The Records of a Secret Facebook Group Show How Deeply Mired Jeremy Corbyn Is in Anti-Semitism

March 14 2018

Since assuming the leadership of the British Labor party in 2015, Jeremy Corbyn has faced one anti-Semitism-related scandal after another. Mostly, these have involved party members making hate-filled statements about Jews, with the party establishment then responding too slowly and too tepidly. Corbyn’s record of praising Hamas and Hizballah, and visiting the graves of terrorists in North Africa, has hardly helped. Now information has surfaced about his membership in a secret, by-invitation-only Facebook group called “Palestine Live”—thus raising the stakes. Dave Rich writes:

Palestine Live is a secret Facebook group that has been running since 2013 and has around 3,000 members who use it to share news stories, to organize events, and to network with like-minded people. You may have heard of some of its members: Jeremy Corbyn, Baroness Jenny Tonge, . . . and many of the leading activists in pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel campaigning in [Britain]. . . . [Several] of the active members of the group—the ones who have posted most frequently and who use the group for their offline activism—hold anti-Semitic views. . . .

Indeed, of the three “administrators” who run the group, one—the group’s founder—is a conspiracy theorist who shares material from Holocaust-denial websites; a second identified himself as a “9/11 truther” and posted an article that dismissed the “fictional account” of six million Jews dying in the Holocaust, claiming instead that “somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 people perished in Auschwitz, mainly as a result of disease and starvation”; a third administrator posted an article in the group titled “Israel Control of USA Government” [sic] that quoted approvingly from Mein Kampf. . . .

[B]ecause the most active members of this Facebook group also tend to be the more anti-Semitic ones, their views set the tone for the group as a whole. Meanwhile, the other members of the group, including several Jewish anti-Zionists, rarely object to the anti-Semitism posted there. Instead, they just get on with using the group to organize their activities and encourage their comrades. This is how a political culture becomes anti-Semitic, even if most people who share in it are not, themselves, anti-Semites.

Needless to say, many of the group’s members support Jeremy Corbyn and have joined the Labor party since he became its leader. Corbyn has responded, as he always does, by saying he condemns anti-Semitism. But until he understands that the political culture with which he associates himself fosters the very anti-Semitism he claims to condemn, this problem will only get worse.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Facebook, Holocaust denial, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK), Politics & Current Affairs

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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Read more at New York Times

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror