As the debate rumbles on about anti-Semitism in Labour, and politics, is there really any sincerity left in it?
For months, the political story dominating the UK has actually had nothing to do with Brexit. The one thing that has been able to take attention of that calamitous process has been the issue of whether Labour has a deep problem with anti-Semitism.
This issue has rumbled on for months now, but it actually dates back years. Our first issue, launched the day after the General Election, looked at the issue of anti-Semitism among left wing movements, including Labour, particularly at universities. Even then, it had been an issue that had gone on for too long.
The fact is that Labour does have a problem with anti-Semitism and that it just doesn’t handle it well. Is this an issue unique to Labour? Possibly not. There are issues of different prejudices across every realm of society about other parties containing the same problems. But that doesn’t let Labour off the hook. Different forms of prejudice can manifest in different ways – ways which might be specific to the left. Look at the cliche left wing progressive nice guy who actually uses his credibility with the left to be predatory towards women. Saying “what about the right?” just shows people don’t actually care about anti-Semitism, they just would rather talk about it as someone else’s problem.
“Different forms of prejudice can manifest in different ways”
Jewish people are also being used as cannon-fodder on both sides of the arguments. The left wants to give platforms to Jewish Labour members who have never experienced any kind of hate, the right wants to shine a spotlight on those who have. Do they really care about the Jewish community though when they’re simply using Jewish people as props in their argument?
Jewish people are always going to have different thoughts and opinions on anti-Semitism. Trying to get even one person to represent their entire community is incredibly narrow-minded and disingenuous. If someone says that they have had a problem, the answer isn’t to drag on stage someone who hasn’t but to listen to concerns and take action. This has been Labour’s problem: it’s just slow as fuck to do anything. Labour had absolutely no problem purging people from the party who had ever expressed interest via a tweet in other parties ahead of deciding who the Labour leader would be, but they somehow aren’t equipped or capable of booting out the anti-Semitic Labour members? They also knew the Ken Livingstone story would rumble on as soon as his suspension was up, throwing the spotlight back on the story and the Jewish community. His comments were outrageous, so why didn’t they just expel him straight away?
This issue hs gone on so long, not because of a media obsessed with Corbyn, but because Labour have been useless and few people are actually listening to what Jewish people are saying. They’re too interested in shouting at each other to score cheap political points. The Jewish community deserves better, but they’re likely not going to get any better treatment any time soon.
If you enjoyed reading this article, we’d appreciate your support, which you can offer by buying Stand Up a coffee here.