Saturday, October 7, 2017

UK Labour's Arbiter of Anti-Semitism

Remember when anti-Semitism used to be a matter of hating, or discriminating against, Jews for no other reason than that they were Jews? Well, times change, and now, apparently, it means something quite different:

"Politicians and media pundits are starting to push the debate about anti-semitism in disturbing new directions... and this process has accelerated since [JeremyCorbyn became leader. This dangerous trend was highlighted in a commentary last week in the midst of the [Labour Party] conference. Jonathan Freedland, a senior columnist at the Guardian newspaper and the Jewish Chronicle, is highly influential among Britain's liberal Zionist community. He is possibly the most prominent arbiter of 'anti-Semitism' on the British left. He used his column to attack three well-known Labour figures closely identified with Corbyn who had each dismissed 'Labour's anti-Semitism plague' as mischief-making. Freedland accused former London mayor Ken Livingstone, award-winning film-maker Ken Loach, and trade union leader Len McCluskey of anti-semitism denial and leading Labour into a 'dark place'.

"In a circular proof of Labour's anti-semitism crisis, Freedland cited calls from some Labour activists - in fact, a handful - to expel the JLM [Jewish Labour Movement, the sister organisation of Israel's own Labour Party] from the party. He avoided mentioning why: that the JLM had been caught redhanded conspiring against the party leader by the Al Jazeera investigation... Freedland, a former winner of Britain's Orwell Prize, then indulged in some trademark Orwellian 'newspeak'. He argued that the three leading Labour lights, as non-Jews, were not in a position to assess whether there was an anti-Semitism crisis in the party. Only Jews could make that call - and, he added, Labour's Jews were adamant that the party had a big problem. Here Freedland effectively backed the draconian and rejected definition of anti-semitism originally proposed by the JLM at the conference. According to both the JLM and Freedland, anti-semitism cannot be adduced through objective criteria, or by applying tradtional methods, such as hateful statements or actions against Jews because they are Jews. Instead, Freedland and the JLM believe that anti-semitism can be defined more broadly. It exists, they say, if it is perceived as such by its victims, even if no tangible evidence can be identified. It is like a mood sensed only by those - Jews - who are attuned to it through their firsthand experience of anti-semitism." (As battle rages in UK Labour Party, Moshe Machover expelled after asserting 'Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism, Jonathan, 5/10/17)

1 comment:

Grappler said...

So since Moshe Machover is Jewish and was expelled, he can presumably claim anti-semitism. He has certainly been expelled because of his (not very positive) views on Zionism.

What a load of rubbish by Freedland (again)! This unwillingness to acknowledge that Zionism is the root cause of the problem by the likes of Freedland will ultimately rebound with disastrous consequences. Fortunately there are many prominent Jews in the UK who do not support Freedland:

A similar organisation was launched in Australia:

It is interesting that the response from AIJAC is an admission of the problem: 'Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, described IAJV as "dangerous and unrepresentative" and said that "some of the individuals are clearly committed to the delegitimization of Israel.'

As if Israel was ever worried about legitimacy! I has never existed within borders recognised in international law.