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Thread: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

  1. #31

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by life on mars View Post
    what does that actual mean.
    do you not see any problems within the party
    It's a joke.

    I'm not in the party so I wouldn't know really. I see problems everywhere I just think this one is getting a little bit more coverage than it probably deserves on merit. It's basically the biggest issue in UK politics beyond brexit and what has actually happened beyond a few people saying mean things.

  2. #32

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cartman View Post
    It's a joke.

    I'm not in the party so I wouldn't know really. I see problems everywhere I just think this one is getting a little bit more coverage than it probably deserves on merit. It's basically the biggest issue in UK politics beyond brexit and what has actually happened beyond a few people saying mean things.
    It's the inverse of the Trump witch hunt. Same story, diffent actors.

  3. #33

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by jon1959 View Post
    I missed the Panorama programme last night but what is the evidence that anti-semitism is rife on the left of British politics and why is a political view on Israel/Palestine/Zionism a cause of that? I was active in left-wing political organisations through my late teens and twenties, and later was in the Labour Party for 27 years (up to 2013) and I honestly never saw anti-semtism. A disproportionately high number of my fellow party members were Jewish, and because of their personal background were often the most active as both anti-Zionists and anti-racists - including the defence of Jewish communities and synagogues from neo-Nazis.

    This stuff about anti-semitism being baked in to the 'far left' or 'hard left' or whatever other label is relatively new to me - and counter to all my experience. It seems to have appeared in the last 5 years accompanied by Dave Rich books, Guardian columnists opinion pieces and from the large pool of Blairite MPs who are enthusiastic members of the Labour Friends of Israel group.

    What are you calling out as anti-semitism? If it is abuse or hatred or descrimination aimed at Jewish people because of their ethnicity or religion then I agree absolutely. It must be stamped out and anyone in Labour guilty of that should be expelled - and subject to police investigation if appropriate. I have seen examples of this and they disgust me.

    But a lot of the examples and most prominent cases I have seen in the past 3 years have been allegations of anti semitism based on opposition to a political ideology (at the heart of the Israeli state that led to and excused ethnic cleansing and apartheid), or the policies of the Israeli government, or satirical social media posts that often come from Jewish critics of Israel but are denounced on a literal reading when re-posted or shared (like the Norman Finkelstein cartoon of Israel as a US state that Naz Shah MP was pilloried for). Many of the high profile cases brought by Labour against its own members had the charge changed from anti-semitism to bringing the party into disrepute - like Marc Wadsworth, Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker - because once the mud had stuck it was clear that they were not guilty of anti-semitism.

    We now have a situation where the Labour Party (and UK government) have adopted not only the IHRA definition of anti-semitism but all the examples attached to it - including a lot that are about Israel and not Jews. The BDS movement (one of the few peaceful forms of resistance open to Palestinians and their supporters) is denounced as anti-semitic (including winning a vote in the German parliament recently - though not yet enacted). Many other forms of solidarity with occupied Palestinians are also condemned in the same way. The Labour right (especially sections of the PLP), Israel and the Israeli Embassy, sections of the media (in my view the Guardian and BBC are amongst the worst when it come to this issue) have acted to move the goalposts and weaponise allegations of anti-semitism with the twin aims of protecting Israel from criticism and deposing Corbyn (either by falsely accusing him of racism or by making his leadership untenable).

    One of the most troubling arguments around the conflation of anti-Zionism (opposition to a political ideology) with anti-semitism (racial/ethnic/religios hatred) is arguement from some Jewish organisations and individuals that Zionism is both an integral part of their identity (and so to attack Zionsim is to attack Jewish people) and that it has so many meanings that the term becomes meaningless. As an argument to gag opponents it has been effective - even if many socialist, orthodox and humanist Jewish people are openly anti-Zionsist. But it is also an argument that gets a free pass - as did a similar argument in South Africa for far too long - that separation and white supremacy was an integral part of Boer self-identity.
    That's a good, thought provoking post Jon which I can tell you got me rethinking the conclusions I've come to about the Anti-Semitism issue more than any "official" statements from the Labour party on the matter.

    Coming from another perspective is this piece from Jonathan Freedland from today's Guardian;-

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ers-rothschild

    My own life experiences on this subject include remembrance as a boy of people perceived to be careful with their money being called Jews or Jewish as a form of what we'd call banter these days I suppose no matter what their religion was. Also, forty years ago, and then again in 1981, I was involved in industrial disputes which saw me occasionally volunteer to be an overnight picket outside Companies House to try to persuade the driver of the mail van delivering all of the office's correspondence not to cross our line. On one of those nights I can remember the six of us having long discussions about the "middle east situation" - opinion was overwhelmingly pro Palestine and anti Israel which, generally speaking, chimed in with my feelings on the matter.

