UK Anti-Semitism and Wiley Intersectionality
Wiley’s tweets show how bad distractions can get and it’s bad for campaigns of People of Colour
This week, our company brand account particpated in the 48 hour boycott of twitter. For us, this was a controversial decision and while this didn’t come with much surprise, or concern, for me personally, the reality is it did raise the question of why a person of colour, of Arab lineage no less, and a supporter of the Palestinian state, would support “the Jewish State”.
For me, the answer is a pretty straightforward. The democratically elected Israeli government are completely seperate from both the people of Isreal and Jews around the world. A controversial view for many in itself, on both sides of the divide.
If you’re not familiar with the Arab-Israeli conflict, I’m not going to do that 60 year story any justice in this article. Suffice to say several strategies have been employed by successive Israeli Governments, with certain international support (specifically the USA), that led to reduced Palastinian influence; illegal land occupations; settlements in Palastinian land and the disputed territories. Occupations were violent and many also killed western human rights protesters and aid workers who were bulldozed without international outcry, or incident.
That must confuse you even more. Why woud I’d support a twitter boycott, let alone support it through the brand account? Let me take you on that journey.
Point 1: The Israeli Government and Jews around the world are not the same!
Jews are also as diverse as everyone else is
I know. It’s cliche. That doesn’t change the facts though.
The Israeli government are democratically elected representatives of the Israeli people. Like all parties, Likud aren’t for all jews. Not least because all jews don’t live inside Israel. I certainly know and have Jewish friends (pick your jaw up) who are very left of centre, stood in solidarity for Palastinians and cannot stand the current Israeli government and the last one… and the one before.
This shouldn’t surprise us. Looking at our own elected reps here in the UK, not everyone here wanted Boris Johnson or the Conservatives and they still don’t. The same is true in Israel. Similarly, the results of the last Israeli General Election, held after the Knesset voted to disolve itself in December 2019, did not result in 100% support for centre-right/right-wing Likud party. Indeed, the current Knesset is led by a coalition as the majority threshold of 61 seats wasn’t met. A similar hung Parliament was seen in the UK in 2017. The results show how far away Likud were from a majority and how big the new more centrist, Blue and White alliance, are. The idea Israel, Israeli people and Jews are one, homogenous mass, is entirely false.
In third place, was the Israeli-Arab alliance led by Ayman Odeh. An Arab-Israeli lawyer. The party gained two more seats in the Knesset this year. With the current US adminstation erosion of all progress made in the region in the last 50 years, and the unilateral declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, most people have forgotten the movement that led to Arabs standing for election and being elected inside the Knesset.
The Neturei Karta (NK) are an ultra-orthodox subsect fo Heradi Jews who oppose Zionism and campaign for the dismantling of the State of Israeli. They have long stood on the same side of Palestine.
By all accounts, NK have also been the victims of IDF brutality. With many sustaining major injuries in these assaults.
A very real risk with Trump’s plans for Israel, is further occupation and a reduction in Palastinian populations and voting constituencies. Risking a gerrymandered vote and removal of democratic participation for this portion of people. A direct breach of international human rights law birthed after the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis and Russia during World War 2. However, the agency and capacity for that choice is made by the Israeli government and as a representative democracy, them alone. Not Jews all worldwide, even if they do support the same ideas.
With Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial underway, it’s clear Israel’s elected reps are subject to the same justice, and fallibilities, that the UK and USA are. Israel have a corresponding judiciary and justice process as part of that. Jews are not the primitive “race of illuminati-savages” misinformed and naive commentators like Wiley would have us believe.
Point 2: Persecution, in all its forms, is wrong. Especially unchecked
Intersectional Hate is Still Hate
I know another apparently naive statement. Though this is a period of reminder.
This twitter boycott comes at a time of renewed civil rights campaigning in the USA and around the world. The Black Lives Matter movement is in full swing and civil right protests are matching those of the USA in 1960s. During the US civil rights protests of the 1960s, Martin Luther King is famously quoted in support of the State of Israel. Sometimes, privately, he was furious that his words were taken out of context, he didn’t have unwavering support for Zionism. His arguments were for economic peace.
In his article in the Time of Israel, historian and Middle Eastern studies lecturer Martin Kramer argued King’s support for Isreal’s existence put a lot of people off and that King would argue for Israel to trade land for peace. King had the foresight to state that it would only exacerbate bitterness. 53 years later, this remains true.
“It’s not that King didn’t have a solution in mind for the region. He believed that the Palestinian refugee problem, if not the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole, could best be resolved through “a Marshall Plan for the Middle East, where we lift those who are at the bottom of the economic ladder and bring them into the mainstream of economic security.” Today that would be called “economic peace,” and it’s had a succession of champions, up to and including Jared Kushner.
On one occasion right after the 1967 war, King echoed the proposition that Israel should trade land for peace with the defeated Arab states: “I think for the ultimate peace and security of the situation it will probably be necessary for Israel to give up this conquered territory because to hold on to it will only exacerbate the tensions and deepen the bitterness of the Arabs.” (This was in a televised interview on June 18.) His position was in line with the emerging American view that Israel’s conquests, while neither illegal nor immoral, should be exchanged for peace.”
