A New Organization of British Jews Gives Cover to Left-Wing Anti-Semites

Oct. 18 2017

The fall conference of the UK’s Labor party saw more than its share of vitriol directed at Israel, not to mention naked anti-Semitism. In response, the Jewish Labor Movement—an established group for the party’s Jewish members—successfully pushed for new rules that would allow the party more effectively to combat anti-Semitism in its ranks. Opposing the change was the newly-formed Jewish Voice for Labor (JVL), which, according to Stephen Daisley, exists primarily to apologize for anti-Semites:

Although it failed to halt the new disciplinary regime, JVL’s intervention marks a turning point in Labor’s engagement with Jews and its attitude to anti-Semitism. Jewish groups within the party have hitherto been united in criticism of the leadership and the toleration of prejudice against Jews and conspiracy theories about Zionism. Now another group will purport to speak for Labor Jews, one ideologically wedded to the leader [Jeremy Corbyn] and the radical anti-Israel politics he practices. . . .

The [true] purpose of JVL is not to explore and debate complex questions or to represent the feelings of most Jews within the party; it is to muddy the waters. . . . [Its] most noxious aspect . . . is [its supporters’] eagerness . . . to leap to the defense of the most outrageous statements by the most extreme figures in the Labor party. Time after time, JVL has acted [by] providing kosher [certification, as it were] for the nastiest elements on the far left. When [London’s former mayor] Ken Livingstone pronounced Hitler a supporter of Zionism, Jenny Manson, now chair of JVL, issued a statement insisting his comments were “not offensive, nor anti-Semitic in any way.” . . .

So what do the anti-Zionist activists in groups like JVL get out of being used as a kosher stamp for anti-Semites—aside from proving their loyalty to the Labor party leadership? [The scholar David] Hirsh suggests a deeper motivation: “They would rather live in a world where anti-Semitism is provoked by Jews—and so, therefore, could notionally be stopped by Jews—than in a world where anti-Semitism is irrational. They prefer to imagine that Jews are in control of their own destiny than that they are simply victims of anti-Semitism.”

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Jewry, Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party (UK), Politics & Current Affairs, United Kingdom

What Israel Can Offer Africa

Last week, the Israeli analyst Yechiel Leiter addressed a group of scholars and diplomats gathered in Addis Ababa to discuss security issues facing the Horn of Africa. Herewith, some excerpts from his speech:

Since the advent of Zionism and the birth of modern Israel, there has been a strong ideological connection between Israel and the African continent. . . . For decades, [however], the notion that the absence of peace in the Middle East was due the absence of Palestinian statehood prevented a full and strategic partnership with African countries. . . . The visits to Africa by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—in 2016 to East Africa and in 2017 to West Africa—reenergized the natural partnership that was initiated by Israel’s Foreign Minister Golda Meir in the 1960s.

There is much we share, many places where our interests converge. And I don’t mean another military base in Djibouti. . . . One such area involves the safety of waterways in and around the Red Sea. Curtailing contraband, drugs, arms smuggling, and other forms of serious corruption are all vital for us. . . . But the one critical area of cooperation I’d like to put the spotlight on is in the realm of food security, or rather food insecurity.

Imagine Ethiopia’s cows producing 30 or 40 liters of milk a day instead of the two or three that they produce today. Imagine an exponential rise in (organic) meat exports to Middle Eastern and even European countries, the result of increased processing, storage, and transportation possibilities. Cows today can have a microscopic chip behind their ears that sends messages to the farmer’s computer or mobile phone that tracks what the cow ate, what its temperature is, and what care it might need. Imagine a dramatic expansion of the wheat yield that can make Ethiopia a net exporter of wheat—to Egypt, perhaps in the context of negotiations over the waters of the Nile.

Israel has proven technology in all of these agricultural areas and we’re here; we’re neighbors. We are linked to Africa, particularly the Horn of Africa, in so many ways.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Africa, Ethiopia, Israel diplomacy, Israeli agriculture, Israeli technology