This is a guest post by John Bevan.
Comrades! With apologies for the short notice – if you’re at a loose end tomorrow and you live in London, this might be just the ticket. You will be warmly welcomed at the Confronting The Rise In Racism – Stand Up To Racism National Conference, which is being held at the Friends’ Meeting House on Euston Road from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The conference pledges to stamp out Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
Now I know what you might be thinking: you’re an observant Jew, you’d love to hear about how the conference plans to stamp out anti-Semitism (and of course Islamophobia, Which Must Always Be Mentioned In The Same Breath As Anti-Semitism, Along With Other Forms of Racism), but the timing just doesn’t work for you.
Fear not! Others will fight your corner. The conference is organised by Unite Against Racism, which has an impeccable record of fighting against anti-Semitism in all its forms, even if it on occasion omits millions of Jews from its list of those who perished in the Holocaust. The lead speaker appears to be Jeremy Corbyn himself, who needs no introduction. Ably supporting him are, among others:
- Diane Abbott, the new Shadow Home Secretary;
- Owen Jones (who, sadly, appears to have made a “choice” that is increasingly clear);
- UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt;
- Harun Rashid Khan, Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, whose website still carries a statement that trivialises the Holocaust by likening it to the Palestinian “genocide”;
- Salma Yacqoob, former leader of the Respect Party and current head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, who described the 7/7 bombings as “reprisal attacks”;
- David Rosenberg, recently seen deflecting concerns about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, by referring to Conservative policies from the 1930s;
- Malia “Zionist-led media” Bouattia, NUS President;
- and, of course, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg.
If you do manage to go along, I’m sure you’ll have a whale of a time and will leave thoroughly equipped to stamp out anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The best news? It finishes at 4:30 p.m. so, provided you don’t stick around for tea and biscuits afterwards, and as long as the traffic isn’t too bad, you’ll still be at home on time for the start of the England game. Heaven only knows which event will be worse.