the nest of jew-haters in british labour

Poll: Most Labour members say anti-Semitism exaggerated
Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada, Apr 15 2021

The vast majority of Labour Party members believe that the issue of anti-Semitism in the party has been exaggerated, a new poll indicates. The full poll, published earlier this month, revealed that 70% of members believe either that the party doesn’t have a serious problem with anti-Semitism or that the scale has been exaggerated. 46% of members polled answered that Labour “has a problem with anti-Semitism, but the extent of the problem has been exaggerated.” 24% answered that Labour “does not have a serious problem with anti-Semitism.” 23% answered that the party “has a serious problem with anti-Semitism” which “has not been exaggerated.” In a sample size of 1,073 members, 72% said that former leader Jeremy Corbyn should not be expelled from the Labour Party. Only 15% said he should. Corbyn was suspended as a Labour member in October last year. The move came following a posting by Corbyn in which he said of alleged anti-Semitism in the party:

The scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents.

Corbyn was soon readmitted as a party member, but remains banned from Labour’s group in the House of Commons, despite being an elected MP, following a decision by right-wing leader Keir Starmer to block him. The new poll shows that despite Starmer’s attempt to purge the party of the left and supporters of Palestinian rights, the vast majority of members remain convinced that the so-called “Labour anti-Semitism crisis” was overstated. The smear campaign by Israel and its lobby contributed to this exaggeration. Earlier polls showed similar figures. In Feb 2020, 73% of Labour members polled said anti-Semitism in the party had been “invented or wildly exaggerated.” This new poll was conducted by British firm YouGov for the anti-Palestinian Jewish Chronicle, to coincide with Starmer’s first year in office. The paper claimed that the poll showed that large numbers of Labour members are “still in thrall to Jeremy Corbyn” and that the party “remains in denial.”

In an objectively inaccurate headline, it misreported that the poll showed 70% of members “still think the party has no problem with Jew hate.” But the 70% headline figure included the 46% who in fact answered that “the Labour Party has a problem with anti-Semitism, but the extent of the problem has been exaggerated.” The paper claimed that the poll shows “the scale of the challenge that still faces Sir Keir, who pledged on his first day as leader to tear anti-Semitism out by the roots and restore trust with the Jewish community.” In other words, pro-Israel activists are suggesting that Starmer should go even further in his membership expulsions. In a commentary piece on the poll, pro-Israel unelected lawmaker (and former Labour MP) Ian Austin was more explicit. He called for Starmer to “expel the hard left,” who he blamed for alleged anti-Semitism, “starting with Corbyn and John McDonnell,” the former leader’s close ally. Austin is clearly worried that the so-called “hard left” such as Corbyn and McDonnell could one day make a comeback. And that’s why he is demanding expulsions:

Anything less and the public will wonder whether they could seize control again.

“Seize control” is a bizarre way to refer to two fully democratic landslide Labour leadership election victories within the course of a single year. Is Ian Austin’s fear of a Corbyn return realistic? So far Corbyn has shown little to no desire to defend himself against the false charge that he and his party base are anti-Semitic. While it’s impossible to count Corbyn out, until he learns to start fighting back, leading Labour again would be impossible.

Poll: Majority of Labour supports BDS
Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada, Apr 14 2021

Most members of the UK’s Labour Party support the BDS movement and consider Israel to be an apartheid state, a new poll demonstrates. The recent survey by British firm YouGov indicated that 61% of Labour members support the global BDS movement. Only 8% said they oppose BDS. In the same survey, almost half of those polled agreed with the statement:

Israel is an apartheid state, systematically discriminating against Palestinians.

In a sample size of 1,073 members, 495 of those polled said they agreed, while 35% said Israel is not an apartheid state. Only 16% said they didn’t know. Although Palestinians began using the word apartheid to refer to Israel as long ago as the 1960s, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem finally conceded that Israel is an apartheid regime only this year, in January. The polling shows that despite the best efforts of right-wing Labour leader Keir Starmer to purge the party of the left and of Palestine solidarity activistsincluding former leader Jeremy Corbyn, Israeli apartheid is still a tough sell in a party which claims the mantle of socialism. YouGov was commissioned to conduct the poll by anti-Palestinian Jewish Chronicle, to mark the first year of Starmer’s leadership. The paper’s new deputy-editor, Jake Wallis Simons wrote of the poll:

The bombshell findings today highlight the scale of the challenge facing the new leader, who has a mountain to climb in his bid to purge the party.

