• antisemitism,  Labour Party

    Jeremy Corbyn and the Bad Antisemitism

    This is a guest post by @TimAllon I found myself caught off-guard by the recent revelation that Jeremy Corbyn had disparaged “Zionists” as not understanding “English irony” despite having “lived in the country for a very long time, probably all their lives”. It’s not that I did not previously believe he was antisemitic – I did, and he is. What surprised me was that, notwithstanding the slightest of “Zionist” fig leaves, it spoke to a particular middle-class, snobbish antisemitism that I have never particularly associated with the radical left. The response took me aback too. It’s easy to become inured to the bottomless barrel of meetings with and support for…

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    Denial: Norman Finkelstein and the New Antisemitism, by Alan Johnson, or as Finkelstein calls me, ‘the stupid goy’

    In recent days the US polemicist Norman Finkelstein has injected a crude claim into the debate about antisemitism in the UK Labour Party: ‘the brouhaha is a calculated hoax — dare it be said, plot?’ This kind of denialism and victim-blaming is, of course, itself an example of contemporary antisemitism, and if the UK Labour Party listens to the counsel of Norman Finkelstein about antisemitism in its ranks then it really will have lost its way, and perhaps for good. In response, Fathom is making available an extract from ‘Denial: Norman Finkelstein and the New Antisemitism’ a chapter by our editor Alan Johnson in Unity and Disunity in Contemporary Antisemitism, edited…

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    Why the Nazi Analogy and Holocaust Inversion are Antisemitic

    The following is an excerpt from ‘Antisemitism in the Guise of Anti-Nazism: Holocaust Inversion in the United Kingdom during Operation Protective Edge’, a chapter that will appear in Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: The Dynamics of Delegitimization, ed. Alvin H. Rosenfeld (Indiana University Press, forthcoming).The editor and publisher have kindly agreed to the advance publication of this excerpt in light of its topicality. The UK Labour Party is debating whether to incorporate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, including all its accompanying examples, into its own statutes. This part of my chapter sets out why the use of the Nazi analogy to attack Jews, Israelis and ‘Zionists’ should be…

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    Go to Bookmarks. Buy a Book, by Alan Johnson

    But what were even gold and silver, precious stones and clockwork, to the bookshops, whence a pleasant smell of paper freshly pressed came issuing forth, awakening instant recollections of some new grammar had at school, long time ago, with ‘Master Pinch, Grove House Academy’, inscribed in faultless writing on the fly-leaf! That whiff of Russia leather, too, and all those rows on rows of volumes, neatly ranged within – what happiness did they suggest! And in the window were the spick-and-span new works from London, with the title-pages, and sometimes even the first page of the first chapter, laid wide open: tempting unwary men to begin to read the book,…

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    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Neturei Karta, and the Corbynization of the Democratic Party

    This is a guest post by Quizblorg After her surprise win against the establishment candidate in New York’s Democratic primary has turned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the new shooting star of the Democratic Party, much emphasis has been put – both by supporters and opponents – on her association with another party, the Democratic  Socialists of America (DSA), of whose New York City chapter she is a member. Most of this attention has focused on the DSA’s domestic policies. But it is the party’s  increasingly strident anti-Zionism that seems particularly worrying. (It should be noted in passing that both this anti-Zionism and the party’s embrace of Communism are a far cry…

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    Fathom 20 | From ‘intersectionality’ to the exclusion of Jewish students: BDS makes a worrying turn on US campuses

    Kenneth Waltzer is the executive director of the Academic Engagement Network, a national US faculty organisation committed to countering Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). In this survey of BDS activity on US campuses he argues that, where BDS has a following, Jewish students are increasingly being consigned to a place of insult and derision, barred from progressive causes, and labelled oppressors. Those who come to their aid get similar treatment. BDS is morphing into an attack on the equal rights of Jewish students to associate freely with others on campus, to shape their own organisations and goals, to express their religious and cultural identity and to observe their heritage free from…

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    Fathom 20 | Professor Asher Susser on Ian Black’s history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Ian Black has written a very well-researched, comprehensive and insightful survey of a century of Palestinian-Israeli conflict, from the Balfour Declaration to the present. Even though this is well-travelled terrain, his systematic and detailed account is instructive as it pulls together from a wealth of, albeit secondary, sources a complex story in a very coherent and well-structured narrative. However, the narrative of the conflict is marred by the absence of some critically important contexts and by an imbalance in the treatment of the two parties. CONTEXT Black argues, correctly, that the settler colonialist paradigm does not fit the Israeli Zionist story as it fails to grasp ‘the Jewish religious-national connection…

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    Fathom 20 | Israel70 ‘Young Voices’: Reading Herzl’s Altneuland in 2018

    Asaf Yusufov is one of seven new generation voices featured in Fathom Journal this week. Asaf is a former counsellor and manager at Tel Aviv’s Barnoar (an LGBTQ Youth Club) and is currently media coordinator and video editor for Darkenu, a non-parliamentary political movement of ‘the moderate majority’. I grew up in a patriotic Israeli family. My mother is a teacher and my father was seriously injured while serving in the Israeli Paratroopers. He is immensely proud of the country he loves, even though that love came at a cost. I served as a commander in a special combat unit. My service took me to the northern parts of the…

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    The Metaphoric Kite

    This is a Guest Post by Noah Phillips Hamas’ riling up the masses and ‘populist warfare’ tactics are a concerted effort to provoke Israeli retaliation.  These tactics are not novel by any means, nor are their espousal of terrorism and advocacy for the destruction of Israel by way of bombings, rockets, and lethal Intifadas. However, the recent use of incendiary kites deployed from Gaza by the thousands into Israel is especially disconcerting for its symbolic and violent outcomes. What are kites but symbols of youth and innocence, emblems of playfulness and wonder for children? But leave it to Hamas to pervert a toy and joyful experience for youth.  As the…

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    Fathom 20 | Amos Oz’s Israel

    While Amos Oz’s novels are often read reductively as political allegories, Liam Hoare suggests that Oz’s special subject is really a particular people, the Israelis, and their experience in a particular place. ‘All the stuff of Israel’ is in his books, writes Hoare, and we should count ourselves fortunate to have such a guide. INTERPRETING AMOS OZ It is the fate of the Israeli novelist to be misread. So many, from David Grossman to Nir Baram, write with two pens — one for the novel and another for the essay — and thus there can be, Amos Oz has noted, an unwillingness on the part of readers to draw a…