The anti-Semitism of Britain’s Labour Party

Although I’ve read some stuff about the British Labour Party’s growing anti-Semitism, I didn’t really know how pervasive it was until reader BJ sent me some links. The first is from the Spectator, simply listing 50 instances of Labour Party anti-Semitism. While some of the bigots have been expelled or punished for their sentiments (that’s up to the party, not me), others have gotten off scot-free for expressions that, were they applied to blacks or Muslims, would have been grounds for expulsion. Here are just a few examples from “Labour’s pockets of anti-Semitism: The evidence“. Remember that Jeremy Corbyn is an MP from Islington and leader of the Labour Party. I’m just repeating the Spectator’s assertions and haven’t verified them for myself:

7. Jeremy Corbyn had a ten-year association with a group which denied the Holocaust. Mr Corbyn was a ‘stalwart’ supporter of Deir Yassin Remembered, attending events in 2013, with the group’s founder, Paul Eisen, a self-professed Holocaust denier.

11. A Labour councillor in Birmingham, Zafar Iqbal, shared a David Duke video on Facebook entitled ‘CNN Goldman Sachs and the Zio Matrix’. The Labour party accepted Mr Iqbal’s apology and claim that he had have no recollection of sharing this video’ – no disciplinary proceedings were enacted.

16. Ken Livingstone reportedly said a Jewish journalist was ‘just like a concentration camp guard’, that Jews vote Tory because they are rich and that Hitler supported Zionism. Despite his attempt to draw a parallel between those who fought for Jewish freedom and those who perpetrated a Jewish genocide, Livingstone was only given a temporary suspension from a party disciplinary panel – a decision Corbyn supported, despite 100 Labour MPs calling for Livingstone’s expulsion.

19. Labour Party member and Momentum Teesside activist Bob Campbell has shared an image of a rat marked with a Star of David and claimed Israel controls ISIS. Campbell denied to the press that he had been suspended by the party.

21. Labour Councillor and former Labour Mayor of Blackburn, Salim Mulla, called Zionist Jews a ‘disgrace to humanity’, endorsed a video which blamed Israel for school shootings in the USA, and said ‘Zionism’ was orchestrating ISIS. After an initial suspension he was reinstated as a Labour member.

27. Naz Shah, MP for Bradford West, was suspended from the party for sharing a post suggesting Israel should be ‘relocated’ to the United States and for saying that ‘the Jews are rallying’ to a Daily Mirror poll. She later apologised and was re-instated.

30. Jeremy Corbyn called antisemitic terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah ‘our friends’ when inviting them to speak in Parliament. He claimed the invitation to Hezbollah was ‘absolutely the right function of using parliamentary facilities’ and that the group was committed to ‘social justice and political justice’. Corbyn later said this was ‘inclusive language I used, which with hindsight I would rather not have used’.

35. Miqdad Al-Nuaimi, a Labour Councillor in Newport, was suspended after tweeting that ‘#Israel regime and army are increasingly assuming the arrogance and genocidal character of the #Nazis’ and that ‘ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi dies in Israeli hospital…If confirmed, the #Israeli connection is very interesting’. He was initially suspended, but then cleared by the Labour party.

37. Afzal Khan, then a Labour MEP and now the MP for Manchester Gorton, compared Israel to Nazis. No disciplinary action was taken.

40. Luke Cresswell, a Labour Councillor in Suffolk, tweeted an image of a blood-soaked Israeli flag, accused Israel of genocide and captioned the image ‘Moses must be proud of you’. Though initially suspended, he was then re-admitted, and subsequently selected as a councillor.

42. Max Tasker, a Labour Councillor in North Wales, posted Youtube videos to his facebook page with entitled: ‘Is ISIS good for the Jews?’, ‘The whole story of Zionist conspiracy: the filthy history of pedophilia, murder and bigotry’, ‘Not for the immature! Zionist Antichrist will rule the [New World Order]’ and ‘Ukraine’s anti-Russian stance is a Zionist masterplan’.

48. Jeremy Corbyn defended in 2012 an anti-Semitic mural in East London that depicted Jewish bankers playing a monopoly-style game on the backs of the poor. He has since apologised.

This is a small sample, but I found it appalling, though just another instance of the Left being anti-Semitic. But I’m not sure why this is the case in the UK, though in the US it’s because Jews are seen as white oppressors of brown Muslims. Is this the same in the UK?  I’m not the only one to be appalled by this, of course: journalist Nick Cohen has repeatedly called out Labour for its anti-Semitism; the latest example is here. But the leader of the party? Oy!

At any rate, the Guardian has published a letter signed by “more than forty senior academics” that is pure “whataboutery” with regards to Labour’s anti-Semitism. For example, it calls attention to anti-Semitism in Europe and Poland, the link between Conservatives and right-wing European parties, and accuses “dominant sections of the media” of claiming both that anti-Semitism is largely a problem of Labour and also that Corbyn hasn’t dealt with it. In other words, it uses whataboutery (while claiming it isn’t doing that) to defend Labour against anti-Semitism. But the issue, of course, is whether the party of inclusion is also bigoted, regardless of whether other countries are equally bigoted.

Notice that the signatories of the letters are largely from Goldsmiths at the University of London, the London School of Economics, and other universities that have a strong Authoritarian Leftist strain. No wonder their “senior academics” are defending Labour against bigotry!

In two pieces in the Spectator, conservative writer Douglas Murray examines whether those “senior academics” really are respected senior academics. Well, he finds some weirdos among them, including people whose scholarship is in Zombie and Star Wars studies, and one woman who’s not an academic at all. But that’s not really the point, which is the accusation of anti-Semitism. The academic credentials of the signatories isn’t that important, though the Guardian’s possible misrepresentation of them is. Still, you may want to look at Murray’s pieces, “The truth about the ‘senior academics’ defending Corbyn” and “The Guardian letter defending Jeremy Corbyn is a sham“. They’re more snark than light, but still fun.

