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Anti-semitism in Labour. From the news today I have a question....

(25 Posts)
fessmess Fri 31-May-19 13:34:44

NEC member (Wilson?) has been suspended for anti-Semitic comments. I have just listened to it and am baffled. How is saying that he thinks the anti-Semitic charges against Labour are coming from Israeli government anti-Semitic? I do think it's burying head in sand and not accepting that it is there, perhaps, but it is not slurring the religion or its members. Can anyone explain?

MenuPlant Fri 31-May-19 13:39:11

Because it makes it some kind of Jewish conspiracy rather than what has been going on so genuinely objectively awful that people with no skin in the game would think it was bad.

Jewish conspiracy ideas are v anti semetic with long history.

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 13:41:20

The idea that Jews secretly control the world is a common anti-Semitic trope.

This one is using ‘Israel’ as a code for ‘Jew’. Israel secretly meddling in British politics by making up anti-semitism complaints in an attempt to oust Jeremy Corbyn is just another anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

It might seem confusing to people who aren’t familiar with these tropes (maybe Israel is secretly behind this??) but basically, there are millions of these sorts of conspiracy theories and this guy should know better.

fessmess Fri 31-May-19 13:50:32

Thank you. I realise my OP didn't make sense in one place. I do agree that it is foolish to make these comments and to not acknowledge there may be problems within the party. So basically, anti-semites often talk of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy so to criticise Israel is anti-Semitic in some eyes? Seems harsh.

GiantKitten Fri 31-May-19 13:52:38

But it is true that the Israeli govt wants to influence UK politics - specifically to squash pro-Palestinian opinion.

www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby/

GiantKitten Fri 31-May-19 13:55:40

And to preempt any suggestion that it’s anti-Semitic because it’s from Al Jazeera:

www.theguardian.com/media/2017/oct/09/ofcom-clears-al-jazeera-ntisemitism-expose-israeli-embassy-official

fessmess Fri 31-May-19 13:58:46

Thank you. It does seem that anti-semitism is more nuanced that other forms of prejudice and discrimination.

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 14:00:36

so to criticise Israel is anti-Semitic in some eyes? Seems harsh.

No. Criticising the Israeli government is fine. Criticising Israel for stuff that you wouldn’t/don’t criticise other countries for is potentially anti-Semitic.

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 14:02:16

But it is true that the Israeli govt wants to influence UK politics

Be that as it may, anyone who thinks that the antisemitism complaints against Labour are totally manufactured by Jews who want to bring down Corbyn is at the very least a total idiot and probably anti-Semitic.

You just need to spend 10 minutes on Twitter to realise that Labour has some major issues with anti-semitism in its ranks.

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 14:05:15

fess antisemitism takes different forms to other forms of prejudice like racism.
Racism is based around how other races are inferior. Anti-semitism usually involves the idea that Jews are incredibly powerful and controlling.

fessmess Fri 31-May-19 14:11:24

So if the Israeli government are hoping to influence British politics then it's difficult to call them out on it, without being called anti-Semitic. So, this Wilson bloke was anti-Semitic if alluding to a large-scale Jewish conspiracy but not if he criticised the their government. A fine line.

GiantKitten Fri 31-May-19 14:18:41

anyone who thinks that the antisemitism complaints against Labour are totally manufactured by Jews who want to bring down Corbyn is at the very least a total idiot and probably anti-Semitic.

And anyone who denies that much noise about anti-semitism in the Labour Party comes from LFI...?

The LFI march “supporting Ruth Smeeth” to the Marc Wadsworth hearing is a case in point. And he was not expelled for anti-Semitism, despite what she had claimed.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43920227

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 14:24:27

So if the Israeli government are hoping to influence British politics then it's difficult to call them out on it, without being called anti-Semitic.

The antisemitism tends to be spottable by an obsession with the actions of Israel and a total disinterest in the meddling in foreign affairs by any other country.

Dig a little deeper with these folks and their friends and you’re never too far away from holocaust denial.

samG76 Fri 31-May-19 14:25:23

I think the anti-Semitism is the assumption that 68 rabbis (including loads of Rabbis who are constantly criticizing the Israelis) can't think for themselves, but must all be part of some conspiracy led by the Israel embassy. Suppose someone said that anyone who complains about anti-Muslim hatred is a secret agent of the Iranian regime. People would think they were deranged....

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 14:26:34

And anyone who denies that much noise about anti-semitism in the Labour Party comes from LFI...?

I have no idea what you’re saying here, or what your point about Wadsworth is supposed to be?

GiantKitten Fri 31-May-19 14:35:37

My point is that he didn’t say what she accused him of saying (she subsequently deleted tweets about it), & that the entire case against him, & against Corbyn for not intervening at the time, was pretty much manufactured & encouraged by LFI MPs

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 14:41:03

Giant better point that out to the EHRC then who are satisfied that complaints against the Labour Party for antisemitism have met the threshold for investigation. The only other party to have been investigated have been the BNP.

I’m sure it’s all a massive misunderstanding and all of complaints will fall to pieces under scrutiny. hmm

I’ve seen tonnes of stuff, from flat out Holocaust denial to minor shite like ‘Tom Watson is being controlled by Israel’.

samG76 Fri 31-May-19 14:44:13

GiantKitten - I don't see what Wadsworth has to do with Pete W. He did hijack a meeting about anti-semitism, though, to attack Ruth Smeeth.

One of the things I have found astonishing is the number of non-Jews who say how little anti-semitism there has ever been. I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that I never came across Islamophobia, for example, or discrimination against Jamaican women, because it would assume that I am qualified to judge.

GiantKitten Fri 31-May-19 14:50:37

I thought the thread was about Israeli influence rather than Willsman specifically.

There clearly is anti-Semitism. The commons select committee found that Labour was no worse than any other party though.

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 15:01:40

The OP is asking why what Willsman said was considered anti-Semitic.

Not sure Labour is ‘no worse than any other party’ (isn’t that a low bar for a supposedly anti-racist party?). What happened to Luciana Berger was disgraceful.

samG76 Fri 31-May-19 15:35:08

It's antisemitic for all sorts of reasons, the main ones being:

1) the suggestion that the Jewish community is knowingly or otherwise acting as some sort of arm of the Israeli state, rather than as British citizens (two anti-semitic tropes in 1); and

2) suggesting that Jewish people themselves can't be trusted to call out anti-semitism themselves, and should therefore leave it to people like Willsman.

This isn't PW's first brush with anti-semitic discourse. If he had ever done the course on a-s that he promised he would earlier, his assertions would have been on pages 1 and 2 of the course.

MockerstheFeManist Fri 31-May-19 19:15:29

Whatever Israel might or might not be doing, this has nothing, absolutely nothing whatsoever, to do with British jews.

The suggestion that British rabbis are beholden to the Israeli Embassy is particularly nasty.

It's enough to make you vote Liberal Democrat.

noblegiraffe Fri 31-May-19 20:15:52

But voting Lib Dem will get you instantly expelled from the party.

Antisemitism, not so much.

TheAngryLlama Fri 31-May-19 20:17:54

I have a feeling this thread is not on the level. No ones that daft, surely?

fessmess Fri 31-May-19 20:36:30

What do you mean "on the level" llama? My OP was a genuine question. For eg a racist comment for me would be easy to spot. Now I understand a little more. I have heard about tropes and now I get it. He was spouting one of these.

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