The UK’s Labor Party Has Banned Anti-Semitism—Except for the Kind Practiced by Its Members

July 25 2018

Last week, the British Labor party released its new guidelines regarding anti-Semitism in an effort to discourage embarrassing displays by its activists and parliamentarians. Rather than adopting the definition of anti-Semitism set forth by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)—which is used by many European institutions—the party’s leaders used a deliberately watered-down version that excludes precisely the sort of Israel-related anti-Semitism that so plagues its ranks. Stephen Pollard comments:

The IHRA definition has eleven bullet-pointed examples of anti-Semitic language. Labor has brazenly removed those that relate to Israel and moved them to a second, new section, in which the party decrees that for actions or words to be anti-Semitic, there must be an “intent” to be anti-Semitic. Labor says it has done this because the IHRA definition bans criticism of Israel. But this is simply a lie. . . . It would be ridiculous to bar all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic. . . .

But equally, some [invocations] of Israel are indeed anti-Semitic—and it is these which Labor has removed. One of the oldest anti-Semitic libels, for example, is the claim that Jews have dual loyalties—that their prime loyalty is not to the country in which they live but to a foreign body. Today, the libel is that British Jews owe their true allegiance to Israel. This is one of the examples listed in the IHRA definition and removed by Labor.
In other words, Jeremy Corbyn’s party altered the globally accepted definition of anti-Semitism specifically to allow Labor members to attack British Jews as having dual loyalties.

Labor says in response that this is why it added its section on intent. If the intent was racist, then [the statement] would indeed be anti-Semitic. But this is Labor at its cynical worst. How many racists do you know who admit they are racist? . . . [I]n reality, this is the “get-out-of-jail-free” card for its anti-Semitic members. Here’s the twisted logic: if you say you are a lifelong anti-racist campaigner—like, for example, Jeremy Corbyn—then you cannot be racist. And if anti-Semitism is racism, then logically as an anti-racist you cannot be an anti-Semite.

So even if you say something classically anti-Semitic—that Jews have dual loyalties—then you are fine, because you are not a racist so you cannot have anti-Semitic intent. . . . In turning Labor into a party that is now institutionally anti-Semitic, Jeremy Corbyn’s actions have indeed been deeply anti-Semitic. . . . Every time [Labor politicians] campaign for their party, they are urging voters to put into 10 Downing Street a man who has used his leadership of the party to turn it into a haven for anti-Semites. The longer they remain in the party, the more they, too, become the problem.

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Read more at The Sun

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

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror