February 17, 2016

Something rotten about allegations of antisemitism in the Oxford University Labour Club

I first caught wind of these allegations of antisemitism within the Oxford University Labour Club from Harry's Place.  I immediately suspected that the allegations were false not simply because they appeared on Harry's Place but because they have come in the wake of the OULC deciding to support Israel Apartheid Week on campus, something which, of itself, is clearly not antisemitic.

Now look at the quote in the Harry's Place post:
“Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explitictly [sic] defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former Co-Chair claiming that ‘most accusations of antisemitism are just the Zionists crying wolf’, a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews. The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targetting [sic] and harassing Jewish students and inviting antisemitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is”.
It all looks very strawman. Let's break it down a bit:
 members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon.
The term, "Zio" is simply short for Zionist and is not confined to sites run by the Klan.
 senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explitictly [sic] defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, 
Solidarity with armed resistance to Israel whatever form it takes is not, of itself, antisemitic.Of course if attacks are indiscriminate or target civilians then that is to be condemned but the failure or refusal to do so or even to support such attacks is not of itself antisemitic.
a former Co-Chair claiming that ‘most accusations of antisemitism are just the Zionists crying wolf’ 
Most allegations of antisemitism are false and many are themselves antisemitic.
a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews.
This isn't just vacuous, it's antisemitic as it conflates Jews, Zionists and Israel.  That of course is without noting the absence of any links, names or anything that could qualify as evidence.

Now, given the flimsy and inarticulately expressed nature of the charges I would hope for this to be a repeat of the Zionists' biggest public humiliation involving false allegations of antisemitism.  I'm referring to the Fraser v University and College Union case which had the great and the good of the Zionist movement in the UK denounced by the tribunal as a bunch of "exaggerators, manipulators and arrogant liars".  But whereas this latest batch of allegations hasn't gone forensic it has got more legs than the FUCU case did.  Harry's Place has run the *story* as have The Telegraph (twice*) and The Guardian. Ironically one of the Telegraph pieces was written by one of the people described as an arrogant liar by the FUCU tribunal, Jeremy Newmark.  Now that might be a good omen for the cause of truth.  The problem right now is that it is all evidence free mud slinging and the sellouts at the Labour Party have decided to take the Zio's seriously but let's just see what happens.

*Woops. three times

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