Part of this can be put down to the well funded and constant campaigns that are financed by oil. When I was young my Jewish neighbours used to say that it was all because Moses lacked a sense of direction. Had he turned right instead of left, the Arabs would have the oranges and the Jews would have the oil.
There are those that have grown rich on oil, who have all the resources necessary to run campaigns against the only democratic state in the region. Many workers in the region envy Israel with its free trades unions, freedom of speech, intensely democratic parliament and open society.
It is no accident that a recent poll of Arabs living in East Jerusalem shows that many would prefer to remain part of Israel and continue to enjoy access to the same services as Israelis, including health care, education, unemployment benefits and pensions.
However we have to understand that anti-Semitism is still very much part of the darker side of western societies. We only need to read 19th and early 20th century English literature to realise how casually it was an accepted part of our culture. It went underground after the horrors of the Holocaust and is now re-emerging disguised as an attack on Zionism. Not all, but many of those campaigning against Israel are anti-Semite to the core. It is a form of racism to which the British left, and out own church, must not indulge or excuse.
The Jewish Chronicle recently carried an impressive article by Robert Philpot which sums up the case far better than I can. His critical argument is:
Israel is, after all, a country founded on social democratic principles; and the Israeli Labor Party, which, alongside our own Labour Party, is a member of the Socialist International, was the country's dominant political force for decades.
Indeed, it is because of those social democratic principles that Israel's attributes are undeniably progressive: a free and vibrant media; a robust and independent judiciary; strong trade unions; a generous welfare state; and a commitment to free, world-class education that enables Israel to have one of the highest-skilled workforces on earth.
Contrast, too, the equal rights which women, gays and lesbians and other minorities enjoy in Israel with the second-class citizenship and persecution meted out to such groups in most, if not all, of Israel's neighbours.