More about Rebecca Long-Bailey’s sacking

Twitter threads have become a popular, quick way of commenting on current events and themes. But they tend to disappear rapidly from view.

It’s a pity as they are often full of interesting thoughts and insights.

Below we republish two.

Crystal Moth is furious at how it is assumed that all Jews must support Israel and therefore at  “the supposed antisemitism that is condemned in the name of appeasing us”.

Daniel Finn takes apart a recent contribution by Stephen Bush, political editor of the New Statesman, about Labour’s alleged “long-time failure to recognise antisemitism”.

Profile pictureCrystal moth

@Prolapsarian, 25th June 2020

Knitter, student and teacher of German cultural history. Archivist at @maydayrooms. Occasional translator.


1/ There is a deep antisemitism in the assumption that all Jews must support Israel, that we want the same answers, and that we collectively share a set of political beliefs. There is more antisemitism in the idea of appeasing “the Jews” than in most of the supposed

2/ antisemitism that is condemned in the name of appeasing us. The instrumentalisation of accusations of antisemitism for cheap political gain demonstrates how little they actually care for us. There is little more dangerous to Jews than the promotion of the belief that criticism

3/ of violent policies derived from the Israeli policing of Palestinian lives is itself antisemitic.

The treatment of Palestinians, not only in the prison of Gaza, but in the occupied West Bank, in enormous refugee camps across the Middle East, and as second class citizens

4/ within Israel, has been a laboratory of racist and violent social control. The mass murder, displacement, ghettoisation, pogroms, and day to day violence meted out to the Palestinians both by Israeli state forces, and by the unofficial state forces of settler mobs, has been

5/ the experimentum crucis for the global suppression of resistant populations in the name of “security.”

Whether or not this tactic or that tactic is derived from Krav Maga, whether or not the knee on the neck of George Floyd and the arm around the neck of Ahmad Abu Sbitan

6/ have some traceable relationship in the grand history of how to choke the innocent is, in this sense, irrelevant. The Israeli state does export training its tactics of violent social control, including to American police forces – whether they are federal, state level, or city

7/ police. The methods of policing Palestinians are sold; the deaths of Palestinians are made into mere exemplars of what other governments can do should they wish to purchase the results of these experiments, and repeat them in their own cities. What the hell else do people

8/ think US police forces are buying when they get training from the IDF?

So when you propose that I, as a Jew, should want you to be silent on these questions; that I, as a Jew, should want you to silence others on these questions, you engage in the most fearsome antisemitism.

9/ When you associate me with that knee on that neck, when you apologise for the grand history of choking the innocent in my name, it is you who is antisemitic. In the mean time, most of us, who have hearts, support the resistance. Black lives matter. We will fight against the

10/ histories that produce the violences against them. We will stand together against racist state violence. We will be clear that it is not us who make each Palestinian death into a mere exemplar or specimen, but the sale of the tactics of state killing, which sees one killing

11/ and asks how another can be committed. We understand that what is being sold is not just a tactic but precisely this abstraction of murdered Palestinians.

This needs to end. If you think you are saving me from antisemitism by associating me with this bullshit, then you are

12/ completely wrong. I can’t even express how furious I am

Daniel Finn

@DanFinn95, 26th June 2020

Dubliner, journalist, historian. Features Editor, @jacobinmag. Author of One Man’s Terrorist: A Political History of the IRA.

Stephen Bush [political editor of the New Statesman] won a certain reputation among Labour supporters after 2015 for displaying basic professional competence in his reporting on Corbynism—something that eluded most reporters. But he always set that professionalism aside for the “Labour antisemitism” controversy. [The illustrative extracts below are from his article in iNews, 25th June] 1/

Bush apparently believes that racism in the Tory Party has not been “sufficiently acute” to warrant an EHRC investigation. Of course, he knows full well the EHRC’s criteria for launching investigations have nothing to do with objective merit: it’s about political expediency. 2/

Bush plays with words to insinuate that there was something sinister about Maxine Peake’s comment, in which she drew a connection between two forms of state racism that have a well-documented ideological and material affinity, including the sharing of repressive techniques. 3/


The Israeli military is a brutal occupation force: fact. US police forces have received training from it: fact. The particular technique used by the officers who killed George Floyd is also routinely used by Israeli soldiers: fact. All glossed over blandly by Stephen Bush. 4/


Peake’s suggestion that there was a direct causal link is a plausible inference, not an established fact (but certainly not a “conspiracy theory”). What’s beyond question is this: US police forces learn methods of racist repression from the IDF. It’s all on the public record. 5/

“Why didn’t she talk about Britain or France?” Bush demands to know. Those states have many crimes to answer for, but unlike Israel, they don’t rule directly over an oppressed, stateless people, whose occupied land they claim as part of their own national territory. 6/

The IDF’s main function, for many years now, has been to keep its boot on the necks of the Palestinians, both literally and metaphorically. The fact that US police forces are learning lessons from the South Africa of our time is extremely pertinent to the anti-racist cause. 7/

If US police forces had been receiving training from the apartheid regime in the 1980s, nobody would have dared accuse critics of “placing South Africa at the heart of a global nexus of various ills”. Nor would they have split hairs over the precise content of that training. 8/

There’s a palpable fear on the part of Peake’s critics that anti-racist protests in the US will spill over into sympathy for the Palestinians as they face perhaps the bleakest moment in their history: isolated, downtrodden, facing a powerful state with a superpower behind it. 9/

