Labour’s Confected ‘Anti-Semitism’ Crisis Allowed Anti-Semites To Become Anti-racists & Anti-racists to become ‘anti-Semites’
One of the ironies of Labour’s manufactured ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis was how those who had never thought about racism before suddenly became anti-racists. ‘Anti-Semitism’ can sometimes work miracles.
No one was more concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’ than Gordon Brown. He called for the expulsion of all ‘anti-Semites’. This was the same Brown who used the slogan of the National Front and BNP, British Jobs for British Workers, in an attempt to whip up fears about foreign workers.
Tom Watson was also concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’. Watson was worried that Labour would ‘disappear into a vortex of eternal shame and embarrassment” over ‘anti-Semitism’. In 2004 the same Tom Watson was Campaign Manager for Labour in a byelection in Birmingham Hodge Hill when a leaflet “Labour is on your side; the Lib Dems are on the side of failed asylum-seekers” was distributed
When former Immigration Minister Phil Woolas was removed as an MP in 2010 by the High Court, after waging an election campaign based on ‘making white folk angry’ Watson’ told Labour Uncut that he had ‘lost sleep’ over the fate of ‘poor Phil.’
The Tories also find supporting racism and opposing ‘anti-Semitism’ easy to reconcile. When he was leader of Bradford Council, Eric Pickles, a former Chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, supported a racist and fascist headmaster Ray Honeyford. When he was Community Secretary Pickles provided funding to Basildon Council in order that it could evict the Travellers at Dale Farm.
Labour’s Support for Zionism
Historically the Labour right has distinguished itself by combining anti-Semitism with support for Zionism. The two went hand in hand.
‘in order that this country may form a ‘free state’ under international guarantee to which such of the Jewish people as desire to do so may return …’
In 1920 Poale Zion [PZ] affiliated to the Labour Party as a Socialist Society. This gave it the right to propose motions at Labour Party conferences and have delegates to its bodies. Labour’s leaders thoroughly approved of what they saw as a ‘progressive’ colonialism.
Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labour Prime Minister, visited Palestine in 1921 and he was favourably impressed by the Zionist settlers. In 1922 PZ published his report of the visit A Socialist in Palestine. Like most Christian Zionists MacDonald saw Palestine through a biblical lens describing Ludd (Lydda) as ‘a city of the Philistines and the place where Peter cured a man of the palsy.’
MacDonald attributed Palestinian opposition to Zionism to their ‘leaders who wish for strife and to engage in riots and pogroms.’ In his eyes, they would have welcomed the Zionist settlers but for their leaders! The same myths are repeated today where Palestinian resistance is attributed to the ‘incitement’ of a few.
MacDonald wrote that ‘the Zionist movement has appealed with great force to Jewish Socialists…’ despite the fact that it was the socialist and revolutionary movements, where Jews were prominent, which bitterly opposed Zionism. MacDonald blamed this opposition on two groups. One was ‘the Scribes and Pharisees’ who have ‘the blindness and the stiff-neckedness of the proud tribe of Judah at its worst.’ The other were represented by:
Yet PZ, which now calls itself the Jewish Labour Movement, were happy to print MacDonald’s anti-Semitic tract. Why? Because then as now their main concern was not anti-Semitism but Zionism.
The idea that Jewish capitalists were ‘behind every evil that Governments do’ and that his political authority, ‘always exercised in the dark, is greater than that of Parliamentary majorities’ is a classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
Sidney Webb, the founder of the Fabians and the pro-imperialist New Statesman, became Colonial Secretary in 1929 in MacDonald’s second government. He explained that
John Newsinger writes of Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary in the Attlee government, that his ‘use of anti-Semitic abuse was not unique among the labour leadership.’ [The Labour Party, anti-Semitism and Zionism, International Socialism, Issue: 153]
In their biography of Harold Laski, Chairman of the Labour Party (1945-6) and a prominent opponent of Attlee, Isaac Kramnick and Barry Sheerman refer to him having to put up with not just “the bullying anti-Semitism of Ernest Bevin”, but also
“the more cultivated sarcasm of the economics don Hugh Dalton, who…persistently referred to his fellow socialist Laski as the ‘under-sized Semite’ while also ridiculing his far-left ‘yideology’”.
Dalton was an extreme Zionist who referred to Africans as “niggers” and Arabs as “wogs”. Nor was Clement Attlee free of anti-Semitism. In March 1951, when he was considering a number of appointments to the government, he rejected Ian Mikardo and Austen Albu because they were Jews: “they both belonged to the chosen people, and he didn’t think he wanted any more of them”. (Newsinger).
