A view from across the Atlantic

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This appears to be an excellent description of what's going on in with the accusations of Anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party right now. I had been looking for such a description, so I pass it along in case any of you were the same. I can't verify the facts by reporting, but there's a whole lot in there that just smells right to me. Much of this also describes how the fuss about Jimmy Carter went down a couple of years ago in this country—it wouldn't surprise me if some Gentle Readers will never forgive the man and others will never forgive those who accused him.

Here in the US, I don't feel that the choosing-up-sides is quite so definite on the issue, in part perhaps because of the greater visibility of Jews on the left (and of Jews who publicly criticize Israel's policies) and in part because our rather magnificently self-absorbed Americanism makes the parallels to Northern Ireland or South Africa less immediately persuasive, but the rest of it feels much the same. There is real Anti-Semitism in the conversation, and there's legitimate criticism of Israel's policies, and it's not always as easy to pick them apart as you might think. And there's valuable calling-out of real Anti-Semitism and there's reflexive and spurious accusations of Anti-Semitism, and it's not always as easy to pick them apart as you might think. And this all happens in a bigger context that is important.

The thing I'd add, if anything, is a rhetorical analysis of how specific phrases and terms ooze their way from the wild and intemperate racists to the reasonable moderates, and how much damage that actually does. Most of y'all are (I hope) aware of it in US politics, with race and gender and religion and so forth, and it's much the same with Jews-and-Israel. That was where I felt Jimmy Carter did the damage, but of course your proverbial may vary.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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