Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, September 5th, 2018 - 65 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, democracy under attack, discrimination, International, israel, Jeremy Corbyn, labour, Media, Palestine, Politics, Propaganda, religion, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics - Tags: Antisemitism, Corbyn, israel, uk labour
As expected, the full adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemistism has done nothing whatsoever to dampen criticism of Jeremy Corbyn and the more social democratic faction or camp within UK Labour.
Apparently, even though the IRHA’s definition is meant to be a working definition – ie, something to be refined and worked on, issuing an accompanying statement that (as a party spokesperson puts it) “ensures this will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians”, is just more grist for the mill.
So who are these spokespeople and supporters of those who would presume to speak for all Jews when they slam into UK Labour and those aligned with Jeremy Corbyn in particular? Well, according to the Canary, some of them run with the likes of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson). Among others of very dubious provenance who protested outside UK Labour Party HQ, there was Gemma Sheridan. According to the Canary, she’s a member of the neo-Nazi Jewish Defence League that’s banned as a terrorist group in the USA.
There’s much that could be said about all of this – from Benjamin Netanyahu’s happy accommodation of, well, here’s a video presentation by Mehdi Hasan of The Intercept…
But maybe, the likes of this statement from Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS) who are…well, it seems they are nothing beyond a facebook page with less than 1000 followers. The Independent quotes their criticism of the NEC in full. The wording is somewhat revealing.
It [the NEC] has ignored the requests of the Jewish community and denied the fundamental right of that community to define its own discrimination.
So the entire Jewish community has been ignored. That’s what we’re to take from that quote. The Jewish community speaks with one voice and has a singular focus and a shared perspective. Hmm.
Here’s a photo from another of yesterday’s demonstrations that would seem to put the lie to any such assertion or assumption.
Judaism encompasses a very broad spectrum of thought and belief. There is no way whatsoever that anyone, nor any group, can sanely claim to speak for “the Jewish Community”. It’s not stopping the British Press from suggesting otherwise though. In quote after quote, whether from individuals or groups like the strangely invisible LAAS, the British Press is presenting statements that would purport to speak for all Jews. It’s a nonsense. And besides the plethora of Jewish voices not being heard and not reported on, there are, of course the various Palestinian groups and communities in the same boat.
As to why the British Press (and TV media too) might be running as a herd when it comes to Jeremy Corbyn, UK Labour and claims of antisemitism, well Johnathan Cook has an interesting piece that was published a little under two weeks ago. It’s well worth reading. In part, it runs…
The Israeli foreign affairs ministry employs staff of the country’s embassy in London, which was at the centre of suspicions of meddling in UK politics provoked by an Al Jazeera undercover documentary aired last year.
Eitay Mack, an Israeli lawyer, has written to both ministries requesting information on Israel’s contacts and possible funding of anti-Corbyn activities by pro-Israel lobby groups in the UK. The letter specifically seeks information on possible ties with the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Community Security Trust, Labour Friends of Israel and Conservative Friends of Israel.
It also requests information on any efforts by the two Israeli ministries and the Israeli embassy to influence journalists and civil society groups in the UK.
It will be interesting to what, if anything, results from those requests. In the meantime, anyone accessing British media will have to put up with the never ending “Get Corbyn!” saga.