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Labour’s first post-‘IHRA’ anti-Semitism accusations have been made – and they abuse the new rules

Remember when right-wing Labour MPs were screaming for the party to adopt the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism with all its examples, including those that make it almost impossible to criticise the Israeli government?

Remember how those people swore blind that adopting these examples would not lay party members open to false accusations by those abusing the new rules?

Well, they lied.

(Or at least, they have been proved wrong.)

The first accusations under the new system are starting to come to light, and they are damning.

Consider the case of Eleanor Penny, a correspondent for Novara Media, who happens to be Jewish.

It seems – and please correct me if I’m mistaken – that parts of this video in which Ms Penny states that it isn’t anti-Semitic to criticise Israel, holding it to the same standard as other countries, are being used as the evidence against her.

Fortunately there are those among the rest of us who are not willing to lie down and put up with this nonsense:

For what my word is worth (not much at the moment, owing to my own suspension by Labour after allegations of anti-Semitism – a suspension that is now in its 16th disgraceful month), Labour should not just dismiss the complaint.

The party needs to make a sincere apology for allowing such an abuse of its complaints system to take place – as it should with other false complaints such as that against me.

And does the complaint itself count as anti-Semitism, as it is intended to create discrimination against a Jew?

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Israel’s Arab MPs back Corbyn – and oppose IHRA definition – in antisemitism row

In a Knesset session, Arab MPs protest against recent legislation that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

If your knee-jerk reaction to the headline is, “They would, wouldn’t they?” then you need to read what follows.

You see, the letter from the Joint List MPs in the Israeli Knesset – who include one Jewish representative – could really put the cat among the pigeons.

It highlights the double-standard of a UK organisation setting Jews above all other minorities – giving them protections available to nobody else – when the self-defined “nation-state of the Jewish people” has just stolen rights from all minorities in Israel.

It highlights the fact that the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism – which the Labour Party in the UK is under extreme pressure to adopt in full – prohibits opposition to Zionism, which is not a characteristic of Judaism but a political philosophy that, as characterised by the government of Israel, is racist.

Where does this put those in the UK who are demanding that Labour adopt the IHRA definition?

Where does it put Gordon Brown, who has put pressure on Labour’s NEC to adopt IHRA in full, “unanimously, unequivocally and immediately”, saying Labour is all about equality and solidarity?

IHRA would grant Jewish people more privileges than any other minority in the UK. That’s not equality. The demand that Labour supports Zionism is not solidarity.

It would be collusion in racism, as the Joint List letter makes clear.

Where does it put Margaret Hodge, who has admitted that the anti-Semitism row in the Labour Party is about right-wingers like herself and Mr Brown trying to remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the party?

She said: “The problem is that he is the problem.”

It puts them on particularly weak territory.

And where does it put Labour’s National Executive Committee, which is due to vote in a meeting on Tuesday, on whether to adopt the full IHRA definition, with all its examples including support for Zionism with all the implications of support for racism that it entails?

If it supports the change, the NEC will be deliberately provoking constituency party units that have supported the current code of conduct, which supports the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism but omits some examples in favour of explanations that improve on those put forward by the IHRA – removing ambiguities that prohibit criticism of Zionism and/or policies of the Israeli government?

It leaves them up to their necks in the… soup.

If they support a move to describe criticism of racist Israeli policies as anti-Semitic; if they support demands to prohibit criticism of the racist, land-grabbing and genocidal political philosophy that supports such policies; if they support self-determination for Jewish people but not for Palestinians…

They will be worse than those who are demanding it of them – because they will be silencing international condemnation that may be the only way to prevent the name of Palestine becoming just another entry in a history book – and the Palestinian people being the victims of another avoidable genocide.

A political alliance of four Arab-dominated parties in Israel’s parliament have broken ranks with fellow legislators to announce their support for Jeremy Corbyn.

In a letter to the Guardian, the Knesset members said they commended the Labour leader for “his long-standing solidarity with all oppressed peoples around the world, including his unflinching support for the Palestinian people”.

They added: “We stand in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn and we recognise him as a principled leftist leader who aspires for peace and justice and is opposed to all forms of racism, whether directed at Jews, Palestinians, or any other group.”

“As long as efforts to curb anti-Jewish sentiment in the UK are focused on combating the disparagement of Jews merely for their membership in a minority group, they have our full support,” said the group, which includes the deputy speaker, Ahmad Tibi. But they added that the definition of antisemitism “goes far beyond anti-Jewish animus to include anti-Zionism”.