What makes me sad is that were I a Brit, I’d be a Labour voter, and yet the party appears ridden with anti-Semitism. That’s not true of the American Democratic Party. Some of the problem may be because the Labour bigots appear to be Muslims, or at least have Arabic names, and therefore are enemies of the Jews from the outset. I don’t know, and ask British readers to explain this to me.

89 Comments

  1. Posted April 8, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    And this is one of the reasons I would be uncomfortable supporting Labour. Part of the problem is that the British Left has always supported the rights of the Palestinians against Israel and this has become indivisible from anti-Jewish sentiment for some.

    The fact that it is all over the mainstream media now is no coincidence – it’s been known about for some time as a problem (vide the Livingstone debacle), but just when we all start watching the already shaky wheels come off the Brexit bus and our beloved overlords need a distraction, ooh look, here it is.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes. I would not support Labour were I a Brit. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as their leader has almost made anti-Semitic bigotry compulsory. I’d support the Liberal Democrats. I don’t agree with every policy of any party, but from what I know (which is admittedly limited), they’re closest to my views.

  2. Posted April 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Yes, as you suggest, the Islam angle is important here. The Muslim population is about 5% now, but importantly for this topic they are highly concentrated in certain cities. Further, with many of their communities being relatively poor, they tend to be natural Labour voters.

    What this means is that in 20 or 30 Parliamentary constituencies the Labour MPs depend very much on appealing to Muslim voters. And dislike of Jews runs deep in the Islamic world.

    By the way, Jerry, I suspect you’d vote Lib Dem not Labour. 🙂

    • Matthew Jenkins
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Data on the Muslim population of the UK comes from the national census. I’ve read that the rate of return of census forms in largely Muslim areas was about 20%, so it’s possible that the size of the Muslim population is underestimated significantly.

  3. Posted April 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Robert Peston, respected politics telly presenter, recently accused “Leave EU” of Islamophobia. At the start of the recent wave of anti-Semitism revelations about large parts of the Labour Party, that organization posted a meme noting that there are ten times as many Muslim voters as Jewish. In these tripwire-outrage times, that was enough for an accusatory pile-in about bigotry or something.

    About 80% of Muslims vote Labour and only about 15% of Jews do. Peston thought that it was outrageous to imply that the LP should consider this. I rather think that the LP would be barely worth calling a political party if it did not. As for a political commentator claiming that the LP should not pay attention to voting patterns, that is simply ridiculous.

    I trace the spread of anti-Semitism in the LP back to the 1980s. I was in a Trotskyist group called “Militant” in London then. Militant was not influential in the big smoke but Corbyn’s fellow-travellers were: such as the Socialist Workers’ Party, Socialist Organiser and London Labour Briefing. All 3 of those groups supported the PLO and terroristic methods. I always thought that if you support terrorism against Israelis, you may end up being anti-Jewish: the step is not too far. Those groups also did not accentuate that Muslim women were thrice-oppressed, by sex, class and religion. And those oppressions could not be addressed by pandering to them, much as the LP did by shutting up about religious bigotry: hence the rise to power of anti-Semites like Naz Shah.

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Interesting post. For all the posturing by the so-called “anti-Stalinist” communist groups (i.e., Trotskyist) the anti-Semitism is right there under a very thin veneer. Many years ago I was once tricked by their seemingly progressive position of “a democratic and secular Palestine.” But beneath the surface is the ugly totalitarian core. Once one of their leading members told me that a war to recover Palestine, resulting in the military destruction of the state of Israel, would be analogous to the what happened to the Civil War mansion (and its inhabitants) of the slaveholder’s family. The question: So whose side are you on?

      • Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Norbert, it used to be funny back in the 80s finding out what animated various far left groups. The Spartacists were wild: they were the ones whom even hectoring Trotskyist ranters would flee. If I remember correctly, for them Mao was God and they once ran the slogan, “Buy a Goat for Socialism”. In Britain. In 1982. The Workers’ Revolutionary Party seemed largely to be made of the Redgrave family plus an old Trotskyist “theoretician” who raped his way through the female student cadres. The Revolutionary Communist Party was neither revolutionary, nor communist, nor a party, but a cultural debating club. The Socialist Workers’ Party was a placard-making machine and still is.

        I do not remember any individual being anti-Semitic: indeed, I do not think they were. In a way it would be anachronistic to assert it. Back in the 80s, when the western self-labelled Marxist groups were supporting the terrorist methods of the PLO, they could just about claim that it was a standard secular nationalist organization. Yet, as Hisham Melhem, the Lebanese-American journalist, pointed out, the pan-Arabist Nasserite ideology was largely replaced from the 1970s by Islamism, sponsored by Saudi international proselytizing. So, the PLO became dominated by Islamism and hence the seeping of anti-Semitism into the western left along this route. That is what you get when you subsume your principles in self-censoring superior-virtue-of-the-oppressed orientalism.

        • Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          Given that a negotiated two-state solution is the only alternative that sane persons, not driven by racism or totalitarian fanaticism, are in favor of, you have to wonder about the far-Left, radical BDS and much of the mainstream Left’s position: the single-state dissolution of Israel solution. Because the two-state alternative is the only viable one, what must be driving the anti-Israel Left-BDS is mainly anti-Jewish prejudice, plain and simple.

          • Jay Salhi
            Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

            Whether the activists recognize it or not, the BDS position implicitly supports genocide. The activists get furious when you point that out to them but if the movement ever got its way, genocide would be the result.

  4. simonchicago
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I often agree with the views here, but I must object to the sentence

    Some of the problem may be because the Labour bigots appear to be Muslims, or at least have Arabic names, and therefore are enemies of the Jews from the outset.

    This is an easy to make but dangerous generalization, in the spirit of “they are Jewish so of course they are money-grabbing thieves.”

    • Angel
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      ++

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      There is an important difference: money-grabbing Jewish thieves are a fiction, while the spread of anti-Semitism among Muslims of Third World origin, and also among Arab Christians, is an unfortunate fact.

      I agree with you that it should be stressed that not all members of these groups are enemies of the Jews.

      • Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        SimonChicago made a correct observation. We should avoid these kinds of generalization.

        “Some of the problem may be because the Labour bigots appear to be Muslims, or at least have Arabic names, and therefore are enemies of the Jews from the outset.”

        This sentence needs editing, especially the part: “…Muslims,.., and therefore are enemies of the Jews from the outset.”

        This cannot be true.

      • Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

        I find it amazing how this thread, which our host started to discuss the dangerous anti-Semitism of a major political party in a major European country, somehow turned about admonishing him because he forgot to mention the non-Antisemitic British Muslims, a minority so silent that it seems mythical.

        • Posted April 9, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          Here are the stats on British Muslim attitudes towards Jews. http://www.icmunlimited.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mulims-full-suite-data-plus-topline.pdf

          They were conducted by ICM in 2016. The figures occur in table 50. Briefly, 25% of British Muslims have negative opinions about Jews. This compares with views on Catholics (12%), nones (23%), Buddhists (20%), Protestants (13%), Muslims (4%), Hindus (17%). So, Jews are the most despised group by British Muslims, even more so than nones. You will notice that Jews are outliers when it comes to Muslim attitudes towards other monotheists. Catholics and Protestants are disdained half as much as Jews.

          Another commenter has pointed out that British Muslims overwhelmingly are from the Indian sub-continent and this matters. I would posit however that Deobandi Islam is just as capable of weaponizing anti-Semitism. After all the anti-Jewish laws of Malaysia show that a country does not need to have any Jews for anti-Semitism to take root. We all know, unlike Jeremy Corbyn, that anti-Semitism is qualitatively different from other forms of racism. It is a sure sign of a conspiracist mind-set. For that reason, it can dribble into a world-view. Hence its recurrent appearance in persecution and shame narratives from Nazi post-WWI humiliation propaganda to HAMAS’s inability to run a functioning polity.

          We have in the UK developed a self-replicating loop: fundamentalist Muslim anti-Semitism feeds the leaders of the far left and their apologetics for HAMAS, and those far-left leaders like John Reed and Lindsey German of StW provide cover for the Islamist project.

          What has surprised me is this. The England and Wales History curriculum is notorious for recycling Nazi history in Secondary education up to the age of 18, to such an extent that students frequently complain, “Not that again.” Nevertheless, one is struck by the frequency with which young people think anti-Semitism unthinkable. We have though, many ordinary Corbyn supporters claiming that the anti-Semitism stories are smears. To my shock, nationalization of the railways and the abolition of university fees really are more important than anti-Semitism.

          I would always distinguish between the leaders of a movement and their followers, who generally do not have time to check their facts and see patterns of behaviour. In the case of ordinary LP members who appear genuinely not to believe that Corbyn covers for the most anti-Semitic elements on the planet, one hopes that the scales will gradually fall: but it is taking a hell of a long time.

  5. Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Anti Semitism in Great Britain has a long history, mostly from the right wing upper classes in the past, but now it is the left that has caught the disease, both here and abroad. The presence of Jews who support the Palestinians has emboldened anti Semites in general. If you don’t believe this, go do research on Great Britain’s attitude and policies towards Hitler and the Nazis. The aristocrats were quite ready to knuckle under to Hitler and the Nazis. Only Churchill stood in their way. Corbyn is an extreme leftist and an anti Semite bred in the bone, as was
    former London mayor Ken Livingstone and of course the deplorable George Galloway. In the universities there are pressures not only for BDS against Israel but bans on Israeli scholars presenting papers at academic conferences. The American left does its best to shut down anything that originates in Israel or Israeli scholars and artists. The BDS movement would never have gotten so far had Jews not supported it. The movement is an offshoot of Palestinian Right of Return, or Al Awda.

    • Mike Cracraft
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Yeah…Churchill had to put up with Lord Halifax and Lady Astor and her circle of anti semites.

      • Posted April 9, 2018 at 4:35 am | Permalink

        Back in the day, casual anti-semitism seems to have been quite common in Britain. I have recently read some of the early Agatha Christie books and was quite surprised to find several anti semitic remarks. Usually they are of the nature of using being a Jew as a marker of being untrustworthy and not an all round good chap.

        In one case she strongly implies that all loan sharks are Jews, although that was a remark she put into the mouth of somebody who turned out to be a murderer. So maybe it was the character speaking.

    • Trevor H
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Anti-Semitism is less prevalent than in other parties

      It’s membership is 550k strong, the tories and the rest are 70k or less

      Whilst as a leftie Labour Party member, I’m unhappy there is any it must be put into this context

      A few other things to note:

      1) The spectator is a right-wing rag previously edited by Boris Johnson who has made many racist statements himself

      2) The British Board of Deputies is right-wing

      3) The left is generally sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, the cry of Anti-semitism is thrown around to ‘shut people up’ when criticising Israeli policies

      4) Left wing Jewish groups (including Jewdas) have come out in support of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

      5) That the biggest thing they could find was a six-year-old mural which was pointing out the inequity of the rich vs the poor – truly scraping the bottom of the barrel

      6) Facebook groups that some of the comments have been found on are ‘open’ so anyone could post on them – it’s not unknown for trolls/agents provocateurs to post there – I am a member of some of them and report and block them when they appear, it’s impossible for admins to catch everything – as others have found

      7) The abuse Diane Abbott gets (a black lady) from racists and misogynists puts the anti-semitism in the shade

      8) Some of the cries of anti-semitism are from the right-wing of the Labour Party ‘Blairites’, who tried to topple Jeremy C once and are trying to do so again, however the mombership is almost 100% behind him, so the only way they can do it is via ‘nefarious’ means….

      Take the reports with a pinch of salt

  6. Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting to do a similar exercise on the Conservative Party, especially if we were to generalise to other forms of bigotry.

    For example, Boris Johnson Boris Johnson,according to the pro-Consevativ e Evening Standard reporting in 2008, “has apologised in public for calling black people “piccaninnies” and referring to their “watermelon” smiles.” (See https://www.standard.co.uk/news/i-didnt-mean-to-be-racist-claims-boris-6648542.html)

    I also think it’s extremely dangerous to use guilt by association, as in the first instance you cite.

