The backstory is that leading post-modernist "intellectual" Judith Butler, (dubbed by Martha Nussbaum: "The Professor of Piffle") is being awarded the Adorno Prize by the city of Frankfurt, Germany, together with an honorarium of 50,000 euros, on 9/11/12.
Theodor Adorno was the founder of the Frankfurt School in Weimar Germany, which was the fons et origo of the flavor of Marxism out of which the "New Left" (e.g. terrorist bomber and Obama mentor, Bill Ayers) and post modernism grew. (How's that for a Germanic sentence with the verb at the end). So giving Butler a prize named after Adorno seems appropriate to me. Of course, I hate Marxism in all of its varieties including, Butler and Adorno.
However, Butler, although nominally Jewish, is like all good little Marxists, anti-Zionist, and pro-Palestinian. This set Richard Landes, who I admire, off. He has written a bunch of posts on Butler and the disease of leftist anti-semitism. You can start with this one and work your way back: The Post-Self-Destructivism of Judith Butler by Richard Landes. Ron Radosh, one of the few anti-comunist intellectuals put in his perspective: The Case of Judith Butler: The Anti-Semitism that Defines Today’s Western Left By Ron Radosh.
My perspective is that both Landes and Radosh are unwilling to confront the real truth about leftism and anti-semitism. (I use the terms leftism, socialism, and Marxism interchangeably because, in my view they are all the same shitty vodka with different labels)
A political wag once said that anti-semitism is the socialism of fools. I think he was wrong. Anti-semitism is not the socialism of fools, it is socialism. Antisemitism is not an accident of socialism, it is part of its essence.
Socialism asserts the primacy of the social collective over the individual. It sees the socialist state as the only legitimate connection among individuals, who can have no existence outside of the socialist state.
Judaism insists on the connections among Jews and between them and God. Socialism rejects the validity of intra-ethnic connections and the idea of God. Socialism will accept individual Jews, but only if they renounce Judaism.
European Jewish Zionism began with socialist Jews like Herzl, who tried to square this circle by locating a socialist state of Jews in the historic land of Israel. Herzl's first Zionist propaganda was a socialist utopia: "Alte Neue Land". And, at Israel's inception, the Zionists tried to create a socialist state. The kibbutzes, which were its core, were some of the most thoroughgoing experiments in socialist living ever.
However, dreams die hard. Socialism always fails and so it did in Israel, where the socialist state has been dismantled, and the kibbutzes have been liquidated or privatized. Further, many of the Jewish refugees from Europe and Muslim countries turned out be more interested in Judaism and its traditions than socialism.
The remaining Jewish Socialists are a sad lot. The largest portion of the Israeli public now rejects them. Unfortunately many of them are academics like Butler, Finklestein, Chomsky, and the late Tony Judt (may his name be blotted out) who have many routes to afflict their fellow Jews who have remained faithful to the Jewish people and their religion.
The left originally embraced the Palestinians on orders from the Soviet Union, which decided that backing them served its geo-political ambitions. They blacklisted Israel when it abandoned socialism. The Soviet Union is gone, but the malady lingers on. And it will until socialism is extirpated from intellectual life in the Western world.