Am I the only person left bored and bemused by Labour’s ‘anti-Semitism’ storm and the ultra-Zionist bandwagon that has followed?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed watching the party of phony outrage and PC witch hunts being hoist by their own petard. And on top of that, I like how the race row has finally called time on the delusion that left-wingers are solely benign individuals who just want to save the newts, throw prejudice onto the ‘negativity fire’ or knit jumpers out of couscous and pieces of rainbow.
However, I’ve been been bitterly disappointed by the tedious shrieks of “anti-Semitism!” and “racism!” aimed at Her Majesty’s opposition from the British conservative intelligentsia. Firstly, because these allegations are inaccurate; and secondly, because we’ve stooped to the playground politics of the left. We are no longer attacking our rivals with facts, logic and reason. Instead, we’ve resorted to blindly defaming them. It is a reactionary phenomenon that has got to stop.
To date, the two biggest scalps of the campaign belong to newly elected MP Naz Shah and ex-mayor of London Ken Livingstone. Shah posted a graphic on Facebook supporting the “transportation” of Israel to the United States, and Red Ken threw his dunce hat into the ring by declaring that “Hitler was a Zionist before he went mad.” A steady stream of anti-Zionist Tourette’s from other Labour members have compounded the claims of unbridled Jew-hating amongst its ranks.
But anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are not synonymous, and at the time of writing, I have not heard of a single Labour member who has expressed – or even alluded to an explicit hatred of Jews. Although yes, some do sail pretty close to the wind.
Still, why do we feel the need to conflate the two? After all, anti-Zionism in itself is a pretty indefensible standpoint. If you really believe that a state should be expunged due to the actions of its incumbent government, or that present-day Israelis are somehow culpable for the 1948 partition then you were probably dropped on your head at birth. But whilst it is an illiberal and absurd view to hold, it is not – on its own – a bigoted one.
Naturally, even Labour are now saying otherwise – although I suppose they deserve some sort of credit for staying true to form. Either way, a cross-party consensus has been reached and mob rule has prevailed: anti-Zionism is officially proscribed. How curious…Maybe there is an all-powerful “Zionist lobby” after all?
Obviously there isn’t, but you try telling the crusties that now. Particularly as the rozzers have started kicking down the doors of people who make harmless jokes on the subject. This is a moral panic that is getting a bit out of hand, and I am concerned of more bad news in the post.
For instance, if we can silence the anti-Zionists then we could do the same to those with legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government. Who would stop us if we tried? Labour no longer have the chutzpah to speak out, and the sniggering Tories don’t have any incentive. Do we really want to make Jerusalem infallible? Or should we not all be free to condemn and lampoon an establishment that has committed past atrocities without fear of being branded a “Nazi apologist”?
Furthermore, this climate of hysteria is at risk of being immortalised by Whitehall’s ominous ‘Extremism bill’. At present, we can only speculate as to what the proposals will include, but the government will exploit recent events to quantify ‘extremism’ however they please. Consequently, we are at risk of having our civil liberties and freedom of speech encroached upon.
And for what? Because we wanted revenge on the virtue-signallers? Because we couldn’t be arsed to engage in a serious debate with ideological opponents? Have we given up defending free speech for those we don’t like? Or perhaps we just want to succumb to the cancer of identity politics and bubble-wrap an entire community?
It might come as a surprise to some, but Jews are not a homogenous group. I can only speak from personal experience, but my cockney Yid of a grandmother didn’t require any state-sanctioned mollycoddling. What’s more, my second cousin – whose Bah Mitvah I attended – is an avid player of Cards against Humanity. I won’t quote this game directly right now (I’d probably get turned into a nonperson), but rest assured you don’t need to get offended on his behalf.
A response of this magnitude would perhaps be justifiable if the left really did have an anti-Semitic epidemic. If red rosette wearing skinheads and Jihadists were linking arms and spreading hate then yes, let’s shout about it from the rooftops. But if truth be told it is all a concoction. A few daft remarks have been blown out of all proportion for vindictive political gain, and with no dissenting voices there is nothing to stop our whole society degenerating into a dystopian ‘safe space’. We will only have ourselves to blame.