“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for February 7th, 2011

Symptomatic of A Much Wider Trend.

with 10 comments

Regular readers will know that two consistent themes of this blog are: internationalism and antifascism, so I like blogs and people that take an interest in them too.

One I always enjoy reading is Bob from Brockley, which is an excellent blog, with erudite links and an informed level of discussion.

More recently, a guest post at Bob’s commented on the crude intervention by John Hamilton of Lewisham’s People Before Profit.

I can’t say I know much of Hamilton, but the debate at Bob’s illustrated his actions and what conclusions might reasonably be drawn from them. Basically, Hamilton shouted at a Rabbi whilst he was speaking on Holocaust Memorial Day to Lewisham Council, as the post says:

“As he listed various genocides, John Hamilton the leader of Lewisham People Before Profit shouted at the Rabbi “Gaza”, as if the Rabbi ought to apologise himself for the events in Palestine. The Rabbi added, “Gaza”, and lit the candle. Hamilton obviously thought it appropriate to ask a Jew to apologise for the events in Israel – regardless of the fact that the Rabbi lives in the UK.”

It would be far too easy to say that “John Hamilton is a racist” and that would be the end of the discussion, but I would very much doubt that he is, rather as Bob has argued:

“I don’t see Hamilton’s comment as unique or uniquely awful, but rather as symptomatic as a much wider trend…”

It is that insensitivity, that vulgar brutish way of shouting at Jews, of being disruptive on HMD that characterises an increasing intolerance towards Jews, and in the end leads to the rise of anti-Jewish racism, in the wider society.

It is a lamentable situation, and before anyone replies, please ask yourself what often characterises racist sentiment in society: an uncaring, insensitive, crude, brutish attitude towards others, and then think about the implications of John Hamilton’s actions.