Thursday, 29 September 2016

Antisemitism and the new old Labour party

This posting is a defence of the vice-chair of Momentum, Jackie Walker, someone of whom I must admit I had not heard until the current trial by media. Momentum may be guilty of many things, but it is unfair to use her to get to the Corbynist movement, and on such specious grounds.
  • It seems she has not denied the genocide of the Jews under the Nazis. There are other activists in Labour (and regrettably in other parties represented in Westminster) who have. They surely should be first up against the wall.
  • There is nothing wrong in preferring the term "shoah" (Hebrew for calamity or destruction) to "holocaust" for this particular slaughter. Indeed, it is preferred by many Jews and is the title of Claude Lanzmann's great film documenting it. 
  • More prominent people than Ms Walker have called for Holocaust Memorial Day to commemorate other victims of genocide. One such was the current mayor of London during this debate in the Commons.
  • It is right to remember that the Jews were not unique in suffering under the Nazis. The wedge was inserted with the elimination of the "feeble-minded" and proceeded through other groups who the Nazis denoted as sub-human (gypsies, Jews of course, Slavs and homosexuals) to those who were simply opponents of the rĂ©gime, like liberals, social democrats and trade unionists.

There have been well-documented anti-semitic attacks from within the party on some of its Jewish MPs. They have been notable for their cowardice, being aimed at junior female members. This is where the media spotlight should be directed.

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