The multiple facets of the ongoing clamour about anti-Semitism and the left.

by richardhutton

Something can be anti-Semitic, while not being a severe problem in need of draconian responses. Something can be a serious problem, without being anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semitism can be a unique form of prejudice; and still just a prejudice, no different to any other.

People can be sincere, and inept. They can be well-meaning, and wrong.

Efforts to remedy situations can be a worthwhile endeavor; and a pointless exercise.

An issue can warrant care and attention; and still be riven by cynical mudslinging.

People can be jaded and dismissive – not to say downright curmudgeonly at times; but still willing to help anyone resolve a genuine problem, when it is in evidence.

People can be openly solicitous, but mainly for their own benefit; and prove undependable when it matters most.

People can be right about something, and yet their behaviour still be out of order. They can be wrong about something, without it being a major grievance.

People can say the right things, for the wrong reasons; and say the wrong thing, for the right reasons.

Comments referring to Jewish or Muslim people can really be about the Israel-Palestine conflict; and comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict can really be a chip at people who are Jewish, or Muslim.

It is easy to condemn acts of terrorism, without applying collective blame to people who had no personal involvement. It is difficult to criticise Islamic extremism, without referring to Islam, at some point.

It is easy to criticise the government of Israel, and not use anti-Semitic language. It is virtually impossible to make criticisms of the Israeli government, and avoid being called an anti-Semite.

Being called an anti-Semite by idiots doesn’t matter very much. Unwittingly being a cause of grief to people does matter – especially if the people in question are members of a group which has suffered centuries of pain and persecution, wherever they have been.

Israelis deserve to live safe lives, in their homeland. Palestinians deserve a homeland of their own, and peace.

Jews and Muslims should not be made to feel unwelcome wherever they are, merely on account of their identity. Personal identity does not automatically validate anyone’s political views.

Media outlets can affect concern for the well-being of one group, in order to justify persecuting another.

The Guardian can be a basically decent newspaper, while its opinion pieces are trash; and its political journalism unworthy of the time from anyone’s day.

Something can seem simple, but be complex. And something can be complex, while seeming simple.

People can be different, and still the same.

Because we’re all human, underneath all of this.