    Dermot O’Sullivan, do you have a link to your statement that “only 15% of Jews vote Labour”? If that’s true, things have totally changed in my own lifetime.

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      For context on the Boris Johnson article, here it is.

      • Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Coel. Boris Johnson in The Telegraph: “They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.”

        • Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          The question is whether he is ridiculing Blair by attributing such attitudes to Blair (and similarly the Queen).

          Obviously the main point of the article is ridiculing Blair.

          • Posted April 8, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Agreed. And worth a slow and careful read; I see it as self-revelatory, but you may disagree

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      And indeed, the Jewish Chronicle endorsed Sadiq Khan, Labour, for Lord Mayor of London, over the Conservative cndidate, who was Jewish.

      US readers may not be aware that the Spectator, Jerry’s source, is strongly pro-Conservative, and that Corbyn is the target of a sustained programme of personal vilification, some of it clearly fake news (though I would expect the Spectator is accurate, if selective. After all, there are over 6,400 Labour councillors in the UK)

      • Posted April 8, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        If Herry is quoting the Spectator that’s only because the supposedly ‘liberal’ press like The Guardian is equally riddled with antisemitism.

        I’ve been a union member all my working life and a union rep for most of that and I can’t attend an AGM or go on a march to defend my pension without some **** bringing up Israel or the Bilderberg group. Antisemitism is endemic on the Left.

      • BJ
        Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        “US readers may not be aware that the Spectator, Jerry’s source, is strongly pro-Conservative, and that Corbyn is the target of a sustained programme of personal vilification, some of it clearly fake news..”

        This was the essential defense of the letter published in The Guardian (in addition to the whataboutery). You’ve provided one instance of a Tory politician being possibly racist toward black people, but this is again whataboutery. The point of this post is that Labour doesn’t just have antisemitic elements, but is riddled with antisemitism, including its own elected leader. And, meanwhile, a stalwart leftist publication like The Guardian is whining that the media is reporting on it, after all these years of largely ignoring it.

        All the posts you’ve made in this comment section have glided right over the thesis of this post (the deep problem of antisemitism on the left and in Labour) and tried to point in a different direction, asking people to look elsewhere at other issues instead.

        This is exactly what The Guardian tried to do. I guess ensuring Labour is insulated from criticism is more important to many people than reporting on and rooting out the frightening, widespread antisemitic rot that is present in its ranks.

        • kevind
          Posted April 8, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          ” a stalwart leftist publication like The Guardian is whining that the media is reporting on it”

          There are only two minor problems with this claim
          First of all. Unless you are hard right then no one sensible considers the Guardian to be “stalwart leftist”.
          The roots are as a liberal paper with a slightly left wing bias. This has remained constant throughout many years eg the support for Labour as opposed to Lib dems was when Blair dived rightwards.
          If anything the general editoral position and many columnists are more aggressively anti Corbyn and co than the right wing mob since they preferred it when Labour jumped to their tune.
          There are some more left wing columnists but then there are some more right wing columnists.
          Which takes us on to your second mistake. Jerry is talking about a letter in the paper not an editoral or comment section.

          • BJ
            Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

            The last sentence is fair. They only published the letter, although it is strange that they decided to describe it as signed by forty “senior academics.”

            However, to say that The Guardian is not heavily left-leaning, and recognized to be so, is rather absurd.

            Finally,

          • somer
            Posted April 8, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            The Guardian does not have a “slightly” left wing basis. It has a very left wing stance. Period.

            • Trevor H
              Posted May 19, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

              Compared to other papers it is left wing, but some of them think Enoch Powell was a dangerous leftie…

      • Sarah
        Posted April 8, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Just mayor, not Lord Mayor.

      • Jay Salhi
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        Corbyn has a 30+ year track record of associating with terrorists, cranks, holocaust deniers, clerical fascists and Jew haters. He called Hamas a movement dedicated to Peace and social justice. He spoke at the Al Quds day rally (a hate fest where the Hezbollah flag is everywhere) four years in a row. He was recently found to be an active member of 5 anti-Semitic Facebook groups and ended up deleting his Facebook account to try to cover his tracks. The list of egregious
        behavior is miles long and NOT fake news. Whenever he is called out on his dubious associations he feigns ignorance and uses the “my party is anti-racist” defense.

      • Jay Salhi
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        1. The Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, is a member of the Church of England. He has Jewish heritage but is not Jewish.

        2. Sadiq Khan distanced himself from Corbyn during the election campaign. How sincere this was, I don’t know but Khan does not appear to be part of Labour’s anti-semitism problem. Unlike Corbyn and his close friends, who are the prime cause of it.

      • Mike
        Posted April 12, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        I would take anything in the rabidly Rt Wing Spectator, with a large dose of Salt, they are virulently anti Corbyn.as is 98% of the MSM in Britain, mainly because they are owned by 5 people, all Tax Exiles, and they do not want anyone in power who’ll go after them for Taxes. Jeremy Corbyn has never been an anti-Semite,he recently attended Seder with a group of left wing Jews called Jewdas, who the the British Board of Jewish Deputies condemned as anti-semitic, so now the Rt wing Jewish Leaders in Britain are calling anti-Zionists anti-Semitic, it’s a ludicrous position. You may not know, but the Israeli Embassy over here were involved in a plot to pay one million pounds ,for anyone who could show Corbyn as anti-Semitic. He is anti Zionist ,there is a difference, there are anti-semitic elements in the Lab Party, but there are far more in the Tory Party, that’s not an excuse, but it’s the right wing Tory supporting Jews who are creating this furore over the Lab Party.

        • Trevor H
          Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          Link to the plot…

          Whilst I am aware that AJ is not a neutral source either, I think this speaks for itself…

    • bonetired
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      New Statesman article.

