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Oh. I get it now. I’m an anti-Semite because you said I am. Sorry to be so dim.

Posted on February 25, 2019

I really didn’t think I’d still be writing about this, but….deep breath….here goes.

When the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party emerged as an issue shortly after Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader (work it out for yourself) Shami Chakrabarti was commissioned to report on the issue. In 2016  she concluded that Labour was not ‘overrun’ by anti-Semitism or any other form of racism, but noted that there had been careless use of language, especially when related to criticism of Israel and its actions. She urged Labour supporters to be especially thoughtful about how some of their social media comments sounded to Jewish people. She pressed Labour to act more promptly to deal with complaints and to speed up its disciplinary procedures.

The report was roundly panned as a whitewash by those determined to find a problem. I have no idea whether its critics read beyond the opening couple of sentences: their reactions would suggest that 40 whole pages were too much for them. Whatever the situation, this ugly, manufactured row groans on and on. I’ll explain why I remain utterly incandescent about this. Bear with me while I give you some context.

Mt own history replicates that of many secular Jews. I was born in Birmingham in 1953. My maternal grandparents had escaped the pogroms of Russia in 1905 and somehow fetched up there. In 1938 my father miraculously escaped from Vienna, literally hours before Nazis rounded up the Jews in his street, and found his way, somehow, to what must have been a safe house where he met and later married my mother. (For a fuller and, I hope, funnier version of this story, have a look at the opening chapter of this book)

I went to a Jewish primary school three miles away from my home, despite there being a perfectly good school 100 yards away. Consider, for a moment, what that looked like to the kids in my street. Once at the Birmingham Hebrew School located, for those of you who may be familiar with the area, in the heart of Balsall Heath, I was immediately made aware of the popularity of Jews and Judaism outside the confines of school and family. From there, as a scholarship boy, to King Edward’s, Birmingham in leafy Edgbaston where I soon found that, posh boys, clever boys or whatever, my tongue, and occasionally my fists, were the best defence against frequent anti-Semitic barbs and ‘banter’.

All of which is by way of explaining that I know something of which I speak.

To the disappointment of most of my loved ones, I gradually lost faith with the faith. As a young adult, the socialist movement became the driving force in my life. Much of this has been inspiring, a great deal has been very humbling and plenty of it has been taken up with the eye-watering mundanity of booking coaches and meeting rooms, stuffing envelopes, picking up speakers who are late and returning late home myself from meetings which I’ve addressed and have been attended by three pensioners and a sleepy dog.

I’ve been a senior lay trade union officer in two trade unions, secretary and chairperson of more campaigns to defend the NHS, prevent local cuts or, yes, to defend Palestine, than I can remember. I’ve been a central organiser of street mobilisations to oppose various neo-Nazi groups from the NF, to the BNP to the EDL and the latest abomination of UKIP/FLA. You’ve got the picture: I’m soaked in this stuff.

During five decades of political activity on the left, it would be impossible to estimate how many people, some in the Labour Party, others not, that I’ve met and spoken to. So, I’ll try not to shout the next bit, though, goodness knows, my continuing ire about this nonsense is inflamed with every careless accusation of anti-Semitism slopped out so lazily by those who wish to discredit Corbyn.

In over forty years of campaigning I have never, once, ever – am I making myself clear here? – heard an anti-Semitic comment or the expression of such sentiment. If – and this happens very rarely – clumsy comment is made in such circles that somehow conflates criticism of Israel with criticism of Jewish people and Judaism, it is jumped upon with alacrity. I’m talking about tens of thousands of hours of political interaction.  I’ll leave it there: I’m not going to over-egg it.

Just so that there is no room for ambiguity, I firmly believe that any Labour Party member found guilty of anti-Semitic comment or behaviour should be expelled. Much has been made of the fact that the number of live complaints relate to the actions of around 400 people – that’s 0.1% of the membership of the largest political party in Europe (yes, really). I’m not cheered by that figure; it’s 0.1% too many. If one person in that 0.1% is guilty, that’s one person too many.