The paper did not run a headline showing that the majority of polled Labour members support BDS. Instead, it buried the finding in an analysis piece by Wallis Simon. The Jewish Chronicle’s coverage focused on Labour’s alleged “problem with anti-Semitism.”

Lobby gets EU advice on censoring Israel’s critics
David Cronin, Electronic Intifada, Apr 15 2021

Katharina von Schnurbein should really be known as the muzzle of Brussels. Since becoming the EU’s coordinator against anti-Semitism more than five years ago, she has repeatedly attacked the Palestine solidarity movement. Smears have been her main tactic; censorship appears to be her strategic goal. Through a freedom of information request, I learned that von Schnurbein has advised pro-Israel advocates about how to shape new legislation on policing the internet. In June last year, von Schnurbein agreed to discuss the EU’s Digital Services Act, then being drafted, with B’nai B’rith, a group that has backed Israel’s colonization of the West Bank and other war crimes. In an email message, she suggested that the pro-Israel lobby should submit a paper to EU officials preparing the law. She wrote:

A joint contribution by those Jewish organizations that published the 10-point plan on anti-Semitism in 2019 would be very welcome.

Her focus was instructive. All four organizations which put their names to the 2019 plan are hardcore supporters of Israel and its state ideology Zionism. Although she is nominally dedicated to “fostering Jewish life,” von Schnurbein has never respected the breadth of opinion among Europe’s Jews. She and her colleagues have refused to allow Jews critical of Israel take part in the EU’s deliberations on anti-Semitism. Under the guise of fighting anti-Jewish bigotry, the 2019 plan was an attempt to persuade the Brussels institutions that they should pursue a more strident pro-Israel agenda than they do already. One recommendation was that the EU should make its relations with foreign countries conditional on them not being hostile to Zionism. In other words, the EU was told that it should only have political and economic links with states that accept an ideology under which Palestinians were dispossessed during the 20th century and are still discriminated against during the 21st.

The four organizations in question are the EJC, the AJC, the WJC and B’nai B’rith. As recommended by von Schnurbein, these same groups submitted a joint paper on the Digital Services Act later in 2020. That paper pushes the definition of anti-Semitism approved by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The new EU law should provide guidance on how “anti-Semitic content” can be identified and countered by internet firms, with the aid of the IHRA definition, according to the lobby groups’ paper. The IHRA definition conflates opposition to Israel’s racist policies with hatred of Jews. So there can be little doubt that the real objective of these lobby groups is to have material telling the full truth about Israel censored. The Digital Services Act was formally proposed by the European Commission in December. One of its objectives is to set common rules for the EU’s 27 countries for dealing with online content deemed illegal. The aforementioned paper from the pro-Israel lobby demands that the new law must not only apply to big players like Facebook and Twitter but to all internet companies, “including alternative platforms.”

The effects of that approach on free expression could be far-reaching. As an experienced Brussels official, von Schnurbein knows well how the lawmaking business works. It is significant that she offered advice to B’nai B’rith a number of months before the Digital Services Act was actually put forward. This meant that lobbyists had ample time to influence the initial version and decide on what they wish to achieve as the proposed law is debated by the European Parliament and EU governments. Von Schnurbein’s job description, given to her when she took up the coordinator post in 2015, does not mention Israel. By striving to censor opponents of Israel’s apartheid system, she is overstepping her mandate. Some of von Schnurbein’s previous comments have been blatant lies. She has, for example, alleged that the American singer Matisyahu has been singled out by Palestine solidarity activists because he is Jewish. In reality, Matisyahu has been challenged because he has raised funds for and endorsed violence by the Israeli military. If civil service regulations were applied properly, von Schnurbein would be disciplined for her dishonest and highly partisan behavior. Yet she enjoys support from the EU hierarchy.

I have complained to that hierarchy about von Schnurbein. Barbara Nolan, head of the division in which von Schnurbein works, dismissed my complaint as being “without foundation.” Even though von Schnurbein’s job description does not refer to Israel even once, Nolan insisted she “performs her duties in line with the responsibilities she has been assigned.” In a ruling last year, the European Court of Human Rights stated that a call for boycotting Israel is free speech and “requires a high level of protection.” Nolan claimed that the EU “stands firm” in upholding the case law of the court, including the verdict on boycotting Israel. Yet she and her team clearly do not regard defending the right to advocate boycotts of Israel as a priority. After receiving Nolan’s letter, I made a freedom of information request for briefing material she has studied on the ruling from the European Court of Human Rights and its implications. No such material exists, I was told. Assurances about protecting free speech are worthless when issued by Brussels officials. Behind closed doors, they are actively helping lobbyists suppress the truth about how Israel is wedded to racism.

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