Friday, 6 April 2018

Let's talk about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party without addressing anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

There's a glorious amount of hand wringing at The Guardian and the like, but it's all meaningless waffle.

To my mind, anti-Semitic (which is an inaccurate way of saying "anti-Jewish", seeing as semitic means people from a certain part of the Middle East; and most Jewish people aren't, they don't even look as if they are, unlike, say, Greeks) people are in a few quite distinct categories.

1. Straight forward, BNP-style racists. I suppose there is a minority of (white) people in Labour who are just racist. I think society can handle this, we just ignore it, there has always been a 5% or so minority prepared to vote NF or BNP (or hijack UKIP when it was still worth hijacking), they'll never go away, but the UK is still one of the least racist countries. By and large, they have no influence and do not carry out random attacks on Jewish people or synagogues, so forget it.

2. The weird "Jewish people are lizards who run the world" fuckwittery and Holocaust denial (David Icke and David Irving), this is an even tinier minority or conspiracy theory nutters, who are pretty harmless.

3. The trendy "Israel is evil and we must stand up for our Palestinian brethren" lefties, who are not really anti-Semitic at all. It's just a phase that people go through, like having a Che Guevara poster. I think that most of these trendy lefties are bright enough to realise that 'the country Israel' and 'Jewish people' are entirely separate and independent, and most Jewish people are heartily indifferent about Israel, in the same way as English people have no strong opinion either way on Australia.

Clearly, by Western standards, the Israeli government has been and continues to pretty nasty in many respects, but by Middle East standards it's a shining beacon of liberty and democracy, so again, not an issue.

4. UPDATE: There is a category which also overlaps with 1, 2 and 3, which is what Lola addresses in the comments. Banks are pretty evil and for some reason, people stereotype bankers as predominantly Jewish and vice versa, which is a) bollocks and b) banks are just piggy backing on Home-Owner-Ism and rent seeking generally, the far greater evil. Some lefties are even dafter and equate banking (largely bad) with capitalism (largely good) which is a bloody shame, from a capitalist's point of view.

5. Then of course, the ones we can't mention. From what little info we have, most of the really rabid anti-Semites in Labour/Momentum are in this category. Can you guess what it is yet? I did mention it once on Twitter and was roundly derided as a racist, so I don't know why I bother. And as long as you're not allowed to mention it, you can't fix it. We know for a fact that unlike the BNP-style racists, these people do actually carry out attacks against Jewish people, synagogues, shops etc (thankfully in the UK a lot less than in France or Sweden).


Lola said...

and then there's this:-
(the mural - not the article per se)

Personally I saw that as anti-banker ant-landownerist artwork and I quite like it for that. Banking is not in itself at all 'evil'. It is a very necessary function in the exchange economy. But like much else it has been distorted by (Gentile?) governments and bureaucrats and special interest groups to act as a enabler for the rent seekers.

The sad thing is that the artist didn't seem to realise that his work was not anti-Jewish per se.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, I have added that as a category.

jack ketch said...

That the Labour party is full of rabid anti-semites and Palestinian apologists is neither news nor particularly worrying at the moment. What is ,however, is the vile antisemitism (coupled with, somewhat more understandably, a good dose of Islamophobia) of . That tweet could have come off the press of the Reichs Ministry For Volks Information. Seems not only their financial morals are corrupt. Putting the sig runes into BrexSShite.

Rich Tee said...

Over the years, I have personally come to understand that the Jewish are a diaspora that are more loyal to each other than they are to the nation that they live in.

Now, in this respect, they have much in common with Muslims, who are also more loyal to their religion and heritage than they are to the country that they live in.

This explains to me why it is that the "far right" take exception to both groups, as the "far right" is very loyal to country and nation (patriotism).

I can see why being loyal to a group above and beyond the country you live in is a danger to national security myself.

paulc156 said...

RT. I am of the 'diaspora' and whilst I recognise the dual loyalty that you speak of (Israel v UK) among self identifying jews it's natural enough. My own parents were old enough to remember virulent antisemitism in the East end of London before the war and in the foreign office and Tory party of the day.
Juxtapose that with the Holocaust and you'd need to be bloody insensitive at the very least,(or worse?) in order to not sympathise with this conflicting loyalty to some extent at the very least.
That said, even the most passionate pro Israel folk I know (I'm frequently criticised for being anti Israel because I do routinely criticise Israeli actions and policy) are themselves culturally and economically completely assimilated into the British way of life. eg. Season ticket holders at Arsenal/Spurs, in business or profession's or just regular jobs. Are commonly shopaholics and telly addicts etc and I would say most of those over 45 years of age that I know voted Brexit. ie: just like you or me or anyone else you might pick randomly ooff a typical English city/suburban street? Oh yes and most are 'homeys' ...another marker of 'Britishness' if ever there was one.

jack ketch said...

virulent antisemitism in the East end of London before the war and in the foreign office and Tory party of the day.

I recently rather upset my Aged Mother by stopping her in mid flow about 'how the BRITISH are the least antisemitic people on God's earth because we fought the Nazis to save the Jews' by pointing out that the statue to the Kindertransports should be regarded as a badge of national shame.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RT, PC156 has responded.

I think you tend towards category 2, but in the fairly harmless sub-category.

Bayard said...

"Clearly, by Western standards, the Israeli government has been and continues to pretty nasty in many respects, but by Middle East standards it's a shining beacon of liberty and democracy, so again, not an issue."

