Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Always With The Oppressed


I love the JVL motto. It reads: "Always with the oppressed; never with the oppressor". It seems to me the perfect expression of what the group stands for, and something that all socialists should aspire to. And it's unequivocal. We don't pick and choose which oppressed groups we're going to stand with, letting others go to the wall. Instead we place ourselves shoulder to shoulder with every victim of hatred, discrimination, abuse and violence. Every victim. No exception.

One of the most frequently targeted groups in our society is the transgender community. As the good people over at Stonewall point out, trans folk are more likely than other sections of the LGBT community to experience hate crime, with two in five trans people experiencing a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in a given twelve month period. This statistic is astonishing, given that most such incidents still go unreported.

One would have thought that extending solidarity to the victims of such discrimination, and supporting the targeted community's attempts to gain legal parity with the rest of the population, would be an absolute no brainer for every socialist. But apparently not.

On my home turf (if you'll excuse the pun) here in Bristol there is a highly vocal, aggressive minority of trans haters firmly ensconced in the local Labour Party. They are well organised and well resourced, and they seem to have decided that the main battleground in British society in 2019 is not going to be around austerity or Brexit or the election of a Labour government, but rather around their struggle to stop the reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

In pursuit of that goal, and in order to win allies in the broader Corbyn-supporting Left, these TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) have not been shy about broadcasting disinformation about the reform proposals. They have utilised resources and websites promoted and financed by right wing Christian fundamentalist groups based in the United States - groups which are inherently anti-LGBT, and (incidentally) also virulently anti-feminist.

At the same time, these comrades have consistently rubbished and down-played the seriousness of transgender oppression and the difficult lived reality of transgender people. They have sought to marginalise and silence transgender women within the movement. They have created an intellectually dishonest narrative to bolster their case, mostly because the underlying belief they seem to subscribe to - that transgender folk represent a Trojan horse designed by 'the patriarchy' to subvert the gains of women's struggles - would rightly be seen as completely potty were they daft enough to openly promote it.

Perhaps the most depressing thing about this small group of activists is the utter lack of compassion they show towards trans men and women who face a daily struggle against the contempt, hostility and (often) violence of our society - a society that we all wish to see changed for the better. If socialism is about anything, it is about the human capacity to empathise with others and to try and better their lot as well as our own. But for this small group of TERFs, compassion is reserved for those who meet a set of predetermined criteria.

This small but vociferous group has done great harm, breaking the unity of the pro-Corbyn left in Bristol, destroying old friendships and alliances, and injecting bile, spite and toxicity into the political landscape.

One or two of the most vocal activists within this unholy alliance between separatist feminism and the Christian right happen to be members of JVL. I only wish that they'd read - and understood - JVL's founding principles before they joined up. Certainly they don't represent the organisation in any way, shape or form. Actually, they don't represent much of anything, other than an insular and short-lived off-shoot of feminism that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, and which should have been left there.

It would be easy to remain silent on this issue. But I happen to take the JVL motto seriously. We stand with ALL of the oppressed, shoulder to shoulder with them in their daily struggles. We don't pick and choose. Nor do we, for the sake of expediency, maintain a convenient silence when we see people bullied, marginalised and abused by comrades who should know better.

Footnote: JVL's slogan was adapted from the wonderful words of Marek Edelman, one of the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising -



Friday, 11 January 2019

Guardian Stokes Antisemitism Fears


Today's online edition of The Guardian chose to lead with the headline 'Britons make 170,000 antisemitic Google searches a year', quoting a new report by the Community Security Trust (CST).

In fact the report paints a far more nuanced picture than the Guardian article would have us believe, and is well worth reading. Like most such surveys, it can be 'cherry picked' to support a number of different conclusions.

For this reader, several key findings stand out.

Firstly, on the question of how online antisemitism manifests itself, the report's author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz makes the following point:

The most common antisemitic Google searches in the United Kingdom are for jokes mocking Jews. These are more common than searches such as “Are Jews evil?”
Jews are the fourth most frequent subject of searches for offensive jokes online in the United Kingdom, behind fat people, black people and gay people.


This is barely mentioned in the Guardian article, which as usual seems intent on stoking the fears of its readership rather than producing a balanced response. In fact, jokes about Jews appear in the list of frequent searches in between jokes about gays and jokes about blondes - make of that what you will!

Stephens-Davidowitz also points to the correlation between antisemitism on the one hand, and anti-Muslim and anti-black racism on the other:

We find a clear connection between antisemitism and other forms of hate in the search data. Among the most common searches also made by people who search for “Jew jokes” are “racist jokes,” “black jokes,” “p**i jokes,” “n****r jokes,” and  “Muslim jokes.”
Someone who searches “Jew jokes” is more than 100 times more likely to also search for “n****r jokes.” 


So the report confirms the common-sense perception that someone holding antisemitic views is probably going to hold a raft of generic racist and reactionary opinions.

Just as unsurprisingly, the report concludes that the prevalence of antisemitic searches is not coloured by the political make-up of a particular region:

We found no statistically significant correlation between the political representation of a geographical area and the frequency with which people who live in that area make antisemitic searches. In other words, antisemitism is just as high in areas with lots of Labour Party voters and areas with lots of Conservative Party voters.

This would tend, of course, to counter-act the claim that Labour supporters - and therefore presumably areas with a high density of Labour voters - are particularly prone to antisemitism.

As someone who has repeatedly pointed out the dangers of the disingenuous anti-Corbyn campaign conducted by the Board of Deputies and their allies, I was troubled but unsurprised to find that the number of antisemitic searches increased around the high point of the campaign against Jeremy. According to Stephens-Davidowitz, they peaked in April 2018, just at the point where the anti-Corbyn media frenzy and the BoD attacks were at their height:

There was a 79 per cent rise in antisemitic searches in Britain in April 2018.

Zooming in on the April 2018 rise, we see that most of the rise was on April 25, 2018. This was the day after representatives of three Jewish community organisations, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust, met Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to discuss the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party. That same day, Corbyn penned a well publicised apology in the Evening Standard. He wrote that Jewish people “deserve an apology” and added that he was “sorry for the hurt and distress caused.” Much of the media coverage following the meeting reported on the failure of the respective parties to agree on a way forward: the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council called the meeting a “disappointing, missed opportunity.” We can only speculate as to which aspect of this event may have caused the spike in antisemitic searches the following day.


Personally I would be inclined to 'speculate' that the constant attacks in the mainstream media by Blairite MPs, self-appointed community 'leaders' and hack journalists back-fired spectacularly, effectively stoking the fires of the very antisemitism over which so many crocodile tears were being shed. The over-heated hyperbole typified by the slogan '2018 Is The New 1939', and by claims that Jews faced an 'existential threat', were almost bound to spark the kind of negative reaction which this study reports.

As usual, the CST finds it hard to distinguish between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. But the report's conclusions are instructive in this regard, informing us that:

...searches for “anti-Zionism” rose 9-fold during the 2014 conflict in Gaza and Israel.

The negative impact of the Gaza events on the public's perception of the Israeli state are surely no surprise to anyone, and hardly contribute to a serious study of the nature and scope of antisemitism per se in modern Britain.

Sadly the report also confirms the continuing popular appeal of various antisemitic conspiracy theories, from Holocaust denial to the Rothschild meme. Its author correctly makes the link between these theories and the murder of worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year.

I continue to believe that in order to effectively address these conspiracy theories, and other manifestations of antisemitism, we need to sharply distinguish between antisemitism on the one hand, and legitimate criticism of Israel on the other. I also believe that we need to avoid the kind of sensationalist, fear-mongering journalism that the Guardian has once again indulged in.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Council Defies Common Sense On IHRA As Struggle Continues


Jewish activist Roland Rance addressed Waltham Forest Council earlier this week, to try and persuade them not to adopt the 'full' IHRA definition of antisemitism. Predictably his cogent arguments, reproduced below, were ignored. Just as predictably, he had to face a torrent of vile abuse outside the venue from Zionist extremists. Kudos to Roland for speaking up against this flagrant attempt to stifle free speech on Palestine. He speaks for all of us Jews who stand shoulder to shoulder with our Palestinian brothers and sisters. The struggle continues! 

Madam Mayor, Councillors
Unfortunately, we live in a world in which murderous antisemitism, and other manifestations of racism, are on the rise. It is just a few weeks since an American fascist murdered eleven worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Last month, I visited Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. This was a sobering experience, making clear the dreadful end to which such racism can lead. While I was there, hundreds of thousands of Poles, including the President and members of the government, took part in a fascist-led parade through the streets of Warsaw.
This is the background to antisemitic racism and violence. This is what we have to confront and defeat. And the constitutional change you are being asked to endorse today offers no insight or guidance towards this.
The IHRA “Definition of antisemitism” has been criticised by academics and leading authorities on antisemitism, by jurists, and by Jewish organisations. The former Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research has described the document as “so flawed it should be abandoned, not tinkered with”. A leading QC has written that any public authority which sought to apply the IHRA Document to prohibit or sanction certain descriptions of Israel or certain types of political campaigning in support of Palestine, would be acting unlawfully, and could be in breach of the 1998 Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Scores of Jewish organisations across the world issued a statement earlier this year urging “governments, municipalities, universities and other institutions to reject the IHRA definition and instead take effective measures to defeat white supremacist nationalist hate and violence and to end complicity in Israel’s human rights violations”. And Kenneth Stern, the man who originally wrote the document, has insisted that it was never intended to be used to limit free speech, and he described its misuse in this manner as McCarthyite.
This document is divisive, at a time when we need to be united. Here in Waltham Forest, we provided a shining example of how a united community can defeat fascists and protect the rights and security of minorities. Six years ago, we came together to block and ridicule the English Defence League who wished to march through our streets and spread their message of racism and hate. Anti-fascists across the world, from Poland to the USA, from Brazil to Britain, are coming together to challenge fascism and antisemitism. It is quite disgraceful that the council has permitted Ambrosine Shitrit, a supporter of the EDL and Tommy Robinson, to address this meeting.
Today’s proposal, far from contributing to this struggle, is a complete diversion. Rather than blocking antisemitic racism, it is an attempt to police speech on Israel and Palestine, and potentially to penalise councillors, council workers and residents of the borough for exercising their right to oppose Israel and its practices. I urge you to reject the proposal.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

The Tree Of Life Massacre

The past two weeks have been a time of quiet reflection. Many powerful statements were released in the wake of the Pittsburgh massacre - this one, from Free Speech On Israel, is well worth reproducing. It is in part a response to the vile comments made by Baroness Jenny Tonge, who was subsequently forced to resign as a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. 


The Tree of Life massacre

Free Speech on Israel
3 November 2018


The massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday 27 October in Pittsburgh was the worst hate crime against Jews in US history.

The killer, Robert Bowers was inspired by hatred of Jews as Jews. Bowers’ antisemitic expressions of a Jewish conspiracy and his hatred of Muslims, refugees and migrants, festered in the climate of hate, antisemitism, Islamophobia and racism promoted by President Donald Trump and his administration. Such a recognition was evident in the response of the Jewish community in Pittsburgh.

Antisemitic references to Jews have been a feature of the Trump administration campaign since the presidential primaries in 2016. Only the week before the Pittsburgh massacre, Kevin McCarthy, the second Republican leader in the House of Representatives, tweeted that three wealthy Jews, including George Soros, were attempting to “buy” the mid-term elections.

Trump’s demonisation of the migrant “caravan” provided the fuel for Bowers’ claim of a Jewish conspiracy to attack (white) Americans. Trump has nonetheless escalated his hateful rhetoric since the Pittsburgh massacre.

We have seen the consequences of the rise of the far right hate in the US, from  Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston to Charlottesville to Pittsburgh. However, Trump has also boosted the rise of the far right globally, in Latin America, Europe and here in the UK.  In Europe we have seen the rise of antisemitism alongside Islamophobia, racism and other forms of prejudice.

The Pittsburgh shootings had nothing to do with Palestine or Israel. Not being able to make the distinction between reactions to Israel’s policies or its treatment of Palestinians and right-wing antisemitism is itself a sign of antisemitism and of holding Jews, as Jews, to be responsible for Israel’s actions. Worse, it tends to suggest that the actions of the shooter, while wrong, are in some way, understandable.

