Jeremy Corbyn 3

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NDPP

Corbyn's Capitulation: Lessons For the Left From UK Labour's 'Anti-Semitism Crisis'

https://t.co/SSzvDcZteg

"The tactical idiocy of trying to appease bullies is proven by the last few years of increasingly wild anti-semitism allegations against Corbyn. Newspapers now run deranged headlines saying Corbyn poses an 'existential threat to Jewish life in Britain.' However, the tactical blunders Corbyn and his supporters have made, though very important, should be a secondary concern.

What about the immorality of facilitating the demonization of Israel's victims and making those victims even easier to ignore? In response to Israel's ongoing atrocities against Palestinians, Labour will make it their highest priority to police the language of the victims and those who try to defend the victims in a forceful way. Corbyn clearly sent that message through his recent 'apology'..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Trump, Brexit and Tory Mayhem: is this a crucial turning point in British politics?

The events of the past 10 days have spectacularly revealed key faultlines in British and world politics. In particular they have highlighted the acute crisis of the May government, the real motivations behind the antics of the hard right of the Tory party, the nature of the ‘America first’ strategy of Trump, the craven anti-working class politics of the Labour right and the immense potential reserves of the Left and progressive opinion in Britain.

We are at a crucial political turning point. Theresa May will certainly not survive and it is an open question whether the Tory government will survive.

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The mobilisations in London and around the country against Donald Trump were extraordinary, involving hundreds of thousands. The women’s demonstration alone numbered over 20,000, with more than 250,000 on the Together against Trump demonstration in London, while women and young people were heavily represented in all the protests. These demonstrations were the largest since the Iraq war protests of the early noughties.

Most of the anti-Trump actions were on a weekday, and as Len McCluskey told the crowd in Trafalgar Square “you represent millions who couldn’t be here”. This turnout represents the Other Britain, based in the Labour Party and the Left, in the trade unions, in the peace and women’s movements, and above all among young people. Probably an overwhelming majority of people who demonstrated voted against Brexit. And this broad current in British society is fiercely anti-racist and committed to multiculturalism. While it’s true this situation is in sharp contrast to some other European countries where xenophobic Islamophobia is near-dominant, this broad Left in British society will come under heavy attack in the next period.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Antisemitism: what the left should say – weekly briefing

quote:

I think for all of us on the left this is a very upsetting question, since we all regard anti-racism as central to our politics, but also because we recognise the enormity of where antisemitism can lead. So our understanding of antisemitism has to be put in the context of the unique crime that was the Holocaust and the very many other forms of repression and discrimination which Jews have suffered for centuries. We also recognise the important role that Jewish people have played in leftwing and socialist movements. In my political lifetime they have played a disproportionately central role in terms of their numbers in the civil rights movement in the US, the anti-apartheid movement, the women’s liberation movement and much more. The idea that antisemitism plays a major role on the left should be anathema to us all.

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However the issue to do with the row over Labour antisemitism is about much more than how you combat a certain form of racism. It is in part about whether criticism of Israel as a political state can spill over into antisemitism and whether support for the Palestinian cause can be seen as anti-Jewish. And it is now a question of who leads Labour. There is no doubt that many of those now spearheading the campaign - from Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard to rightwing Labour MPs like Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin - have a political aim of replacing Corbyn as leader with someone much less radical on other issues as well as Palestine.

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The present argument on antisemitism resurfaced over the definition of antisemitism agreed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) - a definition widely accepted at its core, but where there are greater political differences over the political clauses and examples that accompany it. The decision by Labour's NEC, in my view completely correctly, was to accept some of those examples but not others, especially those which imply that criticism of Israel is antisemitic. This caused a major backlash on the PLP, a body often overtly hostile to Corbyn.

The accusation now is - in the appalling words of Margaret Hodge - that Jeremy Corbyn is “a fucking racist and an antisemite” and that Labour is riddled with antisemitism which Corbyn tolerates or even supports. 

Both accusations are slanderous, but are repeated and encouraged throughout the media and the political establishment. There are a number of cases of antisemitism which have been found, but overall a small number in a party the size of Labour. They should be dealt with by due process and appropriate action taken. It seems to me the remarks by Peter Willsman at the NEC or indeed those by Marc Wadsworth who was expelled earlier this year are not antisemitic, whether you agree with them or not. Many Labour activists say that they have experienced little or no antisemitism directly. That doesn’t mean it is not there, but it hardly seems of epidemic proportions if this is the case. It is after all a matter of record that Labour's previous leader, Ed Miliband, was Jewish, and to the best of my recollection he suffered several major antisemitic attacks. These were however all from the right who complained about his inability to eat a bacon sandwich, his north London geekiness and his Jewish refugee father's supposed lack of patriotism.

NDPP

Is Corbyn's Greatest Trait Also His Weakest?

https://youtu.be/y9vN9LNGaUU

"...To do as he's done this evening, and throw some more people to the wolves - throw some more ideals that he's held all his life to the wolves - and not satisfy the wolves - that's not going to solve this problem, is it?"

NDPP

Get Your Pitchforks At The Ready

https://twitter.com/123_m/status/1026597979258580993

"The coordinated attacks on this put the issue beyond reasonable doubt. The next coup is underway..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Crisis in Corbyn’s Labour Party is Over Israel, Not Anti-Semitism

If there is indeed an anti-semitism problem in the UK’s Labour party, it is not in the places where the British corporate media have been directing our attention. What can be said with even more certainty is that there is rampant hatred expressed towards Jews in the same British media that is currently decrying the supposed anti-semitism of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Here is what I hope is a little wisdom, earnt the hard way as a reporter in Israel over nearly two decades. I offer it in case it helps to resolve the confusion felt by some still pondering the endless reports of Labour’s supposed anti-semitism “crisis”....

josh
Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

It's paywalled. If you have access to it, perhaps you could quote a representative paragraph or two.

NDPP

From above:

"Let it be said: Corbyn is a staunch, consistent opponent of Israel's occupation policy. That is his right; as a true leftist it's his duty.

Israel has enacted a law saying it is the nation-state of the Jewish people. In other words, anything Israel does represents the entire Jewish people. This has a price.

Hajo Meyer, a Dutch Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, once coined the phrase, 'Once an anti-Semite was a man who hates Jews. Today an anti-Semite is a man whom the Jews hate.' Leave the incitement campaign against Corbyn and wish him luck. He's a man of conscience, and I hope he'll be Britain's prime minister. It could be good for Israel as well."

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

The smear campaign against Corbyn is discussed in a 2-part TRNN interview with Norman Finkelstein and British scholar Jamie Stern-Weiner. Part 1. Part 2.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

NDPP wrote:

From above:

"Let it be said: Corbyn is a staunch, consistent opponent of Israel's occupation policy. That is his right; as a true leftist it's his duty.

Israel has enacted a law saying it is the nation-state of the Jewish people. In other words, anything Israel does represents the entire Jewish people. This has a price.

Hajo Meyer, a Dutch Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, once coined the phrase, 'Once an anti-Semite was a man who hates Jews. Today an anti-Semite is a man whom the Jews hate.' Leave the incitement campaign against Corbyn and wish him luck. He's a man of conscience, and I hope he'll be Britain's prime minister. It could be good for Israel as well."

Thanks for that. Ironically, one of the major charges against Corbyn is that in 2010 he hosted an event at which Hajo Meyer was a speaker.

NDPP

I see no 'irony', just the loathsome mendacity of the Israel lobby. Here and there.

How Israel Lobby Attacked An Auschwitz Survivor To Smear Corbyn

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/how-israel-lobby-atta...

"The anti-Semitism smear against Meyer is disgusting and should be treated with utter contempt."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
It's nothing like that at all.  Saying "All Lives Matter!" meant you were denying that the lives of people of color were in any more danger from the police than anyone else.  Condemning all forms of prejudice means you acknowledge that people who identify as oppressed have a valid claim to be able to say that.

Doesn't it also condemn racism?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It's nothing like that at all.  Saying "All Lives Matter!" meant you were denying that the lives of people of color were in any more danger from the police than anyone else.  Condemning all forms of prejudice means you acknowledge that people who identify as oppressed have a valid claim to be able to say that.

Doesn't it also condemn racism?

It doesn't condemn racism at all.  It denies that there's any greater liklihood that black or brown people are going to be unjustly killed by the police than whites, while at the same time falsely implying that white people have it just as bad as people of color.  "All Lives Matter" is code for "shut up and go away-you're making a big deal about nothing".

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Sorry, I meant: doesn't condeming all forms of prejudice also condemn racism?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Sorry, I meant: doesn't condeming all forms of prejudice also condemn racism?

Yes...which means it also condemns anti-Semitism.  And therefore, it means there was never any reason to demand that Corbyn accept the right-wing/Blairite tropes that somehow anti-Semitism is more prevalent in Labour than in any other party (in the UK, actual anti-Semitism is almost entirely a right-wing form of bigotry), that any substantive criticism of Israeli "security policy" is anti-Semitic and must be silenced, and that he also accept the idea that defenders of the Israeli government must have a veto over what anyone can and cannot say about what that government does.  
 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Yes...which means it also condemns anti-Semitism.

I think that when people choose to generalize about discrimination/racism/hate, rather than be specific (e.g. "all hate is bad" rather than "anti-black hate is bad" or "anti-Jewish hate is bad" or "anti-Episcopalian hate is bad") it's an attempt to stay out of a smaller dispute.

I would agree that the "ALL lives matter" proponents probably don't want to acknowledge that black Americans/Canadians have it and historically have had it any worse than (say) Asian Americans/Canadians or even Irish Americans/Canadians.

But if a politician can't acknowledge that Jews actually do have it and historically have had it a bit worse than Episcopalians, they're just doing the same thing. 

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Saying "All Lives Matter!" meant you were denying that the lives of people of color were in any more danger from the police than anyone else.

From a logic point of view, it says nothing like that at all.

I'll concede that some who choose to say this instead of speaking plainly might very well BELIEVE that. 

But again, from a logic point of view, if "all lives matter" is a fallacy, that would be the same as saying that if a cop shoots an unarmed person who's NOT black, that person's life doesn't matter. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Yes...which means it also condemns anti-Semitism.

I think that when people choose to generalize about discrimination/racism/hate, rather than be specific (e.g. "all hate is bad" rather than "anti-black hate is bad" or "anti-Jewish hate is bad" or "anti-Episcopalian hate is bad") it's an attempt to stay out of a smaller dispute.

I would agree that the "ALL lives matter" proponents probably don't want to acknowledge that black Americans/Canadians have it and historically have had it any worse than (say) Asian Americans/Canadians or even Irish Americans/Canadians.

But if a politician can't acknowledge that Jews actually do have it and historically have had it a bit worse than Episcopalians, they're just doing the same thing. 

Quote:
Saying "All Lives Matter!" meant you were denying that the lives of people of color were in any more danger from the police than anyone else.

From a logic point of view, it says nothing like that at all.

I'll concede that some who choose to say this instead of speaking plainly might very well BELIEVE that. 

But again, from a logic point of view, if "all lives matter" is a fallacy, that would be the same as saying that if a cop shoots an unarmed person who's NOT black, that person's life doesn't matter. 

Obviously, Jews HAVE had it a lot worse than Episcopalians(or Anglicans, if we're discussing "the Artist Formerly Known as the British Empire"), and Corbyn has always acknowledged it. In the UK in 2018, the Jewish community does NOT have it worse than Muslims, than people of color, than immigrants, than LGBTQ people.  And no one can seriously argue that the portion of the Israeli population that identifies as Jewish do NOT have it worse than the portion who are Muslim, Christian or Druze, and it would be morally obscene for anyone to argue that that community could possibly have it worse than the Palestinians.  

In the UK,active anti-semitism is largely part of the past, though it hasn't totally vanished, and where it exists now is almost entirely committed by the Right.  There is virtually no commentary that can be made about the Israeli government which could ever fairly be called anti-semitic-the criticism of the Israeli government is solely due to the way it treats Palestinians; it has nothing to do with the religious/ethnic/cultural identities of the majority communities within Israel.  If that community identified as Christian, or Muslim, or athiest, the international reaction to what Palestinians have been subjected to would be exactly the same-especially if said treatment were subsidized by the United States and, to a lesser degree, by most of the rest of the "free" world.

As to "All Lives Matter"-you know perfectly well the only reason that slogan was ever invented was as a means to shout down and disrespect Black Lives Matter.  No significant group of people have ever said "All Lives Matter" with progressive, universalist intent.

And I can't believe you'd even implicitly acccept the idea that violent institutional bigotry against people of color could possibly be "a smaller dispute".  Do you honestly believe that this issue is people of color making a big deal out of nothing?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

As Newham Transforms London, Democratic Socialists Awaken

In May 2018 local elections, the U.K.'s longest-standing directly elected mayor was ousted. It happened in Newham, East London, where Rokhsana Fiaz took power with a radical manifesto to alleviate the council's housing crisis and increase citizen participation.

The election of Fiaz, the first woman of color to become a mayor in Europe, has parallels with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's recent victory in New York City.

For one, Fiaz is in the opposite corner of the Labour Party from the neoliberal Robin Wales, whom she replaced, and is already challenging big finance. Both Ocasio-Cortez and Fiaz are part of a new generation surging in the Labour and Democratic parties on both sides of the Atlantic.

