Saturday 25 August 2018

"Who do you think I was talking about?" - Corbyn and the latest.

There's an old Jewish joke that goes something like this: It's Tsarist Russia, and a young Jewish guy is running down the street shouting, 'Death to the tyrant!' The police pick him up and back at the police HQ they pin him up against the wall and say, 'Who were you talking about when you were out there in the street?' And the Jewish guy says, 'Who do you think I was talking about?'

Something yesterday and today is going on like that with Corbyn. He called some people who had 'berated' the Palestinian ambassador 'Zionists' and said they hadn't 'got' what Corbyn called 'English irony'. Most anti-Corbyn people seem to 'know' that Corbyn was 'really' talking about e.g. 'Jews', 'the Jews', 'all Jews', or even - from one prominent opponent of antisemitism 'an immigrant group'. I may talk of myself as being part of a minority, or that most Jews in UK have migrant forbears, but are we an 'immigrant group'? Perhaps. But either way, how do all these people know who the people berating Corbyn were. Where were they from ? How do they know they were Jewish and therefore 'signifying' 'all Jews'? How do they know that Corbyn knew they were Jewish and was deliberately signifying 'all Jews'? As we know, many non-Jews self-identify as 'Zionists' including Tommy Robinson, leader of the rapidly morphing 'nationalist' groups attacking Muslims.

Oh but hang on, the antisemitic trope is 'saying that Zionists are Jews'. So who's saying that Zionists are Jews here? Corbyn ? Or those accusing him of saying that? He says that when he said 'Zionists' he meant Zionists and in particular those Zionists who 'berated' the ambassador

If I've got any objection to what Corbyn said is that he culturally appropriated Palestinian humour and called it 'English' Even more ironically the ambassador's gag was about Israeli Jews having God on their side. Now who sang a song about that? Oh yes, Bob Dylan. I expect either Dylan or the Palestinians to be on to Corbyn about that. (irony alert).