Sunday, September 11, 2016

UK: Corbyn aid asked to remove traditional Hebrew greeting from Passover message, for fear it might be seen as 'Zionist'

Joshua Simons @ The Guardian (h/t Adam Levick):
After six months working as a policy adviser for Jeremy Corbyn, it was clear to me that the way Corbyn and those around him think about Jewish people is shaped by a frenetic anti-imperialism, focused on Israel and America. Without a hint of irony, one senior aide asked that I remove the greeting “Chag Kasher VeSameach” from Corbyn’s Passover message, for fear that Corbyn’s supporters might think the use of Hebrew “Zionist”.

In modern Britain, it is no longer true that intellectuals are ashamed of antisemitism. In the eyes of the leaders of the British far left, Israel’s occupation – for some, even Israel’s existence – offers a firm moral basis for antipathy towards Jews in Israel or, more ambitiously, towards Jews everywhere.

Antisemitism among the British left continues to be about capitalism too. The familiar image endures of the Jew as the master of usury, the sedentary banker and financier, the archetypal neoliberal even. This persistent trope of Jews as the ultimate capitalists reinforces the view of those on the left who resent capitalism per se – rather than, say, unrestrained markets – and feel that Jews cannot be victims because they have money and they have Israel.
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