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John Chuckman



Recently, there has been a steady drumbeat at The Guardian and other British papers on this subject with columnist after columnist writing fantastical stuff about “the Left’s anti-Semitism problem.”

And this comes after a long campaign to vilify Jeremy Corbyn himself – a thoroughly decent man, after his becoming leader of the Labour Party – as weak, out-of-date, and ineffectual, quoting day after day such wonderfully credible sources and paid hacks as Tony Blair. This campaign reached the sickening point of the Prime Minister’s publically insulting Corbyn and refusing to apologize, but of course we know David Cameron is a corrupt and unreliable political figure.

The government of Israel thoroughly dislikes Corbyn – as it dislikes Donald Trump, disliking them both for being independent-minded and fairly honest speakers – and it is making the force of its views felt in indirect, behind-the scenes pressures on many matters such as rules against criticizing Israel and making advocacy of BDS illegal.

Of course, the “anti-Semitism” referred to in these efforts is not what most people in the world would regard as anti-Semitism, the actual hatred of Jewish people because they are Jewish.

No, instead it is an unwarranted negative labelling of those who criticise Israel or who advocate BDS, both legitimate and ethical exercises of free speech in a supposedly free country. This is anti-Semitism only in the phony propagandists’ sense that criticising the former Soviet Union might have been labelled hatred of Russians.

This really is depressing since our political system is based on free speech and open views, and Israel unquestionably does things regularly and before our eyes that most of us have long ago have been taught are immoral and wrong.

Israel refuses to change anything that it does, any of its abusive and violent and law-breaking policies, but increasingly it also expects people in other lands to be pressured by unjust laws and rules into shutting up their objections.

It is definitely poor, short-term thinking to push things in this fashion and generate an even greater sense of injustice.

This does tell us, along with other measures of recent years, just how desperate Israel is becoming over honestly-expressed public opinion in the rest of the world.

So King Canute is going to command the waves on the sea to stop, and we do come to a ridiculous and unsustainable place, the very same place motivating Israel’s unreasonable demands.

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