Corbyn hits back hard against Home Affairs Committee criticism about anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn with Shami Chakrabarti at the launch of her report into antisemitism in the Labour party [Image: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images].

Jeremy Corbyn with Shami Chakrabarti at the launch of her report into antisemitism in the Labour party [Image: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images].

The Commons’ Home Affairs Committee (CHAC) report on anti-Semitism appears to be exactly what This Writer feared it would be – a load of rubbish.

It is interesting that the report accuses Jeremy Corbyn of being “incompetent” in dealing with incidents of anti-Semitism, because that is exactly how I would describe the committee’s inquiry. Its questioning was biased; its choice of witnesses was appalling and its conclusions show no attempt at balance whatsoever.

If you want evidence to support the above, just pick up a copy of my book, The Livingstone Presumption (see advert, below). Appendix 1 contains an account of proceedings at one session of the CHAC’s inquiry, showing very clearly that members had already decided their verdict before they asked a single question.

Mr Corbyn has already responded in a Facebook post, which includes the following notable comments:

“Although the Committee heard evidence that 75 per cent of antisemitic incidents come from far right sources, and the report states there is no reliable evidence to suggest antisemitism is greater in Labour than other parties, much of the report focuses on the Labour party.

“As the report rightly acknowledges, politicising antisemitism – or using it as a weapon in controversies between and within political parties – does the struggle against it a disservice.”

“I am also concerned by some other aspects of the Committee’s report. The Committee heard evidence from too narrow a pool of opinion, and its then-chair rejected both Chakrabarti’s and the Jewish Labour Movement’s requests to appear and give evidence before it. Not a single woman was called to give oral evidence in public, and the report violates natural justice by criticising individuals without giving them a right to be heard.

“The report’s political framing and disproportionate emphasis on Labour risks undermining the positive and welcome recommendations made in it.”

“The committee chose not to look in any detail at – or come up with proposals for – combatting antisemitism in other parties, our major civic institutions, in the workplace, in schools, in all those places where Jewish people’s life chances might be at risk through antisemitism.

“In the Labour Party, which has been at the forefront of those struggles for equality, we remain committed to doing so. We continue to work with Jewish and other organisations in that endeavor, and are saddened that those on the Committee have chosen not to contribute to it.

“The report unfairly criticises Shami Chakrabarti for not being sufficiently independent. This fails to acknowledge public statements that the offer to appoint Chakrabarti to the House of Lords came after completion of her report, and was based on her extensive legal and campaigning experience.

“Commissioning Chakrabarti was an unprecedented step for a political party, demonstrating Labour’s commitment to fight against antisemitism.”

Earlier in his statement, Mr Corbyn had commented: “The report in fact echoes much of Labour’s own Chakrabarti Inquiry report, including recommendations on language, stereotyping and training.”

He continued: “Labour is already acting on her recommendations, including reform of our internal procedures, changes to the Party’s rule book and expansion of training to tackle antisemitism.

“The Inquiry, which included Baroness Jan Royall, former leader of the House of Lords, and David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism on its panel, was praised by a number of bodies, including the Jewish Labour Movement, and by John Mann, the Chair of the All Parliamentary Party Group against Antisemitism.

“I am proud that Labour is the only party that has specific protections in place to ensure a zero tolerance approach to antisemitism.”

I would also direct you to the Skwawkbox blog article on the report, which comments very clearly, firstly on the claim that anti-Semitism had become “institutionalised” in the Labour Party:

“When people are desperate to smear, they will often overreach. Such is the case here. Saying that anything is ‘institutional’ implies that it is both entrenched and long-standing. Even if it were true that Labour has an ‘antisemitism’ problem, Corbyn has only been leader for just over a year – too short a time for anything to have become institutionalised ‘on his watch’ or to have dug out an inherited, ‘institutionalised’ issue.

“The report states

The failure of the Labour Party to deal consistently and effectively with antisemitic incidents in recent years risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally antisemitic.

“First, it’s worth noting ‘in recent years‘. So, far from being the condemnation of Corbyn it’s being spun as, if there is a problem it’s years old. And in fact, there’s been no known incident of antisemitism since Corbyn became leader that hasn’t been dealt with ‘consistently and effectively’. That one sentence undermines the report and, even more so, the media handling of it.

“Secondly, note that this comment by the committee claims ‘elements’, plural. But in fact it only heard one claim of institutional antisemitism in one small group.

“The report refers to a Guardian article by Aaron Simons – and that’s it.

“Labour conducted a specific report into his allegations – the Royall Report – and it was a key trigger in the commissioning of the Chakrabarti report, so claims that Labour did not take it seriously are clearly nonsense.

“Laughably, in spite of all the furore and completely ignored by the media, the report says:

Despite significant press and public attention on the Labour Party, and a number of revelations regarding inappropriate social media content, there exists no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party. We are unaware whether efforts to identify antisemitic social media content within the Labour Party were applied equally to members and activists from other political parties, and we are not aware of any polls exploring antisemitic attitudes among political party members, either within or outside the Labour Party. The current impression of a heightened prevalence of antisemitism

“(emphasis mine)

“HUH?! The report admits there’s no evidence that antisemitism is a particular problem in the Labour party – and admits that the CHAC has no idea whether ‘the impression’ of antisemitism is based on a fair examination of Labour and other parties.

“So why exactly is the CHAC publishing a report specifically to criticise Corbyn’s handling of a problem of whose existence they admit there is no [insert expletive of your choice here] evidence?!

“And don’t forget – Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’ programme spent 6 months undercover at Corbyn’s Labour and found exactly the same evidence of any abuse or antisemitism:

“None whatever.”

Jeremy Corbyn has come under strong personal attack from a cross-party committee of MPs investigating the growth of antisemitism for helping to create a safe space for people with “vile attitudes towards Jewish people”.

In a damning indictment of the party and its leader, the powerful home affairs select committee claims that Corbyn’s lack of action “risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally antisemitic”. In the report, published on Sunday , Labour is said to have been “demonstrably incompetent” in dealing with incidents of anti-Jewish abuse.

An inquiry into antisemitism in Labour carried out by Shami Chakrabarti on the orders of Corbyn earlier this year is described as “ultimately compromised”. Its independence was thrown into doubt by Chakrabarti’s acceptance of a peerage and a job in the shadow cabinet, the committee writes.

The MPs criticise Chakrabarti for describing antisemitic abuse as merely “unhappy incidents”, and note her failure to respond to requests for a timeline proving that there was no connection between her elevation to the Lords and her inquiry. They write: “Ms Chakrabarti has not been sufficiently open with the committee about when she was offered her peerage, despite several attempts to clarify this issue with her.”

Source: Jeremy Corbyn accused of incompetence by MPs over antisemitic abuse | Politics | The Guardian


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13 thoughts on “Corbyn hits back hard against Home Affairs Committee criticism about anti-Semitism

  1. Darren webb

    I see No Anti semitism at all on any Labour forums what so ever it’s of Course the right-wing media who have latched on to this (none) Anti semitism in the Labour party and are trying to make it stick even the moderates of the Labour party are guilty of this during the Leadership Contest trying to get one over Corbyn. Of course we don’t hear of any racism problem with the right wing Tories and Ukip during the EU Referendum and after it

  2. Jackie Cairns

    I think they are more Anti semetic rather than Jeremy, They keep bringing it up for no reason than getting their own backs on Jeremy, Because he doesn’t want them in his frontbench. I would expel them from Labour all together.

