Film, writer, producer and director Tony Klinger, writes today for the Havering Daily about the Labour party and its ongoing issues with anti semitism.
Two Labour constituencies are controversially seeking to de-select their Jewish Labour Party MP’s, both Dames, because of their outstanding service to their Party and this country. My belief is that, so called activists, are driving this agenda because these women had the balls to call out the Party’s tectonic shift towards anti-Semitism epitomised by its leader, Jeremy Corbyn. We will demonstrate this by exposing a large cross section of incidents that the Labour Party simply can’t hide, explain or brush under the carpet.
Let me start my commentary by again stating that I was a Labour Party supporter as were my father and grandfather. This is not a hatchet job on that Party, it is written in sadness and anger. I am sad that a once great political institution has become institutionally racist via its blatant acceptance of, and I believe contrivance with anti-Semitism and I am angry at the hypocrites who run the Party and are still in denial about it despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
It might be possible to convince some people that the odd incident of anti-Semitism was accidental, not intended and non-malicious. But we paint a picture in the following article of a huge number of incidents, over a long period of time and it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that this is an odious and insidious campaign conducted by a large group from inside the Party proving that the Labour Party is institutionally racist in its anti-Semitism,
I am angry with the people at the top of the Labour Party for being complicit with this totally unacceptable move to racism in complete reversal of everything the Party proudly stood for and represented throughout its history, until Jeremy Corbyn became the Leader in 2015.
Recently I wrote a piece here about the insidious nature of creeping anti-Semitism, particularly within the Labour Party, warning that it will lead to other forms of equally repellent and dangerous racism. With the dive into the cesspit of racism we are experiencing a rapid increase of sick anti-Semitic tropes, stereotyping and accusations. Some of which I will share with you here so that you can see some of the worst examples all in one place.
Putting in context my claim that anti-Semitic actions are becoming normalised and acceptable is the recent news that Barking’s Labour Dame Margaret Hodge DBE, MP, who is Jewish, faces a reselection contest in her constituency. She feared this possibility for her Party’s processes after the internal Labour row over anti-Semitism has dragged on for nearly three years and is “disappointed”. This action comes after activists in her constituency voted for the chance to select a different candidate and, in addition as I detail later, another Labour stalwart, Dame, Louse Ellman MP also Jewish, faces deselection from her seat, but this one is perhaps even worse and more malicious as you will soon discover.
This threat to Dame Margaret shows that no one is safe from this witch hunt within the Party. She is widely regarded as one of our country’s outstanding Members of Parliament, and prior to that service was an equally exceptional local Councillor and then Head of Council for Islington. Hodge then went on to serve as a successful Minister in several departments.
This action comes as no surprise to observers because Dame Margaret has been outspoken in her criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and his and the party’s non responsiveness to the huge and ever-growing number of complaints of anti-Semitism.
Now it transpires the Labour Party is doubling down in its hunt for anyone who supports anything other than the Great Leader’s dictatorial edicts on Israel or Zionism. The Liverpool Riverside constituency is to vote on whether to de-select another female Jewish MP, Dame Louise Ellman, known as the Grand Dame of Labour politics, and they have chosen to do so on the most Holy High Day of Judaism, Yom Kippur, aka The Day of Atonement.
Perhaps they did this so that Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes can atone for their sins. Ms. Elman is another long serving and outstanding Member of Parliament having represented her constituency for many years with distinction.
As has been the pattern with many such actions behind the scenes there will be a small group of desperate activists out to get Louise, or any other opponent of Corbyn and his coterie.
They see the ousting of any opponents who expose the Party for what it has become, a nest of hate, as being far more important than fighting the Conservatives. Ousting Dame Louise and people who agree with her is their top priority.
This is obvious when you see that a string of other Jewish MPs and critics of the anti-Semitism crisis who have also all come under attack by activists. A growing list of these victims of abuse, bullying and blatant anti-Semitism has left the Party or been forced out of their constituencies.
It is not enough to condemn such activists who might more properly be called racists or anti-Semites. Those who remain silent within the Party must also be condemned as fellow travellers, or even worse secret supporters.
In this we have to question the motives of the Party leadership. Could there have been a moment when a calculation was made to go after the Jews and the Zionists as they didn’t represent a big voting block but the people who might support such action are a much more numerous group? If that were the calculation one must not only criticise their motivation but also their wisdom. Once the racist genie is out of the bag it doesn’t go back in without major social unrest.
Ms Joan Ryan and fellow Labour moderate Gavin Shuker both lost confidence votes – blaming entryism by the hard left.
Ms Ryan, the chair of Labour Friends of Israel, had to call in the police after a menacing card was left outside her office and Labour MP Gavin Shuker was similarly targeted.
Officers from the Parliamentary Liaison Unit are investigating how an intruder was able to enter Ms Ryan’s office to leave the card there. Once again you have to ask how can thishappen without the collusion or at least turning a blind eye by those in the Party who are not averse to such actions.
The Party allowing the unwarranted move to deselect Louise Ellman is bad enough but for it to be happening on the most holy day in the Jewish year is designed to achieve two resultsand to add insult to injury.
Choosing that day is designed to exclude Louise from participation because she will not be allowed to work on that day as a practicing Jew, and the second reason is to insult her and the entire Jewish community.
There can be no excuse that the Party activists didn’t know what day they had chosen or, even if we were to accept that the constituency activists didn’t realize their error, there are certainly people within Head Office who could have alerted them to the fact and instructed them to move the date.
It is not hard to see a really disturbing pattern here, the Labour Party is being morphed into a latter-day Politburo mixed with a disgusting and large dose of pure Nazi ideology? The fascists used to victimise Jews because they were Jews, the Labour Party is victimising anyone who supports Israel’s right to exist, otherwise known as Zionism, and many of these people, but not all, also happen to be Jewish.
This is clearly defined as anti-Semitism which definition the Labour Party signed up to but now it is either blind to this, or after three years of its cancerous growth it is much more likely they are complicit in this evil onslaught.
Even Jeremy Corbyn’s Jewish New Year message was mired in his perverse vision of what’s acceptable to the Jewish community. He selected as his Jewish on-screen guides well known anti-Zionists who are neither representative of that community or experts in Judaism. Why would you do that unless you wanted a fight while pretending to be friendly to the community you are simultaneously patronising while insulting their intelligence?
Some background to this fight for the soul of the Labour Party can be found in her statement of September 2019, in which Hodge is quoted as saying, “I’m not going to give up until Jeremy Corbyn ceases to be leader of the Labour Party.”
Her battle goes even further back to beyond July 2019, when Hodge shared with the media a clandestine photo of Corbyn meeting Charedi activist Shraga Stern. Hodge tweeted that “Having lunch & wondering why Corbyn wants to be seen talking to an anti-LGBT activist who doesn’t represent the mainstream Jewish community….”
This is evidenced by the Labour Party’s signal failure to respond to the fact that In 2018, anti-Semitic hate incidents in the UK reached a record high, and In 2016, the International The Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted a working definition of anti-Semitism that described it as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews”.
The UK and the IHRA’s other 30 members accepted the definition, as well as a series of accompanying “contemporary” examples of how anti-Semitism manifests itself in public life.
These include Holocaust denial, denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (through the existence of the State of Israel), and holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of that state.
Labour got itself into trouble over the definition and this has resulted in an ongoing battle within the Party.
Previous to Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 election as Leader anti-Semitism was generally not regarded as a big problem in the Labour Party. In fact, just the opposite could be said to betrue. The Labour Party Friends of Israel was a staunch supporter of that country. The vast majority of the Jewish population were historically supporters of the Labour Party. But all this changed as Corbyn and others from the far left insisting on a new political direction. The new leftwards direction of the huge number of new members, many of whom are vocal critics of Israel and who believe the UK, must be tougher against Israel, especially regarding its policies towards the Palestinians. Jeremy Corbyn has championed this stance for decades, and it radically contrasts with the more balanced position taken by almost all his predecessors.
Following this shift there were anti-Semitic tropes being spread far and wide and a number of incidents that attracted a great deal of attention.
Examples of the fall out were high-profile suspensions in the Party due to comments regarded as anti-Semitic that resultedin suspensions for MP Naz Shah, the ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone and MP Chris Williamson, an ally and friend of Mr Corbyn.
Ms. Shah later apologised for a string of her comments on Twitter, including one in which she preposterously proposedIsrael should be moved to the United States; she was later re-instated.
Ken Livingstone left the Labour Party, did he jump or was the embarrassment so great that he was pushed, after a long-running row over his spurious and ridiculous claims that Adolf Hitler had once supported Zionism and that meant Jews had colluded with him. What worse insult could you aim at a Jew other than equating him or her with the Nazis who exterminated 6 million of their kith and kin. Livingstone knows this and no amount of smiling and being smarmy can excuse or explain his repeated slander of an entire people. The Labour Party leadership also knows this but sat on their hands until they were forced to take action.
Williamson was stripped of his membership for his ridiculous claim that the problem of anti-Semitism had been over-stated, and Labour had been “too apologetic” over this issue.
Labour released figures showing that the party received 673 accusations of anti-Semitism by Labour members between April 2018 and January 2019. However, the scale of the issue remains disputed. There have been reports from whistle blowers that suggest the number of such incidents runs into the thousands. From within official Jewish sources I have been informed that the latter number is the accurate one and this accords to the views of the whistle blowers. Apparentlythere are those who seek to explain away the disparity by trying to conflate several incidents of anti-Semitism against one person as one complaint rather than counting every incident whoever it concerned.
In April 2019, the Sunday Times reported that Labour had received 863 complaints against party members, including councillors. The newspaper reported that leaked e-mails showed more than half of the cases remained unresolved and 28% there had been no investigated at all. It went on to point out that fewer than 30 people had been expelled while members investigated for posting online comments such as “Heil Hitler” and “Jews are the problem” had not been suspended.
Labour disputed the reports while Jewish Voice for Labour, a newly constituted, fake representative Jewish group supportive of Mr Corbyn, maintained the number of cases being investigated represented a tiny fraction of Labour’s 500,000 plus membership. But the Jewish Voice of Labour are an almost totally unrepresentative group who the vast majority of Jews consider quislings and apologists at best or self-hating, anti-Semitic Jews at worst.
The fact is that in our entire country there are only 240,000 Jews in a population of about 66 million. The fact that there are currently several hundreds to several thousand anti-Semitic incidents against such a small number of Jews proveswhat a huge problem the Labour Party has with Jews. Do the maths.
The Labour Party has responded with a tidal wave of denial, obfuscation and faux remorse. Many say they are full of the brown stuff, a view with which I would agree.
This began with in 2016, Mr Corbyn tasked the barrister and human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti to look into the extent of anti-Semitism and other forms of racism within the party. This was trumpeted as an independent enquiry.However, after sending in her anodyne report Ms. Chakrabarti was appointed a Labour peer of the realm – what a coincidence!
The report concluded that while Labour was not “overrun by anti-Semitism or other forms of racism”, there was an “occasionally toxic atmosphere”. It called for a series of recommendations to tackle what it said was the “clear evidence of ignorant attitudes” within sections of the party.
This launch of the report was marred by a verbal confrontation leading to activist Marc Wadsworth’s expulsion from the Party when he loudly hectored, many say, bullied a female MP. to implement the Chakrabarti report has been criticised
Labour’s General Secretary Jennie Formby claims she has strengthened and speeded up the Party’s disciplinary procedures, with more staff to handle investigations but among others in the organisation, Baroness Chakrabarti – now Labour’s shadow attorney general – has criticised the pace of progress.
The Home Affairs Committee’s 2016 report said the leadership’s lack of action “risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally anti-Semitic”.
Earlier this year the Party asked its former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer to conduct a review into its internal complaint’sprocedures, that critics claim was politicised. This, in turn, led to objections from prominent Jewish MP’s that it couldn’t be an independent review since the Lord was tied too closely to the Party leadership, so he withdrew.
This was followed by a hugely politically damaging and this time, truly independent move. The official Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) formally announced it would be conducting its own wide-ranging investigation into whether Labour “unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish”. Labour was compelled to state that it would co-operate fully with the watchdog.
This is only the second time in its history that the EHRC has investigated a political party – in 2010, it ordered the BNP which many term a Nazi organisation, to re-write its constitution to comply with race relation laws.
A Labour spokesman rejected “any suggestion that the party does not handle ant-Semitism complaints fairly and robustly, or that the party has acted unlawfully”.
That remains to be judged by the EHRC.
The party faced further criticism following a BBC Panorama programme entitled Is Labour Anti-Semitic?
Panorama, discovered yet more credible accusations of the Labour Party’s intentional mishandling of complaints regarding anti-Semitism. The programme interviewed a number of former party officials, both Jewish and non-Jewish,who unanimously alleged that senior Labour figures – namely Ms Formby, the General Secretary of the Labour Party and Mr Corbyn’s communications chief Seumas Milne – had directly interfered in the complaint’s procedures. This involved them seeking to distort the actual procedures to make it appear as if the Party was correctly handling them, when the truth was the opposite.
The disputes team is sanctioned to operate independently fromall the party’s political structures, including the leader’s office.
These whistle blowers also stated as fact that the Labour Partyhad faced a huge increase in anti-Semitism complaints since Mr Corbyn became leader in 2015.
Labour disputed the claims, insisting there was no interference and the former staff were “disaffected” individuals with “personal and political axes to grind”.
Labour’s own employees voted to formally condemn the party’s “obscene” response to fresh revelations about anti-Semitism.
A motion tabled by the main trade union branch representing party staff said Labour should formally apologise for its reaction to whistle blowers speaking out about how cases of anti-Jewish abuse were handled.
It went on to say the response to the former employees who spoke out during a special edition of BBC’s Panorama was “a source of embarrassment” and condemned “obscene” threats of legal action against them.
On top of this, more than 200 current and former Labour staffers and supporters roundly condemned the Party’s “appalling and hypocritical” response to the programme and demanded that Jeremy Corbyn answer questions about his team’s involvement in this crisis.
Senior Labour peers also wrote to Mr Corbyn to raise “concerns” over his handling of the issue.
The GMB union branch representing Labour staff said issues about Labour’s working culture raised by whistle blowers were “reprehensible and a great source of shame”.
The Party’s own deputy leader, Tom Watson is quoted as saying that “he deplored the official response to the documentary” and joined others calling on the leadership to listen to the concerns it raised.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the leadership was “directly complicit”.
But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the “serious charges” were being “hotly contested”, and the process of dealing with complaints in the party had been “improved dramatically”. It seems that the people within the Party do not agree with McDonnell.
After trying to avoid the internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism the Labour subsequently adopted the full IHRA definition and examples along with an accompanying statement that “this will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians”.
Critics have said the addition of a “caveat” undermines the IHRA definition – but Labour says it is intended to reassure members they can be critical of Israel without being anti-Semitic.
Mr Corbyn proposed a longer additional statement – which would have allowed criticism of the foundation of the state of Israel as a racist endeavour – but this was not accepted by the party’s ruling executive.
Jeremy Corbyn has insisted time and time again there is no place for anti-Semitism in Labour.
Some of his supporters say the problem has been exaggerated and is being used as a stick to beat the Labour leader by people who don’t like him or his views on the Middle East.
He comes from a different political tradition than virtually every other post-war Labour leader, having campaigned for 40 years against what he has always regarded as Western imperialism and aggression.
Mr Corbyn’s opponents accuse him of being too close to Hamas, a militant Islamist group, and Hezbollah, a Lebanese paramilitary group. Both groups are widely viewed in the West as terrorist organisations and are illegal in many countries. He also publicly described representatives of Hamas as his “friends” after inviting them to a controversial meeting in Parliament in 2009. He tried to excuse this as he did his invitation to the IRA to visit Parliament soon after that terrorist organisation had blown up the hotel in which the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher was staying during the Conservative Party Conference, wounding many and murdering others.
