There is a very serious problem with the resurgence of genuine anti-Semitism in different parts of the world, including in much of Europe.
The Internet is playing a massive part in that – and it’s not just the modern Neo-Nazi groups (of which there are now many) that are espousing a viciously anti-Semitic world view, nor just embittered Arabs, but lots of other people too.
Lots of this stuff is every bit as nasty as Nazi propaganda in the thirties and it goes way beyond any legitimate political issues and off into the realm of unbridled racial hatred of the most offensive kind. Jewish communities have every right to be extremely sensitive or defensive, given very real anti-Semitism and given the obvious historical contexts too.
This upsurge in racism and propagandizing against Jews has to be taken seriously.
I don’t refute any of that.
There are also a lot of people who hide a base-level anti-Semitism behind the justification of criticizing Israeli policies – you can spot those fairly easily by noting how an initial condemnation of, say, the Israeli occupation or the IDF quickly descends into vile nonsense about ‘the Jews’ as a race.
That is anti-Semitism, often trying to disguise itself as something else.
But, even acknowledging all of that, I still maintain the position that this ‘Anti-Semitism Crisis’ in the Labour Party is a largely manufactured business designed primarily to discredit or even bring down the Jeremy Corbyn leadership.
Since his accession to leadership of the Labour Party, barely a day has gone by without the political establishment and mainstream media engaging in anti-Corbyn, anti-Leftist propaganda or questioning Corbyn’s ‘legitimacy’ as leader of the opposition.
The ‘Anti-Semitism’ card has been played relentlessly as the central weapon in that arsenal.
There’s very little that needs to be added now that wasn’t said two years ago, when the ‘crisis’ first erupted.
Back then, the party reportedly suspended 19 activists in the attempt to purge anti-Semitic offenders. But did 19 people (out of a membership of 400,000) really constitute ‘a crisis’?
As noted at that time, many of the Labour activists or offenders were themselves Jewish, which made the ‘Anti-Semitism’ charge seem rather misplaced. Charley Allan, a Jewish Labour Party member had described the atmosphere in the press and Labour Party as a “witch hunt.”
As referenced here two years ago, journalist Asa Winstanley put up a very thorough analysis to fairly convincingly demonstrate that the ‘anti-Semitism crisis’ in Corbyn’s party was being in large part manufactured by anti-Corbyn elements of the party and by Israel Lobby insiders who were, presumably, concerned with Corbyn’s attitude towards things like Iran or the Palestinians.
As I noted back then, this wasn’t surprising, as the charge of anti-Semitism was being leveled towards Corbyn and the left-wing elements of the party from even before he was announced as the party leader. And where most of these instances of ‘anti-Semitism’ had been discovered, they weren’t things that simply happened and then got picked up on – they were things that were carefully *sought out*, often by looking back months or years on people’s social-media timelines.
That Corbyn has been targeted for smear campaigns is fairly obvious and was reinforced by the Al-Jazeera programmes that exposed Shai Masot and the Israel lobbyists’ campaign to undermine the Labour Party leadership – a scandal that Emily Thornberry had requested an investigation into. As Wall of Controversy notes in his piece on this latest anti-Semitism scandal (which is much better than mine): ‘The media has since shown no interest whatsoever in digging deeper and following the trail of evidence for what now ought to be known as ‘Israelgate’.’
That there is a problem with Anti-Semitic attitudes and comments is not something I’m refuting. But that it is in any way a result of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership is something I’m refuting entirely.
Much more likely is that people and organisations who’ve run out of ways to oppose or detail Corbyn’s leadership are reverting back to the ‘Anti-Semitism’ crisis in order to keep up the pressure. Unlike two years ago, the situation now is that Corbyn did far better than expected in last year’s General Election – to the extent that many even mainstream commentators see him as the next Prime Minister.
That situation is much more unsettling for the anti-Corbyn parties than things appeared to be prior to that. Which means the counter-Corbyn movement needs to be escalated and maintained.
In my view, there are two types of Anti-Semitism. One is real, racist anti-Semitism based on a dislike of – or propagandising against – Jewish people. That’s Anti-Semitism. And there’s lots of it about. The other is ‘anti-Semitism’: people who criticise or talk about Israel politically or about political Zionism, but who get deliberately and strategically equated with the first type of anti-Semitism in order to discredit or smear them and thus stop them from speaking out.
I entirely accept that there are probably a number of Labour activists or party members who fall into the first type, but try to disguise it with the second type. I would say, however, that Jeremy Corbyn is firmly the second type, but is being deliberately conflated with the first type by his opponents.
I hope poor old Eddie Izzard doesn’t have too hard a time of it when he comes on board to try to monitor this situation. I’m, as it happens, a big fan of Eddie Izzard – he is probably my all-time favorite comedian, particularly his shows from the late 90s and early 00’s.
But I’d rather he didn’t allow himself to be dragged into this particular arena: and I hope he knows what he’s letting himself in for.
Read more: ‘Behind the Veil of Labour’s Manufactured Anti-Semitism Crisis‘, ‘The Ken Livingstone Witch-Hunt & the Deeper Plot‘, ‘Auschwitz, the Holocaust & the Lessons We Still Haven’t Learnt‘, ‘How it Became Impossible to Criticise Israel‘, ‘What was PRITTI PATEL Doing in Israel?‘…