In my opinion this aptly describes our country at the moment. We are in the throes of a general election. The country has been embroiled in a near civil war over the issue of Brexit for the last three years. Mr Boris Johnson, never one to ever speak the truth, decided to call a general election on December 12th simply because his ‘do or die’ and deliver Brexit on the 31st October, come what may, did not come to fruition.
There you have it. Our country is divided. Our economy is not flourishing. Our place in the world is uncertain and most important, our relationship with our near neighbours, the European Union has been put in doubt, if not to say, damaged beyond repair.
You would have thought that political parties, politicians and their advisors and policy planners would have made our ailing National Health Service a priority. You have would have thought that the climate crisis we are all experiencing and the environment would have been a priority. You would have thought that the hundreds of thousands of our youngsters who cannot even think of embarking on a university course because of the prohibitive debt burden that they will live under would be a priority. You would have thought that housing for the poor and the homeless would be a priority. You would have thought that crime and the safety of our inner cities would have been a priority. No, I’m afraid not. There is only one game in town and that game is Anti Semitism and how to weaponise it to target Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party and kill any chances he may have of becoming Prime Minister.
It would be a total folly to deny that Anti Semitism, Islamophobia and Racism do not exist in our society. They do. But is Anti Semitism exclusive to the Labour Party and Mr Corbyn? Of course not.
The Home Affairs Select Committee of Parliament held an inquiry into Antisemitism in the UK in 2016 and found ‘no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party. Even more recently, in 2018 the Media Reform Coalition at Birkbeck University, London conducted an enquiry into press distortion of Anti Semitism in the Labour Party and found from 250 articles and segments from leading news providers 29 examples of false statements, including quotes from anchors or correspondents themselves. Most of these came from the supposedly unbiased BBC News and from the so-called voice of the Left, The Guardian newspaper.
A further 66 clear instances of misleading or distorted coverage including misquotations, reliance on single source accounts, omission of essential facts or right of reply, and repeated value-based assumptions made by broadcasters without evidence or qualification. In total, a quarter of the sample contained at least one documented inaccuracy or distortion. The enquiry found overwhelming source imbalance, especially on television news where voices critical of Labour’s code of conduct were regularly given an unchallenged and exclusive platform, outnumbering those defending Labour by nearly 4 to 1. Nearly half of Guardian reports on the controversy surrounding Labour’s code of conduct featured no quoted sources defending the party or leadership. Just last February this year data released by the party showed that it had received 1,106 specific complaints of Antisemitism since April 2018, of which just 673 regarded actual Labour members. The party membership stands at over half a million: the allegations, even if they were true, concern around 0.1 percent of the total.
Using Anti Semitism as a weapon is well known in Zionist circles. Ms Shulamit Aloni, a former member of the Knesset, when interviewed by American journalist American journalist, Amy Goodman in 2002 said that charges of Anti Semitism are “a trick we use” to suppress criticism of Israel.
Her quote not mine.
Mr Corbyn, whom I have met with my wife on many a march for the anti war coalition, a champion of civil society who spent his entire political career fighting racism and unfairness is in their sights. Why? One simple word. Palestine.
I will never forget meeting him while on that fateful march of over a million people in London against the war in Iraq. He said, “The invasion of Iraq will set off a spiral of conflict, of hate, of misery, of desperation that will fuel the wars, the conflicts, the terrorism, the depression and the misery of future generations.”
Does this sound like a racist?
In the words of Professor Frank Land, OBE, who also happens to be Jewish. “Corbyn would be the first on the barricades defending the Jews.”
Does this sound like an Anti Semite?
Jafar M Ramini is a Palestinian writer and political analyst, based in London. He was born in Jenin in 1943 and was five years old when he and his family had to flee the terror of the Urgun and Stern gangs. Justice for the people of Palestine is a life-long commitment.