A British Parliamentarian Argues That Jews Have Suffered Prejudice, but Never Racism

In a recent column in the Guardian, Tomiwa Owolade drew on survey data to argue that Britons too often assume that racism is an issue of “black and white,” thus ignoring widespread bigotry against Jews, Travellers (a people similar to the Roma), and the Irish. The Labor parliamentarian Diane Abbott responded with a letter to the editor, criticizing Owolade for conflating “prejudice” and “racism.” Her argument continued thus:

It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice. But they are not all their lives subject to racism. In pre-civil-rights America, Irish people, Jewish people, and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus. In apartheid South Africa, these groups were allowed to vote. And at the height of slavery, there were no white-seeming people manacled on the slave ships.

Once the letter was published, Abbott quickly disavowed it, and was promptly suspended by her party. But the letter was revealing, as Brendan O’Neill writes:

The idea that a ginger kid being called “carrot top” in the playground is similar to the “prejudice” suffered by other “white people,” including Jews, is one of the worst cases of anti-Semitism minimization I have seen in a very long time. If Diane Abbott cannot tell the difference between a ginger being mocked for his hair color and an entire people being branded an inferior species, like the Jews were, then she has clearly lost the moral plot even more than we thought.

Abbott’s letter, mad as it was, is of a piece with identity politics. This was less the rantings of a woman on the edge than a pretty faithful articulation of what passes for “anti-racism” today. The supposedly radical left has been completely corrupted by the divisive creed of identitarianism, which is less about fighting for genuine racial equality than about sorting human beings into boxes marked “oppressed” and “privileged” and judging their moral worth accordingly.

One of the most perverse consequences of this hyper-racial politics that masquerades as progressive is that Jews have been rebranded as “white,” and thus “privileged,” and thus incapable of experiencing racism. This has led not only to the minimization of anti-Semitism in the present, but also to the minimization of anti-Semitism in the past.

Read more at Spiked

More about: Anti-Semitism, Labor Party (UK), Racism

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy