Yesterday there was a meeting between the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), Board of Deputies (BOD), and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party. The Jewish organisations reported that the meeting had been disappointing as Corbyn had failed to meet even the ‘minimum level of action’ necessary. As I wrote last week, these are the opening moves of a game ‘that must be played‘. Neither side currently has any choice but to engage in this dance, even though both know that neither will move. The British Jews can only hope that Jeremy Corbyn will receive a slap around the face at the upcoming local elections, Jeremy Corbyn is hoping those elections will prove that he no longer has to pretend to care.
This isn’t a disagreement over wording in a contract. What separates the two-sides is an unbridgeable ideological gulf, with the Corbynite world-vision further tainted by the idea that Jews form part of the privileged group they intend to remove from power. That’s antisemitism lite. The full blown antisemitism in the ideology sees the entire system as being run by hidden Jewish power and finance.
Where it has mutated and been allowed to infest modern society, was through a simple switch of the word ‘Jew’ with ‘Zionist’. For those who have not yet seen this post, this was taken from the report into Palestine Live:
An image of a Jewish anti-Zionist ‘sterilising’ an antisemite to make him fit for public consumption. To stop using tropes of Jewish money and power by simply saying Zionist instead. This ‘switch’ is fundamental to the spread of the virus. Once in place, accusations of racism are swept aside. Mike Cushman is Jewish but not Zionist, David Cameron is Zionist but not Jewish, ergo an attack on Zionism has nothing to do with Jews.
It falls apart because without antisemitism, it doesn’t make sense. ‘Zionist’ is used in the place of ‘neocon’ and Israel therefore, as the Zionist state, becomes the HQ of neocons. This is a world vision taken straight from ‘Mein Kampf’ and the Hitlerite notion that Jews only wanted their state not for independence, but rather as ‘a central organization of their international world cheating’.
Almost all anti-Zionists speak of Zionist control or manipulation of the media. Many also mention Rothschild, and give Zionists global financial control as well. As you move through the spectrum from antisemitism lite, to full blow Jew haters, Zionists become blamed for more and more of the ills in the world. There is not a problem on this planet I have not seen blamed on Zionists. And the place this global domination is all plotted? Israel.
These are Corbyn’s bedfellows. The people he is politically dependent on for survival.
Context one – Zionism and Jews
As a people, Jews have recently had Genocide committed against them. By recently, I mean my parent’s generation, by Genocide I mean that the Jewish people lost a third of their number to industrial slaughter. This happened on European soil. It was of German design, but required high levels of antisemitism across several nations to succeed, mainly within Eastern Europe.
The UK is far from immune to criticism. It did fight a long and bloody war against German fascism, and eventually (alongside the Russians, Americans and forces from the Commonwealth) defeated the Nazi menace. But on the Jewish question the British failed miserably. Britain proudly reminds us of the transport to safety of ten thousand (mainly) Jewish children before the war (the Kinderstransport), yet it had it within its power to open the gates to Palestine. Instead it refused to do so, strangling Jewish immigration numbers throughout the late 1930’s and eventually shutting the doors completely.
Even after the Holocaust the British refused to budge. As the horror of the Holocaust became apparent, the British were still taking Jewish refugees who survived concentration camps in Europe and was placing them into British camps on Cyprus.
Nobody in Europe has any right to attack Zionism. It isn’t theirs to attack – it is ours. Zionism is by a huge margin, the voice of the Jewish majority. The Holocaust ended any ethical external argument over Zionism and any future discussion is solely an internal Jewish one. That is, in itself, the essence of Zionism. Only we have a right to ‘change’ our own definitions. Since 1948 Zionism set sail in project Israel. This means that internal dissent (anti-Zionist, post-Zionist or non-Zionist Jews) become a logical extension of a Zionist spectrum and an acceptable part of Israeli political discourse. That is to say, for as long as that takes place internally.
What is not acceptable is external ‘Jewish‘ dissent, and I emphasise the word Jewish. The only legitimate use of anti-Zionism with a Jewish identity can take place within the community. For example, if an anti-Zionist Jew takes a position in the UK that opposes majority Jewish thought, and they attempt to create support for that position through convincing non-Jews, then they do this as anti-Zionists, not Jews. They have no right to speak as anti-Zionist Jews. The ‘Jewish’ identity is left behind with the majority on the issue of self-determination.
Why is this true? Because it makes no difference at all how many non-Jews do or do not agree with Zionism. It is not theirs to agree or disagree with. It is ours. Zionism is a Jewish question that only Jews can answer. At the point these Jews use their Jewish identity to create non-Jewish support to attack the consensus on Jewish self-determination, they are acting as adversaries against the will of the majority of Jews. Given if they could create majority support within the Jewish community, then this would be their aim, it is clear that they knowingly seek external support because they are aware they are a fringe group. It is of little surprise then that most of these Jews (and there are not many of them) only use the Jewish identity on the issue of Zionism. They weaponise a Jewish identity they have no other use for.
