Aaron Bastani - 17 August 2018
In 2016 the Labour party accepted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. This summer it went further, admitting word-for-word eight of the eleven examples alongside that definition, while adding to the other three in its new code of conduct. Those modifications led to swift condemnation, and with Jeremy Corbyn now hinting compromise, wholesale acceptance seems likely.
In truth only one of those examples is a stumbling block in any accommodation. This is the claim that stating Israel is a ‘racist endeavour’ denies Jews their right to self-determination and, as a result, is evidence of antisemitic bigotry.
The nature of the debate principally understands racism as an issue of rhetoric, with limits to free speech necessary to safeguard a minority. It’s unsurprising, then, that the response from those opposed to the IHRA examples view them as limiting justified criticism of Israel’s actions....
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