Fighting antisemitism

The Morning Star's Mirvis mystery

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:15
Author

Jim Denham

Chief Rabbi Ephraim is certainly a small-c conservative on both political and theological matters. He congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming Prime Minister (though in fact religious leaders routinely offer congratulations and promises of prayer to all incoming prime ministers).

Whether or not Mirvis is a Tory is not the issue. His attack on Labour over antisemitism addressed a real problem.

Even the Morning Star, in a rambling and not entirely coherent editorial (27 November) noted that a 2018 poll conducted for the Jewish Chronicle “said more than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy

A mess on antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 17:55
Author

Sacha Ismail

On ITV’s This Morning, 3 December, Jeremy Corbyn finally apologised for antisemitism in the Labour Party, after a week in which he had resisted calls to do so following Orthodox chief rabbi’s Ephraim Mirvis’s statements.

Politically, the delay signals uncertainty at best.

Worse, in the 26 November interview with Andrew Neil where he first refused to apologise, Corbyn was asked repeatedly whether the phrase “Rothschild Zionists run Israel and world governments”, tweeted by a Labour council candidate in Liverpool, is antisemitic. (Apparently the tweeter remains a candidate, for now, after his

XR condemns Hallam on Holocaust

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 17:51
Author

Sacha Ismail

Extinction Rebellion bigwig Roger Hallam has been widely condemned, including by much of XR, for comments belittling the significance of the Holocaust.

Speaking to German newspaper Die Zeit. Hallam said: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history… [The Holocaust was] almost a normal event... just another fuckery in human history”.

We don’t know Hallam’s motivation or underlying political prejudice here. But to put the Holocaust in the context of other mass killings in history does not require talking about it

Liz Truss and antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 17:40
Author

Todd Hamer and Daniel Randall

In remarks of 27 November, Trade Secretary Liz Truss described the well-evidenced plans to discuss selling the National Health Service to US health firms as a “conspiracy theory”, which she linked to antisemitism.

Her remarks harm the struggle against that bigotry, and show a callous disregard for the real threats faced by Jewish people, including from genuine antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Leaked government documents, which the government had tried to keep secret, confirm what Donald Trump and Woody Johnson said publicly in June – that the NHS and drug pricing are on the table in post

Transphobia and antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 16:20
Author

Natalia Cassidy

In Solidarity 498, in March of this year, I wrote a review of an article by Joni Alizah Cohen in which she drew upon Moishe Postone’s work on the basis of the extreme Nazi iteration of antisemitism and compared this to the way the Nazis themselves as well as the contemporary fascistic far-right rationalise their hatred of transgender people.

She argues that there is a common basis in what she terms abstractions. Jews represent “abstract” financial capital as opposed to the “concrete” industrial capital, whilst the trans woman represents the embodiment of the “abstract” gender vs the “concrete”

The Rabbi and the real issue

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:37
Author

Daniel Randall

Jewish identity and history is a profoundly important aspect of my life. But I’m not a communalist. I think the idea of a unitary interest for ethnic groups is dangerous, and I think official community leaderships, especially in faith groups, are basically reactionary.

An anti-communalist, secularist, anti-clerical critique of the role in Jewish life, and in social and political life in general, of people like the Chief Rabbi has been developed by Jewish radicals over many years, finding perhaps its most exuberant expression in the work of people like Benjamin Feigenbaum. Equivalent critiques

Push out the Tories, sort out Labour

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:37
Author

Sacha Ismail

To respond to Orthodox chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’ attack on Labour over antisemitism by pointing out that it is exaggerated only gets you so far.

The reality is that since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader, Seamus Milne took over the Leader’s Office, and some thousands of “returners” from the 1980s became newly vocal, a culture of antisemitism has flourished on the margins of the party and, in somewhat less virulent forms, deeper inside it too.

A significant strand in Labour antisemitism is connected to a particular view of Israel and “Zionism”. While the party’s formal policy on Israel

Living in an illiberal democracy

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 10:17

A reader reports from Hungary

One of the perks of living in Hungary is not having to ask your grandparents: “What was it like living in a one-party state?” — because you already know.

You see outrageous government propaganda everywhere. You see the posters of the crowds of refugees – excuse me: “migrants” — which would have you believe that they are out for Hungarian blood. You hear the endless droning speeches denouncing the treacherous liberals, and the sinister conspiracies trying to undermine Hungary.

You turn on the TV, switch to the right wing propaganda channel of your choice, and you

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