Anti Fascism

Former anti-fascists

You may have read the reports on the disturbing rise of anti-semitic attacks in the UK:

13 FEBRUARY A London travel agency specialising in tours to Israel had “dirty Jew cunts, up the PLO” daubed on the outside

17 FEBRUARY A Jewish teenager’s jaw was shattered in three places by a gang in Southampton and he was subjected to a tirade of anti-Semitic abuse

1 MARCH A Jewish man was stabbed in his home by an assailant who shouted “I’m going to kill you, you fucking yid”

4 APRIL Gang of youths attacked a 12-year-old Jewish boy wearing a kippah. Doctors spent an hour and a half stitching cuts to his face after the assault

APRIL Letters were sent to several synagogues in London reading: “By almighty Allah you shall not escape Muslim justice with 1,000 assassins ready to strike in places that you gather”

15 MAY Anti-Israel demonstrators at Liverpool University made anti-Semitic remarks to Jewish students, calling them “Nazis” and “bleeding Jews”

25 MAY A Jewish man who was walking down a street in Manchester was attacked from behind and had CS gas sprayed in his face

12 JUNE Four youths smashed a bottle over the head of an Orthodox man as he walked home from the synagogue

15 JUNE A Jewish woman was violently attacked by three of her neighbours and severely beaten

17 JUNE An arson attack on a synagogue in north London caused extensive damage, including to prayer books rescued from the Nazis

29 JUNE A Jewish schoolboy on a bus in north London was attacked and repeatedly kicked by an Arab man who called him a Jew

29 JULY The words “Hitler was right, Israelis bomb babies” were etched into the side of a London Underground train

9 NOVEMBER The words “happy Kristallnacht, Combat 18” and “Jews Out” were painted on a doctor’s surgery on the anniversary of Kristallnacht in 1938

15 NOVEMBER A synagogue received a snuffbox containing excrement in the post

DECEMBER An Orthodox Jew in Stamford Hill, north London, had his nose broken in an assault

The Independent reports that: Jewish communities in London and Manchester were subjected to more than 400 attacks, and throughout the UK levels of anti-Semitism rose to the highest level since records began 20 years ago.

Anti-Semitic abuse rose by 42 per cent in 2004 to 532 incidents, including 83 assaults, mostly on visibly Jewish people. For the first time in five years, assaults outnumbered incidents of damage to property, including the desecration of synagogues and graveyards.

Here is SWP blogger ‘lenin’s’ reaction.

I would place a caveat on swallowing the item whole, because of the way the data is presented and because of the source (the Community Security Trust is an outfit affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a Zionist organisation with an agenda of supporting Israel

He then links approvingly to another blog where we find this:

The problem here is that the CST is part of the Zionist movement and, therefore, we have to view everything they say with, at best, scepticism. The fact that they are being so coy with the 2004 figures merely compounds the suspicion that they are not being cautious with their data, but cautious with their spin.

It is not uncommon for organisations which represent the communities of the victims of racist attacks to compile data on such attacks and the reaction to them. I don’t recall anyone suggesting we should be sceptical of their reports or urging caveats be added to them and I’ve never heard any reason why we should doubt such reports.

I do however recall people arguing that we should not believe what we read in Searchlight magazine because it was produced by Jews. The people who put forward that argument were fascists and neo-Nazis.

What has led these supposed anti-racists to doubt the reports of a Jewish organisation about anti-semitic attacks? Well, they don’t like the fact that the CST said: many of the attacks were “a reaction to events in the Middle East”.

They don’t like this line of argument but they aren’t capable of putting forward an alternative explanation for the rise in attacks which comes at a time when there has been increasing hostility to Israel.

In fact the SWP blogger does, at the end of his post, touch upon the argument:

Bullshit. The ‘demonisation’ of one of the world’s most militarily powerful states with an atrocious human rights records could only contribute to increased anti-Semitism if someone was going around claiming that Israel represents the Jews, speaks for them, acts on their behalf and is effectively their voice in the world. Who would be so odious and ridiculous as to do such a thing?

In other words, even if it is true that the violence is linked to the Middle East, the blame for the attacks on individual Jews in the UK is placed on those whose position he distorts in his sarcastic caricature – those Jews who support the existence of Israel.

Jews being blamed for anti-semitism – I’ve heard that one before as well.

Update: ‘lenin’ replies.