Dead Men Left

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Filth from the neo-con "left"

A post from Lenin on this Independent report followed an earlier piece by Mark Elf. Both were expressing an unfortunately necessary degree of caution about figures relating to a rise in antisemitic attacks in the UK. The caution is necessary as the statistics have been immediately used to smear all those who stand against an apartheid system in the Middle East:

[Michael] Whine [of the Community Security Trust] said there was a danger that British society could become impervious to the dangers of anti-semitism. 'The continued demonisation of Israel has meant the shock-horror aspect of anti-semitism in Britain has reduced over time.'

As Lenin says, this is "bullshit". The only workable response to antisemitism - or any form of racism - is the same as it always has been:

The response to this should be universalist and not particularist, especially since in countries where the far right has succeeded in returning to the mainstream attacks on Muslims and Jews have increased concurrently. Which is to say, instead of taking the abuse, physical or otherwise, of British Jews as an opportunity to defend the indefensible, how about calling for an alliance of anti-racists from all 'communities'... to oppose it?

Unity, black and white, Jew and Muslim, against the racists, rather than a tawdry attempt at making political capital. The political question of Israel is irrelevant to dealing with antisemitism in the UK: what you or I or anyone else thinks about Israel has nothing to do with building an effective opposition to racist attacks. Whine's is a nasty little smear and Lenin is quite right to hold him to account. It is the correct response of (to coin a phrase) the "decent" Left.

Harry of Harry's Place, who combines a verbal obnoxiousness with a pitiful credulity regarding the sanctity of the US Marine Corps, has instead produced a typically crass reply to Lenin and Mark's thoughts. Same old, same old. What's new is the filth he chooses to fling, calling both bloggers "former anti-fascists" before wheeling out a parade of libels and smears.

Tellingly, Harry does not allow a right of reply on the original post, leaving Lenin to respond on his own site:

You say that I blame the rise of anti-Semitic attacks on "those Jews who support the existence of Israel."

I do not. To support the existence of Israel is one thing. My objection is to those who conflate Israel with Judaism, and therefore brand criticism of Israel, particularly anti-Zionism, as anti-Semitic. Not only is it a disgraceful gesture, but it places individual Jews in danger from the idiots who accept such a conflation. I do not believe this attenuates the force of any judgement against those responsible for such attacks.

Harry also accuses the anti-racist Left of not being "capable of putting forward an alternative explanation for the rise in attacks which comes at a time when there has been increasing hostility to Israel."

Perhaps Harry should pay more attention to his Searchlight. Matthew Collins, a former National Front member who now works for the anti-fascist magazine, knows exactly where to find the largest and most threatening antisemitic organisation in the country:

"Leading members of the BNP are on record denying the Holocaust, while its leader, Nick Griffin, has accused the BBC of being influenced by Jews. The BNP is obsessed with the idea that there is a Jewish conspiracy to run the world. They've got 23 elected councillors. It's inevitable that people will come into contact with them and in turn be influenced by them,"

So what is Harry's alternative response to a tide of bigotry and hatred across Europe, as described here by David Aaronovitch? A depressingly familiar one: "Some of my best friends..."

His humour, in particular his laugh, reminded me of the Pakistani lads I grew up with (and in those days they were always Pakistanis and rarely referred to as Muslims).


The Unite Against Fascism website can be found here.