For instance, Newham's decision to take on Barclays bank shows the council is addressing what has become a full-blown crisis in U.K. local government. Fiaz may not call herself a radical municipalist, but her actions demonstrate a new way of doing politics.

Notably, Newham's sea change opens up questions about how parties of the left can escape their generation-long love affair with neoliberalism, and the role local politics can play in this transformation.

Fiaz announced in July that Newham is suing Barclays, a bank that sold them LOBO (Lender Option, Borrower Option) loans. The problems with LOBO loans are well-documented. In a 2015 Parliamentary inquiry, a former Barclays trader said he "would not do these deals if you put a gun to my head."

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Rethinking Local Politics in Newham

Mayor Fiaz has sought to rectify another dubious financial decision, initiating a public investigation that found the Newham council had wasted £40 million on a loan for Newham's former Olympic stadium.

At the first council meeting since becoming mayor, Newham council held a Peoples Assembly with the aim to establish "openness, resident engagement, transparency and accountability." These are antonyms for the previous administration.

In concrete terms, Newham now plans to deal with homelessness, including establishing a new 20-bed homeless refuge and offering more support for those sleeping rough.

The council will also build 1,000 new homes for social housing. The mayor will even put her position to a referendum as to whether to abolish the concentrated power of her position.

NDPP

Get Corbyn! Zios Plan It (and vid)

https://twitter.com/Muqadaam/status/1029055212915515394

"Israeli embassy worker caught on camera plotting to use 'anti-Semitism' as a political gain to oust Jeremy Corbyn."

NDPP

 'The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone - left, right and everything in between.' - Netanyahu-

This will be the best recruitment tool of Labour yet. A fascist, corrupt, racist war criminal trying to deflect from protests against his corrupt and racist regime."

https://twitter.com/Ollie4themany/status/1029072411654873090

"The mask has fallen the mailed child killing fist is ungloved. The Friends of Israel can step aside, their ventriloquist has taken the stage. It's Netanyahu v Corbyn and UK Labour. It is a naked attack on British politics by a crooked killer and foreign Prime Minister. I stand up for Corbyn."

https://twitter.com/georgegalloway/status/1029078880244654080

NDPP

Fascist Tactics: How Jeremy Corbyn's Detractors Are Plotting to Remove Him

https://twitter.com/Jonathan_K_Cook/status/1029715712875614208

"David Hearst, former Guardian leader writer, would never have been allowed to write this for that newspaper. But this is probably the best analysis so far of what's at stake in the endless Corbyn smears."

 

Et Tu Bob..?

https://twitter.com/Cnds4MEProg/status/1029519753533042688

"Out of 8 men responsible for the Munich bombings, zero are buried in Tunis where Corbyn was laying down his wreath. But that didn't keep Bob Rae from tweeting this bogus Sky News article. Bob should apologize for misleading Canadians."

It's what Zios do.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And I can't believe you'd even implicitly acccept the idea that violent institutional bigotry against people of color could possibly be "a smaller dispute".  Do you honestly believe that this issue is people of color making a big deal out of nothing?

No, I certainly don't believe that they're "making a big deal out of nothing".

But this IS the internet, after all, where if you say "I think chocolate ice cream is the best" then someone is sure to accuse you of saying that you hate vanilla, or you think it tastes like shit or whatever.

Racism against blacks is necessarily smaller than racism against "everyone", only because it's a subset of that.  I hope you see what I'm saying.  Don't make me do math here.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Corbyn’s Labour party is being made to fail – by design

The Labour party, relentlessly battered by an organised campaign of smears of its leader, Jeremy Corbyn – first for being anti-semitic, and now for honouring Palestinian terrorists – is reportedly about to adopt the four additional working “examples” of anti-semitism drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Labour initially rejected these examples – stoking yet more condemnation from Israel’s lobbyists and the British corporate media – because it justifiably feared, as have prominent legal experts, that accepting them would severely curb the freedom to criticise Israel.

The media’s ever-more outlandish slurs against Corbyn and the Labour party’s imminent capitulation on the IHRA’s full definition of anti-semitism are not unrelated events. The former was designed to bring about the latter.

According to a report in the Guardian this week, senior party figures are agitating for the rapid adoption of the full IHRA definition, ideally before the party conference next month, and say Corbyn has effectively surrendered to the pressure. An MP who supports Corbyn told the paper Corbyn would “just have to take one for the team”.

