Louise Ellman is vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, an organisation with whom Shai Masot claimed to be working when he was conspiring to adversely influence UK politics in favour of the Israeli government.
This party-within-the-Labour-Party has gone unscrutinised for far too long. Masot was exposed and withdrawn from the UK more than a year ago but it seems no questions have been asked about LFI.
Now it is spreading indignation about an event hosted by Jeremy Corbyn, supporting claims that a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust who was at Auschwitz could be an anti-Semite, and keeping quiet about its own leaders’ tacit support for ugly pro-Zionist demonstrations.
Labour is quick to condemn rank-and-file party members for far less abhorrent behaviour. Why are these people immune?
Labour Friends of Israel vice-chair and Labour MP Louise Ellman has been at the forefront of much of the loud criticism of the party and its leader over alleged antisemitism, appearing regularly on programmes to express her dismay. The latest manifestation of that criticism is a claim that he acted somehow inappropriately in arranging an event at which Jewish Auschwitz survivor Hajo Meyer spoke.
She appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, claiming to have been ‘appalled’ to find out about the event.
She did not mention – nor did the programme – that she attended the same 2010 event for which she and others were criticising Corbyn.
In fact, she was there far longer than Corbyn was.
Corbyn introduced the event and then had to leave to be elsewhere, before returning later. Ms Ellman, by contrast, is reported as staying throughout – including during a major disruption caused by pro-Israel demonstrators who invaded the event and heckled survivors of other genocides when they spoke.
A letter, written at the time to the Tribune, puts her attendance beyond question:
“A tiny group of Zionist fanatics invaded the gathering and shouted so continuously that the careful programme was derailed, though not prevented from happening. This was a total destruction of the democratic space for over an hour – something I’ve never seen before in any Parliamentary meeting. It was sickening to hear the hounding of 85 year-old Dr Meyer, and the bellows of ‘boring!’ every time any survivor of a different genocide tried to tell their experience.
“Most shockingly, Louise Ellman MP – who as Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel was presumably attending as an observer with a companion from the Board of Deputies – both sat unmoved without making the slightest attempt to quell their fellow supporters of Israel and create an open space. They later tried to guilt-trip MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Brian Iddon for bravely hosting the event.”
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