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Archive for the ‘Labour Party’ Category

Antisemitism and Jewish Labour

Once again the British Labour Party is under attack from its own Members of Parliament because it refuses to accept wholesale a defintion of ‘Antisemitism’ that has been widely adopted elsewhere. Hardly anywhere is there a media mention of the fact that the ‘definition’ has actually been accepted by Labour (despite it not qualifying as a defintion since it is too vague and has to be supported by ‘examples’ – see previous posts).

But:  am I the only person who thinks that defining antisemitism in this way is a demand by Zionist Jews to be treated differently? And isn’t that inherently racist?

Antisemitism is racism. Allegations of racism, including antisemitism, must be investigated by police, (the so-called ‘MacPherson principle’), to determine whether an offence has been committed.  So, amidst this furore of allegations, how many have been reported to the police? How many have been investigated? How many people are being prosecuted for antisemitic actions including words spoken or written?  How many convicted?  Rather than suspending people, call the police!

I’ve previously written on the ‘Campaign Against Antisemitism’ including this:   ‘As of 30th April 2018 I’ve looked at all of the incidents and many of the tweets/posts complained of. Some could be characterised as unwise but most are reasonable comment. Two merited action, which was taken. (Interestingly CAA classifies a person as an ‘incident’. If, however, we take a more normal approach to ‘incident’ and take specific dates; for the Labour Party there are 119 of which 2 are antisemitic, so under 2%. When we look at the other political parties the proportion is 18.5%.)’.

Are Zionists determined to destroy the Labour Party? If so, that surely would imply the interference in our political system of another nation, Israel. If our police force have investigated t

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Antisemitism, the British Labour Party and IHRA

The recent outcry against Labour for not fully endorsing the IHRA definition of antisemitism demands comment.

The protesters have a legal opinion ‘prepared by law lecturer Tom Frost and confirmed by Doughty Street QC Jonathan Cooper’ (Guardian 16th) that ‘ Labour has ignored the so-called Macpherson principle – that a racist incident is one perceived to be racist by the victim’.  As pointed out by others Macpherson was considerably more nuanced than that simple statement. see i.e. Antony Lerman 

The Guardian follows up with this:  ‘The Macpherson principle, read more

Election – UK 2017 The political ebb and flow

There has been a pattern to British politics over the past 70 years, but there is one common feature: we are always in a mess. It’s just a different kind of mess depending on the people in power. And it the people, not necessarily the party. If you take the positions of parties as ‘left, right or centre’ it’s clear that they move. If you look at the manifesto’s put out by Tessa and Jez there’s a lot of common ground in what they say they want. (In fairness, Jez has more detail).

The process seems to work like this: When the public realise their ‘services’ – Education, Transport, Public and personal health, environment – are falling ot bits, we elect a Labour government. After a while  we get fed up of the way they’re spending our money, so we elect a Conservative government on the promise that they’ll give us some of it back. They tell us it will take time ‘cos the Lab lot have spent all the cash (which they have: building schools and hospitals and subsidising the privatised rail network(?) not forgetting bailing out the banks last time round).

After a while we – the public – realise that the cash isn’t trickling down so much as pouring up, and we discover that, while the hospital looks as if it’ll stay up for a few more months, the nurse (singular) is looking seriously jaded. So, of course the logical thing is to vote for the Lab lot to sort things out. Then, when they’ve done that we can try the Con lot to give us some of our lolly.

That’s the way it seems to work, except it’s not logical. If we want top quality public sevices, and most of us seem to, we have to be prepared to pay for them. Until recently our NHS was the most efficient and most admired in the world. It’s time we realised we get what we pay for.

UK Election – June 8th – this Christian’s view

I’ve seen a lot of posts on FB and I’m glad to know that some of my friends, now that he’s getting some decent exposure, realise that Jeremy Corbyn is not Satan.  Unfortunately some of my FB friends still think his policies will be a disaster, despite some serious economists thinking otherwise. We’re told that the rich ‘will not work harder’ if they are taxed more than 42%. Funny, ‘cos one of the things the really well-off say is, it’s not about working harder, but working smarter. I suppose the smart thing is to hire a good tax accountant/lawyer; as long as you can afford one/them.

It will come as no surprise that I am voting Labour. I want a country that works for everyone, including those who cannot, for whatever reason, work at all. And I want my country to be one that welcomes people escaping violence, and is generous to those in need. Labour’s manifesto works for those things.

But what about the ‘wealth creators’? The problem is that Capitalism has failed; it hasn’t delivered. Why? because it is an imperfect system operated by human beings. Funnily, that’s the same reason why Socialism has appeared to fail, (although it could be argued that it’s never been properly tried). It is we who are the problem, for any system. Which is why, once this election is over, whatever the outcome, we electors must not shrug our shoulders, complain (or rejoice) & forget about our representatives until they next come calling. That’s not democracy, that’s stupidity. Let us learn from past mistakes and hold our representatives accountable.