      “A Survation poll before the election found only 13 per cent of Jews were planning to vote Labour in 2017”

      It must be said that the article points out that the percentage hasn’t changed much since Milliband’s day.

      https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/07/can-jeremy-corbyns-labour-win-back-jewish-vote

      • Trevor H
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Clearly the couldn’t charge Ed with being Anti-semitic as he is Jewish himself…

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Paul. someone else has responded re: the rather surprising stat on British Jews’ voting habits. Like you, I suspect that this is a catastrophic fall within my lifetime, as one always thinks of British Jews as being lefties in that European way.

      In the way almost all people consider themselves good, I have no doubt that the homeopathic Corbyn views himself as the same: that is not to deny his decades-long pattern of apologizing for foreign authoritarians. I remember the British groupuscules ignoring the fascist nature of the Argentinian junta during the Falklands War: that should have been my canary in the coal-mine in alerting me to the fact that my side, the left, was also capable of thinking anything. Corbyn comes from exactly that milieu: except that he has not grown up. I wrote the following two years ago: JC is so consistent in his views that I do not see the need to change any of it. It is invective, but all the substance is true. Fleet Street knows a lot of this, and probably a lot more which is unpublishable.

      Jeremy Corbyn, a man fit to be a Secretary of a rural parish council, who signs his own apples, who declares, “I am not a personality”. A leader tongue-tied during PMQs at the answers to his own questions: the Don Quixote, Oblomov, Charles Pooter, Chauncey Gardiner and Alan Partridge of the Labour Party; a man who permanently gives the impression of living behind a gauze of disengagement; a man who subtracts from the energy in a room by entering it; a man who exudes his deep unhappiness at the job he is in; a man who claims a kinder, gentler politics while his acolytes hurl abuse around worthy of Mao’s cultural revolution; a man happier holding a placard rather than a debate.

      Yet a man with a reputation for honesty, sincerity and integrity.

      The ‘Socialist’ whose surgery is in an Islamist mosque; the ‘leftist’ who supports the murdering IRA: who calls the genocidal anti-Semites Hamas his friends; and Hezbollah, the trainers of al-Qaeda in suicide bomb techniques; the man who thinks that the death of Osama bin Laden is morally equivalent to the murder of 3,000 people in 9/11; the man who works for Iranian Press TV; the man who celebrates the Khomeiniist regime at rallies (below); the man who defends Suliman Gani, the supporter of al-Qaeda; the man who responds to a caller proposing the killing of all Jews “Thank you for your call”; the man who fills in for George Galloway, the Saddam-worshipper, on Russian state-propaganda TV; the man who itched to oppose the first Gulf War after the UN had voted for it and after Saddam had bombed Israel and Saudi Arabia and annexed Kuwait; the man who dares to set up Stop the War and oleaginously imply that he is a pacifist; the man whose StW says nothing about the continuing genocide in Syria by Assad backed by Russia and Iran; the man whose StW organization publishes rabidly anti-Semitic posts and then deletes them as if they had never happened; the man who, on having his Labour Party exposed as secreting crazed anti-Semites, sets up an inquiry to root out the nonsensical Islamist meme ‘Islamophobia’ in the party; the man who surrounds himself with dumb posh boys flirting with the most repulsive régimes on the planet; North Korea, the USSR, Iran, Syria, Gaza; people who are so supine and incompetent that they can’t even be bothered responding to daily political events; and whose animus against the MSM is so great that they prefer to snapchat among themselves rather than engage.

      Honest, sincere, honourable, competent?

      None of the above: it’s time we moved into the post-Corbyn Labour Party era.

      • BJ
        Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        I’m saving this post. Thank you very much for it, Dermot.

      • Jay Salhi
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        Very well said. You left Venezuela. Corbyn was a huge supporter of Hugo Chavez often hailing the Venezuela model as one for the rest of the world to follow. He scrubbed his website of all his praise for Chavez about two years ago. He still won’t criticize the current regime, even as people its people starve.

        Corbyn also has an unhealthy obsession with the State of Israel. Before he became party leader, the word “Israel” appeared on Corbyn’s website more than the word “Islington” the borough he represents. Of course, this too was scrubbed after he became PM.

        The odious Stop the War Coalition (which Corbyn used to lead) scrubbed its website after Corbyn became party leader. Some of their bile was captured and saved here: https://therealstopthewar.wordpress.com/

        • Jay Salhi
          Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

          Ughh. No editing of posts here. “PM” of course should say party leader. If Corbyn ever becomes PM, it would would a horrible tragedy.

          • Trevor H
            Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

            For you maybe, not for the majority of the country…

            • Posted May 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

              Here are some questions for you, Trevor.

              What do you think of a leader of the Labour Party who defends in the House of Commons a man who is a supporter of al-Qaeda, Suliman Gani? That is what Jeremy Corbyn did in May 2016.

              There really is no excuse for Corbyn’s ignorance because Gani had had a 30-minute interview with John McDonnell, the LP Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Corbyn’s big political comrade. It beggars belief that Corbyn did not know that. The video is available on youtube. Gani was also photographed with Corbyn, although that is not necessarily a sign of JC’s closeness to Gani, because Gani is a political opportunist.

              What do you think of Corbyn orchestrating some Labour MPs to call Cameron a “racist” in the HoC because Cameron was identifying Gani as an Islamist? (He wrongly labelled him a supporter of ISIS, not AQ). I have evidence for all of this because I researched the London mayoral Gani story.

              What do you think Corbyn’s motives were in this story? If you agree with me, as you should, that all my facts are right, why do you think that Corbyn thought that the most moral line to take on this incident was not the condemnation of a supporter of AQ, but rather the defence of an AQ supporter and a handy way to shout, “racist” in the HoC?

              Finally, how do you think this incident fits in to Corbyn’s pattern of behaviour stretching back at least 30 years? If you were leader of the Labour Party, what would you do, knowing that your party’s candidate for London mayor had shared a platform 9 times with an AQ supporter? Would you wonder how many other times this might have happened beyond London, in the whole UK? What inquiry might you undertake? I would appreciate answers to the questions because they are not smears. They are just facts.

    • Gareth
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      In fariness, Boris was mocking the white saviour narrative, but only because it was Blair, If it was a tory he’d probably been praising it.

