Defining away antisemitism - again

Submitted by martin on 8 November, 2018 - 2:05 Author: Martin Thomas
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Soon after the murderous antisemitic attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue on 27 October, at least two Constituency Labour Parties voted down or gutted motions condemning antisemitism.

The people in those CLPs will of course have been as horrified by the synagogue attack as we are. But enough of them had ideas similar to those expressed by Jewish Voice for Labour secretary Glyn Secker in a recent "Labour Against Racism and Fascism" meeting: that antisemitism is not an issue in Britain. The conclusion drawn is that any complaint about antisemitism, or affirmation against it, should be dismissed as mischief-making.

In Southend West CLP, wording was removed which "recognise[d] that antisemitism exists in society and... all forms of antisemitism must be eradicated”, and called on Labour "to lead the way in opposing antisemitism and fighting racism in all levels of society".

In Stockton North CLP, a motion which contained similar wording, and which noted "the growth in antisemitic conspiracy theories and a rise in antisemitic incidents and racist hate crime more generally in the UK, as shown in recent reports from the Community Security Trust, Tell MAMA (‘Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks’) and the Home Office" was defeated outright.

Arguments against the motion, so we hear, included that it should be against all racism not just antisemitism (but it clearly referred to "racist hate crime more generally", etc.)

That all the focus was on "antisemitism this, antisemitism that", even though the motion's mover had taken a proposal to the CLP only a few months ago about Islamophobia and anti-migrant racism and then organised a local counter-protest against a far-right group.

That the whole antisemitism thing is just a game that's being played...

Report on Hornsey and Wood Green.

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