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’s Economy Thrives While the Middle East Disintegrates

Jan. 19 2018

Now that the data have come in from 2017, it is clear that the Israeli economy had another successful year, expanding at a rate higher than that of any other advanced country. Israel’s per-capita GDP also grew, placing it above those of France and Japan. Daniel Kryger notes some of the implications regarding the Jewish state’s place in the Middle East:

The contrast between first-world Israel and the surrounding third-world Arab states is larger today than ever before. Israel’s GDP per capita is almost twenty times the GDP per capita of impoverished Egypt and five times larger than semi-developed Lebanon.

Like any human project, Israel is a never-ending work in progress and much work remains to integrate ḥaredi Jews and Israeli Arabs into Israel’s knowledge economy. Properly addressing Israel’s high costs of living requires more economic and legislative reforms and breaking up inefficient oligopolies that keep the prices artificially high. However, by any standard, the reborn Jewish state is a remarkable success story. . . .

Much has changed since OPEC launched its oil embargo against the West after the failed Arab aggression against Israel in October 1973. Before the collapse of the pro-Arab Soviet empire, China and India had no official ties with Israel and many Western and Japanese companies avoided doing business with Israel. Collapsing oil prices have dramatically eroded the power of oil-producing countries. It has become obvious that the future belongs to those who innovate, not those who happen to sit on oil. Israel has today strong commercial ties with China and a thriving partnership with India. Business delegations from Jamaica to Japan are eager to do business with Israel and benefit from Israel’s expertise. . . .

[For its part], the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement may bully Jewish and pro-Israel students on Western campuses. However, in real life, BDS stands no chance of succeeding against Israel. The reason is simple: reborn Israel has . . . become too valuable a player in the global economy.

Read more at Mida

More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy, Middle East, OPEC