It’s only a matter of time before white civil rights protestors are summararily executed by the state, albeit covert police “kidnappings” are already taking place against protestors. We’ve probably seen footage of Oregon’s unmarked police cars detaining protestors. There’s no visible signal of arrest and as such anybody could have taken them and in theory, can do, by green lighting “rabbit in the headlights” mental space necessary for a lynching. All someone needs, is a bit of “official looking” equipment, a people carrier, a gun and stab/bullet proof vest, all readily available to US consumers, and they’re suddenly “police” in the heat of protest.
Point 3: The Far-Right are Pulling those Strings
The far-right have been looking for ways to sow division between minorities and wider society, for a very long time. If they could get minority groups to fight amongst themselves and do their bidding for them, even better! It costs them nothing and they can take over the rest of society or carry out further abuses, while their opposition are busy fighting each other. If you’ve been following my math based political rants over the last year, you’ll note that we’re now past the 2019 General Election and the predictions have come to pass, exactly as predicted. To see through it, you have to sit and do the maths. 3 way games are not the same as two person games and the civil rights movements are being taught lessons in decoys, false flags and destractions by far-right fugureheads, hell bent on making their enemies destroy each other while they take over the rest of the space.
Wiley’s attack on Jews, completely misdirected fault and provides the necessary space for the far-right, society’s even bigger enemy, to slaughter his movement while he’s taking on “Jews” [when it shoud be Likud] instead of the “establishment”. Diluting the Black Lives Matter movement, not enhancing it and allowing Oregon and other police states in the USA, to fall off the newsreels, allowing persecutions to go on unhindered.
This is also something the previous Labour leadship seemed oblivious to. Anti-semitism in the Labour party, whatever the merits of the case, was badly handles within the party’s walls. It put the Labout party on the defensive for 4 years and together with their totally useless stance on leaving the EU, a stance which protected the far-right’s agenda, and the successful smearing carried out by the Conservative opposition, contributed to the loss of the 2019 UK General Election by the biggest margin in 84 years, while giving the right-wing government “mandate” to persecute and free reign to move without any resistance. Albeit Kier Starmer is doing a much better job of that.
Point 4: Never Conflate Nationality, Religion and Ethnicity
This is for all sides of the debate.
In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights established 30 articles forming the inalienable foundations of international human rights law. It’s enforcement through the International Bill of Rights and regional and national laws, including the US First Amendment, the UK Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights, create the baseline compliance with every other equality and workers rights law in every signatory’s statute.
In it, it segregates nationality, citizenship and religion and with that, the rights of people of all humanity. In the 1930s and 40s, German Jews were stripped of their citizenship and effectively ceased to be citizens of Germany before the Holocaust. Dehumanising 6 million people before removing those humans from existence altogether. Amongst many abuses, these laws prevent a government from removing citzenship and deporting people of particular ethnic and religious backgrounds.
In very recent years, there have been two major moved to breach these laws.
- Amendments to the Indian Citizenship Act by the Indian Government — this explicitly prevents certain Muslim assylum seekers seeking refuge after 2014, from obtaining Indian citizenship. This does not apply to any other group of people. While the Constitutional Amendment Bill is couched in the language of assylum, it should have provided refuge for persecuted Muslims, such as the Ahmadi (Pakistan) or Rohingya (Myanmar) perseecuted minorities. but it has not.
- The recent Israeli Government’s move to make citizenship dependent on follower of Judaism, means some marriages are delegitimised. Since reversion to Judaism is a condition for most and the Israeli Government’s move would strip citizenship and nationality rights from both Jews and non-jewish Israelis, like Israeli-Arab groups above.
The very reason citizenship and religion are not linked in Human rights statute is due to its use by Nazi’s when exterminating Jews during WW2. Any attempt to change that segregation, opens a gaping, dehumanising hole through which far-right groups will persecute. Thus must not be allowed to happen and must be enforces through international law (though I am under no illusions this will not come to pass).
Entho-theo-nationalism is a disaster of a combination, has no moral or religious foundation and is solely there for persecution. The UK far-right used it to persecute muslims; neo-nazis (the far-right) use it to persecute Black people and Jews; ISIS (the far-right) used it to persecute everyone! Including muslims and the murder of several western citizens. Citizens of the UK who were secular, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. There is no way such a coupling should be permitted! Though it’s worth saying all politcal wings are responsible for violations of human rights laws. China, a communist state, is also doing this with the Rohingya muslims.
However, again, the movement Wiley should be riling agianst is the Israeli Government run by Likud. That narrow band of right-wing elected official iniside a narrow band of “Zionism” inside a narrow band of the State of Israel, which is a narrow group of a diverse human race, globally speaking. This isn’t a “Jewish conspiracy”!
What Wiley did, was broadcast racial and religious hatred and the far-right, his haters, are loving him for it!
It’s no great secret I’m against persecution and bias in all its forms. I’m unequivocal. Anti-semitism is racism. While I personally refuse to accept different “tiers” or segments of racism, there are places where such differentials exist in statute-books, including our own. A direct breach of human rights that must be abolished worldwide.
Tying in etho-nationalism can’t be allowed to happen, by any side. Since this places any elected government beyond scruitiny and is ideal for far-right groups to breed. Exploiting that as a shield to persecute people and hiding from critics behind claims of anti-semitism while further eroding and breaching the rights of its people. A violation of Article 30 of the UDHR.
As we’ve done with Black Lives Matter, a campaign I’m personally very passionate about, brands also need to take a stand against hatred overall. I have no regrets about the stance we took this week. But if I need to say it, we won’t be party to silencing scruitiny. That’s a fundamental part of democratic participation. Not on my watch!