Corbyn and his supporters – including those on the Guardian editorial board – wish to remain free to assert, in some form or another, that “Zionism is racism” and that “Israel has no right to exist” with moral impunity – a fact which explains why the overwhelming majority of British Jews will continue to see the current Labour Party (as well as the pages of the Guardian) as a “hostile environment” antithetical to their values.
In smearing Israel, Jonathan Sacks and – by association – most British Jews, Steve Bell has attempted to grant Jeremy Corbyn and his cult-like band of acolytes the ultimate political get-out-of-jail-free card the times – lifetime moral impunity for expressions of anti-Jewish racism.
Despite a brief moral throat-clearing, in his Guardian op-ed, on the need to fight ‘real’ antisemitism, by impugning the motives of those calling for the full definition’s adoption, and using dog whistles about ‘Zionist power’ in the UK, Ash Sarkar appears to be as committed to fighting anti-Jewish racism within Labour as the party leader his publication so enthusiastically supports.
Whatever the merits of Landsman’s arguments about antisemitism, the fact that he recycled such an insidious smear with no basis in fact is another good illustration of the rank ignorance which informs much of the anti-Israel bigotry shared by the leadership and activist base of the British Labour party.
“When you look at the events at UCL…the intention of the protestors was the same as in the 1970s when Jewish Societies were banned: to declare Zionism outside the boundaries of the democratic community of a Students’ Union. This inevitably places most Jewish students outside that boundary and restricts their rights and activities in comparison to other students on campus.”
The following is a clip of Rich talking at a Fathom Forum on Oct. 20th on: antisemitism and Labour: where has this crisis come from, how has it impacted the UK Jewish community, what must the party do now to put things right?
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”.
Do non-Israeli Jews around the world have a special obligation to criticize West Bank settlements? Yes, according to Joshua Simons, a former policy adviser to Jeremy Corbyn whose op-ed (Why Jews in Labour […]
“Charles Anthony”, is a passionate Corbyn supporter who used to be a member of Socialist Workers Party (SWP). SWP is a far-left group criticized for its “involvement in the bannings of Jewish Societies at university campuses and its repeated hosting of Gilad Atzmon”.
Whilst Alibhai-Brown provided no actual examples of Zionist censorship or intimidation, she did provided another perfectly clear example of her penchant for smearing British Jewish supporters of Israel with false accusations of racism, intolerance and extremism.
Greenwald’s ‘warnings’ about “large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups agitating for war with Iran” is simply indistinguishable from the rhetoric of the extremist right.
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.
RTE, the public service broadcaster of the Irish Republic, has the capacity to immensely influence the views and moral stances of the Irish nation as seasoned commentator (and one-time senior RTE insider) […]
Cross posted from the blog of the CST Ken Livingstone is a left-wing anti-Nazi anti-racist former Mayor of London. David Irving is not, but was briefly famous for having lost a Holocaust […]
For veteran anti-Israel activist Ali Abunimah, the recent never-ending reports of anti-Semitic outbursts by members of the British Labour Party are understandably alarming. Abunimah has spent most of his professional life trying hard to mainstream exactly the kind of thinking that is now so widely criticized as anti-Semitic, and he seems currently very concerned that all his hard work may have failed to legitimize contemporary anti-Semitism, especially in the form of the anti-Semitic anti-Zionism that is so crucial for Abunimah’s trade.
The main message of the evening was that antisemitism is being used merely to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and to silence all criticism of Israel (aka the Livingstone formulation). Both John Rose and Ali then went on to explicitly call for the demise of Israel.
It is wrong to say that there is no antisemitism in the Labour Party, and that this current crisis is a storm, manufactured by Jews, to silence criticism of Israel and to benefit the Tories. These are not random bad apples in a Labour barrel. They are important because they are manifestations of a way that many people, including the leader, thinks about Israel and the Jews who relate to Israel.
An official editorial in The Observer (sister site of the Guardian) on April 30th, titled ‘The Observer view on Labour’s antisemitism crisis’, was notable for one simple reason: it all but ignored […]
British media reports on the ongoing antisemitism scandal plaguing the Labour Party have been largely unproblematic, and quite unsympathetic to those attempting to rationalize or defend expressions of anti-Jewish racism by party […]