The British Labour right's campaign to purge all socialists with false accusations of "antisemitism"

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Ken Burch
The British Labour right's campaign to purge all socialists with false accusations of "antisemitism"

(Note: this is NOT a Labour leadership election thread)

This letter was just published in Jewish Voice for Labour:

https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/labours-urgent-need-for-...

This Labour councillor, facing a totally unjustified investigation and possible suspension and expulsion from the party, felt obligated to recant her solidarity for the people of Palestine in a humiliating, degrading fashion, reminiscent of the statements defendants in the Moscow Trials were forced to read before being executed:

https://antisemitism.uk/brighton-and-hove-labour-councillor-apologises-a...

Before that, there was the expulsion of Tony Greenstein-who, being Jewish, can't actually even BE an antisemite-simply for expressing viewpoints in solidarity with Palestine-the expulsion of Jackie Walker, who is black AND Jewish, and thus is never a person any white gentile can ever be entitled to lecture about antisemitism-AND that of Chris Williamson, who simply questioned whether Labour has any significant incidence of antisemitism at all.

Things like this are being done to thousands of Labour members all across the UK.  Virtually ANY expression of public solidarity with Palestine or even any acknowledgment that Palestinians have legitimate grievanace is being equated...in an equation everyone knows is fundamentally unjust and completely irrational...with bigotry against Jews.

In some cases, people are facing threats of expulsion or suspension simply for stating that charges of antisemitism against OTHER party members are false-as if everyone charged should simply be assumed to be guilty.

This clearly will not stop until every Labour Party member agrees to keep complete public silence about what the Israeli government does to Palestinians.   

Given that everyone who does express solidarity with the Palestinians is also a public opponent of bigotry against people who are Jewish, how can anybody defend this?

And given that imposing public silence within the Labour Party about Palestine does nothing whatsoever to protect Jews from actual antisemitism, just as the existence of Israel itself does nothing to protect that long-oppressed community from that scourge...what, exactly, is the point of subjecting Labour Party members who are in solidarity with the people of Palestine to what is becoming a purge trial?

How can anybody defend what is being done here?

Bigotry against Jews, suppression of Judaism as a series of religious traditions, and attempts to suppress Jewish cultural traditions.

Israel is simply a country.  

Zionism is simply another nationalist movement.

What is the point of trying to force everyone within the Labour Party to agree with the false assertion that either Israel as a country OR Zionism as a nationalist movement are synonymous with Jewishness or Judaism?

 

nicky

Beyond any question too many of Corbyn's accolytes have indulged in anti-Semitism. 

Hopefully that will begin to chnage on April 4.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8138869/Jeremy-Corbyns-aides-face-axe-expected-new-leader-Keir-Starmers-purge-lunatic-Lefties.html

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
Beyond any question too many of Corbyn's accolytes have indulged in anti-Semitism. 

Hopefully that will begin to chnage on April 4.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8138869/Jeremy-Corbyns-aides-face-axe-expected-new-leader-Keir-Starmers-purge-lunatic-Lefties.html

You're still pulling this bullshit during a global pandemic nicky? Politics aside, that speaks a great deal to your (lack of) character as a human being. Totally disgusting.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Beyond any question too many of Corbyn's accolytes have indulged in anti-Semitism. 

Hopefully that will begin to chnage on April 4.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8138869/Jeremy-Corbyns-aides-face-axe-expected-new-leader-Keir-Starmers-purge-lunatic-Lefties.html

This is not an article about the leadership contest.  As I think you knew full well.

It's telling that your link is from the most right-wing paper in the UK, a paper that would never support Labour under any leader and vilified the party even under Blair.

It's also telling that that article contains nothing that justifies the assertion you posted it to justify.

And any decent person would have to concede that criticism of the Israeli government or even opposition to Zionism should not be called "antisemitism"; that the term should not be used to describe anything OTHER than expressions of bigotry towards Jews as people and towards religious and cultural Judaism.   

Israel is simply a country.

And even you would have to agree that it's fundamentally unjust to have an inquisition going about this issue in which the presumption of innocence does not exist and in which people are being punished simply for expressing the view that someone else is innocent of the charge.

In any case, antisemitism is the least prevalent form of bigotry in all the UK-and exists, where it does exist, almost entirely on the right and far right-interesting fact, the Tories have NOT adopted the IHRA "guidelines" and neither has the Brexit Party OR what remains of UKIP and the BNP; given that those are the places where AS is most likely to exist, shouldn't there be more pressure within THOSE parties on that issue than there is within Labour, a party in which AS barely exists, if it exists at all-given that all of that is the case that a so why is there an inquisition going on about it within Labour at all, and why ONLY within Labour?

