The left is being set up. I don’t know who Scrat, aka @scrat1962, is, but he’s not a real Jeremy Corbyn supporter. He has however gone out of his way to pretend he is one of us. He’s been retweeting me and I discovered yesterday we follow each other. When I discovered he was accusing Chelley Ryan of being an Israeli operative I had to check his tweets. They are littered with attacks on Jews simply for being Jews. But he’s also retweeting me and all the people I regularly retweet, people who sometimes retweet me. His constant support for Jeremy Corbyn and following his supporters and our following him would clearly lead to the conclusion that he is one of us, and that we bear collective responsibility for those hiding in our midst. But he really is not one of us.
Scrat1962 is anonymous. I’ve asked if anyone can verify who he is. So far without luck. He’s certainly in no hurry to out himself. If he did and it turned out he was a Labour member as he implies he is, then Jeremy Corbyn would vote for his immediate expulsion on the NEC and he knows he’d be gone. However, he’s been retweeting Chelley and me because he’s peppered his tweets so relatively thinly with anti Jewish racism, and because we follow too many to notice what they’re all doing, the damage he is doing has to be intentional.
Scrat1962, whoever he is, is providing Jeremy Corbyn’s enemies with ‘evidence’ that his supporters are antisemitic. The reality is almost all antisemites claiming to support him are bound to be enemies trying to frame him. Unfortunately, that’s almost certainly not the entire story. Carelessness has lead to people saying things that look antisemitic, even if the evidence comes in the form of retweeting nonsense. But this is a problem that can be fixed relatively easily. Motives do matter. And there’s all the difference in the world between immaturity, or possibly dyslexia, and racism.
However, when we do come across a genuine antisemite, please don’t shrug your shoulders and leave it to others to sort him/her out. If they’re damaging the Corbyn movement then get others to block him/her, or at the very least ask others if they agree with your assessment; maybe others will convince you it’s a false alarm. But if their tweets are antisemitic and the rest of Corbyn’s supporters agree, then let’s report them to twitter. And let’s support calls for them to be expelled from Labour if they are a member. Don’t let them frame us. There is nothing wrong with being a Jew and anyone who says otherwise is a racist and in no sense part of the left.