He later said he regretted his use of language for the Hamas and Hezbollah speech, but insisted his motivation in talking to enemies of Israel was the promotion of peace in the Middle East. But his critics argue his views have created the space for anti-Semitism to flourish in the party and he has condoned anti-Jewish prejudice through several of his own actions.
Mr Corbyn faced criticism in August 2018 after the Daily Mail exposed a 2013 video clip on their website in which he said a group of British Zionists had “no sense of English irony”. Former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks branded these the comments “the most offensive statement” by a politician since Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech and accused the Labour leader of being an anti-Semite.
Mr Corbyn sought to excuse his comment by saying he had used the term “Zionist” in an “accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”.
He added: “I am now more careful with how I might use the term ‘Zionist’ because a once self-identifying political term has been increasingly hijacked by anti-Semites as code for Jews.”
It isn’t the only row he has been embroiled in, though. In August 2018, the Labour leader also came under fire over his presence at a ceremony in Tunisia in 2014 which is said to have honoured the perpetrators of the 1972 Munich massacre, during which 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by Palestinian militants and killed.
Mr Corbyn said he had attended the event in Tunis as part of a wider event about the search for peace. Another piece of his breath-taking hypocrisy when analysed together with all these other instances which clearly demonstrates an indefensible pattern of behaviour.
Earlier in August 2018, Jeremy Corbyn apologised over an event he hosted as a backbench MP in 2010 where a Holocaust survivor compared Israel to Nazism. When this was exposed by the Times publishing details of this the Labour leader
said he had “on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject” and was sorry for the “concerns and anxiety that this has caused”.
But such incidents follow in the wake of Mr Corbyn like a bad smell. In March 2018, Mr Corbyn was criticised for sending an apparently supportive message to the creator of an allegedly anti-Semitic mural in 2012.
In a message sent via Facebook, he had appeared to question a decision to remove the artist’s controversial work from a wall in east London.
Corbyn later said he had not looked at it properly, calling it “deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic”.
Following the row, Mr Corbyn said he was “sincerely sorry for the pain” caused and conceded there were “pockets” of anti-Semitism within the party.
I agree Mr Corbyn and you’re one of the main reasons and causes of this anti-Semitism.
I will cite a few more such examples of what is happening in the once great Labour Party but surely the time has come for Corbyn and his team to look hard in the mirror and to be honest about what they see. A group of hypocritical anti-Semites. Until you resign and the Party is cleaned up from top to bottom it deserves our enmity and undying opposition for its dangerous racism.
Berger said he had become ashamed of the party she joined as a teenager
Among the other defectors, Joan Ryan claimed the party had “become infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism” while Ian Austin blamed Mr Corbyn for “creating a culture of extremism and intolerance”.
In March 2018, the head of the Labour Party’s disputes panel quit after it emerged, she had opposed the suspension of a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial.
Christine Shawcroft said she had not been aware of the “abhorrent” Facebook post that had led to his suspension
In July 2018, the UK’s three main Jewish newspapers published the same front page, warning that a government led by Mr Corbyn would pose an “existential threat to Jewish life”.
Earlier that month the party brought disciplinary action against the Labour MP Margaret Hodge, after she reportedly called Mr Corbyn an “anti-Semite” and a “racist”.
Ms Hodge refused to apologise, and the action was later dropped.
Frank Field, the MP for Birkenhead since 1979, quit the party’s group in Parliament in August 2018, saying the leadership had become “a force for anti-Semitism in British politics”.
In May 2019, a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee – Peter Willsman – was suspended after LBC radio reported he had been recorded as saying that the Israeli embassy was “almost certainly” behind the anti-Semitism row.
And Labour’s successful candidate in the Peterborough by-election, Lisa Forbes, was engulfed in a row after it emerged,she had liked a social media post suggesting Theresa May had a “Zionist slave master’s agenda”.
She apologised and calls for her to be suspended were rejected but the controversy led to fresh ructions and claims racism had become “institutionalised” within the party.
Mike Katz, chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement, said the trigger ballot vote was a “shameful moment for a party which claims to embody the values of equality and diversity”.
“Margaret Hodge has been a steadfast campaigner against racism, fascism and intolerance throughout her political life,” he said.
“She saw off the BNP in Barking and has, over the last few years, been determined in her opposition to anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. She has been the target of vicious smears, derision and anti-Semitism, because she has been resolute in her opposition to anti-Jewish racism,” he added.
Labour’s former deputy leader Harriet Harman said she was “dismayed more than I can say” by the vote.
She tweeted: “Margaret Hodge, scourge of tax avoiders, racists and anti-Semitism. Champion of progressive policies. Hyperactive local MP. Surely this cannot stand!”
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Under longstanding party rules, reselection processes have to be held in between general elections.”
“These are taking place in every Labour-held constituency across the country and in any reselection sitting MPs are automatically on the ballot paper,” the spokesperson added.
“Many members wish to hold democratic selections so they can have a say in who represents them,” the source said.
The truth is that no one believes you Mr Spokesman. You are trying to purge the Labour Party of any dissent and particularly those people who hold a different view about Zionism, Israel and the Palestine questions. Your supporters are doing anything they can to throw these dissenters out and this includes overt anti-Semitic bullying which the Storm Troopers of Hitler’s Nazi regime would have been proud of.You are getting rid of the Jews.
Unease within Labour ranks in Parliament intensified in 2017 and 2018 amid concerns the leadership was not doing enough to defend Jewish MPs, such as Luciana Berger, who were themselves the targets of anti-Semitic abuse and death threats.
In March 2018, scores of Labour MPs joined Jewish groups, including the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and other anti-racism campaigners to demand action in an unprecedented “Enough is Enough” rally outside Parliament.
In a further sign of the breakdown in trust between Labour and the Jewish community, the Jewish Labour Movement considered severing its century-old affiliation to the party.
While deciding to retain its ties, the organisation of 2,000 members did pass a motion of no confidence in Mr Corbyn and voted to describe the party as “institutionally anti-Semitic”.
In February 2019, nine MPs quit Labour, many of them citing the leadership’s handling of anti-Semitism as their reason for leaving.
Ms Berger, who had a police escort at the 2018 Labour Party conference, said she had come to the “sickening conclusion” that the party had become institutionally anti-Semitic and that she was “embarrassed and ashamed” to stay.
Ms Berger’s supporters, including deputy leader Tom Watson, claimed she has been “bullied out of her own party by racist thugs”.
I have taken the trouble to delve deeply into the history of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader. There are just too many coincidences, too many accidents and too many examples of his own anti-Semitism, either intentional or accidental to be considered simple, excusable mishaps. The man is also complicit in a system that pretends to police racism within its structure but actually has encouraged it. He might not know it, but the man is an anti-Semite and should resign for his racism.
Regarding our sense of irony Mr Corbyn how about this story from our history.
A Jewish king was seeking a new champion and three men put themselves forward. A Japanese Samurai, a Chinese warrior and Morris. The king asked for examples of their fighting skills, the Samurai opened a small match box and out flew a fly, before it could go far the Japanese man slashed at it with his razor sharp sword and it fell to the floor in two parts, dead.
Then it was the turn of the Chinese warrior. He took a very small silver box out of his robes and an even smaller fly flew out from the box, and so fast the eye couldn’t see it he turned and cut it in four pieces as it fell to the ground, dead. The king was even more impressed.
Now it was the turn of Morris. He took out of his waistcoat pocket the tiniest of gold boxes and released a wasp, he took six swipes at the insect but still it flew, the king was very disappointed with Morris and asked him why he had failed to kill the wasp, and Morris replied, “A circumcision is never meant to kill.”
Remember this, if it swims like a fish, and it looks like a fish, and it smells like a fish, IT’S A FISH!