Monday 27 January 2020

The Guardian has a go at the Labour Party on Holocaust Memorial Day

Here is a paragraph from today's Guardian editorial for Holocaust Memorial Day:

"In Hungary, the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has pursued a prolonged dog-whistle campaign against the Jewish philanthropist George Soros, whose arguments in favour of accepting Muslim migrants from the Middle East have been presented as “endangering the Christian culture of Europe”. Meanwhile, in the UK, the Labour party’s failure to effectively combat the use of antisemitic tropes by some members led to a breakdown in its relations with the Jewish community."

This leaves out:
1. The person who has repeated the Soros trope in Britain is Rees-Mogg. Not only 'repeated'! He directed his comments to two Jewish MPs, Oliver Letwin and John Berkow. 

2. Tim Montgomerie, Johnson's aide at the time, said that the UK should have a closer relationship with Orban who not only plays the antisemitic card but also has racialised IVF treatment in what must be one of the first official government pronouncements in Europe of racialised eugenics since the Nazis. 

3. Dominic Cummings (Johnson's adviser) has twice picked out Goldman Sachs as a special example of what's wrong with the EU and its financial arrangements identifying the bank having 'fingers in every pie'. By selecting a bank that was founded by Jewish financiers, I suggest that this is deliberate dog-whistling in order to racialise Cummings' real or phoney objections to international finance. We should remember that whatever arguments that we have with international financiers it's not the ethnicity or religion of the financiers that is the problem. 

4. And if we're talking about the failure of dealing with 'antisemitic tropes', Johnson himself has never had to answer for the fact that he platformed and edited 'Taki' a self-identifying antisemite when he, Johnson, was editor of the Spectator.

5. The Guardian has conceded here that the long and the short of the Labour antisemitism crisis is the use of antisemitic tropes. Is that it? Well, if that's the case, how does that distinguish the Labour Party from the rest of society? UK society and culture and politics is full of antisemitic tropes. My thought has always been: if we are combatting antisemitism but only combat it in the Labour Party, we are not combatting antisemitism, we are combatting the Labour Party. And that's precisely what the Guardian has done on Holocaust Memorial Day.