Labour's Anti-Semitism Cannot Be Disregarded

(New Statesman-UK) Anthony Julius - Anti-Semitism makes people stupid. If you live in a world of conspiracies, if you think the world is divided into the blamelessly good, the victims, and the unqualifiedly evil, the oppressors, then anti-Semitism is for you. In today's Labour Party, compelling evidence exists of extensive spoken and online abuse of Jewish party members; exclusion of Jewish members from participating in party activity; signaling by the party leader that anti-Semitic views are acceptable; the failure to implement processes to protect Jewish members from anti-Semitism; hostile responses to those calling out anti-Semitism; and appointment of anti-Semites to positions of power. There is an implication that it is a little parochial of Jews to insist on their own local fears in these times of national crisis. So what if the party is contaminated by Jew-hatred if it is also the party that will save the country? But anti-Semites cannot be social reformers. Their anti-Semitism incapacitates them. It encourages misconceptions about the causes of social conflicts - of human suffering and social deprivation - and therefore prolongs their existence, to everyone's loss. Anti-Semitism corrupts political discourse; it taints political life; its injustices towards Jews are precedent-establishing - people who start with the Jews do not end with the Jews. The writer, chair in law and the arts at University College London, helped defend author Deborah Lipstadt against libel accusations by Holocaust denier David Irving.

2019-11-29 00:00:00

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