Anti-Semitism and where to find it, an old problem with a new twist.

And are UK universities part of this problem?

A university problem?A university problem?
Bill Clinton once said he smoked cannabis but did not inhale, but who believed this? Clinton did seem to struggle with that heady mix of truth and logic on a number of occasions. He is not alone with this problem. We are told that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the UK. We are also told it is possible to be anti-Israel but this does not amount to being anti-Semitic. Once again this is hard to credit, for a number of reasons, not least being the people who say this. As they, like Clinton, are not very convincing. To be against a country but not its people sounds like Clintonism on a grand scale. After all what is a country without its people? And it's not good enough to do the relabel trick popular with the Left, to substitute the word Zionism for Israel. As if to make it seem like an abstract concept rather than a real place. This is a sleight that fools nobody but speaks volumes about those who would try such a thing.

So where do we find this rising tide? All sorts of places, but the Labour Party and universities are something of a treasure trove and there is an entwining of these two. As there is between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. This happens because the Left have pulled another moral equivalence stunt, they lump these two things together. This is wrong. In so many words they say you get anti-Semitism because you have Islamophobia. This is also wrong.

With the Labour party we see that Corbyn decided to try to face up to the charge he was leading the largest anti-Semitic party in Europe and have an inquiry. Alas things did not go well for this venture. Corbyn tried and failed, as the inquiry was led by Shami Chakrabarti. She joined the Labour Party just a few hours after she had been given the job of producing a report, there was about two months of testimony taken and then the report published. Then just months after that she became a Labour Peer sitting in the House of Lords with a position in the Shadow Cabinet. The whole process of elevation of Chakrabarti and the nature of her report did nothing to quell the charge of anti-Semitism against the Labour Party, quite the reverse. Even Deputy Leader Tom Watson summed up the situation, post report, as a 'mistake'. And it was, being too rushed, led by the wrong sort of person, a party member and not an independent authority and too bland. The bottom line of the Chakrabarti report being Labour is 'no worse' than other parties when it comes to anti-Semitism. So yet more of the moral equivalence, 'they' do it so why not us? An obvious attempt to dilute the main charge against them.

The problem with the Corbyn approach was that his party has a long tradition of anti-Semitism and he failed to understand this. His party likes to imagine that only the far-Right can be anti-Semitic, the Left, being morally superior are incapable of this. However, the fact is there has been a steady trickle of blatant anti-Semitic cases for the party to deal with over a long period of time. Also that the public perception was this behaviour is centred on the Labour Party and not a general political problem as suggested by Chakrabarti. Furthermore, the handling of these cases has been inept and is damaging the party. Of the Chakrabarti report, the Board of Deputies said it -

“fails to explore the history of anti-Semitism, including anti-Zionist anti-Semitism, on the Left. There has too often been an attitude that, ‘We are on the Left, therefore we cannot be racist,’ whereas in fact there is, sadly, a long-standing tradition of anti-Semitism in parts of the Left that should be recognized, acknowledged and defeated.”

Rod Liddle, who says he joined the party in 1978, wrote his thoughts on this subject, also here and got suspended from the Labour Party for it, so he claims. Liddle suggested that there had always been a tendency towards anti-Semitism in some strands of UK life, including the Labour movement. However, it was now hard not to spot that the rising tide of anti-Semitic sentiment within the party sat alongside a rising number of Muslim members. There was uproar and Owen Jones called Liddle 'racist' and an Islamophobe. This is the default position that people who criticise Islam find themselves in. It's a comment that through over-use has lost its meaning. As an aside let's not forget that an obvious phobia found in the world of Islam is that of being anti-gay. Jones would do well to remember this and be more cautious, or perhaps he is unaware how foolish he looks with his standardised comment.

Also it's worth going back to what Maureen Lipman said about the now infamous Naz Shah tweet. In 2014 Shah was holding the same views as Livingstone and like him content to make them public. By 2015 she had become the Labour MP for Bradford and her views gained wider prominence it was this that led to trouble and the support from Livingstone. However, her views have long been recognised as 'normal politics in Bradford'. Lipman, like Liddle once a Labour party member, has very neatly summed up the situation in her article -

The fact that she should never, after such a tweet, have been accepted as a candidate is another subject. Mind you, I see the Labour party’s problem. Whom do you select to replace George Galloway when Genghis Khan is already dead?

The likes of Corbyn, Livingstone, Shah and Khan are well understood by Lipman and she goes on -

The more anti-Semitic Labour’s private agenda is, the more votes they get from those millions who are programmed to hate and fear us. Corbyn and Sadiq Khan and Livingstone have embraced and entertained those who incite the murder of Jews and the destruction of the Jewish state. Corbyn knew the provocateurs, extremists and infiltrators in his party but prevaricated.

Khan, the Mayor of London is notable for his relaxed approach to the Al-Quds march yet got into a terrible tizzy about the election of Trump. It's also interesting that in the article above the police describe the provocative comments displayed on the march as, "It's just an opinion”. You get opinions on social media but the police are known to have a very different approach there. But then the whole approach to 'hate crime' is a farce.

