Tag Archives: apologise

Cowardly Keir pays huge damages to so-called anti-Semitism whistleblowers – rather than win in court

Keir the clueless: he thinks he’s putting Jeremy Corbyn and the former Labour leadership in an impossible position; in fact, all he’s doing is boxing himself in.

It should come as no surprise that new New Labour leader Keir Starmer would rather pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to so-called anti-Semitism whistleblowers than contest their claims in court – and perhaps win.

We know that the party had received advice that it had a strong defence against the claims by a group who spoke out in last year’s Panorama documentary, Is Labour Antisemitic?

Here’s former leader Jeremy Corbyn saying as much:

Former Labour leader Mr Corbyn said the legal settlement “risks giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations about action taken to tackle anti-Semitism in the Labour Party in recent years”.

He said it was a “political decision, not a legal one”.

“Our legal advice was that the party had a strong defence, and the evidence in the leaked Labour report that is now the subject of an NEC inquiry led by Martin Forde QC strengthened concerns about the role played by some of those who took part in the programme.”

He said Mr Forde must “fully address the evidence” in the “internal report” in order to “give our members the answers and justice they deserve”.

But Starmer instead decided to apologise unreservedly without contesting the claims, and to spaff hundreds of thousands of pounds of party members’ money up the wall paying off the so-called whistleblowers.

I say “so-called” because several of them are mentioned in the leaked Labour report on how the party handled anti-Semitism, which is the subject of an internal inquiry by Martin Forde QC, as mentioned by Mr Corbyn.

Will they be vindicated when that report is published? The result will show how much we can trust internal Labour reports, I expect.

One of the group was also involved in the allegations of anti-Semitism against This Writer, that led to my expulsion from the party under false pretences.

I am taking Labour to court – for breaching its contract with me in the way it handled the case – and the party will go on trial on October 2, in Bristol Civil Justice Centre. The hearing will begin at 10am.

What will Starmer’s grand gesture be worth when I win my case, I wonder?

Source: Anti-Semitism: Labour pays damages for ‘hurt’ to whistleblowers – BBC News

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Why is supine Starmer spending Labour money appeasing opponents in anti-Semitism case?

Keir the clueless: if he won’t stand up against liars who present a false impression of the Labour Party, then his version of Labour is not worth your support in any way at all.

It seems Keir Starmer is set to pay out Labour members’ subscriptions and apologise to so-called anti-Semitism whistleblowers, in order to settle a court case that Labour would win – if he fought it.

Why?

What is the aim here, other than to humiliate the party and create a false impression that Labour was in the wrong?

Here’s the story:

Labour is poised to make a formal apology to antisemitism whistleblowers as part of a settlement designed to draw a line under allegations made during the Jeremy Corbyn era, the Guardian has learned.

The whistleblowers sued the party for defamation in the wake of a BBC Panorama investigation last year. No final settlement has been reached but sources said an agreement was imminent, prompting anger from Corbyn allies who accused the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, of capitulating.

Seven of the eight whistleblowers – all former Labour staffers – who featured in the documentary instructed the prominent media lawyer Mark Lewis to take action against the party.

They claimed senior figures had issued statements attacking their reputations and suggesting they had ulterior political and personal motives to undermine the party.

Labour is expected to settle a separate case with the veteran journalist John Ware, who led the Panorama investigation and who sued over a statement by Labour that the BBC had engaged in “deliberate and malicious representations designed to mislead the public” in its broadcast.

If they were justified in their action, then perhaps it would be fair for them to receive an apology and restitution. However:

Any apology will prove controversial among Corbyn loyalists, who questioned whether settling it is a good use of party funds. The Guardian understands legal advice provided to Labour under Corbyn’s leadership suggested the party could win the case.

Labour under Starmer has appeared eager to reach agreements to end ongoing conflicts over the party’s antisemitism crisis.

So on the face of it, Starmer is throwing Labour members’ subscription money away, in order to lie about the way anti-Semitism was handled by these former officers.

And it will be for nothing. Appeasement never stops anybody – it just encourages them to go on accusing and demanding, with each demand being more outrageous.

