Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Besmirching Labour's Name

"When she speaks out about antisemitism, people should listen and act rather than condemn her." So says Luciana Berger of Margaret Hodge who, you will recall, called Jeremy Corbyn a "fucking anti-semite and a racist" in the Commons last night. She was careful to say these words in the chamber and does not have the guts to repeat them outside of it. Because she knows they are not true and are, in fact, defamatory. Rightly action is due to be taken against Hodge under PLP rules and there are grounds for a complaint of bringing the party into disrepute as well. I am also of the view this was a stunt, a put up job to drive anti-semitism up the news agenda while the media are, for the moment, more interested in Tory divisions. If any of this has to do with the resumption of Labour lead in the polls is something for readers to judge.

At the centre of the dispute is the Labour Party's definition of anti-semitism and its refusal to adopt wholesale the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's working definition. And the party is right not to do so for two very good reasons. It counts "Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor" as an example of anti-semitic behaviour, as well as "Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation." While the definition notes that "overall context" matters, having seen how cheerleaders of successive Israeli governments have worked to characterise and discredit opposition to its actions, such would no doubt be used to try and close down legitimate and justified criticism.

For example, thanks to conquest and colonisation Israeli Jews are a fact of life, and like any other national grouping are entitled to the right of self-determination. However, that does not for one single moment hide the fact that Israel was founded as and remains a colonial project defined explicitly in ethno-nationalist terms (a self-designation almost uniquely shared with Japan). Israel discriminates against its minority Arab citizens, illegally annexes occupied land, steals water resources and, under the guise of self-defence, pursues military incursions against its neighbours, up to and including massacres of unarmed protesters. It is a racist state because it is formally racist, and its actions are racist. The exercise of national self-determination does not give any nation carte blanche to ride roughshod over the rights of others, be it Israel, the US, China or whoever. Claiming that your nation possesses such a right because your neighbours are inferior and barbarous is the very epitome of racist politics.

Neither is there any question of holding Israel to a higher standard than other liberal democracies. The United States is regularly berated, and rightfully so, for its "police actions", extra-judicial killings and meddling in other countries' affairs. French secularism and its particular model of republican citizenship is also criticised and attacked for the exclusion and marginalisation of migrants of North African descent, providing politicians scapegoats aplenty. And then there is the UK, which once faced an insurgency that came very near to wiping out the Thatcher government in the 1984 Brighton bombing. This last example is an instructive one because for all the brutalities and injustices of the low intensity war in Ireland, the British state did not flatten the Bogside with bombing runs and heavy artillery, it did not bulldoze houses belonging to the families of IRA volunteers, systematically assassinate leading figures in the provisionals and Sinn Fein, deploy white phosphorous, nor launch shock-and-awe punitive expeditions over the border. Criticising Israel for its incessant attacks on Gaza is not holding them to a higher standard, but a matter of taking it to task for violating the standards expected from a democratic country as a matter of course.

These are not anti-semitic arguments. Nowhere can the whiff of anti-Jewish racism be found. But what the IHRA definition does is discourage critical investigation along these lines for fear of getting tarred with the anti-semitism brush, and/or attracting the attentions of self-styled custodians of Israel in Labour Party circles. And you know who agrees with this? Chuka Umunna, who this week branded Labour "institutionally racist", Keir Starmer went on Andrew Marr a couple of weeks ago and said the IHRA definition should be adopted in full, and Anna Turley, today amplifying and cheering on Hodge. I pick these three because they sat on the Home Affairs Committee reporting on anti-semitism in the UK. This cross-party group concluded that it "broadly accepts" the IHRA definition but with "additional caveats". What might these be? The report notes it's not anti-semitic, in and of itself, to criticise Israel, to hold it to the same standards expected of liberal democracies, nor to take a particular interest in its activities. As Labour's position is similarly caveated, are our "comrades" saying their report with their name on it is racist and therefore is an example of institutional anti-semitism? As they haven't explained themselves we are forced to conclude it's factional hypocrisy guiding their words instead of principled anti-racism.

Like most of you, I'm sick of this. The party is not without its problems, but I'm sick of the endless stream of dishonesty, of the purposeful besmirching of Labour's name, part and parcel of scorched earth shenanigans as the right are democratically ejected from their positions of influence. This is not about Israel. It's not even really about Jews and anti-semitism. It is about stopping Corbyn, of taking the party back to where it trod water before 2015, of making it once again a timid and loyal opposition to the Tories but one where, at least, they ruled the roost.

38 comments:

julian1649 said...

Did she say this in the actual chamber of the commons?!! I know it was in the house but this wouldn't, I don't think, mean she had parliamentary privilege. Surely relying on the fact that Jeremy wouldn't sue?

Phil said...

It was, apparently, behind the speaker's chair. So technically in the chamber.

Alan Story said...

Well argued Phil.

Ed said...

Spot on, Phil, and much calmer and more coherent than anything I could muster (current mood towards the Hodges and Austins of the PLP is 'war to the death, burn their houses, burn their crops, sow salt in the ground, leave nothing intact').

Along with the frustration of facing another torrent of hysterical attacks from the usual suspects, there's still so many people who just refuse in spite of all the evidence to face up to the reality. They cling on for dear life to the idea that Labour must have done something badly, deeply wrong in dealing with anti-semitism and that's why this stuff keeps flaring up again and again and again. I'm thinking here of left-leaning commentators like David Schneider and Rachel Shabi (I just mention them from having seen their comments on Twitter in the last couple of hours), who say things like 'oh, but why can't Labour just accept the full IHRA definition/examples, wouldn't it be easier, what about the optics' or Schneider's monotonous response to anyone who points out the existence of a smear campaign, 'do you accept there's a problem with anti-semitism on the left?' (I saw him posing that to Michael Rosen among others this evening). FFS, a 'when did you stop beating your wife' question if ever there was one. There comes a point when such blindness to the reality of what's gone on is just wilful and amounts to de facto collusion with the likes of Hodge and the other loudmouthed smear-artists.

There was far too much hand-wringing from some pro-Corbyn commentators and groups a few months back — thinking here in particular of the statement from Momentum, among other things — talking about how big a problem there is and how much we still have to do, etc. None of that will ever, ever satisfy the critics. The sooner people recognize that the better. This is the moment for an all-or-nothing stand; there is no room for even a milimetre of compromise on Labour's new code of conduct, not one comma should be modified. This is the issue to fight on, not idiocies like Ken Livingstone's Hitler comments or Jackie Walker's self-indulgent ramblings. Anyone who sells the pass on this is no damn use at all to the movement.

Mark Livingston said...

Deselecta!

Ian Gibson said...

An exceedingly astute anlysis, and I share your weariness with this. What I can't see is any way to challenge it when the prevailing narrative is so one-sided and the only voices which have reach are those gunning for JC.

Teresa Steele said...

It just appears to me that every time we are ahead in the polls Anti Semitism turns up. No doubt that Anti Semitism should be routed and I'm sure the Chakrabarti report, which was sat on for nearly two years under Mr McNicol, is clear on what the Labour Party intends to do to remedy any fall from grace on that level. With over thirty Jewish groups from around the world, six of them in the UK, giving their support for what the NEC have come up with, including being able to call out bad political practice in Israel without being called Anti Semitic shows that things are being done correctly. I only hope this campaign to oust Corbyn, or any other leader who happens to be a true socialist, is foiled and seen for what it is and the fact that it's happening is actually undermining the scourge of Anti Semitism.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Phil for taking such a strong position on this smear campaign. I'm sick of it too. What especially annoys me is that Corbyn's enemies refuse to discuss the IHRA examples in detail. That won't listen to other arguments. It's obvious they have ulterior motives

SirAndy said...

A half convincing piece spoiled by the last point. Credibility is completely lost as the author moves from Karl Marx to Groucho. ("Whatever it is, I'm against it"). To attribute anti Corbyn motivations to all who criticise you is to show your own blind faith. This shows you are unable to accept valid contributions to policy development. There are none so deaf as those who refuse to hear...

