On and on it has dragged! Labour’s never ending “anti-semitism crisis”. How many years now?
It has, of course, reached fever pitch over this summer with Dame Margaret Hodge appearing to be self-appointed ‘hectorer-in-chief’, leading the chorus which seeks to persuade us all that Labour is drowning in Anti-Semitic bile.
All the while, a bemused British public looks on, trying to discern the truth from the fabrication. No help in this regard likely to come from our ‘venerable’ news media (the least trusted in Europe). The point is not to elucidate, it is to smear.
Professor Norman Finkelstein, in an article for Mondoweiss, points to the absence of evidence to support the view that:
“Anti-Semitism in British society at large and the Labour Party in particular have reached crisis proportions”.
This hasn’t prevented the Anti-Semitism juggernaut from rolling on.
Imagine then our complete lack of surprise at the fact that the disgraceful actions of a group of Tory MEPs in the European Parliament has passed largely without comment.
Disgraceful? Why, we hear you ask.
The action centres on Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary. His government was the subject of a vote of censure in the EU Parliament due to his increasingly racist pronouncements and policies. A vote was taken on whether to begin the ‘Article 7’ process against Hungary.
The Article 7 mechanism is triggered when there is “a clear risk” of an EU member state breaching the bloc’s fundamental values, which include: “human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.”
Among his milder pronouncements, this:
“Mass migration is like a slow and steady current of water which washes away the shore. It appears in the guise of humanitarian action, but its true nature is the occupation of territory; and their gain in territory is our loss of territory.”
The president of the Jewish organisation, the Board of Deputies, Marie van der Zyl was quoted as saying:
“…we are very alarmed by the messages at the heart of Orban’s election campaign, including his comments about ‘Muslim invaders’, calling migrants poison, and the vivid antisemitism in the relentless campaign against Jewish philanthropist George Soros.”
The resolution to trigger Article 7 was carried 448-197.
Among those voting against were 17 Tory MEP’s, reportedly whipped into voting against the measure.
About this decision, van der Zyl could only express ‘disappointment’ and state that it was ‘very concerning’.
There is, of course, a realpolitik excuse for the Tories’ decision. They seek Orban’s support over Brexit. But note the relatively muted response of the Board of Deputies and of the British media.
In response to a move which effectively aligns our government’s representatives in the EU parliament with an openly racist regime only ‘concern’ and ‘disappointment’. No existential crisis here, no endless calls for the leader to step down.
The silence is almost deafening. It is also very instructive.