How much hypocrisy will we see from Labour as the party tries to squirm out of this one?
After he published a tweet demanding that the left-wing organisation Jewish Voice for Labour should be proscribed by the Labour Party – its members expelled from party membership – the Labour Party has received a complaint of anti-Semitism against Neil Coyle MP.
Here’s his tweet:
Not far enough. JVL should be gone too. And other outright Communists who have their own political party/ies they can ruin. https://t.co/sLRk33dv17
The message clearly displays anti-Jewish hatred. He provides no evidence to support his claim that JVL’s members are Communists or that they have other parties they can “ruin” (because there isn’t any). He was just bashing the Jews.
The complaint states: “To request that people be expelled from the Labour Party for being members of Jewish Voice for Labour is blatantly antisemitic.”
It also refers to Labour’s case against This Writer – me, demonstrating that Coyle can’t get out of the accusation by saying he did not intend his tweet to be considered anti-Semitic – or even if he managed to prove that there is no anti-Semitism in his tweet (which would be a long stretch).
“As a precedent has been previously set by Labour Party investigations such as Labour Party vs Mike Sivier, where the statements ‘Whether your comments are anti-Semitic is neither here nor there’ and ‘This is about perception… It’s about how this is perceived by the Jewish community’ were made,” the complaint states, “there is absolutely no defence for Mr Coyle to claim that he didn’t mean his statement to be antisemitic. [I’ve added in the appropriate link.]
“The important point here, as Labour Party investigators have ruled, is the perception of his statement, and there is absolutely no doubt that his statement can be perceived as antisemitic.”
I should stress at this point that I have not made this complaint. I merely know about it because I am mentioned in it.
So how will Keir Starmer’s racist, anti-Semitic party wheedle its way out of this one and protect its swivel-eyed right-wing (fascist?) racist anti-Semite of a Parliamentarian?
I reckon they’ll dismiss the complaint because it doesn’t suggest overtly that Coyle has brought the Labour Party into disrepute – even though it is obvious to anybody with a brain that this is exactly what he has done.
His tweet not only shows demonstrable anti-Semitism but drags the Labour Party administration down with him because it implies that the plan to proscribe organisations, simply because (let’s face it) the current leaders don’t like them, is also anti-Semitic.
And it is – I’m sure there are plenty of Jews in Labour Against the Witchhunt, to name just one of the organisations suffering a blanket ban from Tuesday (July 20).
Worst of all, for Jewish party members and UK-based Jews in general, is the fact that victimisation of them is just the excuse that Starmer and his ugly cronies are using to divest the once-socialist, formerly-great party of anybody whose political views are to the left of Mussolini’s.
Keep an eye on this one. Starmer is likely to embarrass himself brutally – and the wounds will all be self-inflicted.
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Marie Van Der Zyl: The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews needs to think before issuing bigoted press releases.
Congratulations are due to Labour deputy leader candidates Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon, who refused to kowtow to the Board of Deputies of British Jews by supporting their frankly anti-Semitic “10 pledges”.
In a hustings on Saturday, both confirmed that they did not support the demands, even though their fellow candidates for the deputy leadership – and all the leadership candidates have.
Ms Butler said she intended to wait until she had seen the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on antisemitism in the party – and that she would support whatever it said. Personally, This Writer thinks that statement is premature; she should wait to find out what the verdict is before deciding whether it is worth supporting.
Mr Burgon, who has a history of questioning the so-called “witch-hunt”, said he had concerns about some of the demands. He made it clear that he would not support any move to pass investigation of anti-Semitism accusations to any external organisation.
He also said that he did not accept the Board of Deputies’ demand that only Jewish organisations it supported should be consulted on issues relating to all British Jews; all Jewish groups should have a voice. And he said the BOD needed to explain how the IHRA “working” definition of antisemitism could be implemented in the Labour Party without compromising freedom of expression or the rights of Palestinians.
Like the knee-jerk bigots they are, the Board of Deputies responded almost immediately – and stupidly.
“It beggars belief that after four and a half years of failure on antisemitism, Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler still think that they know better than the Jewish community how to fight this vile prejudice,” the BoD said in its statement. Trouble is, the Board of Deputies doesn’t represent “the Jewish community” because there isn’t a single, unified Jewish community in the United Kingdom.
Not only that, but neither of them said they knew better – this is falsely attributing words to people who did not speak them.
Oh, and after four and a half years, there is less anti-Semitism in the Labour Party than in the UK at large – and much less than in right-wing parties like the Conservatives. But we never hear the Board of Deputies complaining about that, do we? Because they are predominantly Tories, perhaps? (And don’t try to call this whataboutery; this is a political issue and the politics of BoD members is relevant.)
“No other minority would be treated in this way and this sort of thing is the very reason why Labour is being investigated for institutional antisemitism by the EHRC.” True in part: no other minority is treated the same as Jews, because the Board of Deputies has demanded that they be singled out for special treatment. This may be viewed as anti-Semitic in itself – applying double-standards by treating them differently from any other ethnic group.
And it is hypocritical to use the EHRC investigation against these candidates when one of them – Dawn Butler – specifically said she is waiting for its outcome.
Here’s a link to the tweet. Be sure to read the comments because many of them are scathing.
But don’t just take my word for it.
Jewish Voice for Labour has been a voice of sanity in this affair since the start, and its comment on the “10 pledges” is a damning indictment against the Board of Deputies.
“This organisation, deeply unrepresentative of British Jewry, presumes in effect to dictate to a major political party how it should run its internal affairs,” JVL states.
“Make no mistake – these are not ten requests: they are ten demands and one threat. The threat to each of the candidates for leader of the Labour Party. is in effect. accept our demands or we will attack you as enablers of antisemitism just as we contributed to making Jeremy Corbyn virtually unelectable. This not only brings shame on the Board of Deputies. It also brings danger to Jews living in the UK who will be seen as claiming a privileged place in determining how the country will be governed.” Applying double-standards by demanding that they be treated differently from any other group – see?
“It is deeply regrettable that all the Leadership candidates have succumbed to this blackmail.”
The statement goes on to explain what’s wrong with the “10 pledges”:
“Demand 1 is that all outstanding disciplinary cases should be swiftly concluded with a fixed timescale. That sounds good, but some cases are more complex than others. Those accused of something as serious as antisemitic behaviour must be allowed appropriate time to mount a defence, may need extra time because of serious illness, etc. Justice is complicated. The Board is simplistic. And underlying its attitude is the clear view that the only verdict that will satisfy the Board is ‘guilty’.”
Labour has a historic problem here, in that This Writer’s experience is that the party automatically assumes any accusation made against a member to be proof of that member’s guilt in any case.
“Demand 4 is that prominent offenders who were expelled or who left while under investigation should never be readmitted to membership. Never is a long time. The current Labour rules allow for the possibility of readmission after any offence, depending on behaviour, after a 5-year period. There is no reason, other than malice, that for this sole category of disciplinary finding the possibility of behavioural and attitudinal change should be excluded.
“The aim of this demand is revealed by its inclusion of the word ‘prominent’. How can it be just or appropriate to specify different penalties for people depending on how well known they are or have become? How can it possibly be acceptable to single out people by name? The explanation is that the two people mentioned [Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone] were prominent ‘scalps’ claimed by a political campaign to extend the meaning of antisemitism. This is political vengefulness.”
“Demand 3 is that “Jewish representative bodies” (read, BoD) be given access to details of ongoing disciplinary cases. The confidentiality owed to ongoing investigations into allegations that have not been established to have merit is to be tossed out of the window. It beggars belief: the BoD is demanding the right to information that would give them, and their allies on the right of the Party, the ability to put pressure on how individual cases are determined. Out goes the independence of the judicial process. And what about the breaking of hard-won data protection laws?”
