Robert Festenstein

What is to be done?

For some time the British Labour Party has been described as having a problem with the Jews.  Following the latest conference in Brighton it is now clear that the Jews have a problem with the Labour Party.

At a time when the Labour Party claims to be the party of the many and not the few, there are some who say not the Jew.  The language used about and against Jews would not be tolerated with any other group such as women or black people.  The Jews are not entitled to that protection, and so, the inevitable question is, who will be next?

Journalists it would appear, since Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC political journalist was obliged to attend the party conference only with bodyguards.

There have been many articles about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, and whilst many have identified the issues, not many have proposed a way forward.  The reality now is that there needs to be a full throated attack on those elements in the UK today who claim they don’t hate Jews, whereas their actions and attitudes demonstrate the precise opposite.

It is not just that policy towards Israel is uneven. Just look at the standing ovation given at the conference when support was proclaimed for the Palestinian struggle and it becomes very clear that there is no balance, just visceral hatred towards the Jewish state.

The true hypocrisy came with the motion, proposed by the Jewish Labour Movement dealing with anti-Semitism.  Once it included the now compulsory addition of  ‘other forms of racism’ in its text it became acceptable .  Why? Simply because the Labour leadership refuses to accept that anti-Semitism is different from any other form of discrimination.

Ignoring the history of this prejudice serves to reinforce it.  The writing was clearly on the wall when Shami Chakrobati’s report included ‘other forms of racism’ in its remit.  This farcical report demonstrated how easy it was for the Labour Party to dismiss even the idea there was a problem with anti-Semitism.

In the same way as the Jews were blamed for the world’s ills in the 1930’s, Israel is now the centre of all that is wrong with the 21st Century.  The progressives in the Labour Party have adopted this thesis with enthusiasm.  When the likes of Len McClusky talk about pro-Palestine, they really mean anti-Israel.  The only solution to the ‘conflict’ proposed by those claiming to be pro-Palestinian is the destruction of the Jewish state, whether it is the Palestine Solidarity Campaign or War on Want.

What is frightening now is that Labour believe they have fixed the problem, whereas they have just reinforced it. It is not just that you can criticise Israel with a free rein, you can do so with malice and be praised for it.  And to such an extent that Jews are only welcome in the Labour Party if they give up their desire to the right of self-determination, both as a Jew and as a nation.

So, what is to be done?  The time for believing that dialogue is the answer is well and truly passed.  What is needed is an acceptance by the Jewish community that those of the left who seek the destruction of Israel are expressing legitimate criticism are just liars.  And those in the media who use their status to promote boycotting of the Jewish state, and bring pressure to bear on actors or singers not to work in Israel just hate the idea of the Jews having control of their destiny; anti-Semitism in its purest form.

Calls to these people to atone, apologise or explain are just a waste of effort.  It is as Canute demonstrated, as effective as commanding the sea to defy the power of the moon.  The time has come to expose the reality of these people‘s efforts to reduce the Jews to inferior, second class citizens.

About the Author
Robert Festenstein is a solicitor based in Manchester with considerable experience in Court actions. He is active in fighting the increase in anti-Semitism in the UK and is President of the Zionist Central Council, an organisation devoted to promoting and defending the democratic State of Israel.
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