It's not, for example, antisemitism in any sense at all to call Israel a "racist state", or at least a state in which bigotry is the organizing principle.  And the Nation-State Law can't be called anything other than racist.

Ken Burch

Aristotleded24 wrote:

nicky wrote:
Beyond any question too many of Corbyn's accolytes have indulged in anti-Semitism. 

Hopefully that will begin to chnage on April 4.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8138869/Jeremy-Corbyns-aides-face-axe-expected-new-leader-Keir-Starmers-purge-lunatic-Lefties.html

You're still pulling this bullshit during a global pandemic nicky? Politics aside, that speaks a great deal to your (lack of) character as a human being. Totally disgusting.

If the PLP hadn't kept up its vicious attacks on Corbyn throughout the last two election campaigns, the UK would now have a competent, caring government that took the pandemic seriously.   Those of you in the Labour Right decided that having a government like that was less important than getting rid of a leader who didn't stay within the post-1994 constraints.   The people of the UK are reaping what you sowed.

Ken Burch

Do you really want it to be impossible for any paid Labour members to express solidarity with the people of Palestine, nicky?  It's not as though any good would come to the party from that.

Nobody who would want that disagrees with the Tories on any major issues anyway.

Ken Burch

Do you really want it to be impossible for any paid Labour members to express solidarity with the people of Palestine, nicky?  It's not as though any good would come to the party from that.

Nobody who would want that disagrees with the Tories on any major issues anyway.

nicky

Aristotle, somehow I cant find you criticizing Ken about raising his lies denying. antiSemitism during a global pandemic.

And as for the Labour "right" being responsible for Johnson's anemic reponse to the crisis, the real culprits who ensured Johnson's victory were Corbyn and his fellow Tory enablers who ignored all psephological evidence in promotoing a leader utterly unaccetable to the electorate.

Aristotleded24

nicky wrote:
Aristotle, somehow I cant find you criticizing Ken about raising his lies denying. antiSemitism during a global pandemic.

You have been around this community long enough to know that anyone who is remotely publicly critical of the Israeli government will be smeared as an anti-Semite.

But onto the bigger point, do you really think anyone in Britain really cares about so-called anti-semitism or who did what in the Labour Party or to Jeremy Corbyn right now?

This is on top of the fact that you have treated anyone who disagrees with you about Corbyn as not someone who has a different opinion in good faith, but as an enemy or a liar. That's petty in the best of times, but especially now when many of us don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, or even next month.

Ken Burch

Aristotleded24 wrote:

nicky wrote:
Aristotle, somehow I cant find you criticizing Ken about raising his lies denying. antiSemitism during a global pandemic.

You have been around this community long enough to know that anyone who is remotely publicly critical of the Israeli government will be smeared as an anti-Semite.

But onto the bigger point, do you really think anyone in Britain really cares about so-called anti-semitism or who did what in the Labour Party or to Jeremy Corbyn right now?

This is on top of the fact that you have treated anyone who disagrees with you about Corbyn as not someone who has a different opinion in good faith, but as an enemy or a liar. That's petty in the best of times, but especially now when many of us don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, or even next month.

His response to everything we've ever discussed with him has been totally Stalinist-he has his "line" and refuses ever to deviate from it.  

And what I've actually said that yes, ACTUAL antisemitism-which is bigotry against people who are Jewish or attempts to suppress Judaism as religious or cultural expression-should be fought anywhere.  AS, as defined by that metric, is intolerable.  It is also barely-existent at all within Labour and almost entirely a right-wing phenomenon.

Criticism of the Israeli government is NEVER antisemitism, and opposition to Zionism is never antisemitism, because Israel is not synonymous with Jews and Judaism and neither is Zionism.  Israel is simply a country and Zionism is just another nationalist movement-and that country and that nationalist movement do next to nothing to fight antisemitism; indeed, that country's current leader clearly wants antisemitism to get worse, as is shown by his support of the antisemitic and all-but-fascist governments of Poland and Hungary.

nicky, would you agree that nobody should be accused of antisemitism for saying that Israel is a racist state?   And that nobody should be expelled from the party-the BoD pledges are about making THIS a thing-simply for defending another party member against charges of antisemitism or disputing the validity of the accusations?

Will you not agree, nicky, that we can't simply assume that everyone who is accused of AS within the Labour Party is actually guilty?

And will you agree that no greater good would come of making it impossible for Labour Party members to publicly express solidarity with the people of Palestine or denounce the Israeli government for the manifest injustices it inflicts on Palestinians?

