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

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.

10 Responses

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  1. […] Update: Modernity’s comments that this is symptomatic of a much wider trend. […]

  2. Regular readers will know that exaggerating anti-semitism and trying to label anti-zionism as such is a constant theme of this blog’s author.
    One word shouted, and the Rabbi added it to the list. Not a lot of vulgarity, brutishness or disruption. Of course if you want to make a mountain out of a molehill…

    Perhaps more symptomatic of a wider trend is the insistence that Muslims have to be super-patriotic to avoid being labelled as enemies.


    07/02/2011 at 18:44

  3. You are out of order, and not welcome here.

    I won’t say it twice.


    07/02/2011 at 18:50

  4. The suggestion that this racism or that racism is more of a problem, the horrific moral calculus of victimhood, that trivialises Islamophobia by exaggerating antisemitism or vice versa (as in the phrase “more symptomatic…”) is deeply pernicious and completely counter to anti-racist politics.


    07/02/2011 at 19:42

  5. And who is “insisting” that Selma Yaqoob stand up to honour someone who risked a lot fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan? She chose to sit down when other councillors were standing up; no one insisted she stand up when they were sitting down. And what is super-patriotic about clapping someone who risks their life to throw themselves against a tripwire grenade to save his comrades’ lives?


    07/02/2011 at 19:47

  6. Bob,

    You may tolerate skidmarx, but I don’t have to.

    He’ll happily confuse the issues over Gilad Atzmon’s racism or alison weir, CounterPunch’s racism, etc

    He should know better, and in spite of your best efforts he hasn’t shown the slightest inclination to
    1) educate himself on these topics
    2) acknowledge when he’s wrong
    3) make any effort to understand anti-Jewish racism in a comprehensive way

    Now that might be understandable if he were a thicko, but as we know he’s a highly educated Oxbridge graduate, with years of political experience and presumably some grounding in antiracism.

    But that never comes through.

    So there is NO common ground for discussion, most of his comments are inarticulate, bitty and incomplete, frankly I don’t have the time or appetite to discuss things with someone who clearly is a windup merchant and ignorant to boot.

    That’s excluding the fact that Skidmarx can’t see any racism in that awful play, Seven Jewish Children.

    So by all means let him post on your site but I say, no platform….at least on my blog 🙂


    07/02/2011 at 20:16

  7. I fully agree with Modernity’s analysis of John Hamilton’s intervention and (like Bob) found this report depressing.

    I agree that skidmarx is insensitive, to say the least, about this issue, but maybe it’s true that the story he mentions wouldn’t have been reported if the protestors hadn’t been Muslims.

    Sarah AB

    07/02/2011 at 20:29

  8. Sarah,

    When someone like skidmarx, who is exceptionally smart, deliberately tries to bring in *another* issue, then it gets tedious.

    Skidmarx’s agenda, to deny instances of antisemitism becomes more obvious, as time passes.

    I would never denied that the Sun is happy to attack Muslims and foster a xenophobic climate, but that is not the point of the post, one which Skidmarx noticeably doesn’t address.


    07/02/2011 at 20:40

  9. I’d address the alleged point of the post, but I’m not welcome here.


    08/02/2011 at 10:50

  10. That would be a first, you actually making an effort to engage with the topic of antiracism?

    But you are not welcome here, I have had enough of your misrepresentation, stupidity and inability to understand the bleeding obvious.

    Perhaps it would be better if you got your own blog?


    08/02/2011 at 11:19

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