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People keep asking me to explain antisemitism. I can’t explain the history of thousands of years of prejudice. I can outline some of the common tropes. I also don’t have time to explain why each thing is antisemitic, so think of these as things to study further independently 1/
Let’s start with an easy one: Jews control the world. You can read more here: rationalwiki.org/wiki/Internati… but essentially the antisemitic conspiracy theory, which has mutated in various forms over the centuries, is that a shadowy cabal of Jews are the cause of all the world’s ills 2/
Dating back to biblical times, the Jews were accused of killing Christ (it was, in fact, the Romans). This myth is still prevalent today. It was one of my first antisemitic experiences & a lot of Jews have experienced being called Christ killers at some point. 3/
Many contemporary conspiracy theories quote a forged document called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was used as the basis for Hitler’s Mein Kampf & has been thoroughly debunked as a fake. More reading: rationalwiki.org/wiki/The_Proto… 4/
Other antisemitic tropes involve dehumanising Jews entirely. Jews as lizard people (this is a favourite of David Icke, who we’ll come back to later). Jews have horns. This is part of a wider demonisation of Jews’ physical appearance, which we’ll also come back to. 5/
Further demonisation of Jews’ physical appearance to make them sub-human can be found in Nazi-era propaganda & cartoons. Usually the ‘deformed’ hook-nosed Jew engaging in some form of global control (in this Nazi propaganda, the Jew represents the Nazis’ enemies) 6/
Look at this clearly antisemitic one from the Nazi era. Hook-nosed world-controlling elites playing monopoly on the backs of the workers. Oh no, sorry, this is a mural from 2012, the removal of which was lamented by Corbyn. He later claimed he hadn’t looked at it properly. 7/
Playing into the conspiracy theory is the idea that Jews are all wealthy (at the expense of others), obsessed with money... tight, mean, stingy, miserly etc etc. Most Jews have experienced people taunting them by dangling or throwing coins at their feet. 8/
When people go on about the Rothschilds or Soros respectively they’re usually being antisemitic or using antisemitic tropes without realising. Here is some further reading about Rothschilds: thejc.com/news/news-feat… and Soros: theguardian.com/us-news/2018/o… 9/
Another Nazi-era dog-whistle antisemitic term you might here is cultural Marxism. Usually heard in far-right circles. You can read up on that here: rationalwiki.org/wiki/Cultural_… 10/
Blood libel covers ghastly antisemitic tropes about Jews & children. It began with Jews being accused of using the blood of Christian children in their rituals. Even today, Jews who speak up on antisemitism are baselessly labelled as paedophiles. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_lib… 11/
Now something trickier: Israel. To understand this, you’ll need to understand the tropes in the thread above, so please read carefully before continuing on & look into anything you don’t understand. I’m going to show you where legitimate criticism ends & antisemitism begins. 12/
Criticising the Israeli government is not antisemitic. You can be appalled by the situation without resorting to antisemitic tropes. Unfortunately those waters often get muddied. Remember those Nazi cartoons from earlier? They’re no less antisemitic when aimed at Israel. 13/
Given the world-domination / world-control conspiracy theories, you can see why Jews are alarmed at criticism of Israel that accuses Israel of implausible conspiracy theories & false-flag terror attacks & accuses the “Zionist” lobby of world control. 14/
A good rule when criticising Israel is: if you could replace the word “Israel” or “Zionist” or “Zio” with Jew & it would clearly be an antisemitic trope similar to one outlined above, that is criticism rooted in antisemitism, not real-world politics. 15/
Another antisemitic trope is one of dual loyalty. It is used to “other” Jews from their country of citizenship & claim they are only loyal to other Jews. This has mutated today into accusations of greater loyalty to Israel than one’s home country: antisemitism.org.il/136973 16/
I receive this accusation on a near-daily basis. Despite being left wing AND disabled, I’m told I oppose Corbyn because care more about protecting Israel than I do about the NHS or the poor or disabled. It’s no different to ‘disloyal’ Jews poisoning wells or killing Christ 17/
