There’s a fascinating thread on Harry’s Place about the left wing’s ever increasing association with Israel-bashing and Jew hatred.
Mentioning it here, on what is supposedly a right-wing blog – though some dispute this – could be seen as schadenfreude, where one party delights in another’s misfortune. In this case, the left’s misfortune is allowing their own self-criticism to be snatched, nay, cherry picked, by the so-called right, (me) and used as evidence against them. We all hate it when it happens to us; but this is not intended to be that.
I don’t want to criticise the left per se, I want to discuss the massive cognitive dissonance between the left’s self-asserted, self-proclaimed self-identification with the moral high ground, and their exponentially growing alliance with overt antisemitism.
We all know Harry’s Place is a left wing blog, and a pro Israel blog, and when an irresistible force meets an immovable object it forces itself into some extremely uncomfortable contortions.
The article by Habibi cites Ed Miliband’s praise for overtly antisemitic MPs and campaigners for organisations such as the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and the friends of Al Aqsa. For example Robert Lambert, Andy Slaughter and Martin Linton.
Esteemed Harry’s Place blogger Lucy Lips contrasts this with the treatment of the few Tories who are found to be supporters of the EDL. The nasty party doesn’t praise them at all. Just the opposite, zero tolerance; it dismisses them with no further ado.
As the BBC is known to be of the left, and is similarly becoming ever more openly antisemitic, this trend desperately needs to be examined in public, openly and often. Especially as the current financial situation has been compared by BBC pundits with that of the 1930s. The similarities between the BBC and the left’s current default antisemitism and that of the 1930s should also be borne in mind.
This Harry’s Place article is a sincere criticism of the Labour party’s increasingly open racism, not a criticism of Labour party’s fundamental philosophy. It’s worth reading the comments to see that some Labour supporters are as baffled by it as I am.
I have never understood the left’s hatred of Israel. Maybe it’s because Israel is an independent nation state which is now out of vogue. However why do they stand shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of Palestinian suicide bombers?
In Britain we have only had four cases of suicide bombers and we did not like it. Israel has had hundreds, so surely the left in Britain can see what Israel is up against.
Can see it, yes. But they don’t care. It’s not even so much that it it the hated Jews who are the target, but that they see the Jihadists as the only revolutionaries who are willing to kill for their revolution.
The Left are also filled with neo-Colonialist condescension for the Muslims as they think that they will be able to control them once all the democracies have been swept away. Both condescending and stupid as that will not be the case as the Left will get swept away in the Jihad if it is successful.
The Left’s best plan for their own survival should begin with support for Israel, the one ME country who will allow the left to continue planning for revolution and who oppose homophobia and xenophobia as well as sharing their belief in equal rights for women. As long as Israel survives then so can the Left.
The problem is you are equating criticism of Israel with anti semitism. Perhaps some of these people are motivated by such bigotry, but it is not necessarily the case. There are all sorts of reasons people are pro-Palestinian, just as there are all sorts of reasons they are Pro-Israeli. For instance a Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christianity must have very good reasons for not siding with the Kairos document, which called the occupation a sin against God, simply as it was drawn up by Catholic and Orthodox prelates and priests, including the former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem(and while they do not carry quite the weight that the Pope does among Roman Catholics, you are obliged to give great respect and weight to their views on this subject.).
Maybe Miliband and Labour simply do not assume all these people are motivated anti semitism. I think it is for others to prove that is their motivation.
Given that the near total sum of the criticism is wholly directed at Israel I find it impossible to come to any other conclusion !
Whose criticism? His Beatitude Michel Sabbah?
The Left’s criticisms of Israel has a lot to do with anti-Americanism, a lot to do with blind support for the underdog, just as the pro-Irsael side clearlyhas a lot to do with anti-Islamic feeling(hence in a short time the British right has become as boring as the American right on the subject, whereas previously Israel had very little to do with British politics at all.). However there is precious little to do with anti-semitism in my experience, except for Muslims(if one may ignore the semitism of the Arabs for a moment.). When it comes to individuals it is best not to try and make windows into their souls, so to speak, and not throw around motives unless you have very good reasons.
Through Echo’s convenient system of looking back at previous comments, I see we’ve already had a similar discussion.
You: “ I really have not seen much indication of genuine anti-Semitism on the Left.”
“Personally I don’t think anti-semitism has much to do with the leftwing dislike of Israel.”
Now you’re saying: ”The problem is you are equating criticism of Israel with anti semitism.”
So I think I can see where you’re coming from.
I would reply: “The problem is you aren’t equating criticism with antisemitism. In other words you aren’t equating support of Hamas, the MCB, etc., with antisemitism.”
If you look at say, Martin Linton, of ‘tentacles’ notoriety,
“Martin Linton is the Labour MP for Battersea, Balham and Wandsworth. He is also chair of “Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East”.
The parliamentary group works closely with the disgusting antisemites and Hamas supporters Ismail Patel of “Friends of al Aqsa” and Daud Abdullah of the Muslim Council of Britain and Middle East Monitor.”
it’s quite hard to argue that he’s not closely linked with noted antisemites, and at best, uses their antisemitic rhetoric. So I’m relaxed about equating his ‘criticisms’ of Israel with antisemitism.
