Neviim Tovim, blogs by Gillian Gould Lazarus

The Monomania of the Forums

Posted on: August 11, 2021

Two or three years ago, satirical ‘bingo cards’ started to appear on social media, displaying the repetitive and predictable phrases used in political arguments. Entering the key word ‘bingo’ on a Twitter search this morning, an example appears, posted two hours ago, a send up of Priti Patel, harmless and amusing enough.

Friends of mine made some witty bingo cards comprising favourite phrases of anti-Zionists and the anti-Zionists made their own bingo cards displaying what they though of as pro-Israel apologetics. One of the phrases they included was ‘Why do you only talk about Israel?’

This certainly is a question to be asked. The answer is generally that we who ask it are deflecting from the issue of what is happening in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Among anti-Zionists, it is increasingly common to attribute to Israel global influence, to the extent of ruling western governments, and the Corbynist rump, deeply antipathetic to Keir Starmer insist daily that the Likud Party now owns Labour. This is odd because the Likud was not able to hold on to government in Israel after Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid formed a coalition in June 2021.

Most certainly, discussions about Israel, Zionism and Jews dominate the left wing Facebook forums where foreign affairs are concerned. Regarding UK politics, the posts concern mostly the wrongdoings of Boris Johnson and Tory Ministers and the alleged treacheries and failures of Keir Starmer. The Starmer threads almost invariably make reference to the influence of either Israel or the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

It has reached a point when I am glad to see a post about Boris Johnson as it is less likely to include assertions about Jewish interference than a thread about Keir Starmer.

Posts about Mr Corbyn are as reverential as ever, almost inevitably with Christological language in which the former Labour leader appears as one who would have been our saviour but was crucified – essentially by the Board of Deputies- yet continues to evince beneficence and integrity beyond any other human being.

I note that as dire events unfold in Afghanistan, the subject simply does not arise on Corbynist forums.

Anyone referring to the persecution of the Uyghar Muslims in China is likely to be called a Zionist troll, deflecting from the ‘crimes of Israel’.

News about Lukashenko of Belarus is dismissed as western propaganda.

The government of Iran is depicted as peace-loving but maligned by Israeli hasbara.

Below are screen shots from various forums on Facebook. The earliest shown here is, I believe, from the end of July 2021 and the most recent is from yesterday, 10 August 2021. The quantity is too great to include anything beyond the last two weeks.

They appear by group:

The Left Fights the Media

Jeremy Corbyn should Have Been Prime Minister

Recognising Jeremy Corbyn’s Dedication to a Just Society

The following groups:

Jeremy Corbyn’s Socialist Forum

We Support Jeremy Corbyn

Jewish Voice for Labour (an ardently anti-Zionist group, defending left-wingers accused of antisemitism)

are included in some of the ‘mixed’ screen shots. Truthers Against Zionist Lobbies originally used a cover photo of Jeremy Corbyn but they have changed this to a Star of David with the superscription ‘Israel has no history, only a criminal record’. I have not included their work among the screen shots below, except in one of the mixed collages.

The comments shown below are repeated with minor variations day after day. The level of vituperation is constant. I often think it is getting worse but when I look at earlier records, I see there is little change.

I have folders of screen shots going back some years now, too bulky for me to handle systematically.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

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