As the UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis accuses certain individuals in the Labour party of spreading the “insidious virus of anti-Semitism”, political scientist Norman Finkelstein says that certain party members are exaggerating the crisis for political gain.
The American Jewish author whose Israel ‘relocation’ map was shared on social media by Naz Shah, has condemned as ‘obscene’ the current Labour antisemitism row.
It was Finkelstein who first published the map at the center of the ongoing ‘anti-Semitism’ row and he has since defended the Bradford West MP who was suspended for sharing it on her Facebook page.
Russia Today reports:
A Jewish professor and author whose parents survived concentration camps during the Holocaust, Finkelstein claimed to have published the map entitled “Solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict – relocate Israel into United States” on his blog in 2014.
The image was then shared on Facebook by Shah before she became Labour MP for Bradford West in 2014. But that was enough to get her suspended from the party just last week when it came to light.
The professor said the original post was “funny” and said it was “obscene” for Shah to be compared to Adolf Eichmann by her colleague John Mann. In an interview with Open Democracy, he said politicians were “jostling for power and position” in the anti-Semitism row.
Finkelstein said: “All these desiccated Labour apparatchiks, dragging the Nazi Holocaust through the mud for the sake of their petty jostling for power and position. Have they no shame?”
Rabbi Mirvis said he was astonished to see figures on the “hard Left” defining the relationship between Judaism and Zionism. He also warned that “there must be no place for anti-Semitism in our politics”.
“Jews are frequently compared to the proverbial ‘canary in the coal mine’, an enduring signal for when the world is failing to meet its obligations in tackling bigotry,” he wrote in an article for the Telegraph.
The latest developments come after two more Labour councillors, Miqdad Al-Nuaimi and Terry Kelly, were reportedly suspended from the party for alleged anti-Semitic remarks.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron seized on the controversy and launched a scathing attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ Wednesday.
He reminded Corbyn of his previous description of Hamas and Hezbollah members as his “friends” and called on him to distance himself from that remark. Corbyn responded “I absolutely do not approve of those organizations.”
The war of words continued the day before the London mayoral elections where Labour’s Sadiq Khan goes head-to-head with Conservative politician Zac Goldsmith, who has been accused by Muslim groups of stirring up racial tensions by stressing Khan’s Islamic background.