Not letting the facts get in the way of a story: Kieron Monks (left) and Gary Spedding (right).

I didn’t hold out much hope for an article headed Understanding Labour’s anti-semitism problem, and inasmuch as it mentions me, I was right.

Let’s give author Keiron Monks his due – he does at least try to acknowledge the possibility of “false, malicious or opportunistic claims”, but fails to recognise that such claims have been made about me.

I’m prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the words about “activist Mike Sivier, who has been accused of Holocaust revisionism” – because I have indeed been accused – falsely.

But the claim that I “wrote in defence of a comment that Tony Blair was ‘unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisors'” is plainly untrue.

So I tweeted Mr Monks and pointed out his mistake. Here’s the dialogue:

Notice how these guys simply cannot quote me accurately? They have to miss out important passages, or simply clip out small phrases they think they can use, and then present them, devoid of context, as proof of a claim that simply does not stand up.

I added:

Here’s the reply:

How many times, in the above, is the point made that “concerns” are what “may have been entirely justified”? I reckon I’m pretty hot on that subject.

Yet – in the face of the facts – Mr Monks tries to tell me I’m saying “the comment” is what “may have been entirely justified”. Can you see why I’m more than a little exasperated by this behaviour, which I consider to be deliberate refusal to acknowledge the evidence in this matter?

In the name of reason, I tried one last time:

See, the words, “may have been entirely justified” have to refer to the “concerns” of the person hearing the claim because that is the only person in the hypothetical dialogue who would require “further information”.

The person making the “comment” may be reasonably expected to have all the further information he or she needed to justify making it, you see.

Faced with an argument that cannot be disproved, what do you think Mr Monks did?

That’s right – he went away. At the time of writing, I’ve had no reply from him since.

Instead, the argument was taken up by Gary Spedding, a contributor to the article by Mr Monks. He tweeted:

Anti-Semitism accusers love taking screenshots and showing them to the accused – and to anyone in a position of authority in order to get the accused person into trouble. They have one real problem, though – the screenshots rarely support the point they are trying to make.

That is certainly true here. The paragraph about Marx is unrelated to the matter of the “cabal of Jewish advisors”, and I have explained all but the last sentence in the second paragraph.

That sentence – “No UK prime minister should be biased towards any special-interest group but should work for the benefit of everybody” – is a truism. It could – possibly – be related to the assertion, but not in this context. It is provided to support my own assertion that, without further information, anyone hearing the claim would be justified in feeling concern. They would be justified in feeling concern because no UK prime minister should be biased towards any special-interest group but should work for the benefit of everybody.

Mr Spedding’s tweet that my comment about UK prime ministers not being biased towards any particular special interest group “is further concrete proof” of anti-Semitism on my part makes absolutely no sense to me. Does it make any sense to you? My comment means exactly why I have stated, above.

Given all of the above, I find it hard to come to any conclusion other than that Mr Spedding – and possibly Mr Monk – has an ulterior motive in attacking me, that has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. So I put it to him:

That’s the truth, by the way. Anti-Semitism is literally hatred towards Jews. Even the not-very-good IHRA definition states: Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Find the hatred of Jews in my words. There isn’t any. All I said was that a person hearing that the UK’s prime minister was being “unduly influenced” by a special interest group – when the UK prime minister holds an office requiring the holder to work for the benefit of everybody, rather than for any special interest group – and lacking any further information about the claim, may be justified in feeling concern.

Perhaps Labour’s biggest anti-Semitism problem is the zealots who are determined to find it when it isn’t there.

People who make “false, malicious or opportunistic claims” that others are anti-Semites, possibly including the two mentioned above, often do so in order to suppress or silence political views they don’t like. That is certainly why the claims reported in the national newspapers were made about me.

If you want to support me, currently the best way is to donate to This Site. The funds will enable me to keep publishing stories about political issues that my accusers would rather didn’t see the light of day. The box is directly below this article.

Afterword: It may interest you to know that, subsequent to our dialogue, Mr Spedding has blocked me on Twitter. Guilty conscience?

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