What impression is Starmer hoping to give?

That Labour is now utterly supine?

That the party will give in and go along with anyone who tries to bully it – like the Tories on the Covid-19 crisis and the sectarian groups among the UK’s Jewish community who demand absolute loyalty to the Israeli government, no matter what atrocities it commits against Palestine?

That Labour is no longer an anti-racist party as it will not defend even its own members who stand up against racism?

That Labour is no longer worthy of support in any way at all?

Source: Labour set to apologise to antisemitism whistleblowers | Politics | The Guardian

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After betraying black party members, Starmer begs them not to quit Labour – but he won’t change his ways

Photo opportunity: when Keir Starmer ‘took the knee’ for Black Lives Matter, it seems he thought it was only a gimmick to jolly BAME voters along.

[This is one of three connected articles. This Site is also examining the responses of Boris Johnson and Dr David Starkey to Black Lives Matter; none of them come out smelling of roses.]

Keir Starmer is running scared after people from black and minority ethnic groups gave his credibility a double-hit.

He exposed his own staggering ignorance – as a former Director of Public Prosecutions – in rejecting the Black Lives Matter call for the police to be de-funded.

There is a serious point to it, which is that expansion of police and prison budgets have not improved public safety. Britain has the second largest policing budget per capita in Europe and has some of the most wide-reaching and intrusive public surveillance measures in the world. This includes a police programme that has spied on more than 1,000 organisations. The government announced it was spending £2.5 billion on four new prisons to incarcerate 10,000 people. The total bill for the UK criminal justice system, comprising policing, law courts and prisons in 2018-19 was £28.8 billion – more than we spend on primary education, more than we spend on social care and far more than we spend on social housing or the environment.

Black Lives Matter was saying that this approach has failed – and suggesting that social problems are better addressed through social responses.

But when Starmer spoke to BBC Breakfast News on Tuesday, he said: “Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police. I was director of public prosecutions for five years. I’ve worked with police forces across England and Wales bringing thousands of people to court, so my support for the police is very strong.”

Worse still, in the same interview, he described Black Lives Matter as a “moment”. He said: “The Black Lives Matter movement, or moment if you like… is about reflecting on what happened dreadfully in America just a few weeks ago [the killing of George Floyd] and showing or acknowledging that as a moment across the world.”

Staggering ignorance.

Black Lives Matter was founded in the US in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin and has campaigned on a number of issues including the de-funding of police to provide cash for social programmes to avoid unnecessary confrontation and heal the racial divide – as Starmer would have known if only he had done a little homework.

It rose to global prominence after the killing of George Floyd, with multiple protests against racism in the UK under its banner – but campaigning about that death is just one aspect of its work – not its reason for existing.

His words show that Starmer considers the moment he “took the knee” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter was nothing more than a photo opportunity – a chance to pretend to show support without actually having to do anything. And when he was asked to back it up, he backed away.

Combine this with the very apparent racism shown by right-wing party factionalists against black female MPs in the leaked Labour report on the party’s response to anti-Semitism complaints and it has become clear to BAME party members that Labour is no longer the place for them.

This has created a huge image problem for Starmer.

From the moment he became Labour leader, he has tried to create the impression that he is strong in opposing racism – particularly with his actions on anti-Semitism*.

Now, with BAME part members leaving, he can see that the facts may soon show that Labour is haemorrhaging members under his leadership. That would create entirely the wrong impression for this image-conscious pretender.

He won’t lose his job because of this – at least, not straight away. But he isn’t as secure in his role as he wants us to think either; it is entirely possible that he may face a leadership challenge if he makes too many more mistakes, so he can’t just ignore the issue.

So he gives us this:

Labour leader Keir Starmer has appealed to Black voters not to leave the party, following backlash over an interview in which he dismissed the Black Lives Matter goal of defunding the police as “nonsense”.

The Labour leader … came under fire on Monday for describing the Black Lives Matter movement as “a moment, if you like”, with many people taking umbrage with the possible implication that the anti-racism moving is fleeting and lacking in significance.

But Starmer told HuffPost UK he meant the opposite.

