The British Labor Party’s Failed Attempt to Whitewash Its Anti-Semitism

Earlier this year, as it headed ever deeper into anti-Semitism, the Labor party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn (who once described Hamas as “an organization dedicated towards . . . bringing about long-term peace and social justice”) undertook to assuage concerns by commissioning an inquiry led by Shami Chakrabarti. Jamie Palmer, subjecting the resulting report to careful analysis, finds it less a diagnosis of the problem than another symptom of it:

On June 30, the inquiry released its findings, which Chakrabarti introduced with the following lines: “The Labor party is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race-equality law.”

It is worth lingering on these sentences, because they help to explain what is wrong with almost everything that follows. First, the elision of “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, or other forms of racism” . . . all but guarantees a report filled with generalities at the expense of the particular.

The second sentence is intended to substantiate the claim made by the first. It is not simply a statement of fact, but an affirmation of the Labor party’s presumed moral authority on the subject of racism, whereas the [subject] of the report was meant to be how the party had abdicated that moral authority on the issue of anti-Semitism. . . . This moral complacency percolates through the entire report, and Chakrabarti repeatedly returns to Labor’s history of anti-racism as if it were an unchallengeable alibi. . . .

In her concluding remarks, she further acknowledges “a series of unhappy incidents which did no credit to the Labor party”—an understatement on both counts. What she does not acknowledge is the anti-Semitic nature of those unhappy incidents, or that they emerged against a backdrop of escalating alarm about the party’s attitude toward Jews. . . .

Insofar as the particularities of anti-Semitism are addressed, Chakrabarti allows that presuming Jews control the media or finance is “wholly insensitive.” Holocaust denial and the analogizing of Nazism and Israel, however, are in “bad taste” and so best avoided. Lest we mistake the nature of her concern, she adds that such comparisons “are all too capable, not only of bringing the Labor party into disrepute, but of actively undermining the cause of peace, justice, and statehood for the Palestinian people.”

Read more at Tower

More about: Anti-Semitism, Jeremy Corbyn, Jewish World, Labor Party (UK), Leftism, United Kingdom

Israel Has Survived Eight Years of Barack Obama’s False Friendship

Jan. 20 2017

In his speech justifying America’s decision to allow passage of the UN Security Council resolution declaring it a violation of international law for Jews to live in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Golan Heights, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “friends need to tell each other the hard truths.” John Podhoretz comments:

The decision in December by President Obama to abstain on the UN Security Council vote . . . marked the moment he crossed the finish line in the course he had charted from 2008 onward. The turn against Israel was complete. And, as he had when he began it, in farewell interview after farewell interview he characterized his assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land as an act of tough love. . . .

Which raises the key question: why [only] abstain [from the resolution]? If “hard truths” define friendship, then by all means they should have made the truths as hard as possible. If Barack Obama and John Kerry truly believe the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem is illicit, then they should have voted for the resolution. Instead, they took the coward’s way out. They opened the vault to the criminals and placed the jewels in their hands while wearing white gloves so there would be no residual trace of their fingerprints. The abstention was in some weird sense the mark of their bad conscience. They wanted something to happen while maintaining some historical deniability about their involvement in it.

In the eight years of the Obama presidency, war broke out twice between the Palestinians and the Israelis and nearly broke out a third time. In each case, the issue was not the West Bank, or east Jerusalem, or anything near. . . . The idea that the settlements and the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem are the main barrier to peace between Israel and the Palestinians was proved to be a lie right before Obama’s eyes in 2009, and 2012, and 2014. And he didn’t care to see it, because he is blinded by an antipathy he wishes to ascribe to Israeli action when honesty would compel him to find it in his own misguided leftist ideology—or within his own soul.

Israel has survived the horrendous blessing of Barack Obama’s false friendship.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Barack Obama, Israel & Zionism, John Kerry, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations