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When I praised Momentum's recent video on antisemitism I warned that it opened the people involved up to charges of hypocrisy. Here's what I mean: two appalling tweets yesterday by the video's presenter, @michaeljswalker of Novara Media /1
I take these tweets to mean (a) most stories about Labour antisemitism are part of a malicious smear campaign from people who don't actually care about antisemitism but just want to stop people supporting Palestinians /2
(b) the reason people on the left should oppose antisemitism is to greater enable their support for Palestinians (ie not to support Jews against antisemitism or because they should oppose antisemitism anyway /3
(c) Jews who expose Labour antisemitism can't be progressive and leftists should exploit the issue of antisemitism to isolate them (um, surely that means you are doing exactly what you accuse them of doing, cynically using the issue for political purposes?) /4
(d) "they will relentlessly accuse us of antisemitism whatever we do". So it's all bad faith, dishonest and manipulative. And this from a guy who wants to teach us about conspiracy theories! I think he's still got a lot to learn /5
The thinking seems to be: as long as we don't go on about the Rothschilds and similar crankery, we can dismiss everything else as smears and label Jewish campaigners against antisemitism as enemies of progressive politics. No thanks: the latter attitudes are much more harmful /6
The Momentum video was a good video on its own merits, but it only has value if it is the start of a learning process. If the people involved use it as an excuse to avoid addressing other problematic attitudes then it will do more harm than good. /End
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