Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Reader’s comment: Corbyn and the giant double standard

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In response to The Conservative Woman: We salute brave Labour Seven’s stand on anti-semitism, ABDeb5779 wrote:

Jeremy Corbyn’s election has been a disaster for the Labour Party, as many of their honest (and beleaguered) voters will attest. My mother stopped voting Labour after she found out about his ties to Hamas and Hezbollah. Britain needs a strong Opposition Party in government, not one overrun by the rabid zealotry that Corbyn has encouraged.

Of course, other parties have their bigots and racists. The difference is that Corbyn cloaks himself in the mantle of social justice, thus making it unseemly to attack him personally. Furthermore, he uses legitimate complaints and examples of racism as his shield against accusations of anti-Semitism. Worst of all, he hides behind what he alleges to be ‘legitimate criticisms of Israel’ – even when that means sharing a platform with terrorist organisations.

Here we come to the giant double standard against Jews. When people wish to condemn racism, or any other bigotry, they do not often add political conflicts to the equation. Have you ever heard someone say, ‘I’m against racism towards black people, but we must be free to criticise the State of Nigeria?’ Have you ever seen Jeremy Corbyn share a platform with Boko Haram as part of an ongoing peace conversation? Are British people of Chinese ethnic origin connected to or blamed for the Chinese State’s cruel repression of free speech? Are ordinary Russian citizens in Britain being blamed for Putin’s agent poisoning ex-spies on British soil?

In the above cases, as well as more, people would rightly conclude that this is scapegoating. They might also reasonably suspect racism/bigotry, too. Nobody would countenance the notion that because Nigeria has problems with terrorism and corruption, it should not exist as a State. Nobody calls for a global boycott of China.

How different the standards become for Israel! First of all, we are incessantly told that we have a ‘right’ to criticise Israel. Yes we do. In fact, people criticise Israel all the time – in Israel. But then we’re told that anti-Semitism, a 2000-plus-year-old hatred, is used as a deflection tactic in order to avoid that criticism. In other words, the Jews aren’t bright enough to distinguish between legitimate critiques (which happen every day in Israel) and hateful rhetoric. Well, I think Luciana Berger could set these hypocrites straight on that, given the violent, anti-Semitic, and misogynist abuse she has faced as a Jewish woman in Britain. It is inconceivable, and yet it is true.

Furthermore, it is perfectly acceptable, even outside of Corbyn’s rabid circle, to question Israel’s existence. Lobbying to boycott the world’s only Jewish State on the basis of distortions and without regard to context (let alone holding the Palestinian Arabs to the same moral standards as Jews) is considered perfectly acceptable. Even though a boycott of Israel has an anti-Semitic effect, you will often find BDS efforts in campuses across Britain and North America. Accusing Zionists of having disproportionate power in the media? Often acceptable. There are even Jews who will defend such statements, claiming they are political, rather than a recycling of anti-Semitic tropes.

All of this explains why anti-Semitism is allowed to flourish within the Labour Party and also British society at large. The best way to fight this cancer is to strengthen our relations with Israel, offer rigorous education on the Israeli-Arab conflict, and stand with Britain’s beleaguered Jewish community against Corbyn.

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