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Jeremy Corbyn and the "Working Definition of Antisemitism"

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posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 01:58 PM
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Part One

The Labour Party in the UK is currently in some turmoil related to the issue of what is regarded, by some, as antisemitism in its ranks. There is a push to have the party include adherence to what is known as the Working Definition of Antisemitism as a requirement of members of the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the party, is perceived by some to be dragging his feet on a measure, adoption of the definition, which they regard as a necessity for their continued support for the party and for avoidance of what they predict will be the negative consequences of not adopting the "working definition" come the next election.

This controversy is an interesting one. I want to examine the "working definition of antisemitism" and to show why there might be reluctance to adopt it as a set Labour Party position on the subject of antisemitism.

The definition and its corolleries are published at the following website:

www.holocaustremembrance.com...

Here is the definition (bolding is mine):

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

At first glance the definition seems reasonable, but if one looks carefully at the words bolded, above, one realizes that the definition has problems.

Do the words "expressed as hatred" really mean that or do they mean interpreted as hatred?

Can a negative attitude toward Jews occur in any other emotional context than hatred? I would say yes, but the definition of antisemitism doesn't seem to allow for this.

One may have a distaste for broccoli that doesn't rise to the level of hatred. This definition of antisemitism doesn't seem to allow for an aversion to Jews that doesn't rise to the level of hatred.

Then there is the matter of "expressed as". The definition seems to assume clairvoyance on the part of people who make the interpretation that an opinion is an expression of hatred as opposed, for example, to an expression of rational disagreement, logic, whimsy, dispepsia or drunkenness. The full range of human responses appears to have been "legislated" out of this definition. The label "antisemite" seems to have, in this case, become a "one size fits all" response to antipathy toward Jews.

I think this is an effort to skate around what many people regard as real issues.

The website anticipates this challenge to a degree when it includes the explanatory paragraph.


Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.


I think this is quite reasonable and I agree with it. Unfortunately just as real antisemites, who hate Jews, will turn any criticism of them into a universal antisemetic touchstone, so will Zionist fanatics turn any criticism of Israel in particular, but of Jews generally, into an example of antisemitism and any critic into an antisemite.

The two types of people, mentioned above, are mirror images of each other, and often completely unapologetic about it. Worse, they are often completely without scruples, ethical or moral, in advancing their prejudices and one of those groups of people, like it or not, is Jewish.

The holocaust remembrance website gives examples of what it considers antisemitism. They range across areas of interest that are described very simply, without nuance. This is certainly helpful but could hardly be described as comprehensive or definitive. One can see why a political party might have reservations about adopting them as they are.

I won't examine them all in detail. Let's look at ones related to the state of Israel, since opinion, in a political party, might be expected to be diverse and voluble on the subject of that embattled country.

Antisemitism would entail:


Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.


Would it be antisemitic to criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahoo, for accusing the Arabs of being responsible for the Holocaust, on the grounds of his "being Jewish" and "exaggerating" the Holocaust?

Is blaming the Arabs for the Holocaust an exaggeration of it?

Maybe it is just an example of cynical, amoral, Zionist political manipulation of the Jews.


Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.


An ex-CIA agent has gone public with the revelation that Richard Perle, 1st Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs in the cabinet of US President George W. Bush, and a Jewish dual Israeli/American citizen, was investigated as an "agent of influence" for the state of Israel, in effect for allegedly passing classified information to Israel.

The period of 9/11 and the ascendancy of the "neocons" in the Bush cabinet, was a heyday of accusations against Israelis, and Jewish dual citizens of Israel and the US, of prioritizing the interests of Israel above those of the United States. I don't necessarily agree that that was invariably what happened, but I don't think it would have been antisemitic to be suspicious about that sort of thing and to make accusations in some cases.

Surely in a political party, one should be allowed to express an opinion on such matters without violating party policy. I think that would be an open question if the Labour Party were to adopt the "working definition of antisemitism".


Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.


There is currently an attempt by the Likud Party, the governing party in Israel, to pass a bill put forward by Likud MK, Avi Dichter, that would declare Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people,” setting its Jewish character in law for the first time.

There are several controversial clauses in the bill that even its proponents cannot completely agree upon. Remember that the current government in Israel is a coalition government that needs consensus among a group of right wing parties in order to pass legislation.

www.timesofisrael.com...


According to the proposed bill, it will be legal to build towns solely for Jews, or any other religious or ethnic group, a provision that was opposed by State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit.


This looks a lot like apartheid to me. If the "working definition" of antisemitism were to be adopted by the Labour Party would it then be forbidden for Labour Party members to call it apartheid or racist on the grounds of antisemitism, it being a violation of the terms under which it is permissible to criticize Israel? Is this sort of consideration what is holding up Jeremy Corbyn's approval of inclusion of the "working definition" into Labour Party policy?
edit on 29-7-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 01:58 PM
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Part Two


Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis


I don't by any stretch equate current Israeli policies with Nazi policies, despite there being a commonality of certain Zionist policies with Nazi policies during the Nazi period in Germany and despite there being a history , in the Likud Party, of members who were open to alliance with the Nazis during WW2, to the extent of being willing to fight the allies alongside them. It is also alleged by a former Chancellor of Germany from the pre-Nazi period, that leading Jewish bankers helped to finance the Nazis during the 1920s. I don't equate Israeli policy with the expressions of Zionist Israeli extremists who say that the Israeli Arabs ought to be exterminated.

