Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has greeted the news that a Jewish charity is launching a review of racial inequality in the Jewish community in the UK by proposing that the person leading it ask British Jews “about the Palestinians”.
Stephen Bush, a journalist with the New Statesman who has been asked to lead the review, revealed that he was “terrified and overcome” with the invitation, to which Ms Alibhai-Brown, a columnist at the online The Independent, tweeted in reply: “maybe ask them about the Palestinians.”
The Jewish charity’s review is clearly intended to examine attitudes toward Jews of colour in the Anglo-Jewish community and in its institutions. The review has nothing to do with Israel. According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel” and “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations” are examples of antisemitism.
The notion that British Jews cannot engage in positive communal activity in the UK or make any positive contribution to British life without being held to account for the policies of the Israeli Government is an antisemitic premise that has repeatedly been used to discount the views of or attack British Jews and institutions throughout the past several years, in particular from activists on the far-left of British politics.
It is particularly appalling that Ms Alibhai-Brown would shamefully greet introspection by a minority community with prejudice of her own. Prejudice cannot be beaten by prejudice.
This is not Ms Alibhai-Brown’s first offensive foray in relation to antisemitism. She was, for example, opposed to the Labour Party’s adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism, describing the fringe minority in the Jewish community who agreed with her as “good Jews”.
The Independent and television broadcasters who host Ms Alibhai-Brown must now think again before giving a platform to someone who takes such positions.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Maybe ask them about Palestinians
— Yasmin alibhai-brown (@y_alibhai) June 8, 2020
According to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Jews who don't support IHRA are "good Jewish people" pic.twitter.com/Z3yycAh2iW
— Steve Silverman (@SSilvUK) August 1, 2018