 

lagatta4

Shills like Nicky have not hesitated to insinuate to call Bernie Sanders an antisemite either, although a large percentage of his Polish-Jewish family were MURDERED by the Nazis in a consummate anti-semitic hate crime.

Morover hating certain people who happen to be Jewish is not antisemitic either. Henry Kissinger comes to mind (the old bastard is still alive). I know quite a few Jews who utterly loathe him, particularly in Argentina.

In Britain and most other places, antisemitism, from the "polite bigotry" variety to the murderous kind, is far more related to the right and far right. And a certain Nazi-symp King. Across the pond, Henry Ford called his detractors "philo-semites".

I'd like to add that many people who are engaged in solidarity with Palestinians within the Canadian state are also engaged in solidarity with Indigenous people right here (and elsewhere in the world). Is it anti-Canadian, or anti-Québécois etc, to stand up against refoulement, discrimination, cultural and sometimes biological genocide against Indigenous nations? Ridiculous.

nicky

I have been accused many times of being Pro -Isreali apartheid or Anti- Palestinian rights. I have held neither of those insideous positions. I defy anyone to find a single post from me that espouses them.

What I have criticised is the culture of anti-semitism in the Corbynite faction of the Labour party. This surfaces in the bullying and harassing tactics against Jewish members. They have been confronted with the grotesque slogan "For the many, not for the Jew."

It has forced a couple Jewish MPs from their seats and has driven many from the party who have largely now  rejoined in the hope of electing a responsible leader. This bullying has been engaged in by a relative few but largley ignored and sometimes condoned by the Corbynites who have frustrated sincere efforts to deal with it.

The evidence of this harassment  and condonation is overwheming to any objective observor.

The sorry response of many Corbynites both in the Labour Party and on Babble has been to deflect this criticism into allegations of support for Netanyahuh's policies when it has nothing to do with that.

 

nicky

And Lagatta, where have I "insinuate[d] to call Bernie Sanders an antisemite"?

That slur is beneath you and you should retract it 

lagatta4

I didn't say "you", or "Nicky"; I said "shills like Nicky". That is not a slur. You have no business at a progressive site. Stop wasting our time with your right-wing shit.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

lagatta4 wrote:

You have no business at a progressive site. Stop wasting our time with your right-wing shit.

nicky should be slinking away in shame, but he has no shame.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

I have been accused many times of being Pro -Isreali apartheid or Anti- Palestinian rights. I have held neither of those insideous positions. I defy anyone to find a single post from me that espouses them.

What I have criticised is the culture of anti-semitism in the Corbynite faction of the Labour party. This surfaces in the bullying and harassing tactics against Jewish members. They have been confronted with the grotesque slogan "For the many, not for the Jew."

It has forced a couple Jewish MPs from their seats and has driven many from the party who have largely now  rejoined in the hope of electing a responsible leader. This bullying has been engaged in by a relative few but largley ignored and sometimes condoned by the Corbynites who have frustrated sincere efforts to deal with it.

The evidence of this harassment  and condonation is overwheming to any objective observor.

The sorry response of many Corbynites both in the Labour Party and on Babble has been to deflect this criticism into allegations of support for Netanyahuh's policies when it has nothing to do with that.

 

No Corbyn SUPPORTER ever said "for the many, not the Jew".

That was a slogan made up by right wing anti-Corbyn people to falsely imply widespread antisemitism.

And in virtually every case, the people who are making these accusations-the vast majority of the false accusers are Gentiles, as you know, nicky-are doing it solely to silence criticism of the Israeli government.

Would you agree, nicky, that there was never any justification to include comments made about the Israeli government or comments in solidarity with Palestinians as "examples" of AS, since those comments are never grounded in bigotry against people who are Jewish?

What justification could you make for putting any comments about that dispute into the range of things described as AS?

nicky

I dont see the difference Lagatta when you say "I didn't say "you", or "Nicky"; I said "shills like Nicky". That is not a slur."

You are really saying that I espouse those views when I do not.

Your ready slurs against people you disagree with are really comparable to how Corbynism almost destroyed the Labour Party.

Let's hope it is able to turn its back decisively on this sorry chapter.

lagatta4

I'm a socialist, and I support Corbyn. I also support Sanders in the US, though I'm considerably to his left. I am NOT an antisemite. Obviously, I take a stance against people who attack either of those progressive politicians based on lies.

nicky

I have never attacked Sanders on this site or elsewhere.

All of my criticisms of Corbyn have been factually based.

