Promoters and Deniers of Antisemitism Attack the Community Security Trust

Seriously, you have to read the stunning attack on the Community Security Trust by Raed Salah supporter, Asa Winstanley.

Make no mistake: a significant part of pro-Palestinian politics now consists of promoting antisemites, denying antisemitism, and attacking Jews who object to antisemitism.

That’s their strategy. And they’re shameless about it.

Then read the CST’s response, in full. Here’s the conclusion:

Some of Salah’s supporters appear to misconstrue, perhaps deliberately, CST’s mission and purpose. We work to combat antisemitism, terrorism and extremism in the UK. We provided the UK government with information about Salah because we consider him to have a record of propagating antisemitic and extremist views, and because he was due to visit this country. We take all forms of antisemitism seriously and we expressed our concerns to government on this basis. We did not do this on behalf of Israel or in pursuit of Israel’s policy objectives, but to combat antisemitism and extremism in Britain. There is a difference between combating antisemitism and Israel advocacy; a distinction that Salah’s supporters appear incapable of recognising.

So, for example, for Electronic Intifada to describe CST as an “anti-Palestinian group” is not only grossly insulting but is also nonsensical. It suggests that our work combating antisemitism in the UK is intrinsically anti-Palestinian, which in turn suggests that Palestinians are intrinsically antisemitic. This is a disgraceful slur on both Jews and Palestinians. In fact we work with British Muslims and other minorities to combat Islamophobia and other forms of racism and extremism in Britain.

We say repeatedly in CST publications and on this blog that we do not deny anybody the right to criticise Israel or to campaign against it. All we ask is that when doing so, people take care not to use antisemitic language or to make common cause with antisemites. These requests – which on the surface should not be too demanding for any anti-racist – repeatedly fall on deaf ears, or even worse are mocked by those who should know better. It has now reached the stage that, when we point out that Raed Salah has made antisemitic statements, his supporters accuse us of lying. This does not just excuse antisemitism; it encourages its growth.

As I argued yesterday, although some pro-Palestinian activists object to antisemitism, it has become increasingly clear that antisemitism has permeated Palestinian solidarity politics, and that very little has been done either to recognise or to challenge it.

The reason, I suggested, is that it is necessary for those who support Palestinian political groups – in particular, Hamas – which push genocidal antisemitism, to justify their own alliance with racists. They do so, as we have seen, by pretending it doesn’t exist, and attacking those who point it out.

This is a textbook example of that process at work.

If you consistently make excuses for the clearest cases of antisemitism, that means you’re an antisemite.

That’s why the Palestinian Solidarity movement has increasingly come to look like the English Defence League: angrily denying the evidence that they’re packed with bigots, racists and haters, while the truth is plain to anybody who cares to look.