As he admits himself, it is no surprise that the Labour Party membership of This Site’s friend and fellow campaigner Martin Odoni, of The Critique Archives, has been suspended – over an article written in support of me, I notice.
He had been expecting it for a while.
But the timing is interesting. Labour has waited until the party was carrying out its regular elections to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee.
I wonder how many other suspensions have occurred at this time – and whether this is intended to discourage party members from voting in NEC candidates who ever seemed to support those accused of the same offence – anti-Semitism.
Right-wing Labour officers tried a similar tactic during Jeremy Corbyn’s second leadership election, when they banned left-wingers from voting on the basis of the flimsiest possible excuses.
Is it so far beyond the realms of possibility that party officers are now trying to discourage support for left-wingers in the way I have described?
I would be interested to read your views – especially those supported by evidence.
Meanwhile, Martin has to face an accusation that he has compared Israel’s behaviour to that of Nazi Germany – and he’ll have his work cut out for him because Labour is currently kowtowing to that minority of British Jewry that supports Israel’s mass-persecution and murder of innocent people. I trust I do not have to provide examples of this behaviour.
He writes – and I agree with him [boldings mine]: “Even if one could argue that there is no such resemblance at present – a very shaky assertion but let us humour it for now – there is no reason for certainty that there never will be one in the future.
“But the IHRA working definition insists that we must assume that, and that if we do not, we are anti-Semites.
“And worse, this further means that, even if Israel actually went as far as to set up extermination camps complete with gas chambers and incinerators, and started ‘processing’ Palestinians through them in their thousands (no, I am not suggesting that Israel really is doing that, or that it is likely to in the future, this is purely hypothetical), the IHRA definition would still class it as anti-Semitic to suggest a resemblance to Nazi policy. Even though, in such a scenario, Israel’s policy would not only resemble but exactly match that of the Nazis.”
You can see that Mr Odoni has a point.
But we may hope that he can open up a debate about the subject – not just of Israel’s behaviour as a nation, but of the assumption that it cannot perform such abominations.
Like so many of the assumptions in the IHRA working definition, that is wide open to abuse. And Labour is in danger of supporting that abuse, at the hands of pro-Israel activists and a mass media that is complicit in publishing fake news about the party, instead of the facts.
Finally, there is the fact that Martin is, himself, ethnically Jewish. The Labour Party must, therefore, fall foul of the claim by their apparent masters in the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council – that it is for Jews to decide what is anti-Semitic, not Gentiles.
Or are we seeing double-standards? One rule for one group and a different rule for another? Is Martin ‘the wrong kind of Jew’ that the Board of Deputies and the JLC keep banging on about?
I know I’m only a Gentile, but…
That looks like racism and anti-Semitism to me.
I mentioned a couple of months back that I was expecting some kind of suspension to my membership of the Labour Party. Well, it took them a long time, but there is predictable news, and unexpected news on that front. The predictable bit (a friend and fellow Labour ‘suspendee’ even said, “Unsurprisingly” when I informed him of my suspension) is that I have indeed received my suspension notice.
The unexpected detail is what I have been accused over… it was over the cover picture I put together for an article I wrote back in February:
It is entirely possible that I am guilty, given the well-recorded problems with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, which the Labour Party has largely adopted. The dangerous flaw in the definition – that comparing the policy of The State of Israel to that of Nazi Germany is inherently anti-Semitic – would probably apply here.
I am quite pleased that I have been suspended over this though, because it may force Labour to have a close look at the absurdity of this clause in the definition. What is likely to force the matter is the obvious, big drawback in the allegation against me; it is directed at someone who is ethnically Jewish.
As I have said more than once in the past, it is quite possible to be prejudiced against one’s own race, but it is very counter-intuitive and rare, so when the suggestion is made, it needs a very strong supporting case. In other words, if anyone wishes to accuse me of being a Jewish anti-Semite, they had better come up with some ultra-solid reasons why.
Anti-Semitic feeling will never be the only possible motivation for condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs. Nor is it the only possible reason why people might see resemblance between the deeds of modern Israel and the deeds of Nazi Germany.