Tony Greenstein challenges the use of CST statistics to explain anti-Semitism.
I was alerted to criticism on the Pensive Quill by a Zionist, Barry Gilheany. Out of curiosity more than anything else, I searched out my budding foe only to discover that the site was a Republican blog run by Anthony McIntyre, a former member of the Provisional IRA and which has on its masthead Dolours Price, one half of the Price sisters who were gaoled for bombing the Old Bailey in 1973 and Brendan Hughes who initiated the hunger strikes in the 1980’s. I assume that both had an involvement in, if not the site itself then The Blanket, a republican journal.
I found it strange, to say the least, that a Zionist should have a series of articles published on what is a Republican blog since Zionism and Unionism/Loyalism have always gone together. British Military Governor, Sir Ronald Storrs wrote in his autobiography, Orientations, that the Jewish settler state-in-the-making was ‘a little loyal Ulster in a sea of hostile pan-Arabism.’ In other words the insertion of the Jewish settler colonial project into the Arab heartland was designed to further imperialist designs just as the creation of a Protestant Supremacist state in Ireland had done.
The DUP, which is a sectarian Protestant party, has always been a pro-Zionist party. On the Zionist demonstration against ‘anti-Semitism’ in March 2018 during the local elections, joining the Board of Deputies was DUP MP Ian Paisley Jnr. His father was a notorious supporter of Israel.
Conversely the Republicans have always been supporters of the Palestinians. When I went, as part of the Troops Out of Ireland delegations to Northern Ireland during The Troubles in the 1970’s and 1980’s the Catholic ghettoes were festooned with mural supporting the Palestinian struggle and the Palestinian flag was everywhere. Likewise when, as part of a Brighton Labour Party delegation to the North we visited Andy Tyrie, the Commander of the Ulster Defence Association and John McMichael of the UDA (later assassinated) they told us of how they identified with the Israelis and saw the PLO as the equivalent of the ‘terrorists’ in the IRA whom they were fighting.
Gilheany based much of his article on the discredited statistics of the latest Zionist Community Security Trust’s January-June 2019 Anti-Semitic Incidents Report. It is clear, even from a cursory reading, that this Report has been tailored in order to provide a weapon to the Labour Party Witchhunt.
It states that:
There were 102 anti-Semitic incidents recorded by CST that targeted Jewish organisations and events, rising by 59 per cent from the 64 such incidents reported between January and June 2018. This increase can largely be accounted for in the online response to Jewish leadership organisations issuing statements on social media regarding antisemitism in the Labour Party. Many of these anti-Semitic reactions were in the wider context of ‘smear’ accusations, spoke of conspiracy and attempted to delegitimise clear evidence of antisemitism; while others specifically targeted the social media accounts of Jewish organisations to respond to statements about antisemitism in the UK by holding these British Jewish organisations responsible for the actions of the Israeli government.
This is tendentious. Who were these ‘Jewish’ organisations? The Board of Deputies presumably. What was the ‘clear evidence of anti-Semitism’ that was being delegitimized? Criticism of Israel? Attacks by the Board on Chris Williamson? We are not told but what we do know is that from their previous record the CST is closely linked to the Israeli state. The CST Report states that:
In 100 cases – 11 per cent of all anti-Semitic incidents recorded by CST from January to June 2019 – the offender or offenders, and the abuse they expressed, were related to the Labour Party or the incidents occurred in the context of arguments about alleged Labour Party anti-Semitism.
This is meaningless waffle. Without further details of these ‘incidents’ we have no way of knowing what it was that was being said and whether, like all Zionist organisations, CST is deliberately obfuscating and confusing the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
Even so, the fact that the ‘increase’ in incidents of ‘anti-Semitism’ are wholly related to social media and the Internet suggests this Report has one purpose and one purpose only. To add oil to the fire of false accusations of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism used to be about discrimination, physical assaults, verbal hostility. Now it appears to be a hostile tweet.
What would be interesting is if the CST or better still some independent organisation was to monitor and evaluate the degree of racism in the Jewish community. My suspicion is that it would far outweigh any anti-Semitism, fake or actual, that is alleged in non-Jewish people. However such a poll would not be politically convenient so it is doubtful anyone will be sponsoring it!
⏭ Tony Greenstein is a socialist, anti-Zionist and anti-racist.