Monday, 2 May 2016

The Antisemitism Conspiracy

A number of issues have come out of the antisemitism scandal that is sadly engulfing the Labour Party. Unfortunately, the vast majority of it leads me to believe that the Left simply does not care about Britain's Jews or antisemitism any more. Let's be clear if your response to antisemitism is to either a) attempt to define what is and is not antisemitism or b) claim that suggestions of antisemitism is some sort of right-wing/Zionist/Jewish conspiracy to undermine Jeremy Corbyn then you are probably an antisemite. Or, at best, you simply do not care about antisemitism, which probably makes you an antisemite anyway.

There are plenty of discussions we can have. I will happily sit down with you and discuss Israeli policy. I have no qualms attempting to navigate the minefield that is the Israel-Palestinian conflict, anti-Zionism and the Middle East in general. I will, of course, point out that the discussion will probably get us nowhere. Not because we are not well-intentioned or because either of us will try and shut down debate with pointless statistics about Hamas rockets or Palestinian deaths, but because ultimately it does not matter. Peace will not be possible because of anything we discuss. Peace is possible when the Israeli and Palestinian leadership decides that enough is enough and reaches out to the other side. I strongly believe peace is possible but I can guarantee you it will not be achieved over a Facebook discussion thread.

Anyway. We can have all of those discussions, pointless as they may be, but one thing I refuse to do is have those discussions in the context of antisemitism in the Labour party. Whether or not it is antisemitic to use Nazi imagery to suggest the problems of the Middle East would be solved if we transported the Jews to America has nothing to do with Israeli policy. Suggesting that Hitler supported Zionism before going mad cannot be explained away by saying that critiquing Israeli policy is not antisemitic. And none of it can be explained by suggesting that my only goal is to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. Believe it or not, my only goal is to rid the Labour Party of antisemitism. Antisemitism comes in many forms. The most sinister is the antisemitism espoused by people like Diane Abbott or Len McCluskey whose response, rather than condemn antisemitism, is to suggest the real problem is not antisemitism but a conspiracy to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. It would be as disgusting as me suggesting that condemning Zac Goldsmith is actually an Islamist attempt to undermine David Cameron's leadership.

Antisemitism seems to not exist. Rather, it is some sort of conspiracy conjured up by Jews/Zionists/right-wingers. The irony, of course, is that this is antisemitism of the most disgusting form.