JVL Introduction

Feelings of fury at Margaret Hodge’s recent remarks are spreading.

The comparison she made – of receiving a disciplinary letter and being hounded out Nazi Germany in fear of one’s life – has outraged many Jews, as reported in EvolvePolitics and elsewhere.

As has her extraordinary remark that “There’s a very fine line between being pro-Palestinian – the Palestinian cause, which [Corbyn has] always believed in – and being antisemitic. And I think he’s gone the wrong side of that line.”

It is, as David Rosenberg argues forcefully, a license to subject any open campaigning for Palestinian human rights among Labour members to forensic scrutiny, and having to continually prove that it isn’t antisemitic. Guilty until proved innocent.


Margaret Hodge suffers backlash from all sides after comparing Labour disciplinary to Nazi Germany

Tom D. Rogers, EvolvePolitics
16th August 2018


The Jewish Labour MP who faced disciplinary action by the party after reportedly screaming in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s face and calling him a “f*cking antisemite” has faced a widespread backlash from all sides, including many in the Jewish community, after comparing her treatment by the Labour Party to Nazi Germany.

Despite the Labour Party dropping any disciplinary action against her more than a week ago, Dame Margaret Hodge reportedly told Sky News in an a interview this evening that she ‘felt the same fear her father would have felt when he was fleeing Nazi Germany when she found out Labour had opened disciplinary proceedings against her’.

This article includes reactions from David Baddiel, Andrew Feinstein and many others:

For the rest of this article click here



Who is stepping over a line?

David Rosenberg, davesrebellion
17 August 2018


Last night I was outraged by Margaret Hodge’s disgusting abuse of the Jewish experience in the Holocaust to shield her appalling behaviour over a political difference with labour leader jeremy Corbyn on how the Labour Party combats antisemitism.

Today I’ve been getting more and more wound up by her outrageous assertion in the same interview (or rather “platform” – because in an interview you might be challenged), that there is “a very thin line” between supporting Palestinian rights and antisemitism.

She claimed that Jeremy Corbyn had crossed that line ( slandering him again as an antisemite, with the same lack of evidence but more self-control).

What an insult to the Palestinian people, living as refugees in exile or under occupation for so many decades, to believe that their assertion of their rights and their campaigning for human dignity might, at any moment, tip into antisemitism.

What a clear example of how the dubious IHRA examples will work in the Labour Party should they be accepted – any open campaigning for Palestinian human rights among Labour members will be forensically scrutinised, and have to continually prove that it wasn’t antisemitic. Guilty until proved innocent.

The only line connecting support for Palestinian rights and antisemitism should be a line of solidarity – for one, and against the other – as the fight against antisemitism and for Palestinian rights are actually part of the same fight… if you believe in equality.

But then again, I’m not convinced that advocates of Labour Friends of Israel such as Hodge and her backing vocalists Berger, Smeeth and Austin, and their transparent propaganda to defend the indefensible actions of the Israeli military under both Labour and Likud governments, have any conception of equal rights for Palestinians.

The Holocaust clearly features high in Margaret Hodge’s consciousness. It must do  because she keeps mentioning it in her political squabbles. I wonder, then, if she has heard of Marek Edelman, Jewish socialist, internationalist and anti-Zionist, second in command in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising?

He fought against fascist hooligans in Poland before the war, was incarcerated by the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto, fought in the guerilla battles of the Uprising for three weeks, escaped through the sewers after the Nazis burnt the ghetto to the ground, and hid with non-Jewish Polish socialists in Warsaw until the end of the war.

He came out of hiding to fight alongside other ghetto survivors and with fellow socialist Poles in the ’44 Warsaw Uprising.

Staying in Poland after the war Edelman held fast to his principles of equality and internationalism and was a fighter for human rights not jsut for Jews but for all, for freedom and dignity for all peoples, until he died in 2009.

And he absolutely detested Zionism – what it did to the Palestinians and how it continued to oppress them. He made contact with Palestinian students in Poland, and through his professional life (as a cardiologist) with Mustapha Barghouti, a prominent Palestinian doctor and human rights activist in the Occupied Territories.

edleman

Edelman saw no distinction and no contradiction at all between fighting for peace with justice and full equality for Palestinians, and fighting to his last breath against any expression of antisemitism. He did both courageously to the best of his ability at every stage of his life.

His motto for Jews was “Always with the oppressed. Never with the oppressors”.

I wonder if Hodge would have dared to suggest to this Holocaust fighter and survivor that his support for Palestinians might at any moment cross “a very thin line” into antisemitism?