5 APRIL 2003, Page 32

The oldest hatred

From Mr Kenneth Strachan Sir: Melanie Phillips (The new antiSemitism', 22 March) is to be congratulated for once again highlighting this malevolent and potentially catastrophic phenomenon.

The only point upon which I am regretfully forced to disagree with in her analysis is her characterisation of left-liberal anti-Semitism as 'new', Very far from being new, this particular strain is in fact the oldest form of the disease. It is in essence a latterday, post-Enlightenment manifestation of that pre-Christian, archaic anti-Semitism which found its ultimate expression in the cataclysmic conflict between Hellenism and Judaism.

I wholeheartedly agree that antiSemitism is protean, that it is outward/y capable 'of mutating over the centuries', but its root cause remains always and everywhere the same.

Kenneth Strachan Via email