Annie did a great job debunking the whole opening argument of the Tablet article. As far as the bullet points go, most of them are taken from the "Daily Mail" a tabloid that is about as reputable as the New York Post and that is well know as a ferocious opponent of Corbyn and the Labour party. To a lesser degree that is also the case of the other papers from which Yair Rosenberg cites.
In the case of Jackie Walker, Rosenberg cites his own hit-piece in Tablet. Walker, along with Ken Livingston, Tony Greenstein, and Moshe Machover are victims of the defamatory campaigns by the British counterpart of AIPAC and the rest of the pro-Israel lobby. Walker herself is black and at least partly Jewish, here are the words for which she was condemned:
“I’m sure you know, millions more Africans were killed in the African Holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews...and many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and perpetrators to some extent through choice. And having been a victim does not give you a right to be a perpetrator.”
According to Wikipedia, "[a] number of prominent left-wing activists have defended Walker, including film director Ken Loach. Several of Walker's defenders are themselves Jewish, such Haim Bresheeth, Moshe Machover, and linguist and activist Noam Chomsky. Chomsky said: 'I wholeheartedly support the right of anyone to criticise Israel without being branded antisemitic. That goes in particular for Jackie Walker.'"
Ken Livingston's offending words were: "Let's remember when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews." Certainly not the best way this point could be formulated, but it refers to the agreements Zionists had struck with Hitler Germany to promote the emigration of Jews to Palestine, which has been repeatedly discussed on Mondoweiss.
In my view, Weiss and Rosenberg are both Zionist partisans who are more than willing to embrace any point, no matter how flimsy, to defame their opponents. But what is really missing here is the political context. The real story is not an anti-Semitism crisis, but an intra-Labour political struggle, in which a gaggle of Blairite holdouts use anti-Semitism smears to discredit Corbyn. His real crime is that, like Bernie Sanders in the USA, he is at the head of a populist insurgency that threatens to reverse the party’s surrender to neoliberalism. How convenient that he has committed the cardinal sin of supporting justice for Palestinians? Obviously, the British counterpart of the US Israel Lobby, which takes it's lead from the Israeli embassy (see the UK version of Al Jazeera's documentary) is dedicated to keeping Corbyn out of power.
@Keith - George Soros is obviously a capitalist, but also a partisan of liberal democracy and certain limits on the unfettered capitalism that Reagan/Thatcher promoted. On the other hand, Orban in Hungary, the right-wing Polish government, Trump and white-supremacists attack Soros not because he is a capitalist, but because he is Jewish (they are totally fine with the neo-liberal economic policies that Soros has actually opposed in the past), which makes their attacks perfect examples of dog-whistle, anti-semitic politics. The Democratic Party, is of course still controlled by the Clintonite establishment, and will require a long struggle to change, but we are making progress. Aside from criticisms do you have a more effective strategy to propose?
As far as I can see from news articles, Lara Alqasem has not personally explained her positions on BDS, and has failed to contradict statements by her relatives and Israeli lawyer that are designed to minimize her role in BDS activities. If she was engaged in such activities, her attempt to study at Hebrew university, which would violate the academic boycott guidelines, either testifies to ignorance, or confusion, or, even worse, shows a change of heart with respect to the cause she earlier supported. In any case, as matters stand, supporters of justice for Palestine should not regard her as some sort of heroic victim of a repressive Israeli regime. That regime daily commits much greater crimes against the Palestinian people, which hardly agitate the liberal Zionists who are rushing to Lara Alqasem’s defense. Their real, but unattainable, objective is to arrest the decline of Israel to international pariah status by vain attempts to alert its right wing government to this danger, and to show the world that there still are Zionists devoted to liberal values.
Thanks for this fine article! It so plainly states the great danger that all identity based moral codes or ideologies pose. It is one thing to say: I grew up in this group, I appreciate what I experienced and learned, and was shaped by it, but I recognise that other people have similar feelings about their lives, and that none of these lives are superior to any other. But there is also the diametrically opposed world view, which claims that our group and its history is different from any other and that therefore our needs take precedence over others. One day, during the hard, hungry years after WWII in Vienna, my father said that he loved me, but that he would never take food from another child to feed me. I was not upset, but have believed ever since that this is the standard everyone should be held to. Zionism and Zionists fail this test.