Defining antisemitism

Margaret Hodge was on R4 this morning saying that someone who said on social media that Israel is a racist state is an antisemite and would be classed as such by the 'full' IHRA definition, which is what she wanted. The full IHRA definition's adoption will result in teams of Blairites trawling through the social media accounts of leftwingers looking for such comments in order to report folk and get them suspended/disciplined (as they did to many thousands of Labour members during the last leadership contest in order to prevent them voting for Corbyn). This is antisemitism weaponised, and is precisely why Kenneth Stern, who drafted the source document for the IHRA definition, now rejects his own definition. It's a threat to free speech (POSTSCRIPT & CORRECTION: this is not substantiated in fact, as Stern only says his definition ought not to be enforced on campus; however, the arguments he makes for not enforcing it on campus appear to apply equally re. Labour Party membership).

The example Hodge wants in, and which Stern, who effectively drafted it, now expresses concerns about, is:

'Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.'

Stern explains one problem with this example below (if you want to see his whole testimony go to:…/…/Stern-Testimony-11.07.17.pdf )

Why do self-styled defenders of free speech (like Nick Cohen) who are justifiably quick to attack when bogus accusation of Islamophobia are used to stifle free speech on campus (e.g. the Mariam Namazie case), want this definition adopted by Labour given that, as Stern also says below, it will have the exact same chilling effect?


Philip Rand said…
The Barflour Declaration was the legal instrument for the national home for the Jewish people.

Therefore claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour is indeed anti-Semitic.
Philip Rand said…
What is hysterically funny concerning the Stern testimony is that when the testimony is maximumly summarised one ends up with this main point:

Further, we have seen instances where students seen by others as progressive, even J-Street students who are Zionist and against BDS, have been harassed and threatened, by other Jews.21 Last May, at the University of California Irvine, former Israeli Defense Forces soldiers visited the campus and a Jewish student told me he was repeatedly told as a Jewish student that I am not a real Jew, that I dont deserve to be Jewish given my support for Palestinian rights, and that I should take off my kippah.

Meaning, adopting the definition legally would endanger the lives of Jewish people! Hysterical....