British leftist academic ‘defects’ from anti-Israel Jewish group

British academic David Hirsh demanded his name be removed from the list of supporters of Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JFJFP) after condemning JFJFP’s response to the recent scandal surrounding the Labour party and claiming it had become “wholly hostile” to Zionism.

He also expressed concern that he might die and be placed on the list of "dead signatories" that he noticed on the JFJFP website.

The JFJFP had issued a statement calling for the end of the “occupation” and for Israel for accept its responsibility for Arab “refugees.”

According to Jewish News, Hirsh, a noted sociologist, penned a letter in which said that while he described himself as “a Jew for justice for Palestinians”, he has found that “more and more, those who speak in the name of the signatories of the statement have moved away from the values and politics of the statement itself.”

The group also called on its supporters to oppose the idea that the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) – “an explicitly Zionist organization” – would provide training about Jew hatred.

“In particular I object to recent efforts made in the name of JFJFP signatories to portray the crisis of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party as something which is invented by the Jewish community in bad faith in order to smear the left and in order to silence criticism of Israel,” he wrote. “I do not agree with this analysis. I believe there is a problem of anti-Semitism on the left and I believe that JFJFP is more part of this problem than it is part of the solution.”

“Anti-Semitism hurts Jews and this is a good reason for Jews to be vigilant against it,” he explained. “It also discredits, mis-educates and corrupts the left. And it undermines the purpose of JFJFP.”

A spokesperson for JFJFP told Jewish News the organization “takes anti-Semitism very seriously” but voiced concern that “some very vocal supporters of Israel are misusing the issue of antisemitism to shut down legitimate criticism of Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians.”

Jewish News reproduced David Hirsh‘s resignation letter in full:

Dear Jews for Justice for Palestinians,

I write as a Jew for Justice for Palestinians. Unfortunately I feel that I have reached the point where I have to resign from the organization and have my name removed from the list of signatories.

While I never agreed with every dot and comma of the JFJFP statement, I have had sufficient agreement with it to enable me to support the common solidarity with the Palestinians. The problem is that more and more, those who speak in the name of the signatories of the statement have moved away from the values and the politics of the statement itself.

In particular I object to recent efforts made in the name of JFJFP signatories to portray the crisis of antisemitism in the Labour Party as something which is invented by the Jewish community in bad faith in order to smear the left and in order to silence criticism of Israel.

I do not agree with this analysis. I believe that there is a problem of antisemitism on the left and I believe that JFJFP is more part of this problem than it is part of the solution.

Antisemitism hurts Jews, and this is a good reason for Jews to be vigilant against it. It also discredits, mis-educates and corrupts the left. And it undermines the purpose of JFJFP.

The original JFJFP statement defined itself as having support from anti-Zionists, non-Zionists and Zionists. I believe that for some time now JFJFP has been wholly hostile to ‘Zionists’, in violation of its own founding statement.

Please take my name off the list of signatories.

I am also concerned about the possibility of dying and being put on the list of dead signatories which I noticed on the website. It concerns me that this is an eternal state from which there is no possibility of escape.

Please feel free to publish this email amongst the signatories and on the website in the spirit of open debate and discussion.

Please confirm receipt of this email.

Best wishes,

David Hirsh

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/213173

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