The shameful anti-Semitism in the British Left
Many sections of society continue to be infected by the virus of anti-Semitism. But its prevalence is most obvious in the British Left where a mutated form of the disease is spreading like wildfire
The world has been horrified by the rapid growth of the mosquito-borne virus Zika that has spread through all of South American and has threatened the United States.
The virus may cause birth defects in children and neurological problems in adults. The World Health Organization has declared a global emergency to deal with the virus.
No one except certified lunatics or perhaps the villains in James Bond movies are likely to call for an increase in the Zika virus. But an unfortunately large number of people, neither certified or uncertified lunatics, are keen on spreading another virus: the cancer of anti-Semitism, that is spreading throughout the world too.
Yet, like Zika, anti-Semitism is a public health risk and requires a coordinated international response, including perhaps the WHO, and immediate international action. As in the case of Zika, finding a vaccine to counter the virus of anti-Semitism may take years but the task must be undertaken because the cancer is growing and must be eliminated.
It is true that in 1882, in his pamphlet Auto-Emancipation, the early Russian Zionist thinker and activist, Leon Pinsker, a physician, wrote that: “Judeophobia is a variety of demonopathy… it is a psychic aberration and, as a disease transmitted for two thousand years it is incurable.”
Yet, if he were writing today he would search for a cure.
The concern and the search continue. At the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combatting Anti-Semitism held in Berlin on March 14, 2016, the British Minister for Justice Michel Gove remarked that anti-Semitism is not just the oldest hatred in the world, it also a virus that mutates.
In Britain today, the virus has found a home in people of all political persuasions.
Not surprisingly, the virus is in the usual places. In those of the extreme political right the long-held prejudices still remain and are rationalized in a new way. Fear of and opposition to globalization have been used as an excuse to revive and increase anti-Semitic attitudes.
It is overwhelmingly evident that some part of the British Islamic community is prone to the disease. We hear that the Israeli Mossad killed Princess Diana, and that 4,000 Jews in New York were told to stay home on 9/11. The antagonism to Israel and to “Zionist Crusader,” is interrelated with anti-Semitic tropes.
From Karl Marx on there has been a strain of anti-Semitism in leftist circles. Even Wilhelm Marr, the man who coined the word “anti-Semitism” was a German leftist. What is distressing, though it should not therefore come as a total surprise, is the number of leftists, especially too many in the British Labour Party, who have succumbed to the disease.
The carriers are gradually becoming known and they should be named to prevent others being infected. The irony is that these carriers always claim they oppose discrimination.
A few can be mentioned. We already know of Vicki Kirby, vice-chair of the Woking Labour Party who told us that Jews “slaughter the oppressed.” The former Lord Mayor of Bradford, Khadim Hussain, welcomed a cartoon complaining of the emphasis that schools were putting on teaching the Holocaust, on Anne Frank, and on the six million “Zionists [sic]” killed. On April 1, after he had been criticized, he resigned or was bidden farewell from the Labour Party.
A student named Rayhan Uddin, vice-chair of the London School of Economics Labour Society and member of the Labour Party is ambitious to become president of the student union at LSE. He did not win because he did not receive the necessary quota of votes. However, he knew that “leading Zionists” had taken over the union.
Beinazir Lasharie, a Labour councillor in Kensington, London, told us that many people knew that Jews were behind 9/11 and behind ISIS. Among the others who can be named are Gerry Downing (Zionists rule the world), Scott Nelson (the Israeli flag reveals a swastika), and Bob Campbell (the rat with the Star of David is the real plague).
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, is not himself anti-Semitic and indeed has denounced anti-Semitism on a number of occasions.
Nevertheless, he has mixed with curious company. One such is Paul Eisen, a Holocaust denier, who published an extraordinary work, The Holocaust Wars. In it he not only attempts to “rehumanise” Ernest Zundel, the notorious German promoter of Holocaust denial and Nazi supporter, but even the person of Adolf Hitler himself, the Nazi regime, and the German people.
Eisen founded a group, Deir Yassin Remembered, a pro-Palestinian pressure group. He was also friendly with David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. He is pleased to announce he has also been friendly with Corbyn for 15 years.
Another individual who Corbyn has not repudiated is the hate preacher Shekh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Islamic Movement in Israel. He was imprisoned for funding Hamas, for links with an Iranian intelligence agent, and for a blood libel. On his visit to Britain in 2011 when the two met, Corbyn praised him as an “honored citizen”.
The most recent member, perhaps the most extreme, of this leftist group is Tony Greenstein, a member of the Brighton and Hove Trades Council, and other organizations. He was suspended from the Labour Party, but has been quietly reinstated under Corbyn’s leadership.
He is a political activist focusing mainly on pro-Palestinian activity, as a founding member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and active in “Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods.” He rejected the idea that comparing Zionism and the State of Israel to the Nazis was anti-Semitic. Indeed, according to him, Zionists collaborated with the Nazis.
Greenstein cannot be regarded as a model figure not only for Labour Party members but even for aspiring anti-Semites. He was arrested and found guilty for stealing a credit card and using it. At his trial he asked for seven other offences of dishonesty to be considered. At other times he was convicted of drug possession, and for damaging property at Sussex University.
Nevertheless, it is useful to peruse the Greenstein version of the truth, especially since he is both the son of an Orthodox rabbi and a law graduate. Critics are often “Zionist scum,” or “Zionist idiots.”
The State of Israel has forbidden “mixed race” marriages. Israel has been responsible for the “wanton murder of Palestinian civilians.” Israel is a racial state, and miscegenation, the mixing of the races, is strictly forbidden in Israel. Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. All this from a law school graduate living in the civilized seaside town of Brighton!
The virulent disease of anti-Semitism must be eradicated. It should be the task of all political leaders, particularly a leftist leader like Jeremy Corbyn, not simply to criticize anti-Semitism, an action that is commendable, but also to distance themselves from the carriers of disease.
Researchers throughout the world are seeking to find the formula for expelling the Zika virus. The political and social leaders of the world should similarly expel the carriers of the virus of anti-Semitism from all rational and respectable organizations.
Michael Curtis, author of "Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East", is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in political science at Rutgers University. Curtis is the author of 30 books, and in 2014 was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur
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