A response to the Grousebeater controversy

By Ya’akov Sloman

I have been reluctant to comment on the recent controversy concerning @Grouse_Beater’s blog post and the SNP response to it.

This thread is written because I feel an obligation to express my opinion.

Extracting a tweet from it for political reasons could mislead, it’s a risk.
I don’t speak for “The Jews”, I speak for *a* Jew,
I don’t speak for “Yessers”, I speak for *a* Yesser—myself.

I have written here about my concerns regarding the use of cynical accusations – by Jews and others – of antisemitism, how it dilutes public concern, and trivializes the real thing.  I have written about my feelings concerning the inclusive, progressive nature of the Yes movement, and how for *me* that is the justification for Scottish self-determination.

Nothing has changed.

I regret the lack of sensitivity in how @Grouse_Beater chose to express his idea. It was inevitable that it lead to both sincere and cynical accusations of antisemitism.

BUT, I don’t believe he is an antisemite, nor that it was an expression of antisemitism – rather, ignorance.  What he intended to communicate was impossible to isolate from current events, and the history of Nazism.

I don’t believe there is any evidence of @Grouse_Beater being an antisemite or holding antisemitic views.

I regret the impracticality of a more nuanced response from @theSNP to this controversy. The use of antisemitism as a political tool is terrible, but, here we have it – and in the context of popular media with an anti-SNP bias and the currency of such use, they acted as they must.

I am sympathetic with the sincere responses to @Grouse_Beater’s blog, both in condemnation and support – but I don’t share them.

It was neither antisemitism nor acceptable without qualification. It is a third thing, utterly lost in the current political climate – an honest mistake.  I condemn the cynical responses to @Grouse_Beater’s blog who seek to make political hay on the backs of people who can’t see that this is nothing more than a lack of sensitivity.

Those cynical operators don’t care about truth, only political gain. This includes media and “opposition” politicians.

It is important to acknowledge that the demand for purity is one of the tools of political rhetoric. It’s absurd to expect a diverse movement not to reflect things that are generally found around them.

Are there genuine antisemites among yes voters? It seems impossible there not be. It is an endemic feature of Europe and baked in to the political mythology and assumptions.

But critically, neither antisemitism – nor the accusation of it in opponents – are integral to the Yes movement’s philosophy, strategy, or support for independence.

Scotland’s freedom is NOT ABOUT JEWS.

I will not elaborate on other UK political movements but I believe you can work that out.
As a Jew I am afraid of the shape of world events. I would be foolish not to be concerned. I am as afraid of the would be antisemites as my “defenders” who, in their ignorance, fan the flames and attack *friends* who may be ignorant but are surely not enemies.

When an ordinary person must sincerely ask if their righteous indignation at abuse and oppression are “antiesemitism”, and, at the same time are told that clumsy political writing *is*, Jews are at risk of losing real allies against it and being delivered to it.

I haven’t been around much, the world has forced me to stay away and try to enjoy my life and family – because it feels very much like I should do it “while I can”.  But, I couldn’t stay silent in the face of something I consider crucial to the future.

This article originally appeared as a twitter thread.  It is reproduced in article form with the kind permission of Ya’akov Sloman.

The original version of Grousebeater’s article can be read here.

The amended version can be read here.

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7 thoughts on “A response to the Grousebeater controversy

  1. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Fair comment @Ya’akov but remember:

    Sovereign Scots don’t need to worry about colour, creed or religion.

    If they live and contribute to Scottish Society they are Sovereign Scots.

    Hopefully they also believe Scotland should be an Independent Nation State once again.

    A Nation which looks after its poor, elderly, infirm and vulnerable members of society.

    Remember divide and conquer is a BritNat Tool of oppression.

    I will called out Apartheid wherever I see it regardless of the Nation State or its majority religious belief.

    We are all Jock Tamsons bairns, Sir.

  2. Independent Woman

    Fair comment on a sensistive subject. I think there have been a few knee jerk reactions to the original blog when a bit of analysis of what was actually written would have benefited all concerned. The curse of instant reaction and think later.

  3. Robert Graham

    I haven’t seen or read the piece refered too so maybe not a good idea to comment , however recently we have seen the emergence of a whole lot of people or groups looking to be insulted and ones on the sidelines using this as an excuse to make mischief .

    This Anti this or Anti that is being used as a weapon to silence legitimate questions and comment about almost anything and everything to do with the state of israel , labour have been criticised for not adopting the full definition of Antisemitism they were presented with , this was rightly rejected because it included a clause that forbids any criticism of this state whatever it did

    The people or groups who have embarked on this vendetta against Labour and any other political party that has the cheek to voice an opinion are doing themselves no favours its making people question the motives behind it .

    The Brass neck of the Shop Stewards apprentice Findlay calling for the head of a SNP member was breathtaking , as is the reluctance of the SNP in Holyrood to callout Labour and their antics using the unions to cause chaos in every local authority , what to hell are the SNP up to thats Two FMQs gone with open goals presented and not a bloody cheep , Baffling

  4. Scott Shaw

    If people are not allowed to talk about Hitler and Stalin’s genocidal ideologies and the Jews in the same breath then future generations will be destined to forget the horrors committed by those regimes and other regimes of their ilk.

  5. Scott Shaw

    Also the way those regimes went about creating the perfect climate to act concerning propaganda and the mainstream media.

  6. Jennie Betts

    Having just read the “offending” blog in full, I can find nothing in it that merits accusations of anti-semitism. I agree with Scott Shaw’s comments above.

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