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

I dont see the difference Lagatta when you say "I didn't say "you", or "Nicky"; I said "shills like Nicky". That is not a slur."

You are really saying that I espouse those views when I do not.

Your ready slurs against people you disagree with are really comparable to how Corbynism almost destroyed the Labour Party.

Let's hope it is able to turn its back decisively on this sorry chapter.

There was never any such thing as "Corbynism".  Nobody ever idolized Corbyn or worshipped him like some sort of bloody god or anything.  And since he's not going to be leader at the next election, there's no longer any reason to viciously attack the man.  It would be unconscionable to erase Corbyn's policies and to sharply to the right of those policies, since nobody wants Labour to be closer to the Tories on the issues.

None of the people who stood against him for the leadership had anything more to offer than he did.   They all would have lost just as badly in 2019-especially Starmer, who went allout Remain-a stance guaranteed to cause a wipeout in the Labour heartlands even greater than the wipeout caused by forcing Corbyn to accept a second referendum-Owen Smith would have done just as badly, Yvette Cooper would have done just as badly, Andy Burnham would have done just as badly, Liz Kendall-being essentially a Tory, since her policy proposals were to Blair's RIGHT-there is nothing to Blair's right other than simply endorsing the Tory manifesto-would have done worse.   There was no widespread public wish for Labour to stay with the bland centrist policies that had And this wasn't a leadership thread-it's a thread about saving innocent people from persecution.

All of us oppose antisemitism.   What decent people are saying, though, is that comments about the Israel/Palestine dispute should never be equated to antisemitism.  It's not antisemitic to say that Israel is a racist state-any state based on privileging any ethnicity is inherently racist and can never be otherwise.

Any proceedings about antisemitism should deal SOLELY with antisemitism, not criticism of Israel and not anti-Zionism, since that criticism and that opposition is never grounded in bigotry.

And come on, nicky, you'd have to agree that there's no valid reason to suspend or expel people simply for expressing the view that a person accused of antisemitism is innocent of the charge.  There's no good reason to remove the presumption of innocence from the proceedings.

 

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

I have never attacked Sanders on this site or elsewhere.

All of my criticisms of Corbyn have been factually based.

Not on the AS slur-you have simply stated that there is a massive incidence of AS in the Labour Party and that this incidence is, somehow, entirely Corbyn's fault.  When shown statistical proof that this simply isn't the case, you have always rejected that evidence.

nicky

Ken, no one could possibly have done worse than Corbyn because no one has ever (since 1935) done worse than Corbyn.

How much of this do you think is a fantasy dreamed up by the right?

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-45030552

Ken Burch

I hold with this part of the article:

A 2016 report by the Home Affairs Committee of MPs backed the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism but said it should include an additional statement to maintain freedom of speech "in the context of discourse about Israel and Palestine".

This, it said, should read "it is not anti-Semitic to criticise the Israeli government without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent" or to hold Israel "to the same standards as other liberal democracies or to take a particular interest in the Israeli government's policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest ant-Semitic intent".

Little if any of the critiques of Israel expressed by Corbyn supporters were ever antisemitic.  And it's bullshit to imply that Corbyn supporters ever used the term "Zionist" at a code phrase for all Jews.   

Ken Burch

A key point from the article and it's a point I've been trying to make with you but you have repeatedly refused to acknowledge:

There has been an influx of new members, many of whom are vocal critics of Israel and who believe the UK, along with the US, should be tougher towards Israel, especially regarding its policies towards the Palestinians and its building of settlements in the occupied territories.

The strength of the left's support for Palestinian statehood, which Jeremy Corbyn has championed for decades, contrasts with the more nuanced position taken by many of his predecessors.

As the balance of power within Labour changed after Mr Corbyn's appointment, attention quickly focused on what activists and elected representatives were saying - and had said in the past - on social media and elsewhere about Israel and Jewish people.

There were claims that anti-Semitic tropes were being widely propagated and a number of incidents attracted a great deal of attention.

There were "claims" that "antisemitic tropes" were being used.  Anybody can "claim" anything, and the term "antisemitic trope" is so fluid as to be utterly meaningless.

It was ridiculous, for example, to hound Corbyn over his reaction to a supposedly antisemitic mural-a mural in which most of those depicted were gentiles, and which was basically just a comment on the early 20th century robber barons, most of which were gentiles-when that mural no longer exists.  Corbyn didn't paint the mural-all he was guilty of was not saying EXACTLY the right things against it.

