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    What’s in a “Zionist”?

    Since there has been a furore since the Daily Mail pointed out Corbyn’s attack on individuals who he simply describes as “Zionists” who don’t understand “English irony” we should recognise what using the term “Zionist” this way really means for Corbyn and many others. It is the foremost advocates of Palestinian rights such as Ali Abunimah who use such language the most and therefore offer the best examples of it. The Zionist hasbara response is always a variation of: ‘Arabs are more savage and less human than anyone else.’ https://t.co/YVrZIFHoQ2 — Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) 23 July 2018 For him this is not an individual expressing a view on the Israeli…

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    Corbyn on British Zionists

    Even by Corbyn’s standards, this is vile. He is clearly using ‘Zionist’ as code for ‘Jew’ in this nasty, sneering speech from 2013. The Labour leader said: ‘[British Zionists] clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.’ Apparently he was speaking alongside Alison Weir (not the historian) – whom even the zealously anti-zionist ‘Jews Sans Frontieres’ site thinks is an antisemite. Another egregious speaker present, according to the Daily Mail’s report. was Alan Hart. So far I have only seen this story in the Daily Mail…

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    Sociology Professor’s interesting views on research parameters [updated]

    Academic twitter was slightly startled to be asked this question recently: In response to a few WTF? reactions, he offered this argument: Yet oddly, given his commitment to unconfined enquiry, however unsettling its focus, he seems to have strongly opposed the controversial eugenics conference at UCL. I thought this was a particularly telling tweet: Did he really check what every single person challenging him thought about Israel? But there’s no need to worry – he’s very clear that he ‘opposes ALL forms of racism’. Update: My attention has been drawn to this piece by Scambler – the final sections – which include the revelation that he’s already been the focus…

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    Corbyn and Munich

    It’s interesting to map the different flavours of Corbyn supporter onto Damian Counsell’s handy field guide: Owen Jones’ response was first of all to tweet non-stop about Boris Johnson and then insist that any left wing leader would attract a simila media onslaught – in other words, it would seem that he thinks this latest story is either some kind of fabrication or simply not important. What’s been entirely absent – so far as I can see – is any reasoned counterargument to the Daily Mail’s original story.  Instead we get responses such as this, from the Labour press team: In case you missed it here’s a transcript of the…

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    Watching The Americans

    I’ve recently finished watching the sixth and final series of The Americans. This award-winning show focuses on Soviet sleeper agents, Philip and Elizabeth, who live an ostensibly normal suburban life in 1980s Washington DC with their teenage children Paige and Henry. Elizabeth is, broadly, a regime loyalist. Philip is a bit more ambivalent – and even something of an Americanophile. Although it’s received a great deal of praise I’ve been struck by a surprising lack of analysis of the show’s political leanings in  most reviews. Some might argue that this is because the real concern of The Americans is marriage, the family and personal relationships. There’s some truth in this…

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    Ben Jamal is a Liar

    A couple of months ago at a meeting entitled Jeremy Corbyn, Antisemitism and Justice for Palestine the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign stood up and said the following: “We stand resolutely against antisemitism and I have no truck with anybody who says “well I have never encountered antisemitism within the Palestine Solidarity movement broadly” because I have and there are those at the fringes of our movement who wish to articulate the cause for Palestinian rights through anti-Semitic narratives, through engaging in nonsense about Holocaust denial, or engaging in conspiracies about Israel’s power that draw on anti-Semitic tropes and we need to be clear that there is no place…

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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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    What Mehdi No Solidarity for the Jews?

    Cross-posted from my criminally underused blog Marc’s Words It hasn’t been a great weekend for Jeremy Corbyn or his Labour Party. Deputy Leader Tom Watson said: “This is one of those moments when we have to take a long, hard look at ourselves, stand up for what is right and present the party as fit to lead the nation – or disappear into a vortex of eternal shame and embarrassment,” In the same article they reported Watson’s comments in The Guardian dropped yet another bombshell: “Watson’s intervention came as Corbyn was forced to “entirely disassociate” himself from an organisation whose website lists him as a member of its international advisory…

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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,…