Antisemitism and the Labour party – a deeper look (cont)

On 4th May we posted a link to Kitty S Jones blog Marginalisation of left leaning Jewish groups demonstrates political exploitation of the antisemitism controversy by the right wing. It inspired a response from Jim Denham Antisemitism on the left and in Labour: a reply to Kitty S. Jones, in which he claims there is a serious problem of antisemitism on the left, about which we are in denial.

Kitty Jones provides a fine rejoinder, below.

A response to a critical response to my recent article about antisemitism

Kitty Jones, Politics and Insights
14 May 2018

I’ve written a response to Jim’s response, as there was a strong element of straw man rhetoric in his article – a technique where someone distorts or oversimplifies their opponent’s propositions, reasoning and arguments, in order to make it easier to attack them, and there was an identifiable ad hominem type of “guilt by association” fallacy in play, too.

I responded with the following:

Hi Jim,

Good to see we do have some common ground [in that we agree that Marc Wadsworth should not have been expelled from the Labour party].

I just want to raise a couple of points here.

Firstly, you say “what terrible arguments these are for a left winger to be using”. Well I cited RESEARCH, which is evidenced to verify my comments. That isn’t a “terrible argument”, it’s a reasonable one. There is other research too, which says the same thing. Facts matter, inferences, moralising, value judgements and wild assertions reflect someone’s values and assumptions, not facts.

[And, further on]

The truth is that 1) antisemitism exists within society 2) antisemitism exists within the Labour party 3) the response we give, no matter how reasonable or well-evidenced, is strategically condemned 4) the antisemitism is being used politically by those who don’t approve of Corbyn’s left of centre politics. ALL of those things are discrete truths. They co-exist.

Pointing these issues out does NOT mean I am denying that antisemitism exists in the Party, and how dare you or anyone else imply I don’t care about it…


Read the whole response here