In a strong indication of the way the wind is now blowing, the Guardian added:

“The party said it would consult the main [Jewish] communal bodies as well as experts and academics, but groups such as the pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice for Labour have not been asked to give their views.”

No stomach for battle 

The full adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism will be a major victory both for Israel and its apologists in Britain, who who have been seeking to silence all meaningful criticism of Israel, and for the British corporate media, which would dearly love to see the back of an old-school socialist Labour leader whose programme threatens to loosen the 40-year stranglehold of neoliberalism on British society.

Besieged for four years, Corbyn’s allies in the Labour leadership have largely lost the stomach for battle, one that was never about substance or policy but about character assassination. As the stakes have been constantly upped by the media and the Blairite holdouts in the party bureacracy, the inevitable has happened. Corbyn has been abandoned. Few respected politicians with career ambitions or a public profile want to risk being cast out into the wilderness, like Ken Livingstone, as an anti-semite.

This is why the supposed anti-semitism “crisis” in a Corbyn-led Labour party has been so much more effective than berating him for his clothes or his patriotism. Natural selection – survival of the smear fittest for the job – meant that a weaponised anti-semitism would eventually identify Corbyn as its prime target and not just his supporters – especially after his unexpectedly strong showing at the polls in last year’s election.

Worse, Corbyn himself has conceded too much ground on anti-semitism. As a lifelong anti-racism campaigner, the accusations of anti-semitism have clearly pained him. He has tried to placate rather than defy the smearers. He has tried to maintain unity with people who have no interest in finding common ground with him.

And as he has lost all sense of how to respond in good faith to allegations made in bad faith, he has begun committing the cardinal sin of sounding and looking evasive – just as those who deployed the anti-semitism charge hoped. It was his honesty, plain-speaking and compassion that won him the leadership and the love of ordinary members. Unless he can regain the political and spiritual confidence that underpinned those qualities, he risks haemorrhaging support.

Critical juncture

But beyond Corbyn’s personal fate, the Labour party has now reached a critical juncture in its response to the smear campaign. In adopting the full IHRA definition, the party will jettison the principle of free speech and curtail critical debate about an entire country, Israel – as well as a key foreign policy issue for those concerned about the direction the Middle East is taking.

Discussion of what kind of state Israel is, what its policy goals are, and whether they are compatible with a peace process are about to be taken off the table by Britain’s largest, supposedly progressive party.

That thought spurred me to cast an eye over my back-catalogue of journalism. I have been based in Nazareth, in Israel’s Galilee, since 2001. In that time I have written – according to my website – more than 900 articles (plus another few hundred blog posts) on Israel, as well as three peer-reviewed books and a clutch of chapters in edited collections. That’s a lot of writing. Many more than a million words about Israel over nearly two decades.

What shocked me, however, as I started to pore over these articles was that almost all of them – except for a handful dealing with internal Palestinian politics – would fall foul of at least one of these four additional IHRA examples Labour is about to adopt.

After 17 years of writing about Israel, after winning a respected journalism prize for being “one of the reliable truth-tellers in the Middle East”, the Labour party is about to declare that I, and many others like me, are irredeemable anti-semites....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more

quote:

Betrayal of Palestinians

The article in the Guardian, the newspaper that has done more to damage Corbyn than any other (by undermining him from within his own camp), described the incorporation of the full IHRA anti-semitism definition into Labour’s code of conduct as a “compromise”, as though the betrayal of an oppressed people was something over which middle ground could be found.

Remember that the man who drafted the IHRA definition and its associated examples, American Jewish lawyer Kenneth Stern, has publicly regretted their impact, saying that in practice they have severely curbed freedom of speech about Israel.

How these new examples will be misused by Corbyn’s opponents should already be clear. He made his most egregious mistake in the handling of the party’s supposed anti-semitism “crisis” precisely to avoid getting caught up in a violation of one of the IHRA examples Labour is about to adopt: comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

He apologised for attending an anti-racism event and distanced himself from a friend, the late Hajo Meyer, a Holocaust survivor and defender of Palestinian rights, who used his speech to compare Israel’s current treatment of Palestinians to early Nazi laws that vilified and oppressed Jews.

It was a Judas-like act for which it is not necessary to berate Corbyn. He is doubtless already torturing himself over what he did. But that is the point: the adoption of the full IHRA definition will demand the constant vilification and rooting out of progressive and humane voices like Meyer’s. It will turn the Labour party into the modern equivalent of Senator Joe McCarthy’s House of Un-American Activities Committee. Labour activists will find themselves, like Corbyn, either outed or required to out others as supposed anti-semites. They will have to denounce reasonable criticisms of Israel and dissociate themselves from supporters of the Palestinian cause, even Holocaust survivors.

The patent absurdity of Labour including this new anti-semitism “example” should be obvious the moment we consider that it will recast not only Meyer and other Holocaust survivors as anti-semites but leading Jewish intellectuals and scholars – even Israeli army generals.

Two years ago Yair Golan, the deputy chief of staff of the Israeli military, went public with such a comparison. Addressing an audience in Israel on Holocaust Day, he spoke of where Israel was heading:

“If there’s something that frightens me about Holocaust remembrance it’s the recognition of the revolting processes that occurred in Europe in general, and particularly in Germany, back then – 70, 80 and 90 years ago – and finding signs of them here among us today in 2016.”

Is it not a paradox that, were Golan a member of the Labour party, that statement – a rare moment of self-reflection by a senior Israeli figure – will soon justify his being vilified and hounded out of the Labour party?

Evidence of Israeli apartheid

Looking at my own work, it is clear that almost all of it falls foul of two further “examples” of anti-semitism cited in the full IHRA definition that Labour is preparing to adopt:

“Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

and:

“Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

One hardly needs to point out how preposterous it is that the Labour party is about to outlaw from internal discussion or review any research, scholarship or journalism that violates these two “examples” weeks after Israel passed its Nation-State Basic Law. That law, which has constitutional weight, makes explict what was always implict in Israel as a Jewish state:

  1. that Israel privileges the rights and status of Jews around the world, including those who have never even visited Israel, above the rights of the fifth of the country’s citizens who are non-Jews (the remnants of the native Palestinian population who survived the ethnic cleansing campaign of 1948).
  2. that Israel, as defined in the Basic Law, is not a state bounded by internationally recognised borders but rather the “Land of Israel” – a Biblical conception of Israel whose borders encompass the occupied Palestinian territories and parts of many neighbouring states.

How, one might reasonably wonder, is such a state – defined this way in the Basic Law – a normal “democratic” state? How is it not structurally racist and inherently acquisitive of other people’s territory?

Contrary to the demands of these two extra IHRA “examples”, the Basic Law alone shows that Israel is a “racist endeavour” and that we cannot judge it by the same standards we would a normal western-style democracy. Not least, it has a double “border” problem: it forces Jews everywhere to be included in its self-definition of the “nation”, whether they want to be or not; and it lays claim to the title deeds of other territories without any intention to confer on their non-Jewish inhabitants the rights it accords Jews.

Demanding that we treat Israel as a normal western-style liberal democracy – as the IHRA full definition requires – makes as much sense as having demanded the same for apartheid South Africa back in the 1980s.

NDPP

We now see the extent and power of the Zionist lobby and its fifth column within the British parliament fighting to uphold the interests of Israel, the destruction of Corbyn and any possibility of  a pro-Palestinian foreign policy.  Let us be under no illusion that a similar lobby doesn't exist here, ready to do the same if necessary. Unfortunately, it isn't. More's the pity.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..yes powerful. also shows the limitations of representative democracy in that it's a top down process. where the tail  wags the dog. there's still a chance  for this  shift to be defeated if it can be delayed until the conference in sept. 

..you would think by now corbyn would know when in trouble to call on the membership. even though he knows they've saved him time and again. while he gives lip service to democracy in practice he's the boss. this is a product of power structures.    

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Demanding that we treat Israel as a normal western-style liberal democracy – as the IHRA full definition requires – makes as much sense as having demanded the same for apartheid South Africa back in the 1980s.

From the IHRA's own website:

Quote:

  1. Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
     
  2. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
     
  3. Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
     
  4. Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
     
  5. Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
     
  6. Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
     
  7. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
     
  8. Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
     
  9. Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
     
  10. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
     
  11. Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Which of these -- just give us the number(s) -- would prevent anyone from reasonably and meaningfully criticizing the actions of the State of Israel?

And to be clear, I'm not asking this in dutiful support of Mother Israel.  I'm just curious which of these 11 things is necessary to be able to voice one's opposition to their actions.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from #175 which defines the issue. 

quote:

Labour initially rejected these examples – stoking yet more condemnation from Israel’s lobbyists and the British corporate media – because it justifiably feared, as have prominent legal experts, that accepting them would severely curb the freedom to criticise Israel.

..there was link to "legal experts" that didn't show up in my post but did where the piece lives. here's a bit from that link. 