Do I believe that there’s been a growth of anti-Semitic and racist behaviour in society? I’d have to brain-dead to deny it. The growth of such feeling is an age-old, well documented reaction in all societies at times of hardship, uncertainty and fear for the future. However, the fact that it has somehow become normalised to blame the Labour Party for this is Alice in Wonderland stuff. Anti-Semites are people who hate Jews for who they are. Just so that we’re clear, someone else saying to you that you hate Jews doesn’t make you an anti-Semite. It’s an easy enough distinction.

One final thing. I’ve now lost count of the number of people who have told me that they are disappointed with how Corbyn has handled this row. I agree with them – but not how they want me to. My regret resides in the fact that the moment this ugly farce started, he didn’t tell people to get back in their box and take their accusations elsewhere. As I argue here, taking a backward step when someone with impeccable credentials on equality and anti-racism is traduced in this way only encourages even more egregious behaviour and unscrupulous conduct.

I love writing this blog but I’ve hated having to write this. A grotesque political vacuum is being created and there are genuine forces of reaction waiting to fill it. Meanwhile, fiddling while we burn, the malicious and the mischievous work to discredit a party founded on notions of social justice and led by a lifelong, brave campaigner. Such people need to examine their consciences – always assuming they can find them.

43 responses to “Oh. I get it now. I’m an anti-Semite because you said I am. Sorry to be so dim.”

  1. Doug Jenner says:

    Jon, I want everyone in the world to read this, particularly the dimwits, the thugs and the shit-stirrers who are using this issue to attack Corbyn and Labour.

    I share your frustrations. Thanks for such a heartfelt and brilliant piece of writing. Doug

  2. Tony White says:

    The right wing media – and that includes the BBC of course – will be happy to keep plugging away at this issue as long as it discredits Jeremy Cornyn. B***ards!

  3. leahlevane says:

    This is so exactly what I want to hear. As Jewish Voice for Labour (I’m Co Chair) we’ve been saying this sort of thing….

    I’m also hearing stories that some Jewish people are genuinely scared of a Corbyn led Labour government….that a genuine fear is being exploited in this way is appalling…And well they be looking the wrong way when the Far right turn their attention back to us….

    Thank you. I’ll be sharing….but we must do much more ….

    • joedude23 says:

      Hi leah do you remember last year when you came to Canterbury to give a talk on how the establishment and anti corbynistas were using antisemitism as a weapon and then a number of us were labeled as antisemites right after your talk just for having the gaul to ask Rosie Duffield MP to mind what she says up in London after she threaten to go on strike if the NEC doesnt accept the IAHF definition on what is anti semitic. well ive been co-vertly pushed out of the party now but will be writing a blog on whats happend perhaps you could help me.

  4. Louis Minson says:

    Really appreciate this piece. Can really identify with the Jewish boy gone to posh school and put up with that right wing schoolboy bants thing…..then lost religion. Me all over.

    Yes sadly non-Jews seem empowered to call Jews anti-Semitic without once considering whether this is anti-Semitic in itself.

    Add in the fact that Tommy Robinson now declares himself a Zionist and you have the extraordinary position that the far right is defending.Israel.

    The media really does not know what to do about left-wing Jews so tries to pretend they don’t exist, it’s hard for them to justify calling Jews anti-Semitic.

  5. Linda says:

    Finally someone to shine a light on what’s really happening here……I wish we would see this person interviewed on Breakfast TV…..but sadly the real people behind this story…the anti Corbyites are not interested in the truth…merely the spin

  6. Teresa Steele says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I was brought up a Catholic, though at a young age I became non practicing, I believe, however, that you should be free to worship your God in whatever peaceful way you see fit. I am a Labour party member, not in a leading role, confidence in my ability is a millstone, but I am an ardent follower and I do Lobby my MP from time to time over various campaigns, the NHS being the latest I’ve had a rebuttal for. I am also a paid up supporter of Jewish Voice for Labour and for that I have been dogpiled on Ms Oberan’s Twitter feed. One backlash I received on that feed stated that my husband deserved to be brain damaged as it was Karma for my anti Semitism. This was apparently from a Jew acting on behalf of all Jews. This is where we are at now, and it’s dangerous. I can’t believe this narrative is being aided and abetted by our main stream media, but it is and it really scares the bejaysus out of me. As long as we stay together, don’t break I’m sure we’ll win, but I’m worried it will be at a price, that being people will believe the Labour party is overrun with racism of every colour. Keep writing the truth, it really helps the true socialist movement, we are battle weary after nearly four years of being dogged by all the names they can throw at us. Pity some of those names are thrown from within our own gates.