  3. Roland Laycock

    This is becoming a whitch hunt that I am sick and tired of, to put it simple Zionists are b*****ds of the first order how do I tell the difference between a Zionist and a Jew I don’t know and I’m sorry to say many people tar them with the same brush which is wrong and its about time the Jews sorted it out and all this sticking labels on people without any facts has to stop, I see Zionists use the holocaust as a tool to hit people with that they don’t like and get their own way this has to come to an end in the long run people will come to hate the Jews which is wrong and turn to the far right, I was down the local town and heard someone say Hitlar was right to get rid of them this is sick but when you listen to what they say is going on in Palestine you try and tell them its not the real Jews but the Zionists all I get is they’re all the same

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That is what many people feared – that all Jewish people would be blamed for the actions and opinions of a very specific group.
      While we have aggressive Zionists who play up to this stereotype by conflating their movement and the state of Israel with all Jews, I can only see it getting worse.

  4. Lin Wren

    Absolutely waste of time, money & the result? No anti-semitism particularly in Labour. This once again is rhetoric to again bash Corbyn. Shame on them

  5. casalealex

    Home Affairs Committee

    Victoria Atkins, James Berry, David Burrowes, Nusrat Ghani, Ranil Jayawardena, Tim Loughton – acting Chair, all Cons

    Naz Shah, pro JC – Chuka Umunna and David Winnick -anti JC – all Lab

    Stuart C. McDonald – SNP

    Says it all really….

  6. Dai

    Its all about damaging Corbyn’s poll ratings, stop him gaining traction.

    I understand labour had a massive purge and any nonsense would have been weeded out.

    The labour party has gone through scrutiny on a wide front, its now time to scrutinize a non elected Prime Minister and a tory party that’s wreaked havoc on Britain..

  7. Katherine Carver

    The problem is that this has not just arisen out of a will to undermine Corbyn although that is a significant factor. The issue is that it is probably fair to say that there are more people within the Labour Party, and especially those to the left of the Party, that have strong views on what Israel is doing to Palestine. it appears to me to be one of many concerted attempts to subdue those voices.

  8. Pjay Mac

    No 1/. Why are the Jewish People exempt from criticism they may do as they wish to all other peoples on this Planet this includes Terrorising the Palestinian and other Arab States. No 2/. The fact I have written the truth now makes me an Anti – Semite in the eyes of Bigoted fools if someone can answer this query without foaming at the mouth and acting all outraged that I could ask such a Question I’d be obliged. No 3/. Here is the query how many people of all the Arab Tribes have the Terrorist Organisation Israeli Zionism Murdered since the aggressive invasion of Palistine and how many Palestinian Women Children and Men died when the untouchable Jews diverted the river Jordan and turned Palistine into an arid Desert. No4/ Since the illegal Land grab after the 39-45 War Millions of Palestinian and other Arabic Tribes have Died by the actions of Jews you would really think they would know better wouldn’t you. No5/ Why are all World powers Terrified to question Jewish aggression when they clearly question at every opportunity any action or aggression of any Nation whose Policy they don’t agree with ie Russia since 1945 for instance who fought the Nazi Tyranny and 25 Million or More Died but the Russians fought for their Families and their Lives Stalin was a Monster but his People were not The two Bushes Father and Son, Reagan and Thatcher, Blair and Bush the younger are every bit as Monstrous as Stalin. No6/. The. Words Racist and Ant-Semite are Weapons used by “The Man”to beat the Resistance out of decent people so they are frightened to question “The Man”the Jews are untouchable but not infallible hopefully History will be as Harsh on them as it has been on The British Empire, The American Southern States, The American Government who forced their Brave Heroes to fight a War in South East Asia in a place called Vietnam with their hands tied behind their backs, The Thatcher Government Thatcher Herself gave the order Sink The Belgrano no survivors all this to Save her Political Career, The IRA, The UDA, The UDF, Ian Duncan Smith the Legalised Murderer of The Disabled, The Unemployed, The Working Poor, Cameron and Osborne who between them BANKRUPT THE UK, Sad Sad World We live in where Evil is Good and Good is Evil, Spin Merchants for all Politicians should be Jailed.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The trouble with your comment is you accuse ‘Jews’ of many of the acts you criticise, thereby falling into the anti-Semitism trap. These were all political decisions and had nothing to do with religion.

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