I seem to recall mentioning this myself.
“Demand 2 is the very purest chutzpah. The demand is that processing of all complaints, in effect the whole disciplinary process, be outsourced to an independent provider. This would mean that the Party would lose control of who was entitled to be a member! No autonomous organisation could implement such a scheme, least of all a political party. It strikes at the very heart of the freedom to organise for political change in this country. Parties are voluntary associations of people who come together to achieve shared ends, within national legal constraints. Their freedom of discussion and action and of self-regulation is the very fabric of our democratic processes.
“Demand 5 is headed “Provide no platform for bigotry”. But honesty in advertising would require it to be retitled “No platform for those who disagree with us”. What it says is that when people are going through the out-of-control disciplinary process assured by Demand 2, and while the details of the investigation are being fed to the BoD and its allies as a result of Demand 3, any other members who argues publicly that this treatment is misguided or unjust will themselves be suspended – and indeed perhaps expelled. If enacted this would ensure that no members could challenge unjust or slanted decision-making. Because those that did so would very likely cease to be members.
“Demand 6 – to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “international definition of antisemitism” with all its subordinate clauses, without qualification – begs many questions. Apart from the fact that the Labour Party has already done precisely this (misguidedly in our view), the IHRA document has proved ineffective in actual disciplinary situations. This is because its definition of antisemitism is so confused and its examples highly contentious, with no rules as to how to resolve the inevitable resulting disagreements as to what is and what is not antisemitic. The document was never drafted as a legally binding document, as countless critics (including Ken Stern, its drafter) have affirmed.
“Demands 7 and 8 both seek to define the “Jewish Community” by excluding many Jews – evidently the wrong sort. The right sort include those who run the Board, and the cadres of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The JLM it should be pointed out refused to campaign for the great majority of Labour MPs at the recent general election. It does not require its members to be either Jewish or in the Labour Party.
“Demand 7 is that all Labour Party internal training in antisemitism should be carried out by JLM. For two years from 2016 the aggressively pro-Israel JLM did indeed deliver the Labour Party’s antisemitism training. Its course content was both didactic and dogmatic, based on the supposedly revealed truth of the controversial IHRA document. When in 2018 the Labour Party asked them to revise their approach JLM walked away in a huff. Now they want it back, but on their own terms. Demand 7 is that they be given it.
“Demand 8 extends the same monocular approach to the UK’s Jews as a whole. The Labour Party is required to agree to communicate only with ‘mainstream’ Jewish Groups. That is to demand the exclusion of two-thirds of the country’s Jews. Why would they be so afraid that Labour might communicate with the wrong sort of Jews? The Jewish Chronicle had a ready answer when it reported Demand 8 as being ‘to engage with the Jewish community via its “main representative groups and not through fringe organisations” such as Jewish Voice for Labour (emphasis added)’. Are our demands for a pluralistic vision of the Jewish communities in Britain really so much of a threat that contact with them is contamination? For the Board is demanding, in essence, that expression of our views be banned in the Labour Party.
Let’s just go back to the Board of Deputies’ tweet for the last part of its statement: “In the Deputy Leadership election, members now have a clear choice about whether they want to become a credible party of opposition or waste yet more years fighting the Jewish community about who gets to define our oppression.”
It seems clear that it is the Board of Deputies that is “fighting the Jewish community” – by falsely claiming to be representing it and demanding the exclusion of all others.
But Labour Party members do have a clear choice now.
It is impossible to ensure that nobody votes for the candidates who have misguidedly supported the Board of Deputies’ childish demand.
But what a message it would be, if Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon received more support than any of the other candidates – by a significant margin.
If you are a Labour member, and you want sanity to be brought back to the party, then This Writer would like to appeal to you to abstain from voting for any of the candidates who have supported the Board of Deputies’ pledges.
Use your votes to make a statement that they cannot ignore.
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Wannabes: The fakes who are accusing decent people of anti-Semitism are like cartoon witch-hunters. They’d be funny if they weren’t trying so hard to harm decent people.
These obsessives get stranger by the day.
For the record, I am not Jewish, nor am I currently in the Labour Party, therefore I am not allowed to be a member of Jewish Voice for Labour. It only admits as full members people in the Labour Party who are Jewish.
But that didn’t stop troll “David Simon” (@DavidSimonSPG) from making that suggestion as part of a bizarre attempt to smear JVL for taking an interest in Islamophobia in Poland. Apparently this person reckons Jewish people thinking about Poland should only be able to think about the Holocaust:
When 'Jewish' Voice for Labour things of bigotry in Poland it thinks of Islamophobia. Keep that in mind when people doubt that JVL is a real Jewish group.
I'm sure there's Islamophobia in Poland. As well Homophobia, Russophobia, Germanophobia & others. But if you're actually Jewish and you think specifically of Poland the big thing you think of is anti-Semitism. You have to be Jewish to understand. JVL isnt
We’ll take these in order. Here’s JVL talking about anti-Semitism in Poland:
Ex-ADL Chief Foxman: Appointment of Far-Right Leader as Minister of Digital Affairs a ‘New Low for Poland’ https://t.co/yuYu1PQ7VT "Poland seems to have reached a new low appointing a neo-Nazi antisemite in charge of internet and social media,”
That’s right; we were discussing someone like “David Simon”, who was likely to be a paid troll or a bot. I had written “Let’s move on” – meaning everybody else in the conversation.
But “David Simon” wanted people to believe it meant I was a member of JVL.
That is the silliness of the fake “anti-Semitism” witch-hunters.
Fortunately this smear didn’t get very far, despite a second, flailing attempt at it:
Hi David, Are you misreprenting him intentionally? He was discussing a leaflet, not written by him, which said thousands not millions, what he was saying is he did not know why the leaflet said that, press misreported him, IPSO upheld complaint.
Oh wait – there was another bit, to do with the leaflet that led to the claim that I was a Holocaust denier. Marvel at the silliness here:
Oh, was he the secret author of the leaflet as well as the secret leader of JVL? What other secret stuff is he up too? What others secret conspiracies are JVL up too? It's almost like you're just making things up
I'd ask my leader, I presume that's Sivier, he seems to be the leader of everything nowadays. Look, this is fun and all, but your making up conspiracies, further discussion is pointless, I gotta go, Sivier told me to shoot JFK, or was it JVL?
Complete misrepresentation. I never had anything to do with the leaflet. I was challenged about it by a commenter on This Site and my comment was pointing out that there wasn’t enough information to make an educated response on the reasons it was written the way it was.
So that’s guilt by association, misrepresentation, anti-Semitism, and an attempt at “the big lie” (repeating a lie until people believe it) – which was, I believe, a Nazi tactic.
What a nasty person – if it is a person. And what a shining example of the people he represents. Next time you see anyone like “David Simon” making unevidenced accusations like these, the advice is clear: Ignore and block.
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Last week I made it clear that Labour’s National Executive Committee has descended into racism in order to attack innocent party members like myself under a false pretence of anti-Semitism.
In the same accusation against me, the NEC also fell into anti-Semitism – by supporting an affiliated organisation that victimises people it considers to be the “wrong kind of Jews” (although they may not be described in that way).
By now, readers of This Site will be well aware that I attended a disciplinary hearing arranged by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, at which a prejudiced panel arbitrarily decided that all the accusations against me were proved, despite having heard no evidence at all in support of such a claim.
One of these accusations concerns the Jewish Labour Movement and ran as follows:
On 2nd October 2016 Mr Sivier posted: ‘JLM is not a movement that represents Jews; it represents Jewish Zionists’. ‘The Jewish Labour Movement does not represent Jews who are not Zionists. It persecutes them’.