In some cases, it was called antisemitic when a Corbyn supporter simply stood to an anti-Corbyn MP who simply happened to be Jewish-are we going to say that it's antisemitic simply to disagree with a person who is Jewish about ANYTHING?  Does that mean it was antisemitic to protest what Henry Kissinger did to Cambodia and Chile?  

Luciana Berger made a big, tearful show of standing up in the house and complaining about antisemitic emails sent to her.  It's a horrible thing that such emails were sent to her-but the were sent to her before Corbyn became leader, and when the Metropolitan Police investigated, they determined that the emails were sent by far right types.  What, in any of that episode, was Corbyn responsible for AT ALL?

What horrible crime did Jenny Formby ever commit?   All she did was release a study which demonstrated that there is not a significant incidence of AS within the party.  That's simply what the objective data gathered in her study SHOWED, for god's sakes.

Why should Chris Williamson have been accused of AS, and hounded out of the party, simply for saying that Labour didn't have a significant AS problem?

All that Corbyn supporters were talking about was what Israel was doing to the Palestinians-they weren't attacking Jews as a group, or Judaism as a set of religious and cultural traditions.   

Nothing Corbyn advocated as leader would ever have been injurious to the world's Jewish communities-indeed, by his lifetime of activism, we can clearly call him the LEAST antisemitic and MOST antiracist party leader in UK history.

The fight against Corbyn was always about silencing solidarity with the people of Palestine within the Labour Party. 

If it hadn't been that, the supporters of the IHRA guidelines would have accepted Corbyn's original offer to accept all parts of the guidelines OTHER than those intended to restrict or silence critical comments about the Israeli government.  If the issue hadn't been about silencing opposition to Zionism and solidarity with Palestine, why was that offer not ENOUGH?  Why should criticism of Israel ever have been equated to antisemitism AT ALL?

Israel is simply a country-it is not synonymous with all that is Jewish on the entire planet.  And in North America and Europe, more and more people who are Jewish are distancing themselves from that state. 

Since solidarity with the Palestinians is not in any sense bigotry against Jews or Judaism, why should the guidelines or the BoD demands be used to restrict what people can say about the Israeli government at all?

Corbyn did all he could to fight antisemitism within the party, and while there was an increase in AS in the UK(though it was still far less prevalent than other forms of bigotry in that country)it was almost entirely an increase on the right-among Tory/Brexit Party/UKIP/BNP supporters.

Nothing in that article vindicates your position at all.

And nothing in it justifies the fact that there is currently a massive camapaign going on within the party to drive out anyone who isn't an unquestioning supporter of Netanyahu against the Palestinians, a campaign that has no reason to exist.

There at least needs to be due process in this.  There needs to be a presumption of innocence and a real right for the accused to know the evidence against them and be allowed to present a proper defence.  We can't just assume that everybody being accused is guilty of AS and should be driven out of the party right now.

Would you at least agree that the AS proceedings need to be made a bit less of a kangaroo court?  That is it possible for a person to be unjustly accused of AS?   That no one should be punished simply for saying that another person is innocent of AS?

 

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:

lagatta4 wrote:

You have no business at a progressive site. Stop wasting our time with your right-wing shit.

nicky should be slinking away in shame, but he has no shame.

Agreed. Even in the face of a massive pandemic where people aren't sure about their jobs or even if they will have access to food,  he still feels the need to antagonize this community over something that I'm sure even very few of Corbyn's most voiceferous detractors in the UK care about at this time.

Besides, the Labour leadership race is a moot point right now, as given the current projections, I'd be surprised if it still goes ahead as planned.

Ken Burch

nicky most likely wants it to go ahead, since all he cares about is ridding Labour of all socialists and leaving it with nothing but "modernizing social democrats"; i.e., Tories with trendier clothes.

nicky

You're right Ken . It needs to go ahead. It is a postal ballot so the health risks are minimal.

Labour needs to mend itself as soon as possible.

As for a Kangaroo court as you call it, allegations of anti -Semitism in the Labour Party are to be heard by the European Court of Human Rights, one of the most respected courts in the world. 

I will respect their verdict, whatever it may be. Will you?

nicky

And Aristotle, it was Ken who opened this thread with its judgement laden title in the middle of this crisis.

Why dont you attack him instead of me for wading into this at this time?

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

You're right Ken . It needs to go ahead. It is a postal ballot so the health risks are minimal.

Labour needs to mend itself as soon as possible.

As for a Kangaroo court as you call it, allegations of anti -Semitism in the Labour Party are to be heard by the European Court of Human Rights, one of the most respected courts in the world. 

I will respect their verdict, whatever it may be. Will you?