      • Gareth
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Ugh, this is completely in the wrong place, sorry for the confusion.

  7. bonetired
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Don’t expect objectivity here: I am a fully paid up LD member and detest what Corbyn has done to a once great party. What is happening to Labour is a mirror image of what is happening to the Conservatives – a massive lurch to the extremes of the party, exemplified, in the Tories case, by the rise of the odious Jacob Rees-Mogg. Unfortunately for Labour, Ed Milliband’s catastrophic changes to the party membership rules has meant that Corbyn is in for the duration – there is no chance of the membership rules being changed since that would mean that the hard left, personified by Momentum, would lose control. What is so depressing is that I cannot see how Labour can escape this trap – if Corbyn goes then another hard-left candidate (John McDonnell probably) would be immediately inaugurated as leader. And so the cycle would continue.

    To be honest, there is a feeling that Brexit is the great divide between the British electorate now.

    • AC Harper
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      On the other hand if 130 of the current Labour MPs left Labour and formed a new political party then the new party would become the Opposition and Corbyn and his followers would lose political traction.

      Quite why the ‘moderate’ Labour MPs have not yet jumped is anyone’s guess.

      • bonetired
        Posted April 8, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Maybe, just maybe, that might now be changing ….

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/07/new-political-party-break-mould-westminster-uk-brexit

      • Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        That happened in the Eighties. It didn’t get Thatcher out.

      • kevind
        Posted April 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        “Quite why the ‘moderate’ Labour MPs have not yet jumped is anyone’s guess.”
        Easy because, as AC Harper alludes to, they would be out the door the next election.
        The “moderates”, who generally arent, dont really have much support. Some people confuse the policies which appeal to swing voters with actual widely popular positions but the MPs generally understand enough not to.
        It works for a while, eg new Labour, but then you end up with a backlash and a collapse of your traditional voters when they realise they are being screwed over. Do it using the existing party and you end up with the rise of UKIP (or Trump in the USA) where popularists pretend to give a toss about the left behinds. Do it with a new brand and its bye bye.

      • Jay Salhi
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        I have asked Labour supporters who hate Corbyn this question many times. The answer I get is that history has not been kind to splinter parties in the UK.

    • Christopher
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Was the self-inflicted damage by Milliband and Corbyn worse than that of Tony “Bush’s lap dog” Blair? I don’t think so. The long, slow decline of Labour began with the Lap Dog PM and continues with the jam and anti-Jerusalem fool. I don’t have much hope for Labour, or Lib Dems, even with the unbelievably boorish Rees-Mogg and buffoonish Bo-Jo led by the beige personality of Theresa “Wheatfield” May.

      • Jay Salhi
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        In its entire history, the Labour Party has won a working majority in Parliament 5 times. Three of them were under the leadership of the “lap dog”.

        Implying that Blair is anywhere near as bad as the Cretin Corbyn is ridiculous.

    • Trevor H
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Labour is only ‘hard left’ as the tories are ‘hard right’

      In the rest of Europe Labour would be seen as a moderate social democrat…

  8. Martin Stubbs
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Anti-Semitism of any kind is abhorrent, but as a Brit and a Labour Party member I refute the idea of ‘growing anti-Semitism’. The vast majority of the Labour Party’s 570,000 members oppose racism and discrimination. The current spate of trial by media has a lot more to do with those who seek to damage the party and its leadership than it does with any underlying anti-Semitic trend within the British Labour Party.

    • Posted April 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      I think that, if ordinary Labour Party members really oppose anti-Semitism, they should urgently elect a new leadership. With this behavior of Corbyn & Co., the inevitable conclusion is that the Labour Party’s members and voters either support the anti-Semitism or do not give a damn.

      • Trevor H
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        And that is the agenda for the smears

        Having failed to get rid of the leadership by legitimate means, the right have resorted to cheap smears and lies

        One look at the tory party will tell you they are ‘institutionally racist, but this isn’t news (by agenda and reality)

    • BJ
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      As Maya Markov said, if the members of Labour care deeply about all bigotry and racism (and not just that which is politically convenient to care about), then most of them would be speaking up about this. Instead, when Labour leadership voting was done in 2016, Labour members voted for Corbyn to the tune of 62%. Corbyn’s antisemitism had already been reported on at that time. Jeremy Corbyn still enjoys wide support. I imagine almost all of this wouldn’t be true if his obvious bigotry was against any other minority.

      “The current spate of trial by media has a lot more to do with those who seek to damage the party and its leadership than it does with any underlying anti-Semitic trend within the British Labour Party.”

      Well then, I guess we can dismiss it. This is the same excuse The Guardian is attempting to use. It’s more important to some people that Labour keep its reputation for being caring and ethical than to expose the deep antisemitism in the party. And it’s not just about Labour voters accepting it — I’m sure most of them aren’t antisemitic, but simply don’t care about bigotry toward Jews — it’s about the antisemitism of many of the politicians who comprise the party, and who still continue to receive the support of Labour voters.

    • Posted April 9, 2018 at 4:51 am | Permalink

      It’s all very well saying that, but the Spectator lists fifty alleged examples of anti-semitism in the Labour Party. When is the “vast majority” of Labour members going to do something about the small minority that is dragging its name through the mud?

  9. Posted April 8, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Nick Cohen’s book What’s Left places this directly in both a long tradition of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and the deep hatred of “the West” which since the fall of Communism has located radical Islam as the most useful enemy in the overthrow of capitalism.

    Corbyn embodies both.

    I’ve also encountered the Ken Livingston mentality in real life among friends. There’s no talking to these people. They’re not interested in reality and only interested in shouting slogans, even at their friends (especially if the friend has committed the crime of having a Jewish girlfriend.)

    Oddly, The Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ editor Johnathon Friedland has been unequivocally opposed to Labour’s denials of this problem–

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/30/antisemitism-jews-canary-coalmine-fake-news?CMP=soc_3156

    “…what’s motivating those Jews protesting about antisemitism in Labour is fear of antisemitism, no more and no less. It’s wrong to suggest their true purpose is thwarting the Corbyn project, as if the Jews who demonstrated in Westminster on Monday are pretending to be outraged by anti-Jewish racism when their real motive is stopping the renationalisation of the railways.”

