The BBC has upheld a complaint against former BBC political editor Nick Robinson after he wrongly tweeted that Jackie Walker had claimed that “the Jews controlled the slave trade”.
This was a principal complaint against Ms Walker and part of the basis on which both she and This Writer have been expelled from the Labour Party. As it is false, Labour’s reasons for expelling us both may also be false – if the party’s accusers were mistaken on one point, it is likely they were wrong about all of them.
So when will Labour apologise and re-instate us?
The BBC‘s apology came in a letter to Twitter user and campaigner against injustice Simon Maginn, who had complained about a tweet by Nick Robinson on February 26.
Left activist Jackie Walker did *not* say 'Jews controlled the slave trade'.
BBC have reluctantly confirmed this after 4 months.
Anyone still claiming she did is, therefore, a liar.
Anyone claiming false accusations are not made is also a liar, since this was exactly that. pic.twitter.com/0SmFfNYo1J
— simon maginn (@simonmaginn) July 1, 2019
It seems Mr Robinson had claimed that Ms Walker had stated that “the Jews controlled the slave trade” and that this was an example of “anti-Semitism in the Labour Party”.
But in a letter to Mr Maginn that he tweeted yesterday (July 1), a representative of the Corporation’s Executive Complaints Division stated [boldings mine]: ‘What she had said, however (in response to a friend who had raised the question of ‘the debt’ owed to the Jews because of the Holocaust), was “Oh yes – and I hope you feel the same towards the African holocaust? My ancestors were involved in both – on all sides as I’m sure you know, millions more Africans were killed in the African holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews… and many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and perpetrators to some extent through choice. And having been a victim does not give you a right to be a perpetrator.”
‘Even allowing for the element of compression often seen in tweets, I think the paraphrase of Ms Walker gave an insufficiently accurate impression of her actual words, so I am upholding that aspect of your complaint.’
There can be no doubt that Ms Walker was referring specifically to matters in the Caribbean. If the reference to the sugar trade was not sufficiently exact, the comment, “which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean” is self-explanatory.
And I made all this abundantly clear, nearly three years ago!
The former of those pieces was actually used by Labour in its “evidence” (ha ha) against me!
I had written that – as is now well-documented – Ms Walker’s Facebook page had been hacked by members of an organisation called the Israel Advocacy Movement (whose founder, Joseph Cohen, used to be a member of the organisation that originally accused me – the fake charity calling itself the Campaign Against Antisemitism).
They grabbed part of a conversation she was having with a friend and gave it to the Jewish Chronicle as evidence of anti-Semitism – and that is the origin of the accusation against her.
I had written: “She was subjected to racist abuse by people who pose as campaigners against racism (albeit that very specific kind of racism that relates to the Jewish people). The same people claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews, thereby discriminating against all the other groups who faced genocide at the same time including, most famously, the Roma, the sick and disabled.”
Labour’s claim was “Qualifying racism in this way Mr Sivier has done is dismissive of antisemitism. There are very few, if any campaigners who ‘claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews’. Stating this discredits and diminishes antisemitism and the work done by campaigners.”
Apparently the part that’s supposed to be dismissive of anti-Semitism is where I stated that the accusers were posing as campaigners against racism “albeit that very specific kind of racism that relates to the Jewish people”. That is, of course, exactly how anti-Semitism is defined.
As for there being “few, if any campaigners who ‘claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews'” – here are a few examples, quoted in my defence against Labour’s false accusations:
“If only my accuser had actually read the article they were quoting, they would have found two examples of campaigners who claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews. From the article quoted in my piece: “The late Elie Wiesel said that to compare the sufferings of others with Jews was a “betrayal of Jewish history”. And Lucy Dawidowicz, a well known holocaust historian and rightwing Zionist, held that “subsuming Jewish losses under a universal or ecumenical classification is to effectively justify anti-Semitism”.”
“More currently, how about Jonathan Freedland’s words, in his recent article – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/27/jewish-anger-labour-listen-antisemitism-opinion – on the Guardian website? He wrote: “The Holocaust, the murder of 6 million Jews, is, for us, a very recent memory: part of our own lived experience, barely one generation away.” Here we see a national opinion-former claiming the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews. Who knows how many people have read his words and believed them?
“The following Jews, in a letter supporting Jackie Walker against her suspension after being unethically filmed at a Jewish Labour Movement event on anti-Semitism, stated: “It has always been a principle of the Zionist movement that the Nazi Holocaust was exclusive to the Jews. Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, has argued that ‘the Nazis only attempted to annihilate one people, the Jews’. According to Bauer, ‘the Holocaust is very much a unique case’. The signatories were: Tony Greenstein, Professor Haim Bresheeth, Professor Emeritus Jonathan Rosenhead, Leon Rosselson, Ruth Appleton, Rica Bird, Mike Cushman, Dr Merav Devere, Mark Elf, Sylvia Finzi, Ken Fryde, Leah Levane, Claire Glasman, Selma James, Michael Kalmanovitz, Helen Marks, Elizabeth Morley, Diana Neslen, Ilan Pappe, Martin Parnell, Roland Rance, Dr Brian Robinson, Amanda Sebestyen, Glynn Secker, David Selzer, Sam Semoff, Sam Weinstein and Naomi Wimborne-Iddrissi.
“I have found others in the course of my work on my website.
“For example: Beth Rosenberg, who I mention in my article https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2018/01/24/holocaust-memorial-day-tweet-triggers-hate-filled-denial-of-disability-related-deaths/ as tweeting, “Minimising the Holocaust is antisemitic, which you know and are doing deliberately to cause offence”. The problem is, I did not minimise any Holocaust – and HMD commemorates many holocausts and genocides, not just what happened to the Jewish people. Her tweet very clearly claims the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews – and cemented this in with her further comment: “The mythology from the left compared to the systematic murder of 6 million Jews.” So HMD refers only to the Shoah and not to any other such events, according to Ms Rosenberg.
“Here’s Christina Wallis: “I just find it upsetting that you’re using an atrocity that lead to the death of six million people, including members of my family to make a political point.” The Nazi holocaust killed 17 million people in total but she omits everybody who was not Jewish. So her tweet also, very clearly, claims the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews.
“Here’s another one, from ‘Plastic Fantastic’ on Twitter: “The Holocaust has a specific meaning – Nazi Germany systematically murdering some six million European Jews.” See: https://twitter.com/omgstater/status/956267890491166721“
I don’t honestly expect Labour to back down and apologise on the basis of a single admission of wrongdoing by the BBC – the prejudice in favour of the witch-hunters is far too strong in that organisation at the moment.
But I do think there is a clear message here – that the Labour Party machine now needs to engage in full and open discussion with those of us it has wronged, about its reasons for attacking perfectly innocent people, for dragging our names and reputations through the dirt, and for protecting those who have lied about us – both inside and outside the organisation.
How about it, Jennie Formby? Let’s have an open debate – or are you afraid?
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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