It is this accusation of dual loyalty that means so many people think it’s OK to blame British Jews for the actions of the Israeli government, or to blame Israel for antisemitism against Jews in a diaspora. Here are some of my recent replies to posts about AS & the Holocaust. 18/
Frustratingly, many Jews find that when trying to explain the ways in which antisemitism can manifest in anti-Israel activism, they are accused of attempting to stifle criticism of Israel (that dual loyalty again) or of hypocrisy in ‘antisemitically’ conflating Jews & Israel 19/
Some grey areas in AS and Israel (as in, they could be interpreted as antisemitic in some circumstances): using Nazi tropes to criticise Israel. Imagine for a second, as a Jewish person, seeing the symbol of Judaism, a Magen David (star of David), manipulated into a swastika 20/
Another one, and perhaps the most hotly contested one in wider society (but widely accepted in mainstream Jewish circles) is the idea that (putting aside the reality of the state of Israel) all people deserve self-determination apart from the Jews. 21/
I’m going to jump back a few steps here to Holocaust denial, minimisation or erasure of Jews as victims of it. This used to be a preserve of the far-right, but has now seeped alarmingly into far-left circles. 22/
You may hear the following:

- a group of elite Jews orchestrated the Holocaust to spark the creation of Israel (see also Hitler was a Zionist)
- 6 million dead is an exaggerated figure
- the Jews USE the Holocaust for political ends
- what makes their tragedy special? 23/
You may also hear:

- what about the Holocaust against the Palestinians? (even if you are disgusted by the treatment of the Palestinians, this is a grossly offensive & ahistorical comparison)
- Holocaust Memorial Day should not be about the Jews
- Holohoax

I’m going to talk now specifically about Corbyn, the Labour Party & antisemitism. Before I begin, I humbly ask that you take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the information above. I’m going to explain to why & how the Labour Party has lost the trust of British Jews 25/
First: why am I “attacking” Labour when antisemitism exists in wider society? 1) Labour claims to be THE party of anti racism. It sets the standard for championing minorities. If it does not see antisemitism as racism, we have no hope against the far right. 26/
2) there is a certain worldview about poverty & elites & also an anti-Israel sentiment on the left. Neither of these things are inherently antisemitic, but these core beliefs mean well-meaning people are sometimes primed to slip into antisemitic conspiracy theories. 27/
Let me also say that antisemitism existed on the fringes of the Labour Party long before Corbyn was leader (see my thread about my experiences). But since he has become leader, these views have become more acceptable, widespread & mainstream

I’ve already spent my morning writing this and if I went into the scale of the problem within the Labour Party, I’d be here all day, so here are some lowlights. 1) Corbyn othering a group of British Jews saying they don’t understand English irony: 29/
In 2011, Corbyn & McDonnell called for Holocaust Memorial Day to be renamed genocide Memorial Day. Corbyn, a man with a history of sharing platforms with & befriending antisemites & Holocaust deniers attempted to erase the memory of Jewish victimhood: jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/corbyn-led-mot… 30/
Taking a short break because, you know, life & job (something people demanding daily evidence of antisemitism or that I explain the ins & outs of it don’t seem to appreciate, that the entirety of my existence isn’t “Jew”) but will continue this thread a little later. 31/
Popping my head back in with a point I forgot to make earlier. Lots of people seem to think that Jews are rich white people who are inventing antisemitism to distract from “real” racism. 1) loads of Jews aren’t white 2) we are targets of the far right on the basis of race. 32/
This manifests on the left with people saying Jews are somehow taking attention away from other types of racism when they combat antisemitism, as if the left only has so much anti-racism to go around & Jews are selfishly using it all up. 33/
Corbyn campaigned for the release of two convicted terrorists who were involved in a car bombing outside the Israeli embassy & targeting a Jewish charity telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/… 34/
Corbyn hosted an event on Holocaust Memorial Day called Never Again for Anyone — Auschwitz to Gaza. The main talk was The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes, delivered by a Holocaust survivor. Jews in the audience were apparently silenced. thetimes.co.uk/article/jeremy… 35/
There have been many incidents, too many to list here, where Corbyn has skirted the line of acceptability in the name of anti-Israel activism. I will move on from that now into something equally troubling: Corbyn’s contempt for the Jewish community. 36/
Anyone who has raised any of Corbyn’s problematic views, associations, employment history (take a second to google his time at Iran’s Press TV) etc. has probably experienced an influx of abuse. It’s all smears & lies is the baseline position, even when evidence is presented. 37/
Now it’s fair to say that Corbyn can’t be held responsible for everything said in his name. But this “smears” line comes directly from the top & it feeds straight into this narrative of Jews colluding to selfishly prevent a Corbyn government for their own nefarious reasons. 38/
I’ve made a claim, so let’s examine the evidence: first let’s look at how Corbyn responds, without a modicum of empathy, to the deep concerns of Jewish journalist Jonathan Freedland from 3.35. Listen to the language: “subliminal nastiness” 39/
Corbyn often qualifies his theoretical opposition to antisemitism by then saying he opposes “all forms of racism”. He has rarely, condemned AS without the entirely unnecessary caveat. Seeing a pattern here? Genocide Memorial Day. Never again for anyone. All lives matter. 40/
Of course any anti-racist should oppose all forms of racism - but this is as sensitive as me turning up to a black lives matter rally & saying “what about the Jews?” It’s not the time or place. It’s not what we’re talking about. That’s not what solidarity looks like. 41/
This brings us to the Chakrabarti inquiry. Under pressure to tackle antisemitism in the party following AS comments by Naz Shah (who has since apologised & become an ally) & Ken Livingstone (who has not) Corbyn launched an inquiry into AS (&, of course, other forms of racism) 42/
Corbyn appointed the much-respected Shami Chakrabarti to chair the inquiry. Many Jewish labour members were disappointed with the results, feeling their testimony & experiences had been whitewashed. The findings referred to an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” 43/
Several recommendations were made, which to my knowledge (perhaps those still in Labour can correct me if I’m wrong here) have still not been implemented. Shortly afterwards Chakrabarti was, controversially, announced as the only Labour appointment to the House of Lords. 44/
At the announcements of the findings of the inquiry, activist Marc Wadsworth accused Jewish MP @RuthSmeeth of “working hand-in-hand" with the Telegraph & right-wing media in general. Corbyn watched this unfold & did not intervene. Smeeth left in tears. 45/
Wadsworth later claimed that he didn’t know Smeeth was Jewish. Here is Corbyn right after Wadsworth heckled one of his Jewish MPs out of the findings of an antisemitism inquiry laughing with him & saying “sorry about that” & that Corbyn had texted him jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/video-corbyn-j… 46/
This incident was later framed among Corbyn supporters as - can you guess yet? Rich white people monopolising claims of racism & the unjust targeting of a black activist by said rich white people. The content of the incident itself was forgotten or ignored by many. 47/
In 2018, following muralgate, the Chakrabarti scandal & 2 years of slow disciplinary processes & rabid online abuse & AS in CLPs, the chair of Labour’s internal disputes panel, Christine Shawcroft resigned after supporting a council candidate suspended for Holocaust Denial. 48/
Another break now - need a night off from this (and from the predictable replies saying “what about Israel?” - seriously, guys?) More on this thread tomorrow 49/
At this point, the Jewish community decided enough was enough. You have to understand that the community had endured almost two years of slow drip feed antisemitism in the name of Jeremy Corbyn - online, in their local CLPs. Muralgate & Shawcroft were fresh in minds. 50/
Jewish community leaders issued a condemnation of Corbyn & there was a protest outside Parliament. Several Labour MPs were in attendance. Corbyn issued his strongest apology yet & for a moment, he seemed open to dialogue. standard.co.uk/news/politics/… 51/
That moment was not to last. High-profile figures called for the deselection of MPs who attended the protest. Corbyn ally filmmaker Ken Loach said “If they’ve been going to the demonstration against him outside Westminster… those are the ones we need to kick out.” 52/
I’d like to pause here to press home the point that Loach & many other activists, both high-profile & grassroots, was that those attending an anti-racism protest should be deselected for their trouble. For disloyalty to the leader. This should worry everyone. 53/
July 2018. Jewish trust in the Labour Party is at an all-time low. The NEC adopts the internationally accepted IHRA definition of antisemitism, but takes it upon itself to amend / drop 4 of the examples about Israel & antisemitism without consulting Jewish groups. 54/
The working definition, carefully caveated, included 11 illustrative examples of things which could, taking into account overall context, be considered antisemitic. You can see which ones the NEC removed / amended here: thejc.com/comment/analys… 55/
The examples were so carefully caveated as to be solely illustrative & would have had to have been interpreted by a disciplinary panel on a case-by-case basis anyway. And it wasn’t really about the content - it was about the bad faith showed time & again towards Labour Jews 56/
Take a second again here - after all the incidents fostering huge mistrust in Labour’s disciplinary process, these sweeping changes were made to a widely accepted definition of antisemitism without consultation with the Jewish community. There was an outcry. 57/
What followed was possibly the ugliest campaign against a minority group by a nominally anti-racist organisation that I have ever seen in my life. Jewish MPs angrily confronted Corbyn & two, Margaret Hodge & Ian Austin, were put under investigation. 58/
68 rabbis, across denominations, signed an open letter calling on the NEC to adopt the full IHRA definition. To give you an idea of how unprecedented this is, some of the rabbis don’t even agree that some others are Jewish (correct if I’m wrong). But they agreed on this. 59/
In another unprecedented move, the three main Jewish newspapers also united to publish the same front page warning that Corbyn represented an “existential threat to Jewish life”. 60/
I’m going to pause here again because by this point online abuse against Jews & cries of smears were at fever pitch. And to understand that, you need to understand who Corbyn’s unofficial mouthpieces are online & their role in all this. But I have to go out. More later. 61/
I haven’t forgotten this thread but I’ve had a couple of days of not being very well. Just to let people know that the Parliamentary Labour Party will debate a motion about antisemitism & Labour’s failing disciplinary process tonight. Context here: theguardian.com/politics/2019/… 62/
Alright *rolls up sleeves* the people surrounding Jeremy Corbyn. The next series of tweets will focus on Corbyn's closest allies in the Labour Party & the press & the various tactics they employ to protect him & themselves from answering to accusations of antisemitism. 63/
We would be here forever if I deep dived into each & every person, their background, their antisemitic statements & associations & so on, so I'll be a bit more general, giving examples along the way that I hope you'll supplement with your own research. 64/
Let's think of the people around Corbyn as forming a pyramid of enabling & perpetuating antisemitism. There's his inner circle: people like Milne, McDonnell, Abbott & others, as well as Corbyn-friendly MPs such as Burgon, Willsman & Williamson. 65/
These people take it upon themselves to either: admit there's a problem with antisemitism but distance Corbyn from it entirely (McDonnell, for example) or shout that it's all smears (Abbott, Willsman, Williamson etc) & undermine the issue altogether. 66/
Then there is the Corbyn-friendly "press" to disseminate the party line (made up of dodgy, unchecked outfits created for the sole purpose of supporting Corbyn's leadership.) Novara, Skwarkbox & The Canary are particularly prominent in disseminating the "smears" line. 67/
These people are supposedly independent from the leadership office, but are constantly making TV appearances to speak for the party. Their general position is that accusations of antisemitism, particularly levelled against Corbyn, are all smears to undermine his leadership. 68/
One of the key tactics of Corbyn allies & press is to seemingly recognise the scale of the problem for a moment, or call out antisemitism on the right, before immediately calling accusations of AS in the Labour Party smears again. Here are some examples: 69/
The most recent example is John McDonnell. Just two days ago, he appeared on LBC & rebuked a caller who peddled the "smears" line. He even stood up for Luciana Berger, a Labour MP who has been on the receiving end of AS abuse. It looked promising: lbc.co.uk/radio/presente… 70/
But boy oh boy what a difference two days makes. Yesterday Luciana Berger’s CLP called a motion of no confidence in her. Yes, the same Luciana Berger McDonnell defended on the radio. So obviously he was the first to leap to her defence, right? Wrong. 71/
