His email provides yet more evidence that, even by Guardian standards, Bell is an extremist in his hatred of Israel and what appears to be his utter contempt for the values and concerns of British Jews.
Even for those who avoid employing explicit classic antisemitic tropes while vilifying Israel, the acceptance of the view that the Jewish state isn’t merely a state that’s flawed as all states are, but, rather, represents, as the late Robert Wistrich phrased it, a singularly “organic obstacle to peace and progress” necessarily vilifies Jews qua Jews.
Evidence of Corbyn’s antisemitism is ubiquitous, and includes: his support for countless anti-Semites and violent antisemitic extremists; his initial defence of an antisemitic mural; his co-sponsoring of a bill to eliminate Holocaust Memorial Day because it was ‘too Jewish’ in its focus; his othering of British Jews as not quite English; and his seeming indifference to the cesspit of antisemitism and antisemitic bullying by Labour activists.
It’s hard not to see troubling parallels between Jeremy Corbyn’s loyal band of anti-Semites and antisemitism deniers and the Guardian contributor’s rush to defend Ilhan Omar against charges of antisemitism whilst questioning the motives of her accusers.
This morning, CST published their latest antisemitic incidents report showing that 2018 saw the highest levels of antisemitism on record – an increase, CST noted, was driven in large measure by the ongoing Labour Antisemitism row. Yet, the Guardian’s report on CST’s latest figures used a photo from Gaza to illustrate the piece, as we noted in a tweet to their photo editor minutes after it was published.
Yesterday, @GasherJew, a twitter account that’s been doing extremely important work exposing antisemitism in the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party, tweeted a long thread containing an A-Z of examples of Labour antisemitism. The list is especially useful for journalists and pro-Corbyn activists who deny that there’s a serious issue in the party with antisemitism, or suggest that the problem has been greatly exaggerated by the British Jewish community
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) […]