Labour, Anti-Semitism & Anti-Zionism

Nick Cohen makes some sharp points here about anti-semitism and the Labour Party:

http://www.theguardian.com/…/labour-antisemitism-ken-living…

Some of the people he indicts are the same people with whom some Greens want to form a progressive alliance. Some kind of progress! There is, however, a bigger and deeper problem across the ranks of the Corbynista and their ilk. It is not pure anti-semitism. It is a deeply entrenched habit of blurring the lines between real anti-semitism and anti-Zionism.

There is, of course, a huge grey area between the two. The reason why so many of the Left seem so prone to transgression in that area does not stem from racism. Most are genuine anti-racists. It stems from the poisonous politics of my-enemy’s-enemy-is-my-friend. This leads them to deny, play down, evade or excuse bad ideas and wrong-doing by opponents of their prime enemy (the USA, leader of the ‘capitalist’ world).

It might be remembered how many played down just how wicked was Colonel Gadaffi. If he has any failings, it was the fault, it was said, of colonialism in the past or of American misdeeds today. The same people predicted that the American-led invasion of Iraq would encounter a Stalingrad, not foreseeing how Saddam Hussein’s regime could quickly collapse due to lack of popular support.

They then went on to romanticise the Iraqi ‘Resistance’ (to the thoroughly botched occupation), even though some of its victims were local trade unionists, guilty of being an independent secular force. In today’s crisis in Syria, the same people slag off the Americans but can only manage the odd tut-tutting when it comes to that cynical aggressive gangster Vladimir Putin.

Sadly there is a long history of this malign habit. Assorted tyrants, thuggish ‘strongmen’, religious fanatics and kleptomaniacs have been portrayed as voices of progressive struggle against the evil Satan of the USA (some examples from the Soviet era and after can be found here: https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/…/the-legacy-of-the-…/). In the case of Northern Ireland, the evil was the ‘British State’ so there were ‘progressives’ who went around calling for ‘Victory to the IRA’, despite the inexcusable atrocities committed by those ‘freedom fighters’. I’ve even had correspondence from individuals who argued that ISIS is not as bad as made out by the ‘capitalist media’.

This is why Jeremy Corbyn is compromised. The latest crisis inside the Labour Party is not just another scheme to unseat him (though it may well be that too). Corbyn has indeed shared platforms with representatives of groups whose real politics are viciously reactionary simply because they seemingly opposed ‘western imperialism’. It is a very bad politics with which Green should have no part.

The party faces a huge problem that must be surmounted, if only for moral reasons
THEGUARDIAN.COM|BY NICK COHEN
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