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Labour’s McCarthyism

Labour Party conference 2017 in Brighton, UK [Cllr Tamoor Tariq/Twitter]
Labour Party conference 2017 in Brighton, UK [Cllr Tamoor Tariq/Twitter]

Another one bites the dust.

Left-wing MP Chris Williamson is the latest prominent Labour figure to be thrown to the wolves.

On Thursday he was suspended from the party for an unspecified “pattern of behaviour.”

This comes after a long campaign of incitement against Williamson by the Israel lobby.

It began in the summer of 2017, after he accurately, and bravely, stuck his neck out and condemned “lies and dirty tricks” around the “anti-Semitism smears”.

“Many people in the Jewish community are appalled by what they see as the weaponization of anti-Semitism for political ends,” he told the Guardian.

Since then, along with Corbyn himself, Williamson has been Public Enemy Number One for the Israel lobby.

READ: Labour government would recognise Palestine as soon as it takes office, says Corbyn

The campaign against Williamson cumulated in yesterday’s day of infamy for the Labour movement.

Before that, on Tuesday, he was hauled over the coals by the party apparatus after news broke that he had booked a Parliamentary screening of a new film “WitchHunt.”

Acclaimed by Mike Leigh, Peter Kosminsky and Len Loach, this wide-ranging anti-racist documentary centres the story of Jackie Walker, a Black, Jewish anti-Zionist who has been persecuted by Labour right-wingers and has remained in membership suspension limbo since September 2016.

According to my sources, it was Labour’s General-Secretary Jennie Formby who on Tuesday ordered Williamson to can the screening, on pain of withdrawing the Labour party whip.

Next, on Wednesday a video of Williamson “emerged” in a local paper of him – again, accurately – stating the fact that Corbyn and Labour have been far too apologetic about “Labour anti-Semitism” and have refused to condemn or to fight back against the obviously manufactured smear campaign.

Traitorous deputy leader Tom Watson stated publicly on Twitter that he would have expelled Williamson long ago “if it was in my gift”.  (Watson is being funded by Trevor Chinn, a multi-millionaire donor to Israel lobby groups like BICOM.)

READ: Labour bows to pressure and adopts controversial code on anti-Semitism

A group of right-wing Labour MPs wrote to Formby demanding Williamson’s head.

Williamson then appears to have been hauled over the coals again.

An anonymous “Labour spokesperson” began telling journalists that Williamson was being “investigated” by the party, but would not be suspended pending the outcome.

Soon after midday, Williamson issued an apology for “my recent choice of words.”

It was never going to be enough – five hours later, Williamson was suspended anyway.

The news seems to have been delivered to journalists first via another anonymous “Labour spokesperson.”

The one silver lining to this shameful tragedy seems to be that Williamson has been inundated with masses of support from the Labour Party grassroots.

Williamson joins an ever-growing list of good socialists excommunicated and hounded out of the Labour Party by a frenzied witch hunt.

This campaign, into its fourth year now, is increasingly reminiscent of the darkest days of McCarthyism in the USA. (Are you now, or have you ever been, an anti-Zionist?)

The same lack of evidence, the same hysteria and the same appeal to our basest emotions – fear, ignorance and cowardice – are all evident.

Ken Livingstone was the first to be discarded.

Ken Livingstone

The former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

His many years of faithful service to the Labour Party’s left counted for nothing compared to appeasing some of the party grassroots’ most deadly enemies.

Corbyn was complicit in this capitulation, betraying his former comrades of many years.

Livingstone was first suspended and ultimately hounded out of the party for daring to speak a historical truth – that the German Zionist movement in the 1930s collaborated with Hitler’s regime in order to send Jews to Palestine.

The fact that this actually took place counted for nothing. Livingstone was out.

The same depressing process has gone through a seemingly endless cycle. Time and again, good socialists have been chased out of Labour or otherwise harassed and chastened.

Jackie Walker was suspended and is constantly demonised, with straight-up lies about her endemic in the media. She is now even forbidden from speaking in her own defence.

READ: Is Labour’s anti-Semitism row fuelled by pro-Israel online ‘guerrilla warriors’?

Veteran anti-racist Black activist Marc Wadsworth was expelled. He had done nothing wrong.

Christine Shawcroft was forced off Labour’s NEC  after a private email was leaked to the press.

Pete Willsman narrowly escaped being thrown off the NEC in the same way, mostly through luck, but also the massive popular support of the party grassroots, who voted him back onto the NEC.

Glyn Secker of the group Jewish Voice for Labour was punished with “administrative suspension,” by right-wing party bureaucrats citing unspecified “comments made on social media that may be anti-Semitic.” This was later overturned after a strong pushback by grassroots activists.

And now Williamson.

None of these people said or did anything remotely anti-Semitic. All were falsely and deliberately smeared, slandered, pilloried and demonised.

They have been rebuked, suspended, expelled or otherwise punished by the party apparatus – all in defence of the right-wing MPs and the Israel lobby groups still sabotaging the Labour Party from within.

READ: Leading figures condemn ‘flawed’ media coverage of Labour’s anti-Semitism row

The Labour Party has been the primary target of the Israeli government and its sabotage campaigns in the UK over the last several years.

Through its allies in the UK, including front organisations like Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, this racist apartheid state has relentlessly pushed the false narrative that Labour under Corbyn is a racist party.

The saddest thing of all about the habitual capitulation and pandering to these racist groups is that it is never, ever enough.

The right-wing and the Israel lobby are not in the habit of taking yes for an answer. They pocket all concessions and then demand more.

They will extract everything they can from Corbyn and still look to drive him out.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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