“This comment is grossly offensive to those the Party seeks to represent particularly the Jewish community. Comments like these have had and continue to have a serious impact on the Party’s position as an inclusive organisation, which stands against antisemitism.
“To state that the Labour Party’s official Jewish affiliate does not represent Jews denies Jews the right to self-define. This conduct is abhorrent, antisemitic and falls way below the standards expected of Party members. This is clearly prejudicial and/or grossly detrimental to the Party.”
Of course I was not suggesting that the JLM does not represent any Jews; my words make it clear that I was saying the organisation – the Labour Party’s official Jewish affiliate, according to the NEC – represents only those Jews who support the political doctrine of Zionism (and even then, only those who support the interpretation of that doctrine supported by that organisation’s leaders).
I confess I was amazed to see this put forward as a charge against me, because my reasons for saying this were supported by the Jewish Labour Movement itself.
When I was interviewed by Labour investigating officer Stewart Owadally about this and other charges in October 2017 and he challenged me on this, I asked him if he had read the article – and he said that he had not. He had not read any of my articles beyond the specific parts he had been asked to highlight and question. This explained why he had not spotted the answer to his question, directly below the words he had highlighted. I simply read it out.
My article argues: “Look at the organisation’s own website. It states:
“The Jewish Labour Movement is also affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation of the UK, and organise within the World Zionist Organisation… Our objects: To maintain and promote Labour or Socialist Zionism as the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people within the state of Israel.”
““Zionist”… “Zionist”… “Zionism”… “within the state of Israel”.
““It seems clear that “Jewish Labour Movement” is a misnomer. It should be “Zionist Labour Movement”.”
In my written defence, I went further: “What about Jews who aren’t Zionists, as the JLM defines them?
“How do you think the members of Jewdas – attacked as the “wrong kind of Jew” after Jeremy Corbyn attended an event organised by the group – would describe the JLM?
“Here’s how. Responding to attacks on Mr Corbyn for attending the event in late March, the Jewdas website – at https://www.jewdas.org/enough-is-enough/ stated: “What has happened over the last week is anything but an attempt to address antisemitism. It is the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative Party and the right wing of the Labour Party. It is a malicious ploy to remove the leader of the Opposition and put a stop to the possibility of a socialist government. The Board of Deputies, the (disgraced for corruption) Jewish Leadership Council and the (unelected, undemocratic) Jewish Labour Movement are playing a dangerous game with people’s lives.”
“So these Jews consider the JLM to be unelected, undemocratic, and playing a dangerous game with people’s lives. Representative of Jews in general? No.”
I continue: “What about Jewish Voice for Labour, which admits full membership only to Labour Party members who identify as Jewish – unlike the JLM, which allows full membership to non-Jews, and also to non-members of the Labour Party? This organisation has campaigned against what it sees as false accusations of anti-Semitism against notable figures like Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, and Marc Wadsworth (as has This Writer), and also campaigns against the persecution of Palestinian people by the state of Israel.
“And JLM members hate it. Responding to Harrow East Labour Party’s decision to affiliate to JVL, JLM chair Ivor Caplin told the Jewish Chronicle it was a “stupid decision” to affiliate with an “obsessive group that is often far too generous to antisemites and Holocaust revisionists”. But at least members of JVL are all Jewish, which is more than can be said for the JLM.”
So how can we describe the claim that I am denying Jews the right to self-define?
Bogus. It is the JLM that denies Jews the right to self-define – by siding with those who treat other Labour-supporting Jewish organisations as the “wrong kind of Jews”.
In declaring support for the Jewish Labour Movement and its anti-Semitic* aggression against such people and organisations, the NEC is also declaring its own anti-Semitism.
*I know – it seems strange to describe an organisation claiming to represent Jews as anti-Semitic. But the JLM’s aggression towards the JVL, Jewdas and the others is entirely due to their identity as groups of Jews, so it is entirely appropriate to describe that organisation – and therefore Labour’s NEC – in that manner.
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