Next, take Robert Lambert, of whom Andrew Gilligan said:
“the deplorable work of the Exeter University academic and Islamist client, Robert Lambert, whose dishonesty and shoddiness on the subject is exposed here. (Since then, things have got even worse for Bob Lambert – Exeter has been forced to remove an entire chapter of his opus and apologise to people he libelled.) Inevitably, Lambert pops up in the Sindy piece, described as a “leading academic.” Not so leading that he knows how to use a calculator, it seems.”
Lambert is closely associated with the MCB, so not only has he produced a dishonest and shoddy report on the so-called racist crime ‘Islamophobia’, but he is another one of these ‘non antisemites’ who uses the antisemitic rhetoric of fundamentalist Muslims.
Finally, and these are just a few examples from the many I could have chosen, Andy Slaughter. Here’s Richard Millett:
“Although Slaughter is Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister that didn’t stop him recently meeting Hamas; the organisation that likes to send Palestinians into Israeli restaurants and discos primed with bombs to murder as many Jews as possible.”
I realise I have singled out ‘pro Israe’l websites for the above examples, and I do so quite deliberately for the very obvious reason that these are the only places that don’t cover these things up, play them down, or pretend they’re innocent, rational and well meaning.
Of course they work with anti-semites, many Palestinians are anti-semites(if we ignore the fact Arabs are semites.). They are in a very acrimonious dispute with a Jewish state, it is really to be expected; Croats and Bosnians are still very anti-Serb and vice versa, that is the nature of such conflicts. That however does not mean that the rest of the Pro-Palestinians are anti-semites, it does not even mean that the Palestinians are mostly motivated by anti-semitism. There is for instance an occupation, the sin against God as key Christian Palestinian Prelates and Priests have called it, and other controversial points of division between the Israelis and Palestinians which have little to do with bigotry. You appear to be simply throwing around the most ungenerous, and in this case simply unlikely, accusations of motivation to score points. You should not be surprised, if you wish to play such games, that others will not give you the benefit of the doubt. It was a Jew who once made the wise comments that ‘For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged’.
As for my previous comments; this blog, which is often quite good in pointing out BBC bias, seems obssessed with Israel and Palestine, which is like something out of the US and not what us Brits care too much about. So I think I can be forgiven for exasperatingly pointing out some common sense observations on the topic.
Your contention appears to be that Palestinian Arabs hate Jews simply because of the existence of Israel, whereas of course the hatred was apparent well before Israel came into being. Acrimony and malice towards Jews is in their holy scriptures unfortunately.
Do you consider Israel itself as an occupation?
If only the Palestinians were in a dispute with “a” Jewish state. There is only one, and it’s very small.
I am not interested in scoring points. I write merely to point out an injustice. Namely that the BBC continually sanitises Islam and glorifies Palestinians, but demonise Israel and Jews.
Muslims have generally lived in relative peace with Jews, the impetus behind which is also in their scriptures. Alas my own faith has treated Jews far worse historically.
I do not agree that the Israelis were blameless in setting up their state or that Palestine was a deserted land or any of that sort of pathetic, one-sided apologetics for what was a historical wrong, but I certainly do not dispute their right to that state, and its security, today. That is not what I meant. I meant the occupation of the Westbank and Gaza. As an Orthodox(well high church Anglican slowly transitioning to Orthodoxy.) Christian the words of the Kairos document carry great weight to me and I largely agree with it.
Tory MEP Roger Helmer is mixed up too. He has now blogged that ultra-orthodox Jews are not only benefit cheats, but members of a Jewish “Taliban” into the bargain.
So perhaps al~Beeb might take this crusty old eurosceptic seriously now. In fact if he pretends to have been beaten up by a man in black with a beard he could get his own series.
(Co-hosted by the over-exposed and very non-orthodox female Rabbi Julia Neuberger, in the interests of equality.)
The first indication I had of this was about 9 years ago, in the pub with some friends who were all a bit to the left of where I stand.
One person in the group was quite the progressive lefty. He’d embraced the output of various Marxist historians, was anti-men, tory-bashing, etcetc. My differences with this chap were already surfacing, and soon led to us having no more time for each other.
He surprised me in the pub on this occasion by enthusiastically wondering out loud whether nazi experiments in the concentration/extermination camps had led to any useful science. He also made a joke about the lamp-shades made from the skins of holocaust victims.
It was a surreal moment. No doubt many on the left would disown such an attitude (after all, they’re the nice guys, right?) But I had to wonder at the time where this anti-semitism had come from. We’d seen very little hint of it for a while – so where was the resentment coming from?
I suspect this character had steeped himself in much literature proclaiming itself to be against “Western imperialism” etc, and an anti-Israel position does seem to be linked with that. Presumably he was at the same time “questioning” the versions of history we’d been fed at schools in England. But were the racist jokes originated I still don’t know. (he would have hated association with any other kind of racism)