“I meant ‘moment’ as in ‘a defining moment’, a turning point, and I genuinely think that reflects the sentiment that many, many Black community leaders have expressed to me in recent weeks.

“If there’s one thing that’s come through loud and clear it’s this has got to be a moment, a turning point, a defining point, moment, call it what you like. Because there’s a deep frustration […] that we’ve kind of been here before where people have said there needs to be change and there hasn’t been change.

“In that sense, I was absolutely not pandering to a racist vote. I was trying to recognise the significance of what was happening and express a determination that it should be a turning [point], and to join with those across the Black Lives Matter movement who desperately do want it to be a turning point. And I’m very, very happy to say that over and over again because I think it’s very important.”

He must think BAME people are stupid. No – he must think we’re all stupid if he thinks we’re going to swallow that.

There’s probably a word to describe what he’s trying to do, but if not I’d like to nominate “Johnsoning” – retroactively redefining earlier comments, made in ignorance of the issues involved, with an explanation that doesn’t fit.

It hasn’t worked.

So in a blatant piece of propaganda, we’re being reminded that Labour has 580,000 members – or does it?

That was the number recorded in January and we haven’t had an update since.

And it seems some of us aren’t willing to believe the claim:

All in all – do what he will, Starmer has created his own disaster:

He appears to have made it worse by cooking up this explanation for public consumption, while in private Starmer has been saying something entirely different:

There is enough ambiguity to question whether Starmer had been trying to blow a dog whistle for a certain kind of voter that those of us who support traditional Labour values would find unacceptable:

Some have pointed out the contrast between what Starmer said in April and what he’s having to say now:

Others have pointed out the contrast between the way the media would have handled this if Jeremy Corbyn had said anything as stupid as Starmer:

And some have simply come to the obvious conclusion:

By the way, it isn’t only black people and those from minority ethnic groups who are leaving Labour. Young people are quitting the party too:

How humiliating for the man who presented himself to us as Labour’s Great White Hope, only to be brought low by his failure to understand that Black Lives Matter.

*Anyone with any understanding of the anti-Semitism controversy in the Labour Party knows perfectly well that his actions in that regard have been utterly wrong-headed, but that’s another story.

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Emily Maitlis: enemy of the State?

Record of dissent: Ms Maitlis attracted attention in April when she criticised the Johnson government’s attempts to handle the Covid-19 crisis.

The BBC has apologised to the government after Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis delivered a highly-critical account of the Dominic Cummings affair at the start of an edition of the late-night news show.

The problem is that her monologue was accurate:

‘Lefty’ columnist Owen Jones was quick to make the logical connection:

He’s right that it is not how functioning democracies behave.

It is the way dictatorships behave.

Some of us told you last year – before the general election – that Johnson wanted to run a dictatorship rather than a democratic government, but too few people listened.

Now This Site’s prediction has come to pass. And with Johnson holding an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons, matters can only get worse.

The scandal is escalating, with the BBC accused of replacing Ms Maitlis on the May 27 edition of Newsnight, which it is understood she was due to present. The person who did present the show, Katie Razzall…

… Newsnight editor Esme Wren…

… and deputy editor Stewart Maclean…

… all denied that Ms Maitlis had been forced to step back from the show. And the presenter herself…

… explained that she had “asked for the night off” (after a five-hour pause).

All very plausible. But in a dicatorship, anyone who had been coerced into such actions would have said the same.

And the BBC’s behaviour in this matter has not been honourable.

Ms Maitlis has ‘form’ for attracting ire from Tory politicians; she triggered attacks from the Tories after she criticised Johnson’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis in April:

I wrote at the time: “The speech flags up a new attitude in the BBC.

“Maitlis, and her editors, are showing more criticism of the Tory government than they have in the last, what, 10 years?

“The decision to highlight the fact that poor people are disproportionately likely to suffer, because of the way our society is currently ordered, is extremely important – if media organisations like the BBC follow through on it.

“Public opinion is hugely influenced by the media – and public opinion is what shapes our society.”

Perhaps the Tories were reading and have taken steps. But can they stop us drawing the logical conclusion?