Defining Anti-Semitism

quote:

In May 2016 the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an intergovernmental body, adopted a ‘non-legally-binding working definition of anti-Semitism’: ‘Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.’ This account, which is largely derived from one formulated by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite. ‘A certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred’ invites a string of questions. Is anti-Semitism solely a matter of perception? What about discriminatory practices and policies? What about perceptions of Jews that are expressed otherwise than as hatred?

These gaps are unlikely to be accidental. Their effect, whether or not it is their purpose, is to permit perceptions of Jews which fall short of expressions of racial hostility to be stigmatised as anti-Semitic. Along with the classic tropes about a world Jewish conspiracy and Holocaust denial or dismissal, the IHRA’s numerous examples include these:

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.

Applying double standards by requiring of [the state of Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour.

The first and second of these examples assume that Israel, apart from being a Jewish state, is a country like any other and so open only to criticism resembling such criticism as can be made of other states, placing the historical, political, military and humanitarian uniqueness of Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestine beyond permissible criticism. The third example bristles with contentious assumptions about the racial identity of Jews, assumptions contested by many diaspora Jews but on which both Zionism and anti-Semitism fasten, and about Israel as the embodiment of a collective right of Jews to self-determination.

NDPP

Finkelstein:  Anti-Semitism & the Crucifixion of Corbyn (podcast)

http://www.tikkit.co.uk/post/301_here-it-is-as-if-by-magic-the-full-norm...

"...Moral blackmailers and moral extortionists engaged in a vile, despicable campaign of conscripting the suffering of Jews during WWII, the very real martyrdom of Jewish people, into this extortionist blackmail to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and the principled politics he represents from public life.

That's the agenda. It has nothing whatsoever to do with a problem of anti-semitism which is next to absent in British life. It's not about anti-semitism it's about justice for Palestinians but more broadly it's about a principled class politics that the ruling elites in the UK, whether they be the Blairites in the Labour party, the media elites or whether they be the Tories, have coalesced,  and now there is this anti-Corbyn juggernaut by those who want to prevent and protect the existing order.

On the other side arrayed are those you might call the 99% who think the current order needs a shaking up. That's what Corbyn represents. A new order waiting to be born..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
..from #175 which defines the issue.

OK.  But I was asking which specific items would restrict someone from making an intelligent criticism of Israel.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..and i replied

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
..from #175 which defines the issue.

OK.  But I was asking which specific items would restrict someone from making an intelligent criticism of Israel.

OK...1)the prohibition against calling Israel a "racist state".  There is no possible way to condemn what's being done collectively to ordinary Palestinians, or the recently-passed and morally-indefensible "Nation-State Law" without pointing out that, whatever the intent, what's being done by the Israeli government to Palestinians is racist.  There's no way to make critical comments about that without referencing the discriminatory aspects;

2) The "double-standard" law-based on the bogus assertion that people criticize the Israeli government for things they're fine with other "democratic" governments doing.  All that will have to happen will be one Likudnik apologist saying that a comment anyone makes about Israeli security policy is "holding Israel to a higher standard"-something nobody actually ever does, in practice-and the person who made the comment will be subject to disciplinary action-including the possibility of expulsion from the party-simply for saying that.

I think you'd have to agree that there are no valid reasons to make it THAT difficult to make critical comments about what is, after all simply another government existing some place in the world.

Ironically, Binyamin Netanyahu himself would fall afoul of example #11 on the list:  He constantly equates the State of Israel with "The Jews" and implies that the world's Jewish communities are all giving unquestioning support to whatever he chooses to do-and does so despite the fact that opposition to his treatment of Palestinians is massively on the upsurge throughout the Diaspora.  Netanyahu is, in effect, holding every Jewish person in the world responsible for actions only he and his own governinr coalition of hate are culpable for.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

..more

quote:

Betrayal of Palestinians

The article in the Guardian, the newspaper that has done more to damage Corbyn than any other (by undermining him from within his own camp), described the incorporation of the full IHRA anti-semitism definition into Labour’s code of conduct as a “compromise”, as though the betrayal of an oppressed people was something over which middle ground could be found.

Remember that the man who drafted the IHRA definition and its associated examples, American Jewish lawyer Kenneth Stern, has publicly regretted their impact, saying that in practice they have severely curbed freedom of speech about Israel.

How these new examples will be misused by Corbyn’s opponents should already be clear. He made his most egregious mistake in the handling of the party’s supposed anti-semitism “crisis” precisely to avoid getting caught up in a violation of one of the IHRA examples Labour is about to adopt: comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

He apologised for attending an anti-racism event and distanced himself from a friend, the late Hajo Meyer, a Holocaust survivor and defender of Palestinian rights, who used his speech to compare Israel’s current treatment of Palestinians to early Nazi laws that vilified and oppressed Jews.

It was a Judas-like act for which it is not necessary to berate Corbyn. He is doubtless already torturing himself over what he did. But that is the point: the adoption of the full IHRA definition will demand the constant vilification and rooting out of progressive and humane voices like Meyer’s. It will turn the Labour party into the modern equivalent of Senator Joe McCarthy’s House of Un-American Activities Committee. Labour activists will find themselves, like Corbyn, either outed or required to out others as supposed anti-semites. They will have to denounce reasonable criticisms of Israel and dissociate themselves from supporters of the Palestinian cause, even Holocaust survivors.

The patent absurdity of Labour including this new anti-semitism “example” should be obvious the moment we consider that it will recast not only Meyer and other Holocaust survivors as anti-semites but leading Jewish intellectuals and scholars – even Israeli army generals.

Two years ago Yair Golan, the deputy chief of staff of the Israeli military, went public with such a comparison. Addressing an audience in Israel on Holocaust Day, he spoke of where Israel was heading:

“If there’s something that frightens me about Holocaust remembrance it’s the recognition of the revolting processes that occurred in Europe in general, and particularly in Germany, back then – 70, 80 and 90 years ago – and finding signs of them here among us today in 2016.”

Is it not a paradox that, were Golan a member of the Labour party, that statement – a rare moment of self-reflection by a senior Israeli figure – will soon justify his being vilified and hounded out of the Labour party?

Evidence of Israeli apartheid

Looking at my own work, it is clear that almost all of it falls foul of two further “examples” of anti-semitism cited in the full IHRA definition that Labour is preparing to adopt:

“Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

and:

“Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

One hardly needs to point out how preposterous it is that the Labour party is about to outlaw from internal discussion or review any research, scholarship or journalism that violates these two “examples” weeks after Israel passed its Nation-State Basic Law. That law, which has constitutional weight, makes explict what was always implict in Israel as a Jewish state:

  1. that Israel privileges the rights and status of Jews around the world, including those who have never even visited Israel, above the rights of the fifth of the country’s citizens who are non-Jews (the remnants of the native Palestinian population who survived the ethnic cleansing campaign of 1948).
  2. that Israel, as defined in the Basic Law, is not a state bounded by internationally recognised borders but rather the “Land of Israel” – a Biblical conception of Israel whose borders encompass the occupied Palestinian territories and parts of many neighbouring states.

How, one might reasonably wonder, is such a state – defined this way in the Basic Law – a normal “democratic” state? How is it not structurally racist and inherently acquisitive of other people’s territory?

Contrary to the demands of these two extra IHRA “examples”, the Basic Law alone shows that Israel is a “racist endeavour” and that we cannot judge it by the same standards we would a normal western-style democracy. Not least, it has a double “border” problem: it forces Jews everywhere to be included in its self-definition of the “nation”, whether they want to be or not; and it lays claim to the title deeds of other territories without any intention to confer on their non-Jewish inhabitants the rights it accords Jews.

Demanding that we treat Israel as a normal western-style liberal democracy – as the IHRA full definition requires – makes as much sense as having demanded the same for apartheid South Africa back in the 1980s.

I agree with virtuall all of that, except for the last paragraph:  What the IHRA examples-Labour actually AGREED, in the first place, to everything in the definition except for a tiny handful of the examples-actually do is demand that the Israeli government be given special dispensation FROM being treated like a normal democratic government.  They demand that the type of policies every other democratic government may be-and always has been, since at least the late 1960s-openly condemned for pursuing must be publicly acquiesced in-and remember, there is no meaningful difference between public acquiescence in a wrong and full support for the wrong-simply because of the historic oppression of the variety of ethnic and religious communities in whose names the State of Israel purports to exist.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

ken 

..can you provide reports on what labour did agree to and not? also when? i find this info hard to find and changing.

 

NDPP

Have Jeremy Corbyn's Enemies Overplayed Their Hand   -   by Neil Clark

https://t.co/QP4qWo0uFd

Corbyn adopting the IHRA "...is likely to lead to a mass purge of thousands of Corbyn supporters from the party because of past criticism of Israel and might even lead to Corbyn himself being suspended or expelled...It would  be quite ironic if having seen off so many challenges, 'The Corbynator' then commits political hari-kari and does the one thing that could hand his opponents victory - when they themselves are so close to defeat."

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