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Society's antisemitism problem is far bigger than just Corbyn


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A lot of people will tell you that the current antisemitism crisis in the Labour Party is designed to undermine Jeremy Corbyn. It really isn't. It's a continuation of a trend that has been evident all across the world for some time. 

There were accusations of antisemitism within the Labour Party in the days of Ed Miliband's leadership. A Labour councillor, Rosemary Healy from Nottingham trivialised The Holocaust when she published a picture on Twitter of the Tory slogan “Let’s stay on the road to a strong economy” superimposed on to a picture of the train tracks leading into Auschwitz. 

A candidate, Vicki Kirby, had to be suspended from standing in Woking after tweeting offensive messages about Jewish people's noises and calling for ISIS to attack Israel. The latter would, of course, involve the death of several innocent people on the account of the place they live. 

Meanwhile, embedded below, is part of a speech from former Green Party deputy leader Shahrar Ali in which he says:"Just because you observe the niceties of Holocaust Memorial Day.."

The term "niceties" being used in relation to Holocaust Memorial Day should not sit right with anyone. In what way can something so vile, so traumatic have any "niceties"?

John Mann, the MP who chairs the All-Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, has been calling out anti-semitism in British politics since 2006. This was way before Corbyn. It was around before him and is part of an increasingly worrying trend.

I've already written an article about Poland's treatment of Jews. There have been numerous incidents of Jews being targetted in France. There was the 2006 kidnap, torture and murder of Ilan Hamini. In March 2012, a gunman in Toulouse shot dead three Jewish schoolchildren and their teacher. In December 2014, a couple in Paris were deliberately targetted for a robbery because they were Jewish, the wife was raped. 

Then one must point out during the Charlie Hebdo attacks, a Jewish supermarket was targetted, one of the gunmen had a map of two Jewish schools

je suis charlie

There is, of course, the recent death of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor targetted as she was Jewish. 

In Germany in 2014, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, three assailants tried to burn down a Synagogue, there were not given jail time after arguing the actions were motivated against the State of Israel. Someone, tell me, what do Jews living in Germany have to do with the policy of the State of Israel? Because I sure cannot work it out. The court more or less said firebombing a synagogue is not anti-semitic. 

Anti-semitism had already encouraged two rallies that year in Germany, one led by Angela Merkel herself and another attended by 3,500 people in Frankfurt. 

As recently as January, Merkel admitted it was "shameful" that all Jewish buildings in the country needed police protection

Anti-semitism has also grown in Italy in recent years, with tensions against foreigners and migrants reaching fever pitch during recent elections, this includes attacks against Muslims, Africans and Jews. Lazio supporters have been known to display antisemitic banners and sing anti-semitic chants for many years. After a recent attempt to goad Roma fans with Anne Frank, Serie A responded with a minute's silence, fans of several clubs ignored the silence and some sung far-right songs

Last year, anti-semitic vandalism reached a 10 year high in The Netherlands, Dutch football fans have been shown to sing "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas" and share memes trivialising child Holocaust victims

In Spain, during the summer of 2015, reggae artist Matisyahu was uninvited from the Rototom reggae festival upon the request of BDS for refusing to sign a letter supporting a Palestinian state

Now, why should Matisyahu be forced to sign such a declaration? Can he not have free will?

Can he choose not to mix politics with his music?

Matisyahu is not an Israeli, he is an American. But he is Jewish. BDS called for a boycott of a Jewish artist, not an Israeli one, a Jewish one.

Let that sink in. BDS is remarkably quiet when Palestinians are treated poorly in other Middle Eastern states too, I wonder why that is?

Sense prevailed and Matisyahu was able to perform after wide condemnation including from Madrid itself. He did, however, say he suffered the worst racism in his life.

This came at a point where Spain was attempting to rebuild its bridges with the Jewish community. The nation offered citizenship to Sephardic Jews, some 500 years after expelling its Jewish citizens. In 1492, Jews had a choice between leaving, converting to Catholicism or being burnt at the stake.

A town called Castrillo Matajudios - Camp Kill Jews had also finally changed its' name. 

However, Matisayhu's treatment shows attitudes still need to change.

Outside of Europe, the Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee Keith Ellison has been followed by accusations of antisemitism throughout his career. That did nothing to stop his election though. Ellison's links to Louis Farrakhan were reported by CNN as was his defence of anti-semites. The Democract members obviously didn't seem it too big a deal - which shows the attitude that certain sections of society have towards antisemitism. 

There's an increase in incidents in Australia too of around 10% in 2017.

I could go on for years bringing you examples and statistics of antisemitism. But the point is it's far greater than just Corbyn, anyone saying it's a smear campaign is either ignorant of this disturbing trend or complicit in it themselves. 

It is a big deal and people's lives have been taken because nothing was done about it.

European and western anti-semitism did not die at the end of the Second World War. It went underground and now, it is beginning to show its' ugly, face again. Jewish citizens are rightly concerned, so we must act now rather than debate about whether or not the grievances are valid. I assure you, they are. 

This is a problem for the whole of humanity. No-one should be treated this way regardless.

Sadly, a significant number of people just won't care, but I would point out, to them that historically speaking, people who target Jews tend to hold more than one prejudice. 

The trend around the world shows society treating Jews with more and contempt and governments not doing enough to stop it or encouraging it, Corbyn's controversies are symptoms of a much a much greater disease. 

It says a lot about the modern world that people feel more and more comfortable to behave in this way. 

We cannot allow fellow human beings to suffer in this way, we would not accept it if it happened to us and we should not sit by and force innocent individuals to endure it instead. Antisemitism in society is a massive problem everywhere and we must do more about it. 

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