Pre WW2 Zionists agreed with the Nazis that the Jews ought to be gotten out of Israel and did some very questionable things and made some very questionable friends attempting to make that happen.

Interesting. True. But for me, water under the bridge.

The Israeli government has bulldozed people's homes and has done ethnic cleansing. It has ghettoized Arabs, justly or unjustly.

Should Labour Party members, in making criticisms of what are widely regarded as brutal Israeli pollicies not be able to invoke comparisons with Nazi policies? Must they be restricted to illustrating points with items from the history of South Africa alone?

Does this sort of consideration give Jeremy Corbyn pause?

This is a very interesting topic, even for someone who is not an antisemite, and I could go on about it with a couple of telling illustrations from show business that would be in danger of being labelled antisemitic under the terms of the "working definition", but I think I'll leave it at that for now.

Antisemitism would be:


Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.


I don't think the Labour Party should adopt the working definition of antisemitism without alteration and do think that this sort of thing ought really to be left alone. Egregious breaches of decorum in this matter can surely be taken care of under current Labour Party protocols.

edit on 29-7-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-7-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 02:16 PM
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In the current climate Zionists have adopted the word 'antisemitism' in order to try and defend their actions when they get criticized, thus they get defensive, and yeah, strangely it is a very loose term.

Additionally, I wouldn't get hung up on this latest hysteria driven tripe as there's probably more interesting things happening

edit on -180002018-07-29T14:17:28-05:000000002831201828072018Sun, 29 Jul 2018 14:17:28 -0500 by Zcustosmorum because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 02:17 PM
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a reply to: ipsedixit


However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.

That too is down to interpretation , the Working Definition of Antisemitism is very broad and seems aimed at deflection of criticism toward the State of Israel and its operations.

I am very suspicious of this "Antisemitism" row within the Labour party , brings back memories of Shai Masot.
www.theguardian.com...

I hope Corbyn sticks to his guns and fights for the integrity of the party.



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: gortex

There is something deep about this issue. It's not just another Labour Party spat. Germany has curtailed free speech around the Holocaust matter, by law. I don't think that should be happening. There is enough media self censorship as it is.

There is a "concern" being voiced among proponents of the "working definition", who are Labour Party members, that failure to adopt the measure could have repercussions at the next election. Is this just concern? Does it rise to the level of "informed concern" and if so, informed by whom. Does it originate in the boardrooms of media conglomerates and emanate from there. Is an actual threat being passed along in a velvet gloved way? I don't think you have to be an anti-semite for such questions to arise.

Note: There are some typos in my first post which I am having trouble correcting because of the word count in the post being at the limit. I'm just going to leave them. Apologies to people (like me) who are bothered by that sort of thing.
edit on 29-7-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 02:40 PM
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a reply to: ipsedixit




There is a "concern" being voiced among proponents of the "working definition", who are Labour Party members, that failure to adopt the measure could have repercussions at the next election

I have heard that and frankly find it preposterous , some people here vote on issues and others along party lines but I find it hard to believe that the Labour parties support of the Palestinians cause and willingness to speak up for the downtrodden would lose them any votes.

Desperate words from the shills me thinks.



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 02:43 PM
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a reply to: gortex

Undoubtedly you are right, but the notion of the media disfavoring Labour on this account is not completely far fetched. A few percentage points on voting day could ruin their chances of governing.



posted on Jul, 29 2018 @ 05:52 PM
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a reply to: ipsedixit

As we know the media love to rake the dirt but choose to look no further than the surface on certain issues , I don't doubt that if Corbyn doesn't tow the line and submit they will paint him and the free thinking members of the party in a bad light.

Freedom of speech is under threat but the majority of writers won't report that.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 01:33 AM
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originally posted by: gortex
I don't doubt that if Corbyn doesn't tow the line and submit they will paint him and the free thinking members of the party in a bad light.


And why not. The problem with Corbyn and his inner circle is that they never thought they would get into power, so his past is haunting him, including supporting organisations who were clearly anti-Semitic, such as his "friends" in Hamas and Hezbollah, and supporting an anti-Semitic mural. Corbyn's inability to deal with people like his mate Ken Livingston and the MP Naseem Shah have just highlighted a lack of effort and importance he has attached to tackling anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Personally, I am troubled by what I have seen. The Chakrabarti Inquiry was a wasted opportunity.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 04:30 AM
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a reply to: paraphi




The problem with Corbyn and his inner circle is that they never thought they would get into power, so his past is haunting him, including supporting organisations who were clearly anti-Semitic, such as his "friends" in Hamas and Hezbollah, and supporting an anti-Semitic mural.