For the enemies of Jewish people, these anti-Zionist Jews are no more than useful idiots. For non Jewish people, to support Zionism is to support the Jewish people, to oppose Zionism is to oppose the Jewish people. Zionism was our choice.
Context two – the Corbyn – Jewish disagreement
Jeremy Corbyn comes from the ideological swamp within which ‘Jews as privileged’ sits comfortably. As intersectionality has created alliances between Marxists, black movements and Islamic groups, ‘Zionist’ as a system of ‘white privilege’ has embedded this idea further. That Zionism was given international legitimacy through the imperial powers of the day, cements this narrative completely. ‘Palestinians’ become the indigenous victims of white European colonial invaders. This is how the conflict is viewed. 100 years later and the European invaders have the indigenous people locked into Gaza and pinned down in the West Bank.
At best, Zionists can ask that they are not treated harshly, once justice is brought, reparations paid and all the rights the Palestinians claim for themselves have been granted.
And that is why we reach an impasse. This world-vision is inherently antisemitic because it entirely misreads Jews. And if you do not understand Jews properly, you will never comprehend Zionism. Having a few carefully selected Jewish friends who agree with you cannot remove the stain of antisemitism, but it can confuse enough people long enough to embed the argument in the processes of the very sewer from which the entire ideology stems.
The JLC and BOD are not asking Jeremy Corbyn to make cosmetic changes. They are inside a butchers shop trying to buy fish. It doesn’t matter from this point how angry we get, how disappointed we become or what threats are tabled, Jeremy Corbyn’s shop does not sell fish.
The greatest enemies of Jews, have always been Corbyn’s friends. This is his ideological camp. We cannot extract him from it, because it is who he is.
Singing songs about process
The only possible discussions will be over process. To discuss the speed with which mechanisms will work if we can agree on antisemitism. Yet will will almost never agree and there will always be voices in Corbyn’s ear that reinforce the world vision that he adheres to. Thus antisemitism in Labour will always be just ‘anti-Zionism’, no matter what those pesky Zionists were accused of by the Labour member. Given that Ken Livingstone still hasn’t been expelled and there are demonstrations to re-instate him, the Jewish community and Jeremy Corbyn are not even speaking the same language. In fact, the only notable expulsion, Tony Greenstein, wasn’t even a success. We must remember that the Jews who have Corbyn’s ear – hate Tony Greenstein. For them, this was no sacrifice. They threw something to the Jews that they simply didn’t want.
Corbyn can do no more than give empty gestures even as he backtracks on any progress that is made. Everything is a contradiction. In yesterday’s meeting he apparently refused to adopt the IHRA definition (in full), which many believe had already been adopted. This is where Jeremy Corbyn wants everything – locked in vagueness. In the Evening Standard article Corbyn stated that ‘a genuine two-state solution is essential to lasting peace in the Middle East’ and yet within a paragraph was protecting anti-Zionists who explicitly oppose the very solution he suggests is vital for peace. Corbyn is not a natural two state supporter. He sees the 2SS as the most that can probably be taken back from the European thieves who took the Palestinian land.
The conversation between Jeremy Corbyn and the Jews cannot make sense because Zionism and Jews are intertwined and Zionism doesn’t make sense within Corbyn’s paradigm. Corbyn cannot justify it to himself and he certainly cannot justify it to his supporters. Attacking ‘privileged’ Jews, especially dressed up in the ‘Zionist’ disguise, is almost certainly a vote winner within his faction. The only question is whether anyone else cares enough to not vote for him because of it.
Today in Westminster there was the hearing of Mark Wadsworth, a Jeremy Corbyn supporter accused of antisemitism. Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was escorted by sympathetic MPs on her way to give evidence against Wadsworth. A group had also come to protest in favour of Wadsworth and against the ‘witch hunt’.
I stood and watched for about an hour, as the usual suspects gathered to suggest the attack on Corbyn is fabricated. Greenstein was there (in image). So many faces I recognise from my research. I hardly spoke to anyone (as if they would talk to me these days), but still heard conspiracy tales from the one or two I encountered. This is the entire crew (there is a slight distortion in the image because it is a montage):
Meanwhile, in constituencies across the country, pro-Corbyn campaigners are laying plans for further solidifying their hold on the party. Len McCluskey talks of holding to account those MPs who attack Corbyn over antisemitism. By this he no doubt means those who walk with Ruth Smeeth. As Jews we watch as Jeremy Corbyn takes this chess match exactly where Jeremy Corbyn wants it to be. Confusion, arguments over process, followed by more inaction. Zionism is an enemy not to be rewarded. And it’s ‘stalemate’ – for now.
All eyes turn to the local election results.
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