Though the Guardian occasionally acknowledges – albeit perfunctorily – the profound fears of the Jewish community amidst a Labour Party that has become institutionally antisemitic, their editorial decisions more often than not suggest an ideological inclination to legitimise those racist voices within the hard left who believe the entire row is some sort of anti-Corbyn plot hatched by embittered ‘Blairites and Zionists’.
Jackie Walker is the former Vice-Chair of Britain’s far-left group Momentum who was suspended from the Labour Party due to accusations of antisemitism. In the Sunday Observer (sister publication of the Guardian), Alexei Sayle lauded Walker’s play “The Lynching”, a theatrical attempt to justify and explain the views that made her controversial.
The Palestine Expo was advertised as a cultural event and a family affair. So I went to the QEII Conference Centre to engage with the atmosphere with my wife and youngest son. I knew that the content of the speeches would be full of hate, so rather than listen to hours of anti-Israeli rhetoric, I wanted to enjoy the exhibits and activities. Most of all I looked forward to the food. Myself, my wife, and my eleven-year-old child were evicted half way through our lunch.
It’s important to stress that Walker’s accusation that many Jews were chief financiers of the slave trade is not true according to an examination by historian Eli Farber, documented in his book ‘Jews, Slaves and the Slave Trade: setting the record straight’. Jews’ role in the slave trade was actually minimal, according to Farber’s research
One of the more curious things said by Jackie Walker, recently suspended by the Labour Party and removed as Vice-Chair of Momentum (although retained on its Steering Committee) for comments she made at a Labour Party training event on antisemitism, was that she hasn’t “heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with”. To aid Jackie, and for anybody else wondering about definitions of antisemitism, here is a quick guide to some of the definitions currently in use:
The Working Definition makes a clear distinction – as do most campaigners against antisemitism – between criticism of Israel which crosses the line to antisemitism and that criticism (when leveled in a manner similar to criticism of any other country) which “cannot be regarded as antisemitic”.
The consequence of all this is that it is now OK for Labour members to say that Jews were behind the slave trade, and that their living descendants owe some kind of debt as a result. This antisemitic myth has become part of the Left’s conversation about Jews. This is how antisemitism becomes normalised, and how Jews get squeezed out of the Labour Party.