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  • Then all I'll say is that I disagree with you on similar grounds that I judge the man on his words and actions, and testament of others.

    Those on the shit end of racism should absolutely be the arbiters of what constitutes racism, and I'm not going to tell you how you should feel about Corbyn. What that doesn't mean is that all such accusations are unequivocally true and just.

    As a non jew, like others here, I'd probably benefit if "actions, words and lack of words" you're referring to were clearly stated.

  • I totally get what @punkture says when they don't want debate it with non-Jews. I've got a few trans pals who are similar, as soon as they're out on Twitter they're constantly fielding questions from people about what they've got in their pants and how they feel about whatever bit of arcane gender recognition act - effectively being told to justify their existence. I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but I do recognise the exhaustion felt by those who aren't believed.

    I'm a Labour member, voted for Corbyn twice (the second time reluctantly) so I'm not a political enemy of his. But I think it is undeniable - by looking at his words and actions - that at the very least he has a bit of a blind spot. I think it's also undeniable that his pride seems to prevent him from learning about that blind spot and fixing it. I didn't notice it until I cleared my head of my support mentality and just looked at the facts. I'll share with you the things which made me realise his blind spot, in the hope that they trigger something in you too. Because it's important; it's important we do the reading to understand where our Jewish pals are coming from, and it's important that we educate our left leaning pals to see antisemitism even in our friends and our heroes.

    The earliest example, the one that triggered my rethink, of Corbyn's double standard is in the vice documentary, The Outsider (­KP0

    ). In this, Corbyn refers to Ken Livingstone's literally jaw dropping remarks about Hitler as 'perhaps inappropriate'. Very mild, and more or less what you'd expect from a mild man.

    However, earlier in the documentary, he describes a similarly mild piece of 'canary in the coalmine' alarm from Johnathan Freedland (­e/2016/mar/18/labour-antisemitism-jews-j­eremy-corbyn) as 'utterly disgusting subliminal nastiness'. Read that piece. Tell me if you think that's justified. The double standard is huge just in terms of the words, but if you think about the situation - Corbyn was on camera, he knew he was being filmed, he was talking to Seamus Milne who used to sit next to Johnathan Freedland at the Guardian - it's astonishing. Something else is going on here, that isn't just politics.

    Again, I'm not saying the guy is an active antisemite. He's not thinking 'I bet Freedland is a Jew, better minimise his viewpoint'. What's happening is that he has a blind spot, and he doesn't see how what he's saying might look from the outside. And instead of reading that Freedland piece in private, internalising it, trying to see it from his point of view, he instantly shut it down, he complained about it violently, on camera, and he made no secret of his disgust for it. That's a problem. If someone tells me I might have a problem with racism, I won't like it, but I will consider it seriously. That's what grown ups do.

    Then there are other examples, which vary from clumsy to gross - nothing that'd get you kicked out of a dinner party, but something Jewish people have finely tuned antennae for. So this is things like:

    • not recognising the obvious anti-Semitic intent in that Mear One mural
    • defending Raed Salah even after he was convicted of racial incitement by using the 'blood libel' (saying that Jewish people use the blood of babies to make their bread - it's from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion), inviting him to the HOC for tea as an 'honoured guest' saying that he would 'deserve it'
    • providing a gushing foreword to the 'brilliant' Imperalism (sample quotes: "international capitalism” is “controlled…by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial experience”, and asks “Does anyone seriously suppose that a great war could be undertaken by any European state, or a great state loan subscribed, if the house of Rothschild and its connections set their face against it?”) without mentioning the obvious antisemitism of the writer
    • denying that Luciana Berger had or needed a police escort to go about conference when she literally was filmed with two officers who were provided for her safety
    • never condemning antisemitism without 'all lives mattering' it by adding 'and all other forms of racism' at the end
    • telling British Jews that they lacked 'English Irony'
    • the othering of Michael Epstein's name - he emphasised the 'schtien' rather than just pronouncing it 'stein'
    • defending the obvious antisemitism of his political allies such as Chris Williamson
    • suggesting that the 'hand of israel' was behind a terrorist attack in Egypt - without evidence, this was claimed by Islamist terrorists - on Iranian state TV
    • interfering in antisemitism cases to let his friends off the hook - see Glyn Secker in particular, but there were 23 examples in that report
    • playing down the issue of antisemitism on the SAME DAY that the EHRC found that Labour had unlawfully discriminated against Jewish people

    These things build up. If you're looking out for them, and keeping a record of them, and you still see Corbyn minimise the issue, and his fans tell you that there's no really a problem and it's all made up, it builds up more. Then after four or five years of this when you finally think its all over and someone jumps up on a messageboard and says 'yeah but what REAL evidence is there that the guy has a problem' I can totally understand why a Jewish person would just not want to discuss it.

    The info is out there. The only explanation for not internalising this is that you don't recognise it or you don't care about it. Neither of those things are really the problem of Jewish people to sort out.

  • This post should be the end of the matter. Top work

  • I can totally understand why a Jewish person would just not want to discuss it.

    He is here already freely engaging in discussion about Corbyn, in a fairly vocal way, on said message board. I feel the least I can do to better understand an issue of which somebody has a vastly more intimate and direct understanding, is ask rather than just make assumptions based on what muddied, prismic and varied information there is on the subject (spoiler: there is a lot). If he doesn't want to discuss that, then fine, that's up to him.

    To frame my position as lazy, stupid or nefarious is disingenuous. 'Yeah but what REAL evidence' is a crass misrepresentation of intent.

    The only explanation for not internalising this is that you don't recognise it or you don't care about it.

    I don't agree that is has to be an absolutist, binary response. I have internalised, I am affected and empathetic to the point of view and experience of those in the Jewish community who are at odds with Corbyn (or think Corbyn is at odds with them), but I also hold a different opinion on what the sum of these accusations amount to; whether Jeremy Corbyn himself is an antisemite.

    There are a few examples of accusations you've provided that I wasn't aware of and I'm sure others weren't either, so I guess this wasn't a totally wasted exercise. Thanks for taking the time.

  • To echo the other comments.. That's pretty much it..

  • If you'd posted this in the Corbyn thread I'd have handed you the mic and invited you to drop it. As it is, a remarkably thorough and well-considered post. Good work.

  • Thank you for that. Nail on head.


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