    I've never been a member of the Labour Party, but in the years following those disputes, I became as involved in left wing politics as I've ever been. Looking back, I think it was more to do with my anti Thatcher sentiments than total support of the sort of policies being espoused by the Michael Foot led Labour Party, but I was in regular contact with people who were involved in trade union leadership at a local level, as well as some who were left wing by the standards of Labour at that time and others who belonged to parties to the left of Labour and, I must say, that those pro Palestine, anti Israel sentiments were overwhelming prevalent.

    Therefore, I feel Jonathan Freedland is right to point to a historic antipathy towards Jews based on a perception which has much to do with claims relating to money and power, but, as he seemingly acknowledges himself, it does not extend to the Labour leadership, and those close to it, themselves.

    What I saw in the late seventies and early eighties was anti Israel sentiment, but not total condemnation of Jews, it all came within the context of the situation in the middle east and I still believe that, at heart, this is what drives Jeremy Corbyn.

    However, in much the same way as I believe the Leave campaign and the Referendum outcome provided a situation whereby racists could feel their views were "respectable" and almost part of the mainstream, I feel Labour has helped create a situation whereby Jews, and anyone of other faiths that defends them, are vilified, castigated and trolled incessantly by people who claim to be acting on behalf of the party and its leader.

    Of course, much of this occurs through social media, so it might be said that Labour has no control of what goes on. However, if Jeremy Corbyn's main motivation has always been from a Israel/Palestine perspective, not an anti Jew one, he, and his party, could, surely, have been more passionate in their criticism of what is blatant anti Semitism by social media users who say they are supporters of his. I would expect, and support, any party of the left which was a big critic of the Netanyahu Government in Israel, but that's far different to what has been happening for too long with those who ally themselves to the Labour Party and, in particular, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.

    Labour under Corbyn have given an impression that they are tolerating Anti Semitism. I can imagine some thinking I'm being too soft by not labeling them anti Semitic, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that while observing that, just as with Brexit, the party's, and in particular it's leader's, passive approach is putting them in what is ridiculous position for the main opposition party to a Government that is unparalleled in my lifetime when it comes to sheer ineptitude.

  4. #34

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cartman View Post
    There was an insane poll recently amongst the Tory membership re: attitudes towards Muslims.

    54% of members think that Islam is a threat to the British way of life.
    Dreadful ducking Tories ,however we shouldn't be surprised they have been horrible for decades , I can remember being very active against them and their injustices .

    So we have a two party problem then, and as far as I see it two wrongs dont make a right ,as has a large percentage of Muslims ,why allow a culture of dislike for the Jewish element ,that smacks of an agenda .

    I note you keep mentioning these accusations are about folk trying to remove the leader , if you look again at the people who gave interviews on the Panorama programmer who new recruits from 2015 onwards so newly supporting Labour folk no old Blairits.

    It would be very wrong of any of us to point the finger at those people who spoke out in 2019 ( some 4 years later ) and the other 100 or so who have now submitted evidence to the human rights equality commission and the Metropolitan Police investigation.

    You or I cannot be the judge or jury , however if these young new Labour supporters are lying /exaggerating or found to have a political agenda towards the leaders throne and his close court of advisers , it seems to me they are running a massive career risk of being charged with wasting police time, if found out, and a potential liable case .

    Your loyalty to the cause is admiral ,it seems your care deeply about the subject of Labour more than any other footy related matter , life though can kick you in the teeth , its best best to not get too blindsided or caught in dogma , politics as a whole is a very smelly environments left or right or center , there is sometimes nasty problems and agendas within the nicest of groups who have strong agendas.

    For me and I guess a lot of Labour voters , their has been too much smoke on this matter since Naseem Shah's outburst back in 2015 and since many examples of poor behaviors , too many suspensions, too many investigations ,i too much smoke ,logic suggests this story if not real would have died a long time ago .

    If Labour is really clean I see a massive opportunity here to two put two fingers up to those accusers , and have a call to arms to really prove they are a real inclusive party for all and invite in , an independent team to examine this issue , they must include a number of faiths groups , varied including the Jewish community , nothing to hide , time to show us then .

  5. #35

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by the other bob wilson View Post
    That's a good, thought provoking post Jon which I can tell you got me rethinking the conclusions I've come to about the Anti-Semitism issue more than any "official" statements from the Labour party on the matter.

