Immigration, the far right and the white working class
Paul in Lancs: Labour beyond Glasman: racism, truth & reconciliation. I've not yet read this long piece, but a quick skim tells me it is most definitely worth printing out and reading properly. Another Blue Labour review from Sane Lynch, which I've also yet to read but looks interesting. Pub Philosopher: As the BNP declines, political and communal violence will increase. Some overlapping issues addressed here from a very different perspective. Related, Steve Hilditch on the word "chav", including a derogatory instance from a Lib Dem peer and human rights commissioner, who in my view ought to resign now. From across the Atlantic, I have also not yet read Matthew Lyons' long review of Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind's Tea Party Nationalism.
The antisemitism of good intentions
The UCU congress at the weekend, at which my trade union voted to disassociate itself from the EUMC working definition of antisemitism at any possible opportunity and not to use it in any education or dispute context was, in my view. David Hirsh live-blogged. A few lies and distortions in the debate. Sue Blackwell claimed the EUMC definition was used to stifle free speech when Denis Macshane tried to get the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge not to host Hamas' Azzam Tamimi. As far as I can see, however, Macshane was unsuccessful; he did not quote the EUMC working definition; he did not go through the union but through the university management and the government; and Tamimi's main offence is not his intensified criticisms of Israel but the fact that he is a spokesperson for a terrorist organisation that engages in killing Jews. Also worth noting that the previous week, Cambridge had cancelled Benny Morris from speaking after the university’s Islamic and Pakistan societies who claimed he was an “Islamophobic hate speaker”, so not good evidence for the EUMC working definition stifling free debate on Israel/Palestine.
Sean Wallis, who once darkly accused the anti-boycott movement to be fuelled by secret Lehman Brothers accounts, made a bizarre "asajew" intervention against the EUMC claiming he had been libelled, although the EUMC working definition appears to have had no negative impact on his ability to speak freely in the union. Blackwell made use of Richard Kuper's attacks on the EUMC, including his allegation that it is the product of American Zionists, invoking Kenneth Stern as evidence. As I wrote once in a comment thread here:
Levi denies that "expert on antisemitism" is a good way to describe Stern and prefers "American Zionist". For those of you with longer memories, Stern was the defence lawyer for the AIM activists, including Leonard Peltier, who were indicted for the events at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation and regarded as heroes by most on the left who don't see everything through the framework of only-Israel-is-evil. He has written vast amounts on this case, on the Militia movement and religious right in America, on David Duke, on Nazi skinheads, and on hate crime in general. He has written nothing that I am aware of that is about Israel.Credit to Ronnie Fraser and the AWL's Pete Radcliffe for being the voices of reason at the congress. Also read: Rob Marchant at LabourList, Dan Sheldon of the UJS, David Schraub, Martin Bright, Trevor Phillips, Denis Noble, Rebecca L and the comment thread at Shiraz Socialist.
In other news, Ignoblus on the asajews in Move Over AIPAC, and Dave Rich on Mehdi Hasan's version of the Lobby thesis.
(Whenever I hear people start speeches with the words "Speaking as a Jew...", I remember my time as a delegate to the NUS conference ca.1990, when I heard two different men (one in Socialist Organiser, now AWL) say "Speaking as a lesbian and gay man"...)
Ratko Mladic (and Noam Chomsky)
Sarah Correia in Prijedor on the arrest. James asks if it is time for the professor to apologise. Further comment from Mod.
Libya and liberal interventionism
Two from the Fat Man: What's it all about? and Cassandras.
I managed to miss the fact that Lauren Booth is now advocating for Gilad Atzmon.
South London sound systems
Transpontine on the Saxon archive.
Utrophia on the move
...and Jewish prayerbooks in Deptford.
From Roland and Stuart.