Tariq Ali: “The end of Israel will benefit all Israelis.”
Just when you think you have heard it all along comes Tariq Ali to lecture Israelis on how the end of the Jewish state will benefit not only Palestinians but Israelis as well.
For Ali the main problem in Europe isn’t anti-Semitism but Islamophobia. He admitted there was some anti-Semitism in the Arab world but it was only brought about by reaction to Israel and that once Israel has disappeared antisemitism will disappear.
Ali was speaking last night at the University of London’s Student Union in front of an audience of 300 alongside anti-Israel author John Rose, Weyman Bennett of Unite Against Fascism, Lindsey German of Stop the War Coalition, Arthur Goodman of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and “As a Jew” activist Walter Wolfgang .
The main message of the evening was that antisemitism is being used merely to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and to silence all criticism of Israel (aka theLivingstone formulation). Both John Rose and Ali then went on to explicitly call for the demise of Israel.
On entering we were handed an unsigned leaflet headed “Labour Jews Assert” which stated that “Some people…are wielding ‘antisemitism’ allegations as a stick to beat the Corbyn leadership”. Luckily, Jonathan Hoffman was on hand to circulate printed copies of the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism. EUMC shows that what these people claim isn’t antisemitism actually is!
Arthur Goodman said it wasn’t surprising that people conflate Jews and Israel when the British Jewish establishment says all Jews support Israel and Netanyahu says Israel represents all Jews.
He said that Jewish groups shouldn’t be allowed to define what antisemitism is as they have a vested interest. He called for an objective definition instead before going on to outrageously claim that Israel “ethnically cleansed” the Palestinians in 1948.
Goodman said that although the same had happened to the indigenous people of America their dispossession had finished long ago so it was wrong to revive any such similarity today. And he said for most UK Jews a love of Israel is part of their identity and so they see criticism of Israel as criticism of them.
Weymann Bennett said that Left was in the forefront of fighting antisemitism and gave as an example UAF’s protests
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