tisdag 3 maj 2016

What is behind Labour antisemitism wave?

Disraeli notwithstanding, Jews in Britain have traditionally supported the Labour party since its formation at the beginning of the twentieth century. This was to be expected, as most of the first and second generations of children of Jewish immigrants were working class, or in middle-class occupations such as teachers and in the public services. Although British Jews have assimilated, in many cases to the point of disappearance, and they have moved up in the economic hierarchy, their loyalty to Labour has continued. So what is behind the current wave of antisemitism in the Labour party?

In part it is due to Israel's perceived mistreatment of the Palestinians, who are now seen as the underdogs and victims of Zionist oppression. Whilst the Israeli government has often made the wrong decisions and continues to do so, there is not a government in the world which would act very differently in the same situation; even so, it should not be beyond criticism. The supporter of the underdogs have also been duped by a very effective Arab PR machine.

Is criticism of Israel antisemitic? It depends on the track record of the people doing the criticism. If they have never spoken out against, for example, the actions of the Chinese government in Tibet, or Indonesia in Papua New Guinea, then their motives must be suspect. Since it is indeed the case that many of the critics have their focus firmly on Israel, then they can be judged antisemitic.

But what is the driving force behind this? It is necessary only to look at the list of names of the people who have had to be suspended from office. Thus does Islam corrupt the political process. The damage is probably irreversible. This is the end of a century-long relationship.

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