One of the eleven examples of antisemitism in the IHRA is this: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour.”
With the IHRA adoption by Labour, some on the Labour left, has asserted their “right” to call Israel a “racist endeavour”.
Shortly after the Labour NEC vote a posters carrying the slogan “Israel is a racist endeavour” popped up around London.
I agree that we should be cautious about where such a statement *can* lead and often *does* lead, especially given the prevalence of conspiratorial antisemitism on the left. Uses of this slogan are often dumb and underpinned by an unthinking antisemitism which seems quite pervasive. But given the wider context (e.g. a factional battle in the Labour party) there's also a lot more to it than that. In terms of the statement "Israel is a racist endeavour", there are bad arguments in its favour, and good arguments in its favour, but these are flattened out in the IHRA example (and in this article), which effectively renders all foundational critiques of the Israeli state -- including those proposed by anti-Zionist Jews, anarchists and No Borders activists etc. -- as antisemitic, even when those critiques are applied equally (as they *sometimes* are on the left) against other colonial settler states like Australia, the US, Canada etc. And of course this is grist to the mill for those self-avowed liberals who understand racism only as an individual attitudinal defect confined to political extremists on the left and the right.
Personally I would argue that the migration of Jews to Palestine, and their aspiration for some form of national state in that territory, were legitimate and understandable in light of the Holocaust and other persecutions (i.e. what Deutscher referred to as a "raft state"); but at the same time, regretfully, a European-style "Orientalist" racism was hardwired into the Zionist enterprise from an early stage, one which has been institutionalized into the Israeli state and remains almost entirely in tact today. So is Israel a racist enterprise? Yes and no: it was, in key respects, a response to one form of racism and an expression of another. Is it any more of a racist enterprise than other European colonial settler states? No, but its racist structures were established more recently, and therefore remain in tact to a far greater (and more visible) degree, than other European colonialist endeavours; hence some (but by no means all) of the opprobrium which it attracts today.
There is an unacknowledged lion in your path here; there is never going to be a two state solution; there will either be an Israeli ethnostate, purged of its Palestinian minority during some future war, or a democratic secular state of Israel/Palestine with equal rights for all. Socialists must opt for the latter. The only people, with the exception of yourselves and the Palestinian Authority, who claim to advocate a two-state solution are fraudsters like Hillary Clinton. Israel is a racist state in the same sense as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US; colonial-settler states in which the indigenes have suffered dispossession. In these cases, as in Israel, we cannot undo all past historical crimes but it is in our power to fight for the maximum possible restorative justice. As, for instance, today's Australians are Australians and not British settlers, it would be absurd and also impossible to advocate "returning" them to a homeland which is no longer theirs, neither should we demand the same of Israelis; but Australian aborigines and Palestinians are entitled to full and effective citizenship rights regardless of colour or religion. I can see little in the "anti-semitism" furore currently ongoing in the UK than a psywar op conducted by Blairite revanchists, the Israeli embassy, and the gutter media, in this instance including the Guardian.All of them the sort of people you would be well advised to steer clear of.
I think the article dodges one of the central problems, which is that the raison d'être of Israel is to privilege a particular ethnic group - Jews - over all other ethnic groups. In other words your status in Israel is defined by your ethnicity, such that if you are a Jew, you are constitutionally privileged. So when you talk about two states, will one of them, Israel, continue for example to operate the Law of Return as a law reserved exclusively for Jews? And if all ethnic groups in both Israel and Palestine were granted identical rights (inc. a Law of Return applied to all), would this not imply that there is no need for two separate states, given that until only recently there was just one?