    Coming from another perspective is this piece from Jonathan Freedland from today's Guardian;-

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ers-rothschild

    My own life experiences on this subject include remembrance as a boy of people perceived to be careful with their money being called Jews or Jewish as a form of what we'd call banter these days I suppose no matter what their religion was. Also, forty years ago, and then again in 1981, I was involved in industrial disputes which saw me occasionally volunteer to be an overnight picket outside Companies House to try to persuade the driver of the mail van delivering all of the office's correspondence not to cross our line. On one of those nights I can remember the six of us having long discussions about the "middle east situation" - opinion was overwhelmingly pro Palestine and anti Israel which, generally speaking, chimed in with my feelings on the matter.

    I've never been a member of the Labour Party, but in the years following those disputes, I became as involved in left wing politics as I've ever been. Looking back, I think it was more to do with my anti Thatcher sentiments than total support of the sort of policies being espoused by the Michael Foot led Labour Party, but I was in regular contact with people who were involved in trade union leadership at a local level, as well as some who were left wing by the standards of Labour at that time and others who belonged to parties to the left of Labour and, I must say, that those pro Palestine, anti Israel sentiments were overwhelming prevalent.

    Therefore, I feel Jonathan Freedland is right to point to a historic antipathy towards Jews based on a perception which has much to do with claims relating to money and power, but, as he seemingly acknowledges himself, it does not extend to the Labour leadership, and those close to it, themselves.

    What I saw in the late seventies and early eighties was anti Israel sentiment, but not total condemnation of Jews, it all came within the context of the situation in the middle east and I still believe that, at heart, this is what drives Jeremy Corbyn.

    However, in much the same way as I believe the Leave campaign and the Referendum outcome provided a situation whereby racists could feel their views were "respectable" and almost part of the mainstream, I feel Labour has helped create a situation whereby Jews, and anyone of other faiths that defends them, are vilified, castigated and trolled incessantly by people who claim to be acting on behalf of the party and its leader.

    Of course, much of this occurs through social media, so it might be said that Labour has no control of what goes on. However, if Jeremy Corbyn's main motivation has always been from a Israel/Palestine perspective, not an anti Jew one, he, and his party, could, surely, have been more passionate in their criticism of what is blatant anti Semitism by social media users who say they are supporters of his. I would expect, and support, any party of the left which was a big critic of the Netanyahu Government in Israel, but that's far different to what has been happening for too long with those who ally themselves to the Labour Party and, in particular, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.

    Labour under Corbyn have given an impression that they are tolerating Anti Semitism. I can imagine some thinking I'm being too soft by not labeling them anti Semitic, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that while observing that, just as with Brexit, the party's, and in particular it's leader's, passive approach is putting them in what is ridiculous position for the main opposition party to a Government that is unparalleled in my lifetime when it comes to sheer ineptitude.
    Great post and can concur the same experiences on picket lines especially when you had the secondary pickets come in who didn't even live in Wales most with norther, ,cockney or scouse accents ,very troubling creatures who we had a few head to head with telling them to duck off with their political agenda and trouble making for political gain and media bites , I think they are now back in the party and is their ideology.

    I was fortunate to attended many Labour / Union conferences /events , what was clear at the fringe events , whcih were usually held in the evenings after the main conferences day , attracted a lot of heavy handed political groups including anti Israel sentiment / pro Palestinian groups , unfortunately I did see see and hear anti Jewish sentiments , as there blind hatred didn't enable them to separate Israel from the Jew , as a person ,it was more too do with the Jew being a successful rich Western/USA ,world controlling entity that drove there dislike .

    I have come to a thought the dislike of Jews is ingrained and the Israel issues is used as a convenient umbrella reason to hate all Israelis and Jews alike .

    How the British Jewish movements and groups stayed so faithful for all this time is astonishing they must really dislike of the Tories ( quiet rightly ) ,.

    Never mind, we are reaching the final flushing out process from the Labour party , of those many like minded groups and people , they now dislike , up the momentum revolution .

  6. #36

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    People go round being socialists without bothering to find out what that actually means and study the origins of socialism , otherwise they'd know that socialism is implicitly anti Semitic.

  7. #37

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieBird View Post
    People go round being socialists without bothering to find out what that actually means and study the origins of socialism , otherwise they'd know that socialism is implicitly anti Semitic.
    Youíre going to say Hitler was left wing at some stage arenít you?

  8. #38

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by CardiffIrish2 View Post
    You’re going to say Hitler was left wing at some stage aren’t you?
    I wasn't particularly going to say that, but it's true if you connect the term ' left wing' with socialism. He certainly was a socialist by all objective definitions, but I don't want to get into that argument really because it's one of those things where you can't convince some people because their views have taken on a pseudo religious nature and facts don't cut any ice with them.