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Coronavirus deaths: ‘sorry’ is the hardest word for Hancock

Matt Hancock: he couldn’t even follow his own government advice against spreading the coronavirus and now he is refusing to apologise for failures in containing it.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is refusing to take responsibility for his mistakes – even after being confronted with the evidence.

When Intisar ​Chowdhury, the son of a consultant who died earlier this month, asked the health secretary live on LBC radio whether he regretted not taking his father’s warnings over vital medical kit seriously enough, Hancock repeatedly avoided making an apology.

He said he was saddened by the death of Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, who had warned Boris Johnson about the lack of protective gear for frontline NHS workers, and asked him to secure equipment “urgently” in a social media post.

Pressed to acknowledge that there have been mistakes in handling the virus, especially to Mr Chowdhury (junior) and other families that have lost loved ones as a result of this virus and probably as a result of the government not handling it seriously enough, he evaded.

He said: “I think that it is very important that we’re constantly learning about how to do these things better and I think listening to the voices on the front line is a very, very important part of how we improve.

“Of course this a very complicated logistical effort but I don’t want to play down the enormous efforts of many thousands of people who are working every hour that there is trying to solve the problem.”

Yesterday (April 28) Hancock refused to apologise to relatives of elderly residents who have died of coronavirus in care homes, after figures showed 5,000 such deaths in England alone.

He said during the daily Downing Street briefing that it was “unreasonable” to ask if he would apologise to the families of those who have died.

“Making sure that care homes have the support they need has been absolutely at front of mind right from the start,” he said.

“We’ve been testing in care homes right from the start and right through the crisis.”

If that were true, then why did it take the government until yesterday to provide daily tallies of deaths in care homes, alongside the statistics on hospital fatalities, rather than releasing them on a weekly basis, 10 or 11 days after the event?

If testing was taking place from the start, then the figures would have been available immediately.

It seems that – like the whole Tory government – Mr Hancock is simply trying to avoid responsibility for mistakes, omissions and policies that have caused thousands of needless death. Perhaps he fears the inquiry that must take place after the crisis is over.

Source: Coronavirus: Matt Hancock repeatedly refuses to accept PPE failures after being confronted by dead doctor’s son | The Independent

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BBC admits ‘anti-Semitism’ claim against Jackie Walker was false. Where’s LABOUR’S apology?

Vindicated: Jackie Walker.

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.

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!

Read my articles here and here for the evidence.

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.”

Oh, really?

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Backlash against Zionism as Israeli soldiers commit more atrocities

Let’s remind ourselves of the things done by representatives of Israel in the name of their ethno-political ideology, Zionism:

Israeli soldiers shot on Thursday a restrained Palestinian teenager they had detained for suspected stone-throwing as he was attempting to flee, although he was blindfolded and handcuffed.

The soldiers pursued the detainee near the Palestinian village of Tekoa in the West Bank.

The suspect was kept detained at the scene even after he had been shot, however, after clashes between soldiers and Palestinians at the scene, the Palestinians evacuated the suspect to receive medical treatment.

There is video evidence:

It is in this context that supporters of Israeli Zionism including Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement demanded an apology from Labour MP Richard Burgon after video evidence emerged of him saying Zionism was “the enemy of peace”.

And in this context it is welcome that Jewish lawyers Geoffrey Bindman and Stephen Sedley wrote to The Guardian to express their dismay at the pressure that was put on Mr Burgon, and their shame at Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinian people.

They wrote: “As Jewish lawyers who have been concerned for much of our lives with opposing racism in general and antisemitism in particular, we see no reason for any such apology.

“We are among the large number of Jews, worldwide, who regard with shame the military oppression by Israel of the Palestinian people and the ongoing appropriation, by illegal settlement, of the little land that is still theirs.

“The Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Zionist group within the Labour party, has no entitlement to speak for Jews at large in seeking to stigmatise all criticism of Zionism as antisemitic. The undoubted misuse of “Zionist” as a surrogate for “Jewish” has to be dealt with case-specifically, not by immunising Zionism from all criticism.”

