British Daily Modifies Op-ed to Drop Claim Settlements Are ‘The Trouble With Jews'

The piece by Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek sought to clear Corbyn, but was rebuked itself for anti-Semitism

Slavoj Zizek poses at the Guess Portrait Studio during 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2012, in Toronto, Canada, September 8, 2012.
Getty Images

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.”

Haaretz Weekly Episode 51Haaretz

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 says that it was revised on December 5. "We acknowledge that an earlier version of this piece did not meet our editorial standards," a preface to the article says.

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 December 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 its digital editions are accessed more than 20 million time a month, according to the Newsworks website.