Not what we’d hoped for

28 May

This is what I have written to Hope Not Hate after the last of their many emails begging me to opt in to their mailings under the new EU personal data rules. I didn’t expect a reply and I haven’t received one.

Dear Hope Not Hate

I have decided not to continue to receive your emails because I was so disappointed by your statement in March about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, which included, amongst other sweeping assertions, the claim that “[h]e donated to a well-known Holocaust denier”. Since investigation and research are the foundations of your anti-racist/anti-fascist campaigning, you must know that this Holocaust denier did not declare his far-right views until many years after his encounter with Jeremy Corbyn. So Corbyn could not have been any more aware of those views than the many Jewish people and Jewish institutions, including synagogues, who believed that the person concerned was running a bona fide humanitarian campaign in support of Palestinians.

If you had done your research, you would have known that your statement was untrue, damaging and divisive to the antiracist movement; if you did not research this thoroughly, then you were not in a position to make a statement about it.

If you did want to challenge the established political parties, you might have done more for the victims of racism, including antisemitism, if you had challenged the Conservative Party’s direct and organic links with far right parties in the EU, including, amongst others, Poland’s antisemitic ruling party, which has enacted a law to silence criticism of Polish collusion with the Nazis, or the Latvian neo-fascists who each year celebrate the notoriously murderous role their compatriots played in the Nazi genocide of the Jews.

If I have missed your statement/s on the Tories’ collaboration with these terrifying movements, I will be happy to stand corrected. In the meantime, though, as a Jewish person with a longstanding record of campaigning alongside other targeted minorities against antisemitism and other forms of racism, wherever they emanate from, I can no longer see any value in receiving your emails.

Yours regretfully

Julia Bard

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