A recent Al Jazeera investigation has exposed Israeli Embassy activities in subverting UK democracy. This involved an Israeli diplomat, Shai Masot, scheming to take down Tory MP’s Sir Alan Duncan and Crispin Blunt, as well as the NUS President Malia Bouattia. Why? Simply because they were supporters of Palestinian human rights and critics of current Israeli Government policies.
According to Shai Masot though, the Labour Party was his prime target.
Masot’s campaign involved collusion with members of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) and the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), to discredit those who supported Palestine.
Jeremy Corbyn has been a long time defender of Palestinian rights, as traditionally has been the Labour Party. This Al Jazeera investigation may shed light on what many have suspected. The recent smear campaign against Corbyn, with unfounded claims that anti-Semitism was endemic in Labour, is probably more to do with silencing criticism of Israeli policies towards Palestine than the genuine fight against anti-Semitism.
In order to protect Labour Party democracy against future subversion and ensure Freedom of Speech, there needs to be a full internal Labour Party inquiry. This must include the activites the LFI, the JLM and any implicated Labour MP’s, Labour members and staffers.
The findings of such an inquiry may result in expulsions, suspensions and a revision of Labour’s relationship with the disgraced LFI and JLM organisations. In particular, Labour should consider the following actions;
1. Investigate and sanction of all those in Labour, LFI and JLM making unfounded or exaggerated claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour party. This is extremely damaging for the Party and discredits those involved in the genuine fight against anti-Semitism.
2. Given the seriousness of the activities clearly exposed by Al Jazeera, suspend, pending further in-depth investigations, the participation of JLM and LFI in Labour Party activities.
3. Investigate the role played by JLM and LFI in the recent unfair suspension and expulsion of Labour members, including Dr Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein, Ken Livingstone and Jean Fitzpatrick who appeared on the Al Jazeera footage talking with Joan Ryan MP.
4. Revise Labour Party policies regarding anti-Semitism, racism and all forms of abuse to reflect a more balanced and evidence-based approach. Currently the Labour Party resource allocation to tackle possible abuse from Labour Party members, and abuse or hate crimes in the wider UK population, does not seem to be based on such evidence as illustrated below.
The current apparent bias towards anti-Semitism has serious consequences for many hate crime victim groups. For instance, excessive attention on Labour members distracts from the far right perpetrators reported to be responsible for 70% of genuine and more serious anti-Semitic hate crimes in society. More importantly, although all hate crimes are dreadful, anti-Semitic hate crimes represented only 1.5% of the 62 518 reported to the police in the 12 months to March 2016. By their emphasis, the Labour Party may also be letting down the other 98.5% of victims who are not given the relative attention they deserve.
5. Conduct an investigation into the published claim (David Plank) that the recent Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) report into anti-Semitism was unfit for purpose and “weaponised against Corbyn”. For instance the authors of the HASC r eport made the statement below.
They further stated (as mentioned previously) that 70% of anti-Semitic attacks came from perpetrators on the far right of politics. Despite these facts, according to Plank, the authors of this report (5 Tory MPs and 2 Labour MPs) then used 80-90% of their text to attack Corbyn.
According to Plank (former special adviser to HCSS);
“This Report is a partisan party political polemic which should not have been agreed and made public by a House of Commons select committee. It fails to meet the basic standards required of select committees as to their inquiries and reports. This is particularly distressing on so important and contentious a matter as antisemitism in our country.”
6. Investigate the activities of Jeremy Newmark (chairman of JLM) and Ella Rose (Director of JLM). The former has been described by judge Antony Snelson as “false, preposterous, extraordinarily arrogant and disturbing.”
The latter was filmed making threats of physical violence against Dr Jackie Walker and appears to claim that exposure of her previous job with the Israeli Embassy was “anti-Semitic.”
These two individuals seem unsuitable to be Labour members let alone advise our NEC on the definition of anti-Semitism or how to tackle it!
In conclusion, failure to conduct a full inquiry and act upon its findings will risk that the very democracy of the Labour Party will continue to be subverted, Freedom of Speech on Israel and Palestine will be compromised, and many inside and outside the Labour party will pay a heavy price.
Dr Alan Maddison 20th January 2017