We tend to think of anti-Jewish sentiment as coming from the Far Right, yet nowadays it is fairly common to find examples of it on liberal or left wing web sites. It is not overt or blunt as found amongst the extreme racists, but there are tell-tale signs: conspiracy theories and strange terminology.
I am not surprised that racists mount their pathetic hobbyhorses, rather that the non-racists who read that material at Liberal Conspiracy can’t see a problem or are willing to let it go unchallenged. If I were charitable I might conclude that most at Liberal Conspiracy don’t understand racism, and in particular anti-Jewish racism.
Shorter version: maligning Israelis and Jews gives the game away. Particularly if there is a pejorative reference to the “Chosen”, or consciously linking to Rense, a site which proffers conspiracy theories, anti-Jewish racism and approvingly advertises David Duke.
Even George Orwell spotted this form of usage in the post war period.
I wrote a piece called ‘White Feminists: Now will you listen?’ and it received a lot of attention. I was stunned to be confronted by a white woman who was offended by the title and said she often fought for the rights of ‘other’ women but felt she ought not bother if that is what we thought of them. She actually wanted gratitude. And some of the feminists I knew actually defended her. Apparently she was a nice person and it was all a big misunderstanding. Also many people make the assumption I’m younger than I am or at least, it feels like they’re talking down to me. She repeatedly used the word girl to refer to me; I’m a 30 year old woman for the record. They think of us as those poor women suffering those savages from that strange place over there. They fail to understand that oppression is the same everywhere, only the methods differ.
In a Twitter conversation about rape, a man randomly jumped into it and, defending another man, said “Before you accuse him of racism, he’s right.” The implication here obviously was that, being an ethnic minority person, I was bound to bring up the ‘race card’ to defend myself. I was not expecting it all and was completely unprovoked. “
The F word on Afghan refugee women in Pakistan is revealing:
“Life for Afghan refugees has not been easy in Pakistan. The UNHCR has found that less than one quarter of them are employed and almost three quarters of children do not attend school. Women refugees are the worst off as a combined result of their gender and refugee status. Becoming a refugee means losing legal and social status and also the traditional community-based structures, which have often protected women. Due to this, refugee women are vulnerable to trauma, sexual violence, deepening poverty and an increased burden of care work. According to an estimate, one-third of Afghan refugee women are widows, yet little is done to address their special needs. Tribal and political leaders also restrict women’s mobility in a new ‘alien’ land, meaning few women are able to go out in search of employment or better opportunities. Women’s voices are missing from policies around the formation and planning of refugee camps despite the fact that women account for seventy-five percent of the refugee population. “
Mark Steel explains modern economic theory, Bankers caused the crash, let’s tax the poor, but in a humorous way:
“It’s an imaginative approach, because less qualified types might imagine the banking crisis may have been caused, in some part, by bankers. But it takes a trained mind to understand that the people who robbed us are the poor. If a government minister stormed into a bank in the middle of an armed robbery, he’d yell: “There are the robbers; those bastards lying on the floor tied up and snivelling that they don’t want to die. And someone help out this man, the poor chap’s trying to carry a sack AND a sawn-off shotgun, he’ll pull a muscle.”
It’s a tricky argument to pull off, that the poor caused the debt so they should pay it back. Maybe that’s why most weeks there are stories in certain newspapers about a woman with 45 kids on benefits, who then bought a giraffe and now that’s on benefits but she said it was cramped so the council has put it up in the Shard, and two of the kids have got Compulsive Potting Disorder so they’ve been given a snooker table but she couldn’t be referee because she’s allergic to white gloves so the mayor has to do it, otherwise he’d be put in jail by Europe. “
April, the cruellest month or how the Tories will screw the poorer, George Eaton explains why.
In Britain, food banks are one of the biggest growth areas, so much so that even the BBC has had to admit the problem:
“In the last 12 months, the number of food parcels issued by Trussell Trust centres overall has reached almost 300,000 – more than double the year before.”
Patrick Butler at the Guardian put it mildly:
“The UK is about to enter an unprecedented period of benefit cuts and, as a result, the state will increasingly direct vulnerable citizens to charity help, whether food banks, breakfast clubs or soup kitchens.”
“The further stigmatising of poor people via food stamps, authorised by a cabinet of millionaires, is deeply disturbing If we think this is acceptable, what next? Food-drops out of helicopters over areas of high unemployment?
“In addition, a significant number of UCU members and former members, both Jewish and non-Jewish, provided witness statements supporting Fraser’s complaint of anti-Semitism in the UCU. Almost all were called to give evidence. They told the Tribunal about their own experiences and perceptions of contemporary anti-Semitism in the union, and the union’s indifference to it. Some of those who were former members of the union told the Tribunal that they had resigned from the union because of, and citing, anti-Semitism in the union. Their evidence served to demonstrate the extent of the anti-Semitism within the UCU, and also served to show that Fraser’s subjective perception of anti-Semitic hostile environment harassment was a “reasonable” one, as required by the law, s. 26 Equality Act. “
Finally, Susan Donnelly’s case is replicated across Britain:
“Susan Donnelly dreads April’s welfare reforms, fearing they will leave her impoverished and in despair. Donnelly, 54, from east London, lives with her dog, Charlie, in a two-bedroom bungalow adapted for use by people with a disability. She has emphysema, asthma and is doubly incontinent.
“I’m looking down a long dark tunnel with no light at the end. Unless they get rid of Cameron and revoke all of the cuts, I don’t think I’ll see this year out. I can’t afford to put my heating on. I don’t use my oven any more. I’m scared to run up any bills. By 7pm I’m huddled up in bed with my dog. I have a halogen heater in there which goes on at night – I can’t afford to heat the whole house.” “
A reminder of a Tory scrounger, James Clappison. He owns some 24 houses yet claimed over £100,000 in expenses, even the Torygraph in 2009 was surprised at his cheek.
The Guardian thoughtfully provides a page about Tories with their noses in the trough.
“Chief executive Leslie Morphy said: “Our poorest households face a bleak April as they struggle to budget for all these cuts coming at once. People are already cutting back on the essentials of food and heating but there is only so much they can do.
“The result will be misery – cold rooms, longer queues at food banks, broken families, missed rent payments and yet more people facing homelessness – devastating for those directly affected, but bad for us all.” “
Inside Housing reports:
“In an email sent earlier this month to councils across England, Communities and Local Government department officials said its expert advisors were to be disbanded from 31 March.
The team of four regional advisors and two rough sleeper and youth specialists have provided councils with expert consultancy guidance on how they should meet their statutory homelessness duties – a service described as ‘valuable’ by council bodies – since 2007.
The decision comes in the wake of a 10 per cent increase in homelessness in the last year, and amid warnings from councils that welfare reforms mean they will struggle to house homeless families in expensive areas, such as London. It also follows the departure of another homelessness special advisor Andy Gale last November.”
Update 2: Iain Duncan Smith enjoys a very comfortable life, according to the Mirror:
“The man behind the controversial bedroom tax lives rent-free in a £2million aristocratic country house… with at least FOUR spare bedrooms.
Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, is a tenant of the landed gentry Fremantle family.
But unlike the 660,000 families in social housing who are being forced to pay an average of £14 a week extra for a spare bedroom, Mr Duncan Smith can live happily knowing he has to pay no rent or mortgage.
The 16th-century Tudor house on a sprawling estate in Buckinghamshire originally had five bedrooms but has had wings added down the centuries.
With a swimming pool, tennis courts and set in acres of countryside, it’s a far-cry from the social housing his bedroom tax victims live in.
It’s also a world away from the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green’s London constituency – and is sure to further enrage the thousands of protesters who marched around Britain against his hated tax yesterday.
But Old Etonian IDS lives free on the estate like a Lord. “
Update 3: Antisemites (and I use that word rather carefully) are drawn to threads on the Middle East, to express their angst and prejudices, so it continues at Liberal Conspiracy:
“101. t fletcher 11:37 pm, April 1, 2013
ALTHOUGH COMMON SENSE AS PREVAILED HERE ,THIS CASE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN HEARD ,IF YOU ATTACK SOMETHING THAT IS EVIL, WHICH ZIONISM AS PROVED ITSELF TO BE MANY TIMES OVER, HOW CAN IT BE WRONG.
IN MANY WAYS THIS WAS JUST LIKE WHAT HAPPENED IN AMERICA , WHEN JEWS OPPOSED THE CHUCK HAGEL NOMINATION.
IT WAS MORE ABOUT JEWS TRYING TO IMPOSE THERE WILL ON FREE SPEECH.
WHERE DO THEY GO, NOW ZIONISM IS NOT CLASSED AS BEING ANTI-SEMITIC, CLAIM THE JUDGES WERE BEING RACIST?”
Still, I imagine that the author of the sneering post (Ben White), wouldn’t understand the antisemitic overtones of the above comment.