Arab and other minorities in Israel have felt under threat after the Knesset passed a law in July declaring that only Jews have the right of self-determination, encouraging Jewish settlement, and downgrading the status of the Arabic language.

The Joint List letter said Palestinian citizens of Israel have “yet to experience a single day of equality”, adding that millions more in the West Bank live under occupation and “under siege in the Gaza Strip”.

“Incredibly, instead of taking that government to task for its unadulterated racism, the British political class ignores the Palestinian historical plight,” it said. “With the Netanyahu government ramping up the racism, our struggle for survival is more precarious than ever.”

Source: Israel’s Arab MPs back Corbyn in antisemitism row | World news | The Guardian

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QC criticises IHRA definition of anti-Semitism as ‘not fit for purpose’

“A particular problem with the IHRA definition is that it is likely in practice to chill free speech, by raising expectations of pro-Israeli groups that they can successfully object to legitimate criticism of Israel and correspondingly arouse fears in NGO’s and student bodies that they will have events banned, or else will have to incur considerable expense to protect them by taking legal action. Either way, they may not organise such events.”

The definition of antisemitism adopted by the government is not fit for the purpose of decision making, declares Geoffrey Robertson QC in an opinion published today.

The opinion, which was produced to advise the Palestinian Return Centre, states that the definition does not cover the most insidious forms of hostility to Jewish people and the looseness of the definition is liable to chill legitimate criticisms of the state of Israel and coverage of human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Mr Robertson, an expert on freedom of speech and human rights, who has lectured on genocide at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has criticised Theresa May for adopting a definition which was not intended to be binding and which was not drafted as a comprehensible definition. By pivoting on expression that arouses hatred (a “very strong word”) it does not cover speech that arouses hostility, or which “politely spreads the poison of prejudice” against Jews as a race. He evinces surprise that Jewish organisations are advocating acceptance of the full definition by the Labour Party and other organisations have not realised that it fails to protect Jews from many prevalent kinds of antisemitism.

Source: Eminent QC Criticises IHRA Definition of Anti-Semitism as “Not fit for purpose” in Opinion Published Today

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Even full acceptance of the IHRA examples of anti-Semitism won’t stop Labour’s backstabbers from attacking Jeremy Corbyn

Joan Ryan MP: This shot is taken from the Al-Jazeera documentary series The Lobby, in which Ms Ryan, chair of Labour Friends of Israel, is told by Shai Masot, the Israeli embassy’s then-political officer, that his government was providing a one million pound slush fund for her organisation to undermine people considered to be enemies of that country’s administration. Mr Masot was shipped back to Israel after the documentary series revealed that he was conspiring with Britons to undermine the UK government.

Why are Labour’s leaders agonising over this? We have an admission that the row over the party’s definition of anti-Semitism is artificial, courtesy of The Jewish Chronicle.

For weeks, supporters of the Israeli government have been pressuring the Labour leadership to accept the full IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism, with all the examples including those that forbid any criticism of Israel and Zionism (I’m paraphrasing for brevity; you can look them up for yourself).

But now we see Labour MP and Israeli government poodle Joan Ryan (she is the chair of Labour Friends of Israel, so I believe the implied criticism is justified) saying attacks on Mr Corbyn will not stop, even if Labour adopts the full IHRA definition with examples.

So Labour has nothing to gain from doing so.

The definition and examples of anti-Semitism in Labour’s code of conduct are better than those put forward by the IHRA. The only people suggesting otherwise are those who have a vested interest in silencing criticism of the Israeli government and its genocidal ongoing eradication of the Palestinian people (and those who have been duped by their claims).

And let’s face it: The attacks on Mr Corbyn have been pathetically ridiculous. He was at a wreath-laying ceremony in a cemetery where none of the terrorists involved in the Munich attack on Israelis were buried; he was at the wedding of a man who said something anti-Semitic four years later, and had no way of knowing.

Other party members have been attacked with equally specious, unevidenced claims.

I’m one of them! To help me take legal action against those who have made false claims against me, please visit my JustGiving page.

See for yourself what Ms Ryan has said:

Even after all that has happened over the past four weeks, the leadership appears to be desperately trying to wriggle out of accepting IHRA. Instead it seems determined to protect the rights of those who wish to call the Jewish people’s right to self-determination a “racist endeavour”.

