The rising hysteria about the rampant growth of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party is baseless, it is merely the latest in a long stream of assaults on the Left of the Labour movement, and on allies of Jeremy Corbyn most particularly.
Iain Watson, the BBC’s Political Correspondent, reports a Labour MP telling him a week before this broke publicly that: “There is a lot more in this anti-Semitism issue – a lot more. And the people we will take out are all close to Corbyn.”
The central importance of this witch-hunt to the corporate media and the right-wing of the Parliamentary Labour Party is to equate criticism of the right-wing Israeli government with anti-Semitism.
Predictably Liz Kendall has backed the recent suspension of Ken Livingstone, but more worryingly so have so-called Corbyn supporters such as Jon Ashworth and the national leaders of Momentum.
Echoes of this broader hate campaign can be seen by the ongoing locally-felt actions of the right-wing Zionist group Jewish Human Rights Watch, which continues to attack Leicester City Council because they agreed to “boycott goods from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank” (April 21, Leicester Mercury).
This so-called human rights group deliberately seeks to sow confusion around this critical issues by conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
In their current online material they emphasise the following misinformed quote to attack critics of the Israeli government: “When people criticize Zionists, they means Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”
The director of Jewish Human Rights Watch even goes so far as likening our Council to Hitler’s genocidal regime. In a recent online video he notes, in direct reference to Leicester’s boycott: “When the Nazis first came to power in 1930s Germany, one of the very first things they implemented were boycotts of Jews.”
Here perhaps it is fitting to conclude with a quote from a recent statement posted by the Jewish Socialists’ Group who are crystal clear on this matter:
“Criticism of Israeli government policy and Israeli state actions against the Palestinians is not antisemitism. Those who conflate criticism of Israeli policy with antisemitism, whether they are supporters or opponents of Israeli policy, are actually helping the anti-Semites.”
This letter was published in the Leicester Mercury on May 4. The second paragraph concerning the BBC and the third from last paragraph concerning the Nazis were ommited by the Mercury.
Other Useful Resources
- “Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t got an ‘antisemitism problem’. His opponents do” (April 27, 2016)
- “Ken Livingstone: gobshite yes, antisemite” (April 29, 2016)
- “Livingstone suspension: ‘Slow coup’ against Corbyn” (April 29, 2016)