Perhaps trying a little too hard to keep the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party going, the Mail on Sunday’s not even slightly celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges has decided to go after author Michael Rosen. Someone who is not Jewish trying to insinuate that someone who is Jewish might be insufficiently hot on anti-Semitism was always going to be a high risk strategy. And so it has proved.
He's desperate, Dan
Desperate Dan began his latest campaign badly, asking “Genuine question. Can someone explain to me what lies behind @MichaelRosenYes constant attacks on anyone who opposes anti-Semitism” (the question marks still ain’t making it). This might work in a Mail on Sunday column, but “constant attacks on anyone”, which was so far beyond exaggeration as to be in trouser-burning territory, was not a good Twitter move.
What's that strange sound? Perhaps ... yes ... a foot entering a mouth at speed, and without anaesthetic
So it was that Floyd Codlin called him out. “The answer is, Mr Desperate and Disingenuous, is that Michael has a proud track record of standing against AS, wherever it comes from”. Indeed he does, unlike Hodges whose ventures into blatant anti-Semitism have included calling one Jew a “Useful Jewish idiot”. What say Dan to that?
“He doesn’t oppose AS wherever it comes from. He doesn’t oppose it when it comes from Jeremy Corbyn or Labour”. This is a circular argument: it assumes that there is anti-Semitism emanating from Corbyn, which there is not. Also, Hodges ponies up no example in support of his claim; we should take him on trust. But Codlin’s intervention was a mere hors d’oeuvres for Rosen’s more compelling entrée.
He had to point out to Hodges that the MoS pundit was already standing in an awfully draughty glasshouse. “Starting with you, Dan, it’s because you couldn’t stop yourself using antisemitism to ‘fight’ antisemitism with your ‘useful Jewish idiots’ trope”. Hodges was incapable of understanding that his view was not universally shared.
And there was more. “And just possibly Dan I have been dealing with antisemitism ever since I first met antisemitic abuse at school? And have been addressing it in my writing and activity ever since? See my latest: ‘Unexpected Twist’ but many others [including] my book on Zola”. Whether secular or observant, Jews know all about anti-Semitism, as they are the ones on the receiving end of it. And Dan Hodges is not.
So it was that Rosen put Hodges’ latest sad attempt to pretend that he knows more about anti-Semitism than any Jew who does not unequivocally condemn the Labour leadership out of its misery: “And do tell me what antisemitism is or feels like. I need some advice from you on that”. Ouch! Even better than using a dirty great club.
Not for the first time, Dan Hodges’ campaign has turned out not necessarily to his advantage. Whether or not Albert Einstein really said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”, you get the feeling that whoever did say that had Desperate Dan in mind.
Give it up, Dan. Call it wrong too often and your editor might start to notice.
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