Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

The hidden toll of Labour's fabricated anti-Semitism crisis

Jewish Voice for Labour stall at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and Rally on July 21, 2019 in Tolpuddle, England [Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images]
Jewish Voice for Labour stall at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and Rally on July 21, 2019 in Tolpuddle, England [Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images]

A message left on the answerphone of a 71-year-old Jewish woman said: “You f***ing Nazi b**ch… You should burn in the gas oven. You dirty f***ing b**ch….  Stinking, stinking swine… You deserve … to burn in acid.”

The victim of this hate crime was a Jewish member of the Labour Party.

But in stark contrast to the distorted media image that was foisted upon us in recent years, this Jewish victim of anti-Semitism was, in fact, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jenny Manson is the co-chair of Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), a left-wing group which was founded during Corbyn’s time as party leader, partially in order to defend him against the false claims of anti-Semitism which plagued him for years.

JVL also makes a point of defending the human rights of Palestinians. Many of its leading members are veteran activists in the Palestine solidarity movement, often anti-Zionist Jews.

Happily, the police managed to track down the man who made the anti-Semitic death threat against Manson. But he got off lightly – the police only issued him with a caution.

According to journalist and producer Richard Sanders, writing last week, the abuser was himself a Jewish man, in his mid-fifties. It is more than likely that he was motivated by anti-Palestinian and anti-socialist malice.

Sanders’ article, in which many similar hair-raising stories are told, is a reminder of the hidden costs of the fabricated Labour anti-Semitism crisis.

The main victims of the fabrication of anti-Semitism are – as always – the Palestinians. Sanders in his long piece commendably took the time to get their perspective on the “crisis”.

As Palestinian campaigners Ghada Karmi and Ben Jamal told him, the whole sordid affair had a chilling effect on Palestine solidarity activism. The British-Palestinian community’s objections to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s bogus “working definition” of anti-Semitism were either sidelined or totally ignored.

While in the past, a large minority of Labour MPs would be willing to come to Palestine Solidarity Campaign rallies and address the crows, during the height of the fake crisis in the spring and summer of 2018, Jamal explains: “It became incredibly difficult to get any MPs to come along.”

Exposed: another fake anti-Semitic plot to defame prominent pro-Palestinian group

In May of that year, after Israeli snipers murdered more than 60 unarmed Palestinians in cold blood along the Gaza boundary line in one single day, some MPs did finally begin to show their faces.

Jamal told Sanders: “I remember commenting at the time, at least now we know how many Palestinians have to be killed before people regain their moral compass.”

But there was another major hidden victim of the manufactured Labour anti-Semitism crisis, and they were the Jewish supporters of Corbyn. The toll on them was immense, as Manson’s story shows.

Sanders’ story contains some even more damning revelations (damning to the supposedly socialist party that let it all happen, even while Corbyn was supposedly in charge). It’s also an eye-opening insight into the very real personal costs so many brave activists have paid.

Mike Cushman is another member of the JVL committee that Sanders spoke to. Like many other JVL activists, he has been investigated by Labour’s witch-hunting bureaucrats.

He has for years been a leading activist, dedicated to the cause of Palestinian liberation, speaking, writing and campaigning for Palestinian rights and for the boycott of Israel.

But even for a hardened veteran like Cushman, the last few years have been tough: “For a Jewish person, to be accused of anti-Semitism is as devastating as to be confronted with anti-Semitism. It’s even worse when the accusation comes from someone who isn’t Jewish themselves.”

Read: Labour is suppressing Palestinian voices and free speech on Israel, warns open letter

Alarmingly, Sanders reveals that: “One Jewish Labour Party member has taken an overdose following expulsion from the party.” It is a sinister irony that the Labour Party’s “notice of investigation” letters in recent years have begun including the phone number for the Samaritans.

The targeting of anti and non-Zionist Jews by the right-wing establishment that once again controls the Labour Party (and arguably never stopped doing so, even during the Corbyn years) should have been a national scandal.

But so consumed was the corporate media with aborting the threat of a socialist entering Number 10, that they willfully ignored the story.

Ironically, this hostility by an unholy alliance of Zionists and other Labour rightists against left-wing Jews was a very real form of anti-Semitism.

As one JVL member, George Wilmers, told Sanders: “I have been targeted as a Jew by fanatical persons who hold that political support for the ethnocratic nature of the actually existing state of Israel is an essential characteristic of being Jewish.”

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

Categories
ArticleEurope & RussiaInquiryIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestineUK
Show Comments
Show Comments