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.


Simon Fawthrop said...

I'd like to say welcome back to Blogging, but given the circumstances that doesn't seem appropriate. Good piece, not that I needed persuading.

I'll do my bit and spread your word.

Gary Moran said...

Corbyn's open use of the word Zio - code for Jew - tells you everything you need to know.

What has partly let Corbyn and Momentum off the hook, is the Tory islamaphobia retort. The problem of course is that casual bigotry and racism exists in all organisations - albeit mostly at low levels - but that this is different to the endemic antisemitism at the heart of Labour.

Recusant said...

Excellent piece and I'm with you all the way.

Gary, I know it serves the purposes of the Labour Party, but you cannot conflate anti-semitism and 'Islamophobia'. As our host demonstrates with his own family history, you cannot choose not to be Jewish; you either are or you're not.

You can certainly choose whether to be a Muslim. Or a Catholic. Or a Socialist, Atheist, Libertarian or any of thousands of equivalent ideological and metaphysical stances.

Quentin Vole said...

Absolutely correct. I'd merely add that a vote for the LibDems (or anyone other than a Conservative candidate) increases the likelihood of Corbyn getting the keys to No 10. I know sincere people who say "It doesn't matter, because he won't have a majority and that nice Swinson and Sturgeon (plus the civil service) will keep him in check". I don't wish to go all Godwin, but that's exactly what the German establishment thought in 1932.

Douglas Monro said...

Excellent post, again, keep up the good work and more blogging please!

Lord T said...

Interesting piece but there are several problems here. Most Labour supporters are not Anti-Semitic but simply believe that Labour is their party and will look after the working man. They will always put their tick in that box and those that don't because of some policy like this will simply not vote.

I am a great believer that most people are good. There are very few people that are bad, unfortunately they are the ones we read about and push their way into power like Corbyn. Johnson is different, he is just a buffoon that blunders around and everyone finds funny. He has the opportunity to mark his place in history but won't take it.

What I see is a rise of Anti-Everything as nationalism rises across the planet due to our governments inept handling of the impact of immigration. Jews who have been present in the UK for centuries are being caught up in that and although I do see Corbyn as a more immediate threat to Jews the fact is there is a large percentage of people who are Anti-Everything within every party. You are caught up in that and it will only grow under whatever party is in power.

I remember saying to someone in the late 90s that racism was dying. You rarely heard racist jokes and actions and they were actual jokes and no different from others about everything else that nowadays would have our snowflake younger generations running to nanny to complain. You can make jokes about me because I'm White, Male and was born in Scotland but not anyone else. I no longer believe that racism is back and with a vengeance. Now I hear younger adults making jokes and comments and although they do it with a smile and very carefully they mean it.

I can understand your concern but when you consider that there are many Jews in the labour party, this has been going on for many years and these member are still not that bothered about it I wonder is there some sort of plan? Makes no sense to me but here we are.

Lord T said...

Bugger, a typo and in a critical place.

I no longer believe that; racism is back and with a vengeance.

Mark Holland said...

I'm feeling for you old buddy.

It's terrible. That a third of our countrymen, including 'decent' people I know in real life could countenance putting their cross next to a candidate for a party lead by somebody so rancid appals me. One is an out lesbian. Does she not care that Corbyn happily shills for the mouthpiece of a hideous regime which oppresses females and hangs gays?

We no longer need to wonder too hard how a civilised country, the home of Gothe, Beethoven, and Schiller, could devolve into barbarism. Dismal.