Friday, June 9, 2017

UK elections: 'Antisemitism seems to have done Corbyn no harm'

Via David Hirsh:
Our experience in the University and College Union was that there were 120,000 members who chose not to care - not enough to intervene - about the institutional antisemitism which took root in the union.  
Now we know that Corbyn's career-long support for a worldview which positions Israel as a central evil on the planet did him no harm. 
Corbyn said Hamas and Hezbollah were dedicated to peace and justice; he jumped to the defence of blood libeller Raed Salah and conspiracist Steven Sizer; he supported the exclusion of Israelis from the global community; he was a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which sought to boycott and to destroy Israel and which tolerated antisemitism. 
Corbyn thinks that the system of capitalism and imperialism is primarily responsible for aggression, suffering and killing across the world and he thinks that movements - including terrorist movements - against America, Europe and imperialism, however distasteful, are fundamentally defensive and should be understood as blowback for Western aggression.  
We learn that either the electorate doesn't really mind all this; or it doesn't want to know about this; or it chooses not to believe this; or those who do mind are balanced by those who are excited and attracted by it. 
Antisemitism seems to have done Corbyn no harm.  
And the standard response to accusations of antisemitism, which says that they are basically bad faith attempts by Jews to smear the left - The Livingstone Formulation (1)- works just fine.
 (1) As a student of contemporary antisemitism, Hirsh is known for coining the term "Livingstone Formulation," after its effective use by the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. In Hirsh's formulation, when an individual like Livingstone, with alleged antisemitic attitudes is confronted with this allegation, he immediately reverses the charge, accusing his accuser of "playing the antisemitic card" to stifle debate. (Wikipedia)

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