Someone a few hours ago responded to one of my tweets by telling me we need to help Jeremy Corbyn from interference in ‘our’ democracy by ‘Jewish Money’. That begged a question: did this guy really think I’d agree with that? I checked who he is. Seems he follows me but, for some reason, I chose not to follow back.
I see people like this from time to time and I am in two minds what to do. This involves judgement calls. I never follow back people who tweet things like this, but I don’t always block them. However, it depends on how bad it is. This is quite clear cut from my point of view, and he’s trying to attach himself to Jeremy Corbyn. And that strikes me as suspicious. He’s also attaching himself to me, and I can’t afford that. So this time I have no option but to block him.
Anyone attacking Jews for no reason other than their being Jewish is a reactionary. It hardly matter whether the attack is on the religion or ethnicity of Jews. Racism or religious bigotry? Both constitute anti-Semitism, and no socialist will turn a blind eye to that. Why anyone thinks Jeremy Corbyn wants to associate himself with that is truly bizarre. Don’t these people watch the television?
Jeremy Corbyn is no racist. He’s no anti-Semite. Those attacking Jews for being Jews have nothing whatsoever to do with progressive politics. If they pretend Jeremy Corbyn needs them, I have to wonder if they are not playing some game, knowing full well that they’re damaging Jeremy Corbyn if he can’t spot them and block them himself. Where do these people come from? I think some of them (I’ve no idea how many, but in percentage terms they’ll be miniscule) will be assets of the British state out to smear Jeremy Corbyn. Just a theory. No proof. But such people need to examine their conscience.
If I saw something troubling enough not to follow this guy back, why did I leave it at that until now? Why haven’t I blocked him already? These are judgent calls. I can’t remember the state of his twitter account when I first saw he’d followed me. As I didn’t follow back, there must have been something that struck me as potentially dodgy.
Lots of people who defend the Palestinians get sloppy with their language. Those for whom English isn’t their first language, I cut them some slack. The oppressed often use language that is dodgy. We need to examine the content of what they’re saying, and not get too obsessed with the literal meaning of each phrase. This matters even when the first language is English. It can be explained and worked around if we’re talking about immature activists without a lot of experience. Often such people are not just lacking in the political tools they need to get their message across; sometimes their immaturity means they’re being deliberately provocative, and if that offends the older generation, they revel in doing that. This is why we need to treat those resorting to anti-Semitic language on a case-by-case basis. Young people often think two wrongs make a right; an eye for an eye is a good thing etc. Youths are going through a phase, and it doesn’t help society to make them pay for not being mature as rapidly as we would all like. We were all young once, and even if we didn’t toy with a few reactionary idea (and I can’t pretend I never did), we may have children or grandchildren who need the grown-ups to help them join the rest of us.
I’m opposed to the state of Israel not because I hate Jews. I hate it because it is a state based on apartheid, ethnic cleansing, state terrorism. A ‘Jewish state for a Jewish people’ is a monstrosity when the land was stolen from non-Jewish people, Palestinians who are not allowed to return, but those who were not born there are allowed to ‘return’. We are not dealing with any credible definition of nationhood here. This is a state based on reducing the victims of Israel to second class status.
There is nothing racist or anti-Semitic about rejecting the monstrous policies of Israel. Supporters of Israel are not all Jewish. Most of its supporters outside the region are non-Jews. And many Jews reject this racist state. Labour’s witch-hunters are telling me that Jews I know who reject Israel are not real Jews. I denounce these witch-hunters as anti-Semitic, as racists. How dare Lisa Nandy etc redefine what it means to be Jewish.
The victims of Israel are not helped by any supporter of the Palestinians attacking Jews for being Jewish when many Jews are as keen on getting justice for the Palestinians as I am. Nor is it legitimate to talk about ‘Jewish money’ as though they have less right to own money as the rest of us. This language is obscene. Anyone who doesn’t get that is either a racist or a religious bigot. And neither is acceptable to Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. If the excuse is immaturity, then fine. Let’s help you grow up. But I bet some of these people can’t use youth as their excuse for what they’re doing. Hard to prove who exactly is up to no good here, but I suspect some of them are on the payroll of Theresa May’s Special Branch and MI5 police spies, paid to frame Jeremy Corbyn and all his supporters.