Boffy said...

"systematically assassinate leading figures in the provisionals and Sinn Fein".

Actually it did do that both in Ireland and overseas, as shown in the documentary film Death On The Rock.

Boffy said...

"Criticising Israel for its incessant attacks on Gaza is not holding them to a higher standard, but a matter of taking it to task for violating the standards expected from a democratic country as a matter of course."

That is true, but what is holding Israel to a higher standard is the fact that whilst the US, Britain etc. is criticised for all of the actions you have cited, no one says, "and, therefore, those states have no right to exist." That is what some say in relation to Israel, and they thereby hold it to a different standard.

Ian Gibson said...

@SirAndy: your point is undermined by the fact that Phil has been explicitly clear what it is he's against, and why he opposes it - which makes a nonsense of your claim that it's just anti-anti-Corbynism. You've got that 180ยบ reversed...

Ian Gibson said...

Further to my first comment about the narrative, I was encouraged to read Berger's Twitter feed that you linked to above and note that the comments were overwhelmingly sensible about where the proprieties lie in this case, with next-to-no blind support for her or Hodge. Maybe the tide is beginning to turn after all...

Speedy said...

"thanks to conquest and colonisation Israeli Jews are a fact of life"

actually, thanks to the United Nations.

Context is everything, and your arguments make no mention of the 2000 years of anti-semitism that culminated in the development of Zionism, the Holocaust, and the foundation of the state of Israel. In this respect they are disingenuous and "weasly", as are your examples - the opprobrium heaped upon Israel is out of all proportion to that directed at the US or UK (illegal war in Iraq, anyone?).

I know many "boycotters" who will happily holiday in Turkey or Sri Lanka, despite their far worse records. Who trust Press TV or Russia Today, mouthpieces of regimes considerably more ruthless than Israel.

The Israeli state is exceptionalised, as the Jews always have been, and I think you need to ask yourselves why that really is, and take a hard look at your own sense of identity as an actor in the world (as a sociologist, I would have thought this would be obvious) because the Israelis certainly have, which is perhaps why they do show so much contempt for the double-standards of their critics.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for cutting through the crap Phil- a useful and cogent article.

davidjc said...

It’s not a higher standard. There might be a few idiots, but when people say Israel has no right to exist, usually they mean no right to exist as a racist state - only yesterday the Knesset explicitly entrenched that racism, for example.

Within Labour, other countries do not have a powerful right wing lobby group like the LFI. It’s not a double standard for Labour lefties to be more concerned with Israel-backers than, say, fans of Turkey, more a necessary self defence approach.

Ed is right about the failure of the Corbynista left on this, or at least its leadership and media pundits. Particularly sickening was their near silence on the Marc Wadsworth case, possibly the most obvious stich up of all time.

I hope Phil’s excellent piece is a sign of change from the disasterous appeasement tactic.

Anonymous said...

Bravo!

Simon said...

Oh dear, 'blind faith'...no give away there then...

Anonymous said...

"Anti-Semitic?
It's a trick we always use"

Former Israeli politician says anti-Semitism accusation a "trick" to deflect criticism of Israel

Video interview : https://youtu.be/7BEVLD6YHsc

Ian Gibson said...

@Boffy: that's a deeply flawed comparison. Those who say Israel shouldn't exist (and for the avoidance of doubt, that doesn't include me) aren't making that judgement because of its current actions, but because of the recent history of its creation as a colonial settler project partly born out of terrorism, and the catastrophic effect of the indigenous peoples who were previously there. There is absolutely no doubt that if the European conquest of North America had happened within the last 70 years and included the same degree of ethnic cleansing and genocide, that people WOULD be saying very strongly that it shouldn't exist either (very much as they did too with South Africa in its apartheid era.)

Ed said...

Not quite the same, Boffy - all the 'shoot-to-kill' controversies involved incidents where the British security forces could at least claim they saw IRA members as a threat to public safety (Gibraltar, Loughgall etc.), even if their real priority was to take out their opponents. A real parallel for Israeli policy since 2000 would have been if the British government had responded to the breakdown of the first IRA ceasefire by killing Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Pat Doherty, Gerry Kelly, Tom Murphy, Brian Keenan, Bobby Storey, Brian Gillen and a whole host of others, along with hundreds of nationalist civilians who happened to be in the vicinity. Thankfully for us they knew Dublin and Washington would never wear it and it would make their position untenable, otherwise they would have produced dozens of more Keenans, Storeys and Gillens.

The thing about 'Israel's right to exist' is that the main people who bring it up are Israel's supporters. I hear someone demanding to know 'do you support Israel's right to exist' or simply declaring 'I support Israel's right to exist' at least a dozen times for every time I hear someone question that right. It's a very strange way of formulating the question — normally we talk about the right of a people to self-determination, not the right of a state to exist; we would say that the Scottish people have the right to independence if they want it rather than talk about 'Scotland's right to exist' — and it deliberately glosses over the fact that Israel has never defined its borders but treats the illegal settlements as an integral part of it, making it impossible for Palestinians to exercise their own right to statehood. In other settler colonies like Australia or the US, the demand of indigenous people for justice has never taken the form of the demand for an independent state, it's more a question of seeking restitution and equality within the established state, there's no direct equivalent of the Palestinian national movement.

SirAndy said...


That is true, but what is holding Israel to a higher standard is the fact that whilst the US, Britain etc. is criticised for all of the actions you have cited, no one says, "and, therefore, those states have no right to exist." That is what some say in relation to Israel...

And it is these types of remarks that the IHRC definition identifies as anti-semitic in the example. Ok to describe Israel as racist. Not ok to use that to say it should not exist. Why can't the NEC march in step with 31 other countries who have adopted this code and the UN?

Campaign Against American Culture said...

“is criticised for all of the actions you have cited, no one says, "and, therefore, those states have no right to exist."

The committee would like to note that no one but no one says Israel has no right to exist because of its incessant attacks against Gaza. Once again Boffy uses the straw man argument to defend the colonial racist settler state.

What is said by the Palestinians is that Israel is a nation built on the theft of their land and systematic ethnic cleansing. The Palestinians claim the right of return to their occupied land. These claims are not based on incessant attacks or moral outrages by Israel but are based on the original sin so to speak.

Now Boffy really should take it up with the Palestinians if he has a problem with their position. Maybe he could head off to Gaza himself and express his views on the subject with them directly. He does claim to be an internationalist after all.

Now what we do say is why are Israel able to flout all moral standards, why can they break UN resolution after UN resolution and are never held accountable, whereas, Saddam was made accountable as was Gaddafi. Here is the double standard, the imperialist nations and its settler states can get away with any crime, no matter how large, without fear of punishment, whereas the sword of imperialist death hangs over any opponent of imperialism. Herein lays the double standard.

The committee have noted that no one is surprised that Boffy raises a straw man while missing the real hypocrisy and double standard.

Of course if the straw man position proposed by Boffy were true he would be making claims of anti Semitism but when the real double standard is shown, i.e that imperialist powers get away with murder while anti imperialist powers are held to account, he would never claim any such prejudice.

This perfectly illustrates the moral bankruptcy of the imperialist apologists and their disgusting use of anti Semitism to besmirch their opponents.

Ian Gibson said...

"Why can't the NEC march in step with 31 other countries who have adopted this code and the UN?" Maybe because they have looked at it carefully and prefer to march in step with the numerous other international organisations who have either dropped or declined to use this definition. That includes amongst others the Fundamental Rights Agency – the European Union body dedicated to combating racism and discrimination.

There are a number of other impartial, learned and erudite appraisals which find the IHRA definition considerably problematic. As the distinguished (and Jewish) Appeal Court Judge Sir Stephen Sedley wrote in a eloquent dissection of its faults in the London Review of Books, 'it fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite.' He considered that vagueness to be no accident, but deliberately there to allow exactly the kind of conflation of criticism of Israel with anti-semitism which we have seen all too frequently. A cross-party committee of the UK Parliament considered it and did not consider the IHRA definition a suitable one to adopt. The lead author of the definition itself, Kenneth Stern, wrote a piece in the New York Times explaining that he has become deeply unhappy with the way it is being used, which is far beyond any intent it started out with, and is specifically being used to inhibit free speech.

The IHRA definition defines itself as non-binding: how on earth can you build a disciplinary code on a non-binding foundation?

These are just a few of the many learned opinions which do not think the IHRA definition is any kind of workable basis for a policy which an be successfully implemented.

Hoopy said...

In relation to Ireland: the British state did assassinate or attempt to assassinate nationalist leaders, including figures who were purely political opponents. These included Gerry Adams, Bernadette McAliskey,John Turley and Miriam Daly. Some of the names may be unfamiliar but that's irrelevant. The assassinations were carried out by loyalist paramilitaries, who acted as unofficial arms of the British state. These paramilitaries were armed and protected by that state. Many of their members were de facto employees of the British state and key figures were British agents infiltrated into them to make them more effective killers. As for incursions over the border, the single worst day for deaths in the 'troubles' was in 1974 when the UVF, aided by the British state, let off bombs in Dublin and Monaghan.

Boffy said...

David,

"It’s not a higher standard. There might be a few idiots, but when people say Israel has no right to exist, usually they mean no right to exist as a racist state - only yesterday the Knesset explicitly entrenched that racism, for example."

If only that were true, but even here, besides the troll and his sock puppets, you have others making the argument that Israel has no right to exist because it was created as a racist, colonial settler state. By the way they fail to notice that it was on that basis, and not the current attacks on Gaza etc. that I made my argument.

Hezbollah and Hamas do not argue that they simply seek to dismantle Israel as a racist state. They make clear they want to destroy the State of Israel in its entirety, because they believe that it should never have been created. And, remember, therefore, all of those SWP et al placards reading "We are All Hezbollah Now"?

I what was being proposed, and some do propose this, including some on the Israeli Left, was a democratisation of the Israeli State, of a struggle for Palestinian and Arab rights in Israel, and so on, including against the entrenchment of the Israeli state as a confessional state, in the recent law, that would be different. But, that is NOT what is being called. It is not what Iran calls for, for example, or all those misguided people in Britain who support its reactionary agenda on the basis that it is somehow "anti-imperialist."

The idea that israel has no right to exist because it was created as a settler state 70 years ago, whereas the US does have a right to exist because it was created as a settler state 240 years ago is absurd. The Israeli state is just as much an established state as is the US state. To destroy it as a state, which is what Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and all their supporters amongst the idiot anti-imperialists seek to achieve, would require a war that would cost the lives of millions of working-class Jews, Arabs and others.

Those who propose such a course of action simply to assuage their moral indignation that the State of Israel was created as yet another settler state have nothing in common with Socialism, and certainly not with the Marxism of Marx, Engels, Lenin or Trotsky. They are purely reactionary nationalists.

However, having said all that. It remains the case that Corbyn's enemies are using this valid concern over real anti-Semitism for their own short term political purposes. In doing so, they undermine the struggle against anti-Semitism too.

Boffy said...

@ Ian,

"Those who say Israel shouldn't exist (and for the avoidance of doubt, that doesn't include me) aren't making that judgement because of its current actions, but because of the recent history of its creation as a colonial settler project partly born out of terrorism, and the catastrophic effect of the indigenous peoples who were previously there. There is absolutely no doubt that if the European conquest of North America had happened within the last 70 years and included the same degree of ethnic cleansing and genocide, that people WOULD be saying very strongly that it shouldn't exist either (very much as they did too with South Africa in its apartheid era.)"

So, why then didn't they do that when the US had just been created, rather than socialists actually seeing its creation as a huge stride forward? Why was it then that most of the radical democrats, and what socialists existed in 1776, were on the side of the American colonists who were establishing that state in the Revolution against George III?