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that aspires to be a "Western country". It is also the only country in the Middle East ruled and almost entirely colonised by Westerners. That is why it should be judged by the standards of the West, not the Middle East.

"RT. I am of the 'diaspora' and whilst I recognise the dual loyalty that you speak of (Israel v UK)...."

RT can probably answer for himself, but it appears to me that the dual loyalty of which he speaks is not Israel v UK, but Judaism (as a race and culture) v the state of whatever country those Jews happen to be resident in. I expect that even in Israel there must be a clash between what certain Jews feel is their loyalty to the state and their loyalty towards Judaism.

Anyhow, this is missing the point. There isn't really any anti-Semitism in the Labour party, certainly no more than there is in the country at large, in fact, much less. This is yet another storm in a teacup dreamt up by the Tories, on the basis of as much evidence as the War of Jenkins' Ear or the Miracle of Salisbury. But it works, so they do it. To quote an American politician about his rival in an election, "I know he doesn't f*ck goats, I just want to hear him deny it on prime time TV".

Bayard said...

"The sad thing is that the artist didn't seem to realise that his work was not anti-Jewish per se."

As far as I can gather, the artist had no-intention of being anti-Jewish and was surprised when his work was considered to be so. He always intended it to be anti-capitalist/anti banker.

Robin Smith said...

But it makes great entertainment right? The media only exists due to the prejudices in all people, without exception.

Good advice is to stop using it if you want to know about anything important.

paulc156 said...

B. If RT did mean loyalty between religion and state in relation to the diaspora then he could only be referring to a small number of ultra orthodox Jews few of which I have ever mixed with socially or known well and most of the British public would never come across such folks in their entire lives. These groups are relatively secluded and only preach to the converted so to speak. They of course do place loyalty toward 'god'(whatever that is) and their scriptures ahead of any state affiliation including in some instances the Israeli state. Far more typical is the secular Jew who maybe goes to synagogue once or twice a year. ...or less and the somewhat more observant Jews who are nonetheless integrated far more into wider society both economically and culturally.

Both of these groups commonly have this unflinching love of and loyalty toward Israel even whilst happily supporting the the English national football/cricket team etc and are largely or even completely integrated into the British/western way of life. A smaller number of these people would even plan to or consider moving to Israel at some stage in their lives or suppity their kids in emigrating there. Most of them work or shop on the sabbath or at least are not overly religious though some are.

paulc156 said...

'suppity' should read 'support'!

jack ketch said...

Far more typical is the secular Jew who maybe goes to synagogue once or twice a year.

A wise old Rabbi once said to me that the REAL difference between Christians and Jews is that Christians will use any excuse not to go to church on Sunday and Jews the synagogue on schabbat.

Bayard said...

P156C, I stand corrected. I never realised that non-Israeli Jews felt that way about Israel. I thought that what RT said, "a diaspora that are more loyal to each other..." i.e. other Jews (Israelis and non-Israelis both) was a much more likely scenario.

Robin Smith said...


If you look to the roots of each, there's no difference between any religious world view.

Go see the new Mary Magdalene film for exposure to this. It seems to be a Gnostic exposition, which claims to be free from belief and prejudice. Jesus being a Cynic sage and Mary his first disciple. Peter of traditional Christianity was none too pleased with this heresy of course. Its a wonder even the atheist is not aware of this remarkable history because its right up their street.

jack ketch said...


I'm the first to admit I have very little understanding of more 'advanced' economics, however in matters theological I'm still,even after all these years, quite well versed-especially in the Origins Of Xianity. There was a time I felt called to the priesthood. Thanks for the film recommendation I shall maybe torrent it. The last religious films that made any sense to me were 'Last Temptation' (a very accurate portrayal of one of many possible interpretations of the NT) and 'Life Of Brian' which should be required viewing for anyone thinking of joining a church.

Robin Smith said...


My point was the film is anti religious. Pray tell me your point please?

jack ketch said...

@RS my point,if a point there was, was to thank you for a film suggestion that might be of interest to me and why. As to whether it is 'anti religious' my only thought, not having seen it,is that cynicism was itself as much a 'religion' (as in a 'belief system') as it was a school of philosophy. Its early critics even labelled it a 'cult'.

Robin Smith said...

You are right. What I'm asking here specifically is, can we stop believing for long enough to see what is actually there. Not you in person, but those attached to the doctrine of LVT.(even if perfect in theory)

p.s. mmy apologies for not accepting you earlier

Robin Smith said...


Reading your last post back again, on cults. All ideas can be cultivated. One cult will tend to label another cults idea a cult when it wants to see it discounted in the public eye. So we have to try and look at an idea free from prejudice if we want to see it clearly and enter into dialogue

jack ketch said...

can we stop believing for long enough to see what is actually there

Someone about 300 years ago I think posed the question: 'if a man blind from birth suddenly could see (ie his eyes functioned as they should) would he be able to 'see' (would his brain be able to convert the pulses into pictures)? I am not qualified to say anything about LVT beyond it makes sense to me...but I still count on my fingers and it has taken me 30 years of blood, sweat and CCJs to learn to 'balance my chequebook' (an anachronism I know).

jack ketch said...

One cult will tend to label another cults

Indeed or as a 'sect'. I meant that the use of the word 'cult' by cynicism's early critics lends a little weight to my argument that cynicism might be classed as a religion despite its substituting 'nature' for a deity (if i recall aright), although the meaning of the word 'cult' has no doubt changed mightily over the millennia.

L fairfax said...

I don't think David Icke is racist, he really does believe in the Lizard theory