Tony Greenstein | 06 June 2020 | Post Views:

Starmer’s War on Jews – in Labour’s Dystopia an anti-racist is an anti-Semite

An anti-Semite in today’s Labour Party is what a Communist was in McCarthy’s USA – by expelling Jewish anti-Zionists, the Labour Party has now become ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’

It is becoming clear that suspensions & expulsions have increased exponentially under Keir Starmer’s new regime. There is no longer any pretext that the Labour Party is targeting ‘anti-Semitism’. Anyone who is critical of the Israeli state or Zionism is a target. Free speech and debate, which is essential in any party claiming to be socialist or democratic has been abolished.

Just this week a long-time friend, Becky Massey, a former member of Hove Labour Party Executive, an anti-racist and Palestine solidarity supporter, received a letter of suspension and under the new ‘fast-track’ rules was expelled just 15 days later.  No hearing, no dialogue. 

This was not the first time that Luciana Berger resigned over ‘antisemitism’ – whenever support for the Palestinians is too great Berger smells ‘antisemitism’

Becky’s ‘offence’ was to tweet that “The 99% of people will have the best friend in Chris Williamson as an MP who, if reelected, will work for them. I resigned from Labour to spend more time fighting for socialism.’” However Starmer is in favour of readmitting Luciana Berger to the Labour Party despite standing against Labour for the Lib-Dems.  Indeed 4 of her critics have just been suspended for ‘anti-Semitism’. What Becky wrote is a valid and legitimate expression of an opinion.

All of this can be laid at the door of Jeremy Corbyn and Jennie Formby.  People need to get out of their heads that Corbyn was sacrificed on the altar of principle. On the contrary his continuous apologies to the racists and Zionists have paved the way for mass expulsions of socialists.

In his recent interview with Middle East Eye Corbyn stated that:

‘I also introduced a system where egregious cases could be dealt with very quickly, but still within the ambit of rules of natural justice. So I feel that the attacks on me have been extremely unfair on this.’

This is a lie. The fast-track procedures, which were sold to the last Labour Party conference on the basis that they would only be used in the most ‘egregious’ cases, have been used in virtually every case.

I am now informed that every ‘anti-Semitism’ case is now being dealt under these procedures.  Only sexual harassment cases are going to the National Constitutional Committee (because as we know sexual harassment is far less serious than fake anti-Semitism).

This began under Corbyn. He is therefore lying by pretending otherwise.. Good anti-racists are being expelled at the behest of supporters of the Apartheid Israeli state and Corbyn has been the Zionists’ useful fool.

Not only did Corbyn prove a disastrous leader by refusing to stand up to an ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign that is being used to target Black, Jewish and Muslim anti-racists but he laid the basis for a witch-hunt which is likely to be the most draconian and ruthless in the history of the Labour Party.

Corbyn’s interview makes it clear that he still does not get it that the allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party had nothing to do with anti-Semitism.  Of course you could find a few, very few, genuine cases of anti-Semitism.  You could have done so any time in the last 100 years.  The question is why it only came to the surface under Corbyn and the answer is ‘Israel’.

Corbyn’s vanity was such that when he was accused of anti-Semitism he protested.  He didn’t protest when hundreds if not thousands of others were likewise accused. He didn’t even get it that because Zionists define anti-Semitism as opposition to racism and Zionism they were talking a different language.

Those who campaigned on Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ ranged from the Tory press, Theresa May and the various Zionist lobby groups, not least the racist Jewish Chronicle and the Board of Deputies, a group that has never campaigned against racism, or even anti-Semitism, in its history. That Corbyn didn’t understand where the campaign was coming from, despite having a plethora of well-paid advisers, shows how flawed and shallow were his politics.  He was a left social democrat out of his depth. For all his talk about US imperialism when it came down to it he did not recognise a state originated campaign aimed at destabilising the Labour Party.

Extract from letter that Labour’s witchhunters call antisemitic

Who are the real victims of Starmer’s ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign?

1.           The Wavertree FourThe Wavertree Four sent a letter to their MP Paula Barker, a member of the Campaign Group no less, as a result of an article in the local Jewish Telegraph. In that letter the four officers of Wavertree Constituency Labour Party – chair Nina Houghton, secretary Kevin Bean, women’s officer Helen Dickson and BAME officer Hazuan Hashim were suspended.

According to the letter of suspension the principal objection is to their statement taking issue with Paul Barker’s article:’

Luciana leaving the Labour Party was a shock to many and I find it deeply regrettable that she felt she could no longer stay….’

Scab Labour MP Paula Barker

The 4 accused are alleged to have:

‘engaged in conduct prejudicial and / or grossly detrimental to the Party…’  in that they

1. may reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on race, religion or belief; and / or

2. may reasonably be seen to involve antisemitic actions, stereotypes and sentiments; and / or

3. undermines the Party’s ability to campaign against racism.

Article by scab Labour MP Paula Barker

What is the evidence that the 4 accused have engaged in ‘anti-Semitic actions’ and ‘demonstrated hostility or prejudice based on race, religion or belief’ such that the Labour Party’s ‘ability to campaign against racism’ has been undermined?  What tropes or memes have they engaged in? 

Remember that the person they are criticising, Paula Barker, is not even Jewish. In other words, even disagreeing with the received wisdom that Luciana Berger was a victim of Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ is itself anti-Semitic. This is in essence saying that someone accused of a crime who pleads innocence has, by his plea, proved that he is guilty!  It is the ‘logic’ and mentality of Nazi justice which incorporated the decisions on guilt or innocence to the Police in the Lodz ghetto.

The salient part of the Wavertree 4’s letter stated that:

We have to express our disappointment and hurt that someone we campaigned for so wholeheartedly appears to have reiterated the inaccurate and factionally motivated position on anti-Semitism which was used in order to personally attack and seriously undermine Labour’s socialist programme during the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

There are a number of points made in the article that we would take issue with, but the most important is the statement that:’

Luciana leaving the Labour Party was a shock to many and I find it deeply regrettable that she felt she could no longer stay….’

Though we accept that it was not explicitly stated that Luciana Berger was forced out of the Labour Party by anti-Semitic abuse from members of Wavertree CLP, Paula’s words will most certainly be taken to imply that we, as a CLP, were responsible. This accusation has been repeated by our political opponents, such as the anti-Corbyn Labour right and the Liberal Democrats on numerous occasions, culminating in Tom Watson’s calumny, under the protective cloak of parliamentary privilege, that Luciana Berger had been ‘forced out by racist thugs’ in Wavertree CLP. In the furore that followed, individual officers and members, such as our then chair, were subject to further abuse and false allegations in the

I defy anyone to find a trace or hint of racism or anti-Semitism in the above letter. What the 4 accused were doing was to challenge the narrative that Luciana Berger was forced out of the Labour Party by anti-Semitism.  This was  a lie but challenging Zionist lies is now evidence of ‘anti-Semitism’.

Luciana Berger has a history of resigning from organisations because of ‘anti-Semitism’.  According to an article ‘Why I had to resign’ in the Guardian of 15th April 2005:

Last week I resigned from my position as a National Executive Committee member, because of a continued apathy within the National Union of Students to Jewish student suffering.

And what did this ‘suffering’ consist of? 

i.                   Gilad Atzmon’s statement at SOAS that burning down a synagogue was a ‘rational act’.  Atzmon is anti-Semitic.  Of that there is no doubt. However it is untrue that he was justifying arson against Jewish targets.  As he made clear in a letter to the Guardian, the statement he made was quoted inaccurately and taken out of context:

‘I claimed that since Israel presents itself as the ‘state of the Jewish people’, and bearing in mind the atrocities committed by the Jewish state against the Palestinians, any form of anti-Jewish activity may be seen as political retaliation. This does not make it right.’

