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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

AntiSemitism in Britain

For John, BLUFWe are the West and in the West the polite people hide their antisemitism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

This isn't about two wings of a party fighting for supremacy.  It's about complicity—and whether or not you believe my identity matters

From Prospect (UK), by Mr Steve Bloomfield, 31 July 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

I’m Jewish and a member of the Labour party.  Those two facts have never had much to do with each other until recently.  They are two parts of my identity that have existed for as long as I can remember, each as important to me as the other.  The idea of having to choose between the two was impossible to imagine.  But that thought—that one may not be compatible with the other—has slowly lodged itself inside me over the past three years.

There has always been anti-Semitism on the far left.  As a student, demonstrating during the build-up to the Iraq War, I saw it on protests, at rallies, in political meetings.  The way everything would somehow slide towards a debate about Israel, the comments about Jewish influence, about how many Jews were in the media.

It was surreal—but it was a fringe.  Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, the fringe has entered the party’s upper echelons.  And the explanations and the excuses have racked up.  Don’t worry, nobody even knows who Jackie Walker is.  That’s just Ken, he’s being an idiot.  That’s just Christine Shawcroft, she’s an idiot too.  Look, it’s just a few random councillors.  I know, there are loads of #JC4PM-types saying some pretty nasty stuff—but who knows if they’re even party members.  The mural comment looks bad, yes, but it was a long time ago and he’s apologised now.  The code—well the thing about the code is you have to see both sides…

Until last week I’d never heard of the IHRA code.  Being Jewish, I didn’t need a definition of anti-Semitism.  I’ve read it now, like most of us have, and there are lines here and there which I might take issue with.  Among Jewish friends and family I’d happily debate it.  But no, not with you.  Not here in public.  Not in 280 characters.

Parsing the code is irrelevant.  The only thing that matters is this: the Labour party will not allow Jews to define anti-Jewish discrimination.

The IHRA Code?  That would be the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Jew hatred.

In case it isn't clear by this point, this kind of activity within the Labour Party, or any other party, is unacceptable.  In the last century antisemitism led to the deaths of millions of Jews, innocent of anything except being Jewish.  That was wrong them and it is wrong today.  Wrong.

For some of us this prejudice is even worse in that we are Christians and we see the Jews as God's chosen people and believe that we are indebted to them for, as Saint Paul tells the Romans (Chapter 11), "they are most dear for the sake of the fathers".

Maybe the Associated Press will find a way to blame President Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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