    • BJ
      Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      So, with regard to that last paragraph: he’s saying that many people think that if Jews don’t support Labour, it’s not because they’re concerned about the wide-ranging antisemitism in the party, but because they’re really conspiring to destroy its leader. That’s really scary. And I imagine few people have their finger on the pulse of Britain’s Labour more than an editor at The Guardian, so I take his comment here very seriously. I didn’t know about this aspect of the situation. Thank you for posting it.

  10. Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

  11. Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Seeing this from the outside, I can only say I don’t know what is true. I read the other day that Corbyn agreed that an anti-semite attitude is more prevalent than expected, and agreed to meet with jewish organisations. In another story that came over my timeline, he met with a jewish left wing “Jewdas” group, and that was condemned by the conservatives, too: now he was too cozy with the “wrong” Jews.

    I also got the impression that the right wing press in Britain tends to be sensationalist and appears to spin a lot. I know this from stories where I know from other sources to make a comparison, and from the manner and apparent tendency of their reporting.

    Left wing anti-semitism has a long history. The infamous Protocols originate in Russia, and quickly found appeal on both extremes(the main blueprint is now known as New World Order conspiracies). They are all are built on Jews as the Other, who are different from the locals, natives etc. The otherness, fewer numbers, and visible successes of Jews have led to a blend where Jews can be anything from a capitalist elite, secret societies (Bilderberger, Rothschild, Illuminati) or even aliens and reptilians (this narrative is probably understood metaphorically, and the literal veneer is to make it seem absurd one time, to shake-off hatespeech laws, and another time for fear-mongering effect). The “alien elite” motif is also visible in “Globalists”, and the “The Establishment”.

    On the left, this narrative gels with the Israel state as an alien oppressor against the locals; or with (white/European) colonialism. It also blends with the stereotype of the money lender, or rich Jews, i.e. negative stereotypes of capitalism. I suspect the hatred of many Muslims towards Israel, and who are potential voters, plays a rather minor role.

    • Kirbmarc
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 4:47 am | Permalink

      I suspect that even in most British Muslim communities in the position of the Labour left on Israel plays a FAR less important role in muslim anti-semitism than other factors.

      Most British muslims aren’t Palestinians or even Arabs, they’re of the Pakistani or Bangladeshi, and neither groups had a history of grievances with Israel.

      Muslim anti-semitism is more similar to traditional Christian anti-semitism, i.e. it’s justified by the religious texts, especially in very reactionary and conservative circles.

      The recent resurgence of muslim anti-semitism seems more tied to the general rise of the reactionary/conservative clerics, especially Salafi ones, due to better funding and propaganda, than due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has been going on for decades.

      Indeed more often than not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is used along with a lot of other muslim conservative/reactionary memes, like the idea the “crusading” west plans to exterminate all muslims or to forcibly convert them, or the idea that American troops in Saudi Arabia are there to take over Mecca and make it so that the “infidels” will be allowed in areas which are for now reserved only to muslims.

      Of course it’s important not to pander to extremists, and to be prepared to call out conspiracy theories, generalizations and essentialist narratives about Jews, just like it is important not to pander to ethno-nationalism or to narratives about a “Muslim invasion” or “white genocide” and instead call out reactionary or conservative attitudes when they’re actually expressed.

      But I sincerely doubt that the origin of the anti-semitic feelings in some Muslim communities is due to the left-wing position on Israel.

    • Jay Salhi
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      “In another story that came over my timeline, he met with a jewish left wing “Jewdas” group, and that was condemned by the conservatives, too: now he was too cozy with the “wrong” Jews.”

      Jewdas is a group of far left anarchists started in 2006. They have called Israel a “steaming pile of sewage which needs to be properly disposed of”. Their Passoever “prayers” include things “fuck the police” “Fuck the Queen” “Burn down Parliament. Full communism. Amen.”

      They are not the “wrong Jews” just total fringe, nut jobs. The kind of people Corbyn is very comfortable with.

      • Trevor H
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        You seem to have an agenda here too….

        (Jewdas)s events have always been political, celebrating leftwing thinkers, and participating in pro-Palestinian marches, as well as writing controversial tweets and satirical articles, with highly personal attacks on Jewish communal figures – including the president of the Board of Deputies – and the Jewish press. On Monday, it was the annual alternative Passover seder, the traditional meal for the Jewish festival, which Jeremy Corbyn attended.

  12. Posted April 8, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a Labour supporter and agree that there is an antisemitism problem in the Labour party. For a party that campaigns on a platform of anti-racism they need to be super-vigilant against anti-semitism in their ranks; and, simply, they’re not. I’m pretty sure this is because of the deep antipathy to Israel many on the left have, including Corbyn, and their unfortunate support for *all* instantiations of Islam and some of the opponents of Israel.

    Having said that it’s important when criticising Labour not to pretend that this is *more* of a problem in Labour than it is elsewhere. The data I’ve seen doesn’t show any difference in rates of antisemitism between Labour and the other parties. Unfortunately, Brexit is a symptom of increased xenophobia and racism across all sectors in Britain, and I worry that highlighting the problem among leftists (and there really is a feeding frenzy on this atm) will lead us to ignore a bigger, society-wide, problem.

  13. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    The Right hates the Jews, the Left hates the Jews, they are the smallest group in many places yet are the most likely to suffer from hate crimes. It just keeps getting better and better for the Jews.

    • Jay Salhi
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Jew hatred on the right is confined to a fringe. Jew hatred on the left has infected the Labour Party at its highest levels and mainstream progressive movements. It is a problem on university campuses in the UK and the US. Violence against Jews in Europe is a growing problem and it is not coming from the far right.

      The Israeli Embassy in German did a study on 10 years of hate mail received by the Embassy and by a Jewish cultural foundation. Only 3% of the hate mail came from the far right.

