How Labour Was Destabilised by the Israel Lobby and Progress Right

How Labour Was Destabilised by the Israel Lobby and Progress Right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

This is an excellent
analysis from Electronic Intifada’s Asa Winstanley that confirms all my
suspicions that this crisis of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party has been
deliberately created.  It has been
created partly by the media, inc. The Guardian but without doubt co-ordinated
between the Right of the Party and the Zionist lobby as represented by the
so-called Jewish Labour Movement and the Israeli PR Group BICOM.
I have no doubts that
the hand of Israel’s Embassy and its personnel are involved in destabilishing
Britain’s second major party.  The
prospect of the Palestine supporter Jeremy Corbyn being elected as leader of
the Labour Party triggered a dirty tricks operation worthy of any CIA effort to
destabilise a South American country.
It has been aided by a
compliant media and  talking heads such
as BBCs Andrew Neil, Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland and other paid
propagandists.
Thousands of pounds
have been spent on researchers going through hundreds of thousands of emails,
tweets, FB posts etc. in order to dig up some dirt and if necessary manufacture
some dirt.
This article reveals
how Alex Chalmers, the co-Chair at Oxford University Labour Club was an
ex-intern at BICOM and a dirty tricks agent on behalf of the Zionists.  His allegations of anti-Semitism at Oxford
University Labour Club were totally without any supporting evidence and at
least one student was framed.
It reveals how Vicky
Kirby was set up and the comments about Jews having ‘big noses’ was a quote
from a comedy called ‘The Infidels’.  She
has since received death threats. 
Someone who is wholly innocent was set up by the despicable creatures
who have framed Ken Livingstone today.
PLEASE SHARE THIS AS
WIDELY AS POSSIBLE – DON’T LIKE IT, SHARE IT
Former London mayor and long-time Palestinian rights campaigner Ken Livingstone is the latest victim of the UK Labour Party’s witch hunt over alleged anti-Semitism. TLA WENN Photos
Last
year, socialist stalwart Jeremy Corbyn won
the leadership of the UK’s
Labour Party
by a landslide.
Since
then, there has been a steady flow of claims by Israel’s supporters that Corbyn
has not done enough to combat anti-Semitism.
This
has only accelerated in the lead-up to a major test for Corbyn, the UK local
elections on 5 May.
Even
as this story was in preparation, two more victims were claimed in the war
against his leadership.
Lawmaker
Naz Shah and the former mayor of London, long-time Palestine campaigner Ken
Livingstone, were also suspended from the party – within hours of being accused
of anti-Semitism.
But
an investigation by The Electronic Intifada has found that some of the most
prominent stories about anti-Semitism in the party are falsified.
The
Electronic Intifada can reveal that a key player in Labour’s “anti-Semitism
crisis” covered up his involvement in the Israel lobby.
Most
Labour members so accused are in reality being attacked for expressing opinions
in favor of Palestinian human rights and particularly for supporting the
boycott of Israel.
Labour
activists, many of them Jews, have told The Electronic Intifada that false
accusations of anti-Semitism
are being used as a weapon against Corbyn by the party’s right-wing.
Corbyn
has been active in the Palestine solidarity movement for more than three
decades. In an
interview with
The Electronic Intifada last year, he endorsed key elements
of the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israel. For example, he urged an end
to weapons trading with Israel.
His
election represented a radical shift in Labour, a popular revolt at the
grassroots membership level.
Although
Labour’s membership has grown since Corbyn’s victory, he has been under
constant attack from right-leaning politicians within the party. In an attempt
to weaken his position, some of his critics have manufactured a “crisis” about
alleged anti-Semitism.
Attacks
on Corbyn have escalated in the lead-up to next week’s local elections. Poor
results would be seized upon by his enemies within the party.