It would  do nothing to "mend" Labour  if the party did what you want-expelled all the socialists and moved back to the policies that lost it the 2010 and 2015 elections-elections which prove that Labour can never win again on a "centre ground"(i.e. Tory) program again.

Would you agree, at least, that nobody should be suspended or expelled just for criticizing Zionism or expressing solidarity with Palestinians.

Your right-wing hero Lisa Nandy-someone who is only running for the leadership in the hope of punishing socialists for being socialist, who has no positive policies-runs a group called Labour For Palestine.  That group would be banned under the IHRA guidelines and the BoD pledges, since it is impossible to express any support for the Palestinian cause under those strictures.  Are you ok with THAT?

We are all against antisemitism.  It's just that what people say on the Israel/Palestine dispute or about Zionism should never be equated to that, since Israel is simply a country and Zionism is just another right-wing nationalist movement now, a movement that no longer needs to exist due to its goal having been achieved and will never be undone.

Why not admit that those topics should be considered totally separate from the issue of antisemitism?

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I have up until this point kept out of the UK threads, given how toxic the exchanges between Nicky and Ken have been.  This despite having a keen interest in UK politics. I'm not going to stay silent any longer.

Nicky, it appears to me that you are equating all criticism of Israel with anti-semitism, something which is simply not true. Ken has repeatedly refuted your disgusting arguments, which do not have any place on a progressive site like babble.

Palestinians are human beings, they deserve to be treated as human beings, and Israel's inhuman treatment of the Palestinians deserves to be called out and opposed. Labour Party members who have done so ought to be commended.

nicky

Left- Turn, you are listening to Ken's mischaracterization of my comments, not what I have said.

I have never condoned the suppression of Palestininian rights or supported the current Israeli regime. I have never equated criticism of Israeli with anti-Semitism.

You can scour my posts in vain for any such comment. Ken is simply lying about this and I defy him to back up what he claims by quoting anything I have actually said.

He is simply attempting to deflect any criticism of Corbynism by equating such criticism with promotion of Israeli apartheit. It is a dishonest argument. And, dare I say it, not one that should be on a progressive website. 

Ken Burch

If you don't equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism, why, then, do you not agree with me that neither the IHRA "guidelines" nor the BoD "pledges" should ever have made that equation?  Why have you never called on the IHRA and the BoD to remove that part of the language from their proposals?

There is also the fact that you act as if it simply goes without saying that people like Jenny Formby and Chris Williamson, neither of whom ever made an antisemitic comment in their life, are guilty of antisemitism.

And that you didn't join me in agreeing that local councillor from Hove did not deserve to be punished or even threatened with punishment for what she said?

And that Tony Greenstein-who has never been punished for anything OTHER than his views on the Israel/Palestine issue-and who is Jewish and therefore couldn't be an antisemite if he wanted-should never have been subject to disciplinary proceedings?

You have never denounced the equation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism in a single exchange.   That is my main disagreement with you on this point.

We are both in agreement that actual antisemitism should not be tolerated.

 

nicky

Excuse me Ken. Where have I ever said that Williams or Formsby are ant-Semites? I think Formsby has certainly ignored or n minimized anti_Semitism amongst some of Corbyn's supporters but that is a different thing.

You really should stop accusing people of things they never said.

Ken Burch

She is one of the people you have called to be forced out.  Other than the fact that she didn't buy into the AS smear, what actual grudge did you have with her.

And you may not have called for Williamson to be punished, but you never denounced the attacks on him or the idea that it is antisemitic simply to question whether Labour has a major incidence with that major form of bigotry.

The only reason the AS smear was made was that Corbyn was the first Labour leader to acknowledge that Palestinians have legitimate grievances against Israel.  That is pretty much all any of the people who are being attacked in the AS smear have ever really done.

There needs to be a clear and absolute dilineation between antisemitism-a bigotry all of us denounce-and what anybody says about the Israeli government or in support of Palestinians.  Agreed?  Antisemitism is bigotry or threats of violence against Jewish people and against Judaism as religion or culture.

People associated with Corbyn have not been involved with such bigotry, and have never sought to intimidate or harm people simply on the basis of those people being Jewish.  The fact that virtually none of the complaints filed on the issue turned out to be valid proved this.

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Nicky wrote:
He is simply attempting to deflect any criticism of Corbynism by equating such criticism with promotion of Israeli apartheit.

The Phrase Israeli Apratheid is NOT anti-semitic. I do myself try to stay away from the term because many people have issues with it, but there is nothing inherently anti-semitic about it.

nicky

To answer some things in Ken’s last post:

She is one of the people you have called to be forced out.  Other than the fact that she didn't buy into the AS smear, what actual grudge did you have with her. 

