Neviim Tovim, blogs by Gillian Gould Lazarus

The Other Puppet Masters

Posted on: August 23, 2021

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows what to expect: a tedious, apparently never-ending stream of screen shots from Corbynist groups on Facebook, exhibiting characteristics usually associated with the far right, of anti-Jewish racism, occasional Holocaust denial, 9/11 revisionism and incitement to hatred.

Invariably, those who take issue with me tell me that I need to learn the difference between antisemitism and criticism of Israel.

When I look at the social media footprint of individuals who post the most offensively anti Jewish material, I find that in most cases they are ordinary, well meaning individuals, most certainly with a tenderness for children, animals, NHS workers, as well as all Palestinians, en masse. It may be because their weapon of choice is Facebook, but they are almost always advanced in years. Carelessly in their rants against the State of Israel, they refer to the incriminating Jewishness of British philanthropists, politicians and celebrities.

Yesterday, I was in an extended Twitter spat with someone called Kevin, also active in the Facebook group, The Left Fights the Media. He used the phrase ‘Jewish billionaire masters’ in most of his tweets and insisted that Jews caused Oliver Cromwell to enforce the Irish potato famine. He accused me of complicity with Cromwell and I replied with this image:

Despite his fixation with Jewish power, I got the impression that Kevin was not altogether a bad person. He was not rude, did not do personal abuse and apologized once for a misspelling. He was strongly in favour of Proportional Representation, which is a legitimate point of view. However, his statements about Jews became increasingly wild and emphatic. He then started on the freemasons which, while equally irrational, gave us Jews a respite, except for Jewish freemasons, of whom I know several.

My feeling about the left wing Facebook forums, the aspect of social media I know most intimately, is that they radicalise. They promote Jew hate, making it the only accepted position, and the members, usually middle aged, or elderly, gain approval commensurate with the intensity of their expressed hatred.

I do not think the octogenarians who call so often for revolution are going to march up Whitehall singing ‘Ça ira’ – for one thing, some of them have lived in Spain since their retirement; many others have limited mobility.

What has happened to these people, to make them assert that the horrors in Afghanistan are a diversionary tactic to turn attention away from Israel, or that Israel is behind all wars, including those predating the creation of the State of Israel? Everything said in the past about ‘the Elders of Zion’ is revived on Corbynist forums when they speak of The Board of Deputies of British Jews. Trevor Chinn is mentioned almost daily as an agent of Israel; Lord Rothschild weekly, and Keir Starmer (who isn’t Jewish but is considered by the comrades to be working for Israel), hourly.

Taking a leaf out of their book, I have started wondering about the powerful hands of less naive agents pulling their strings. There are politicians, journalists and some celebrities who stir the pot continuously, too sophisticated to use the word Jew when Israel or Zionism may be substituted. The denial of antisemitism invariably accompanies even the most extreme tropes. I cannot remember how many times I’ve read that the Jews, sorry, Zionists, are the real antisemites. This is one of the axioms of the forums. The evidence – in their eyes, proof – is that JVL and Neturei Karta exist so the rest of us are lying for Israel.

They seem impervious to reason. Some of my friends have joined the Corbynist groups to confront the antisemites in their lair but they get ejected before long. You can see them sometimes in my screen shots, accused of being Zionist trolls.

Even finding fault with Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi or Syria’s Bashar Al Assad is enough to get one written off as a Zionist troll.

It isn’t a matter of not wanting Jews marrying their daughters or joining their golf club. June wants us deported and Anthony wants Israel wiped off the face of the earth. I’m not sure where they want us to be.

JVL – the oddly named Jewish Voice for Labour – is problematic in a slightly different way. The items posted by JVL, while intensely anti Israel, are not necessarily antisemitic but they specialize in defending anyone who has been accused of antisemitism, if they have been associated with Labour or with Mr Corbyn. Their non-Jewish followers post material as extreme as that on any other forum. If this is confronted by some interloper, the JVL moderators tend to delete the dissident posts; thus, friends of mine who argue against overtly anti Jewish comments find that their replies disappear, censored by JVL.

I have not uploaded any images from Truthers Against Zionist Lobbies. They were removed from Facebook and returned after a hiatus of four months, without their cover picture of Jeremy Corbyn. Instead, they have a parody of the Israeli flag with the words: ‘Israel has no history, only a criminal record.’

I limit the number of left wing forums I follow, mainly to those featured below. Anyone rash enough to read the contents of my screen shots will soon see the dreary repetitiveness and unoriginality of the comments.

I have much admiration for those who engage and fight back on the forums. I refrain from naming them only because my commendation is not likely to help them get on in life.

From The Left Fights the Media

From Jeremy Corbyn Should Have Been Prime Minister

From Recognising Jeremy corbyn’s Dedication to a Just Society

From We Support Jeremy Corbyn

From Jeremy Corbyn’s Socialist Forum

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: