Thursday, September 28, 2017

Facing Palestinianism and raw antisemitism at the Labour Party Conference 2017 - by David Collier

...Palestinianism is a disease that is anathema to freedom, to debate, to openness and to human rights. It will infect those who catch the disease with antisemitism just as it provides them with the denial mechanism to protest their innocence.

David Collier..
Across the Great Divide..
28 September '17..

I have spent all week in Brighton, at the 2017 Labour Party Conference. This was my first visit to the conference. As someone who dislikes the ideological straitjacket of political affiliation, it will probably be my last.

From the suffocating presence of ‘Palestinian solidarity’ to an obvious tolerance for rabid antisemites, this week was deeply unsettling. There were times where the atmosphere was scary. How do we confront growing antisemitism? More importantly how dangerous is the growing antisemitism inside the Labour party, a confident party, that sees itself as the next government?

At the Conference

The venue, the Brighton centre. I have the conference programme in my hand. About 150 stalls in total, spread out on the several floors of the Centre. Each person at the conference is given a name tag, worn by placing a ‘lanyard’ around the neck. The PSC had brought ‘Palestine Solidarity’ lanyards, and it is clearly the item they want everyone to take from their stall.

I also note they have ‘runners’, people walking off with several PSC lanyards in their hands. One was looking for people running other stalls, who were willing to wear them. This badge of identification was eventually seen on many of the visiting crowd. It is both a brilliant PR strategy and is symbolic of an aggressive movement that works on sectarian identity politics, spreading throughout the Labour undergrowth.

What is ‘Palestine Solidarity’?

And this is exactly where the Labour Party problem with antisemitism begins. For most Jews, this situation is deeply unsettling. There is a fundamental misunderstanding in the Labour Party, that is based on profound ignorance, of exactly what ‘Palestine Solidarity’ actually means.

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