This is some of my writing on facebook over the last few days.
On the call not to wave Israeli flags on the demonstration against antisemitism:
Some say that supporters of Israeli human rights abuses manufacture fake claims of antisemitism to silence the legitimate protests of the Palestinians.
They always try to spin those who oppose antisemitism and those who facilitate antisemitism as two sides of a legitimate debate about Israel, about the occupation, about Palestinian rights.
The institutions of the UK Jewish community who have organised today’s demonstration have asked that people do not wave Israeli flags. The reason for this is that flags would help the facilitators of antisemitism to portray opposition to antisemitism as being identical to support for what they call “Zionism” – by which they mean racism, imperialism, Nazism and apartheid.
We could respond: “We will take their antisemitic construction of Zionism and we will subvert it; we will proudly proclaim our own Zionism and we will show that what we mean by that is self-liberation, opposition to antisemitism and safety, culture and freedom after the Holocaust…”
Racism constructs ‘race’; contemporary antisemitism constructs ‘Zionism’. This is done in a hostile way, from outside, and is entirely independent of the way we embrace and create our own liberational identities.
What, literally, is a “demonstration”? What are we trying to show today?
The antizionists will organise a counter demonstration.
Are we trying to show that we support Israel while the other side opposes Israel?
No, that is not today’s demonstration. We will not allow the antisemites to twist our message. Today’s message is against antisemitism; it is not pro- or anti-Israel.
I understand that there are important relationships between diverse kinds of support for Israel and opposing antisemitism; I understand that Israel was constituted to oppose antisemitism; I understand that antisemitism aims to de-legitimize Israel.
But today, what we want to demonstrate, by our presence, is that UK Jews oppose antisemitism. And the most effective way, today, of doing that, is not to stage what can be portrayed as a pro-Netanyahu demonstration, in the face of a pro-Palestinian demonstration,and in the face of Corbyn’s support for Palestinian rights.
Most British Jews, of course, including the institutions of the Jewish community which have called this demonstration, support Palestinian rights, and also oppose antisemitism.
On the role of the antizionist Jews:
My book, ‘Contemporary Left Antisemitism’ is the story of how antisemitsm has moved into the mainstream, particularly since 9/11, since the collapse of the peace process, and since the UN conference at Durban.
Far from being the ‘useful idiots’ of the antisemites, antizionist Jews are leaders, facilitators and kosherizers of antisemitism. They are indefatigable opponents of anyone who opposes antisemitism.
They say that opposition to antisemitism is a dirty Zionist trick, an attempt to silence the free speech of the oppressed.
They begin and end debates and events which aim to exclude Israelis, and only Israelis, from the global communities of science, business, sport and culture.
They educate non-Jews to adopt antisemitic ways of thinking.
Antizionist Jews organise counter-demonstrations against Jews who protest antisemitism.
They claim that there is no consensus within the Jewish community about antisemitism and that their voice is equally representative.
They claim that the JLC, the BoD, the CST, the Chief Rabbi, the Jewish Chronicle, the Jewish journalists (Aaronovitch, Cohen, Finkelstein, Freedland etc) the Jewish scholars (Garrard, Geras, Fine, Spencer, Rich, Hirsh, Julius, Schama etc), the synagogues (Liberal, Reform, Masorti, United)… … represent no consensus.
They claim that they are the representatives of Jews who support Palestinian rights; and that all the other Jews oppose Palestinian rights and are prepared to lie and cheat in an effort to do so.
Antizionist Jews will be out on the streets this evening, trying to smear and de-legitimize the Jewish community’s demonstration against antisemitism.
They will portray this as a debate, with two legitimate positions.
They say that this is not a debate about antisemitism but it is a debate between Israelis and Palestinians – thereby constructing Palestinians as antisemites.
This is what they say about this evening:
“The BoD and the JLC and those supporting them must be aware that this is an attempt to influence local elections and has nothing to do with the real and necessary task of challenging racism and antisemitism at all levels of political life. We call on them to stop playing party politics and start representing what our community needs. We believe that is best represented by the politics we fight for and hope to see win on May 3rd.”
They say that the huge and reasonable consensus within in the Jewish community over antisemitism is actually an anti-left conspiracy.
They try to substitute themselves for the Jewish community.
Jewish antizionists aim to pose as the Jewish community, to be the voice of Jews in discussions with the Labour Party.
They are being financed by UNITE – what shame for one of our most important trade unions.
Stop Gaslighting Jews:
Every time we’re told we’re only pretending to see antisemitism, our answer should be: “Stop Gaslighting Jews”.
Corbyn, and his political allies have, for decades embraced antisemitic politics. Corbyn offers political support to antisemitic movements like Hamas and Hezbollah (dedicated to peace and justice, he says); he sides with antisemites against Jews (Sizer, Salah, Eisen, Mear One), he shills for the Iranian regime, he celebrates the Iranian revolution. He supports a regime of boycott against Israelis, excluding them from the global community of humankind and legitimizing the bullying culture of BDS.
The Gaslighting of Jews by people who think of themselves as socialists needs to stop.
We won’t be told that this is ‘criticism of Israel’ or ‘siding with the Palestinians’.
We won’t be told that opposing antisemitism is a dishonest Jewish conspiracy.
“Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
What does Labour have to do to fix the problem?
Labour MPs make three demands to fix the antisemitism problem in the party. But, because they ignore the politics of the situation, they’re not enough.
1. Disavow the notion that those who raise the issue of antisemitism do so as part of a conspiracy to smear and to silence.
2. Articulate its solidarity with Jewish members who experience antisemitism.
3. Beef up the structures of the party so they can expel antisemites.
But this leaves the politics of the situation untouched.
1. Corbyn must account politically for his own actions, or resign. His support for antisemites against Jews – Salah, Sizer, Eisen etc. His work for Press TV and his speeches for the Iranian regime. His political support for Hamas and Hezbollah. His support for the mural. etc.
2. The party must make clear that this is not about picking out antisemitic apples, but it is about dealing with an institutional and cultural antisemitism which has become mainstream in the British left barrel.
3. It must be clear that the politics of hostility to Israel, of denouncing it as a unique evil, as apartheid, as Nazi, as racist, as imperialist, is related to the rise of antisemitism. https://www.thejc.com/…/corbyn-antisemitism-labour-john-man…