Conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is deliberate sophistry

❝ “…anti-Semitism is so entrenched in our society, so depressingly persistent, that to trivialise it is to trivialise the blueprint of prejudice itself. It is a barometer of moral cowardice: when someone doesn’t want to take responsibility for their own faults or problems, they blame the Jews.”

❝ At the moment, two phenomena are taking place in UK politics. For the first time in nearly 40 years, a politician with seriously left-wing ideas, and pro-Palestinian sympathies, is approaching political power. Over the past two years, that same politician’s party has been going through a series of anti-Semitism allegations so comprehensive and systematic that we may employ the term “blanket coverage”.

❝ There is definitely a long-overdue debate that needs to be had over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party – but the current barrage of media attention is not that debate. There are definitely some voices who claim to support the Labour Party, and who allow their anti-Zionism to spill over mindlessly into anti-Semitism. What we are witnessing in the UK media, however, is a near-complete evaporation of critical debate. So many aspects of this coverage are disturbing: the widespread assumption among TV hosts and commentators that anti-semitism is a problem exclusive to the Labour Party (polling suggests it is clearly not); the alarming paucity of any evidence or statistics, so that the sentence “anti-Semitism in the Labour Party”, repeated ad nauseam, becomes its own self-generating fact; the frankly ridiculous allegations of anti-Semitism levelled at the leader Jeremy Corbyn himself (Alan Sugar, one of the most famous faces in British business, tweeted a photo of the Labour leader sitting next to Hitler); the unconditional authority and respect given to voices who have been widely criticised elsewhere for bias – the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, for example, whose unreserved equation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism drew a letter of protest from 88 Jewish celebrities; the lack of journalistic professionalism in giving any sense of proportion to the actual problem (the membership of the British Labour Party is 570,000 – the number of cases pending for expulsion from the party for anti-Semitism, the Guardian reported this week, is 70). Media coverage has been so appalling that, earlier in the summer, a group of 40 senior British academics accused the media of relying for its sources on a handful of “well-known political opponents of Corbyn himself”.

Discussion overdue. No less a problem in the US Congress.

One thought on “Conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is deliberate sophistry

  1. Puzzling Evidence™ says:

    Mueller document leads to Israeli whodunit over anti-Semitism (LA Times)
    The legal document, released Friday, states that in October 2012, Manafort schemed with the unnamed official to issue a public statement that would spur “Obama Jews” to turn against Yulia Tymoshenko, a pro-European Union former prime minister of Ukraine and rival to Manafort’s client, then-President Viktor Yanukovych.
    Tymoshenko, who enjoyed wide support among Western liberals, was to be personally discredited as an anti-Semite following an electoral agreement that her Fatherland party signed with the Freedom movement, a right-wing nationalistic group with anti-Jewish origins.
    “With secret advance knowledge of that Israeli statement,” the indictment states, Manafort “worked to disseminate this story in the United States.”
    Who, Israelis are asking, is the senior Israeli government official, and what did he get for it?
    …There is a growing clamor for an investigation, with former opposition legislator Zehava Galon writing a letter to Atty. Gen. Avichai Mandelblit laying out her suspicion that a crime may have been committed. Ayalon, the former deputy minister, said Mueller’s indictment reveals “a senior Israeli official operating as a foreign agent.”

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