Last year, one of the accusations against This Writer, under which the Labour Party wanted to expel me, was that I outed the Jewish Labour Movement as the “Zionist Labour Movement” and said it spoke for Zionists who supported Israel rather than for all Jews – which is exactly what these learned men have said. Apparently this was proof of anti-Semitism.

Labour’s National Kangaroo Court Constitutional Committee decided to find the case against me proved, despite having had it demonstrated that there was no anti-Semitism at all in my comment; it was merely a statement of the facts.

Now these learned gentleman – who are Jewish – have supported my statements. I think I deserve a rather large apology from the Labour Party, don’t you?

Or are these lawyers also “the wrong kind of Jew”?


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‘Zionism’ remarks: Burgon urged to apologise – to supporters of atrocities

Richard Burgon: He has no need to apologise.

I can’t say I’m impressed with Richard Burgon’s rationalisation of his remarks about Zionism, that were caught on video five years ago.

Investigative journalist Iggy Ostanin posted a video showing Mr Burgon denying having made the comments to the BBC’s Andrew Neil, followed immediately by proof that he did:

Interesting clip, that.

It’s from 2014, when the Israeli government had launched Operation Protective Edge, a hugely-controversial offensive against Palestinians in Gaza in which it was estimated that more than 2,125 Palestinians were killed and more than 10,500 wounded, compared with 67 military and six civilian Israeli deaths, with 469 Israeli soldiers and 87 civilians wounded.

It is known that Israeli government policy is to deprive the Palestinian people of their land and – if they resist – of their lives. We have seen that in action but if you would like evidence of their behaviour, here’s some:

According to Maureen Murphy, “The Israeli military killed one Palestinian child in the West Bank and Gaza per week on average last year, typically injuring them in their upper body and head. You can’t blame Hamas for Israeli snipers training their guns at children’s torsos and heads, however hard you try.” She supported this with a link to evidence. Read it here.

The ideology that informs these atrocities is Zionism. It is an ethno-political belief that a Jewish nation in what is now Israel should be established and – now that it has been – developed and protected. It should never be connected directly with the Jewish people as a whole; they are separate and many Jews reject Zionism, especially as it is practised by the Israeli government and its supporters.

It is an ideology of hatred. Before Israel was established, it was considered by many to be anti-Semitic. Think about it: anyone saying they support the migration of Jewish people away from their current home to a foreign land (that was already occupied, remember) could open themselves up to accusations that they hate Jews because they are Jews – the classic definition of the anti-Semite.

Now Israel has been established, anybody supporting the Zionism practised by its government and soldiers is supporting the theft of Palestinian land and the displacement – or genocide – of Palestinian people. And it could still be said to be anti-Semitic as the behaviour of the Israeli government and its soldiers is likely to breed opposition against them that develops into hate. That hate could then be spread to apply to all Jews.

Oh, and it turns out there are many Jews who don’t support Zionism. Many do, but if anyone tries to tell you they speak for all Jews in supporting this ideology, they are lying.

In this context, it is clear that Mr Burgon’s comments in 2014 were reasonable expressions of opinion, based on the facts. As they continue to be. It’s just a shame he felt he had to backtrack on his words about Zionism as practised by the Israeli government.

His critics – defenders of Zionism like The Board of Deputies of British Jews (who don’t represent a huge number of British Jews at all – secular Jews represent a third of the population in the UK and have nothing to do with the BoD), Jonathan Goldstein of the Jewish Leadership Council, Labour Friends of Israel director Jennifer Gerber and Jewish Labour Movement chairman Mike Katz – have tried to equate peaceful opposition to their hate-filled ideology with hatred of all Jews and that is nothing but a lie. It’s a despicable lie, at that.

Why have they done it? Well…

Another commenter, Phil Vanes, suggested: “Do remember me saying some time ago that because Corbyn is untouchable, his opponents will instead concentrate on picking off his close supporters one by one. Well guess what? It looks like it’s Richard Burgon’s time now.”

One more point: In the clip of him attacking Zionism, Mr Burgon calls for Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) resign from that group “to show support for all humanity” instead of supporting the atrocities carried out by the Israeli government and its soldiers, yet we have seen LFI’s Jennifer Gerber, and Mike Katz of the Jewish Labour Movement, condemning those words.