Why was it that, in the face of all of the genocide against Native Americans, during the 19th century, as the US began to modernise and industrialise, Marx supported the colonists, and capitalists who were doing the modernising and industrialising, and openly sided with the Northern industrial capitalists represented by Lincoln?

I don't recall seeing anywhere that Marx or Engels called for the Australian, Canadian or New Zealand states to be smashed either. Marx talks about the British colonisation of India being the only true social revolution that the country had experienced.

The fact that people do treat Israel differently to all these other states is precisely what constitutes Left anti-Semitrism. As I have written many times in the past, I would not have supported the demands for the creation of a Zionist state, and have rejected the attempts of those like the AWL, and other Third Campists who do attempt to justify it.

But, once the toothpaste is out of the tube it is not a matter of simply reversing the process. The fact is that it exists, and calls for its destruction are reactionary. What is more, many of those on the left like the SWP, who make that call do so from the same misguided, moralistic, petit-bourgeois Third Campist position that is used to justify the creation of Israel by those like the AWL.

They say, Israel must be destroyed and a Palestinian state created to undo all of the historical injustice done to the Palestinians. So, to undo that injustice what their programme amounts to is to create a new bourgeois Palestinian state that could only be created on the bones of Israeli Jews, and via a terrible war that would lead to the deaths of millions!

None of that has anything to do with Socialism.

Boffy said...

@Sir Andy,

"And it is these types of remarks that the IHRC definition identifies as anti-semitic in the example. Ok to describe Israel as racist. Not ok to use that to say it should not exist. Why can't the NEC march in step with 31 other countries who have adopted this code and the UN?"

Except that in the examples it is not as clear cut as you suggest, and that is precisely the problem, which is why the NEC are right to propose their own examples and narrative in addition to the definition itself. The IHRC document is after all intended to be a living document open to development, not a mantra to be parroted as set in stone for ever.

If it were not the case that the Labour Right supported by the Tories of the British Board of Deputies, the JLC etc. were using anti-Semitism as a means of attacking Corbyn, then there would be much less difficulty in simply accepting the definition and the examples. But, it is precisely because the Labour Right are using anti-Semitism as a means of attacking Corbyn and the Left, as with the recent slurs against Paul Mason, that it becomes an issue, because everyone knows that the Right will use any loose wording, any ambiguity as means of labelling this or that comment as anti-Semitic, and thereby demanding some further expulsion.

That is why, as I said some time ago, the Right are actually undermining the real struggle against anti-Semitism by using it for their own opportunistic, short term political aims.

Kamo said...

"thanks to conquest and colonisation Palestinian Muslims are a fact of life"

Firstly, the Israeli state does terrible things and should be condemned for them, but nobody believes it wishes to kill Palestinians simply for existing. However, there are significant Palestinian groups like Hamas who are explicit in their desire to exterminate Israelis because they exist.

Secondly, whilst people should be free to criticise Israel as a state, they should be careful not to drift into moral relativism about Israeli versus Palestinian violence. Palestinians are not noble savages, when Palestinian guerillas fire rockets at civilians or from public areas they know precisely what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with moral relativism?

Campaign Against American Culture said...

Actually the right to exist is a canard that pro imperialists and apologists like Boffy throw into the mix in order to appeal to liberal sentiment. Imperialist apologists will only raise a nations right to exist where they support that nation, after all you wouldn’t find many imperialist apologists defending the right of the Islamic state to exist, a state created from the ashes of the imperialists ‘liberation’ of Iraq! You wouldn’t find many imperialist apologists denouncing the left for criticising the actions of ISIS!

No the only time these apologists defend a nations right to exist is when that nation is the racist colonial settler state of Israel or some other imperialist outpost. Defending Israel’s right to exist is the same thing as defending imperialist supremacy over the world, defending white western privilege. It is a purely supremacist ideology masquerading as the defence of higher values. It doesn’t take much scratching to see these higher values for what they are.

