I think I might have seen a flying saucer — and Chuka Umunna thinks Labour has a problem with antisemitism. I don’t know anything about UFO’s but here’s my definition of antisemitism: antisemitism is hatred of Jews because they are Jews; simple. Islamophobia is hatred of Muslims simply because they are Muslim and the same test may be applied to any distinctive ethnic or religious or political group. Hatred, even dislike, of a person because of what they are, race, culture, creed, is quite simply, stupid. Criticism of people (of whatever race, creed or culture) because of what they believe or what they do is a totally other matter.

So:

  • Criticism of Jews because they support Israel’s illegal occupation,
  • Criticism of Jews because they support Zionism,
  • Criticism of Jews because they hate Palestinians,
  • Criticism of Jews because they support Chelsea FC

These are NOT antisemitic.Neither, surprisingly (?), is criticism of Christians because they support Israel’s illegal occupation. (When Christians support oppression anywhere they are playing dangerously with fire)

When anti-Zionism is equated to antisemitism the effect — and it is intentional — is to close down discussion of the impact of Zionism on the peoples of the Middle East, most notably, of course, the Palestinians. So, the Israeli government can put out lies about the Palestinians, and our governments say nothing. Israel breaks international agreements and ignore international law and our governments say little and do less.

But when some of us point out that these are lies and double standards we are accused of antisemitism. We are hearing all too frequently across the globe reminders of the 1930’s, of the East German Stasi, of the ‘McCarthy’ inquisition, of police state language.

The equation we are expected to make, subliminally, is that of  Judaism and Zionism. We are being taught — brain-washed — that they are one and the same. Here’s the contradiction our political leaders want to ignore. Semites, (the term ‘semitic’ was originally coined to define a group of languages), in this context taken to be Jews, have been around for about 2500 years. Antisemitism has been present, mainly in Europe and not necessarily so-described, for about 1700 years. Zionism was invented as a political doctrine  in 1896 so less than 150 years ago.

You like contradictions? Here’s another — Zionism, a response to European antisemitism, based its nationalistic demand for a nation state in Palestine on a religious history it rejected. Thus, “secular zionism has an inalienable right to possess the land of Palestiine because 3500 years ago a god we don’t believe in gave it to a tribe there’s a chance we may be loosely related to”. Which to me sounds more like an imperialistic justification than faithful Judaism. (And it certainly aint Christian!)

Flying Saucers? Well, if I thought I saw one, or wanted to believe I saw one and reported I saw one, it must be true, mustn’t it? And since you ask, no I did not. And what we should be asking is why so many of the ‘antisemitism’ reports to CST don’t get reported to the police, and why reports investigated don’t result in prosecution. Why, for instance, have none of the recent allegations resulted, so far as I can gather, in even a police caution?

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