      • Jay Salhi
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        Typo. German should say Germany.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 9, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        In the US you may be familiar with the KKK, alt-right, White Supremecists and the White Nationalists. Not a majority but still a substantial group.

        • Jay Salhi
          Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          Of course I’m aware of them. They are total fringe groups who register a few thousand people and who have no credibility. By contrast, left wing anti-Semitism is increasingly coming from mainstream sources including university academics the British Labour Party. Right wing anti-semites are marginalized, left wing ones are mainstream. That’s why it is a much bigger problem on the left than it is on the right.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know how you can think university groups are “main stream” in the US. The Republican party is much more full of the alt-right (quickly becoming the Republican base) than the Democrats are full of those esposing these values on the Left.

        • Jay Salhi
          Posted April 11, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

          Louis Farakhan is the moral equivalent of the KKK. If a Republican politician were caught cavorting with KKK leaders, he would be a heavy price. Memembers of Congress who hang out with Farakhan pay no such price. There is a different standard applied to right wing hate groups than to left wing hate groups.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted April 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

            The KKK yes but not the alt-right. Trump has supported them tacitly and members of the alt-right are or have been in the White House.

      • Trevor H
        Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        The Jew hatred on the right is a fringe?

        How many tories have been expelled for wearing Nazi gear?

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10589234/Tory-MP-who-threw-Nazi-themed-stag-party-not-racist-or-anti-semitic-inquiry-finds.html

        Do you not remember the dog-whistle racism against Sadiq Khan?

  14. BJ
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, the people in this comment section saying the reporting of antisemitism in the Labour party, trying to deflect, and claiming Labour voters would be concerned if it was true are not a minority: https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/04/watch-andrew-neils-guide-to-anti-semitism/

    “…nearly eight out of ten Labour members believe that accusations of anti-Semitism within the Labour party in the last fortnight are being exaggerated to damage Jeremy Corbyn and prevent criticism of Israel.”

    (emphasis added)

    It’s not antisemitism, it’s a plot to keep Israel from criticism!

    • Trevor H
      Posted May 19, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      And the you get the cry – if you deny anti-semitism, YOU are anti-semitic….

  15. colnago80
    Posted April 8, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    The Guardian, like the BBC, has a long history of being hyper-critical of Israel.

    Of course, this is not confined to the UK. For instance, the Intercept web site, run by self-hating Jew and self hating gay man Glenn Greenwald has run several articles bad mouthing the Government of Israel for its reaction to the recent action of the Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. You will look long and hard unsuccessfully for any article therein on the recent use of chemical weapons by the Government of Syria in Douma. The number of fatalities in Douma appears to be several times the number of fatalities in the Gaza Strip.

    • Jay Salhi
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Assad murders more people in a year than have died on both sides of the I/P conflict in its entire history. Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa have claimed over 5 million lives in the past 70 years. The I/P death toll accounts for .5 percent of this total. You will never here Greenwald, Corbyn or any other far leftist acknowledge this reality.

      • Posted April 9, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Whatever Corbyn will say, I have no idea, but Greenwald, like Chomsky, will point out repeatedly: there is a *big* difference here – who is responsible?

        In Assad’s Syria, the regime is supported by Russia (a little) and so the regime is responsible, and Russia is responsible. In the case of other places, like G’s native US, the US supports Israel officially (including using its veto at the SC). Even if you think that this is justified, it still does not follow that one shouldn’t focus on it.

        For example, I do complain about Canada selling arms to Saudi Arabia, because we know they will be used to flatten Yemenis. There are other injustices, but as a Canadian I do have some say in this one, so I focus on it.

        As for the rest, some charges are justified, but some are not, the way I see it. Simply speaking to a group that *happens* to contain bigots etc. is not necessarily a problem. Suppose a prominent Democrat in the US spoke to a group devoted to impeaching Trump. Some of the folks who want to impeach Trump no doubt include Stalinists. If they wave their flag around, should we have a problem with the group as a whole?

        The Democratic leader shouldn’t go out of their way to speak to Stalinists as such, but if there’s a more “global” reunion *it will happen* that the more reprehensible elements on the same side will be there.

        • Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Keith, I do not buy this Chomskian argument at all, the idea that one should criticize only what you can affect. This subsumes one’s public comments, and eventually thoughts, to the political usefulness of its content: as if what is true is less important than today’s political expediency. I have very little chance of influencing Saudi social policy but that does not stop me from having an opinion on it. Too often, the Chomsky lip-staple is a shifty silence about the inconvenient fact.

          • Posted April 10, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

            I think the argument is a matter of emphasis. Hence my example about Yemen.

            (Also I would add that explaining why people want to join certain movements or why people often make bad choices is not endorsing the choices – to explain is to not to exhonerate.)

  16. blasphemyisavictimlesscrime
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Here is a link to the left wing blog Skwawkbox, which concerns a 2017 survey carried out by Yougov on behalf of the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

    https://skwawkbox.org/2018/03/29/exclusive-caa-yougov-data-show-labour-significantly-less-antisemitic-under-corbyn/

    It has links to the original data, so do feel free to data mine.

    There are many inaccuracies in the Spectator article, which I am just too depressed to address right now. So disappointing to see this covered here in such a way, and some of the above comments are just reprehensible.

    • Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      blasphemy…, these figures are misleading. They do not tell us the total numbers of LP members who hold some anti-Semitic views.

      Here is why. The trends do not give us overall numbers nor overall percentages: they give us the percentage difference between philo- and anti-semitic attitudes of LP members at one point in January 2015 and at another in August 2017.

      Everyone in Britain knows that the LP membership grew hugely between those 2 dates: from ca. 200,000 to ca. 550,000. It therefore seems highly likely that even in the case of the most philo-semitic metric among LP members – that Jews are “loyal” – the overall number of anti-Semites in the LP has hugely increased, perhaps by the tens of thousands.

      Skwawkbox knows this and must have juggled the stats before presenting them so that they would appear as positive for the LP as possible. This is precisely what we mean by the obscurantism of modern LP mouth-pieces.


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