McDonnell is offering a false defence. The motion was a direct response to Berger standing up to antisemitism in the press in the preceding days. It doesn't mention her splintering off. One of those behind this motion has described Berger as a "disruptive Zionist". 72/
Let's summarise: Luciana Berger feels unwelcome in her party due to racist attacks & has considered leaving. Instead of stamping out the antisemites making an excellent MP feel this way, McDonnell blames her lack of loyalty for this transparently racially motivated motion. 73/
But of course, he has appeared on LBC speaking in the most damning terms about antisemitism in the party. So that condemnation becomes currency. If anyone calls him out on his lack of support for Berger, he can point to that one interview as if it buys him credibility. 74/
This tactic is not isolated to McDonnell. Many of Corbyn’s closest allies & supporters have an apparent “eureka” moment, which they later use to claim they’ve addressed the issue while they’re calling it smears when it’s one of their mates:

Remember that letter of concern signed by all those diverse rabbis that I mentioned? Here’s the same Aaron Bastani (of Novara Media) who soberly & sincerely recognised the scale of the issue in the above clip dog whistling up a hate mob against most of the British rabbinate 76/
Here is Corbyn-supporting journalist Owen Jones back in 2015, demonstrating that he completely understands & has no time for the scourge of antisemitism on the left theguardian.com/commentisfree/… 77/
Yet on countless occasions, when one of his own friends (including Corbyn) is called out for antisemitic behaviour, he has led the charges of smears & conspiracy. Often caveating that there is AS on the left & we must call it out, but it’s just false in that instance. 78/
I've illustrated a clear strategy here: earn credibility by demonstrating an understanding of antisemitism & calling it out once or twice in a very public way. Then use that credibility to position yourself as someone to be trusted when debunking the issue. Gaslighting. 79/
Then there are the everyday party Corbyn-supporting members & voters who disseminate the line from the top that comes via the outlets I mentioned. Armies of people with the JC4PM hashtag in their usernames whose are obsessed with discrediting Jews 80/
They include among them verified party members, councillors & activists, many of whom have direct links or relationships with senior MPs, shadow cabinet members & sometimes Corbyn himself. The level of abuse varies, from shouting "it's all smears" to horrifying antisemitism. 81/
For evidence of this, sadly, you need only look at the replies to anything I tweet about antisemitism. Or glance at @RachelRileyRR 's feed. Or @lucianaberger . Or @jk_rowling . Or @TracyAnnO - the evidence is self-evident. @LabourAgainstAS also documents prominent cases. 82/
Anyway this issue is huge & writers have deadlines, so off I must go, but next time I'll talk more about the party's mishandling of threats against Jewish MPs, the disciplinary process & how it has let many antisemites off the hook & the latest development with Jennie Formby. 83/
A new example of the tactic I’ve just described. Jones says the right things for two paragraphs, then proceeds to undermine Berger, who is considering leaving Labour *because* of all the stuff he led with. Almost enough platitudes to mask the intention theguardian.com/commentisfree/… 84/
This logic makes no sense. *If* Berger is considering splitting, it’s *because* of the appalling racism directed at her from within the party. Deselecting her for disloyalty instead of addressing her reasons for wanting to split & protecting her is part of the attack. 85/
The insinuation here is that if it’s for antisemitic reasons, this no confidence motion is bad, but if it’s because she wants to split from the party because of the antisemitism directed at her then she’s fair game. The two things are not separate. Don’t be fooled by this. 86/
The aforementioned tactic is also a great way to make Jews look unreasonable when they don’t immediately believe these sudden apparent awakenings. For wanting to wait & see if the behaviour is consistent before forgiving & forgetting, after being repeatedly gaslit for 3 years 87/
Quick correction - an earlier tweet I wrote referred in error to Willsman in a group of MPs - he is in fact, equally terrifyingly, a member of the NEC. Here is more background on him, including a recording of him writing Jews off as Trump supporters theguardian.com/politics/2018/… 88/
Adding this gem from @vonny_bravo to the thread.
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