There are many things that Atzmon has said which are anti-Semitic.  This was not one of them!

ii.                 Berger then equates anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism asking, in all innocence: ‘Many people claim that being anti-Israel/Zionist isn’t being anti-semitic. But why does hatred of Israel lead them to turn a blind eye to the Protocols on a GUPS pamphlet?’

The obvious answer is that it doesn’t, except in Luciana’s mind.

iii.              Luciana then asks readers to ‘look at the Israeli boycott (sic!) motions put to this month’s Association of University Teachers conference.’ Quite what the AUT, now UCU, has to do with ‘anti-Semitism’ in the NUS is not clear and what has Boycott to do with anti-Semitism?

The methodology is quite clear.  Luciana has spent her political life equating opposition to Zionism and the Israeli state with anti-Semitism. According to Wikipedia Luciana Berger was Director of Labour Friends of Israel, a propaganda group that is an extension of the Israeli Embassy from 2007 to 2010.  In other words Luciana is a fully fledged racist who uses ‘anti-Semitism’ as a means of justifying and defending Israel’s record.

The Israeli Labor Party, which LFI supports, is now in coalition with Netanyahu and has agreed to the annexation of 30% of the West Bank.  So much for their support for a 2 states solution. The same ILP also supports the proposal that none of the Palestinians in the area annexed will be Israeli citizens.  This is straight out of the South Africa apartheid playbook.

It is clear beyond doubt that the Wavertree Four have been suspended for their criticisms of Berger.  Unfortunately the Lansmanites in Wavertree Labour Party, instead of supporting their officers are doing their best to stab them in the back. As I have said previously, Lansman and his  cohorts were responsible for the defeat of Corbyn.  They are now actively aiding Starmer’s witchhunt.

Other offences that the Wavertree 4 are accused of include organising a meeting ‘Covid-19 and the crisis of capitalism: Can Modern Monetary Theory solve it?’ with speakers Chris Williamson and Michael Roberts, a Marxist economist.  Clearly anti-Semitic!

The third offence, I’m not sure whether this is an example of ‘anti-Semitism’, was advertising a Socialist Appeal meeting ‘Fighting for a Socialist Labour Movement.’ If like Starmer you believe that socialism is inherently anti-Semitic then I guess this too is an offence of race hatred!

What the attack on the Wavertree 4 demonstrates is that Free Speech in the Labour Party does not exist.  What makes this worse is that Paula Barker is a member of the useless Socialist Campaign Group of MPs. This snivelling apologist for the racist Berger, should have spoken out immediately about the attack on her constituency officers.  Instead, like the rest of the Campaign Group she has remained silent.

The scandalous nature of the accusations against the Wavertree 4 is highlighted by the article by David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialists Group concerning one of the four – BAME officer Hazuan Hashim. Far from being a racist Hazuan is a long standing anti-racist activist.  It is a sad commentary on Starmer’s Labour that anti-racist activists are being suspended and expelled from the Labour Party at the instigation of Zionists and racists like Berger.

Screenshot of participants in meeting between the racist Jewish Labour Movement and the racist Starmer

Other Victims of the ‘Anti-Semitism Witchhunt

i.                   I understand that in his meeting with the Jewish Labour Movement Keir Starmer was handed a hit-list. Prominent amongst those included in it were the leadership of Jewish Voices for Labour.  It is no surprise that Jewish anti-Zionists should be prominent targets.  When Apartheid was the political system in South Africa, special anger was reserved for White opponents of Apartheid.  They were held to be ‘traitors’, a term that Zionists use against Jewish anti-Zionists. 

ii.                Mike Cushman of JVL’s Executive is understood to be under investigation and my understanding is that 25 Jewish members of the Labour Party are under ‘investigation’.  Mark Elf, who used to produce Jewssansfrontieres blog has also been suspended for ‘anti-Semitism’. I also suspect that Glynn Secker will be somewhere to the top of the JLM hitlist.

