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Tuesday 19 July 2022

Campaign Against Anti-Semitism - REALITY

Previously appearing before my inspection when Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader, the so-called Campaign Against Anti-Semitism has in the recent past left no stone unturned in its burning desire to attack The Red Team, even complaining to the EHRC until the latter opened an inquiry into the claims made. But now some of those who had backed it are no longer on board.

Not after the CAA went after current party leader Keir Starmer over a video showing events from his trip to Berlin, where he met, among others, Olaf Scholz, now Chancellor and leader of Labour’s sister party, the SPD. The video looks uncontroversial, but for the CAA, Starmer visiting the Holocaust memorial near the Brandenburg Gate was too much for them.

It is a matter of decency and long-established convention in Germany that you never stoop to using the Berlin Holocaust Memorial as some kind of a prop. But to incorporate the Memorial as the backdrop for a political clip that does not even mention the Holocaust is an insult” they howled. But then something happened: their own supporters did not all agree.

Margaret Hodge, that most strident of Corbyn critics, took exception to the CAA’s attack. “Keir Starmer visited Holocaust memorial on trip to Berlin. Totally appropriate. I’m fed up of CAA using antisemitism as a front to attack Labour. Time to call them out for what and who they really are. More concerned with undermining Labour than rooting out antisemitism”.

If only she had said that earlier, eh? Also not saying much earlier, except to bash Corbyn, was former MP Ruth Smeeth. “[Keir Starmer] has a proud record in fighting antisemitism. He visited the Holocaust memorial and spoke about it at the time. This attack is not only wrong, but completely disingenuous and deeply unfair. And attempts to politicise something that simply shouldn’t be”. What if Jezza had made that video? What indeed.

Especially as Margaret Hodge had previously been made an Honorary Patron of the CAA, although as I pointed out earlier, this distinction has been shared by some who have benefited from racism, those who have endorsed racism for political advantage, and at least one individual who has a track record of forthright bigotry, but towards Muslims, which seems not to trouble the CAA.

It certainly didn’t trouble Tory MP Bob Blackman, who was one of those Honorary Patrons, until he got called out for it after he was caught “posting the piece from the anti-Muslim website Hardcore News USA”. This, he claimed, was an “error”. Not sure how you can accidentally go there.

All of which suggests the name of the CAA’s game was more Labour bashing than rooting out anti-Semitism: after all, they’ve done nothing about incidents of it in the Tory Party, and there have been several of those recently. The group’s credibility is finally being shredded - in one case by someone who they made an Honorary Patron. And someone from the Jewish Chronicle.

Who that? Lee Harpin, he of libel loss infamy, saw Ms Smeeth’s response and responded “Totally agree [Ruth Smeeth] - time organisations like [the] CAA come clean about their links to another political party”. And which political party might that be? It wouldn’t be the Tories, would it? And where does that leave the CAA’s complaint to the EHRC? Well, well.

This spectacle was not lost on some of those who have previously been dismissed for not going along with the CAA, like activist Heather Mendick, who observed “Interesting to see [Margaret Hodge] and [Ruth Smeeth] now agree with us 'cranks' that the Campaign Against Antisemitism makes bad faith accusations of antisemitism and uses these to attack the Labour Party. This is 'denialism' and should be reported to the Party's disciplinary team”.

Touché. The CAA is no longer a credible organisation. No surprise there.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Noam Chomsky: On the weaponisation of false anti-Semitism charges against radical progressive movements
Noam Chomsky
July 31, 2020. DiEM25.
Fifty years ago, the distinguished Israel statesman Abba Eban wrote that “One of the chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all. Anti-Zionism is merely the new anti-Semitism.”

As the examples he gives make crystal clear (e.g., the committed Zionist I.F. Stone), by “anti-Zionism” he means criticism of the policies of the government of Israel and some sympathy for Palestinians.

That principle has become a last-ditch defense of apologists for Israel crimes under the occupation. Any critic, any proponent of Palestinian rights, can be tarred as an anti-Semite. This weapon has recently been wielded to great effect against Jeremy Corbyn in a campaign of vulgar deceit and slander that is shocking even beyond the disgraceful norm.

It would not be surprising if DiEM25 is soon subjected to the same treatment as its success increases and its outreach grows. Be prepared.

All of which makes Starmer, self-styled "Zionist without qualification", look like the utter quiffed-up traitorous slimeball he is. The same goes for the rest of his gang of gobshites.