IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

I’d like to see a Tribune where ritualised denunciations are no longer socially acceptable or badges of ‘belonging’

01 March, 2019

• IT is troubling that the Tribune has chosen to publish a classic anti-semitic rant, a close verbal parallel to the infamous Tower Hamlets cartoon.

Patrick Edlin can find nothing good to say of the Labour Party “defectors”, (The ‘Sack of Seven’ group jumped before they were pushed, February 22).

They are disloyal, unprincipled, motivated only by money and (disturbingly reminiscent of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion libel) are in conspiratorial league with an enemy foreign power, Israel. This catalogue of smear and innuendo is of course not falsifiable.

It would not help to try to “defend” the ex-Labour eight, because, given that there is no objective evidence brought to support the allegations, there could be no counter-evidence which would refute them.

The effect of these denunciations is to reinforce the solidarity of the “us” against the “them”. It is assumed that the sympathetic reader will be one of “us”. This leaves middle-class (read “capitalist”) Jewish readers who have Israel (read “Zionist”) connections as the “them”.

I cannot believe that this is the sort of community that the editors of this paper really wish for. I would like to plead for a gentler politics. The Tribune could be a vehicle for much social good.

In Tel-Aviv, Israelis and Palestinians have sat together at street tables to thrash out a framework for a solution to the conflict. Young Israelis are in daily dialogue with young Gazans in closed Facebook groups.

How much easier it surely should be in leafy Islington to cross our boundaries and listen to the voice of the “other”. I’d like to see a Tribune where ritualised denunciations are no longer socially acceptable or badges of “belonging”.

“Let the lion lie down with the lamb … let us beat our swords into ploughshares.” Let us create our own paradise. We cannot afford to wait for the world to come.

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