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Candidates for UK Labour Party’s governing body share their thoughts on adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism

Pete Gregson on

Next week the UK Labour Party’s governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), will be voting on whether to adopt examples of antisemitism put forth by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in its definition of antisemitism. Pete Gregson wrote to all 26 NEC candidates to seek their views on the vote. Of the 12 responses that came back, 5 were for adopting the full IHRA definition and examples, 6 were for no change, and 1 was unsure. Of those in favor, he posed the question “If it’s passed and I said Israel is a racist state, would I get expelled?”

UK Labour Party is right to drop racist IHRA guidelines of anti-Semitism

Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine on

Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine writes, “We call on everyone to see that creating a largely-mythical anti-Semitism ‘crisis’ in the Labour Party is one of the few tools left to ailing and desperate establishment hacks wanting to smear Corbyn and maintain UK support for Israel, no matter how many Palestinians the Israeli army slaughters, or how many houses, schools, and hospitals Israeli jets destroy in Gaza. In the face of this, Zionist groups with a history of uncritical support for Israel claim that Corbyn presents an existential threat to British Jews? This is obscene, hypocritical scaremongering.”

Unfounded allegations of anti-Semitism cover up Israeli apartheid

Jeff Handmaker on

The charges of anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party reflect a program by Israel supporters to smear those who bear witness to apartheid in Palestine who are slowly changing the country’s global reputation. Today a growing number of Jews support Palestinian rights, while Israel is forging a strange alliance with Islamophobes and nationalists.

France’s Macron leads the way as western leaders malevolently confuse anti-Zionism with antisemitism

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook says that elites in the U.S. and Europe have moved on from their once-defensive posture that Zionism is not racism. Now, they are on the attack. Their presumption is that anti-Zionism is synonymous with racism and across the West there are efforts to codify this into law. Nowhere is this clearer than in France where Emmanuel Macron recently threatened to outlaw anti-Zionism.

The gaslighting of Ilhan Omar

Amith Gupta on

That Israel’s own mouthpieces, including AIPAC, openly admit to using campaign cash to push pro-Israel legislation, should end any ambiguity: Ilhan Omar and all sensible citizens were being gaslit in the name of preserving the status quo and its decades of silencing Israel’s victims. This was especially clear in the liberal Zionist attacks on Omar, which sought reduce her criticisms of the lobby to little more than an anti-Semitic fantasy.

Pro-Israel groups are trying to split the Women’s March with a Zionist alternative

Amith Gupta on

WoMen4All, a bizarre rip-off of the Women’s March, has set up an alternate network of “sister marches” to split the Women’s March. It is dedicated largely to condemning Palestinian rights and promoting Zionism by mixing naked Israeli war propaganda with standard feminist causes, such as enacting the Equal Rights Amendment.

To Europe we say: don’t conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism

Open Letter on

On occasion of a conference of the Austrian government in the context of its Presidency of the European Union entitled “Europe Beyond Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism – Securing Jewish Life in Europe”, some of Israel’s leading Intellectuals have written an open letter titled “To Europe We Say: Don’t conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism” to the European public.

Canard du Jour: Antisemitism and the denial of Jewish self-determination

Joel Doerfler on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“If denying Jews the ‘right of self-determination’ is evidence of anti-Semitism, then what should we call denying the same right to those indigenes who have lived in Palestine for centuries?” Joel Doerfler on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism.

If you want a fair definition of Zionism, it’s best to ask a Palestinian

Robert Cohen on

There are lots of good reasons to think the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, now adopted “in full” by Labour’s national committee and by Labour MPs, is, well, a bit rubbish, writes Robert Cohen: “The truth of the matter is, the Jewish community can no longer define ‘Zionism,’ or indeed ‘anti-Semitism,’ without the help of Palestinians.”

Provoked by BDS campaign, Trump administration says anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism

Philip Weiss and Donald Johnson on

The Department of Education’s new anti-Semitism standard that bars calling Israel a racist endeavor shows the sheer arrogance of the Trump-Netanyahu axis. They are going for broke. And the liberals who obsess about Putin’s supposed control seem unable to spot which groups really have influence on Trump.

Why let Netanyahu write the Labour rulebook?

Pete Gregson on

Pete Gregson on the fallout in the UK Labour Party after the vote adopting the full IHRA definition of antisemitism: “What we are seeing is a Party in fear of the media, allowing Zionists to undermine freedom of speech. What we need to do is show those in fear of bad press that the NEC cannot pay lip service to a thing that it does not believe in. For who can argue that Israel is not a racist state? It’s as if we’re allowing Theresa May and Netanyahu to write our rule book here.”

Boy of 17 is killed in Gaza protests

Kate on

On Friday, Israeli soldiers killed 17-year-old Bilal Mustafa Khaffaja and injured at least 210 others, during the Great Return March protests in several parts of the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The instant Palestinians get support from someone who might gain power– out comes the anti-semitism charge

Donald Johnson on

The New York Times says that Jeremy Corbyn brought the “anti-Semitism crisis” on himself by fixating on Israel and says not a word about Palestinian human rights, thereby demonstrating a law of western politics: The instant Palestinians start getting support from someone who might have real power, the anti-Semite accusation is wheeled out, everyone remembers Who The Real Victims Are, and Palestinians are shoved under the bus.

Zionism is ‘at the heart’ of British Jewish identity, ‘NYT’ author writes

Philip Weiss on

Josh Glancy writes in the New York Times that Jeremy Corbyn is guilty of “classic anti-Semitism” for saying that British Zionists lack irony, but Glancy himself has written that Zionism is “at the heart” of British Jewish identity, and most British Jews are “culturally Israeli.” Thus do Zionists conflate Jews and Israel.

UK Labour Party must reject biased antisemitism definition that stifles advocacy for Palestinian rights

Open Letter on

A coalition of 24 Palestinian civil society groups, including the largest trade unions, professional associations and refugee networks, released a statement urging the UK Labour Party and trade unions to reject the “biased, anti-Palestinian” IHRA definition of antisemitism which seeks to conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel. The definition they say, “aims to silence criticism of Israeli policies that clearly violate Palestinian human rights.”

‘Anti-Semitism Awareness Act’ threatens free speech

Sheldon Richman on

In May the benign-sounding Anti-Semitism Awareness Act appeared before the U.S Congress “to provide for consideration a definition of anti-Semitism for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or activities.” Sheldon Richman writes that if the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act passes and is signed into law, it would threaten free speech in the academy and beyond.

UK black and minority ethnic groups blast Labour Party antisemitism debate for seeking to defend Israel by erasing Palestinian history

Mohamed Elmaazi on

Last week an unprecedented intervention occurred into the debate in the UK over the definition of antisemitism. Over 80 community, professional and rights-based organisations representing black, minority ethnic and diaspora peoples decried what they say is the framing of antisemitism in a way to ‘silence’ Palestinians, and other migrant groups, from speaking about their history.

Anti-Zionism is the gateway drug to anti-Semitism, for the ‘New York Review of Books’

Donald Johnson on

In a piece in the New York Review of Books on the Labour anti-semitism controversy, Matt Seaton lumps anti-Zionism with anti-Jewish bigotry. The unspoken assumption of the article is that Palestinians have no right to be anti-Zionist and that anti-Zionism is a form of vitriolic zealotry and can never be a principled human rights position.