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New McCarthyism: Is London's 'anti-Semitic' scandal a move against Jeremy Corbyn?

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04/30/2016 05:04 PM
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New McCarthyism: Is London's 'anti-Semitic' scandal a move against Jeremy Corbyn?
New McCarthyism: Is London's 'anti-Semitic' scandal a move against Jeremy Corbyn?

John Wight

An extraordinary political crisis has erupted in the UK over the alleged prevalence of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. Most recently, it has resulted in the suspension of a Labour MP along with the party’s former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

Anti-Semitism by its very nature is a sensitive issue. You only have to spend five minutes trawling the internet to understand why. All manner of outlandish and racist conspiracy theories exist concerning the Jewish people – i.e. Holocaust denial; Jewish bankers control the global economy; the existence of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world; Jewish control the Western media. Some are even more outlandish than those, dredged up from a swamp of anti-Jewish bigotry that clearly retains a following among an alarmingly sizeable constituency of knuckle-dragging racists who inhabit our world.

However, in factoring this it is also undeniable that a concerted attempt is being made throughout the West to delegitimize any criticism of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinian people. Those supporters of Israel, it should be stressed, are both Jewish and non-Jewish. They share in common a commitment to supporting Israel and, in so doing, granting it an exceptionalism that no other state is granted when it comes to upholding international law and the universality of human rights, as enshrined in the UN Charter of 1945.

This is why, despite the very real existence of anti-Semitism and the obligation to confront it whenever it arises, the heart of the matter driving this issue in this context is not anti-Semitism but apartheid – namely, the system of apartheid that underpins Israel and its subjugation of the Palestinian people and their human rights and right to self-determination. By way of a reminder we are talking about the illegal military occupation of the West Bank, the existence and expansion of illegal Jewish settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the ongoing siege of Gaza; the latter involving the collective punishment of its 1.6 million inhabitants, along with periodic military assaults and the slaughter of men, women, and children.

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