And leaving the Labour Party we look at the universities. Helped by their time at university the youth of the UK are very much up to speed on the tripos, pro-EU, pro-Palestine and anti-Semitic. The recently deposed leader of the National Union of Students, Malia Bouattia, once described the University of Birmingham as “an outpost of Zionism”, but also pledged to “fight racism”. Clearly for this person words mean whatever she wants them to mean. Thus we find she calls herself 'black'. She is not. But has adopted this description as a political tool, as many other of her type do. Much as it's common in the arts for celebs and would-be-celebs to make a fuss of their ethnic background, 'my Grandmother was Irish',for example. At which point we are supposed to tilt our heads while we cluck and coo with approval at the disclosure of this tit-bit. Or so they hope. However, rural Ireland is either too good for them or too boring so they are forced to scrape along in, usually, London. Which is awash with people from the foothills of distant lands to the point where the truly unusual and exotic folk are Cockneys!

But all the effort and hard work from Bouattia during her term in office was not in vain as a number of universities questioned the value of their affiliation to the NUS because of her actions. This, we may suppose, may be called racist! Attempts to influence student life are clear, as is their origin. Dr Lee Rotherham has written a research paper about this. It's a complex subject but clearly heading the list of those who would seek to influence is the EU. Also mentioned by Rotherham is the money from Islamic countries. They spend less but have nothing to complain about as are very influential. So perhaps it is no accident that anti-Semitism is so rife in universities.

Many graduates and post graduates seemed to be totally indoctrinated on this. They are gulled by the concept of Islamophobia, and fail to spot the 'statistics' on 'hate crime' are wholly corrupted and worthless.

Years ago higher education was supported by a grant paid to the student and there were strict entry requirements for courses. It was if the universities were nationalised and run for state rather than student benefit. Then we moved into university expansion on a grand scale. This ushered in the idea of running a university as a business, the income, like student numbers, went up but alas it looks like the quality went the other way.

We now have a university and education network where the management are wholly fixated on expansion as if the profit and prestige will as automatically follow. While on the other hand the students fuss about trivia. Student unions have sought to ban sombreros, clapping, whooping and cheering at their functions, we may assume this is all part of their desire to create a 'safe space' for students. Although quite what the danger is if these things were allowed to happen is never stated.

Now students pay for their education, or usually their parents do, their approach to education has more in common with consumer law than anything else. If you buy a pair of shoes you expect them to be fit for purpose. Likewise graduates expect to be taken seriously, if you question their pearls of wisdom on a subject in rather a huffy mood they say they have 'done a course' on this so continue to parrot out the half truths. But then perhaps we should feel sorry for them, the lecturers being simply older but not wiser?

They cannot think for themselves it's as if the more they 'learn' the less they question. Traditionally a university education was a basic process, you learnt to learn. Not now. So the PC position on Islamism, climate change and the EU is all they get, which they absorb without question. Just look at the last few student leaders of the NUS, narcissistic and gormless. One historian has claimed that applicants to read history at Cambridge muddle up historical fact with the novels of Hilary Mantel.

Following the wave of terrorism in London the PM seems on the verge of 'doing something' about Islamism, or at least that's how the talk goes. Already journalists are saying there must be a debate about what to do, however, firmly embedded in Islamism is anti-Semitism. Also what is the point of yet more talk from the likes of Ken Livingstone? And who else would speak, Vice Chancellors of our universities?

Douglas Murray has summed up the situation of our politicians and university staff in the light of the Manchester atrocity. Salman Abedi was a student at Salford university and Murray asks -

For instance, still nobody wants to ask what responsibility should be apportioned to Salford University where the Manchester bomber was recently a student. There seems very little interest in the fact that the Vice Chancellor when Abedi entered the university (Martin Hall) was vocally opposed to the UK government’s only counter-extremism strategy, which encourages people to report signs of radicalisation among students (see, for instance, here) Nor does anyone seem very interested in the fact that the current President of the Student Union – Zamzam Ibrahim – has a very interesting set of views. And not just that she has spent her time ‘representing’ Salford’s students by campaigning against the government’s only counter-extremism strategy. Ms Ibrahim has spent recent days deleting and making private various of her online profiles. Though not fast enough. Among the questions this enlightened young woman was asked on her now-deleted ask.fm profile was ‘Can there be friendship between a man and a woman’. Her short answer: ‘NO. More interesting is her answer to the question ‘What’s the one book you think everyone should be required to read?’ Her answer:‘The Quraan [sic], We would have an Islamic takeover!’

All of which points to many specific questions and one overriding one: Why don’t we want to know? Why must the activities of officials like Martin Hall and Zamzam Ibrahim be of no interest? Has our society got zero interest in working out what might produce people like Abedi? The fact is – once again – that we may ask the question but we don’t want to hear the answer. Because if what all these things suggest is true then we could be in serious trouble. Perhaps we are.