Wednesday 11 December 2019

They're just spitting in our faces now.

This is Labour's video about how they support minority groups. They've got quite a lot of racial and religious groups in there. But not Jews. Because of course not Jews.

A couple of years ago, that would have been fine: you can't crowbar every single demographic into a brief advert; no particular reason to put Jews in there. But this comes when Labour's antisemitism is one of the biggest controversies the party has ever faced, when Corbyn and McDonnell have spent a good chunk of the last few years facing and denying accusations of antisemitism, when the Equality & Human Rights Commission is investigating Labour's institutional antisemitism, when Labour MPs are leaving the party and telling the public to vote Tory because of Labour's antisemitism, when some Jewish Labour MPs have been forced out of the party while those that stay require bodyguards at Labour Conferences, when British Jews are leaving the party in droves and preparing to leave the country if Labour get in, when the Chief Rabbi, traditionally a staunchly politically neutral entity, has made an unprecedented foray into politics to plead with the British public not to support the party that is an actual threat to British Jewry. And, even faced with all that, when making a promotional film, when someone suggested (and there's no way no-one suggested) maybe putting a conciliatory message for Jews in there, doing nothing more than including them in their list of minority groups Labour gives a fuck about, Corbyn still couldn't bring himself to do it. The man can't even pretend not to hate Jews.

Perhaps we should admire his honesty.

Tuesday 10 December 2019

The gathering storm.

It is not possible to be more assimilated than me. My father was sent to Catholic school during the War in case the Gestapo made it to London, and never really got his Jewishness back. I was born and raised British Christian atheist; I speak no Hebrew, have never set foot in Israel or even in a synagogue, and eat plenty of bacon. By a lot of people's standards, including most Jews, I am not a Jew — I'm not so much Jewish as Jewishish. My Jewishishness has always been a mere bit of trivia, a technicality, something I know and like about my family history, something that matters to me but does not inform my day-to-day life. Until the last three years.

The state of Israel, in its wisdom, qualifies people like me for citizenship. And now we are receiving an object lesson in why that is.

The question of whether I, born and bred British, am welcome in Britain has been too absurd to even ask for almost all my life. For more obviously Jewish British Jews, the same: to have questioned whether they were accepted as part of the British populace was ridiculous in the Seventies, the Eighties, the Nineties, in 2010... and now here we are. Large numbers of them have their passports to hand, ready to get the hell out of here. Many have already left. And I see their point, because it's not even about Corbyn winning any more — though he certainly could. Labour are doing quite spiffingly in the polls. This is no splinter faction: about a third of the British public, faced with unequivocal evidence of what that man and his acolytes are, intend to vote for them, want him as Prime Minister. If he loses, those people aren't going away. I've never been one for nostalgia, but, for the first time in my life, I miss the Britain I grew up in. That society, one in which Jews were welcome, is gone and I don't believe it is salvageable. It is impossible to exaggerate my sense of loss. The Jews are no longer welcome in this country.

It is difficult to know how even to approach the enthusiastic antisemitism of the modern Left, that has taken firm root in the Labour Party. I don't believe that any of those who deny its plain and obvious existence haven't seen the evidence, so what's the point going over it all again? Here, at least, are a couple of examples of the bile that Labour's defenders insist is merely "critical of the politics of Israel":

  • At Labour Party meetings, one person was called "a child killer", "Zio scum", "good with money", told "shut the fuck up, Jew" and of course the ever-popular "Hitler was right".
  • A Labour Party member said: "The only reason we have prostitutes in Seven Sisters is because of the Jews". I do have to admit, I'd be very interested in hearing which Israeli government policy this refers to.
  • At a Labour Party conference, a member said US police who killed black teenagers were trained in Israel, because of course no-one kills innocent children without the advice of the experts.

That's what being a Jew in the Labour Party is like these days.

Lord Sachs put it best, I think, when he said that he hadn't known anything much about antisemitism. Being British, it was a phenomenon that, even though he was Chief Rabbi, he just didn't need to know about. And now he does. Since Corbyn came to power, Sachs had to go and read up on the subject and educate himself. Suddenly, almost overnight, being an expert on antisemitism became a major part of the British Chief Rabbi's job. That is both incredible praise for the Britain that was — what other country's Chief Rabbi doesn't need to know anything about antisemitism? — and utterly damning of what the country has become.

Corbyn's cultish acolytes still insist that anyone talking like I am (such as the Labour members and ex-members who provided the above evidence under oath) is part of a joint Tory/Mossad/media smear campaign to keep Labour out of power because they threaten the wealth of the capitalist class. Because nothing proves to the world you're not antisemitic like disseminating a conspiracy theory about money-grubbing Jews controlling the media in order to keep the world's governments in thrall to a sinister agenda. I hope that some of my still-Labour-supporting friends have merely accepted such excuses without thinking them through properly and seeing them for what they are. If you're still reading this far and not scoffing derisively at the Tory stooge yet, please listen.

Please do not vote Labour.

This is the first time in my life I've ever presumed to ask such a thing. I might well tell you why I think you're wrong, but I'd never tell you how to vote. And I am somewhat sheepishly aware that I have in the past ridiculed hysterical overreactions to mere election results. In a modern free democracy, all that sturm and drang between the Left and Right boils down to quibbling whether a tax rate should be at 45% or 50%, and frankly everyone should chill the fuck out about it.

But this election is truly different. This is not about policy, the NHS, schools, or whatever, and my plea is not even about Brexit (if you want to stop that, you can vote Lib Dem). This is about the organization of politics against the Jews. And that is something you're either for or against.

This is not a matter of opposing Labour, but of defeating this terrible movement that has taken over Labour, hopefully starting the process that could lead to their becoming a decent Opposition and a party of government once again. That is why the decent civilized Labour MPs have not only left the party but asked the public to vote Tory. Turned out there weren't many of them, though.

This election is the British people's great chance, faced with this venomous claptrap, to unequivocally reject it. And it doesn't look like they have the remotest intention of doing so.

So please. Labour will never abandon antisemitism if it wins votes. Please don't let it win yours.

I'm writing this knowing I'm going to lose friends just for doing so — and that says it all right there, really, doesn't it? A sizeable proportion of British people will want nothing further to do with you if you say that not hating Jews is more important than hating Tories. Well, bye, then. I hope the door hits your arse good and hard on the way out.

I'll let Stephen Daisley finish:

History tells me to look glumly on the prospects that, for once, we might do right by Jews. We don’t always side with their persecutors but we almost never side with them when it matters. If the anti-Semites win on 12 December, their victory will belong to the nexus of complicity, from the people who know exactly what they are doing to those who one day will feign ignorance and deny the role they played.

But these things they should know: Know that you were warned. You were warned and you turned away because the Tories are evil and Labour’s heart is in the right place. Know that Jews pleaded for your help. They pleaded for your help and you offered warm words then worked to put their tormentors in power. Know that you are culpable. You are culpable for what happens next, for every Nefesh B’Nefesh flight that takes off from Heathrow, for how Corbyn’s supporters take out their frustrations when his government begins to falter, for every British Jew who accepts that his countrymen have abandoned him and acquiesces quietly in his new status as civically less than others. Know that you will be remembered. You will be remembered and counted among the plentiful persecutors of the Jewish people and the even more plentiful bystanders. Your children will teach their children not to be like you.

Your children will teach their children not to be like you.