Tell Labour about ethnically cleansed Mideast Jews

How to reframe the debate by dispelling eight common myths (Screenshot of JTV video)

The results of the British Jewish election are in: a landslide victory for the Labour party. Will it be good for the Jews?

The Jewish vote will have reflected the national trend of a swing to Labour, but many Jews remain seriously concerned over resurgent antisemitism. They remain skeptical about new prime minister Sir Keir Starmer’s reassurances that Jeremy Corbyn’s far left antisemitism has been expunged from the party. And, they ask, will a Labour government take a robust enough stand against antisemitism?

A global tsunami of antisemitism without precedent smashed into the Diaspora in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attacks; the link between antisemitism and anti-Zionism has never been clearer.  Hostility to Israel has translated into intimidation and  brutality against ordinary Jews and their property in London and Paris, Los Angeles and Montreal.

While the pro-Israel Conservatives did not always put their money where their mouth was – and the last foreign secretary, Lord Cameron, shocked many with his moral equivalence over Israel’s war on Hamas — the Conservatives’ fall from power means that UK’s 300,000 Jews have lost the most pro-Israel government they could have hoped for. Labour’s policy on the Middle East is ambivalent at best. The Greens are unabashedly pro-Palestinian and the Liberal party are equivocal, if not anti-Israel.  The Reform party have their fair share of antisemitic conspiracy nutjobs. Although ‘Gaza George’ Galloway has lost his seat, Jewish hearts will also sink at the news that four independent MPs were elected on a pro-Gaza ticket.

‘A pro-Gaza ticket’  is doublespeak for the demand for Israel to surrender unconditionally to Hamas, to be pilloried in the international courts for alleged ‘war crimes’ and to suffer political and economic boycotts and strangulation. The pro-Gaza lobby do not want a ‘two-state solution,’ they want Israel gone.

How has it come to this – that whole swathes of public opinion believe that the Jews are to blame for October 7, that Israel’s war against Hamas is unjust and and that Palestinian terror groups – in reality proxies for Iranian aggression and imperialism – are the aggrieved party? The role of the media in misleading public opinion by omitting essential context and amplifying blood libels cannot be underestimated.

The lie, peddled over decades by Western pundits and academics wracked by post-colonial guilt,  that Israelis are ‘white settler colonialists,’ is probably the most egregious. Tens of thousands of young people have been swayed by this inversion of the truth. Not only are Jews an indigenous people of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)  with a right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland, but they predate Islam and the Arab conquest in the wider Middle East by 1,000 years or more.  Even Jews from Europe and the US were traditionally treated as outsiders. They have incontrovertible  cultural, linguistic and genetic links with the Middle East. Crucially, over half the Jewish population of Israel are refugees from Arab countries or their descendants. Ninety-nine percent have been driven from the Middle East and North Africa by mob violence and state-sanctioned persecution –  in greater numbers than Palestinian refugees from Israel.

How many politicians taking their seats in the new Parliament will have heard of  the 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries? How many will be aware of the abuse of their human rights? Apart from a handful of MPs representing ‘Jewish’ constituencies –  none.

In order to challenge ignorance and entrenched misconceptions, we need to launch a massive, pro-active, education campaign about Jewish refugees from Arab countries. The largest act of ethnic cleansing in the Israel-Arab conflict took place not against Palestinians, but Jews. Hamas just wants to finish the job by eradicating our last redoubt in Israel.

We urgently need to reframe the terms of the debate.

About the Author
Lyn Julius is a journalist and co-founder of Harif, an association of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa in the UK. She is the author of 'Uprooted: How 3,000 years of Jewish Civilisation in the Arab world vanished overnight.' (Vallentine Mitchell)
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