Campaign Against Antisemitism is proud to be a grassroots organisation that listens to its supporters, many of whom volunteer or donate to support our work. That is why each year we pay careful attention to the reviews left for us on Facebook, especially those that are critical.
Upon reflecting on this year’s reviews, we saw how excluded antisemites feel from our campaign. We have therefore decided that it is time for Campaign Against Antisemitism to become more inclusive, making space for antisemites in our campaign.
“Not enough respect for Hizballah”
Reading online reviews of our work has opened our eyes. For example, Facebook user Nathan Hull was scathing of our one-sidedness when it comes to antisemitism, leaving a one-star review with the comment: “Not enough respect for Hizballah. Too much anti-Corbyn propaganda.” Mr Hull made us stop to think. We will be changing our editorial policy to refer to Hizballah not merely as a “genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation”, instead referring to it as “one of the world’s most hardworking and renowned genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisations”. Subtle changes like this can go a long way to making Hizballah supporters feel more welcome in our campaign.
Hizballah was not on everyone’s minds though. A common theme was that we have been quite beastly to antisemites. Facebook user Ryan Carr, had plenty to say in his one-star review, denouncing us as “Just a ‘victim playing’ group who claim to be the ‘victim’ of ‘persecution’ when in reality they are the ‘persecutors’.” Mr Carr made us realise that we have indeed been persecuting antisemites relentlessly in a way that might be considered a bit much. Stephen Bartrup, was even blunter in his one-star review with a simple demand that we: “Respect our British culture and laws” which we understood as a clear call to stop misusing British anti-racism laws to persecute racists who have traditionally been permitted to practise their craft unmolested. We have therefore decided to find ways to encourage and support antisemites who feel unfairly hounded. Suggestions from our supporters would be welcomed.
“Not a charity but a Zionist front”
Others worried about our branding. Author, Labour Party activist, locksmith and Facebook reviewer Daniel Waterman had such a strong point that he repeated it five times in his review: “Not a charity but a Zionist front. Not a charity but a Zionist front. Not a charity but a Zionist front. Not a charity but a Zionist front. Not a charity but a Zionist front.” Alfonso Capazoli also felt we misrepresented ourselves, suggesting in his review that we rename ourselves “Campaign Against Africans”. We are investigating rebranding options, however we are concerned that they might not meet with the approval of traditionalists at the Charity Commission.
Some reviewers did not feel excluded but had valuable feedback. Expert Facebook reviewer Roger Christian left us a cryptic review demanding: “Ask me why you have missed the mark.” We could not resist, and we were glad that we contacted Mr Christian who told us that we would be considered dismal failures until we succeeded in convincing Eton College to close for Yom Kippur.
“Let’s be an inclusive Campaign About Antisemitism, not against it!”
It is time for Campaign Against Antisemitism to be honest about this feedback and take it to heart. Antisemites are usually deeply devoted to their cause, and rather than excluding and persecuting them, we should be making them feel welcome within our campaign.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s newly-appointed Director of Inclusivity, said: “Antisemites and Jews should not have separate organisations working against each other: let’s listen and be an inclusive Campaign About Antisemitism, not against it! There is too much strife in the world already.”
The announcement appropriately comes during the Jewish festival of Purim, a celebration of the thwarting of a genocidal antisemitic plot, when it is also traditional to write serious, non-satirical, introspective treatises called “Purim spiels”.
We know we have a way to go before we earn five-star reviews from antisemites, but from everyone else, your feedback has been generously five-star and we urge you to continue by leaving a review of your own.
And to all of our Jewish supporters, Purim Sameach!