“rothschild zionists” are a perfectly well-attested historical phenomenon, and the jews are not a race but a religion

Why we in the Jewish Labour Movement have not campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn
Mike Katz, Observer, Dec 8 2019

Jeremy Corbyn in an interview with Andrew Neil. Photo: Jeff Overs/AFP

Who would have thought that anti-Semitism, and the way it has infected and toxified the Labour party, would become a dominant theme of an election campaign? The party’s problems over this are wholly self-inflicted. It isn’t just because in one interview Jeremy Corbyn refused four times to apologise for his abject failure to tackle the issue, straight after refusing to acknowledge the trope of “Rothschild Zionist” conspiracy as racist against Jews. But these serve as good metaphors for the wider issue. The Jewish Labour Movement, a founding affiliate of the party nearly a century ago, has for the first time effectively downed tools for the election, campaigning only for exceptional candidates who have been the best of allies to us in our fight against the party’s anti-Jewish racism. Our members concluded a while ago that Corbyn isn’t fit to be prime minister. Over the past four years, we’ve told the party until we are blue in the face that it is failing its Jewish members and tolerating anti-Semitism. But we’ve been met with obfuscation, denial and delay, so we referred the party to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to investigate it for institutional anti-Semitism. Our final summary submission has been leaked to the media. We’ve only ever sought to work with the EHRC, so this is far from what we wanted to see happen. But to be clear: what has been reported on so far is the real deal. When we conclude that the Labour party is no longer a safe space for Jewish people, this is based on the testimonies of former staff, Labour party members and officials. Brave whistleblowers, who were hypocritically targeted by party briefing and legal action, demonstrated the scale and depth of the problem. The witness statements from members show that the all-pervading culture of anti-Semitism that is present in all parts of the party; local party meetings, conferences, online forums, the disciplinary processes and its officials. The testimony from current officials lays bare that the scale of the problem, as reported by the party, is inaccurate. There are no credible figures because the backlog of cases are not reported. Claims made by Corbyn that all individuals subject to complaint have been suspended or expelled are untrue. This isn’t just our political commentary. The serious status of the EHRC’s investigation means that it can, and has, deployed its legal powers of compulsion. Our submission is a legal document; the evidence in it is made up of sworn statements by witnesses. hatever way you want to spin it, more than 70 whistleblowers aren’t all effectively lying on oath because they want to smear Corbyn, No, they came forward because like us they joined the party because they lived its values of equality, tolerance and anti-racism. When that turned rotten, when it became a greater priority to protect your political allies than kick bigots out, those whistleblowers, like us, knew they had to act. Perhaps the most depressing aspect of this campaign has been the arms race of which party is the most racist. The Tories undoubtedly have a deep problem with Islamophobia. People should be aware of that. But any Labour member who doesn’t think the party shouldn’t be better than the Tories on this issue and should hold themselves to a higher moral standard really needs to check their values. Maybe you think it doesn’t matter, compared with Brexit and the NHS. Maybe you think that as long as the Tories are as bad, it’s a score draw. But our legal submission makes it clear that Labour’s anti-Semitism is so all-pervading that, to this day, the party has so actively resisted changing for the better, you can’t pretend it’s all a smear. The only question remains: what do my fellow members want to do about it? We can’t take a rain check on calling out anti-Semitism just because the timing is inconvenient. Corbyn and his team have had more than enough time to sort it out. They decided not to. While we wait for the EHRC to complete its investigation, the judgment on Corbyn’s choice lies with the people.

Who to vote for: anyone but Johnson
Editorial, Observer, Dec 8 2019

This is a historic election, the most important choice voters have faced in decades. The result will determine whether Britain as we know it exists in a generation or whether the union will have splintered beyond repair. It will shape the nation’s economic wellbeing: whether we make countless lives harder by cutting ourselves off from our biggest trading partner or maintain our close relationship with the EU. It will influence the type of society we are: whether the number of children who grow up in abject poverty and the number of people sleeping rough will continue to rise, stains on our collective conscience. It will decide the sustainability of the world we bequeath to our children and grandchildren. Yet there is no disguising that this is an election of last resort, the product of an unedifying journey through months of parliamentary gridlock. None of the options inspires enthusiasm; the campaign has been underwhelming and uninspiring. But the gloomy sense it leaves that our politics is unequal to the tests that lie ahead must not obscure the momentous nature of the decision voters must make on Thursday.

Johnson’s breathtaking hypocrisy
He has been prime minister for less than five months, but Boris Johnson’s record in office is dire. His Brexit withdrawal agreement paves the way for, at best, a bare-bones free trade relationship with the EU that would necessitate a customs border in the Irish Sea and would impose more of the same economic pain Britain has suffered through a decade of austerity, while turning us into a rule taker. It is the culmination of the hard Eurosceptic right’s ascendancy within the Tory party. A vote for Johnson is a vote for its vision of Britain: a low-tax, low-regulation state in which worker and consumer rights are sacrificed in the name of corporate profit. At the heart of Johnson’s appeal is the myth that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to “get Brexit done,” as if our exit would not be followed by long and tortuous negotiations about the final relationship. But the worst of it lies in the casual indifference a prime minister has shown to a peace process that ended decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland. The Stormont assembly chamber has sat vacant for years, putting the principle of governing by cross-community consent in grave jeopardy. That Johnson would endanger it further by imposing a customs border on Northern Ireland in order to enhance his re-election prospects is reprehensible. Reprehensible, but perhaps unsurprising, given his record. Long happy to deploy racist stereotypes and dogwhistles when he has judged them to benefit his career, he shrugs them off under questioning as irrelevant relics from the past. His hypocrisy is breathtaking: compare his vile comments on single mothers with his evasiveness about whether he takes parental responsibility for the child he fathered while married to someone else. His rank incompetence at the Foreign Office has had tragic consequences for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who languishes in an Iranian jail.

Evading democratic scrutiny
Johnson has defined his campaign by running against the record of a government of which he was part; a government that delivered billions in tax cuts for more affluent families while cutting tax credits to support children living in poverty; that starved schools and hospitals of the resources they needed, with little thought for the young and the seriously ill. The Tory manifesto stops far short of reversing the cuts of the last decade, despite what Johnson would have us believe: he lied about the number of extra hospitals a Conservative government would fund and misled voters about the number of extra nurses it would train. The Conservatives have also fabricated figures about the cost of Labour’s policies. While Labour has also put out misleading numbers, it was joining a race to the bottom initiated by the Conservatives. Johnson has thought nothing of refusing to subject himself to the scrutiny of set-piece interviews the other leaders have faced. But perhaps the lowest moment of the campaign was Johnson’s disgraceful politicisation of a terrorist attack, deliberately deploying inaccuracies in order to blame Labour. This is the sort of campaign we could expect from a man who has gone to such lengths to evade democratic scrutiny. He has cancelled numerous appearances before parliament’s liaison committee and unlawfully tried to shut down parliament. MPs had to force Johnson to comply with the will of parliament by passing the Benn act. The Conservative manifesto threatens to strengthen the executive in relation to parliament and the courts, risking fresh disruption to our constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty.

Corbyn’s disgraceful anti-Semitism crisis
Despite a poor campaign centred around a widely unpopular pledge to revoke article 50 without a second referendum, the Liberal Democrats have started the painful process of recovery from their disastrous spell in coalition government. They have strong policies in particular on the critical issue of the climate crisis. But our first-past-the-post electoral system is unforgiving. In our two-party democracy, ejecting Johnson from Downing Street almost certainly means Jeremy Corbyn will become prime minister. We have made no secret of our reservations about his character and capacity to lead Britain. His tenure as Labour leader has been mired in factionalism and division. His re-energising of Labour’s membership has not been matched by his capacity to inspire the wider electorate. Opinion polls rank him the most unpopular opposition leader for decades. He has abdicated leadership by not being straightforward about an obvious truth: that Brexit would make delivering Labour’s agenda for Britain so much harder. But the party is at least in favour of a confirmatory referendum on our place in Europe; in many constituencies, a vote for Labour is the best chance of delivering such an outcome. The Observer has expressed reservations about aspects of Labour’s manifesto. We cannot understand why it prioritises the needs of affluent pensioners over children living in poverty; we are concerned about its faith that any nationalised industry or service run by the state will be unfailingly excellent; we do not believe that the cost of restoring first-class public services and a humane welfare state can be met solely by the wealthiest 5%. But there is no question that Labour’s manifesto envisages a kinder, greener, fairer Britain and that there is much within it that deserves our support. But Labour’s gravest failing lies in the way Corbyn has handled the anti-Semitism crisis in his own party. Over three years, evidence has mounted of the institutional anti-Semitism as defined by the Macpherson inquiry that afflicts the party from the top down. The Jewish Labour Movement’s leaked submission to the Equality and Human Rights Commission includes sworn statements from more than 70 former staff members and details a series of horrifying allegations, including interference in the disciplinary process by Corbyn’s office. Corbyn himself has questioned the removal of an anti-Semitic mural (sic – RB) and Jewish MPs have been bullied out of the party. During this campaign, Corbyn has made assertions about Labour’s processes that leaked documents appear to contradict. Corbyn has displayed a staggering lack of contrition or empathy.

A chance to strip power from a charlatan
Labour is, of course, not the only party to face the charge of institutional racism. There has been far less scrutiny of the misleading statements from Johnson and his ministers that the Conservative party takes a “zero tolerance” approach to Islamophobia. On the contrary, four ministers have gone campaigning with candidates facing accusations of Islamophobia. Conservative councillors suspended for posting Islamophobic content have been quietly reinstated, sometimes mere days later. Nearly half of Conservative members say they do not want a Muslim prime minister. The EHRC is in the process of assessing whether to launch an official investigation into the party on the basis of the available evidence. The Conservative government’s track record of racist policies speaks for itself, from the shocking deportation of members of the Windrush generation who had lived legally in Britain for decades, to its “right to rent” policy that was ruled racially discriminatory by the high court. It is disgraceful that more than 40 years after the Race Relations Act, both main parties are stained by charges of institutional racism. Many of our readers will be grappling with their consciences about voting for Labour. This is a sign that they take racism seriously, not that they care little about child poverty and homelessness. Our political honour code is breaking down. This post-truth election is a taster of what could be to come. Johnson would take us further into the abyss. That is why he has succeeded in achieving the extraordinary: uniting a former Conservative prime minister, John Major, with his Labour successor, Tony Blair, in a call to voters to turf him out. On Thursday voters have the chance to strip power from a dangerous charlatan. We abhor Corbyn’s failures on anti-Semitism; we recall Lib Dem complicity in the dreadful policies of the coalition government; we are no allies of the cause of Scottish and Welsh independence. But we urge our readers to exercise their judgment and, as their conscience allows, vote for the pro-referendum, progressive candidate most likely to deny Johnson the opportunity to wreak existential damage on our country.

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