But whether we think any nation has any right to exist is beside the point, as Lenin said the truth is concrete. This brings us to another deception by Boffy, namely that Hamas want to destroy Israel and wipe it off the map, when their actual stated position is now a 2 state solution, this being forced on them by concrete conditions. Some would argue that the Israeli right would love nothing better than the eradication of every Palestinian pest, but concrete conditions don’t allow for this at the moment. So Boffy is providing insinuation based almost certainly on a deep prejudice against Palestinian people and their capacity for reasoning (Hamas are Palestinian people after all, I know Boffy wants to present them as inhuman bogeymen but they are real people, real victims of the state Boffy is so keen to defend). Boffy infers the position of Hamas (blood lusting after Jews, hell bent on destruction, mad with vengeance etc etc) because he assumes many things about the Palestinians, these assumptions are based on a white supremacist mindset (incidentally to pre-empt another deception by Boffy nowhere I have said Palestinians don’t think Israel has a right to exist, for them the truth is concrete like it is for everyone else).

Kamo provides a useful illustration of the kind of right wing prejudice that Boffy's comments attract, Kamo and Boffy 2 sockpuppets of the imperialism! Incidentally you will never see Boffy criticise directly prejudicial comments like those of Kamo!

Another deception by Boffy can be seen with this quote,

“By the way they fail to notice that it was on that basis, and not the current attacks on Gaza etc. that I made my argument.”

One only has to look at Boffy’s second comment in this thread to see it is a deception (go ahead take a look), Boffy was responding directly to this comment when he remarked about Israel’s right to exist,

“Criticising Israel for its incessant attacks on Gaza is not holding them to a higher standard, but a matter of taking it to task for violating the standards expected from a democratic country as a matter of course.”

And he specifically stated that if the UK or US was carrying out such actions people wouldn’t be saying they didn’t have a right to exist. Once again we see Boffy lying to serve the interests of imperialism and to defend the racist settler colonial state of Israel. To be clear Boffy was arguing people claimed Israel had no right to exist because of incessant attacks on Gaza and other such outrages, and when his pathetically weak position has been exposed by multiple people he desperately tries to backtrack, hoping we all have the memory of a goldfish and can’t simply read what he actually said!

Boffy spews out one lie after another in order to defend the racist settler state of Israel.

The committee note that no one is surprised by this.

Ian Gibson said...

@Boffy: you're going to compare the attitude towards colonisation from the 17 and 18 hundreds with that of today and use that to demonstrate the invalidity of contemporary attitudes?!? Wow, that's pretty laughable. Don't think I need to say any more than that...

Boffy said...

@ Ian,

It was you that raised the question of what socialists attitude to the US et al would be 70 years after their creation on the basis of colonisation and ethnic cleansing. I simply answered that question. Sorry if the answer doesn't fit your preconceptions!

I think its pretty laughable for socialists who claim to be operating on the basis of objectivity, reason and principle to argue that because some states that were established as colonial settler states, on the back of genocide and ethnic cleansing 200 years ago, their right to exist does not have to be questioned, whereas the Israeli state, which was created 70 years ago does not have the right to exist.

We should remember that the Israeli State itself was created in defiance of and in a violent war against British imperialism, as well as against the Palestinian Arabs. Its why some of the leading Zionists looked to form an alliance with Nazi Germany and Mussolini's fascists against Britain, which they saw as the bigger, immediate enemy. Indeed, if we are to make the same kind of historical comparisons you have made, then on the basis of the arguments today's idiot anti-imperialists come up with, we would have expected them, at the time to have been big supporters of the anti-imperialist fighters of the Stern Gang and the Irdun!

Fortunately, whilst moralistic arguments come and fo with the times the socialist principles of Marx and Engels in the 19th century, are as valid today, precisely because they are principles, based upon a scientific, objective analysis of the interests of the global working-class, and not just an expression of petit-bourgeois moral outrage.

Ben Philliskirk said...

