I believe Israel is a rouge state. They have a rogue government. It does terrible things to people in Palestine. It moves Palestinians out of their homes to enable Israelis to move in. It builds on disputed areas of land and moves settlers in. It gets away with murder. Literally.
I believe this makes me an anti-Zionist. It does not mean I’m anti-Semitic. I have Jewish friends. I love Jewish music. I know the holocaust happened and it was an abhorrent act that should never be repeated, against anyone. I cried when I saw the small plaques embedded into the cobbled streets of Berlin, naming the Jews who had been taken away to concentration camps. The Jewish people need to feel safe in their historic homeland and around the world. Faith-based hate is wrong.
But because I say this out loud I will be branded by some to be an anti-Semite, anti-Jewish, a Fascist. It’s a knee-jerk reaction. “Well he must be anti-Semitic if he believes that”.
I also believe North Korea is a rogue state. As is Iraq. As is Syria. When Aung San Suu Kyi became Myanmar’s leader I thought that would be a great thing, but then she allowed the massacre of a Muslim minority. Another rogue action.
Yet, I will not be called out as an anti-Muslim, anti-Communist or anti-Buddhist to the same degree, as I will be called an anti-Semite. Yet it happens every time, to whoever makes the comment that Israel is bad. It serves to muddy the waters, make the argument less legitimate and more racist, and make it difficult for decent people and politicians to stand up for the anti-Zionist cause.
Does The Labour Party have an anti-Semitic problem? Yes it does. All organisations of people have divisions, based on fear of difference, colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation and wealth, to name but a few. The Jews have been stigmatised for centuries and the stench of that persecution still pervades today.
The Labour party needs to root anti-Semitism out. I However, it does not need to stop saying its anti-Zionist. It should be proud to face down rogue nations – all rogue nations – and those that support those rogue nations, such as the USA and Saudi Arabia.
Hate me for saying this if you want, but don’t let me be misunderstood.