That some have decided to put this right over the express wishes of Britain’s Jews is beyond arrogant and insensitive. IHRA needs no additions, deletions or qualifications.

Nor should we pretend that even full acceptance of IHRA ends the battle against antisemitism in the Labour Party.

Ms Ryan’s article could have been written by an Israeli government propagandist.

Particularly offensive is her statement that Mr Corbyn claims to be willing to talk with anyone who wishes to bring about peace, and her outraged assertion that he will not talk with Israelis.

Of course, we have only her word for that. But if true, doesn’t that indicate that the representatives of the Israeli government have no interest in peace – at least until they have wiped all traces of Palestine off the world map?

Source: Jeremy Corbyn appals me – and his behaviour will get no better – The Jewish Chronicle

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‘Universally-accepted’ definition of anti-Semitism isn’t even accepted by its author

Kenneth Stern: The author of the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism opposes its use as demanded by the groups that have been attacking the Labour Party.

I have mentioned in previous articles on the Labour anti-Semitism row that the author of the IHRA working definition of it is on the record as having rejected the use to which organisations like the Board of Deputies of British Jews are putting it.

His name is Kenneth Stern and he know better than the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, Labour Friends of Israel, the Jewish Labour Movement, the Campaign Against Antisemitism, any right-wing Labour MP and the Israeli government. If you don’t accept that, your opinion is not worth our time.

Here are his reasons:

According to the latest hysterical criteria of the Israel lobby* and their camp followers, the original drafter of the so-called IHRA definition of antisemitism, an avowed Zionist, should himself be categorised as an antisemite, or perhaps a “kapo”. For that is the conclusion one must reach if one accepts the assertion that anyone who challenges any aspect of the holy writ that the IHRA definition has become is an antisemite.

The drafter of what later became popularly known as the EUMC or IHRA definition of antisemitism,including its associated examples, was the U.S. attorney Kenneth S. Stern. However, in written evidence submitted to the US congress last year, Stern charged that his original definition had been used for an entirely different purpose to that for which it had been designed. According to Stern it had originally been designed as a ”working definition” for the purpose of trying to standardise data collection about the incidence of antisemitic hate crime in different countries. It had never been intended that it be used as legal or regulatory device to curb academic or political free speech. Yet that is how it has now come to be used. In the same document Stern specifically condemns as inappropriate the use of the definition for such purposes, mentioning in particular the curbing of free speech in UK universities, and referencing Manchester and Bristol universities as examples. Here is what he writes:

“The EUMC “working definition” was recently adopted in the United Kingdom, and applied to campus. An “Israel Apartheid Week” event was cancelled as violating the definition. A Holocaust survivor was required to change the title of a campus talk, and the university [Manchester] mandated it be recorded, after an Israeli diplomat [ambassador Regev] complained that the title violated the definition.[See here]. Perhaps most egregious, an off-campus group citing the definition called on a university to conduct an inquiry of a professor (who received her PhD from Columbia) for antisemitism, based on an article she had written years before. The university [Bristol] then conducted the inquiry. And while it ultimately found no basis to discipline the professor, the exercise itself was chilling and McCarthy-like. [square brackets added]”

Of course the groups which were behind this “McCarthy-like” repression of free speech condemned by Stern are the very same ones which are now engaged in the current vendetta against Corbyn. For example in the case of the Bristol University lecturer who was subjected to an inquiry into false accusations of antisemitism, it was the misnamed Campaign Against Antisemitism, in reality an aggressively pro-Israel lobby group, which had called for her to be sacked unless she recanted.

* I use the term “Israel Lobby” as a shorthand for those who use false or wildly exaggerated charges of antisemitism against the Labour party as a cover for their real goals which are (a) to make pro-Palestinian activism impossible within the Labour Party, and (b) to ensure that Corbyn is removed as leader of the Labour party. In reality, as Moshe Machover has repeatedly pointed out, this is a loose coalition of rather different political groups from the centre-right to the far right, some of which are connected to pro-Israel and rightwing Jewish organisations, but some of which have no particular connection or interest in either Judaism or the Israel-Palestine conflict, but are simply using the antisemitism hysteria as a means to attack the Corbyn political project. Some have suggested that the term “anti-Palestinian Lobby” might be a more appropriate terminology.

