its chairman, Prof Malcolm Grant, who is also president and provost of University College London, said: "It is a contradiction in terms and in direct conflict with the mission of a university.
"It betrays a misunderstanding of the academic mission, which is founded squarely on freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech.
"Any institution worthy of the title of university has the responsibility to protect these values, and it is particularly disturbing to find an academic union attacking academic freedom in this way."
Prof Grant promised that its universities "will uphold academic freedom by standing firm against any boycott that threatens it".
Meanwhile, the executive director of the International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom (IAB), Ofir Frankel, accused the union of allowing itself "to act as a one-sided player in Middle Eastern politics".
He said: "The IAB is amazed that the extremists that led their union to such an initiative decided not to discuss the option to pass this initiative to a vote of all 120,000 members, a decision that could have allowed the majority to rescue their union from this discriminatory action by reharnessing the values of academic freedom, discourse and debate, as their own general secretary suggested."
The chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, Jeremy Newmark, described the union's decision as "an assault on academic freedom" that "damages the credibility of British academia as a whole". He called for the union to organise a full membership ballot before introducing any boycott.
The decision by the UCU was also condemned by the Academic Friends of Israel, which accused the union of having "failed to support the wishes of its membership".
Criticism of the UCU decision also came from student organisations.
Hat tip Israpundit