I don’t know about you but I am getting really bored with the Labour anti Semitism row that just appears to be going on and on and on and on. All the papers and news channels appear to cover it at every opportunity and I am starting to believe this is all about bringing down Corbyn by the Blairites and the established media.
What is Anti-Semitism? ADL define this as The belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish. It may take the form of religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate, oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews.
I won’t pretend to know all of the details, or to even understand if there is in fact a problem of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party but it all feels like it’s starting to smell. I remember back in May, and reported in the Independent, Labour MP John Woodcock saying that Jeremy Corbyn’s presence at the Seder (Passover) was “deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community”. Corbyn’s crime was that he spent Passover with a group that’s critical of Israel, and the only concession the group made to Jews is that they’re Jewish, and they broke bread and said a prayer to Elijah’s cup, recited to pour scorn upon enemies of the Jews, and pledged to continue campaigning against anti-Semitism but apart from that they obviously hate Jews.
I have often thought that life is too short for all that crap. I consider myself a Christian but I don’t care who loves whom, who has sex with whom as long as it’s legal and not exploitative, I don’t care about the colour of someone’s skin, their faith, where they are from. Life is really too short to care all that much about that stuff and while in Scotland we have the stain of sectarianism, and I have no doubt there are anti-Semitics out there, as there are racists and homophobes out there but that says more about the individuals and their issues than anything else to my mind. There may well be a problem in Labour, and other parties in relation to anti-Semitism, but as Tris over at Munquins New Republic tweeted last night, and I totally agree.
There is no doubt in my mind that what I understand of the actions of the Israeli Government is pretty disgusting in the main. They come across as wanting to provoke conflict rather than to resolve it by their policy and actions. I even read an artice a while back that implied that Jews and Palestinians shared the same genetic roots so had more in common than not which makes it all even sadder. However my political view on the Israeli Government , as Tris explains so well, does not make me anti-Semitic in any shape or form and I haven’t seen anything that shows Corbyn to be anti-Semitic and everyone who has ever read this blog knows I am not a fan of Labour or Corbyn in any shape or form.
This issue stinks to me and also feels similar to the BBC / Wings spat this week about YouTube. This all feels like it is about silencing the Corbyn message and splitting the Labour Party, breaking the Momentum Movement. This feels partly about freedom of speech and the fear that Corbyn might actually have a chance of winning in England given how dire the Tories are. We are at a dangerous cross roads when ideas and expression are attacked as viciously as the are now in the UK using ides such as anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism when no one appears to be presenting any evidence that this is in fact the case other than isolated individual ignorance and stupidness, we need to be very careful of following this path in my humble ignorant opinion.