Palestinians have seen the few politicians willing to champion their democratic rights—Jeremy Corbyn, Ilhan Omar—viciously slandered by charlatans. They need (and are entitled to) our support. Maxine Peake understands that, and she deserves nothing but praise. 10/

We’ve been told repeatedly that antisemitism can be inferred from a “pattern of behaviour”: people don’t have to say “I hate Jews”. This inferential method can be—and has been—shamelessly misused, but there’s nothing wrong with it in principle. Let’s apply it here to Bush. 11/

From his “pattern of behaviour” (one that long precedes this article), from what he has said & neglected to say, it’s reasonable to conclude that Bush thinks Palestinian lives have less value. His wilful blindness to anti-Palestinian racism is a form of that racism in itself. 12/

Is this a trope I see? Is Bush suggesting that British Indians have “dual loyalty”—that they base their voting choice on what happens in Kashmir rather than what happens in Britain? (No, it’s sensible stuff, but the double standard is evident.) 13/

Bush’s subjective feelings on the subject are of no real interest. Objectively, he is linking arms with anti-Palestinian racists as they try to snuff out any expression of solidarity with Palestinian democratic rights, giving their bogus talking-points a veneer of legitimacy. 15/

Pay no heed to the comfortable people who are anxious to erect firewalls between different struggles against oppression. Listen to the people with the boot on their neck instead: 16/

Listen to the people who know what a real anti-racist struggle looks like (and who know all too well how worthless the platitudes of establishment liberals are when it comes to the crunch): 17/

Comments (5)

  • Stephen Mitchell says:

    The Independent newspaper has reported that UK police are turning to the Israeli security forces for training in order to deal with “Lone Wolf ” terrorists. Why is the taxpayer paying some of the worlds worst human rights abuses for expertise gained from the torture and murder of a captive nation.

  • RC says:

    The New Statesman since its foundation as an explicitly imperialist analysis and propaganda organ has always specialised in supercilious pretention. In the case of alleged AS, the so-called IHRA’s ‘definition’ of antisemitism reinforces precisely this elitism:only the cognoscenti know the key to that refined ‘understanding’, so different from what hoi polloi believe: that AS is dislike of/prejudice against Jews. The more remote and recondite the definition, the better the elite can distinguish themselves. So those who can see through the gentile features of Morgan, Rockefeller and (! Aleister Crowley) to an ‘eternal Jew’ beneath, thereby distinguish themselves as Jew-hunters! This is supposed to prove their antiAS prowess!
    The numerous instructional exchanges between US and Israeli police forces – the “anti-Defamation” League alone boasts of funding 150,000 such encounters, to be added to the state-funded programmes (now being criticised and repudiated by more and more US police forces – including MINNEAPOLIS) – must not be allowed to constitute evidence of commonality between the two repressive institutions….Nor must the many photographs of Israeli boots on the necks of Palestinians. Such incuriosity reminds one of Kingsley Martin’s attitude to the Moscow ‘trials’; Orwell found Martin’s moral and intellectual corruption so overt he felt sick at the sight of him.

  • RH says:

    A couple of brilliant articles – even if they appear more brilliant because of the apalling state of the generality of journalism in the UK.

    I am not jewish. But I share the same anger expressed in the ‘Crystal Meth’ article :

    “If you think you are saving me from antisemitism by associating me with this bullshit, then you are completely wrong. I can’t even express how furious I am.”

    As to Stephen Bush. How sad it is to see this journalist rising without trace. A comprehensive school background translated to by an Oxbridge ticket into the closed incestuousness of the Westminster dogging circle.

    Journalism and careers in politics have mirrored each other as neophytes of limited depth and background have taken over both aspects of the scene. Bush only graduated in 2011, and is now commentating on the political landscape at a national level. Where the apprenticeship and properly acquired investigative skills of the proper journalist (as was) rather than the re-hashing of received opinion echoing around the chamber?

    When I see an inability to even begin to get to grips with the semantics of a notion like ‘antisemitism’ by a ‘political’ ‘journalist’ – nay ‘editor’ in a national journal of some (past) repute – I despair.

    I am old enough to have seen and known notably higher standards from individuals in both fields.

    Yes – I do despair at the decline.
    I d

  • Emma says:

    Good to read the truth.In the mainstream everything seems to be distorted to suit specific agendas and the truth seems to be sidelined and lost, deliberately lost in some cases.Search for the truth and you will find it but you really do have to search beyond the mainstream .

  • Doug says:

    In 1979 what was left of the post war consensus was destroyed by Thatcher, the belief that no matter who won you governed in the best interests of the country, twas McMillan who berated Thatcher for selling off the family silver,
    It’s my belief that this is the safest country in Europe for the Jewish community thanks to JC and the Labour party
    On one side old socialists and one nation Tories on the other far right wing nuts,
    We have the numbers but cannot organise, we are not ruthless enough
    Labour can no longer accept Bad Actors in the party, anyone who prefers a Tory government to a Socialist one needs to go, red line
    We need to speak with one Voice, agree slates of candidates, change to Proportional Representation and restore equity into economic system
    I’m from the 3rd sector, we step in when government and markets fail, it’s our job to keep them honest backed by Judiciary and Regulators
    Give us the teeth and we will bite bums

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