The Morning Star has published an article accusing Jews of being at fault for rising levels of antisemitism in Britain.
The article accuses British Jews of not condemning the actions of Israeli military forces in Gaza, and suggests that they are therefore “complicit” in the deaths and violence caused.
Israeli soldiers’ response to protests on the Gaza border over the past two months caused over 100 deaths, while thousands of Palestinians suffered injuries. An article published on Monday in the Morning Star accused British Jews of ignoring the violence, describing a “lack of any kind of disapproval of it by mainstream British Jews and their leadership.” This statement ignores various statements, articles and other messages condemning the violence.
The article then went on to acknowledge the comments made by the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council professing their “anguish” at the violence, the lack of “empathy” shown by Israeli forces, and for the loss of innocent life. But this was all too late and not far enough, according to the author, who wrote that “the root cause” of rising antisemitism in Britain is “Israel’s criminal behaviour,” and asked:
“surely the Jewish organisations and individuals who lately were protesting about growing anti-semitism in Britain must see that, as advocates of Israel’s historical and still unremitting brutality against Palestinians, they will inevitably be regarded by some other British nationals as being indirectly complicit in that country’s actions.”
Demanding that British Jews apologise for the actions of Israel, as if they are responsible for the actions of a foreign government, and then ignoring and downplaying the criticisms that were made, is extremely offensive. By suggesting Jews in Britain are “complicit” in Israel’s actions, and that it is those actions which are causing antisemitism in Britain, The Morning Star is blaming British Jews for the racism they face.
The Communist newspaper has since deleted the article from its website and published a letter from readers in response. However, this is not the first time it has published antisemitic material.
Charley Allen, who replaced a sitting Jewish Labour councillor as the Party’s candidate in Haringey in May only to lose the seat, has attracted controversy for his defence of the antisemitic epithet ‘zio’ in one column, which he argued was no more offensive than ‘trot’ or ‘kipper.’
The paper has consistently downplayed accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party as ‘smears.’ In April, the paper published an article by a member of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and former CLP Secretary in response to the ‘Enough is Enough’ rally outside Parliament, titled ‘Enough of this Zionist frenzy.’ The article claimed that “the noise around anti-Jewish racism has been engineered from within the murky right-wing world of British Zionism.”
Antisemitic hate crimes in Britain were at an all-time high last year, with a 34% rise in violent assaults against Jewish people compared with 2016.