Although this isn’t news any more, (I have written about it on this blog several times) it still bears repeating and stressing: antisemitism in Britain’s Labour Party is rising to unprecedented levels, to a stage where Jews do not feel welcome any more in what was once their natural political home.
The Daily Mail writes about the alarming scale of antisemitism within the Labour Party:
The scale of anti-semitism within Labour has prompted training sessions for 1,200 party members in a drive to stamp out the vile online abuse.
Labour’s Jewish wing is holding the events that use a slide show of hate-filled messages posted on the internet by the party’s own activists.
The Daily Mail has chosen to reproduce the comments despite their shocking content in order to highlight the enormity of the problem.
The abuse includes one Labour member describing Jews as a ‘corrupt master race’ controlling sex-trafficking, pornography and wars worldwide.
Another wrote: ‘Every f****** Jew that died in the Holocaust was a blessing.’
One councillor suggested there was a worldwide Jewish conspiracy and that Israel wanted to commit atrocities across the whole world.
Last night MP John Cryer, who is chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, said that the tweets were ‘stomach-churning’ and ‘awful’.
I have no idea why people who hold these views would want to be a member of the Labour Party,’ he said.
‘The Labour Party has been at the forefront of confronting Nazism right from the 1930s – so what possesses these people to become members I don’t understand. I have seen tweets like this at our disciplinary body and what I know is these people are quickly suspended and expelled.’
The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) held a training session at September’s Labour conference – itself blighted by accusations of anti-semitism – in a doomed attempt to nip the problem in the bud. Some 1,200 members have attended the official Labour Party sessions, which are carried out by the JLM, in the past 14 months.
The event said that among elected Labour representatives ‘denial of anti-semitism is particularly common’, as was the idea that ‘Jewish people are wealthy or interested in wealth or finance’.
Another message from an unknown Labour councillor contained ‘echoes of the blood libel’, the JLM events are told.
The tweet showed an Israeli flag dripping with blood along with the words: ‘The genocidal murderers of innocent women and children: Moses must be proud of you.’ The message was headlined: ‘Israel is evil, long live Palestine.’
A councillor shared a picture saying: ‘The modern state of Israel was created by the Rothschilds, not God – and what they are doing to the Palestinian people now is exactly what they intend for the whole world.’ Alongside a picture of a child in a hospital bed, it said: ‘Today it’s a Palestinian child: soon it will be your child.’
One member wrote: ‘I see the corrupt “master race” side-stepped into this graphic,’ to which another replied: ‘Lol [laugh out loud] be careful you might get accused of being anti-semitic.’
This led to a discussion about ‘paid disinfo agents’ and Blairites ‘running to the MSM [mainstream media]’ with mention of the Zionism ‘problem’. ‘Just look at who owns what,’ one said.
The notes also said that ‘denial of anti-semitism is known as the Livingstone formulation’ in a reference to comments by former London mayor Ken Livingstone in which he said that anyone critical of Israel was accused of anti-semitism.
A JLM spokesman said: ‘The training programme is starting to have an impact across the country. The examples used are actual samples of anti-semitism, and are regularly updated.
‘They are anonymised in order not to prejudice ongoing disciplinary cases.’
The issue of anti-semitism overshadowed the Labour conference after activists at an anti-Zionist fringe event demanded the JLM be expelled.…Jeremy Corbyn was forced to deny he was leading the new ‘nasty party’, and the Labour leader of Brighton council threatened to ban the party from holding its conference in the town unless it cracked down on racism amongst activists.
Jeremy Corbyn can deny his own or his party’s antisemitism and anti-Westernism till he is blue in the face but it will be to no avail since the proof is there for all to see.
Journalist Tom Gross found this little item in the satirical magazine Private Eye which highlights Corbyn’s hypocrisy with two opposing statements:
In this vein, the political blogger Guido Fawkes has done a thorough research job and found 100 times that Jeremy Corbyn has sided with terrorists: – not only Palestinian but Irish and others. Below is just a partial list:
- Invited two IRA members to parliament two weeks after the Brighton bombing.
- Attended Bloody Sunday commemoration with bomber Brendan McKenna.
- Attended meeting with Provisional IRA member Raymond McCartney.
- Hosted IRA linked Mitchell McLaughlin in parliament.
- Spoke alongside IRA terrorist Martina Anderson.
- Attended Sinn Fein dinner with IRA bomber Gerry Kelly.
- Put up £20,000 bail money for IRA terror suspect Roisin McAliskey.
- Didn’t support IRA ceasefire.
- Said Hamas and Hezbollah are his “friends“.
- Called for Hamas to be removed from terror banned list.
- Called Hamas “serious and hard-working“.
- Attended wreath-laying at grave of Munich massacre terrorist.
- Attended conference with Hamas and PFLP.
- Photographed smiling with Hezbollah flag.
There is much more in this revolting litany of cosying up to terrorists.
The rise in antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism in the Labour Party has alarmed even such liberal Jewish stalwarts as Howard Jacobson, Simon Schama and Simon Sebag-Montefiore. Here is their letter to the editor of the Times in which they decry such bigotry:
Unfortunately these three eminent personalities concede the validity of the Palestinian “narrative” which dilutes their entire argument. The Elder of Ziyon takes issue, correctly, with the writers’ ceding the validity of Palestinian claims to any history in the Land of Israel, whether they did so out of genuine belief or because they feel their message will be more palatable to the British public if they dilute it with support for the Palestinian narrative:
Even if you give these writers the benefit of the doubt and say that they are only making this claim to allow their message about antisemitism to be easier to swallow by British anti-Zionists – doesn’t that mean that they don’t really believe that anti-Zionism is a modern form of antisemitism? It dilutes their argument, instead of strengthening it.
