Tolerance cannot be measured in terms of degrees of intolerance. I am essentially opposed to burning books even when they incite others to violence. But freedom is either an absolute or it is conditioned on not inciting others to violence. Anything else is rationalized bigotry.
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Thursday, July 7, 2016
This is a guest article by Alan Melkman whose own blog can be
found at the following site:
While it is now dated by
publication of the Shami Chakrabati report, subsequent behavior by Jeremy
Corbyn’s (JC) fellow travelers in Momentum (a grassroots but influential
movement of JC acolytes), his ongoing nonfeasance and dishonorable behavior at
the launch of Shamis’ report simply reinforces the impression that the report into
widespread allegations of antisemitism within the British Labor Party was no
more than a face-saving whitewash.
The tragedy is that it distances
the Labour Party even further from future electoral success because in
dismissing any need to examine its own toxic antecedent history as well as
contemporary antisemitic behavior it only encourages recidivist antisemitism
within the Left.As such, it can only promote
further public extremism which decent people will reject along with the party
that practices it.
Let’s be clear – crystal clear.
Anti-Semitism is the hatred
of Jews. It is the hatred of a people, of a race, not for their beliefs,
but for who they are. It is the hatred
of Jews because they are Jews. It is holding them responsible for evil without
any substantive evidence. It is to make them the centre of conspiracies of
enslavement of the rest of the world and the instigators of unspeakable collusions.
It is race hatred in its purest form.
Islamaphobia is, as its name would suggest, the fear of Islam, the religion. Adherents
to the Muslim faith come in all varieties and from all races. It is a fear of the teachings of Islam which
inspire a small minority to commit despicable atrocities such as: acts of
indiscriminate slaughter, violations of young and not infrequently older women,
intimidation of those who resist their pernicious ideology, homophobic
insanities and much, much more. It is not, as antisemitism is of Jews, a hatred
of Muslims because they are Muslims. It is a fear of a small minority for their
outrageous religious beliefs. It is not racist.
So, if these two phenomena are entirely different, why are they so often conflated?
the British Labour party is undertaking an investigation into itself, led by a
member of its own party, into allegations that it, through its members, has
exhibited anti-Semitic behaviors in recent years. It has created what is
politely referred to as an impartial enquiry, headed by Labour party member
Shami Chakrabarti who has, amongst other things, broadened the enquiry way
beyond focusing solely on anti-Semitism to include an equal consideration of Islamaphobia.
These two phenomena, as explained, are completely different. It
is like insisting any enquiry into bribery within World Football must include
an equally hard look at endemic political corruption in Venezuela.
Rationally, including Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism is totally absurd, almost
laughable. So why has Shami chosen to include fear of Islam in the same brief as hatred of the Jewish race? Why has she chosen to ‘muddy the
Perhaps there are a number of reasons why Shami has decided that
Jew hatred are essentially the same. Perhaps it is because their investigations
will show that Islamaphobia is more widely spread than anti-Semitism,
particularly among members of the Conservative party, thereby diminishing the
perceived size of problem whilst putting the Conservatives ‘on the back foot’.
It might be that they discover that attacks on UK Muslims and their properties,
in absolute numbers, are greater than on Jews which again diminishes the
perceived extent of anti-Semitism. Most importantly it conflates racism with
the fear of an ideology and thereby exonerates the Labour party from the accusation
that it is institutionally racist.
I suspect that most impartial observers have already had some
reservations on the likely conclusion of this Labour navel gazing exercise. The
veracity of their report might, and I suggest should, be judged against the
following criteria for which I am indebted to Stephen Spencer Ryde firstname.lastname@example.org who has been carrying on what
appears to be an almost single handed campaign
against the perversions of natural justice that the Labour party, under Jeremy
Corbyn, is masterminding.
1.The inquiry’s scope only covers the rules in future cases of
antisemitism. It will not examine existing cases that remain unaddressed,
such as the case of Sir Gerald Kaufman. It may point out that there has been a
balance of Islamaphobic inferences and this historical issue is beyond the
remit of the enquiry
2.The Labour Party’s antisemitism problem is not so acute because
the rules were too lax. The enquiry might conclude the Party’s leadership and
structures have failed to identify antisemitism and condemn it. But then the
same comments will be made about Islamaphobia. The inquiry should then
logically examine the conduct of the Party’s leadership, but it will not.
3.The Vice Chair of the inquiry is Professor David Feldman, who
has already dismissed claims of antisemitism in the Party as “baseless” and
“politically motivated” in an open letter. It is ludicrous to appoint as judge
and jury someone who has already made up his mind in opposition to the vast
majority of British Jews. However, he will show his impartiality by putting
equal weight on the Islamic scale to balance the anti-Semitic evidence.
4.The inquiry seeks to concoct its own definition of antisemitism. There is already a
definition that is used by the Government, the College of Policing,
and even foreign institutions like the EU Parliament and the US Department of
State. The definition is called the EUMC definition (presumably also used
by All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism), and it covers precisely
the kind of antisemitism that has invaded Labour’s immune system: antisemitism
disguised as political discourse. The EUMC definition is not up for
debate, but we know that the inquiry will not adopt it because Professor
Feldman has argued for its abolition every time he has been given the
opportunity. It is likely therefore that the Shami definition of anti-Semitism
will be vague enough to include a completely different animal, Islamaphobia.
The report will almost certainly conclude that that mere
criticism of Israel
is not anti-Semitic and that this label is thrown about to stop legitimate
disapproval and the stifling of free speech. What it will almost certainly not
conclude is that the Labour party is both institutionally
racist and in deep denial of