As British Jews come under attack, the liberal left must not remain silent
It should be perfectly possible to condemn Israel's brutal
action in Gaza while taking a stand against antisemitism
No shit, really?
To be fair we were just waiting for him to turn up before we got started. I mean, in no way are the people involved in the PSC or Stop The War likely to be involved with the UAF as well. Gods no.
Let's have a look at what he's got to say, shall we (humour me a moment).
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on September 11 2001 and July 7 2005, a noble impulse seized the British liberal left. Politicians, commentators and activists united to say to their fellow citizens that, no matter how outraged they felt at the loss of civilian life they had just witnessed, they should under no circumstances take out that anger on the Muslim community. Progressive voices insisted that Muslims were not to be branded as guilty by association, just because the killers of 9/11 and 7/7 had been Muslims and had claimed to act in the name of all Muslims.
Yes, some people stated the bleeding obvious. Other people didn't. But tell you what, why don't you get on with the backslapping? I mean, what bad things have the liberal left ever done? They've never tried to justify a manifestly illegal and immoral war or anything after all...
Anyway, back to Jonathan:
Blah blah blah blah bet you can see where this is going blah blah blah
Ah yes, here we are:
It's worth stating the obvious - that Operation Cast Lead is not 9/11 or 7/7, that Israel is not al-Qaida - and noting that the silence has not been absolute. In a very welcome move, a group of leading Muslims wrote an open letter condemning apparent Gaza-related attacks on Jews. Meanwhile, Labour's Denis MacShane, in a passionate article for Progress magazine, urged those on the left not "to turn criticism of Israel into a condemnation of Jews".
The silence has not been absolute? Operation Cast Lead is not 9/11 or 7/7? Well, the death toll was slightly higher for 9/11, I'll grant you that. Although notably the office workers of the WTC had not spent the last 2 years cut off from jobs, food, water, electricity and their own country; neither had they been herded into refugee camps for 50 years. But to suggest that Cast Lead was not as bad as 7/7? There's a word for this: Chauvinism.
And 'silence not absolute'? Seriously? When every demo I've been on has been attended by speakers pointing out that the protests are not anti-semitic and/or 'Jews for Peace'? What, did he take a wrong turn in the TARDIS and end up in a parallel world this morning?
According to the Community Security Trust, the body that monitors anti-Jewish racism, the four weeks after Cast Lead began saw an eightfold increase in antisemitic incidents in Britain compared with the same period a year earlier. It reports 250 incidents - nearly 10 a day - the highest number since it began its work 25 years ago. Among them are attacks on synagogues, including arson, and physical assaults on Jews. One man was set upon in Golders Green, north London, by two men who shouted, "This is for Gaza", as they punched and kicked him to the ground.
Blood-curding graffiti has appeared in Jewish areas across the country, slogans ranging from "Slay the Jewish pigs", and "Kill the Jews", to "Jewish bastardz." Jewish schools have been advised to be on high alert against attack. Most now have security guards on the door; some have a police presence.
Hmm. Leaving aside the Community Security Trust issue, let's mention the unmentionable: it turns out that despite the valiant efforts of the liberal left and their battalions, the last few years haven't been rosy for Muslims in Britan. We even have a new adjective to describe it: Islamophobia. Of course, the liberal left also gave us a new adjective of their own: Islamofascism.
Hmm. Anyway, Jonathan's still bleating:
Blah blah blah I have no sense of my own ridiculousness blah blah blah I get given money for this blah blah blah
At the London events, there were multiple placards deploying what has now become a commonplace image: the Jewish Star of David equated with the swastika. From the podium George Galloway declared: "Today, the Palestinian people in Gaza are the new Warsaw ghetto, and those who are murdering them are the equivalent of those who murdered the Jews in Warsaw in 1943."
You're right! He's a racist! You've got the smoking gun here Jonathan, I can't believe he compared the sealed off Gaza Strip, which Israel controls all access to, enters with their military at a whim, commits massacres at a whim, etc etc, to a ghetto! And there was one of those semi-mythical Star of David/Swastika placards! Oh noes! They probably want to take Ehud Olmert to Nuremburg and hang him in a bunker or something! On no account must the uniqueness of the holocaust be threatened. On no account must people be tempted to draw parallels with previous events. If you do, you might as well be burning down a synagogue, because we all know that the Israeli government and All Teh Jews are not separate people.*
Blah blah Christ this guy can go on blah blah blah blah is he being paid by the word blah blah blah please just make it stop blah blah blah
I know that some will say that even raising this is an attempt to divert attention from the real and larger issue, Israel's brutality in Gaza and the colossal number of civilian deaths that entailed. I won't accept that. Regular readers know that I denounced Cast Lead from the beginning. But I shouldn't have to say that. These two matters are separate. It is perfectly possible to condemn Israel's current conduct and to stand firmly against anti-Jewish prejudice. And it's about time liberals and the left said so.
Oh, good. Jonathan's capable of telling the difference between Teh Jews and Teh Israeli Government. But no one else is, and unless you YES YOU say that you do in a loud voice at all times, day and night, as opposed to what the Palestinian solidarity movement has been doing, i.e. putting it in leaflets, papers, rallies, marches and speeches, then you are personally responsible for any anti-Semitic violence meted out in Britain.
Luckily, Jonathan's decided to save the day now, so let's all get behind him. Actually, thinking about it, he seems like precisely the sort of person I want to go round telling anti-Semitic thugs his position on Operation Cast Lead.
I have to ask, who exactly does he think he's speaking for?
*For the record, as I have said before, I don't think that the Nazis are a good comparison for Israel. I think Apartheid South Africa fits the bill better. But people are bound to draw comparisons between aspects of Nazi treatment of Jews and Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Because sometimes they're unavoidable.