Bernie Sanders and Fake Accusations of Anti-Semitism

I’ve put up today several articles on the about the controversy over anti-Semitism in the Labour party, and specifically the accusations directed at Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone, and, by extension, Jeremy Corbyn. I strongly believe that these are politically motivated by the Tories and the Blairite/Neo-Con faction in the Labour party.

The Tories have an obvious interest in smearing Labour. As Mike over at Vox Political has pointed out, it deflects attention from the fact that they’ve been running a very dirty, racist campaign of Islamophobic smears and insinuations against Sadiq Khan. Private Eye has run two separate stories on the election literature Hindus and Sikhs have had pushed through their doors in London, which seem tailored to exploit ethnic rivalries between members of these religions and Muslims. And Zac Goldsmith and Cameron have also labelled Mr Khan as a ‘radical’ and alleged that the Muslim preacher with whom he shared a platform at a speaking event was a supporter of ISIS. In fact, the Muslim preacher hates ISIS and was previously a supporter of the Tories. And the accusation that Khan is ‘radical’ seems to be calculated to play on fears of Islamic radicalism by association.

As for spurious accusations of anti-Semitism, these aren’t confined to British politics. They’ve also been made astonishingly against Bernie Sanders, who was competing against Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination for presidential candidate. Bernie’s Jewish. The Young Turks pointed out that he is the first Jew to come this far in the political campaign to be the next leader of his country. He has lived in Israel, and has family there. Yet because he made some criticism of the Israeli state, he was accused of anti-Semitism. Absolutely astonishing. It shows how grotesquely spurious these accusations have become. And as Uri Avnery has pointed out in his piece, ‘Manufacturing Anti-Semites’, there’s a danger that such gratuitous use of the accusation will alienate perfectly decent people, who just object to Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians, and make the term respectable through its over use.

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