Seems ‘zero’ is a flexible concept
Right-wing Labour MP Barry Sheerman has issued an apology for a tweet linking two Jewish peers to Israeli money. In an attack on Philip Green and Richard Desmond, Sheerman appeared to link the pair to ‘shekels’ – the historic (and current) currency of Israel:
Sheerman tweeted an apology a couple of hours later after seeing the adverse reaction to his comments:
So far Keir Starmer has not commented on the issue.
This is the second time in less than a month that a Labour right-winger has been forced to apologise for antisemitic tweets, after front-bencher Steve deleted a tweet describing one of the same figures – Richard Desmond – as a ‘puppet master‘ and also deleted an earlier tweet praising Starmer’s supposed ‘zero tolerance’ of antisemitism.
Starmer, of course, sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey from the front bench after she shared an Independent article falsely accused of containing an ‘antisemitic conspiracy theory‘, although in reality the sacking followed a huge row over Starmer’s enthusiasm to rush children back to school.
It appears that ‘zero tolerance’ is a very flexible concept: when the right is involved, the difference between zero and plenty is an apology, while it goes beyond zero into minus territory when it involves the left.
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