Witch hunt
Charley
Allan, a Jewish member of the party, and a Morning Star columnist, has
described
the current atmosphere in the press and Labour Party as a “witch
hunt.”
It
has reached such an absurd volume that any usage of the word “Zionist” is
deemed to be anti-Semitic – although tellingly not when used by self-described Zionists.
Where
real instances of anti-Jewish bigotry have come to light, the leadership and
party machine have taken robust action.
According
to The Spectator
, the party’s general secretary Iain McNicol told a
recent meeting of Labour lawmakers that everyone who had been reported for
anti-Semitism had either been suspended or excluded.
Corbyn
has responded to the media storm by repeatedly condemning anti-Semitism and saying
that anyone making an anti-Semitic remark is “auto-excluded from the party.”
John
McDonnell, the shadow finance minister and a long-standing Corbyn ally, told
The Independent that
any party member found by an investigation to
be expressing anti-Semitic views should be expelled for life. “If people
express these views, full stop they’re out,”
McDonnell said.

Smears
Smears
of anti-Semitism against Corbyn started even before he was elected.
During
his leadership campaign in the summer of 2015, the establishment media worked
itself into a frenzy of anti-Corbyn hysteria, led more than any other paper by
the liberal Guardian.
One
of the recurring themes in this campaign was Corbyn’s long-standing support for
Palestinian human rights.
Because
of this, attempts were made to say outright, or to imply, that Corbyn was a secret
anti-Semite, or that he associated with, or tolerated “notorious” anti-Semites.
Although
these hit jobs gained some traction, they were
soon debunked
, and ultimately seemed to have little impact on the
leadership election.
This
dishonest theme is now being revisited. In February, the slow drip of
anti-Semitism scare stories burst into a flood.

Oxford
An
anti-Semitism scandal” erupted in the Oxford University Labour Club – an
association of student supporters of the party.
Alex Chalmers posing with right wing Labour MP Caroline Flint in a photo taken from his Facebook. A failed candidate for deputy leader, Flint is a leading voice in Progress, a right-wing Labour faction.
In
a public
Facebook posting
Alex Chalmers, the co-chair of the club, resigned his
position over what he claimed was anti-Semitic behavior in “a large proportion”
of the student Labour club “and the student left in Oxford more generally.”
But
as evidence he cited the club’s decision, in a majority vote, to endorse
Oxford’s Israeli Apartheid Week, an annual awareness-raising exercise by
student groups which support Palestinian rights.
This
connection was clearly designed to smear Palestine solidarity activists as
anti-Semites – a standard tactic of the Israel lobby.
In
fact, the similarity was no coincidence.
The
Electronic Intifada can reveal for the first time evidence that Chalmers
himself has been part of the UK’s Israel lobby.
Chalmers
has worked for BICOM,
the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre.
Funded
by the billionaire Poju Zabludowicz, BICOM is a leading pro-Israel group in
London.
Chalmers
once listed an internship with BICOM on his LinkedIn profile, although the page
was deleted
some time in February.
But
even were this key fact not known, Chalmers’ accusations were not credible.
No
one specific was named in his Facebook posting. He claimed that shortening the
word Zionist to “Zio” and expressing support for the Palestinian political
party and resistance organization Hamas were enough to prove
anti-Semitism.
Chalmers
did not reply to an emailed request for comment. He set his Twitter profile to private the day
after the email was sent by The Electronic Intifada.
One of his tweets from 2014 sought to smear The Electronic Intifada with “Islamism.”
Chalmers
has also been accused of disseminating a false allegation that a left-wing
Labour student at Oxford had organized people into a group to follow a Jewish
student around campus calling her a “filthy Zionist,” and that he had been
disciplined as a result.
Speaking
on condition of anonymity, the accused student said that he had reason to
believe Chalmers may have been behind the dissemination of this smear.
Paul
Di Felice, the current acting principal of the Oxford college in question,
confirmed to The Electronic Intifada the authenticity of a statement from its
late principal denying all the allegations. “I have found no evidence of any
allegations being made to the college about” the student “involving
anti-Semitism, or indeed anything else, during his time at the college,” the
statement read.
The
Electronic Intifada put all this to Alex Chalmers in an email, but he failed to
reply.

Dirty tricks
The
Oxford University Labour Club responded with a
statement
saying it was “horrified” at the accusations and would fully
cooperate with an investigation launched by the party organization Labour
Students.
It
did not take long, however, for someone to leak names to the right-wing press.
Citing
an anonymous “source at the club,” The
Telegraph
named
two left-wingers at Oxford who were supposedly “being
investigated over alleged anti-Semitism at Oxford University.”

Again,
there were no further details. Chalmers’ dubious and obviously politicized
accusations were raised in general terms.
One
of the two, James Elliot, was a vocal
advocate
at Oxford University of BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions
movement against Israel, and was photographed in the Telegraph article
sitting next to Corbyn.
But
in an email to a Daily Mail journalist, seen by The Electronic Intifada,
Chalmers privately admitted that Elliott wasn’t involved. “I haven’t heard any
allegations relating to him,”
Chalmers wrote.
Both
activists named by The Telegraph are part of Momentum, the grouping
founded by Labour left-wingers in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s election victory
to support his leadership.
The
Electronic Intifada has seen evidence of a whispering campaign against the
activists at Oxford. A dossier of allegations against the student Labour club
is said to have been filed with the union’s Jewish society.
That
society has posted a summary of the dossier on
Facebook
.
Asked
in an email if he had been behind the dossier or the press leaks, Chalmers did
not reply.

Hit pieces
Alex
Chalmers’ Facebook post resigning from the Oxford University Labour Club was seized
on by anti-Corbyn forces aiming to influence key internal elections to the
Labour Party’s youth wing, in which the Momentum pair were both candidates.
On
19 February, the
Guardian reported
that Momentum candidates had swept the board in Young
Labour’s elections
, conducted by online ballot.

The
Telegraph
published its highly dubious hit piece four
days later.
At
the Young Labour conference the following weekend, several other positions
remained to be elected. Elliot stood for the youth representative on Labour’s
National Executive Committee (NEC).
After
the smear campaign against him, Momentum candidate Elliot lost to right-wing
Labour First candidate Jasmin Beckett – by only
a tenth of a percentage point
.
But
Beckett was caught carrying out a dirty tricks campaign against Elliot.
As
a result, a formal
complaint
has been submitted calling for her to be disqualified from the
NEC.
The
smear campaign drew on right-wing media insinuations against the Momentum pair
at Oxford.
Beckett
did not reply to an emailed request for comment.

“Go hard”
As
first revealed by Morning Star
, Beckett urged supporters to “get a
few people tweeting” allegations against Elliot.
But
because such negative campaigning is against Labour rules, Beckett cautioned
supporters to distance themselves from her. She asked her supporters to remove
“twibbons” – promotional badges for her election campaign – from their social
media accounts before making allegations against Elliot.
One
supporter, Josh Woolas – son of former Labour MP Phil Woolas – cautioned it
needs to look like a genuine complaint about racism and not a smear campaign!”
In
a Facebook group chat titled #TeamJB (viewable
in full
on the Labour blog Left Futures, edited by the chair of
Momentum), Beckett encouraged other young Labour members to share
unsubstantiated hit pieces on Elliot from right-wing media.
She
asked “do you actually want an anti-Semite as NEC rep?” She suggested her
friends “get a few people tweeting saying ‘shocked my union GMB are supporting
James Elliot who is anti-Semitic’ or something.”
“Let’s
just get it out there,”
agreed Labour activist Tom Jennings. “We’ve got a huge
opportunity … thus shaving off votes for him at [the Young Labour] conference.”

Investigation
The
complaint against Beckett was subsequently rolled
into another investigation
into Chalmers’ allegations of anti-Semitism at
Oxford, one ultimately taken
over
by Janet Royall, the Labour leader in the House of Lords, the
unelected upper chamber of the UK parliament.
Labour
Students conducted a hasty investigation into the Oxford allegations. But,
Labour activists told The Electronic Intifada, it was so obviously botched that
it was not credible.
That
investigation was led by Michael Rubin, Labour Students’ national chairperson –
who happened to be the boyfriend of one of Beckett’s allies, Rachel Holland.
Holland was part of Beckett’s dirty tricks campaign, expressing support for it
in the #TeamJB group chat.
Elliot
told The Electronic Intifada he could not comment until the Royall
investigation is concluded.
That
seems unlikely to happen until after the crucial local elections at the
earliest, and probably not until the summer, the BBC says, when Beckett
is due to take her seat on the NEC.
The
witch hunt expanded.

“Fresh row”
In
March, Huffington Post talked
up
a “fresh row over Labour anti-Semitism.”

The
website referred to how union official Jennie Formby had allegedly pointed out
at a meeting of Labour’s NEC that Royall once took part in a sponsored trip to
the Middle East organized by Labour Friends
of Israel
, a pressure group within the party.
Formby
has successfully pushed at the NEC to have private security firm G4S banned from Labour
conferences, due to its supply of equipment to Israeli prisons that practice
torture against Palestinians.
The
Jewish Chronicle claimed Unison’s Jennie Formby was “to be moved from
her role partly as a result of her anti-Israel activism.” It cited no evidence.
The
paper claimed the move represented a demotion by the union, the UK’s largest.
But
the report was instantly denied by
Formby and her union.
Formby
said she never questioned Royall’s ability to conduct the investigation.
In
fact, Formby
said
, she was appointed to the new job long before Chalmers made his
allegations on Facebook.
@stephenkb JF applied for the post 5
months ago. It is a promotion. She will remain on the NEC. Please check facts.
— Unite the union (@unitetheunion) March 11,
2016
The
Jewish Chronicle swiftly
edited
the online text and headline of the article to water down its claims
(a copy of the
original
can still be found online).
But
the narrative
was already
out there.

Tony Greenstein
In
March, the witch hunt reached Tony Greenstein,
a Jewish anti-Zionist well known in Palestine solidarity circles.
Despite
supporting other left-wing parties in the past, Greenstein had joined the Labour
Party after the election of Corbyn, hoping it would take a new, leftward
direction.
But
on 18 March he received
a letter
from the party’s Compliance Unit (also known as the Constitutional
Unit) saying that his membership had been suspended pending an investigation
into a possible breach of party rules.
“These
allegations relate to comments you are alleged to have made,”
wrote John
Stolliday, head of the unit. Greenstein asked to see the allegations against
him, but his request was denied.
Although
the party refused to let Greenstein know what he was being accused of, further
vague allegations
were leaked to the right-wing press.
In
April, The Telegraph published
a story
citing Greenstein’s admittance to the party as the “latest
anti-Semitism scandal”
to hit Labour.
Greenstein
says he is considering legal action.

The
Telegraph
later added
a “clarification”
saying it wanted “to make clear that we had not intended
to imply that Tony Greenstein is anti-Semitic.”
It
would, however, be difficult to read the article as intending to do anything
else.
Ironically,
Greenstein has been at the forefront of moves to combat genuine cases of
anti-Semitism on the fringes of the Palestine solidarity movement.

“I’m going to fight”
For
years Greenstein has been perhaps the most vocal foe in the UK of Gilad Atzmon – an
Israeli jazz musician based in London who claims to express solidarity with
Palestinians, even while opposing the BDS movement and relentlessly attacking
activists.
Four
years ago, Atzmon was criticized
by prominent members of the Palestine movement over racism and anti-Semitism in
his work.
Also
in 2012, a
Holocaust denier was expelled
from the UK’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Greenstein
has written that he is the person who had first reported the Holocaust denier
to the PSC.
The
Compliance Unit has also been behind the expulsion of many new Jeremy Corbyn
voters accused of being “hard left” or “infiltrators.”
In
February, John McDonnell, the shadow finance minister, called
for the unit to be scrapped
.
“I’m
going to fight it of course,”
Greenstein told The Electronic Intifada. He also accused
the Compliance Unit itself of being behind the leaks – The Telegraph
article cited “evidence compiled” by the unit.
Labour’s
general secretary wrote
to Greenstein
denying this.
“Corbyn
hasn’t got a grip on the [party] machine, that’s part of the problem,”
said
Greenstein.

Israel lobby
One
of the people at the forefront of the witch hunt has been Jeremy Newmark,
now the chairperson of the Jewish Labour Movement.
The
JLM is affiliated to the UK Labour Party, the Israeli Labor
Party
and the World Zionist
Organization
– according to the UN, the latter pumps
millions
into building in the occupied West Bank through its settlement
division.
Newmark
has for years been active in the Israel lobby’s anti-Palestinian campaigns in
the UK.
He
was previously the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, an
anti-Palestinian lobbying group behind numerous
attacks
on BDS.
During
his tenure, the group invested huge efforts in an attempt to sue the University
and College Union for “anti-Semitism” after some members proposed discussing
the academic boycott of Israel.
Newmark
was left with egg on his face, however, when in 2013 a tribunal
judge ruled
against the case on all counts.
The
judge found it was “devoid of any merit” and “an impermissible attempt to
achieve a political end by litigious means.”

The
judge criticized Newmark personally for a “disturbing” attempt to crush free
speech in the union. 
He also found that that Newmark’s evidence to the tribunal
was “preposterous” and “untrue.”
Given
all this, media should treat Newmark’s claims about anti-Semitism in Corbyn’s
Labour Party with caution.
Instead
they’ve been buying it all.
In The
Telegraph
hit piece on Greenstein, Newmark claimed the affair was a sign of
Corbyn being “impotent” over anti-Semitism.
He
also told BBC Radio 4’s
influential Today program this month that the party was not doing enough
about anti-Semitism.
None
of these journalists disclosed Newmark’s long-standing role in the Israel
lobby, or his record of lying about anti-Semitism.

Right-wing Labour
There
is a large crossover between right-wing, anti-Corbyn Labour and the pro-Israel
lobby within the party.

Right-wing Labour MP Wes Streeting has participated in Israeli government efforts to cast Palestine solidarity as “evil.” (The Leadership Foundation/Flickr)
One
example is Labour lawmaker Wes Streeting, also an Israel lobby stalwart.
Streeting
appeared on the same radio segment as Newmark. The right-wing Labour MP claimed
that “we’ve now got a problem” that people think the party is “apathetic to
anti-Semitism.”

Streeting
has a long
history in
Progress
, a right-wing faction within the party that continues to support
former prime minister Tony Blair.
One
of Progress’ leading supporters has described
the group as
an unaccountable faction” dominated by the “secretive
billionaire”
Lord Sainsbury.
In
2009, when he was president of the National Union of Students, Streeting attended
an anti-BDS working group
in Jerusalem.
The
visit was organized by the Israeli foreign ministry, which slandered the BDS
movement as “evil.”
As
an MP, Streeting has been consistently hostile to Corbyn.

Term of abuse
Streeting
and Newmark are arguing for tougher action and changes to the party’s rules.
The
head of Progress proposed
rule changes
in the Mirror which would put “a modern understanding
of anti-Semitism” into the party. “It is not acceptable to use the term
‘Zionism’ as a term of abuse,” the article stated, arguing for people who did
so to be expelled.
This
proposal echoes efforts pushed by Israel lobby groups, including
at the University of California
, to legislate that opposition to Zionism –
Israel’s state ideology – is itself a form of anti-Semitism.
Speaking
on condition of anonymity, a Labour Party staffer told The Electronic Intifada
that, even were the rule change to pass, such expulsions would still have to be
approved by the NEC.
The
staffer emphasized that for many within the party, concerns about incidences of
anti-Semitism were genuine.
But
the member of staff said that for the “non-Jewish Zionists” in groups like
Progress, “anti-Semitism is just a tool” in “a field of battle” to “smash up
Jeremy at all costs.”

“Whatever
gets agreed will not be good enough”
for them, the member of staff said.
Streeting
did not reply to emails requesting comment.

Five cases
Labour
is a mass membership organization, which now has more than 380,000 full members,
according to party figures.
The
staff member said that, amid all the politicized attacks in recent months,
there had been about five actual cases of alleged anti-Semitism within the
party.
A 2015
survey by Pew
found that seven percent of the UK public held “unfavorable”
views of Jews.  By contrast, about a fifth held negative views of Muslims and
almost two-fifths viewed Roma people unfavorably.
There’s
no evidence to suggest that such views are any more prevalent in the Labour
Party – and the tiny number of anti-Semitism complaints suggests they may well
be less so in a movement many of whose activists have been in the frontline of
anti-racist struggles.
The
staff member said that in the five or so cases that had come to its attention,
the party had taken swift action to expel, or suspend the membership of those
alleged to have made anti-Semitic comments.
One
of the most prominent of these was Vicki Kirby, a Labour Party candidate in
Woking who is alleged to have tweeted that Israel is “evil.”
She
also reacted to Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza by tweeting in August: “Who is the
Zionist God? I am starting to think it may be Hitler. #FreePalestine.”
That
assault resulted
in 2,251 dead Palestinians
, including 1,462 civilians, 551 of whom were
children, according to an independent inquiry commissioned by the UN.
Kirby’s
comments led to her
suspension
from the Labour Party in 2014.
Speaking
to the media for the first time, Kirby told The Electronic Intifada that her
choice of words had been “awful” and “appalling.” It was “a reaction. I didn’t
think it through. I’m not a born politician,”
she said.
Later,
still under the leadership of Corbyn’s predecessor, Kirby’s suspension from the
party was lifted. But, after Corbyn became leader, somebody leaked
a photo of Kirby posing with Corbyn
to the party’s enemies in the media.

Doctored tweet
The
hard-right gossip blogger known as Guido Fawkes, then proceeded to trawl
through her entire Twitter backlog. He found a Tweet from 2011, a time when
Kirby says she was not even in the Labour Party.
Guido
Fawkes then doctored a screenshot of the tweet, making it appear as if she had
tweeted “What do you know abt Jews? They’ve got big noses and support spurs
lol.”
The screenshot of the Tweet on Guido’s site has clearly been
cropped
.
But
Kirby says this was one of a series of tweets of quotes from the 2010 comedy film The
Infidel
.
Kirby
provided The Electronic Intifada with evidence – a portion of a spreadsheet of
her Twitter archive
– showing that the original tweet concluded with the hashtag #TheInfidel.

The writer of the film David Baddiel confirmed this on
Twitter
at the time, even tweeting this to a Guido Fawkes blogger.
@WikiGuido That first one: she’s
quoting a character from my movie The Infidel.
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) March 14, 2016
The
wider press then ran with the story and started to use Kirby as a stick to beat
Corbyn.
Kirby
says she has received “death threats” to her and “hate email” from around the
world, including the wish that “your children get cancer and die.” She says she
even had to take legal actions against a constant barrage of journalists
door-stepping her and harassing her family.
Despite
swift party action to suspend Kirby once again, the incident was still
weaponized by the right.
“Jeremy
Corbyn needs to answer some serious questions,”
Streeting told
the Mirror
.
Stoking the flames
Writing
in
the Jewish Chronicle, Momentum founder Jon Lansman – a key Corbyn
ally – said that “my Jewish identity and anti-Semitism are at the core of my
left Labour politics and so I welcome an investigation into anti-Semitism at
Oxford University.”
But
Lansman cautioned that “within the Labour Party, some people have factional
reasons for stoking 
the flames.”
He
acknowledged that “racism, including anti-Semitism” had historically been part
of the Labour movement. “It was not until the 1980s that the efforts to
eradicate it became serious, and that was thanks in part to Ken Livingstone as
leader of the Greater London Council,”
Lansman added.
During
that period, Livingstone, and what the right derided as the “looney left” in
local government, became the prime targets of Conservative Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher. But with her party unable to defeat Livingstone at the
ballot box, she simply abolished London’s city-wide government altogether.
It
wasn’t until the Blair years that the capital once again had a London-wide
government and Livingstone was elected mayor. It would now seem that with his
suspension, the Thatcherite campaign against Livingstone has resumed, but this
time from within the Labour Party.
Ian
Saville, who started the group Jews For Jeremy and then later joined the party,
told The Electronic Intifada that “some in the Labour Party, who do not have an
understanding of the complexities of the situation, take [the accusations of
prejudice] at face value, and quite understandably wish to oppose
anti-Semitism.”
He
said that “unfortunately, this ‘opposition’ to anti-Semitism has support of
Israel and Zionism bundled in with it, so it fulfills the double purpose of
isolating the left and supporting Israel uncritically.”

Greenstein
wrote
that “false allegations of anti-Semitism are akin to the boy who cried wolf.
They immunize people against the real thing. As a Jewish anti-Zionist my main
experience of anti-Semitism is from Zionists … I have even been told that it
was a pity I didn’t die in Auschwitz.”

Back foot
In
the Tony Blair years, the Labour Party took a major rightward shift.
Blair
notoriously led the UK into a war of aggression against Iraq in 2003 – which
even he later admitted was a major factor in the emergence of Islamic State.
Blair
is also staunchly pro-Israel.
The
2006 Israeli war against Lebanon killed 1,191 Lebanese, “the overwhelming
majority of them civilians” according
to Amnesty International
. But Blair stood strongly behind Israel in that
war. He later admitted in his memoir this caused him political damage. “I
suffered accordingly,”
he
wrote
.
For
career-minded, rising Labour MPs, joining Labour Friends of Israel was long
seen as the place to be. That has been slowly
changing
.
Under
Blair, Jeremy Corbyn was a backbench MP, and a gadfly of the big business and
war-friendly clique that had captured Labour’s leadership. He voted
against
Blair’s party line hundreds
of times
.
The
scale of Corbyn’s victory – almost 60
percent
of 422,664 voters – last summer put the right on the back foot.
So
now they are resorting to ever more desperate tactics, blaming alleged
anti-Semitism in the party on Corbyn’s leadership.
Michael
Levy, a Labour member of the House of Lords who was a key fundraiser
for the party during the Tony Blair years, is
a strong supporter of Israel. He has made a number of media appearances in
recent weeks denouncing
Corbyn
for supposedly not doing enough against anti-Semitism.
Left-wing
Jewish activists
say that anti-Semitism has become the
“weapon of choice” against the left.
Naomi
Wimborne-Idrissi, a local Labour Party activist and founder of Jews For
Boycotting Israeli Goods, told The Electronic Intifada that it has become a
“really pernicious … pincer movement” by the Israel lobby and the Labour right.
“Maybe
the’ve overstepped themselves”
this time, she said, before cautioning that what
happens would depend on how well activists fought back and educated
people on the true nature
of anti-Semitism and Zionism.
For
the moment, the manufactured anti-Semitism crisis shows no sign of abating.
The
same day Ken Livingstone was suspended from the party, BICOM appealed to the
mob, posting a tweet with the words: “save your pitch fork for Corbyn.”

‘Save
your pitch fork for Corbyn’. 
Alan Johnson on Naz Shah, Labour and AntiSemitism
in @Politics_co_uk https://t.co/ukcxOkNnGO
— BICOM (@BritainIsrael) April 28,
2016
It
appears the witch hunt will not stop until it is either victorious or is
defeated.
Asa
Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The
Electronic Intifada.

 

 

 

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