Oh, it had to be the CAA behind an aggressive attempt at censorship of free speech!

Mr Stern continues:

Imagine a definition designed for Palestinians. If “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist” is antisemitism, then shouldn’t “Denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination, and denying Palestine the right to exist” be anti-Palestinianism? Would they then ask administrators to police and possibly punish campus events by pro-Israel groups who oppose the two state solution, or claim the Palestinian people are a myth?

The full article is well worth reading and may be found here: Why the man who drafted the IHRA definition condemns its use :: Jewish Voice for Labour

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Slavishly adopting the IHRA examples of anti-Semitism won’t help Labour

Left-wing Labour NEC candidate Huda Elmi makes good points in the Independent article quoted below – although it is sad that some received wisdom is still being regurgitated unquestioned.

For example, we are told that there is “a real sense of alarm” in many parts of the Jewish community in the UK.

Isn’t that because of mass media attempts to stir up such alarm – with hardly any hard evidence to support them?

It is only days since Jewish businesswoman Mandy Blumenthal had her feet metaphorically swept out from under her by Victoria Derbyshire, who pointed out that there is hardly any evidence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, but a wealth of proof that the party has tightened its procedures for fighting it in any case.

And this provides us with what should be our main reason for rejecting calls to adopt all the examples that support the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism: It will increase false accusations, rather than supporting the fight against real hatred of Jews because they are Jews.

Instead, Labour needs to stop looking for ways to find innocent people guilty, and try instead to exercise some sense in examining the claims that are being made – and the people making them.

If you have to twist somebody’s words to make them look bad, then they don’t have any charge to answer and the integrity of their accuser is to be questioned.

Likewise if you have to shoehorn behaviour into one of the IHRA examples in order to make them seem guilty. If it isn’t obviously an expression of hatred towards Jews for being Jews, then it probably isn’t actually one.

Here’s Huda Elmi:

The biggest contention that my fellow critics of the IHRA examples have is with a particular one that focuses on calling the state of Israel a racist endeavour. IHRA’s defenders like to say that it allows for criticism of the policies of Israel, but not of the endeavour of building the Israeli state per se (that is to say, Zionism).

But this is an impossible distinction to maintain in practice. Allowing criticism of policies but not allowing a discussion of the ideologies or political movements that are behind those policies is nonsensical. It is like saying you are allowed to criticise privatisation, because it is a policy, but you aren’t allowed to link that to neoliberalism as the ideology that upholds it.

Adopting a formal position that carries with it well documented ambiguity over key questions of free speech on Israel will only raise tensions further, create uproar and mayhem in many sections of the party and provide a never ending supply of rows and media stories that will only erode the trust of the Jewish community further.

Even Kenneth Stern, who helped author the IHRA definition, opposes its accession to concrete legal definition and a framework for tackling antisemitism. Lawyers across the political spectrum, academics and institutions see no legal merit or status to the document. In the Labour Party, it would do nothing to help clear the backlog of cases, which would only be confused further by such an unclear and imprecise set of examples.

Whether we adopt the full definition or not, intense disagreement on Israel and on Zionism will continue to exist at all levels of the party. Any proposal that does not recognise that fact will not be compatible with the need to detoxify spaces infused with the bitter atmosphere that make Jewish Labour Party members feel unsafe in the first place.

Source: Accepting the full IHRA definition is not the answer to Labour’s antisemitism crisis – here’s what the party should do next | The Independent

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Theresa May didn’t mention Jews in her Holocaust message – but Jeremy Corbyn was attacked for it

Jeremy Corbyn, writing about Jews including Roza Robota, Szmul Zygielbojm and Anne Frank, in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s book of remembrance.

One of the themes of Holocaust Memorial Day, and the charity behind the event, is that people should come together to prevent future holocausts and genocides.

It shames us all, therefore, that some people have been encouraged to complain about Jeremy Corbyn’s Facebook message, in which he did not mention Jews.

People were quick to attack the omission, which was said to be from the message he wrote in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s book of remembrance.

In fact, it was not. One wonders how that mistake happened. The message from the book – which certainly does mention Jews, appeared on Facebook later, and can be read here.

But the damage was done. Critics arose to question Mr Corbyn’s omission, including the writer of this on the Christians United For Israel website:

Jeremy Corbyn shared a message ahead of Saturday’s Holocaust Memorial Day. However the Labour leader did so without mentioning Jews.

