Why does European opinion increasingly hate Israel? I think some reconsiderations may be in order. One starting point is to take seriously, at least up to a point, what post-modern European elites claim about their motives.
First, anti-Semitism or Jew hatred is of course operative widely in Europe. But it is not wise to reify it. I am coming to the conclusion that European anti-Semitism is increasingly a farrago of three residual forces: first, Christian Jew hatred which is not to be dismissed as a force, especially in Catholic (and Eastern Orthodox) countries; second, the recrudescence of fascism, which ethnically is more about Muslims than Jews yet does activate some atavistic anti-Semitic memories; third, Muslim immigrant anti-Semitism with is virulent and increasingly influential, yet is still contained within a politically marginal minority community.
Second, if these sources of anti-Israel bias are not the chief motivator among European elites of hatred of Israel—which the French Ambassador to the UK a few years ago over wine and cigars called “a shitty little country”— what is?
I would say it is the confluence of two factors. The first is primarily leftist “anti-colonialism.” Influential anti-Israel zealots who say they are truly “anti-Zionists” really mean it. They disapprove of Israel as the product of a backward-looking ideology which they dislike both because it is a unfashionably “nationalistic” but even more because it allegedly represents the intrusion of a European national fragment into what should be the post-colonial Mideast including a “liberated” Palestine. Of course, this take denies Israeli and Zionist claims for deep Jewish roots in the history of the Holy Land that predate the modern colonial era by more than three thousand years.
In addition to “anti-colonialism,” I would suggest as a second ideological dynamic motivating European elites what might be called “anti-Judeo-Christianism.” European postmodern elites are now monolithically secular and often aggressively anti-religious. It is true that they give the Muslim immigrants a sort of pass, partly because they patronize their religion as an exotic cultural survival and partly because they are afraid of their violence. But their dominant animus is against their own Christian roots and any aspect of traditional culture rooted in Jewish tradition or history. This goes back to Spinoza and Voltaire both of whom used merciless debunking of Judaism—and, in Voltaire’s case, of Jews—as a pivot for their attacks on Christianity.