Even Corbyn admitted Anti-Semitism was a problem in the Labour Party ( he even apologized for it) so Formsby’s failure to deal with it is significant. She was also thoroughly incompetent as reflected in the election results. She diverted resources from constituencies where moderates had close fights to places where Corbynites were further behind. She and the NEC imposed Cirbynite candidates on unwilling constituencies ( I documented this in a previous post with a dozen different references to refute your contrary and undocumented assertion). She and the NEC havealso tried to weight the leadership contest in favour of RLN.

And you may not have called for Williamson to be punished, but you never denounced the attacks on him or the idea that it is antisemitic simply to question whether Labour has a major incidence with that major form of bigotry. I don’t think I have commented on this but even the Corbynite controlled NEC turfed him for anti-Semitic comments. 

The only reason the AS smear was made was that Corbyn was the first Labour leader to acknowledge that Palestinians have legitimate grievances against Israel.  That is pretty much all any of the people who are being attacked in the AS smear have ever really done. This is so inaccurate. A sweeping irresponsible absolutely undocumented pretence.

There needs to be a clear and absolute dilineation between antisemitism-a bigotry all of us denounce-and what anybody says about the Israeli government or in support of Palestinians.  Agreed?  yes

Antisemitism is bigotry or threats of violence against Jewish people and against Judaism as religion or culture.yes

People associated with Corbyn have not been involved with such bigotry, and have never sought to intimidate or harm people simply on the basis of those people being Jewish.  The fact that virtually none of the complaints filed on the issue turned out to be valid proved this. This is quite a howler. Williamson is an example to the contrary. More than 70 Labour staffers made the allegations. There is a case pending before the ECHR. You suggest that the allegations have been dismissed where they have not yet even been heard.

 

 

Ken Burch

I had asked to make those distinctions and to agree that people shouldn't be accused of AS over their views on the Israel/Palestine issue for years.  Why did you refuse to do so until now?

And as to those staffers who made the complaints-you DO realize that virtually all of them are on the right wing of the party and made those complaints as part of their campaign to remove Corbyn and force Labour back to the right-wing policies that nobody in the party other than part of the PLP AND Luke Akehurst supports?

That's why I denounce this process.  It isn't sincere.  It is simply a pretext to anathemize the Labour Left-the only part of the party that actually wants Labour to have policies which aren't reduced to being just barely different than the Tories, and the sector of the party which makes up the overwhelming majority of the Labour rank and file.

Those making the allegations have been driven, almost entirely, by an obsession with silencing public opposition to what Netanyahyu does to Palestinians.  And if the IHRA guidelines and the BoD demands are accepted by the party, it will not be possible to be a Labour Party member and not be an unquestioning public defender of Likudnik.  Lisa Nandy's group, "Labour for Palestine" would have to disband, because it isn't possible to support a Palestinian state without stating that Israel, as currently constituted, is a racist state.  
 

josh

The witch-hunt continues.  
 

Keir Starmer is facing a showdown with the left of Labour after his decisive sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey reignited the party’s internal turmoil over the issue of antisemitism.

In a swift move, Long-Bailey was summarily dismissed as shadow education secretary for sending an approving tweet about an interview in which the actor Maxine Peake said the US police tactic of kneeling on someone’s neck was taught by the Israeli secret service.

This was emphatically denied by Israel, and Peake later retracted the claim. By then, however, Long-Bailey had been fired.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/25/keir-starmer-sacks-rebecca-long-bailey-from-shadow-cabinet

 

josh

From the above article:

John McDonnell, who was shadow chancellor under Corbyn, tweeted: “Throughout discussion of antisemitism it’s always been said criticism of practices of Israeli state is not antisemitic. I don’t believe therefore that this article is or ⁦⁦@RLong_Bailey⁩ should’ve been sacked. I stand in solidarity with her.”

Ken Burch

Good on McDonnell.  There is no reason ever to conflate comments about the Israeli government with AS.  Israel is a country-it is not synonymous with Jews or with Judaism.

NDPP

Pro-Corbyn Shadow Minister Purged After Israel Lobby Demand

https://twitter.com/AsaWinstantley/status/1276195835576029192

"Labour leader Keir Starmer fires Rebecca Long-Bailey. 'Falsely smearing Peake as having an 'anti-Semitic conspiracy theory,' the Jewish Leadership Council denounced Long-Bailey for not having 'deleted or apologized' for her tweet and called for Starmer to take action against her..."