  7. stevebrenman says:

    #metoojon I don’t have your socialist credentials but I share your roots and traditions. Keep writing mate

  8. James Kirby says:

    As someone born in the same year – of Irish immigrant parents – who has trodden much the same religious to political path, I offer my thanks and agreement, most especially with the last 2 paragraphs. Now I’ve got to buy your book!

  9. Bob Croft says:

    Thank you Jon for your clear and precise piece of writing, totally debunking what is clearly a neo liberalist shameful plot to oust Corbyn.

  10. Maureen Laing says:

    Absolutely and totally agree. I have never come across AS within the LP, in my four years as a local councillor or indeed at work! I don’t ask what religion anyone is and accept for form filling, no one has ever asked me. I too am furious at this witch hunt aimed at those to best damage the LP for their own good. Discrimination and hatred should be rooted out but not at the expense of good people. I am 61 and would be described as a leftist by the media etc. This also makes my blood boil. All I believe in is a fair and just society for all and nothing and no-one will stop me. Thank you for your great article, it gives a boost to my soul. The media et Al should be made to read it out loud!

  11. tony zimnoch says:

    Well said.Jon.
    I totally agree with everything you say here.

  12. Miriam E. David says:

    This is excellent. I share some of your background and am incandescent about the situation and can no longer bear the news…

  13. Thank you for this! In 2001, at the age of 43, I woke up and realised that my Jewish heritage, (which included losing many members of my family in the Holocaust), could never serve as a justification for narrow ethnic alliances but could be a basis for solidarity with other people experiencing oppression. I take that task very seriously. The current weaponising of ‘anti-Semitism’ for narrow nationalist and political agendas is dangerous, not just because it trivialises real anti-Semitism and other forms of racism but also because it distorts our understanding of the underlying (economic and political) causes of these conditions. It thereby deprives us of the kind of incisive political consciousness we need to make radical choices about where we want to go and how to get there. Many people now believe that there are no real differences between the left and right wings of the political spectrum. They believe that problems like racism and genocide can be contained through legal measures and are unable to think of these problems as the inevitable outcomes of different political and economic arrangements.

  14. Robert Grey says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I was pointed in the direction of your blog by a posted on the Facebook page ‘The Socialist Way’.
    I too am a (Reform) Jewish socialist and member of the Labour Party – and I feel so unbelievably angry and frustrated right now. There are no words to express how I feel. I’ve been accused of being a ‘self hating Jew’ a ‘Jewish Nazi’ and a ‘Jewish antisemite’ several times over the last few months. ‘self hating Jew’ is the one that really sticks in my throat. It’s impossible to express just how utterly insulting and humiliating this label is. I’d imagine a person of Afro Caribbean descent experiences a similar thing when being called the N-word. It’s impossible to get these people to understand the utter irony within the fact that using phrase like ‘self hating Jew’ against a Jewish person is viciously antisemitic,
    Unfortunately, it seems that, right now, any criticism of Israeli policy in Gaza, any show of solidarity toward the Palestinian cause, or any questioning of Labour’s McCarthyist witch hunt against the ‘antisemites under every bed’ is automatic grounds for being labelled an antisemite – even if you happen to be Jewish.

    Like you I am not a strongly practising Jew. I observe some of the basics, dutifully said Kaddish every evening after my father passed away, and occasionally turn up at my Mum’s for the Friday night Shabbos, and that’s about it really. I’m not even really an anti-Zionist. I have no problem with the concept of a Jewish state – as long as it doesn’t hurt or displace anyone.

