It is not complicated. If you are a true member of the left, you do not accord racial, religious and ethnic differences any importance. On the other hand, identifying Jews generally regard themselves as belonging to the nation of Israel and usually support the nation-state of Israel. Left-wing Jews who care about the welfare of Jews and the Jewish state put their Jewish identity ahead of their leftism. Left-wing Jews who dislike Israel for being an ethno-state put their leftism ahead of their Jewish identity.
There’s nothing sinister going on with either option. There’s no need to get anguished and throw around words like “betrayal.” Whenever we think someone has betrayed us, all it means is that the person has a different set of priorities than what we expected.
The Labour party in the United Kingdom is being convulsed at the moment with a public reckoning of the anti-Semitism of some of its most prominent members, including the former mayor of London, “Red” Ken Livingstone, who has just been suspended from the party for arguing that Adolf Hitler was, effectively, a Zionist. He was trying to explain away the anti-Semitic remarks of MP Naz Shah, who suggested that Israel be liquidated and its population forcibly resettled in the United States.
In the United States, the Harvard Law Record went to some lengths to conceal the identity of a law student who attacked a visiting Israeli dignitary as — in the classic anti-Semitic formulation — “smelly.” That student was Husam El-Qoulaq, a Palestinian leftist. The campus Left has, to no one’s surprise, rallied to his defense. Among those defending him were a number of Jewish law students, who insisted that El-Qoulaq couldn’t possibly have known the anti-Semitic history of “smelly Jew” rhetoric, in spite of his having been reared at the world center of such nonsense. Others insisted that the Harvard case and the Labour cases are — this, too, will be familiar — not at all about anti-Semitism but about anti-Zionism.
One of the fundamental stories of history is that people move around and bump into each other. It is true that most of the current Jewish population of Israel descends from people who were not precisely sons of the soil they now inhabit. But then, neither are the so-called Palestinians, who are Arabs. Arabs famously come from Arabia, but they are located all over the world. No one talks about the need to get the Arabs out of Egypt or Libya — or Palestine, for that matter — any more than anybody seriously thinks about returning the Americas to the descendants of the aboriginal population, which, of course, wasn’t aboriginal, either, but merely the first to emigrate. The Irish are descended of people not native to Ireland, as indeed ultimately is every population in the world, including those in the African cradle of humanity.