Free Speech on Israel has consistently maintained that opposition to, or support for, the State of Israel is no test, in itself, of antisemitism. This has underpinned our position in regard to debates over the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Antisemites can and do profess support for Israel or pose as supporters of Palestinians. Antisemitism is a reactionary ideology that must be challenged in whatever context it arises and from whichever source.

Free Speech on Israel sends its condolence to all those bereaved and injured in this hate attack.

Pittsburgh is a warning to us all.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Model Resolution - Right Of Appeal On NCC Decisions

One of the most astonishing things about current Labour Party disciplinary procedures is that there is no right of appeal against NCC decisions, including suspension and expulsion. The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy recently adopted the following model resolution to address this issue.

This branch notes that at the NEC’s meeting on 18 September it was agreed to put to Conference a rule change that brought in a Charter of Members’ Rights and more than double the size of the NCC to speed up the handling of the backlog of disciplinary cases. But proposals for this long-overdue reform to the process did not include the right to appeal against NCC decisions. 

This omission harms Labour’s proud record of being Britain's party of social justice.

Shami Chakrabarti’s 2016 Labour report into antisemitism and other forms of racism recommended:

"In cases where the NCC has ordered that a member be subject to suspension (for up to two years) or expulsion from the Party, there should be a right to seek a review of the decision on procedural or proportionality grounds to the Legal Panel, three of whom (excluding any member with previous involvement in the case) will consider whether the NCC made any procedural errors or breached proportionality in its prior determination. If this is found to be the case, the Legal Panel will refer the matter back to the NCC for a fresh determination as the case requires. In this way, the ultimate decision remains that of the NCC, albeit that greater protection will be afforded if necessary - both to those subject to the most serious disciplinary sanctions and to the elected Party body who will have a final opportunity to address any deficiencies in its decision-making. - I recommend that the NCC make provision for this right of review in new procedural rules which I recommend are adopted."

We call on the NEC to formulate a change to the National Constitutional Committee’s procedures to include the Chakrabarti “right of review”.

FOR INFORMATION
Chakrabarti Right of Review  Recommendation

In cases where the NCC has ordered that a member be subject to suspension (for up to two years) or expulsion from the Party, there should be a right to seek a review of the decision on procedural or proportionality grounds to the Legal Panel, three of whom (excluding any member with previous involvement in the case) will consider whether the NCC made any procedural errors or breached proportionality in its prior determination. If this is found to be the case, the Legal Panel will refer the matter back to the NCC for a fresh determination as the case requires. In this way, the ultimate decision remains that of the NCC, albeit that greater protection will be afforded if necessary - both to those subject to the most serious disciplinary sanctions and to the elected Party body who will have a final opportunity to address any deficiencies in its decision-making. - I recommend that the NCC make provision for this right of review in new procedural rules which I recommend are adopted.

This is a link to Shami's report:

Model resolution on the Labour Party Code of Conduct on Anti-Semitism

Amended & composited resolution on the Labour Party Code of Conduct on Anti-Semitism
From Exeter North Labour Party Branch as proposed by Neil Todd
1. This CLP notes the following.
1.1 The Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, as originally drafted by U.S. attorney Kenneth S. Stern, was adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) on 26 May, 2016.
1.2 The shortcomings of the IHRA document have subsequently been the subject of multiple critical comments from Jewish scholars and commentators. This includes Kenneth Stern, who testified to US Congress on 7th November 2017 that his original definition had been used for an entirely different purpose to that for which it had been designed. According to Stern it had originally been designed as a “working definition” for the purpose of trying to standardise data collection about the incidence of anti-Semitic hate crime in different countries. It had never been intended that it be used as a legal or regulatory device to curb academic or political free speech.
1.3 The House of Commons Home Office Select Committee Report “Anti-Semitism in the UK” of 13 October 2016 proposed amendments to the IHRA document “to ensure that freedom of speech is maintained in the context of discourse about Israel and Palestine”.
1.4 “The Global Jewish Statement” was released to the media in July 2018 by 40 Jewish organisations in 15 countries opposed to the IHRA document for its negative impact on a clear understanding of anti-Semitism and its role in suppressing solidarity with the Palestinian people.
1.5 The MacPherson principle (derived from the 1999 MacPherson Report on the Stephen Lawrence inquiry) specifically does not give members of an ethnic or religious group the sole right to determine what is or is not racist conduct, i.e. a perception of racist behaviour is not sufficient to establish that such behaviour has actually occurred but must be supported with independent evidence of racist intent.
1.6 That the NEC Code of Conduct on Anti-Semitism agreed in July 2018:
  1. states emphatically “Labour is an anti-racist party. Anti-Semitism is racism. It is unacceptable in our Party and in wider society.”;
  2. fully incorporates the 38-word IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and clarifies the controversial aspects of guidance notes attached to it;
  3. emphasises the vital distinction between (i) anti-Semitism, properly understood as hostility or hatred directed at Jews and (ii) legitimate criticism of the state of Israel or the ideology of Zionism;
  4. confirms that opinion about Israel, Palestine and Zionism may be judged to be racist where there is evidence of anti-Semitic intent, consistent with the MacPherson recommendations;
  5. commits to protecting freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998, including contentious opinions about Israel and its policies, and about political strategies seeking to influence them.
1.7 The NEC at its meeting on 4th September agreed to adopt all 11 “examples” associated with the IHRA definition as additions to the July Code but the final Code is still being consulted on and Jeremy Corbyn's statement to the 4th September NEC is being considered as part of that consultation, including as part of the democracy review. The exact Party public announcement following the 4th September meeting was the following."The NEC has today adopted all of the IHRA examples of antisemitism, in addition to the IHRA definition which Labour adopted in 2016, alongside a statement which ensures this will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians. The NEC welcomed Jeremy Corbyn's statement to the meeting about action against antisemitism, solidarity with the Jewish community and protection of Palestinian rights, as an important contribution to the consultation on Labour's code of conduct."
2. This CLP believes that:
2.1 the July NEC Code gives clearer and stronger guidance than previous codes and definitions on what anti-Semitism is and what it is not; and
2.2 portraying British Jews as one monolithic bloc all determined to police what may or may not be said about Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians is dangerous and wrong, and such a portrayal is anti-Semitic.
3. This CLP, therefore, calls on the NEC to:
3.1 work with Jeremy Corbyn in order to ensure that his 4th September statement, or similar, is incorporated into the Code of Conduct in order to ensure that the inclusion of the additional IHRA examples does not impair the July Code protections on freedom of expression, including contentious opinions about Israel, its policies, and about political strategies seeking to influence them;
3.2 include a broad range of Jewish opinion in any further consultations; and
3.3 mobilise to fight the alarming rise of racism of all kinds in the UK and abroad.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Antisemitic Misconduct: What It Is – And What It Is Not

Crystal clear analysis from JVL and FSOI...

This document has been prepared by Jewish Voice for Labour and Free Speech on Israel as a contribution to the Labour Party’s consultation on its Code of Conduct on Antisemitism but has a wider significance.

Antisemitic misconduct page one image

There has been extended controversy over the adoption by the Labour Party of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. It has been widely recognised that the wording of that definition is so loose that it requires extensive interpretation if it is to be even potentially helpful for disciplinary purposes.

Our submission is based on an understanding of the nature of antisemitism which we believe avoids the obscurities and ambiguities of the IHRA working definition:

Antisemitism is a form of racism. It consists in prejudice, hostility or hatred towards Jews as Jews. It may take the form of denial of rights; direct, indirect or institutional discrimination; prejudiced-based behaviour; verbal or written statements; or violence. Such manifestations draw on stereotypes – characteristics which all Jews are presumed to share.

We believe that the following comments will be helpful to those drawing up Labour’s disciplinary code, and perhaps more widely.

Implications of taking this view of antisemitism

 

  1. Stereotypes

Racism commonly stereotypes groups as inferior in ways that enable discrimination against them. Such stereotypes function by scapegoating a targeted group, deflecting blame for society’s problems from their real causes. Antisemitic stereotyping has historically been used to dehumanise Jewish people, giving license to treat them in ways not otherwise acceptable. Use of such stereotypes is unarguably antisemitic conduct.
  1. Expressions of antisemitism

Certain words and phrases that refer to Jews in a derogatory way are unquestionably antisemitic. Terms which associate Jews with malevolent social forces clearly fall into this category. Extreme examples are the blood libel (that Jews kill Christian children to use their blood in religious ceremonies), and the claimed existence of a powerful but secret Jewish cabal that controls the world.

