Debasing ‘Anti-semitism’ the Zionist Way

Jeremy Corbyn leading a 2014 demonstration against the Israeli war on Gaza. (Photo: RonF, via Flickr, file)

By David Faber

It has been perfectly clear for years now that it is official Zionist policy to stigmatize and taint all criticism of Israel as Anti-Semitic. This is the worst possible abuse of language, from which Orwell taught monstrosity arises. It debases the memory of the heroic resistance of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto and the victims of the Shoa.

As one Anti-Fascist demonstrated recently in the columns of the British Morning Star, this strategy desperately rewrites history to confound Anti-Fascism with Fascism. Anyone who knows the history of real European Anti-Semitism knows this. To pretend that it is not the case is to exploit the masses, and connive culpably with those who abuse their historical innocence. It is a politically motivated, devious and insidious accusation to besmirch advocates of Palestinian human rights in this way as if Palestinians were not Semites, and Arabic with Hebrew were not a great Semitic language.

Australian Zionists have complained that the democratic Left has become critical of Israel. This is a function of Israel’s unconscionable violation of international law, not an Anti-semitic shift. In Britain, the targeting of Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn for supposed Anti-Semitism is very much of this false and interested stamp. It seeks to wedge Labor internally, between the Philo-Zionist Blairite elements of the Parliamentary Labour Party and the rank and file membership.

The end in view is to prevent Labor coming to power with the installation of a reforming government and an independent foreign policy. It is to be feared that some of these Blairite elements would very nearly prefer to retain their weakening hold on the Party in Opposition rather than go triumphantly into office.

This, after the complete failure of Blair as an honest broker for peace in the Middle East, is nothing short of political treachery, and it is to be hoped that Corbyn will see the need to stick to his principles, however cannily, rather than allow himself to be blackmailed in this way. For the abandonment of principle in politics is the high road to defeat.

There is evidence that Corbyn and his loyal lieutenants do in fact understand the need to be both firm and adroit in this sensitive matter, made more sensitive by the genuine anti-semitism of the resurgent Neo-fascist far right. Just because they abuse the term Anti-zionism as a code-word for Anti-semitism, this does not mean that genuine Anti-zionist critics of Ultra-nationalism and Colonialism are forever debarred from employing plain English.

Corbyn has recently said as much while sticking to his guns on the substance of what he has consistently said and done over his long career. Of course, this will not appease captious and interested political and media critics who will never be satisfied, certainly not before the general election towards which the wounded reactionary conservative Theresa May’s regime is lurching apace.

– Dr. David Faber is Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. He contributed this article to 

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