  9. #39

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by CardiffIrish2 View Post
    Youíre going to say Hitler was left wing at some stage arenít you?
    I don't think you are going to have to wait very long.

    Before I could even click post. Now that is impressive.

  10. #40

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieBird View Post
    I wasn't particularly going to say that, but it's true if you connect the term ' left wing' with socialism. He certainly was a socialist by all objective definitions, but I don't want to get into that argument really because it's one of those things where you can't convince some people because their views have taken on a pseudo religious nature and facts don't cut any ice with them.
    Go on then, give us the definition of socialism and then tell us why you think Hitler falls into that ideological bracket.

  11. #41
    International jon1959's Avatar
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    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieBird View Post
    People go round being socialists without bothering to find out what that actually means and study the origins of socialism , otherwise they'd know that socialism is implicitly anti Semitic.
    You're not even pretending any more are you?

    Ronnie Bales? Wales Bird? Gluey?

    Whatever version is playing today it is the same old twisted bullshit and the same dog-eared playbook. Sad.

  12. #42

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by jon1959 View Post
    You're not even pretending any more are you?

    Ronnie Bales? Wales Bird? Gluey?

    Whatever version is playing today it is the same old twisted bullshit and the same dog-eared playbook. Sad.
    Unfortunately, by repeatedly insisting upon this wrong conclusion on your part , you're discrediting any other judgements or opinions you come up with.

  13. #43

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cartman View Post
    Go on then, give us the definition of socialism and then tell us why you think Hitler falls into that ideological bracket.
    No. If I thought there was any chance whatsoever that you'd take any notice I'd take the time to explain it to you, but you wouldn't , would you?

    I suggest you read 'Das Kapital" and "The Communist Manifesto", then compare the policies which they describe with those of the
    " National Socialist Party" ,( the clues in the name), or Nazi Party.

    You might also look up the Speech Hitler made in Switzerland in which he said, " For the avoidance of doubt , I am, always have been ,and always will be a socialist ".

    I mean, I don't care that much really. There are unfortunately a LOT of people who have unalterable beliefs on this and other issues, and I know from past experience that you can't change their minds with facts or objective sources.

    What we saw in the rise of the Nazis was unfettered socialism and yet the ideology was somehow redeemed in the public mind by rebranding them as somehow a bit like the Conservative Party or Nigel Farage.

  14. #44

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieBird View Post
    No. If I thought there was any chance whatsoever that you'd take any notice I'd take the time to explain it to you, but you wouldn't , would you?

    I suggest you read 'Das Kapital" and "The Communist Manifesto", then compare the policies which they describe with those of the
    " National Socialist Party" ,( the clues in the name), or Nazi Party.

    You might also look up the Speech Hitler made in Switzerland in which he said, " For the avoidance of doubt , I am, always have been ,and always will be a socialist ".

    I mean, I don't care that much really. There are unfortunately a LOT of people who have unalterable beliefs on this and other issues, and I know from past experience that you can't change their minds with facts or objective sources.

    What we saw in the rise of the Nazis was unfettered socialism and yet the ideology was somehow redeemed in the public mind by rebranding them as somehow a bit like the Conservative Party or Nigel Farage.
    Look, you won't listen so I am not going to waste my time explaining but here it is anyway. I have always been and will always be a sex god with a 10 inch cock. Just for the avoidance of doubt.

    Come on, give me some things Hitler did whilst in power that made him a socialist. I'll start, just so you don't feel silly standing up in front of the class. I don't think he was a socialist due to the absolutely massive historically unparalleled program of privatisation that took place in part to fund the war but also because they simply didn't believe in state ownership of anything beyond the military (they would fit in well in parts of the conservative party 2019 in this respect).

    What do you have for me?

  15. #45

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Think RB is referring to the horseshoe effect is and us probaly right .

    The horseshoe theory, also known as the horseshoe effect, in political science claims that the far-left and far-right are more similar to each other in essentials than either is to the political center.[note 1]

    It was formulated by the French post-postmodernist philosopher Jean-Pierre Faye in 1996,[2] but similar ideas existed previously.[3] Faye believed that the extremes of the political spectrum both represented totalitarianism of different kinds; this meant that the political spectrum should not be described as a linear bar with the two ends representing the far-left and right being ideologically the furthest apart from each other, but as a horseshoe in which the two ends are closer to each other than to the center.

  16. #46

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wales-Bales View Post
    It's the inverse of the Trump witch hunt. Same story, diffent actors.
    More suspensions and a lot more competitors and a lot of evidence such as internal leaked e memos ,emails ,social media , and this one looks like going to court .

