the Prophet: Judgment day shall not come until the Muslim fights the Jew, where the Jew will hide behind trees and stones, and the tree and the stone will speak and say, ‘Muslim, behind me is a Jew. Come and kill him.’ “

What is truly incredible is that some radical leftists are so consumed with hatred that they are prepared to make excuses for these mass murderers as well. Only three months after the 9/11 massacres, CounterPunch published a revealing interview with Norman Finkelstein: “It’s payback time for the Americans,” he gloated, adding that “we deserve the problem on our hands because some things bin Laden says are true.” Finkelstein kept a studied silence about the implication of these thoughts for his fellow Jews.

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Another line of argument was suggested by Noam Chomsky: “It’s entirely possible,” he hypothesized, “that bin Laden’s telling the truth when he says that he didn’t know about the [9/11] operation,” and in any case bin Laden was “courageously fighting oppressors, who are quite real,” although regrettably his crimes were “extremely harmful” to the Palestinian cause.

Not content with these observations, Chomsky traveled to Pakistan, where he hastened to assist Al Qaeda’s recruitment efforts by informing his audiences that the Bush administration was planning to impose mass starvation on neighboring Afghanistan.

The gold standard in collaboration with genocidal anti-Semites was undoubtedly set by the radical lawyer Lynne Stewart, convicted last year of providing material support for the terrorism of Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman. The so-called “Blind Sheikh” was linked to the jihadist cell that tried to massacre 250,000 people in the 1993 World Trade Center attack. The bombers expected that most of the victims would be Jews.

Stewart’s actions on behalf of her imprisoned client included refusing to disclaim a fatwa inciting Muslims “to fight the Jews and to kill them wherever they are.”

It is of no small significance that Stewart is acclaimed as a martyr by her comrades at the National Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights, not to mention far-left media such as Z Magazine, CounterPunch and Democracy Now.

In Britain, where I live, the anti-Zionist Left has broken all records in its promotion of Jew-killers. So deep is the malaise that a major national newspaper, The Guardian, has seen fit to open its opinion pages to the jihadists and their admirers. One fanatic (Faisal Bodi) managed to insert a series of columns proclaiming that “Israel simply has no right to exist” and that “martyr-bombers” are “heroes defending the things we hold sacred.”

Other op-ed contributors have included a well-known Hamas ideologue, official leaders of Hamas, and a member of Hizbullah’s executive committee. Neither these outrages nor The Guardian’s countless libels of Israel and “Zionist” Jews have evoked the slightest dissent from its politically correct readership.

The British Left’s infatuation with jihadists has even produced a new political party. In 2004, the country’s leading Marxist-Leninist and Islamic extremist groups announced the formation of RESPECT: The Unity Coalition, which now functions as a national megaphone for anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and would-be destroyers of Israel.

But is this development any more surprising than the public political romance between Ken Livingstone, the leftist mayor of London, and Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Middle East hatemonger who demands the mass slaughter of Jews? Or the insistence of the world-famous journalist Robert Fisk that the Bush administration is controlled by “the Perles and the Wolfowitzes and the Cohens,” and that “I’m amazed that Muslims have been so restrained”?

The enthusiasm of today’s radical leftists for the genocidal anti-Semites of the far right is not without precedent. The opening of communist archives revealed that for decades the Soviet bloc had tried to destabilize West Germany by financing neo-Nazi violence. To embarrass its rivals on the other side of the Berlin Wall, the Stasi created movements such as the “Veterans of the Waffen-SS” and financed a campaign by the “German Imperial Party” to “justify the need for exterminating the Jews.”

These examples can be multiplied. It is tempting to conclude, with Ecclesiastes, that there is nothing new under the sun.

There is, however, an important difference. Yesterday’s communists sponsored Nazis in the hope of discrediting their enemies. Today’s ultra-leftists think that their alliance with Nazis brings credit to themselves.

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Paul Bogdanor is co-editor, with Edward Alexander, of The Jewish Divide Over Israel: Accusers and Defenders (Transaction, 2006). For more information about the role of radical leftists in promoting terrorism and mass murder, visit www.paulbogdanor.com/left.html.