Stuart Littlewood in Great Britain on election day

[ Editor’s Update: The BBC/Sky/ITV poll suggested the Conservative would win 368 seats, 42 above the 326 needed for an absolute majority in the House of Commons ]

– First published … December 12, 2019

It’s polling day in the UK. Right up to the last gasp so-called anti-Semitism has been used as a lethal weapon in this general election campaign. Ignorant and gullible people, supported by a mischievous mainstream media, have deployed it indiscriminately to trash Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party and to remove a number of candidates from the lists.

I have watched pushy TV reporters demanding to know if their quarry “has a problem with Jews”. So how would you deal with an onslaught of media and even party slurs, assuming you aren’t guilty as charged?

Do you have a problem with Jews?
Which Jews are you talking about?
Er, Jews in general…
No.
Any particular Jews?
Yes.
Oh. Which ones then?
Israeli Jews.
Why?
Don’t you know what’s going on over there?
Umm…
Go do your homework. I’m busy.

You are accused by your party of making anti-Semitic remarks. What do you say to that?
What anti-Semitic remarks?
They say you criticised the state of Israel…
Wouldn’t you, if you knew what’s going on over there?
What do you mean?
Do your homework. I’m too busy to give you a history lesson.

Your leader has said repeatedly that anti-Semitism isn’t tolerated. Yet you made anti-Semitic remarks about another party member.
Is he/she a Semite?

Er, Jewish anyway. That makes him a Semite.
Not necessarily. Very few Jews are Semites according to DNA research. On the other hand most Palestinians are. Are you saying my remarks were directed at someone I thought was a Palestinian? Now that would make a great story.

The IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] definition is what we must go on…. blah, blah blah
The IHRA definition doesn’t stand up.
Why do you say that?
Read Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the UK’s own Human Rights Act 1998. I can express my views – so can you – even if we upset someone, as long as we’re not stirring up hatred or inciting violence.
But if you criticise Israel you stir up Jew-hatred.
No, Israel’s criminal behaviour towards our Palestinian friends – Christian and Muslim – is what stirs up Jew-hatred. The more savvy Israelis admit it.
But the IHRA definition is universally accepted…
No it isn’t. It’s widely criticised. I’d suggest you read what top legal opinion such as Hugh Tomlinson QC, Sir Stephen Sedley and Geoffrey Robertson QC have to say.
So where does anti-Semitism come in?
It doesn’t really. And here’s the irony. DNA research – for instance that done by Johns Hopkins University and published by Oxford University Press – found that only a tiny proportion of Jews are Semitic. Very few have ancestral links to the Holy Land, whereas most indigenous Arabs, especially Palestinians, are proper Semites.

Have those findings been refuted? If not, the real anti-Semites would seem to be the non-Semitic Israeli Jews with their hatred and oppression of the Palestinians – including the Christian communities. If you’re so hot on anti-Semitism why not go after them?

What about the Jewish community in the UK? We are told they are fearful and thinking of leaving.
The Jews I know have integrated and prospered here. They love it and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Are you saying they are not fearful?
There’s a noisy Zionist hardcore that supports the Israeli regime and claims to speak for British Jews. They make the Jewish community nervous about a backlash. Fortunately an increasing number of Jews oppose Israel and its brutal policies and actively campaign for Palestinian freedom from Israel’s military occupation. This is admirable but means the hardcore Israel flag-wavers are getting more and more hysterical.

The Labour Party is under investigation for anti-Jewish racism. Isn’t it shocking? What do you say to that?
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission is investigating to see if the party has committed any unlawful acts or failed to deal with complaints in a proper and effective manner. It says it may have regard to the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism and associated examples “while recognising it is a non-legally binding definition”.

So it looks bad for the Labour Party.
The party certainly has some explaining to do, especially the excessive time it takes to investigate and set up hearings and its policy of suspending the accused before checking the truth of the allegations. It must do better. But I suspect the general public are getting bored with the whole subject. And so am I.

Stuart Littlewood
12 December 2019

Author Details
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics he served as a Cambridgeshire county councillor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.
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