Conservatives condemned by British Jewish leaders after MEPs vote to defend Hungary’s far-right Orban government

From The Independent: The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was “very concerning” that the Conservatives had chosen to defend Hungary’s “appalling track record” which they pointed out included both “vivid antisemitism” and islamophobia.

[Read article on Independent website…]

Scottish Tories youth wing chairman caught up in new anti-Semitism row

From The Courier: The chairman of the Scottish Conservatives’ youth wing has been accused of anti-Semitism after using a phrase developed by the Nazis.

James Bundy, an economics student at St Andrews University, posted on social media at the weekend about a BBC package about gender stereotypes and children that the corporation was using “his taxpayers money….to promote cultural Marxism” – sparking a backlash from some quarters.

The tweet was removed after The Courier asked the Tories about it, but Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer said it was “utterly unacceptable” for a leading figure within a mainstream political party to “use and normalise” a term which has such anti-Semitic underpinnings.

Cultural Marxism was a conspiracy theory developed in Nazi Germany to demonise Jews, and is a term consistently used by far-right groups such as the BNP.

Norwegian far-right mass murderer Anders Breivik also used the term over a hundred times in his “manifesto” before committing the Utoya Island massacre and Oslo bombing in July 2011.

[Read full article on The Courier website…]

“What the mainstream media don’t want you to know about anti-Semitism”

From Another Angry Voice: The mainstream media insist on presenting the anti-Semitism debate as if it’s a Labour-specific problem that’s getting worse under Jeremy Corbyn, when the actual evidence shows that anti-Semitic views are very much more common from Conservatives, and that rates of anti-Semitism have actually fallen dramatically amongst Labour supporters since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015.

Comparison of two YouGov surveys in 2015 and 2017 shows that rates oantiSemitism amongst Labour supporters has fallen dramatically, while the same polls show that anti-Semitism rates amongst Tory supporters is barely falling at all.

In 2015, 22% of Labour voters agreed with the statement that ‘Jews chase money more than other people’, whilst in 2017 the number of Labour voters agreeing with the statement had declined to 14%.

These results compare with 31% of Conservative voters who agreed with the statement that ‘Jews chase money more than other people’ in 2015, whilst in 2017 this had declined slightly to 27% who still agreed with the statement.

Tory supporters are almost twice as likely to agree with this anti-Semitic trope as Labour supporters, yet the mainstream press insist on portraying the anti-Semitism furore as if it’s a Labour-specific problem.

[Read full blog post on Another Angry Voice…]

The antisemitic traditions of the Tory Party

From Left Foot Forward: Organised antisemitism in Britain began with the British Brothers League, which from 1902 onwards mobilised the population of East London against Jewish immigrants seeking safety from the pogroms in their home countries.

Its leaders included two Conservative MPs, Major Sir William Evans-Gordan and Howard Vincent; its actions laid the ground for such mercifully minor successes as the British Union of Fascists, the Union Movement and the National Front were to enjoy in the East End in the decades that followed.

To take just one example of 1930s Tory antisemitism – and there are many, many more – Conservative MP Archibald Maule Ramsay headed an explicitly antisemitic organisation that went by the name of the Right Club.

Its aims were to ‘oppose and expose the activities of organised Jewry’, including alleged Jewish control of the Conservative Party.

Conservative prejudice against Jews run up to world war two was not confined to the wingnuts, either. As even sympathetic reviewers point out, biographers of future prime minister Harold Macmillan show up the man’s almost casual antisemitism. The most notorious example is Macmillan’s putdown of Jewish cabinet colleague Leslie Hore-Belisha as ‘Horeb-Elisha’, a reference to the mountain on which the Ten Commandments were handed down to Moses.

Macmillan and other senior Tories, including Viscount Cranbourne, eventually forced Hore-Belisha out of office in 1940, in the belief that his support for the war was primarily premised on his support for fellow Jews.

Read more