This is very low behaviour from the Sussex Jewish Representative Council – and it is despicable of the Labour Party to entertain it.
It seems Labour has suspended Alex Braithwaite’s membership on suspicion of anti-Semitism, based partly on her having retweeted a link to one of my articles.
Ms Braithwaite was standing as a Labour candidate in the local government elections, and it seems the complaint against her has been made in order to prevent her from gaining a seat.
(That is, after all, the apparent reason I was accused of anti-Semitism – and my Labour membership suspended – back in 2017.)
Here’s the tweet from this organisation that started the trouble:
We are very concerned by a tweet from Labour candidate, Alex Braithwaite @labour52rose. Once again she has questioned and belittled the allegations of antisemitism within the Labour Party. More than this, she again suggests that it is concocted to ‘smear’ Jeremy Corbyn. 1/6 pic.twitter.com/pLRAOx1TxK
— Sussex Jewish Rep Council (@SussexJewishRep) April 7, 2019
Here is a news piece in the local paper. Apparently there have also been pieces in the Torygraph and the Heil.
I don’t know if you’ve read the article in question, dear reader. If you’re a regular on Vox Political, I’ll assume that you have. If so, you will know the reasons I questioned (belittled? no) these latest allegations of anti-Semitism, and why I said it was a smear.
The piece was about allegations in The Sunday Times, by a reporter who smeared me in February 2018; the newspaper had to publish a retraction nearly a year later. Its new claims were based on a similar situation – leaked information from a Labour Party source – and I wrote that they seemed to have as much basis in fact.
Labour duly published information supporting my belief, saying the figures quoted were not accurate and that lines had been selectively leaked from emails to misrepresent their overall contents.
To recap (quoting from my piece):
“At no point in what is visible of the article on the Sunday Times front – which is all that is available to me at this point, and I’m damned if I’ll spend another penny on that hack-rag – is there any confirmation of its information from a Labour Party representative who would know about it. [In fact Labour has denied it.]
“No evidence is given to show whether the claims about particular individuals are accurate or merely allegations.
“And nothing in the visible part of the article directly connects the claims it makes about alleged interference in Labour anti-Semitism investigations with Jeremy Corbyn himself.
“Yet the headline clearly refers to the individuals listed in the piece as ‘Corbyn’s anti-Semite army’.”
That is plenty of evidence to support my claim that the story is a smear piece aimed at Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
So why has the Sussex Jewish Representative Council taken it upon itself to us my article as evidence that another person is anti-Semitic?
Firstly, re-tweeting articles does not imply endorsement – Ms Braithwaite could have been putting it out to the public for debate and discussion, and there is nothing wrong with that.
And secondly, there is nothing anti-Semitic in the article. Questioning allegations from a suspect source is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
I make no comment on any other behaviour of Ms Braithwaite’s. That is her business and not mine. I merely write to point out that no allegation that uses my articles as evidence of anti-Semitism should possibly be taken seriously and the Sussex Jewish Representative Council has made itself look foolish in so doing.
But the big question is, why has the Labour Party accepted that group’s claim, after denying the allegations in the newspaper? That is contradictory behaviour that undermines faith in the party and those responsible need to come forward and explain themselves.
The Sussex Jewish Representative Council has been contacted for an explanation of its behaviour, but has not responded at the time of writing.
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And also she displays #istandwithChrisWilliamson, so a double whammy.
Hmm I wonder the greedie ones again forcing off opposition ready for their plant how many Jewish people in this want her gone I wonder
There seems to be a pattern…. the ones either kicked out or suspended are ALL BAME… The fact is Labour discriminates against BAMEs and Jews.
I was kicked out and I’m not BAME!
I am Jewish, been labour activist for 55 years…never heard/seen anything anti semetic ! Am l the odd one out ??
Yeah, but see, you’re a ‘radical’ Mike!
When did that happen?
When did anyone start needing any actual evidence to smear you, Mike? 😉
They’ve never had any. Doesn’t seem to stop them!
Labour doesn’t discriminates it’s the greedie ones in the party that don’t won’t to go back to being labour MPs who listen to their supporters not look onthemselves has god’s perhaps you listen to much to BBC and the rest of media who don’t want or like a real labour but a Tory led Labour party
Does £abour discriminate against Jews?
The reverse of my membership card states
…where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.
Unfortunately I see little evidence of solidarity, tolerance and respect, but plenty of evidence of intolerance both by certain groups, individuals and those who are asked to cast judgement on those who are maliciously accused.
If the aim is to win political power we need a far greater emphasis on solidarity and respect. Suspensions and exclusions only lead to greater discord I would much prefer inclusion and open debate, but that may be too much to ask.
I look forward to the day when most of those excluded are welcomed back with open arms.
Alex shouldn’t have apologised as this seems to show guilt.
The Sussex Jewish Representative Council is a new organisation and at first appears to be an innocent umbrella organisation representing local synagogues and Jewish groups. More disturbingly the Sussex Friends of Israel is also affiliated, a political group where you don’t have to be Jewish, merely a supporter of Israel and Zionism. I think its entirely wrong that local synagogues should be involved with this right wing political organisation.
There is also some evidence that the SFI may be involved in running the SJRC. It just looks like further attempts by Israel supporting organisations to control the anti-semitism narrative. Have a look at the SJRC twitter page, less about promoting local Jewish groups, more about promoting an anti-Labour message.