Israel’s ambassador has decided to put his weight behind the charge that the British left is rotten through with racism and antisemitism. Is it true? Are we all just knuckle-dragging Jew-haters, or is there something else going on?
England’s Jewish Chronical has published the remarks of the new Israeli ambassador to Britain, Mark Regev, on the antisemitism that is allegedly rife in the Labour Party and the English political left. Regev claims that this apparent explosion of overt antisemitism is an attack on “the collective Jew,” and that Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah’s words vilified Israel and questioned its right to exist, suggesting that they had crossed a “red line” from legitimate criticism to hate speech.
This diplomatic interjection from the Israeli ambassador adds to the already virulent assault on the supposed anti-Jewish racism of the left, and joins the politically motivated jibes from the Conservative Guido Fawkes blog and the highly racialised “plea” of Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is getting it from all directions. Even Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Israeli Labour Party, in an attempt to school Corbyn in good manners, invited him to attend Holocaust Memorial Day at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on the day of the London mayoral and local council elections.
Neither Livingstone nor Shah in their now controversial comments mentioned “the Jews,” and yet their comments on Zionism and criticisms of the State of Israel have been leapt upon as anti-Semitic, and open season has been declared on leftist politics in England as a result. Ken Livingstone, in a short interview, referenced Hitler’s Zionism of the 1930s, but, whether or not it is right to call Hitler a Zionist, the August 1933 Haavara Transfer Agreement between the Jewish Agency, the Zionist Federation of Germany, and the Nazis – leading to Zionists calling for an end to the international boycott of Hitler’s régime – is a matter of historical fact, and not antisemitism.
Why do the BBC refuse to tell the truth? The Nazis collaborated with Zionists. #haavaraagreement—
Mr Ethical (@nw_nicholas) April 29, 2016
The political nature of this manufactured crisis becomes apparent when we read the statement of the Jewish Socialists’ Group which states that this is the deliberate weaponisation of antisemitism in a campaign of Conservative dirty tricks. Here then is the true antisemitism; the malicious instrumentalisation of the holocaust for political gain is every bit as wicked as the denial of the Nazi genocide of the Jews.
Naz Shah, a Bradford MP with excellent relations with the Jewish communities of Bradford, posted to her social media account criticisms of the human rights violations and war crimes of the State of Israel, and it is interesting that Mark Regev – of all people – is weighing in against her. Regev, prior to his present incarnation as an Israeli ambassador, was the media spokesman for Israel during its last invasion of Gaza. During a military assault that targeted civilians – including hundreds of children – with fragmenting munitions and white phosphorous, effectively proving Shah’s point, Regev was the voice of Israel’s official spin.
Britain’s establishment urgently needs to take the steam out of the Corbynite Revolution that threatens to return Labour to the left, and Israel needs to point out this invented red line to distract from the fact that it has crossed the Green Line. In all of this the Jewish communities of England are nothing more than collateral damage. All that we are seeing here is the depths to which the Tory élite and Israel are willing to plumb to protect their power.
Mark Regev, the Prime Minister of Israel’s Chief Spokesperson (July 2014), being interviewed by Jon Snow for Channel 4 News.