Monday, 2 May 2016

The Anti-Semitism Conspiracy

A number of issues have come out of the anti-Semitism 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 anti-Semitism any more. Let's be clear if your response to anti-Semitism is to either a) attempt to define what is and is not anti-Semitism or b) claim that suggestions of anti-Semitism is some sort of right-wing/Zionist/Jewish conspiracy to undermine Jeremy Corbyn then you are probably an anti-Semite. Or, at best, you simply do not care about anti-Semitism, which probably makes you an anti-Semite 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 anti-Semitism in the Labour party. Whether or not it is anti-Semitic 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 anti-Semitic. 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 anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism comes in many forms. The most sinister is the anti-Semitism espoused by people like Diane Abbott or Len McCluskey whose response, rather than condemn anti-Semitism, is to suggest the real problem is not anti-Semitism 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.

Anti-Semitism 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 anti-Semitism of the most disgusting form.