Left 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

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

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

Bernie Sanders backed by America’s Muslims

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 10:33
Author

Eric Lee

In recent months, Bernie Sanders has become an enormously popular politician among Muslim Americans.

He was one of only two Democratic presidential candidates to address the Islamic Society of North America Convention in August, the largest annual gathering of Muslim Americans in the country. He is the first major presidential candidate to appoint a Muslim, Faiz Shakir, as his campaign manager. He was the first American politician to visit a mosque after the attacks on Muslims in New Zealand. Prominent Muslim Americans including Linda Sarsour, a leader of the Women’s March, and newly elected

Labour and antisemitism

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 08:40

See a printable election briefing based on this article.

The August 2019 Labour Party leaflet entitled “No Place for Antisemitism” condemns conspiracy theories which portray “capitalism and imperialism as the product of plots by a small shadowy elite”.

These are “just one step away from myths about Jewish bankers and a secret Jewish plot for world domination”.

Some of those conspiracy theories “substitute Israel or Zionists for Jews, presenting Israel as controlling the world’s media and finances” and “ascribe to Israel an influence on world events far beyond any objective analysis”.

Jewish

Barking: too passive

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:45
Author

Ben Tausz

Martin Thomas’ response to the “triggering” of Margaret Hodge for reselection (Solidarity 519) is too passive.

First, as democrats who believe every Labour MP should face reselection at every election, we should welcome and support every ballot-triggering — both for MPs we want to replace and those we want to keep.

Second, Thomas writes “Replacing Hodge either way [by imposition or democratic election] would signal a move to silence or marginalise protest against antisemitism in the Labour Party.” This is an abdication of our responsibility in the battle against left-antisemitism. In this

Williamson the book

Published on: Mon, 07/10/2019 - 11:03
Author

Stan Crooke

In February of this year Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North, complained about the Labour Party’s response to criticisms of antisemitism:

“I’ve got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion we’ve backed off far too much, we’ve given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic. What have we got to apologise for?”

*Bad News for Labour – Antisemitism, The Party and Public Belief* (by Greg Philo and others, Pluto Press) is the literary version of Williamson’s claim.

Less rabble-rousing and less rhetorical. More nuanced and more refined.

In defence of the Morning Star

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 09:06
Author

Andrew Northall

Jim Denham's major piece (Solidarity 516) responding to my letter in Solidarity 515 continues to peddle the outrageous accusation that the Morning Star newspaper “actively foments antisemitism”.

Antisemitism is obviously a highly emotive and sensitive issue and in response we need to be really clear, factual and
logical.

In plainer language, the accusation “actively foments antisemitism” could read: “the paper expresses hatred to people who are Jewish (whether by religion, ethnicity or culture) or encourages other people to be hostile to Jews”. Does the Morning Star encourage hatred against

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