John Mann, the ‘antisemitism Tsar’ was most upset by the removal of racist Labour MP Phil Woolas from parliament
In 1935 Herbert Morrison, grandfather of Peter Mandelson and on the right of the Labour Party, visited Palestine. Josef Gorni wrote that this visit made a stronger impression on him than any other visit abroad. Morrison wrote about his experiences that he knew. [The British Labour Movement and Zionism, 1917-1948, p.125]
“I know the London Jew very well. But the Palestinian Jews were to me different; so different that a large proportion of them were not obviously Jews at all”.
Morrison was right. The Jews he knew were on the left. Palestinian Jews were colonists and in alliance with British imperialism.
In Morrison’s view these new Jews were ‘free of the inferiority complex of their brethren abroad, despite being a national minority in Palestine.’ If he had not been an imperialist Morrison would have seen this lack of an ‘inferiority complex’ for what it was – the typical racial arrogance of settler colonials.
Morrison was Home Secretary in the war-time coalition government which only permitted a few thousand Jewish refugees to enter Britain. And this was “despite rather than because of government policy”.:
While every effort was made to deny entry to Jewish refugees, in the spring of 1940 the government was ready to receive as many as 300,000 refugees, who never materialised, from Holland and Belgium. 42
On 23 September in a Home Office memorandum Morrison outlined his policy as
“not to admit during the war additional refugees…unless in some quite rare and exceptional cases it can be shown that the admission of the refugees will be directly advantageous to our war effort”
Everything possible was done once the war was started to prevent Jewish refugees from Europe entering Britain. The admission in November 1940 of 450 Jewish refugees from Luxembourg to Tanganyika was prevented by Herbert Morrison.
Morrison opposed the admission of more than a token number of Jewish refugees. Fearing he would be inundated with appeals he advised the Cabinet to reject such requests on the pretext that it would cause an increase in anti-Semitism. When Attlee proposed, in January 1943, a draft parliamentary statement which said that ‘any such refugees as may arrive in the United Kingdom will be admitted.’ Morrison advised him to remove this promise because
‘it gave the impression that if Jewish refugees are placed on some worthless boat and sent to a British port that is a way of disposing of them.’ [Leslie Urbach, Excuses! Excuses! The Failure to Amend Britain’s Immigration Policy 1942-1943, p. 52].
Nancy Astor at the Election Count
In October 1942 Morrison received a delegation of eminent public figures such as Eleanor Rathbone and Lord Astor, asking him for visas for 2,000 Jewish children and the elderly in Vichy France. Morrison refused. Apparently anti-Semitism ‘was just under the pavement.’ A month later the Nazis overran Vichy France and these Jews were deported to Auschwitz. Morrison was said to doubt that there was a holocaust. [Lesley Urbach, pp. 52-3]
On 31 December 1942 Morrison explained that ‘he could not agree that the door should be opened to the entry of uncategorised Jews.’ Morrison believed these Jews ‘might be an explosive element in the country, especially if the economic situation deteriorated.’ Morrison’s real fear was of communist Jews. He combined both deep anti-Semitism and ardent Zionism. The Board of Deputies had no objections to Morrison’s anti-Semitism. [Wasserstein, p. 115-16, 131].
US Ambassador to Britain, John Winant, sent a message to the State Department describing how the FO
‘are concerned with the difficulties of disposing of any considerable number of Jews should they be rescued from enemy-occupied territory…’
Morrison told a Christian-Jewish deputation that despite public opinion being supportive of the refugees ‘there was also a body of opinion which was potentially anti-Semitic’ and that it was important not to ignore this feeling. Morrison was therefore giving an anti-Semitic minority a veto on the admission of Jewish refugees even if that led to their death. Fear of ‘anti-Semitism’ was the excuse for his and the government’s own anti-Semitism.
Despite UN High Commissioner Sir Herbert Emerson declaring that it would be a mockery if the Allied Declaration on the Holocaust was not followed by action, Morrison refused to agree to admit more than 1,000 to 2,000 refugees. [Wasserstein p.183]
Newsinger cites Tony Kushner that the government would not allow any official discussion or attacks on anti-Semitism…. Not only was the Labour Party wholeheartedly involved in the Churchill government’s policy towards Jewish refugees and the question of rescue, but it continued aspects of this policy once it came to power in 1945.
The Attlee government refused to let Holocaust survivors into Britain whilst at the same time bringing over 200,000 Eastern European workers to remedy a shortage of labour. This included a Ukrainian Waffen SS Division which, as a Home Office minute noted, had been made “with the Prime Minister’s approval”. But the Zionists too opposed holocaust survivors entering Britain.
However we should not think that just because Labour’s Right led the manufactured anti-Semitism campaign, that it has left its anti-Semitism behind. Take e.g. Siobhain McDonagh MP, who admittedly is perhaps the stupidest person to have ever sat on the green benches. McDonagh explained to the Today progamme (4.3.19) that:
It’s very much part of their politics, of hard left politics, to be against capitalists and to see Jewish people as the financiers of capital. Ergo you are anti-Jewish people.
‘In other words to be anti-capitalist you have to be antisemitic,’ John Humphrys interrupted. ‘Yes,’ Mcdonagh said. ‘Not everybody but there’s a certain strand of it.’
In other words if you are anti-capitalist you are anti-Semitic! The unspoken assumption being that all Jews are capitalists. But if McDonagh’s anti-Semitism could, at least partly, be explained by her stupidity, no such excuse can be made for Alec Russell, writing in the New Statesman about the
One can only wonder why it was that in Nazi occupied Europe it was the Communist left who protected Jews and the right which collaborated with the Nazis to kill them, even when fighting the Nazis for nationalist reasons, as in Ukraine.
But what of Steve Reed who asked of former Daily Express owner Richard Desmond, “Is billionaire former porn-baron Desmond the puppet master for the entire Tory cabinet?” Reed, who apologised, is Justice Minister in Starmer’s shadow cabinet.
Reed though was a strong supporter of the false allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ and a strong Zionist supporter. In September 2020 he told a group of councillors that he promised to ‘continue to tackle antisemitism within its [Labour] ranks.’
Starmer was quick to reassure Reed that no action would be taken because his campaign against ‘anti-Semitism’ was only about support for the Palestinians and anti-Zionism, not genuine anti-Semitism.
If Reed’s comments could be considered mere slips of a racist tongue, then there can be no excuse for Rachel ‘Bank of England’ Reeves.
Reeves first came to people’s attention when, in an interview with the Guardian she declared that
We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work. Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people.
If anyone is likely to replace the charisma-free zone that is Starmer it is Reeves. She didn’t serve in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet and never felt obliged to say anything in his defence unlike the two-faced Starmer.
Reeves admiration for Hitler lover Lady Nancy Astor, the second woman to be elected to Parliament, is second to none. This is understandable, since Reeves feels a far closer affinity to a fascist than a socialist.
Labour Party members have been expelled for far less yet Starmer deliberately ignored Reeves gushing praise of Astor. The same was true of the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland who uttered not a word of criticism of Reeves, confining his criticism to Corbyn.
Whereas Corbyn was slated by the Board of Deputies for having ignored Hobson’s anti-Semitism, in his Introduction to Imperialism, Reeves gushing admiration for Hitler went unremarked.
Just as with Boris Johnsons comments in his novel 72 Virgins, about hooknosed Arabs and Jewish media barons fixing elections, so it was with Reeve’s praised for Astor. The Zionists fell silent. As Novara Media, Lansman, Jones and McDonnell failed to comprehend, the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign was never about anti-Semitism.
Nancy Astor was a fully fledged Hitler admirer. In 1936 Astor and others wrote to Stanley Baldwin that they “‘wholeheartedly’ endorsed the Führer‘s act” in marching into the Rhineland.
In 1938 the Cliveden set, named after Astor’s house, . entertained Nazi apologist Charles Lindbergh. The group were very sympathetic to fascism. A David Low cartoon in the Evening Standard, showed Astor and Times Editor Geoffrey Dawson holding high the slogan “Any Sort of Peace at Any Sort of Price”.
At a Jewish charity dinner in November 1934, she asked James McDonald, the League of Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees:
did I not after all believe there must be something of the Jews themselves which had brought them persecution throughout all the ages? Was it not therefore, in the final analysis, their responsibility?
Astor was convinced that she was a victim of “Jewish Communistic propaganda”. In the House of Commons (28.2.38) Harold Nicolson heard Alan Graham, Tory Party MP for Wirral, say to Astor: “I do not think you behaved very well.” She replied: “Only a Jew like you would dare to be rude to me.” The News Chronicle commented that Astor’s “emotions about the Jews” had overcome “her sense of fitness”.
She once introduced Chaim Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organisation as “the only decent Jew I have ever met.” Which says more about Weizmann than it does about Astor.
Astor complained that the Observer, which was owned by her family, was “full of homosexuals and Jews” and worked to bar Jews and Catholics from the newspaper’s senior positions.
Astor wrote letters to US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy in which she suggested the Nazis were a solution to “the world problems” of Jewry and Communism. She told Kennedy Hitler would have to do more than “give a rough time” to “the killers of Christ” for her to want Britain and America to launch a war.
She was referred to as “the Honourable Member from Berlin” during a 1939 Commons debate. Her opposition to the war earned her the title of “Hitler’s woman in Britain”.
It is inconceivable that Reeves was unaware of Astor’s anti-Semitism yet she refused to retract her praise of Astor. Starmer adamantly refused to do anything.
Like many anti-Semites, Reeves adores Zionism and the Israeli state. After Kim Johnson had been threatened with loss of the whip for describing Israel as a fascist and apartheid state, Reeves said that Johnson’s treatment was ‘a sign of just how serious Keir Starmer is at booting both antisemitism and “anti-Zionism” out of Labour.’
In an article ‘I’m proud to be a Labour Friend of Israel’, Reeves said she believed that political criticism of Israel was motivated by antisemitism. A completely evidence-free accusation as she herself proves. She also made it clear that the presence of fascists and neo-Nazis in Israel’s government would ‘not stop a future Labour government forging a strong relationship with the Jewish state’.
There are fools on the left – from Lansman and John McDonnell to Owen Jones and Novara Media who believe that the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign against the left was about anti-Semitism. None of these knaves have repented of their idiocy because an alliance with the right is their main objective, even if Palestinians pay the price.
But never let it be thought that if anti-Semitism were to raise its ugly head that the Labour Right would be in the least concerned. Like the Zionists themselves, ‘anti-Semitism’ for them is opposition to Zionism and Apartheid. It is not about hatred or hostility to Jews as Jews. Not now nor has that ever been the case.
The anti-Semitism of the Labour right, unlike the confected ‘anti-Semitism’ of the left, had lethal consequences. It is impossible to know how many Jews would have survived but for Herbert Morrison’s anti-Semitic immigration policy but it was in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. It was always available to the British government to allow unrestricted entry of Jewish refugees into the colonies (something that did happen on a small scale).
The remarkable thing about ‘anti-Semitism’ under Corbyn was that not one hair of one Jew was disturbed. No one was hurt. All the tropes in the world fell to Earth without a single person being hit by them. No one died because of a Tweet or Facebook comment.
Tony McNulty, like most of the Labour right, was concerned by ‘antisemitism’ but not by any other forms of racism
Thousands of hours were spent looking into peoples’ social media history but none was spent looking into the racist record of the Labour right which denied asylum to refugees. I can remember one particular hypocrite, the former Labour Immigration Minister Tony McNulty pontificating on Twitter about ‘anti-Semitism’. I asked him how many people died because of racists like him in contrast to how many Jews were hurt because of the allegations of people like him.. McNulty took offence at the comparison but from then on shut up.
We even had John Mann, the ‘anti-Semitism Tsar’ combining crocodile tears over the Jewish holocaust whilst simultaneously engaging in the vilest anti-Gypsy sentiments. Mann holds himself out to be an expert on the Holocaust yet it seems to have escaped him that the Nazis exterminated approximately 1 million Roma because of their ‘race’, which was proportionately similar to that of the Jews.
In 2007 Mann issued the Bassetlaw Anti-Social Behaviour Handbook which described the very existence of Gypsies and Travellers as a problem of anti-social behaviour. Which was exactly the excuse the Nazis used to exterminate them.
Another hypocrite is Eric Pickles who accused Jewish lecturer Rachel Gould of ‘one of the worst cases of Holocaust denial’ for her article ‘Beyond Anti-Semitism’ which argued that the memory of the holocaust was being manipulated for political purposes.
On that occasion Bristol University, unlike in the case of David Miller took a robust attitude to these allegations from the usual Zionist suspects like the misnamed Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and Mossad’s Community Security Trust.
Bristol Live’s Chief Reporter Michael Ribbeck dismissed the ‘trite soundbites’ of Pickles witheringly.
to claim, as Sir Eric Pickles has done, that Dr Gould’s paper is “one of the worst cases of Holocaust denial” is quite frankly ridiculous and inflammatory.
Perhaps Sir Eric should read up on the discredited historian David Irving before he starts throwing around accusations and trite soundbites.
In 2015 the High Court ruled that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles ‘unlawfully discriminated’ against Gypsies. The judge found both human rights and equality laws were breached by Pickles for ‘calling in’ cases which would normally be considered by planning inspectors.
The fact that Pickles is the leader of the British delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance says everything you need to know about this body.