Logic dictates that they must therefore support the atrocities in the articles to which I have linked above.

LFI and the JLM support the theft of Palestinian land.

LFI and the JLM support violence against – and the murder of – Palestinian people.

Their outbursts against Mr Burgon prove it.

Or are we about to see a protestation of opposition to these Israeli atrocities? I won’t hold my breath waiting.


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BBC’s Question Time to get huge increase in viewers – for first five minutes of tonight’s show

Will they or won’t they? That will be the question on viewers’ minds as they tune in to the BBC’s Question Time this evening (January 24).

And if Fiona Bruce fails to apologise for joining Isobel Oakeshott in gaslighting Diane Abbott on last week’s edition, you can bet that a large number of those viewers will switch off. After that, word of mouth could cripple not only the programme’s reputation but also its viewing figures.

It would be extremely hard for Question Time, the BBC or new presenter Fiona Bruce – this incident happened on only her second show as chair – to recover their credibility and I can certainly foresee calls for the show to be scrapped and replaced with a less biased format in the future.

For those who don’t know what the row is about, not only did Ms Bruce and Ms Oakeshott lie to Ms Abbott that she was mistaken about Labour’s position in the national opinion polls…

(The BBC subsequently issued a clarification that managed to stop short of being an apology)

… but studio audience members have claimed a BBC employee and Ms Bruce stirred up feeling against Ms Abbott with prejudicial attempts at humour about her prior to recording of the programme. The BBC is believed to have recorded the pre-show warm-up but has refused to release this evidence.

Outraged Licence Fee-payers have been clamouring for an on-air apology ever since:

https://twitter.com/James4Labour/status/1088334992994983937

Will the BBC back down? Smart money says no.

Instead, it is likely the Corporation will double down on its position and hope the outcry dies down.

But the Labour Party has made a formal complaint and may escalate this to court action if it doesn’t get satisfaction.

The national publicity of a court case could do huge harm to the BBC’s reputation as an impartial public service broadcaster.

Can ‘Auntie’ afford it?

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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The tide is turning: Crowdfunding campaign against ‘anti-Semitism’ lies leads to apology and donation

Mike Sivier (right) with the late, great Tony Benn.

This was an extremely pleasant surprise.

You will be aware that This Writer has been the victim of several unfounded and vindictive accusations of anti-Semitism, including attacks in the national press, that I have been fighting these claims through the press regulator IPSO, and also launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the costs of any libel actions I may have to bring to court.

A few days ago, a comment was posted to the crowdfunding page. I wanted to draw your attention to it.

It stated [boldings mine]: “Several months ago I left a post on the Vox Political website, regarding the culpability of Mr Mike Sivier’s engagement in anti-Semitism, namely that he had made anti-Semitic statement’s regarding the Holocaust. These statements were wrongly reported in the national press and media, and have since been proven to be entirely untrue.

“I apologise without reservation for my comments that agreed with these reports, and in the light of findings retract and reverse my accusations. I am ashamed that these public comments, reinforced by myself have been allowed to tarnish the character of Mr Sivier and adversely affect his journalistic professionalism, his reporting website and personal profile with unknown damage to his business interests.

“I hope that he is able to recover damages from these original sources to compensate him in some small way for what are now evidently clear and slanderous lies designed to be spread to tarnish his career and political journalism. I myself will be making a contribution to his campaign costs and encourage others to do the same to fight the current trend of underhand press reporting now prevalent in this country, to hold them to account and make an example of their political manipulation that affects us all.”

I was hugely impressed and also genuinely moved by this comment.

It is no easy thing for any of us to admit a mistake, especially after having made it on a widely-read public forum like Vox Political.

This one was, as my mother would describe it, “handsomely done” and I wanted my own appreciation of the gesture – and gratitude for the promise of funds to help my campaign – to go on record.

I hope the person who posted those words (I won’t cause embarrassment by naming him, although you can find out who it is by visiting the crowdfunding site) will stand as an example to others – and in contrast with the cowards who did indeed tarnish my good name and don’t have the guts to admit what they did was wrong.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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