As I said at the time of my own expulsion, if you want to fight ‘anti-Semitism’ then what better than to expel anti-racist Jews.  It is understandable that the Zionist movement, many of whose leadership welcomed Hitler to power in 1933, should invest its energies in attacking anti-Zionist Jews.

Dr David Miller – suspended for writing a book that Zionists don’t like

iii.             Professor David Miller of Bristol University.  David Miller was one of 5 academics who wrote Bad News for Labour, a book that looked at the evidence for Labour’s anti-Semitism allegations and found them wanting. This caused great annoyance to the Zionists in the Jewish Labour Movement.  The last thing they wanted was a serious academic study of their false allegations. 

iv.             The JLM therefore organised the volley of abuse, including threatening and abusive phone calls and social media attacks, on Waterstones in Brighton for hosting the book launch.  As a result Waterstones buckled and cancelled the book launch. After furious responses from their customers admitted their mistake.

The Bad News for Labour booklaunch which was relocated from Waterstones

Fortunately this was during Labour Party conference and as a group of us had organised a Free Speech venue in Brighton we put on the event ourselves at the Rialto Theatre.

As Pluto Press highlighted in their press release, it was Bad News for Academic Freedom. But this is what Starmer’s witchhunt is about.

The monster Momentum meeting which led to panic by the Labour Right and the fraudulent cancellation of election results at Labour’s AGM

v.                Brighton and Hove Labour Parties have taken a particular toll.  We were at the forefront of the Corbyn revolution. In a massive AGM, which the Labour Party’s corrupt officers overturned, we evicted the old Right.  As my articles on the Leaked Report makes clear, corrupt Labour officials reversed the election results on wholly bogus premises. Not only has Becky Massey been expelled another comrade, Pam Page has been suspended.

Pam Page and Becky Massey (suspended/expelled) from Hove and Brighton Pavilion Labour Parties

vi.             I have also received information that a Labour Party member of over 50 years has also been suspended as part of Starmer’s McCarthyist witchhunt. He too is being dealt with under the fast-track procedures that Corbyn introduced.

Kat Buckingham, who was the ‘investigator’ had made up her mind long before – extract from leaked Report

vii.          Ella Downing has also been suspended.  Her offence?  Among other things posting a meme saying that ‘you can’t hold hands with god when you’re masturbating’ and referring to Jesus as a ‘sky Jew’.  Clearly anti-Semitic!

viii.         Dan Dowling was suspended for posting wholly anti-Zionist articles such as one graphic quoting the late Israeli Education Minister Shulamit Aloni, possibly the only anti-racist to have been an Israeli government minister, that ‘anti-Semitism is a trick we always use.’ Something which Starmer’s witchhunt demonstrates.

It is clear that the witchhunt that began under Corbyn and Formby, a witchhunt that never, not once, targeted anti-Palestinian racists like Luke Akehurst or Luke Stanger, which attempted to appease the unappeasable, the Israel Lobby and the Labour Right, has now been widened to engulf a major portion of the Left. 

What should we do?

The first thing is to join Labour Against the Witchhunt and also their Facebook Group. It is essential that there is a co-ordinated response to the current attacks.  This is the only specifically anti-witchhunt group. It is very understandable that people in such a situation should resign however I strongly urge people not to resign. That is what the Right wants and we should resist the temptation.

The Corbyn Project has been defeated thanks to the spinelessness of Corbyn and McDonnell and the treachery of people like Lansman.  However it would be tragic if the thousands of people who were attracted by a left-wing leader were to dissipate and go to the four winds.  There are a number of organisations that people should join nationally including Labour Left Alliance, Don’t Leave Organise and Chris Williamson’s Festival of Resistance.

If however you are expelled it is important both at the local and national level to keep in touch with and organise with fellow socialists. This is something I have tried to impress on the Labour Left Alliance. At present Don’t Leave Organise has not taken on board the thousands of Labour Party members resigning or being expelled and suspended.

What is most important is that you and others of a similar mind form local Socialist and Labour left groups that include members of the Labour Party and those who are unattached/ suspended/ expelled.

In short it is time that we fight back against the new racist leadership of the Labour Party led by Mogadon Man ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer. As the COVID-19 crisis demonstrates, the democratic organisation and control of society by those who live in it as opposed to the corrupt corporate lobbyists who knobble those in power is more urgent than ever.

Below I reprint an article from the JVL site by Murray Glickman.

Tony Greenstein

Jews accused of antisemitism

“Everyone should feel able to take part in discussion about our party, country and world.”(Code of Conduct: Antisemitism and other forms of racism, Party Rulebook 2020, p.116)

The issue

A large number of Jewish Labour Party members have faced, or currently do face, formal investigation by the party on charges of antisemitism. JVL is aware of at least 25 such investigations: that is unlikely to be the full tally.

This number is far too high to be the result of chance or attributable to circumstances specific to individual cases. On the contrary, it suggests that Jewish party members are disproportionately exposed to being investigated for antisemitism.

No precedent

I am Jewish and reasonably well read in Jewish history. I am only too aware that my ancestors, near and remote, have been accused of all manner of hateful things over the centuries. But I don’t know of any precedent in which a group of Jews has been accused — institutionally accused — of antisemitism.

I know that I share a close Jewish identity with those accused so far. That makes me frankly fearful that it may be only a matter of time before my turn comes. In a sense it already has: I have now been the victim of slurs portraying me as antisemitic on several occasions, all pretty clear violations of the Party’s code of conduct on social media.

I am beginning to feel distinctly unwelcome as a Jew in the Labour Party.

Jewish emotional life and antisemitism

Just as much as members of other social groups, Jewish individuals vary enormously in outlook and mental attitudes.

In my experience, however, there is one constant: everyone raised in a Jewish family setting – hugely diverse though these are — grows up knowing what antisemitism is in the depth of their being. We all carry the fear of it with us through our lives. Knowing Jewishness from the inside as I do, I can honestly say that the idea of Jews being accused — virtually en masse — of antisemitism is something I cannot get my head around.

No reason to know

As JVL’s Support Officer, I have advised many distressed party members facing investigation. In the process I have looked in detail at a large number of individual NOIs [Notices of Investigation] issued by the party. Below I set out some observations on them that can, I believe, shine some light on why accusing Labour Jews of antisemitism has become so routine.

The Party does not go in for ethnic monitoring of members under investigation, and I am prepared to believe officials are actually unaware of the disproportionate number of Jewish members being investigated on the most implausible of grounds — antisemitism. This article is intended as a wake-up call. It is now time for the Party to act.

If we want to understand how this situation has crept up on the Party, we need to look at the methodology it uses in its investigations. I highlight three areas of concern:

  • the contested terrain of Jewish political history
  • uncontextualised fragments used as evidence
  • complainants’ identities and motivations, and the provenance of ‘evidence’

1. Jewish political history

Jewish political history is just as contested as, say, the British variety. There is, however, a key difference: whilst most party members will have some familiarity with the political history of our country, it has become clear to me that few have even a basic acquaintance with Jewish political history. Why should they?

NOIs typically come with lists of questions. I have seen a lot of them, and have given the questions a lot of thought. The conclusion I have come to is that, all too often, they have been drafted by people who have no background in the contested terrain of Jewish political history. Here is where I think we should start in order to understand why the Party has accused so many of its Jewish members of antisemitism,

As a Brit I am deeply interested in the history of my country. At the same time I am, as a socialist, no supporter of nationalistic narratives of British history. Some may call that ‘anti-British’, but I would never in a million years expect the Labour Party to agree. As a Jew, I am also deeply interested in the history of my ethnic group. But again, as a socialist, I am no supporter of nationalistic narratives of that history either. In no way does it make me ‘anti-Jewish’. But Jewish members like me stand accused of antisemitism by the Party for just this reason. It must stop.

2. Uncontextualised fragments

I have seen enough NOIs to be familiar with their format. This typically comprises ‘evidence’ in the form of one or more social media posts the member under investigation is alleged to have shared, coupled with a set of questions referring to them. These questions are predominantly brief and open-ended in the extreme — often no more than a demand for the member to ‘explain’ what he or she meant by a given post or their ‘reasons’ for sharing it.

What is striking is that these posts are presented without context. (I call them ‘uncontextualised fragments’). The onus to provide context is placed entirely on the member under investigation.

To judge by this way of treating members, the Party does not seem to accept any responsibility for making inquiries of its own, prior to issuing an NOI, into the context of a post — for example, by studying the political situation within which it appeared or the thread from which it derives its meaning.

I believe this format is inherently unfair, not least when used in the course of accusing Jewish members of antisemitism. When this happens, the Party’s failure to examine context for itself combines with deficient knowledge of the political terrain to produce a toxic mix.

3. Complainants’ identities and motivations, and the provenance of ‘evidence’

When one individual accuses another before a tribunal with the power to impose sanctions, the intentions of the accuser as well as those of the accused must be liable to scrutiny. The integrity of the process depends on it.

There is no indication in any NOI I have seen that the Party takes steps to gather information on the identities and motivations of complainants, or on how they came by the ‘evidence’ they have submitted. Based on what I have seen however, I think I can safely say that the complainant is hardly ever a Jewish person who has been subjected to antisemitic abuse personally directed at him or her. (Precisely this happened to me recently in a local shop. I know what it feels like.)

The vast majority of items alleged to be antisemitic that I have seen in NOIs are posts which have been shared in small social-media bubbles and then quickly forgotten by all concerned. They only come to light, often years afterwards, because a systematic trawling operation has been undertaken to seek them out. We have also now had it officially confirmed (in the recently leaked party report), that a very small number of complainants is responsible for a large number of complaints.

If a formal disciplinary process is to be fair, it must start with a serious attempt by the Party to bring together all the relevant information t can, whether that strengthens or weakens the case against the member under investigation. The identities and motivations of complainants may often be of critical importance to the case, as may the provenance of material complained about. It is worrying that the Party seems perfectly content to operate in a state of ignorance on these matters. The responsible way forward would be for it to make sure from now on that it gathers this information in advance of issuing NOIs. It might then see complaints in a clearer perspective and sometimes take a different view on whether a formal investigation is actually warranted. At the very least, the process of drafting investigation questions would be significantly better informed.

All this could go a long way towards rescuing the Party from the absurd position it has put itself into — in which, as a non-Jewish organisation, it accuses Jews of antisemitism and then delivers judgement on them.


I understand the external pressures the Party is under to appear macho on antisemitism. But I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that bowing to these pressures has put the Party in the invidious position of effectively targeting Jewish members for being the Jews they are. I call for a comradely dialogue on how to stop all this.

Some of the most vicious episodes in the history of antisemitism have occurred when powerful non-Jewish institutions have seen fit to persecute individual Jews who have for one reason or another come to their notice. The most notorious example is the Dreyfus affair, but the mediaeval Barcelona Disputations also come to mind. The treatment of Shylock in the Merchant Of Venice depicts the same in dramatic form. I hear faint but painful echoes of these in the way the Party is behaving. As a Jewish member, I should not find myself writing this.

I assert my right as a party member to post this critical reflection on party affairs. This right is confirmed in the passage from the party rulebook quoted at the beginning of the article. It is worth noting that it forms part of the Code of Conduct on Antisemitism.

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Tony Greenstein

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