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British and American Anti-Semitism are not the same


After the Pittsburg shooting the MSM, wasted no time in trying to link the incident to Corbyn.  This appeared in The Guardian today, written by some professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford referring to the Pittsburg shooting:


This incident crystallises one of the differences between British and American anti-semitism and demonstrates that not all anti-semitism is the same. As British anti-semitism engages Zionism and attacks Jews as a way to vilify the Jewish state, American anti-semitism – which the suspect, Robert Bowers, embodies – is part of longer history of nativism, anti-semitism and immigration in the United States.


We need some clarity on this.  For too long the focus on real anti-semitism, as witnessed in Pittsburg, in Charlottesville, and within the ranks of organisations like the EDL, has been redirected toward phoney anti-semitism that is in fact criticism of the State of Israel.  This is dangerous. Those on the right both in America, and in Britain tend to view Israel favourably whilst being more likely to hold anti-semitic views than the average person.  Those on the left tend to be more critical of settler colonialist regimes, like Israel, whilst being less likely than the average person to hold anti-semitic views.  This is born out by findings over the summer that Labour supporters are less likely to hold anti-semitic views than those in the average population, whilst conservative supporters are more likely to hold anti-semitic views than those in the average population.


This is embodied by someone like Steve Bannon, someone who has expressed anti-semitic views but is staunchly pro-Israel.  Jeremy Corbyn isn't the least bit anti-Semitic but feels the injustice of what is going on in Israel/Palestine acutely.


So, non-Jewish Zionists tend to be more anti-Semitic than non-Jewish anti-Zionists.  Those in the EDL will be more likely to hold anti-semitic views than most members of society, whilst also being more likely to hold pro-Zionist views.  Those interested in social justice, like most members of the Labour Party, will tend to be critical of Zionism, whilst being less likely to buy into stereotypes about other races or religions including Jews.


Yet the media narrative inverts reality: the anti-racists are wrongly labeled anti-semites because they feel solidarity with an oppressed group, whilst the true anti-semites are celebrated as good friends of Israel.  This needs to be clearly highlighted.  When it comes to anti-semitism, the physical threat comes from the right.  The left are the natural bulwark against that threat, and always have been.  So lets make this simple: Right=anti-semitic/pro-Israel.  Left=anti-racist/pro-Palestine.  As long as a false narrative is perpetuated in the media that claims that the left has a problem with ant-semitism, due to a conflation of anti-semitism and anti-Zionism propagated by Israel and its apologists, tackling the real threat of anti-semitism becomes much more difficult, and Jews are put in danger.


Let's be clear.  Israel is a neo-fascist, racist, settler-colonial apartheid state that regularly commits war crimes against the Palestinian people who they systematically immiserate, and it is right and just to criticise Israel in the strongest possible terms for doing so.  Those who criticise Israel are friends and allies of the Jewish people worldwide and feel deep sorrow and concern for what the Jewish state has become.  People on the right who support Israeli atrocities because they are less concerned about imperialism as long as it is of geo-political benefit to them, also tend to hold more racist views, including anti-Semitic views, than the average person.


We are long overdue a strategy which counters the lie that anti-semitism and anti-Zionism is the same thing.  When the Guardian propagates distortions of reality by publishing things like "British anti-semitism engages Zionism and attacks Jews as a way to vilify the Jewish state", as they did today, in keeping with their relentless line of attack on Corbyn, it's time to seriously consider boycotting the paper.

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