Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Expect to hear a lot tomorrow about the IHRA Definition. But it is the problem. Not anything to do with a Corbyn Labour Leadership that now seems much longer ago than it really was. The IHRA Definition.
It is wrong to tell Israelis to “go home” when the State of Israel was founded in the year that the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. That point is not best made by anyone who supports Donald Trump, since he tells even Ayanna Pressley to “go home”, despite the fact that her ancestors must have been in what is now the United States for 400 years, unlike his or those of any of his children.
The Oxford English Dictionary sufficiently defines anti-Semitism as “Hostility to or prejudice against Jews”. The IHRA Definition is a denial of BAME, migrant and refugee, and therefore working-class, experience redolent of the Windrush scandal and of the fire at Grenfell Tower. In curtailing criticism of a foreign state, the IHRA Definition is incompatible with national sovereignty.
The denial of the ancient indigenous Christian presence in the Holy Land, where it created modern Palestinian identity, contributes significantly to the worldwide persecution of Christians. The Palestinian Christians’ ancestors predated the Israelite Conquest, they founded Jerusalem, and they became Christian when or before the Roman Empire did.
And one’s attitude to the Palestinian struggle is the litmus test of one’s attitude to the specific phenomenon of white violence against people of colour throughout the world, including in Britain. The proposed registration of Black Lives Matter as a political party ought to scare the life out of the IHRA-compliant Labour Party of a former Director of Public Prosecutions.
All in all, it not surprising that only 31 countries in the world have adopted the IHRA Definition, and that 130 of our own 343 local authorities, more than one third, have also declined to do so.
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