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    Two dead parrots

    After the largest ever defeat for a government and an unsuccessful motion of no confidence it’s clear that both May and Corbyn have now been found out. May has been riding two horses, trying to keep both the Brexiteer and Remain wings of her Party onside, but the wheels have finally come off her wagon. I previously thought that she might, just, get her deal through but it looks like delaying the vote was counterproductive. It does appear that Caroline Lucas’ grasp of mathematics is as weak as the shadow Home Secretary’s as *only* 116 MPs have to change their mind, not “several hundred” – although that’s still a herculean…

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    The Trouble With “White Jews”

    Okay, I’ll admit that I’m late to the party, but I’ve only recently discovered that in the US, it has become really fashionable to designate Jews as “white” and to castigate them for enjoying “white privilege” or even accuse them of “upholding white supremacy.” While I got immediately furious for reasons I’ll explain, it seems that if you are an American Jew who wants to be counted as broadly sympathetic to progressive causes, you better uncritically embrace your “whiteness” and ruefully ponder the attending privilege and the ways in which you might contribute to white supremacy. Obviously enough, this discourse developed in the very specific context of American debates about…

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    A Fortune Cookie for 2019

    At the end of 2017 I looked backwards and forwards in a fortune cookie for 2018 so, twelve months on, where are we? The most notable thing about 2018 was the lack of a referendum or General Election which must have pleased Brenda from Bristol. The nearest thing was a vote of confidence in May which, although she won, demonstrated that she didn’t command enough support and caused her to indicate that she will pass on the baton before the next election. It’s worth remembering that this doesn’t have to be until June 2022, three and a half years away, although few would bet on that date! Looking back the…

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    Gay and Jewish

    I am Jewish and I am gay and I am incredibly proud of both. For a long time, I managed to marry these two identities well and never felt one was at odds with the other, until now that is. As a proud Jew, I am beginning to feel unwelcome in LGBT spaces due to progressive antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism. Zionism is the belief in a Jewish state in the land of Israel. Anti-Zionism is a modern expression of antisemitism that utilises the same antisemitic tropes that have been around for 2000 years, such as Israel (& the Jews) conspiring to control the world. Despite being rooted in historical oppression,…

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    When far-right Jew-haters agree with far-left Israel-haters

     “The game of partisan ping-pong with antisemitism needs to stop. It harms Jews. If you only recognize antisemitism on the other side of the political spectrum or only care about it insofar as it can be used against political opponents, you don’t care about antisemitism.” This tweet, and the following thread, was recently posted by V. Judah Khaykin, who works with the Anti-Defamation League. I was glad to see that the thread included some material I had tried to highlight in my writings, because I’ve long felt that the prevalent notion that right-wing and left-wing antisemitism are two totally different beasts is mistaken. I first noticed some five years ago…

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    JK Rowling’s Christmas Message

    JK Rowling’s spectacular comment on Corbyn and his acolytes: And lo, unto her did appear a host of Corbyn defenders, who did descend upon her mentions, and she was not sore afraid, because she was used to it. And the host did sing with one voice, ‘ungodly woman, thou foolest us not. We know the true reason thou despisest Saint Jeremy.’ 1 And she did say unto them ‘share thy hot take.’ And with righteous wrath they did declare, ‘thou fearest Saint Jeremy, friend of the poor, because he shall take from thee in taxation much more even than Herod, and so thou attackest the meek and honest saviour of…

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    Captain Mainwaring, Corporal Jones, the rubber chicken circuit & elections

    The next election is there to be won and the right Conservative leader and timing can achieve an overall majority. The announcement by the Prime Minister that she will not lead the Conservative Party into the election in 2022 – or whenever – will, amongst others, provide much material for the commentariat. Some pollsters – no names, no pack drill – ask electors to equate politicians with animals, but I prefer Dad’s Army characters. Jeremy Corbyn is clearly Private Fraser whereas Theresa May, unfortunately, is Sergeant Wilson. To win the next election and prevent the economic and foreign relations catastrophe that would result from a Corbyn government the Conservatives need…

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    Jeremy Corbyn and an Exodus from Britain

    On September 5th 2018, the Jewish Chronicle published an article stating that 40% of British Jews would consider leaving the UK if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister. Immediately, Corbynistas (which is, by the way, a hilarious name for an aggressively racist hate-mob) decried the poll and Jewish people themselves as ‘hysterical’. The sad fact is Jewish people are not hysterical. If you understand one thing about Jewish history it’s that antisemitism, known as the oldest hatred, has been blighting the lives of Jews since time began. It may be that no harm (and please note that ‘harm’ does not necessarily mean another Holocaust) will befall the Jewish people if Corbyn…

  • Hungary

    Hungary: Zero tolerance for antisemitism? (Guest post by Karl Pfeifer)

    Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declares repeatedly that in Hungary there is zero tolerance for antisemitism. A recent opinion research poll among Jews in Hungary shows that they feel less threatened physically or verbally but that antisemitism has become stronger since the last research in 1999. Why do Jews feel this way, despite of the good relations of Hungary with Israel? Because they know that the government propaganda against George Soros, even without mentioning his Jewish origin, is antisemitic. The same goes for the attempts of Orbán and his close friends to rewrite Hungarian history. Orbán was the most ardent supporter of erecting a statue to honor the antisemitic Bálint Hóman,…

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    Khashoggi’s Death Reminds Us of the Frailty of Free Speech

    The facts surrounding the death of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi are still coming in. On October 2nd, Jamal walked into the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul, and never walked out. Not until October 20th did the world receive news that his disappearance in fact resulted in his death, a story frequently spun and re-invented by Saudi Arabia. What we can say for certain is Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi government agents. Despite several attempts to hide this crime, including a Saudi agent leaving the consulate wearing Jamal’s clothes, the Saudi government eventually admitted culpability. Latest reports have even shown that the journalist’s body parts have been found in the gardens of the Saudi consulate building. The…