Jonathan Rosenhead, JfJfP signatory, presents us with a grim picture of the Home Affairs Select Committee’s session on antisemitism – ill-informed, ill-equipped and over-deferential.
Ramzy Baroud, syndicated Palestinian journalist, founder of Palestine Chronicle and vocal critic of Jew-hatred chooses the row over Corbyn and antisemitism as the subject of his latest column. He looks at the uses and abuses of antisemitism and, in particular how the secular idea of Zionism was kidnapped and incorporated into Jewish religiosity.
The international discussion that must be had on Israel and its borders and the future of the Palestinians cannot be avoided by banning it as antisemitic or ‘delegitimising Israel’ says MP Richard Burden. Israel exists. It’s not going away, but as a normal nation-state it has to behave like one, define its borders and stop breaking international law.
Christianity gave birth to Jew-hatred and nurtured it for almost 2000 years. Uri Avnery doubts whether any child told tales of Jews yelling for the death of gentle Jesus will ever be truly free of it. Yet despite the Nazi attempt to exterminate all Jews, hostility to Jews is re-emerging in various guises.
If the raison d’être of the creation of Israel was to establish a safe refuge for Jews from antisemitic Europe then it’s not doing it very well says Zvi Bar’el. Under the rubric of ‘Zionism’ the Israeli state acts so aggressively to Palestinians (saying criticism is antisemitic) that it creates more and more enemies. So it’s not a safe refuge.
Antisemitism has become highly politicised says historian Adam Sutcliffe as anger about Israel’s war with Gaza bangs against charges of left-wing antisemitism. All is confusion, starting with Jews – a race, religion or ethnicity? Jewish religion was in part incorporated into Christianity, Jews have been hated pariahs and loved – see Thatcher – by those who want what they see as ‘their’ sophisticated knowledge. It’s easier to hate Muslims, who have been far more often victims of attack than have Jews – it’s not a national crisis. A dense and intricate article from oD which also notes the sad slide of Livingstone into conspiratorial views.
The Palestine-Israel conflict has inflamed passions and made many want to support the underdog Palestinians writes MidEast expert Tony Klug. We should all reflect on the critical role Britain and Europe played in instigating the conflict in the first place and all refrain from feeding the poisonous atmosphere engulfing us. Palestinians and Israeli have to live together.
The NUS choice of a black, Muslim woman president has had the rightwing press scurrying to find bits in her past to discredit her. Saying that media is ‘Zionist-led’ is something she should have checked out – and not said. Hannah Weisfeld sticks the boot in in one of the 3 articles plus some notes on Zionism to help you decide.
The best hope of Zionism was that it would cause antisemitism to wither in face of the strong Jewish state. The greatest vicitims of this Zionism are the Palestinians. With the fatal conflation of opposition to Jews, to Zionism and to Israel, the demon becomes the Palestinian – and anti-Palestinianism is rife says Jerry Haber, unremarked, condoned.
How did 2 or 3 remarks by Labour members become “a string of party officials and members …outed for making disparaging remarks about Jews in public statements.” There is no evidence of significant antisemitism in Labour or of Corbyn ever having uttered an antisemitic remark. This is an attack on Labour by smear, allusion and hysterical exaggeration.
Veteran socialist and Jewish campaigner for Palestinian rights Tony Greenstein has been much in the news. He has been suspended from the Labour party for antisemitism (no evidence given). It seems to be because he’s irreverential about Israel and Zionist organisations. If this is antisemitism how will Labour recognise the real thing if they stumble into it?
Three very different articles on the same theme – distinguishing antisemitism from anti-Zionism. They are easily elided in the US writes Jane Eisner because for many young Jews it’s Israel, not their history in Europe or the US, which defines their Jewishness. Tony Greenstein, PSC member, writes urging the PSC to make a more public stand against the right’s use of the charge of antisemitism to bash the left. Larry Derfner tersely writes that the overlap between antisemitism and anti-Zionism is a fraction of the overlap between Zionism and Islamophobia.
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