His "past that is haunting him" is his support for the downtrodden Palestinian people against their oppressors not antisemitism , Hamas and Hezbollah are anti State of Israel because of that oppression , to call them anti-Semitic is another misuse of the term.

Ken Livingston isn't anti-Semitic but his words have been misinterpreted by those who want to paint him as such.

As for Naseem Shah....

In 2014, before being elected, Ms. Shah endorsed a Facebook post displaying a graphic that showed Israel’s outline superimposed on a map of the United States. The map was under the headline, “Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict — relocate Israel into United States,” with the comment, “Problem solved.”
The post suggested the United States had “plenty of land” to accommodate Israel as a 51st state, allowing Palestinians to “get their life and their land back.” It said Israelis would be welcome and safe in America, while the “transportation cost” would be less than three years’ worth of Washington’s support for Israeli defense spending


In a statement, Ms. Shah said: “I made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict. But that is no excuse for the offense I have given, for which I unreservedly apologize.”
www.nytimes.com...


I could brand the Israeli government as anti-Semitic being as they are doing the most harm to Israel and its standing in the world but does that make them anti-Semitic ?



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 04:51 AM
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a reply to: gortex

You're an apologist.
That's fine though - many people are.

Of course, there are people who think it's all good. There are others who do not.

Source JLC


Hizbollah commits terrorist atrocities against Jews, but Corbyn calls them his friends and attends pro-Hizbollah rallies in London. Exactly the same goes for Hamas. Raed Salah says Jews kill Christian children to drink their blood. Corbyn opposes his extradition and invites him for tea at the House of Commons. These are not the only cases. He is repeatedly found alongside people with blatantly antisemitic views, but claims never to hear or read them.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 05:05 AM
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a reply to: paraphi




You're an apologist. That's fine though - many people are.

No , I see the wood for the trees.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 06:32 AM
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a reply to: gortex

In deed. Let's keep it amicable. We obviously differ on a highly contentions and serious subject.

One issue that has come to the fore in the debate over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is the problem of social media, where channels that are supported by Labour politicians also host, or do not moderate anti-Semitic crap.

Guardian article - one amongst many on this subject

Anyway, the problem here is that the Labour leadership has not acted to address legitimate concerns, and what they have done has been like trying to wipe away a persistent stain with a moist cold flannel. Completely ineffectual.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 06:52 AM
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The other weird thing about all this is the conservative party met with some actual genuine far right pro nazi European groups last week, genuine anti semites, and not a single fuss about that in the media.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 06:55 AM
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Cornyn supports a group who engaged in ethnic cleansing of UK citizens so anti semitism isn't a big step for him.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 07:19 AM
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a reply to: paraphi




Let's keep it amicable.

Always happy to do that.

I find it unsurprising that this latest outbreak of anti-Semite accusation is being spearheaded by Margaret Hodge , a prominent member of LFI (Labour Friends of Israel) the same group who only a couple of years ago were shown to have been infiltrated by Israeli agents , these accusations are being driven by dark forces and bear no relation to the truth ,they are merely an attempt to tarnish a foreign political leadership who dare to speak out over the illegal actions of the Israeli government.

I believe in free speech and these allegations are an attempt to subvert that.



edit on 30-7-2018 by gortex because: Edit to add video



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 08:28 AM
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originally posted by: gortex
I find it unsurprising that this latest outbreak of anti-Semite accusation is being spearheaded by Margaret Hodge


Why? Because she's a Jew. Other members of the Labour Party and the wider constituency are uncomfortably with the current position of the leadership - even the non Jews.


... these accusations are being driven by dark forces and bear no relation to the truth ,they are merely an attempt to tarnish a foreign political leadership who dare to speak out over the illegal actions of the Israeli government.


Surely not. This idea that there's some dark conspiracy is pants. Plenty of people can (and do) speak out against the Israeli government without straying into anti-Semitism. There's no conspiracy, but there is evidence of anti-Semitism AND there is clear evidence that the incumbent leadership have not addressed the underlying problems.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 08:40 AM
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a reply to: paraphi




Surely not. This idea that there's some dark conspiracy is pants.

Keep believing that is it makes you happy , apologist come in all shapes and sizes.



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 08:47 AM
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originally posted by: gortex
Keep believing that is it makes you happy , apologist come in all shapes and sizes.


Well, Jews and conspiracies go together, eh? I think that's where the problem lies. This deeply rooted feeling from the left that the Jews manipulate. They are even manipulating the mess that the Labour leadership have (not) made!

This is quite a good explanation of the mindset... From the Guardian



posted on Jul, 30 2018 @ 08:56 AM
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a reply to: paraphi




Well, Jews and conspiracies go together, eh?

Watch the video , infiltration of foreign political parties by Jewish lobbyists isn't a mindset it's a fact , Masot was forced to resign because he was caught in the act.
Not conspiracy ... fact.




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