Where any opposition to Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories, no matter how mild, is construed as institutional anti-Semitism

A while ago, I tried looking into a prevailing assumption that the United Kingdom’s Labour Party was anti-Semitic. I couldn’t find any substantive evidence of what seemed to be a widely-shared assumption.[1] So as near as I could tell there was nothing more to it than a general neoconservative equation of any criticism whatsoever, no matter how mild, of Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories,[2] let alone of the genocide[3] of Palestinians,[4] to anti-Semitism.

That neoconservative equation is pretty clearly still in play, but a report from Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission has charged Labour with two[5] or three[6] unlawful acts. The report is either damning[7] or a significant climb-down for a commission that, according to former Labour Party leader and now suspended Labour member Jeremy Corbyn,[8] is hostile to Labour.[9]

I guess I’d have to agree that a finding of two[10] or three[11] violations doesn’t really support[12] a claim that Labour is “institutionally anti-Semitic.”[13] That didn’t stop the present Labour leader, Keir Starmer, whose mission, not unlike that of the mainstream of the U.S. Democratic Party,[14] is to stamp out the Left, from suspending Corbyn.[15]

What this episode really shows are the lengths that neoliberals will go to to defend their dogma against the Left. Neoconservatism treats neoliberalism as a moral imperative,[16] so neoliberals do not see conservatism as the enemy, but really rather as an ally.

  1. [1]See, for example, Ephraim Mirvis, “What will become of Jews in Britain if Labour forms the next government?” Times, November 25, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ephraim-mirvis-what-will-become-of-jews-in-britain-if-labour-forms-the-next-government-ghpsdbljk
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Genocide,” Not Housebroken, June 30, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/06/30/genocide/
  4. [4]Patricia Davis, “We Called It Genocide in Guatemala. Why Not in Gaza Too?” Common Dreams, October 7, 2014, http://commondreams.org/views/2014/10/07/we-called-it-genocide-guatemala-why-not-gaza-too
  5. [5]Asa Winstanley, “UK ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ probe finds only two ‘unlawful acts,’” Electronic Intifada, October 29, 2020, https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/uk-labour-anti-semitism-probe-finds-only-two-unlawful-acts
  6. [6]Times of Israel, “UK Labour suspends unrepentant Jeremy Corbyn after damning anti-Semitism report,” October 29, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/uk-labour-suspends-jeremy-corbyn-following-release-of-anti-semitism-report/
  7. [7]Times of Israel, “UK Labour suspends unrepentant Jeremy Corbyn after damning anti-Semitism report,” October 29, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/uk-labour-suspends-jeremy-corbyn-following-release-of-anti-semitism-report/
  8. [8]Times of Israel, “UK Labour suspends unrepentant Jeremy Corbyn after damning anti-Semitism report,” October 29, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/uk-labour-suspends-jeremy-corbyn-following-release-of-anti-semitism-report/
  9. [9]Asa Winstanley, “UK ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ probe finds only two ‘unlawful acts,’” Electronic Intifada, October 29, 2020, https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/uk-labour-anti-semitism-probe-finds-only-two-unlawful-acts
  10. [10]Asa Winstanley, “UK ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ probe finds only two ‘unlawful acts,’” Electronic Intifada, October 29, 2020, https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/uk-labour-anti-semitism-probe-finds-only-two-unlawful-acts
  11. [11]Times of Israel, “UK Labour suspends unrepentant Jeremy Corbyn after damning anti-Semitism report,” October 29, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/uk-labour-suspends-jeremy-corbyn-following-release-of-anti-semitism-report/
  12. [12]Asa Winstanley, “UK ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ probe finds only two ‘unlawful acts,’” Electronic Intifada, October 29, 2020, https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/uk-labour-anti-semitism-probe-finds-only-two-unlawful-acts
  13. [13]Jewish Labour Movement, quoted in Asa Winstanley, “UK ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ probe finds only two ‘unlawful acts,’” Electronic Intifada, October 29, 2020, https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/uk-labour-anti-semitism-probe-finds-only-two-unlawful-acts
  14. [14]Blue Texan [pseud.], “Ed Rendell Tells Democratic Base to “Get Over It” on Rachel Maddow,” Firedoglake, September 23, 2010, http://firedoglake.com/2010/09/23/early-morning-swim-ed-rendell-tells-democratic-base-to-get-over-it-on-rachel-maddow/; Blue Texan [pseud.], “Stop Whining, Liberals!” Firedoglake, September 27, 2010, http://firedoglake.com/2010/09/27/late-night-stop-whining-liberals/; Michael Falcone, “Opposite Day On The Campaign Trail?” ABC News, September 21, 2010, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/09/election-2010-opposite-day-on-the-campaign-trail/; Glenn Greenwald, “Obama’s view of liberal criticisms,” Salon, September 17, 2010, http://www.salon.com/2010/09/17/obama_139/; David Neiwert, “President Obama lashes out at his liberal critics: Choice is to ‘get things done’ or feel ‘sanctimonious’,” Crooks and Liars, December 7, 2010, http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/president-obama-lashes-out-his-liber; Heather Digby Parton, “‘It’s always the hippies’ fault’: Why the left treats its idealists all wrong,” Salon, February 5, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/02/05/its_always_the_hippies_fault_why_the_left_treats_its_idealists_all_wrong/; Greg Sargent, “Liberal blogger directly confronts David Axelrod, accuses White House of ‘hippie punching’,” Washington Post, September 23, 2010, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/liberal_blogger_directly_confr.html; Stephen Stromberg, “Joe Biden scolds progressives — and he’s right,” Washington Post, September 16, 2010, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/09/joe_biden_scolds_progressives.html; Sam Youngman, “White House unloads anger over criticism from ‘professional left’,” Hill, August 10, 2010, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/113431-white-house-unloads-on-professional-left
  15. [15]Times of Israel, “UK Labour suspends unrepentant Jeremy Corbyn after damning anti-Semitism report,” October 29, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/uk-labour-suspends-jeremy-corbyn-following-release-of-anti-semitism-report/
  16. [16]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).

One thought on “Where any opposition to Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories, no matter how mild, is construed as institutional anti-Semitism

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.