The two extremes of British politics regarding Israel and antisemitism

06428-anti2bzionism2bis2banti-semitismAntisemitism and anti-Israel activism in British politics have been grabbing the headlines in recent weeks. It now looks like the British are starting to wake up to the fact that anti-Zionism is a mere cloak to disguise old-fashioned antisemitism, aka anti-Jewish prejudice and hatred, and are taking action to counteract this scourge. This ranges from demands for Labour to expel antisemites from the party to defunding terror-supporting charities to outlawing boycotts and discouraging BDS.

However it’s not all good news. First, I bring you the the bad news: “Lucy Lips” at Harry’s Place reported on a horrendous meeting in February organized by the Palestine Return Center and which was held at the House of Commons.

At an event in the House of Commons organised by the Palestine Return Centre entitled “Challenging the Narrative: the Obstacles in Advocating for Palestinian Rights”. Kamel Hawwash, British-Palestinian professor & Vice Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign went to great pains to say he was speaking in a purely personal capacity.

The quotes are nausea-inducing, but none surprise me. I have zero expectations from Kamel Hawwash (he could more accurately be called Hogwash) but the worst was from the execrable Baroness Jenny Tonge, antisemite par excellence:

Jenny Tonge popped her head around the door of the same meeting to say the following:

“I said that the trouble is with Israel now days is it’s simply not Kosher…it is not behaving like Jewish people…to me it has no relationship at all towards Judaism…”

Just think about those words for a minute and let their poison sink in. Tonge hit every single antisemitic trope that she could possibly manage in teh space of one venomous sentence. You can almost picture her rubbing her hands together with glee at her clever use of semantics to condemn the Jews. Anti-semanticism if you want.

Note too the way she claims for herself the right to define what Judaism is, what it should be, and how the Jews ought to behave.

I have read a lot of antisemitism in my blogging life, but this quote takes the biscuit.

She continues…

“I don’t know how many times I have been accused of antisemitism, of course I have, all the time because I criticise Israel and I don’t always choose my words carefully because I don’t think they deserve it frankly. But if you are accused of antisemitism say I am not antisemitic I am anti injustice and actually the injustice that’s been meted out to the Palestinians I think is the worst thing that happened in the last century.”

She thinks that what has happened to the Palestinians is the worst thing that happened in the last century. The woman needs her head examining as well as her soul. Worse than the Holocaust? Worse than Vietnam, than Stalin’s genocides, than the killing fields of Cambodia? A “genocide” that is so slow it is working backwards as the Palestinian population has quadrupled and more since Israel’s establishment? The mind boggles.

You can hear her actual words here if you have the stomach for it:

At least she has resigned from the Liberal Democrats party. However, disgracefully, she still retains her position as a life peer in the House of Lords which is an insult to the British political system given her racist views.

“Habibi” notes in a postscript to the article:

the meeting was hosted by Labour MP Grahame Morris. It was chaired by Sameh Habeeb, one of the most grotesque haters of them all. The PRC is of course close to Hamas and has its own appalling record. Well done Labour, yet again!

After that poisonous meal, let’s now clear our palates from the bitter taste of Tonge’s disgraceful words, which would fit perfectly into any issue of Der Stuermer.

As an antidote, here is a wonderful speech (via OP, HDK, Yechieli et al) from the British Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, which he gave last week at a gala evening organized by the Jewish news-site the Algemeiner:

The British Justice Minister on Monday railed against the BDS movement, calling it the new manifestation of an old hatred that he said “all of us would have thought would have vanished from this earth forever, after the unique crime of the Holocaust.”

Addressing the third annual Algemeiner “Jewish 100 Gala” in New York, UK Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove, a key honoree of the event, bemoaned the rise of antisemitism in Europe, referring to it as a “virus which mutates.”

“In medieval times, antisemitism was religious, and it found its manifestation in ghettoization and forced conversion,” said Gove, a conservative politician and former journalist. “In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, antisemitism, under the perverted guise of scientific racism, led to eliminationist politics in Austria, in Germany, and the greatest crime that mankind has ever witnessed.”

But, he asserted, “Antisemitism has changed. And now, it finds its expression in opposition to the Jewish people’s collective identity and the existence of the state of Israel.”

Read it all, and then watch this great video:

Kol hakavod on this strong denunciation of antisemitism and his outspoken support for Israel! If only Mr. Gove and his friends could spread their influence more widely in UK politics, the world would be a much safer and better place.

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6 Responses to The two extremes of British politics regarding Israel and antisemitism

  1. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Sickening though much of this is, and far too much emanating from members of (and some MPs for) the Labour Party, it is important that opposition to Left antisemitism is increasingly being heard. The redoubtable John Mann, MP, has continued his crusade (word used advisedly) against entryism into the Labour Party (LP) by antisemitism; the Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bryant has pointed out the need for the LP to expel antisemites (and not to pretend that anti-Israelism isn’t often also disguised antisemitism; Louise Ellman MP has joined in and not least from my point of view (being a Londoner and eligible to vote in the upcoming Mayoral election), Sadiq Khan, LP candidate for Mayor and, of course, a Muslim, has added his voice in no uncertain terms to the chorus of warning voices.

    While the last-named might be acting out of enlightened self-interest (there are some 200,000 Jewish votes in the Greater London area), his opposition to Left antisemitism has been expressed too strongly to be “merely” vote-seeking: he sounds like he really means it.

    Arguably, the sane left is fighting back…and Khan is ahead in the polls for the Mayoral election.

    • anneinpt says:

      Yes, I have read about these British politicians and it is indeed good news. But I find that this new media coverage of antisemitism is the most encouraging. Until now it’s been brushed under the carpet. Airing it out is the best way to contend with it.

  2. Reality says:

    Now that the British are waking up to the fact that”after the Jews,they’ll come for us”, and they are starting to fight anti semitism,is there a way of equalizing anti semitism with anti Israelism,and fight the hard left,together with all those politically correct academics and universities ,and BDS and Apartheid week?

    • anneinpt says:

      Good question. In America it’s starting to happen, with anti-Zionism being equated with antisemitism on some campuses (but not all). It’s also what people like Alex Chalmers said re the Labour Party. I think it’s starting to sink in, but I don’t know how long it will take.

      As Brian Goldfarb said, there are many British politicians who are on our side, working in the background to change the reality on the ground. But how long will it take? no idea, but it’s a start and seems to be gathering pace.

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