No self-respecting Zionist can accept any part of the Palestinian Arab claims – because the very acceptance of those claims negates Jewish claims. That is the entire point of Palestinian nationalism since the 1910s – to delegitimize Zionism and Jewish peoplehood altogether. If there was no Zionism, there would have never been Palestinian nationalism which exists to combat Zionism. (Where were the Palestinian nationalists demanding self-determination in the territories between 1948 amd 1967?)
If Schama and Montefiore disagree, please, I would love to hear their arguments. I have looked for years for any evidence of a “Palestinian” nation and culture and people that predate Zionism, without luck.
I have no doubt that these three writers love Israel, but they seem very unaware of how much damage they can unwittingly cause to the nation they love by embracing the narrative of those who want to destroy Israel.
The Elder is correct that in order to counteract this constant delegitimization, we must stay on-message and speak with one voice, at least in public.
But to return to the Labour Party, some of them have even turned on their own members if they are viewed as too pro-Israel, or not anti-Israel enough. The British Jewish grass-roots organization Campaign Against Antisemitism reveals that a Labour councillor who took action against antisemitism was the victim of a social media attack that was endorsed by a Shadow Minister:
Shadow Minister Chris Williamson has tweeted a blog article entitled “Revealed: The Labour Party activists behind the ‘antisemitism’ smears”, which he commended as “really interesting”. Despite its grand use of terms such as “raw data” and “the power of weak links”, the article does little more than to insinuate – on the flimsiest of evidence – that a small number of social media users constitute a “network of hate” and to accuse Councillor Warren Morgan – the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council whose brave stand against antisemitism we applauded in September – of lying, bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, and “regurgitating second-hand fabrications about alleged antisemitism”. It was written by internet millionaire and former Daily Mail journalist Greg Hadfield, whose membership of the Labour Party is currently suspended.
The article notes how extraordinary it is for a Shadow Minister to turn on one of his own party’s members so publicly, and continues:
In the UK, it is accepted that an incident perceived as racist should be investigated as such. The idea that one particular ethnic group — and one particular ethnic group alone — cannot be trusted to recognise racism when directed against itself is incompatible with the Macpherson principle that underpins the British approach to racism. It would be regrettable indeed if the endorsement of Mr Hadfield’s article by such a senior politician as Mr Williamson were to have the effect of intimidating party members from coming forward with or responding to complaints about antisemitism. The Labour Party’s new rules on hate speech, adopted by near-unanimous vote after a highly controversial conference debate, cannot begin to have an impact on the Party’s undeniable antisemitism problem unless whistleblowers are able to speak out without fear of reprisals.
In the light of all this bigotry and racism, we are all wondering what is the root of the deep antisemitism now prevailing in its ranks. Melanie Phillips posits a theory as to the roots of Labour’s antisemitism:
… the Labour party is still in denial about the deep roots of this scourge within its own ideology. It still wrongly believes that the examples which have publicly surfaced over the past few months are some kind of aberration. John Cryer MP, the chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party who described these tweets as “stomach-churning” and “awful”, demonstrated the problem when he said: “I have no idea why people who hold these views would want to be a member of the Labour Party”.
But they hold them precisely because they are members of the Labour party – because they are committed to the thinking that has become an article of faith on the left, which has turned the “Palestinians” into the signature cause for progressive people on the utterly false grounds that aggressive, brutal, colonialist Israel has deprived them of their historic right to a Palestine state.
This thinking uses precisely the same uniquely deranged and obsessional charges – diabolical cosmic power, covert conspiracy against the world, crimes of which the accused is not only innocent but is in fact the victim, expectations of standards of behaviour applied to no other people and overall demonisation based on systematic falsehoods – which have characterised hatred against the Jews as people and now identically characterise hatred against the collective Jew in Israel.
Antisemitism goes far beyond the left. Tragically, it is the prejudice that never dies. But what the left has done is provide the means of sanitising it through support of Palestinianism which provides plausible deniability by couching the venom as being anti-Israel instead of being overtly anti-Jew.
Sadly, none of this analysis provides us with a method for combatting this irrational hatred. All that we can do is keep on pounding away with the truth and facts. We pro-Israel activists must also be much more pro-active on the social and mainstream media in order to counteract the floods of hatred that swamp the media.
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Great article Anne and Melanie Phillips article was right on the money
Thanks Barry. Melanie Phillips is always spot-on with her analyses.
Elder of Ziyon writes, as quoted above “Where were the Palestinian nationalists demanding self-determination in the territories between 1948 amd 1967?” I would point out that the PLO was founded in 1964 by the late and unlamented Ahmed Shoukri. They were not demanding self determination, rather a programme to throw the Jews unto the sea, all this 3 years before the beginning of their so-called “occupation”.
Well noted. If you ever mention this inconvenient fact to the Israel haters, you have to watch their heads explode as they try to digest this. It would be funny if it weren’t so outrageous.
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