Seemingly neutral or positive terms can also be used in antisemitic ways. For example, assertions that Jews are unusually clever or especially ‘good with money’ make the unwarranted assumption that all Jews share similar characteristics. Commonly, there is a negative, antisemitic edge to such views.
  1. Terminology

Jews, Israelis and Zionists are separate categories that are too frequently conflated by both supporters and critics of Israel. This conflation can be antisemitic. Holding all Jews responsible for the actions of the Israeli government is antisemitic. Many Jews are not Zionist. The majority of Zionists are not Jewish but fundamentalist Christian Zionists. Over 20 percent of Israeli citizens are not Jewish.
  1. Political discourse

Free speech is legally protected. Within these legal limits political discourse can be robust and may cause offence. There is no right not to be offended. The fact that some people or groups are offended does not in itself mean that a statement is antisemitic or racist. A statement is only antisemitic if it shows prejudice, hostility or hatred against Jews as Jews.

The terms ‘Zionism’ and ‘Zionist’ describe a political ideology and its adherents. They are key concepts in the discussion of Israel/Palestine. They are routinely used, approvingly, by supporters of Israel, but critically by campaigners for Palestinian rights, who identify Zionist ideology and the Zionist movement as responsible for Palestinian dispossession. Criticising Zionism or Israel as a state does not constitute criticising Jews as individuals or as a people and is not evidence of antisemitism.

There have been claims that any comparison between aspects of Israel and features of pre-war Nazi Germany is inherently antisemitic. Similar objections have been raised to likening Israel’s internal practices to those of apartheid South Africa. Drawing such parallels can undoubtedly cause offence; but potent historical events and experiences are always key reference points in political debate. Such comparisons are only antisemitic if they show prejudice, hostility or hatred against Jews as Jews.
  1. Boycott, divestment and sanctions

A common focus for allegations of antisemitism is the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) targeted on Israel. The three elements of BDS are internationally recognized as legitimate and non-violent strategies for securing political change. So, advocating for BDS would only be antisemitic if accompanied by evidence that it is motivated not by this purpose but by racially-based hostility towards Jews.
  1. When Antisemitism Is Alleged

As with any allegations of racism, accusations of antisemitism must be taken seriously and investigated. But principles of natural justice and due process must be respected and applied: the person accused should be accorded the normal presumption of innocence until the case is resolved. Allegations do not constitute proof.

Antisemitic attitudes may be more or less intense.* Some people are deeply antisemitic, others less so. Yet others whom it would be unreasonable to class as antisemitic may nevertheless hold some attitudes, in dilute form, which will make some Jews uncomfortable. Following a finding of antisemitism there remains a decision to be made about whether discussion and education, rather than a formal disciplinary approach, is more appropriate.

Indirect discrimination could inadvertently occur, where actions have the effect of selectively disadvantaging Jewish people even though no hostile motive towards Jews is present.  Once a case of such discrimination comes to light, those responsible should take all reasonable steps possible to eliminate the problem.  Unwillingness to take such steps would be evidence of antisemitism.

The systematic murder of millions of Jews (and so many others) is exhaustively documented. It is therefore inconceivable that Holocaust denial or expressions of doubt over its scale could be motivated by genuine investigatory scepticism. The implication of antisemitic intent is, for practical purposes, inescapable.

* See Institute of Jewish Policy Research report Antisemitism in Contemporary Great Britain, 2017
  1. Overview

The understanding of antisemitism on which this analysis is based reaffirms the traditional meaning of the term. This is important in the light of attempts to extend its meaning to apply to criticisms often made of the state of Israel, or to non-violent campaigns such as BDS. A charge of antisemitism carries exceptional moral force because of the negative connotations rightly attaching to the term. It is illegitimate to make such claims to discredit or deter criticism, or to achieve sectional advantage. To do so is to devalue the term.

To be clear: conduct is antisemitic only if it manifests ‘prejudice, hostility or hatred against Jews as Jews’.