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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ALEXANDRA SIMS IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Naz Shah readmitted to Labour party following anti-Semitism row”

As well she should be.

The ‘anti-Semitism row’ is one of the more shameful events in recent British history.

This whole thing was an ugly wave of McCarthyism employed in a shabby effort to destroy Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership, full stop.

It was led off by the now appropriately-disgraced David Cameron. It was pushed along by disloyal party members like Hilary Benn. And it was kept fired up by much of the press, including The Independent and The Guardian, a paper once regarded as liberal-minded and progressive.

The simple fact is if you check Israeli sources, you can easily see the government of Israel hates Corbyn. They do not like any independent-minded leader, much less one who is largely anti-war.

That fact automatically triggers a chorus from Israel’s apologists abroad and those who insist that Israel is right even when it is dead wrong, as it frequently is.

Part of that chorus clearly includes a great deal of the press, and as a person who follows some news and political events closely, I can say I have never since childhood (I grew up in the US in the Cold War) seen such deeply biased and almost embarrassing coverage.

Check on the Internet for old clips of the dangerous Sen. Joseph McCarthy at his height – who was by the way in private a violent drunk who simply needed to fire up a flagging political career – and you will see similar charges and behavior.

For a considerable period of time, that hideous man’s drunken lies, all intended merely to further his ugly career, made the whole United States tremble. There were remarkably few prominent Americans who dared to stand against him.

At the same time there were lines of people shamelessly supporting him and working hard to destroy the careers of prominent, decent people. This was especially notable in Hollywood and in government, at the State Department. The press for the most part joined the noisy shouts.

Britain’s event was not as extreme, but it was frightening for all fair-minded observers, and there are still echoes of it in the press.

Nothing Naz Shah did was in the least “anti-Semitic.” Nothing. And exactly the same for others accused, including Ken Livingston.

What is perhaps not appreciated by Israel’s more ferocious and single-minded apologists is that the tactic of always and invariably calling anyone “anti-Semitic” who is the least critical of Israel gradually turns the expression into empty words, drained of all meaning.

The old fairy tale about the boy who cried “wolf!” over and over again falsely just to see the effect on people and who was finally ignored by everyone when a real wolf approached applies perfectly here.

I believe we all recognize genuine hate where it exists. We don’t need to be told by others, and especially by others who are being either dishonest or irresponsible.

Not one bit of genuine anti-Semitism was involved here, but there was sure plenty of name-calling and libel and huff-and-puff over nothing.

Extremely disappointing, the whole affair.

 

 

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