Thursday, September 22, 2016

UK: 'I've never seen anti-Semitism in Labour like this, it's normal now'

It's very hard today to tell a right-wing antisemite from a left-wing antisemite.  Both often use the same language and images.

Via Evening Standard (h/t glykosymoritis):
"I don’t want to be known as ‘the Jewish MP’,” says Ruth Smeeth, East End accent still audible from a childhood in London. “I am an MP who happens to be Jewish. One of the things that makes me most angry about this whole thing is that I’ve ended up as the Jewish MP. Worse: a victim and a target. I should be the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, a hard-working, lifelong member of the Labour Party.” She describes herself as “a Labour, socialist, Jewish, woman” in that order. “Actually, British first: British, Labour, socialist, Jewish, woman.”

Smeeth, 37, is the MP who walked out of the launch of the Chakrabarti report, an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, after being harassed by a member of Momentum, the activist group behind Jeremy Corbyn.

Since then she has been called a “yid c***” (among other racial slurs), a “CIA/ MI5/Mossad informant”, a “dyke”, and a “f***ing traitor”. In all she’s experienced more than 25,000 incidents of abuse, much of it racial. As a result two people are being investigated by counter-terrorism police — one of whom penned a 1,000-word essay on how he would kill her.

Given her previous work with Hope Against Hate, an anti-racism charity, “I initially assumed [the author] was from the far-Right. And then someone rang to inform me it was a Corbynista.”


She might wear a gold Star of David under the neckline of her dress, “but I don’t talk about Israel or Palestine. This [abuse] is not about anything I’ve said on Middle-East politics. I don’t participate.” She describes herself as “culturally Jewish” — her husband is Irish Catholic.

Her political concerns reflect her immediate constituency, one of the poorest in the country. If anything, the furore over her religion distracts from more pressing issues.

There were rare flashes of anti-Semitism under Ed Miliband, who is Jewish, “but not like this. I’ve never seen anti-Semitism in Labour on this scale. There were one or two incidents before and the reason why they were so shocking is that there were only one or two.  Now the sheer volume of it has made it normal.”

read more

No comments :

Post a Comment