If ever those opposing Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party needed not to be distracted by one of their number slipping up in their attacks on him, that day was today, in the aftermath of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mervis voicing his concerns about the prospect of a Labour Government next month. Sadly, that was what they got, first with Michael “Oiky” Gove Tweeting what appeared to be mockery of a black entertainer’s speech.
And if that were not enough, along has come minor Sleb Tracy Ann Oberman to once more do her best to attack Jezza, while ending up putting her foot in it. She saw Rabbi Mervis’ article and decided that the time was right to kick Labour. The problem was that, as so often, the thrust of her attack was gratuitous and wayward.
“#ChiefRabbi Mervis is an educated kind mild man very aware that his role is spiritual not political. That he has felt moved to speak for a frightened community is shameful to you [Labour Party] … And the responses by Corbyns [sic] voters [is] even worse. SHAME ON YOU”. He also congratulated alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson on being elected Tory leader, so perhaps there is some political with the spiritual.
This outburst also prompted someone to wind up Ms Oberman, in the process setting the most elephantine of elephant traps. Others might have seen it coming; she apparently did not. Someone responded to her with a Times of Israel headline telling “New Labour manifesto calls to ban arms sales to Israel”. She was tagged in on the Tweet that said simply “Would love to hear your thoughts about this Tracy”.
She wouldn’t fall straight into that elephant trap, would she? It’s Panto season, folks: Oh Yes She Would. “These are my thoughts F- OFF YOU DISGUSTING RACIST CORBYNITE. I should have said this a long time ago. When Chief Rabbi Mervis writes as he does today the games up. We see you for what you are [Jeremy Corbyn] and all your supporters”. What is racist about calling to ban arms sales to Israel?
Conflating “Israel” and “Jews” is clearly defined in the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism as an anti-Semitic trope. But criticism of the state of Israel, in the same way that criticisms of other states are made, is not. Including whether or not to sell arms to them. Could it get worse? Sadly it could. A lot worse for someone who claims to be against intolerance.
After the Tory prospective candidate for Leeds North East was suspended for allegations of past anti-Semitic comments - the second Tory candidate to be lost during the campaign, following the suspension of the party’s hopeful in Aberdeen North - she doubled down.
“Luckily I’ve never voted Tory so he’s THEIR problem. The labour racists are mine!” The same faux pas as her pal David Collier made recently - an admission of selective anti-racism. Any form of racism, and especially anti-Semitism, must be called out whichever political party, other public body, or individual, indulges in it.
The Labour Party has devised an education programme on anti-Semitism (alone, it seems, of major parties). Perhaps Tracy Ann Oberman might find it useful to her.
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