  17. #47

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by life on mars View Post
    Think RB is referring to the horseshoe effect is and us probaly right .

    The horseshoe theory, also known as the horseshoe effect, in political science claims that the far-left and far-right are more similar to each other in essentials than either is to the political center.[note 1]

    It was formulated by the French post-postmodernist philosopher Jean-Pierre Faye in 1996,[2] but similar ideas existed previously.[3] Faye believed that the extremes of the political spectrum both represented totalitarianism of different kinds; this meant that the political spectrum should not be described as a linear bar with the two ends representing the far-left and right being ideologically the furthest apart from each other, but as a horseshoe in which the two ends are closer to each other than to the center.

    That's very interesting because I used to go round saying something very similar in the 70s, and I think it's true really, although for what it's worth I'd also say that Hitler was a socialist in his own right. I say " for what it's worth " because I don't personally take any party political position and people usually go down this line as a means of hammering the Labour Party .

    To my mind, anyone who thinks there's anything real or positive coming out of either of the main parties is going to be disappointed , so I'm reluctant to take sides between them.

    I started off by saying that socialism is implicitly anti Semitic , which it is, and we got drawn into Hitlers political ideas. Again ,this is clear to an objective observer , but the other side of the coin I tossed in the first paragraph is that people who want to argue a glass eye to sleep on the issue are doing that to promote the Labour Party .

    Your intelligent and non confrontational contribution is appreciated though because there seems to be a bit of negative and overly combat active crap sometimes. I'm delighted that people form their own opinions ,even if they don't coincide with mine, but some people seem to get angry if you put a contrary point of view.

  18. #48

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Cartman View Post
    Look, you won't listen so I am not going to waste my time explaining but here it is anyway. I have always been and will always be a sex god with a 10 inch cock. Just for the avoidance of doubt.

    Come on, give me some things Hitler did whilst in power that made him a socialist. I'll start, just so you don't feel silly standing up in front of the class. I don't think he was a socialist due to the absolutely massive historically unparalleled program of privatisation that took place in part to fund the war but also because they simply didn't believe in state ownership of anything beyond the military (they would fit in well in parts of the conservative party 2019 in this respect).

    What do you have for me?

    So, what are you saying ? Hitler was joking or lying or something ?

    I've had very similar debates about this before and they never reach agreement, but I'm game for a laugh and I'll post something of the nature you've suggested tomorrow. I've sat here like a silly bugger reading this site and posting till 3am , so I'd better leave it for tonight, but I'll come back to it .

  19. #49

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the antisemitism row, I think this is going to be very damaging for Jeremy Corbyn.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...exclude-racism

  20. #50

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieBird View Post
    So, what are you saying ? Hitler was joking or lying or something ?

    I've had very similar debates about this before and they never reach agreement, but I'm game for a laugh and I'll post something of the nature you've suggested tomorrow. I've sat here like a silly bugger reading this site and posting till 3am , so I'd better leave it for tonight, but I'll come back to it .
    Look forward to it.

    If Trump was on the telly tomorrow and said 'just for the avoidance of doubt, I am a socialist'. Would you believe him?

  21. #51

    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by the other bob wilson View Post
    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the antisemitism row, I think this is going to be very damaging for Jeremy Corbyn.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...exclude-racism
    I wonder whether they paid for that themselves.

    What Watson appears to be advocating is a system whereby people are guilty until proven innocent if the evidence 'is irrefutable', presumably he thinks he should be the person who makes that call.

    Reality is they are just looking for a way to boot people out without due process.

  22. #52
    International jon1959's Avatar
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    Re: Is Labour Anti-Semitic?

    Quote Originally Posted by the other bob wilson View Post
    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the antisemitism row, I think this is going to be very damaging for Jeremy Corbyn.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics...exclude-racism
    It definitely will damage Corbyn - which is clearly the intention.

    This feels like the third or fourth time since he was elected that there has been a co-ordinated public pile-on from his parliamentary and media opponents - using Brexit and/or anti-semitism allegations as the issue of choice. The Chicken Coup was the most orchestrated but there have been several others - most recently led by Tom Watson or Tribune.

    As I have said in other posts, I am not a Labour Party member and I am not very impressed by Corbyn's party leadership skills - I don't think he ever wanted the job, didn't expect to win first time, and is way out of his comfort zone - but most of the attacks seem to me to be dishonest and cynical. There is maybe a better chance of a General Election now before the end of October than was thought a few months ago and this might be the last chance for the so-called centrists in Labour (Labour right may be more accurate) to change the leader before that might happen.

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