Thursday, April 19, 2018

Closet British Anti-Semites Unleashed

"I have never felt as nervous and frightened as I feel today at being a Jew. It feels that my party has given permission for anti-Semitism to go unchallenged."
"Anti-Semitism is making me an outsider in my Labour party. To that, I simply say enough is enough."
Dame Margaret Hodge, London, House of Commons

"I have no words for the people who purport to be both members and supporters of our party, who use that hashtag, JC4PM, who attacked me in recent weeks for speaking at the rally ... who said I should be de-selected. They have called me Judas, a Zio-Nazi, and told me to go back to Israel."
"We have a duty to the next generation. Denial is not an option. Prevarication is not an option. Being a bystander who turns the other way is not an option. The time for action is now."
"People have accused me of having two masters, they have said I am ‘Tel Aviv’s servant,’ they have called me a paid up Israeli operative, essentially anti-Semitism of the worst kind suggesting I am a traitor to this country. [I will] make no apology for holding my party to higher standards, even one anti-Semitic member of the Labour Party is one member too many."
"Anti-racism is one of our essential values and there was a time not long ago when the left actively confronted anti-Semitism. It pains me to say this in 2018 that within the Labour Party anti-Semitism is now more commonplace, is more conspicuous and is more corrosive."
Luciana Berger, British Labour cooperative MP
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (3rd from right) during a debate in the UK parliament over anti-Semitism within the party. (Screen capture: Parliamentlive.tv)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (3rd from right) during a debate in the UK parliament over anti-Semitism within the party. (Screen capture: Parliamentlive.tv)

Dissent within the ranks of the British Labour party has been simmering for quite some time. Its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has spoken of terrorist groups like Hamas with respect and affection as his 'friends'. Under his leadership the closet anti-Semites have crept out from under the damp crevices which have sheltered their views under leaders not given to friendship with groups dedicated to the destruction of Israel. And nor were expressions of outright anti-Semitism common within the membership of the British House of Commons before the leadership election of Jeremy Corbyn to the once-proud Labour party.

Now, seething with sheer frustration and anger, members of the U.K. Labour party have finally aired their views about the descent their political party of choice has taken from common decency to outright bigotry under the vocal membership of those like former London Mayor Ken Livingston who infamously claimed that Hitler was a Zionist, and that Jews and fascism have firm links; those who died in the Holocaust were considered fodder to turn the world's conscience to promise a homeland for Jews.

Months of shameless catering to the racist proclivities of British Members of Parliament speaking as Labour members has resulted in the government-led Conservatives ruling that a day in the House be committed to a discussion on anti-Semitism. The opportunity to give full reign to their experiences and perceptions was taken up by a number of Labour MPs finally given public space to air their grievances against their party; an airing roundly applauded by MPs of opposition parties, quite understandably.
Members of the Jewish community hold a protest against Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the Labour party, outside the British Houses of Parliament in central London on March 26, 2018. (AFP/Tolga Akmen
Labour MP John Mann had much to add to the discussion and he did it with feeling, describing how members of the Momentum group, supporters of Corbyn, targeted him for punishment for daring to support Jewish Labour members. His wife, he recounted, was the recipient of a dead bird in the mail, along with rape threats. When their son and daughter received death threats, measures had to be taken to put them under protective surveillance.

The three-hour debate enabled members who were directly affected by the climate of intimidation and the promotion of anti-Semitism to ventilate and inform those listening to the anguish they feel. Corbyn disports himself as a convicted left-leaning anti-Semite, an impression well earned by the company he keeps. When a protest was organized by the Jewish community outside Parliament, Corbyn responded by pledging to be "a militant opponent of anti-Semitism", earnestly informing the Jewish community "In this fight, I am your ally and always will be."

His actions are more telling than those words, encouraging those within Labour to step up and emote any slanderous, anti-Semitic tropes they feel comfortable with. Infamously he had admired the mural of a street artist in east London who had depicted a group of business tycoons and bankers, ostensibly Jews, counting money around a Monopoly-type board held aloft on the backs of dark-complexioned men. Corbyn excused himself after a protest by claiming not to have understood the message while supporting the artist's "artistic freedom".
Kalen Ockerman's mural 'The Enemy of Humanity' (photo credit: YouTube screen shot)
Kalen Ockerman’s mural ‘The Enemy of Humanity’ (YouTube screenshot)


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