The omission raised eye-brows with many of social media questioning his reason. Over six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. With the “power of words” being a theme of this year’s Memorial Day, it would have been an appropriate opportunity to have addressed this directly, especially considering the Labour leadership’s recent problems with antisemitism in the party.

Another critical article, in The Tablet, quotes Hugo Rifkind – who This Writer so resoundingly trounced in a discussion on anti-Semitism in 2016 – as follows:

I literally cannot understand why he would do this. Can it be accidental? You mention Jews, just like you mention gypsies, homosexuals and dissidents. If you don’t, you are making a specific point of not doing.

Really?

Perhaps Mr Rifkind had not read Theresa May’s message in the same book of remembrance. Here it is:

The pages of this book unite us in a commitment to remember all those who suffered during the Holocaust. We stand together to honour the lives lost and those who survived.

As Prime Minister, I pledge to do everything in my power to ensure we never forget where prejudice and hatred can lead. The new national Memorial to the Holocaust will sit in the shadow of Parliament, alongside a world class learning centre to do just that. It will make a permanent statement of our promise to remember and our commitment to teach future generations to fight hatred in all its forms.

By supporting the Holocaust Educational Trust and all its partners we will safeguard the memories of survivors and learn the lessons for generations to come.

The evidence shows that it is Mrs May who made not a single reference to the Jews – either individually or as a race.

Nor, for that matter, did she mention Romani, homosexuals or dissidents. Perhaps she was making a specific point not to do so.

It may interest you to recall that in my most recent article on this subject, I mentioned all of the above, along with many other people whose sacrifices should be recalled during Holocaust Memorial Day – if the charity that runs the event is serious about commemorating all victims of holocaust and genocide: The disabled, the mentally ill, neurotics, prostitutes, recidivist criminals, Prisoners of War, and among the political prisoners: trade unionists, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, and slave workers from the Slav nations. Also: Armenians, and those who died in the genocides in Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia and Rwanda.

Other genocides go uncommemorated, as I have mentioned in another article.

Do I get some sort of prize for commemorating all victims of these atrocities?

No. As many readers are aware, I have been accused of anti-Semitism.

In fact, one of the accusations against me is for suggesting that, referring to another organisation that did not mention Jews in its discussion of the Holocaust, it seemed likely that the organisation in question was simply being “politically correct” in using an umbrella term – “victims” – to cover them all.

The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is “The Power of Words”, and the Theme Vision statement makes it clear that “words used to good effect can restore hope, courage or faith. Words can challenge prevailing views and can state solidarity”.

This Writer would hope that this is the purpose to which most people are putting their own words with regard to HMD.

But the same document also states that “harsh words, or words that feed negative stereotypes, can fuel tensions, increase vulnerability and even incite violence”.

In other words, they can be hugely divisive – in exact opposition to the aim of the event, which is to “ensure that everyone works together to create a safer, better future”.

I would suggest that the accusations against Mr Corbyn are exactly the kind of “harsh words” that are intended to “fuel tensions, increase vulnerablility and even incite violence” – it is “the language of hatred and exclusion”.

It is language used to attack Mr Corbyn under a false banner, while giving Mrs May a free pass. It is the language of hypocrisy, of division, of hate.

And I’m willing to bet that those responsible will get away with it.


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Johnny Vegas leads backlash against Tory MP who disrespected Remembrance Day and muted her critics

Maria Caulfield: She likes to talk, but it seems she’s less keen to listen.

Remember “poppy fascist” Maria Caulfield, the Tory MP for Lewes who tried to score a political point by highlighting a lack of poppies in a photo of Labour activists out campaigning?

This site ran a story about her here.

Well, it seems she doesn’t have the sense to shut up – quite the opposite, in fact. She has muted her critics so she doesn’t have to read their responses to her idiocy.

Here’s her reaction:

No – it leaves people with a genuine grievance talking to the world, while Mrs Caulfield has excluded herself.

Prominent among them is comic Johnny Vegas, who tweeted the following in response to her original tweet:

That is not trolling. Nor is his reaction to Mrs Caulfield’s latest atrocity:

Looking at the above, I would argue that Johnny Vegas would be a better representative of the public than Mrs Caulfield. Don’t you agree?

Let’s have a look at some of the other comments that Mrs Caulfield has denied herself:

Oh dear. So she has achieved the exact opposite of her ambition. Instead of making Labour look bad, she has reminded us all of the failings of her own party in government.