'Anti-Semitism: It's a trick, we always use it...' - Shulamit Aloni - frmr Israeli minister

https://youtu.be/oZvkY7mIKtw

NDPP

Note The Timing: Days Before Israel's Illegal Annexation of Large Parts of the West Bank, Labour MPs Are Being Warned Not To Speak Out

https://twitter.com/TomLondon6/status/1276443708955791360

"Keir Starmer has learnt the Corbyn lesson. The only way to stop the antisemitism smears is to erase all meaningful solidarity with the Palestinians from the Labour Party. The issue is now so toxic no senior Labour figure will ever dare to seriously criticize Israel again."

(Just like the NDP.)

nicky

Good for Starmer!

Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Good for Starmer!

What Long-Bailey reposted was simply a comment about Israeli military training policies-not about Jews or Judaism.  this is why Labour should not have been forced to adopt any of the IHRA "examples" pertaining to the Israeli government.   There should be no greater restrictions on comments about the Israeli government-which is, after all, simply a government-than about any other government of any other country.

The only reason this was even an issue is that the IDF denied this was part of their training practices.   

Why was it never enough for you that Labour fight ACTUAL antisemitism, nicky?  Why should criticism of the government and military of a country ever be equated with antisemitism?
 

nicky

Ken, why I say Good for Starmer is that he is putting Labour on a course to actually win the next election. To do so it is essential that the taint of anti-Semitism be eradicated from Labour.

nicky
Ken Burch

nicky wrote:

Ken, why I say Good for Starmer is that he is putting Labour on a course to actually win the next election. To do so it is essential that the taint of anti-Semitism be eradicated from Labour.


Comments about and criticism of Israel never have "the taint of antisemitism".  And the Labour Leaks prove that the last leader did everything he could to fight AS-something the IHRA examples were never about-and it was the right wing Labour bureaucracy that stalled the disciplinary proceedings as part of the smear.

The Israeli government is not synonymous with Jews and Judaism, and Israel is simply a country.

Labour doesn't need to be made a party in which being "pro-Israel"-which now means nothing at all but being an unquestioning defender of Netanyahu and an opponent of Palestinian self-determination- to be free of antisemitism.

Ken Burch

Why link this comment to AS at all?  It was a comment about a military tactic, not religion, or ethnicity, or race or culture. 

Why link ANY comments about Israel to AS at all?

What is the point?

You have never answered that question.

Why EVER imply that Israel or the Israeli government are synonymous with Jews or Judaism?  
 

josh

Freedland was one of the media leaders of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt.  How the hell is criticizing the policies, true or not, of a political state anti-Semitism.  What this is an effort to chill and suppress criticism of a Israel within the Labour Party.  And a chance for Sturmer to look "tough on the left," and get praise from the Tory press sleaze merchants.

But this is so similar to the tactics of Neil Kinnock in the 1980s to "purge" the left.  And all that got him was two electoral defeats.  But if the left also intends to repeat history, and again let themselves be a whipping boy, I have no sympathy for them.  They need to leave the party and either join the Greens, or form their own party.    There is no place for them in a party with an establishment that worked to defeat its leader from the time he was democratically chosen.  

Ken Burch

The words of Leon Rosselson, one of the greatest political songwriters the UK has ever produced, and a longtime member of the Hashomer Hatzair as a young man:

https://medium.com/@rosselson/beyond-a-joke-9296840293a2

And here's a song Leon wrote about his father and his own Jewish identity- a song Keir Starmer would probably expel him from the Labour party for writing if Leon was a member:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEDe9JPvPBI

Ken Burch

1) The fact that the IDF denied they train police to put boots on necks is not the same thing as proof that they don't.  Of COURSE they would deny it-The old South African government denied every accusation anyone ever made about the methods they used to keep the apartheid system on the necks of the Black/Colored/Mixed/Indian communities.

Also, it now looks as though the real reason Starmer sacked Long-Bailey was not antisemitism-she isn't an antisemite and has never said or done a single antisemitic thing in her life- but an argument between the two of them in which Long-Bailey spoke out strongly against Starmer for supporting the reopening of schools when all available evidence suggests the reopening has significantly increase infection rates.

https://skwawkbox.org/2020/06/25/excl-long-bailey-sacked-after-massive-row-over-schools-return-as-news-emerges-that-starmers-support-for-return-has-seen-infection-rate-double/?fbclid=IwAR08FEkPAwL-B3tIf36BB_e1zjiHmdOW44fxqmmH4uj_b1CHTC5HeJnzHAg

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