In the last few days, certain people are whipping up a storm of antisemitism allegations against a Jewish woman with left-wing views – whose ‘crime’ seems to have been to ask for a speaker to clarify their definition of the word ‘antisemitism’ and to query whether other genocides, for example those in Africa, should be remembered with equal diligence and sadness.
To any impartial observer, it’s clear that cynical political motives lie behind this ‘storm’ – and that the real scandal is the clear breach of data protection laws involved in releasing footage taken at a ‘safe space’ training event, without permission, in order to attack a political opponent (similar to Virgin’s contempt for the law in the ‘traingate’ case).
The fact that in their eagerness to smear, they’re willing to whip up abuse and intimidation toward a black, Jewish woman, thereby combining antisemitism, misogyny and racial abuse, is both ironic and hideous.
Similarly, the sight of right-wing ‘Labour’ factions falling over themselves to throw similar mud at the Corbyn-supporting Momentum organisation generally is deeply nauseating, given that it was founded and is led by two Jewish people.
While Labour’s opponents, internal and external, are content to smear the party at the least excuse, it seems a reminder is in order about the real antisemites in politics – the Conservative party (and its bastard offspring UKIP).
Here are a few examples of their behaviour in the recent past – which some seem happy to forget in their eagerness to manufacture ‘storms’ against Corbyn supporters. Odd that.
- In 2011, then-Tory MP Aidan Burley organised a nazi-themed birthday party
- Also in 2011, Oxford Conservative Association correctly faced censure after an officer claimed members regularly sang ‘Dashing through the Reich, killing lots of k***‘ (a rhyming pejorative for Jewish people which I will not repeat here)
- In 2014, UCL Conservative Society was exposed for a number of antisemitic comments, including ‘Jews own everything. We all know it’s true. I wish I was Jewish but my nose isn’t long enough’. The Tory party declined to investigate.
- In April 2015, a Tory council candidate, referring to Ed Miliband, said she ‘would never support the Jew’
- A year later, the deputy Chair of Bradford Conservative Association made inappropriate comments about Jews and women at an official Tory campaign launch event
It seems beyond question that the Labour right will continue to fling accusations. Just remember why they’re doing it – and who the real antisemites are.