    I was brought up in a small industrial town in the North, and my family was (and remains) literally the only Jewish one in the entire town. There are no synagogues, and no Jewish schools. I had to travel to the nearest city for Bar Mitzvah preparations This made me singular and unique when attending normal school, as the only Jewish boy not only in the class, but in the entire school.
    Naturally I was bullied, in fact I suffered a solid seven years of unrelenting serial bullying. When addressed by the other kids I was simply referred to as “Jew”, Being beaten up or ritually humiliated in the playground by packs of baying, chanting kids was usually punctuated by the constant chant of “Jew Jew Jew Jew”. I can still hear those chants now, all those years later. The physical wounds of beatings etc. heal, the mental scars and trauma never really does. The bullying affected everything. It affected my personality, my self confidence, my interactions with others, my education, my career, my marriage…. it’s still affecting me now, you never really recover. Something in me was killed during those school years, and I’ll always be damaged goods.
    The bullying ended on an explosive note a few weeks after leaving school when I was beaten up on the top deck of a bus at around 5:15 in broad daylight, in front of a dozen-or-so-passengers. One of the more prolific bullies caught me sitting there and began verbally abusing me. Like a fool I told him to ‘fuck off’. The results left me with a broken jaw, broken nose, one missing tooth, two broken ribs and concussion. My only real memory was seeing a kind of S-shaped blood stain on the bus window and thinking “that’s my blood”, Nobody interfered. The beating was punctuated with a scream of “JEW, JEW JEW” for each landing of his fist.

    People now tell me that I can never have an understanding of antisemitism, because I am just a ‘self hating Jew’, a ‘Jewish antisemite’ who can never know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of ‘real’ antisemitism.
    I want to tell them how I feel – I can’t. They won’t listen. Nobody is listening to people like me.
    Instead the witch hunt continues.

  15. Bakunin says:

    Hiya,

    The control of narrative in politics is by its nature political.
    Machiavellian.
    Politics has replaced religion as both the exoteric or orthodox forms and even what remains of the metaphysical or esoteric forms. We are no longer trained to enquire if ever we were ever inclined to.

    Truthfulness or truths are not mandated as either part of orthodox religion or its replacement cohabitee, politics.

    What we have is a desensitizing authoritarian education system that disfigures what little remains of the human capacity to discern truth let alone engage it.

    Controlling the narrative then becomes a repeated formula of giving mass thoughts repetition through the hypnosis of the media etc that the disfigured mind of the mass can identify as being familiar and dominant, as per the civic ordered codes of education.
    In a Hobbesian nightmare of emotional security, that sacrifices the dynamic nature of truth to quiescence to a regular even though disfigured life in a civic code. Stability imposed is all.

    Language by its nature is interpretive, and therefore legality in a Hobesian legalistic and puritan minded society uses language to eviscerate the power of truth. This is the media’s role to coerce and repeat what is and isn’t stablising, puritanical and ordered.

    Revolutions and democracy gave a false premise that is still enshrined in a victorian , puritan code of ethics, namely that the mass have control over the state through a demos. In the newly developed puritan pc culture of ‘wokeism’, the triumphalist is the one who can claim most victimhood.
    In this we have the borrowing of a scale of virtue and historical oppression set as a permanent backdrop to truth and enquiry serving civuc life.

    What your article describes is the nature of manipulation.

    The simple question remains is what does any contender of victimisation obtain in needing the accused to change.What will the contending victim do if the other refutes their accusation.

    The ultimate control of the narrative is either in retribution or sabotage.

    However truth has a habit of not being subsumed by any agenda, so manipulation or retribution is not outrageous because it has no power over Truth. Only it seems that in politics the truth is not befriended. So we have Machiavelli instead and fear this and hope for its overthrow.

    The solution to this would be to offer discourses in emotional intelligence, rather than language. I suggest more an unleashed atmosphere of a therapy group , than trying to legalise justice and language,which can never be done. Language in this context is a cover for violence and force and war. Something those attracted to the State mind have been trained in for centuries.

    Lastly, as Vaclav Havel said, ‘all politics begins in the family’.
    This current episode is another distortion of the degeneracy of the stultified expectations and incapacity of the Victorian, reginal, puritan, British family that has never stopped being framed by piracy and the distorted civic code of a colonial, economically inebriated legacy. One in which neither the holocaust of Native Americans by the Pilgrim fathered anglo-saxons, nor the holocaust of Indians or Africans or Irish, murdered by the same is equivalent to the virtue of being holocausted by the genocide of the generic enemies of the UK.

    This is what is known as telling the sheep who vote, how to think and feel safe after being shoved up the… at school and in work and without the freedom to feel or engage.

  16. Buzz Rodwell says:

    Excellent. Thank you for this.

  17. Gail Mcclelland says:

    Fabulous piece. Total witch-hunt of JC they are terrified that he’ll get into number 10. I for one will never give up on him and his policy’s. He has fought racism all his life. Keep fighting Jeremy.

  18. Niall Murphy says:

    Good man. You have said what needed saying.

  19. John Howley says:

    I would share this but not without the author’s name.

  20. Stone Elworthy says:

    Great post, I’m heartened that you don’t feel there is a real problem. I’m not Jewish and so I don’t have your insight into what is or isn’t genuine anti semitism. I only joined the Labour party in 2016, however pretty much from the start, I came across Facebook comments on Labour themed Facebook groups that ranged from one incident of overt anti semitism to numerous cases of “Rothschild conspiracy” stuff. The overt case was promptly noted by admins and taken down but the “Rothschild conspiracy” stuff seems to be a grey area to most people. That stuff seems unacceptable to me. I guess you have also come across it. Do you view it as harmless?

    • I do think people need to be very careful over the Rothschild jibe – and if people are insistent on using it, they need to think carefully about why they are doing so. In short, I think its use is usually a hostage to fortune and other ways of expressing about discontent about corporations that require scrutiny would be more effective.

    • Robert Grey says:

      It’s actually very, very simple:

      An example of genuine antisemitism:
      “The Jews have their fingers into everything now, they’re controlling banking, they’re working behind the scenes to manipulate financial markets. It began with the Rothchilds, the Goldman’s etc – but it’s spreading to every corner of society”

      An example of genuine, non-antisemitic criticism:
      The state of Israel has been responsible for the displacement and death of countless Palestinians. The resettlement policy in Gaza must be rejected and opposed by all on human rights grounds.

      The first statement established blunt caricatures, and assumes that Jewish people are responsible for world problems merely by dint of their religious beliefs and practices. It de-humanises Jewish people – effectively roping them into a single homogenised category.

      The second statement merely attacks the military and political actions of a nation and states that these actions are wrong. It does not establish any premise of wrongdoing on account of religious beliefs or practices.

  21. Bob Lawson says:

    Thank you for identifying and articulating this whole ‘anti-semitic’ onslaught for what it is.
    Fraternally
    Bob

  22. Daphne Parkin says:

    Thank you for that. Strong push back is needed. When even commenting ABOUT antisemitism brings accusations OF antisemitism, something scary is transpiring. Chris Williams’ comment “too apologetic” I took to mean “apologised too many times”, and I agree with that. The past two years, and last summer to now in particular, have shown that nothing the Labour left says will be sufficient to satisfy our accusers; they have an agenda from which they’re not deviating.

  23. Kevin Snyman says:

    Thank you for framing the issues so clearly.

  24. Anthony Cavanagh says:

    The racism on British streets today is as bad as when I was p*ki bashed as a lad. I was on a train, a load of drunks sang to me, I would rather be a n*gger, than a p*ki. I always thought we were united against all bigots, But this has left me alone and angry. When enough is enough first came out, I thought it would widen its scope deal with all the hate. But right from the start the narrative was any mention of racism, was whataboutery. Then I saw Israel flags at far right meetings, Yaxley invited to Israel. I was on a Labour page over run with Tommy supporters shouting how we are the racists and anti-semites. This has damaged the fight against racism. At a time when racism and anti-Semitism and other hate such as at the homeless and the disabled, since the press labelled as conning welfare. We have never been more divided.

  25. Thanks for this, great to read and will share. Bobby

  26. So refreshing to read this, and I can relate to the title too. I’ve recently had a long and bewildering series of exchanges with one particular person in a thread elsewhere where I’ve been schooled in the idea that you can be anti-semitic while not an anti-semite and an anti-semite while not anti-semitic.
    These brain-knots that are worhty of Kafka, Orwell and R D Laing all rolled into one were all invoked to explain how an anti–Corbyn jew can insult a pro-Corbyn jew on daytime television, yelling at him that he’s ‘a self-hating jew’ – and this apparently is fine – but when a pro-Corbyn tweeter posts ‘Ryan is gone – Palestine lives!’ then Jess Phillips MP [like Joan Ryan, not a jew] is right to call the tweeter anti-semitic. And when Michael Rosen queried this with Phillips she felt it was OK to call him a ‘shit stirrer’.
    I have to say I find some of this very confusing at the moment.

  27. Eric Coates says:

    You tell it just as it is, thanks!
    The astounding thing is that if a sitting Labour MP, Jewish or not, explained the situation exactly (and accurately) as you have, he/she would be in big trouble.
    The UN has just stated that Israeli Government may be guilty of war crimes for its actions in Gaza recently. Not a peep from any of our Labour politicians, now far too frightened of the consequences of criticising Israel.
    You are spot on, this bogus anti semitism row has been manufactured by a coalition of Tory, Friends of Israel and Blairite Corbyn haters. But the real common thread is a hatred or fear of the socialism that Corbyn and genuine socialists dare to strive for.

    • Thanks, Eric. I like the point about me being able to say what others may not. As a Labour Party member, writing on an open forum like this, I was half expecting some sort of comeback…….watch this space!

  28. Bakunin says:

    Methinks there can be no strategy to seriously counter ”wokeism”, by getting serious. Because its life pulse depends on pomposity, and being the final source of justice for the sofa tribe. Hotairwars and risk free.

    This is not a life or death struggle for the triumph of civilisation. its not Sun Tsu”s The Art of War. Its nintendo football by another name.

    The defining theme is not oppression or debate. The defining theme here is the pomposity of being outraged , to attract those who enjoy pomposity as self definition
    .
    The target voting group is armchair Mosleyites from the right to gloat in inverse realities owning the fake news.

    There is actuall no public tribal forum that counters the zillions of hours of patrician mindgames. It is part of the “little man” syndrome described by libertarian, Wilhelm Reich.

    The cure to feeling outraged, is to be even more outrageous than the accusation.

    Its the Life of Brian by any estimation.

    Look all I said was…

    Jehovah …..aaarghhhh

    Enjoy.

  29. nimbyone says:

    Hi Jon, I think you are underestimating the possibility that you might indeed have a blind spot about the seriousness of antisemitism in the Labour Party. Having lost your original faith you have adopted another in the shape of Socialism. Faiths come in various strengths and the ‘far left’ brand of Socialism preached from the sidelines of the political spectrum by Corbyn for decades had a particularly strong anti-Zionist flavouring to it. The good versus evil notion is what all faiths thrive on. On top of that all faiths have that unquestionable self-righteousness. There you have a mix that can certainly ‘dim’ your appreciation of why so many ‘Jews’ see ‘institutional antisemitism’ in the Labour Party. The notion of antisemitism didn’t exist in Labour under Wilson, Blair, Brown and Miliband. Why? Why was someone like Luciana Berger driven out of the Party? Why has Angela Rayner had to have a panic button installed at her home after receiving death threats because she said she liked what Blair said on TV? We were told Labour Party under Corbyn was going to be a nice, civilised, kind party unlike the Tories who are of course evil. Labour Party was not going to be about personalities but about issues. And what did we end up with? Ooh Jeremy!
    I don’t know if you have read any philosophy but most philosophers highlight self-deception as the most common of human tendencies.

    • I’d invite you to look at what I’ve written. I stand by it 100%. In over 5 decades of active campaigning on the left, I’ve encountered no anti-Semitic behaviour. That’s not a ‘blind spot’ or an article of faith, it’s fact. Anti-Zionism does, indeed, inform much left-leaning thinking and I subscribe to it. The fact that previous Labour leaders came from a different tradition explains why it has resurfaced as an issue now, when the possibility of a Labour government of such a different hue may be a possibility.
      Thanks for the heads-up, but, as it happens, I’ve read plenty of philosophy.

    • Robert Grey says:

      Judging from your comment it’s all too likely that you’re yet another one of those people who subscribes to the notion that “any and all criticism of Israeli foreign policy/and/or support for the Calestinian cause equals antisemitism”.

      Your post appears to be a knee jerk response fuelled largely by the emotion created by the current McCarthyist witch hunt, it doesn’t look like you actually read the blog post at all, but rather just skim read it picking up on certain key words and phrases before responding.

      If you’re so convinced that the Labour Party is filled with antisemitism, then do what no person has yet done and provide some actual evidence – and no – condemnation of Israeli resettlement policy in Gaza does not count as antisemitism,

  30. nimbyone says:

    You say in over 5 decades of campaigning on the left you’ve encountered no antisemitic behaviour. In over 4 decades of my involvement with friends and acquaintances of mostly hard left persuasion I have always detected what I would call a hint of antisemitism. Thinking people tend to think they cannot be racist or have any racist tendencies because er.. they are not racist. When Farage produced that infamous poster before the referendum depicting a multitude of immigrants of Middle Eastern complexion people cried “racist”. Does Farage think he is racist? I don’t think he does. What about that mural in East London depicting Jews in a similarly racist way to Farage’s immigrants which Corbyn opposed to be removed. Does Corbyn think he is a racist? I don’t think he does. For me there is a bit of a racist in all of us unless of course one is ‘the perfect one’.
    I am not Jewish but I am an admirer of Jews for their immense contribution to all aspects of human endeavour in the last couple of hundred years. I still struggle to comprehend the holocaust and watch with incredulity the rise of antisemitism again in Europe and in UK. It seems to me the least appropriate response to the fears and concerns of people of Jewish faith in the Labour Party by more or less telling them not to moan.

    • nimbyone says:

      I don’t know if you are referring to me but I am not a troll. I was introduced to this by a friend and was told that arguments were welcomed here. Maybe he was wrong. I am quite happy to say thank you and goodbye.

  31. nimbyone says:

    OK, I have just read some of the responses to Jon’s original text and feel like I have barged into a private gathering. Like I said before I am not a troll however genuinely believe that there is much to be gained not from doggedly holding onto our convictions but allowing them to be challenged. Convictions in my opinion are prisons. We look all the time to reinforce them and that can really lead us up the garden path.
    Cheers

    • Two quick points. I did not call you a troll. Second, this is most definitely not a private gathering. What appears to have happened with this particular post is that thousands of people have welcomed it because it echoes their experience and challenges the prevalent discourse about anti-Semitism in the LP in the MSM. Contribute a contrary opinion as frequently as you wish.

  32. Bakunin says:

    Clearly the issue is neurological.

    Firstly there is no God.

    No really there is no God.

    There is Love and loveliness, but the bad trip morphed exoteric God, isn’t.

    So either one has an identity born of association, even imposed by others needs to define that identity or simply one enjoys being an out and out fantasist without chemical assistance.

    Some of us might get jealous of being out and out fantasists or recoil into the vagaries of time, space and dna as an explanation.
    Thing is one cannot be born anything in belief. Belief can only be imposed, borrowed or presumed.

    Unlike the lottery, which is statistical chance after birth, being born is neither chosen nor ordained by the born before the event, as far as we reliably know. It remains more common and likely than the lottery, however.

    Being British therefore is just as exclusive as being anything else. Some might say that there is a version of Hell where the English are the cooks or worse..lovers.

    One just cannot really choose.

    So being identified remains double edged. I admittedly cant claim base line legacy oppression as a white UK national, but i can claim to experience satire and comedy and the stoicism of rain more often than many.

    If I was to claim a right to be seen and treated with jocularity and as part of a cultural group that believed in Jove as my God, and if others refused to see the paradoxical nature of life and my forebears were oppressed with mirthlessness, I would of course hide myself behind all manner of introverted psycopathic belief.

    I might even turn to a fantastical God who invented pounds , shillings and pence, controlled life and who was known in the old money gospel as LSD or Moneybags..

    Dont worry fellow believers, the British Army will rescue your faith in liberation in small doses of wondrous belief..

    Hurrahh,..praise love praise laughter.. And thats an order.

    https://youtu.be/5WscQIp3Kac

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Jon Berry

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