'Zionist world domination' is no trope, Mr Corbyn

David Aaronovitch responds to the Labour leader's refusal to apologise for his failings on antisemitism

November 27, 2019 15:07

Never mind he didn’t give an apology. Who’d have believed that he meant it? 

No. This was the moment in the Andrew Neil interview when even the comrades from Jewish Voice for Labour must have secretly winced before pulling themselves together and writing a letter to the Guardian

It came when Neil put to Mr Corbyn that the Chief Rabbi had not been wrong to dispute Labour’s claims that antisemitism in the party had been dealt with. The example Neil gave was one reported here in the JC last year. The council candidate for a ward in Liverpool, Liam Moore, had tweeted “Rothschilds Zionists run Israel and world governments”. 

When this became a news story Mr Moore (who had a history of such utterances) according to the local constituency Labour Party “apologised for past tweets that have been inappropriate. Liam then offered his resignation as candidate for NG. This was refused, unanimously, by branch members.”

The Zionist world conspiracy is not an “antisemitic trope”, as Mr Cobyn said it was.  It’s the full Monty. Until pretty recently it was the more or less undisputed province of neo-Nazi groups, and would generally appear amidst links to Holocaust denial literature and admiring biographies of the Fuhrer. These same sites would also feature material on the biological inferiority of non-whites and the dangers of miscegenation.

Can you imagine – even you, dear Jewish Voice for Labour – that same Liverpool Labour Party refusing the resignation of someone who had opposed race-mixing and endorsed replacement theory? Can you imagine them describing such sentiments as “inappropriate”? 

Mr Moore remains in Labour a year later. A year. A fifth of the time that Labour plans to take for its peaceful socialist revolution and they can’t chuck one racist out of the party. 

Neil to Corbyn:  Let me ask you this. Is it antisemitic to say Rothschild’s Zionists run Israel and world governments?

JC: In the Chakrabarti report we asked that people did not use comparisons about conspiracies, not use…

AN: Is that antisemitic?

JC: …because in the belief of Shami, and I support her on this in that report, that can be constructed as being an antisemitic statement and therefore – and therefore should not be – 

AN: Right, but let’s just get it clear. I asked you – I gave you a specific quote. Are the words ‘Rothschild’s Zionists run Israel and world government’. Is that antisemitic?

JC: It should not be used and it is.

AN: But you can’t say it’s antisemitic?

JC: Look, I just said that it should not be used.

Finally, painfully, he allowed that it was “an antisemitic trope”. Neil banked that and asked, so if the Chief Rabbi was wrong, why was Moore still in the party? After a short eternity of bluster (the transcript makes almost unbearable reading) Corbyn finally answered “Look, I don’t know the process that is involved with him.”

The man, a Labour council candidate, tweets out neo-nazi conspiracy theories about Jews, is then endorsed as a candidate by his local party, his antisemitism is described as “inappropriate”, a year later is still in the party and the party leader and putative prime minister, under intense criticism for just this, says “Look, I don’t know the process that is involved with him.” And, of course, there are plenty of others. 

This week somebody who I quite like told me on social media that maybe the problem is that people unspecified seem to seek “special status” for racism aimed at them and perhaps that’s the problem. 

We know who the people are. As for “special status”? I should cocoa. There we have activists attempting to purge entire universities of micro-aggressions and cultural appropriation because of their racist or colonial implications, but if you publish it that Jews seek to rule the world you get told off in today’s Labour Party for being “inappropriate”. 

Inappropriate is farting in a lift. Inappropriate is asking an unpregnant woman if she’s expecting. As the great historian Norman Cohn said of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, accusing Jews of a massive world conspiracy is a warrant for genocide. 

Come on Jenny Manson, Naomi Wimborne Idrissi, Jonathan Rosenhead, Miriam Margolyes and the rest of you in the Asajew roundrobinocracy – explain this one case to me. Explain to me why in an “anti-racist party” led by a man who “abhors all forms of racism” it was the Jewish MPs Luciana Berger and Louise Ellmann who were the targets of their Liverpool comrades’ venom, and not the antisemite?  

Apology? You can keep it. 

David Aaronovitch is a columnist for The Times 

November 27, 2019 15:07

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