Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday, 17 August 2015

Conditional Acceptance: The Left's Good Jews

Leftwing Israel-basher Jeremy Corbyn's candidature for Britain's Labour Party leadership has been causing a great deal of anxiety among British Jews, but I won't dwell on that issue here and now because it's the subject of my Tuesday blog for the Elder of Ziyon website.

Front-runner Corbyn
 However,  Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's article regarding Jewish misgivings regarding Corbyn, an article which appeared here yesterday, warrants commentary.  Headed "Fling mud if you must, but don’t call Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite," it is subheaded "Some of the people the left-wing hopeful has been closest to are conscientious and ethical British Jews".


To her credit, Ms Alibhai-Brown concedes what very many if not most on the Left deny:
"Veiled anti-Semitism is around us, and most of all on university campuses, where Palestine is a burning issue and convenient alibi."
But integral to her broader argument is what, in her view, a "conscientious and ethical" British Jew is (and is not):
 'The right, Blairites and hard Zionists have formed the most unholy of alliances to slay the reputation of the next likely leader of the Labour Party....
Some of the people Corbyn has been closest to are conscientious and ethical British Jews. The late Mike Marqusee, a Marxist, New York secular Jew who migrated to the UK, was his friend. So, too, is Ken Loach, a liberal British Jew [Is Loach in fact a Jew? If so, that's news to me, and, I suspect, to him - D.A.] and fierce defender of Palestinian rights. There are others, dismissed by Zionists as “self-haters” because they reject blind loyalty to Israel....
Most depressing of all is the collusion between the powerful right and Zionists. They seem determined to crush all alternatives to neoliberal economics and Western hegemony. Jewish lawyers, activists, entrepreneurs and thinkers in South Africa, the UK, Europe and US have fought so long for justice, equality and progressive politics. It gets harder and harder for them to carry on that noble tradition. Ed Miliband was one of them and look what sections of the media did to him.'
In other words, there are good Jews (who are worthy) and there are bad Jews (who are unworthy); a good Jew is not a Zionist and a bad Jew is.
Such an attitude has become pervasive on the Left, culminating in the conditional acceptance of Jews that has been witnessed with the odious banning from the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival of a Jewish American rapper, Matistayu, after he refused to issue a message supporting Palestinian statehood:
'Festival organizers were driven by intense pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the reports said. Artists scheduled to perform at the event threatened to cancel their appearances if Matisyahu were to perform because he was “seen to represent Israel.”....
Although not Israeli, Matisyahu has visited and performed in the Jewish state multiple times.
In a statement on Facebook, Rototom organizers said that the move was linked to “the festival’s sensitivity to Palestine, its people and the occupation of its territory by Israel.”
The front page of the Valencia-based festival’s website features a two-and-a-half hour video on pro-Palestinian activists holding Palestinian flags and decrying Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip.Local BDS activists welcomed the move after accusing the Jewish rapper of being a “Zionist” and “defending a state that practices apartheid and ethnic cleansing” on a link posted on his Facebook page.'
Rototom Sunsplash seems to have form ...
Little wonder that World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder has called the incident “a clear instance of anti-Semitism, and nothing else” and that the WJC's Spanish affiliate  has condemned the festival's action as "cowardly, unjust and discriminatory".   Lauder justifiably observes:
“Matisyahu is an American Jew. More importantly, like everybody else in a free and democratic society, he not only has a right to express his views – whether you agree with them or not — but he also has every right not to have the repugnant views of the festival organizers imposed on him. He is a musician who has been denied the opportunity to play his planned gig at a European reggae festival purely because he is Jewish and because he refuses to side with the vicious and bigoted BDS movement.
And to the people of Spain, I say this: Being a ‘Zionist’ and supporting Israel has nothing to do with supporting apartheid. Rather, it is about supporting democracy, the rule of law, freedom, openness and diversity.
The Rototom Sunsplash festival benefits from financial support from public authorities. I very much hope that they will convey a clear message to the organizers that either they re-invite Matisyahu and apologize for their outrageous behavior, or they pay back that financial aid, because anti-Semitism and racism must not be rewarded by public support – not in Spain, and not anywhere else.”

5 comments:

  1. Politics in the UK and the USA is in disarray. Corbyn could be the next Leader of the Opposition. These are not good times.
    http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/British-MP-called-Zionist-scumbag-after-criticizing-party-leadership-candidate-412350

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    1. Whether he'll make it to Number 10 is, however, a different matter, Ian.

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  2. What a specious argument. The so-called Jewish leadership in Britain is spineless, weak, appeasing, feckless. To say Corbyn isn't a Jew hater because some of THESE people support him is like saying the Lodz ghetto wasn't so bad because Chaim Rumkowsky who ran it was a Nazi collaborator.

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  3. The Magnes Zionist pleases the demons:
    http://www.jeremiahhaber.com/2015/08/why-boycotting-matisyahu-is-reasonable.html

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  4. Douglas Murray delivers:
    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6355/spain-jew-hate

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