Oh dear. So she has made herself look insensitive and ignorant.

Oh dear. So everyone can talk about her behind her back – perhaps encouraging others to withdraw support from her at the next election?

And those are just three of the tweets in the thread that Mrs Caulfield isn’t reading.

This Writer would certainly encourage you to visit it yourself – just click on her tweet, above.

If you want to follow anyone, follow Johnny Vegas.


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Tory ‘poppy fascist’ tarred and feathered on Twitter

Maria Caulfield: She should know better.

Maria Caulfield is the clueless Conservative MP for Lewes, in east Sussex. She is a former nurse and the wife of an ex-serviceman – which makes her ill-advised criticism of a Labour campaign group all the more ignorant.

It seems Tooting Labour Party were out campaigning yesterday (November 11) – and Ms Caulfield took umbrage at the apparent absence of poppies from the photograph they posted on Twitter:

But if you look at the photograph…

… while only one person is visibly wearing a poppy and four are not, we cannot tell whether the other 13 are wearing poppies or not.

It seems to This Writer that Ms Caulfield was, therefore, trying to score a cheap political point rather than expressing any genuine outrage – and I am not alone.

Twitter responded with its usual flair for accuracy. Ms Caulfield was – metaphorically, at least – tarred and feathered. I use the term advisedly, as it was an unofficial form of punishment and humiliation, often used on those who did not support the services, and remains a term for severe public criticism.

For an example of Conservative regard for ex-servicepeople, Ms Caulfield was urged to consider the case of David Clapson. Diabetic Mr Clapson – a former serviceman – is no longer with us because the Conservative-run Department for Work and Pensions decided to make him starve to death.

https://twitter.com/HRHTudor1976/status/929407955996499968

Here’s a pertinent point from Clive Lewis. He may be under investigation after allegations were made against him, but his willingness to stand up for the veterans speaks volumes:

If you want to look up ‘Geddes Axe’, here is a good place to start.

Of course, Tory attitudes in history and towards benefit claimants are not the only ways in which they have attacked veterans. Let us consider their current failings (after all, Twitter did):

And, of course, there was an obvious personal comment to make:

All in all – well, Judy Hamilton puts it very well:

And what of Labour? Judge for yourself:


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Why we should all fight the politicisation of the poppy

161104-remembrance-poppies

There was discussion of the Remembrance poppy on the BBC’s Question Time yesterday, including from one audience member who didn’t realise it is worn to commemorate all our war dead, right up to the present day.

The debate was about FIFA banning footballers from wearing poppies on November 11 (the organisation does not allow players to wear political, religious or commercial messages on their shirts). The comments quoted below are by 90+ year old pro-NHS campaigner and political commentator Harry Leslie Smith, who won’t be wearing a poppy either because he suspects politicians of subverting their message.

It seems there are a lot of misconceptions going around, and very few people willing to put them to rest.

This Writer won’t stop wearing a poppy in the near future. But I don’t want to see it used as a justification for further warfare either – that is the exact opposite of its purpose.

And I think that is the answer.

Perhaps it is time to start questioning politicians when they start sabre-rattling. Let’s call them out on their action. Do they wear poppies in the run-up to November 11? Then why agitate for further military action?

Don’t they know they’re disrespecting our honoured dead?

Perhaps that might engender a swift shift of rhetoric.

I can no longer wear a poppy because its meaning of respect for the fallen and the motto “never again” on the First World War memorial has been profaned by our wars to maintain our empire after the fall of Hitler, and our modern conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

I feel now that wearing the poppy gives a blank cheque to our politicians to justify their folly in wars of questionable merit, as well as the needless deaths their sanguine votes for boots on the ground costs both our soldiers and innocent civilians in foreign countries.

Wearing the poppy today lets our politicians off the hook for their symbiotic relationship to the arms industry and their criminal disregard for the refugee crisis.

We have lost our right to collectively mourn our war dead if we are unwilling to at least investigate the notion that our military industrial complex might not have our country’s best interests at heart when they sell bombs to tyrants.

It is why the insistence of certain media outlets to name and shame those who don’t wear the poppy is not only reprehensible, but jingoistic, and will ultimately help lead us into conflicts that will threaten the lives of thousands of our young like the First Great War did.

Source: Remembrance Day: Why I stopped wearing a poppy

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