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Jeremy Corbyn

Smoke without fire: the myth of a ‘Labour antisemitism crisis’

Jamie Stern-Weiner and Alan Maddison on

Faced with claims that Labour antisemitism poses an existential threat to Jews, on the one side, and arguments that antisemitism is neither widespread nor institutionalised in the party, on the other, it might be tempting to split the difference and assume that the truth lies somewhere in between. But Jamie Stern-Weiner and Alan Maddison say the truth of this controversy lies not in the middle but at one pole: there is no ‘Labour antisemitism crisis’.

Britain’s Chief Rabbi is helping to stoke antisemitism

Jonathan Cook on
Chief Rabbi Efraim Mirvis

Chief Rabbi Efraim Mirvis has no lessons to teach Corbyn or the Labour party about racism. In fact, it is his own, small-minded prejudice that blinds him to the anti-racist politics of the left. His ugly message is now being loudly amplified by a corporate media keen to use any weapon it can, antisemitism included, to keep Corbyn and the left out of power – and preserve a status quo that benefits the few at the expense of the many.

Zionists of the world (& co.) unite against Corbyn

Jonathan Ofir on

The witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn for supposed ‘anti-Semitism’ has been a consistent feature in British politics, orchestrated by Israel and its allies also in Jewish organizations. Chief UK rabbi Mirvis has just served a desperate incitement-blow in a Times article.

Chief Rabbi, we need a better way to fight antisemitism than attacking Labour

Robert Cohen on

Chief Rabbi Mirvis, what is the clear and present danger presented by the Labour party to Jews? Perhaps you can give me a rough idea of what I should expect, so I know whether to be ready to pack my bags when the election results come through. You are right when you say “the soul of our nation is at stake.” But you don’t seem to care about how we treat the poorest and most vulnerable, how urgently we tackle climate change, or our attitude towards human rights and international law. From Robert Cohen’s letter to the Jewish leader.

Why anyone who is Jewish and on the Left should have no problem voting for Jeremy Corbyn

Tony Greenstein on

Guardian editor Jonathan Freedland’s latest attack on Jeremy Corbyn robs the charge of antisemitism of its real and important meaning. His broadside is a hodgepodge of assertions based on guilt-by-association and statements taken out of context. If 87 percent of British Jews now believe Corbyn is antisemitic it is because of the media parroting pro-Israel propaganda.

The plot to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of power

Jonathan Cook on
Jeremy Corbyn. (Photo: Dan Kitwood)

Jeremy Corbyn’s success in Great Britain reflects an eroding neoliberal consensus that the establishment is fighting to maintain. To undercut Corbyn this establishment has attempted to recharacterize his support for the Palestinians and criticism of Israel as anti-semitism. These attacks have transformed the whole discursive landscape on Israel, the Palestinians, Zionism and anti-semitism in ways unimaginable 20 years ago.

As the Israel lobby in the US weakens, its UK counterpart grows more fearsome

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook writes that while there are signs politicians in the U.S. are finally ready to shine a light onto the pro-Israel lobby, the opposite is taking place in United Kingdom. He says this is due to the way the Israel lobby has recently emerged in British politics – hurriedly, and in a mix of panic and damage limitation mode due to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, and the end of the international two-state consensus.

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.

Corbyn renews calls to end UK arms sales to Israel in wake of UN report on Gaza protests

Yumna Patel on

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called for Britain to cease arms sales to Israel following a UN report that the Israeli army’s actions against Palestinian protesters in Gaza’s Great March of Return could amount to war crimes. “The UK government must unequivocally condemn the killings and freeze arms sales to Israel,” Corbyn tweeted Friday.

British MPs won’t get to see ‘WitchHunt’ in the House of Commons – the very place it needs to be shown

Robert Cohen on

A new documentary called WitchHunt points out the narrow room for debate over alleged antisemitism in the British Labour Party. Anti-Zionist Jews are excluded as unrepresentative of British Jews. And why is it okay to talk about antisemitism and Zionism in Britain without asking a Palestinian what their direct experience of Zionism has looked and felt like?

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.

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.”

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.”

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 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.”

Israeli attorney files FOIA request to determine govt role in anti-Corbyn campaign

Yumna Patel on

On August 19, Israeli Advocate Eitay Mack filed a freedom of information request to shed light on the government’s role in the ongoing smear campaign against UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. In an interview with Mondoweiss, Mack spoke about his motivations behind filing such a request, the significance of Israel’s possible interference in UK politics, and the Netanyahu government’s failure to challenge real threats of anti-Semitism in Europe and around the world.

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.