@ Boffy

"Fortunately, whilst moralistic arguments come and fo with the times the socialist principles of Marx and Engels in the 19th century, are as valid today, precisely because they are principles, based upon a scientific, objective analysis of the interests of the global working-class, and not just an expression of petit-bourgeois moral outrage."

It is the worst kind of Marxist sectarianism to try to enlist Marx and Engels in support of the Israeli state in the 21st Century, or to suggest that 'the interests of the global working-class' are related to the current situation in the Levant.

Boffy said...

@Ben,

I didn't try to enlist the support of Marx and Engels is support of the Israeli state. I'm sure that they would be as critical of that state as I am. The point is not about support for the actions of the Israeli state, but about those who seek to destroy that state to satisfy their own moral indignation at the fact that it exists at all. They are like Dr. Sam Beckett in the 1990's TV series Quantum Leap, who see it as their moral duty to put right what once went wrong.

Beckett had the advantage of actually being able to go back in time to prevent things happening. The left anti-Semites that seek to destroy Israel to assuage their moral outrage have no such capability, and the reality is that to achieve their ends would require a war that would result in the deaths of millions of Jewish and Arab workers, with a potential to flow over into a global conflict.

It is a thoroughly reactionary perspective that socialists should totally reject.

Campaign Against American Culture said...

The committee agreed the following:

It is ironic to call out everyone else for being nationalistic while promoting the rights of nations to exist, even nations built on ethnic cleaning and systematic land theft in our lifetimes, and as we speak. The committee agreed that this was taking nationalism to extreme levels. The committee recognise that creating a world free of nations in our current sense of the meaning was a long term goal that could not be overcome with simple slogans but it did note that we fight to rid the world of every nation on earth, at least nation as we understand it (we still see a world cup in the future society but one where the very idea of what a nation is and isn't has fundamentally changed, as would the conditions giving rise to these nations).

The committee agreed that no definition of the right of a nation to exist as ever been agreed or written down anywhere, and that those using the principle were simply making shit up as they went along (the committee wishes to apologise for the expletives but thought it necessary in this case). Therefore any accusation of racism based on this pseudo principle can be nothing other than subjectivist ideological nonsense.

The committee agreed that the right to exist as proposed by the imperialist apologists could only be applied to nations that have the backing of imperialists and have their own nuclear arsenal, those nations not falling into this camp are always on the edge of obliteration, for example the ethnic violence unleashed on Iraq, Libya and Syria, where imperialism is busy carving out territory for itself.

The committee therefore agreed that those using the right to exist canard were simply using it in the service of the oppressor, rich nations at the expense of the poor and oppressed nations. In the service of the global elite at the expense of the global poor.

Incidentallly the proposal to ban 24 news channels and replace them with proper in depth analysis on various important subjects was passed.

The proposal to close all BBC news output was suspended, awaiting further clarification, but a motion was passed to ensure BBC breakfast was shut down with all due haste, as and I quote, we just can’t subject people to this shit for any longer (again apologies for any expletives used). It should be noted here that BBC weather was not included in this proposal, though the banning of non qualified people from giving us the weather was passed some time ago.

The proposal to look into the hiring of news and sports presenters of all kinds was passed, any hiring based on how shapely a figure the presenter has to be a criminal offence. The gender equality campaign to focus on overly attractive women in the media, with extra focus on the Harvey Weinstein mentally of going for tits and ass over talent (apologies is some find this too crude).

Anonymous said...

I am literally a committee member, you idiot.

Campaign Against American Culture said...

Dear committee member, please provide your id and reference to validate your claim.

Please note that committee members should refrain from calling Boffy an idiot without some level of context to validate the point, this is considered literally illiterate and witless.

We regard Boffy as less of an idiot but more of a deceiver in the service of imperialism, for reasons already provided.

You have clearly posted an anon because deep down you know your comment was witless and that instead of argument you only save insult. You bring shame on the committee if indeed your claim is correct. But we have faith that none of the members of the committee would act in this way and it is therefore concluded you are a sockpuppet in the service of the class enemy - given that designation you may well even be Boffy himself.