And here’s my message for we Christians. Don’t assume that Matthew chapter 25 verses 14 to 30 is a paean to capitalism, (the parable of the Talents), it is the exact opposite. In his final discourses in Jerusalem before his crucifixion Jesus’ mind will have been focussed on getting his message across. The parable is one of four concerning watchfulness and faithfulness, and they are directed to Israel. It’s of a piece with chapter 21 verses 33 to 45; God’s judgement on faithless Israel, more particularly Israel’s faithless leaders – the shepherds of Israel (see Ezekiel chapter 34). Israel – and in this context, the church/Christians – have been gifted with a good message. It is exactly the same as was that required of Israel; justice, mercy, kindness, righteousness, sensitivity to the poor, the needy, the outcast, the foreigner. If you find that in a party manifesto, that’s who to vote for – then, if necessary, hold their feet to the fire (metaphorically & kindly of course) to make sure they do it. Any gifts we have are given us for the benefit of others, to draw them in to a kingdom of grace, mercy and love. If we use our gifts for ourselves – Matthew 25 has an unhappy conclusion!

As a pensioner paying a small amount of income tax, I will happily forgo my winter fuel allowance (given to charity) and pay a little more tax (reduce the tax free allowance) if it will save the NHS & give mine and the world’s children a better future. For me, it’s simple: Vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto and ‘Make Britain Decent’ (possibly for the first time).

Be Blessed.    Dave

Flying Saucers, antisemitisim, & the Labour Party

I think I might have seen a flying saucer — and Chuka Umunna thinks Labour has a problem with antisemitism. I don’t know anything about UFO’s but here’s my definition of antisemitism: antisemitism is hatred of Jews because they are Jews; simple. Islamophobia is hatred of Muslims simply because they are Muslim and the same test may be applied to any distinctive ethnic or religious or political group. Hatred, even dislike, of a person because of what they are, race, culture, creed, is quite simply, stupid. Criticism of people (of whatever race, creed or culture) because of what they believe or what they do is a totally other matter.

So:

  • Criticism of Jews because they support Israel’s illegal occupation,
  • Criticism of Jews because they support Zionism,
  • Criticism of Jews because they hate Palestinians,
  • Criticism of Jews because they support Chelsea FC

These are NOT antisemitic.Neither, surprisingly (?), is criticism of Christians because they support Israel’s illegal occupation. (When Christians support oppression anywhere they are playing dangerously with fire)

When anti-Zionism is equated to antisemitism the effect — and it is intentional — is to close down discussion of the impact of Zionism on the peoples of the Middle East, most notably, of course, the Palestinians. So, the Israeli government can put out lies about the Palestinians, and our governments say nothing. Israel breaks international agreements and ignore international law and our governments say little and do less.

But when some of us point out that these are lies and double standards we are accused of antisemitism. We are hearing all too frequently across the globe reminders of the 1930’s, of the East German Stasi, of the ‘McCarthy’ inquisition, of police state language.

The equation we are expected to make, subliminally, is that of  Judaism and Zionism. We are being taught — brain-washed — that they are one and the same. Here’s the contradiction our political leaders want to ignore. Semites, (the term ‘semitic’ was originally coined to define a group of languages), in this context taken to be Jews, have been around for about 2500 years. Antisemitism has been present, mainly in Europe and not necessarily so-described, for about 1700 years. Zionism was invented as a political doctrine  in 1896 so less than 150 years ago.

You like contradictions? Here’s another — Zionism, a response to European antisemitism, based its nationalistic demand for a nation state in Palestine on a religious history it rejected. Thus, “secular zionism has an inalienable right to possess the land of Palestiine because 3500 years ago a god we don’t believe in gave it to a tribe there’s a chance we may be loosely related to”. Which to me sounds more like an imperialistic justification than faithful Judaism. (And it certainly aint Christian!)

Flying Saucers? Well, if I thought I saw one, or wanted to believe I saw one and reported I saw one, it must be true, mustn’t it? And since you ask, no I did not. And what we should be asking is why so many of the ‘antisemitism’ reports to CST don’t get reported to the police, and why reports investigated don’t result in prosecution. Why, for instance, have none of the recent allegations resulted, so far as I can gather, in even a police caution?

Zionism is anti-Semitic

My Objection to Zionism has nothing to do with Jews as a people group.It isn’t Jews I have a problem with but the ideology that some Jews hold to.  I have to oppose Zionism because it is racist, exceptionalist and militarist.  These should not be attractive characterstics for evangelical Christians, (like me), although they may be if you happen to support e.g. KKK,  BNP, or any other ethnic supremacist party, (whether white or black or other).

Zionism claims that it is simply about the rights of Jews to live in a land of their own, which sounds reasonable until we examine what that means and has meant in practice.  The fact is that the land most Jews in Israel-Palestine now live on and the land they are taking away daily by building settlements is land where another people, Palestinians, live and have lived for many generations.

The Zionist arguments in justification are exceptionalist – the Jews are special (that, by the way, has nothing to do with the ‘chosen people’ argument. Most of the early Zionists were secular Jews).  Zionists believe that Arabs are inferior, not just different. It is only necessary to listen to their descriptions, ‘snakes’, ‘rats’, ‘dirty’, etc.  That is racism.

Thus, to defend Zionism is to give comfort to a system that denies the equality of humankind and demands special treatment for one people group, Jews, over all others, especially Palestinians. It is to support an ideology that achieves its aim of occupying all the land through overwhelming military force – the ‘Iron Wall’ and retains control by militaristic, economic and political oppression. It is to praise a system that allows democracy only when Jews are in a substantial majority.  Militarist, racist, exceptionalist, and utterly at odds with true Judaism and as far as can possibly be from the Sermon on the Mount. (Mt 5-7).

To suggest that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic is to reverse logic. The truth is that it is anti-Semitic to claim that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic.  Put it another way, because it defines all Jews as racist, militaristic and exceptionalist: Zionism is anti-Semitic.

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