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Sara Gibbs @Sara_Rose_G
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
There’s a huge issue with educating people about antisemitism on the left, because it requires people to understand thousands of years of the history of the persecution of the Jewish people & how those tropes manifest today & then make incredibly nuanced & careful distinctions.
First of all it’s asking people to familiarise themselves with antisemitic tropes & the ways in which they’ve manifested over centuries on both the left & right. It requires people to understand pogroms, expulsions & the Holocaust - everything that led us to this point.
It’s then asking them to understand why Jewish activists feel more hurt, let down & frightened by the left no longer feeling like a safe space for them than they do by the right-wing racism they were fighting from a left-wing position in the first place.
Then there’s taking all of this information & unpicking the thorny issue of anti-Israel vs antisemitism. Understanding that most Jews don’t automatically conflate the two, but are aware of when Israel is used as a cover for AS & when AS tropes are used to criticise Israel.
Once you’ve got to the point where you understand AS tropes, their history & how they manifest now on both left & right, you have the complicated history of the players involved in the Labour Party & the many incidents, small & large, which have painted a worrying picture.
Bear in mind that most people who are not convinced will then argue, from a defensive position in the most exhausting way. If by some miracle they grasp the rest of it, they will unpick each incident individually to find a point of plausible deniability, ignoring the big picture.
So say I had several hundred people yesterday demanding “evidence” of antisemitism in the Labour Party. For those following the story there has been daily evidence of institutionalised racism. This doesn’t mean, btw, that all members are racist nor are the party’s policies.
They are not only asking me to condense 3 years now of near-daily disappointments, they are asking me to put this within a wider context that will take me hours to explain & articulate, all while I’m being shouted down or called a liar / Zionist agent / someone with an agenda.
I am tempted to put together a more comprehensive educational resource on antisemitism for people who *genuinely* don’t know and want to learn - but I’m also wary of opening myself up to the Twitter debating society of people who feel entitled to my time.
So when we say “believe Jews”, we do so for the sake of our time & our mental health. Trust me when I say there is no lack of evidence - there is just a lack of energy to explain it 5000 times a day when it’s *so* complex & the demand for evidence is not a good-faith one.
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