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Sat Aug 25, 2018, 04:37 AM

Former Labour Candidate: Labour's Growing Intolerance Has Crushed My Belief In The Role I Can Play

Confession time, I knew Oliver Coppard growing up in Sheffield. I didn't much like him back then as I always found him very full of himself. However, his clearly deeply held Jewish faith was always something I admired about him.

Oliver Coppard was Labour's candidate against Nick Clegg in 2015, and some people would consider him the obvious choice to be the Labour candidate in Sheffield Hallam at the next general election to replace the disastrous Jared O'Mara (who was backed heavily by Momentum). However, he is being forced out of Labour for what is actually his best and most redeeming feature!

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/amp/entry/anti-semitism-labour_uk_5b7aeb27e4b018b93e965436/?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics&__twitter_impression=true

Iím Jewish. My own grandparents came to this country from Czechoslovakia and Austria; just two of a handful of my motherís family not to end up in Bergen Belsen or Auschwitz. They came here as frightened young people who knew nothing of the country they were joining or the fate of the family they left behind.

Until now I have always believed that the Labour Party is the best defence against the type of hatred that we saw in 1930s Nazi Germany, and the bigotry now growing again in other parts of the world. The Labour Party exists to represent the interests of the many, but that cannot mean silencing or disparaging the voices of the few, and the Jewish community are few. If the UK were made up of just 200 people, only one would be Jewish.

Solidarity with ethnic minority groups is not selective. Support for the Palestinian people is not an alternative to support for the Jewish community, but that is all too often how it is expressed. Let me say it now, sadly but clearly, the Labour Party currently feels like a hostile environment for all too many Jewish people like me. That is not just a stain on our movement but a tragedy for our country. Tolerance is not a spectrum, itís binary, and right now we are on the wrong side of that divide.

As the Party begins its search for a prospective MP in Sheffield Hallam, for now, despite encouragement from local people, the growing intolerance of our movement has crushed my belief that I could play an active role in putting the Labour Party into government and Jeremy Corbyn in Number Ten. I hope Iím wrong. I hope we regain the courage to respect a diverse range of voices, not just the Jewish community, but all those people with whom we disagree, without challenging their right to speak out or the good faith in which they do so. I hope we can rediscover what we used to know; that tolerance and empathy not only make us stronger as a movement but are a fundamental requirement of a transformative, socialist Party of government.

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Reply Former Labour Candidate: Labour's Growing Intolerance Has Crushed My Belief In The Role I Can Play (Original post)
T_i_B Aug 2018 OP
MosheFeingold Aug 2018 #1
11cents Aug 2018 #2
MosheFeingold Aug 2018 #3
11cents Aug 2018 #4
MosheFeingold Aug 2018 #5
11cents Aug 2018 #6
MosheFeingold Aug 2018 #7

Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2018, 08:52 AM

1. We (in the USA) need to do a better job of policing our people, too.

Women's March leader, Linda Sarsour, for example. She preaches virulent antisemitism.

And how about Rep. Duncan Hunter? You know, the foul, Trump-supporting, radical right winger who just got indicted? Lay-up time for the Democrat!

Of course, his opponent is Ammar Campa-Najjar, the grandson of the leader of Palestinian Black September terror group that killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Seriously, this is just stupid. We need to do better.

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 27, 2018, 11:04 AM

2. Has Campa-Najjar done anything wrong...

....other than choosing the wrong person to be his grandfather?

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Response to 11cents (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 27, 2018, 11:09 AM

3. Don't know

And it's beside the point.

Let's say Hitler had a kid. Who had a kid, Andrew Hitler.

Would you vote for the guy?

He could be a great guy, but you'd have grave (and understandable) reservations, as would many voters, fair or not fair.

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 27, 2018, 12:48 PM

4. It's not beside your original point. You've changed it.

In your post above, you said we need to do a better job of "policing our people." What is it that needs to be "policed" about this candidate? His existence? Should he have been forbidden to run for office?

But now you've retooled your objection -- it has to do with other people's reservations "fair or unfair." But you're going to do your best to rev up those objections, without investigating whether they're fair or not? People wouldn't vote for "Andrew Hitler" because of the name. This guy's name isn't in itself notorious.



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Response to 11cents (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 27, 2018, 01:39 PM

5. Q: "What is it that needs to be "policed" about this candidate?"

A: Electability.

Keep running Arnold Hitler and lose elections and whine because people are dumbasses who don't give people a break. All while Rump has a second term, followed by his VP.

Or pick candidates who will win, despite the dumbasses.

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Response to MosheFeingold (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 27, 2018, 06:57 PM

6. How do you propose to "police" electability? What does that even mean?

Again, should he have been forbidden from running because of what his grandfather did? Or assuming that this guy is as personally blameless as your "Arnold Hitler," should he have been forced to change his name to something notorious, so that primary voters would have rejected him?

Your real problem is with this guy's descent. You're now trying to project your own response onto anonymous "dumbasses" in the voting public. You're the one who's assuming, on the basis of his ancestry, that this candidate is unacceptable. If he in fact holds repugnant views then he IS unacceptable, but you have yet to show that.

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Response to 11cents (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 28, 2018, 09:08 AM

7. You sure know a lot

About campaigns!


I don't know much, just having run (or at least had a major part in) way over 50 successful Democratic Congressional campaigns. I mean, we sure could have used your insight to help get JFK elected!

Regarding your "how" question: the party polices candidates with a vetting process. You do some diligence, deprive money from squirrels, and hold endorsements. This guy slipped through because no one was paying attention because he was supposedly running a pointless campaign against Hunter.

In other words, same thing that happened with the neo-Nazi who got on the ballot in a district (for the Repugs) that goes 95% Democratic. No one was paying attention to details. Not that I wouldn't hesitate to slime other Republicans with their crappy candidate. They deserve it.

Your preconceived (and wrong) notions about me "projecting" must be a symptom of your own virulent antisemitism!

Oh, wait, that's a silly and stupid thing to say. Almost as stupid is telling an experienced campaigner (and Congressional and Presidential aid for over 60 years) what his "real problem" is.

No, my "real problem" with this guy (who, again, may be a great guy) is Republicans will have a field day further alienating an increasingly concerned Jewish voter block by relentlessly pointing out that his father remains an official in Yasser Arafat's terrorist Fatah party, his grandpa was a murdering terrorist, and painting the Democratic Party as a party of radical anti-Semites.

This is not a time to make unforced errors.

Politics are not just about right and wrong. They are about appearing right and not appearing wrong.

You can rage against this fact, all you want. But you're wrong.

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