Monday, 30 July 2018

Labour's Incompetent Handling of Anti-Semitism

Labour's dreadful anti-semitism debate has to change, so argues Barnaby Raine. And he's absolutely right - read the piece if you haven't already. The problem is, like so much in the Labour Party, the issue of anti-semitism was a factional football more or less from the moment it began making waves around the time of Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader. It still is. For instance, while his past associations are taken as evidence of irredeemable anti-semitism, hanging out with open anti-semites at the Spectator's birthday bash isn't.

Because anti-semitism in the context of Labour is a factional stake, a strategy, a weapon, one side have every interest in keeping it in play. Therefore, as Sienna Rogers rightly points out, it falls to the left - as the majority faction - to do something about it. To put it another way, just because the right are using it to destabilise the party and toxify its name doesn't mean there isn't an issue. Just because Corbyn's opponents have got out the chopping block doesn't mean you have to rest your head on it.

Consider these two exhibits. On the definition of anti-semitism, Labour's is certainly stronger and more robust than that proffered by the International Holocaust Remembrance Association. After all, it only made good the criticisms made of it by Keir Starmer, Anna Turley, and Chuka Umunna. What wasn't enough was how Labour's NEC arrived at its decision. Given the sensitivity around anti-Jewish racism and the fact it is something of a hot button issue that has caused the party serious grief, why was modifying the definition treated as a technical matter as opposed to a political one? Who thought it would be a good idea not to consult with Jewish groups in and outside the party? Why has this been handled in the most incompetent and cack-handed way possible? Yeah, we know the Jewish Labour Movement and the Board of Deputies are hardly honest brokers and have factional irons in the Labour fire. Yes, it's likely nothing could have placated them. But you do not manoeuvre in such a way to give their criticisms credence. 68 rabbis uniting in condemnation of Labour? The three Jewish newspapers doing likewise? Shameful, shameful. Utterly damaging, and all utterly unnecessary.

And that brings us on to the second exhibit. A recording of outgoing NEC and Momentum slate member, Pete Willsman ranting away about anti-semitism at the NEC earlier this month is, to put it euphemistically, not helpful. Saying "I've seen no evidence of anti-semitism" coming from someone who isn't Jewish is like some bloke claiming sexism is a myth because he's never experienced it. While not anti-semitic in and of itself, it's crass, stupid, and in the context of what's going on, unforgivable. As Luciana Berger notes in her quote, evidence of anti-semitism, as sporadic as in the party it is, was right there in the papers in front of him. The thing is when studied recklessness of this sort happens and continues to happen (I understand this isn't the first time Pete has held forth on this topic in a similar manner), you've got to start asking serious questions. Whether Pete is guilty of being stupid or something worse doesn't matter, he has shown himself unfit for the position he's contesting, Momentum slate or no Momentum slate. For as long as he's on the leading body and associated as a "key ally" of Corbyn, he's a liability and will cause further damage down the line. I was glad when Ken Livingstone belatedly realised his pig headedness was harming the Corbyn project, and did the decent thing. I hope Pete has a similar epiphany too.

It's worth remembering Labour is no more anti-semitic than the rest of society. Indeed, as polling shows the party is, in fact, less so. How then have we come to this ridiculous situation? It's not only because of the shenanigans and factionalising of the right. I'm afraid to say the incompetence of the leadership on dealing with anti-semitism has to take its share of the blame. This is not good enough, it needs to get a grip and stop fucking it up. This cannot be allowed to carry on as it has been doing.

29 comments:

Dialectician1 said...

I'm not convinced. Read Michael Rosen's twitter.

Anonymous said...

"How then have we come to this ridiculous situation? It's not only because of the shenanigans and factionalising of the right. I'm afraid to say the incompetence of the leadership on dealing with anti-semitism has to take its share of the blame. This is not good enough, it needs to get a grip and stop fucking it up. This cannot be allowed to carry on as it has been doing."

No matter what happens, Labour's response will never be good enough and the Party's exertions to improve will only cement further the idea that there is an endemic problem. This could equally be said of any political party seeking to address an internal issue in the full glare of the news media, but is more especially true of Labour under Corbyn.

As for how the Right manage this, it is a technique that came of age with the internet: Concern Trolling. You derail your opponent by purporting to find moral flaws in their arguments. It works well for the Right, because the charge of "hypocrisy" is a simple one-note repetition for PR purposes. And it works particularly well against the Left, because the Left is (generally speaking) anxious to appear morally uncompromised.

It's not going to end, it wouldn't matter if Corbyn converted to Judaism and made the Sabbath the UK's official day of rest in the next manifesto. This drum-beat ostinato of guilty-till-we-decide-you're-innocent-(but-you're-not-innocent) will carry on until Corbyn is gone.

It's a small number of provocateurs, colluding with an anti-Corbyn press, to stir up genuine anxiety among everyday Jewish citizens, most of whom are just as susceptible to media panics and propaganda as anyone else.

And it's so disgustingly transparent. That tripartite front page editorial between the UK's leading Jewish journals? Timed for the first day after Parliament went into summer recess. The very first fucking day of Silly Season, when it was sure to get maximum updraft (and zero parliamentary reaction).

Unknown said...

Interesting. You've given just one example of Labour leadership mishandling though. Can you tell us any more?

Anonymous said...

Willsman is a crank, like Shawcroft.

That crankiness is partly not their fault, its a consequence of being removed from any sources of actual power for so long. But it shows the need for them to move aside for younger left-wingers who actually understand all this stuff.

Wasn't voting for him anyway - all lefties should use their now "spare" vote for Ann Black pls ;)

Anonymous said...

^ knows. would upvote if i could.

Ludus57 said...

What is ironic is how the anti can't semitism brigade make excessive use of the Goebbels strategy; If you tell a lie often enough, then enough people will think it's true. Food for thought.

Gary MacLennan said...

With respect Richard I think this is naive. The Board of Deputies, the LFI and the Israeli Embassy have a clear object in mind and that is to prevent a Corbyn Govt.

The Left have to be more aware of this and act with great care, that much I grant you.

But there is no hoop that you can jump through that will satisfy the enemy. None.

I also grant the Left have to be always careful to be anti-Zionist while not being anti-Semitic. I know personally of two instances when leftists have not achieved that. Others would of course know more, unfortunately.

But there is another struggle and that is for Jewish comrades and I think it is more difficult. They have to reject anti-Zionism totally. Many have done so and more are doing so everyday. These are the people we should be talking to and learning from. They are noble and decent and worthy of the greatest of respect.

comradely

Gary

Stephen Bellamy said...

In other words keep feeding them.#Danegeld. Sigh

Ian Gibson said...

"Saying "I've seen no evidence of anti-semitism" coming from someone who isn't Jewish is like some bloke claiming sexism is a myth because he's never experienced it." Well, sort of... if it were presented as part of a balanced debate which included the many Jewish voices which say exactly the same thing (one example here: https://www.facebook.com/EatTheRichShop/videos/vb.2129167317369374/2166327313653374/?type=2&theater), then maybe it wouldn't stand out as such a despicable comment. But of course, as fr as the mainstream media goes, you will hear these voices SO rarely as to constitute not hearing them.

Further, I have a real problem with challenging someone on them tellling their personal experience. He doesn't say that it doesn't exist: he says he hasn't seen it, and, importantly, he asks for evidence. I have seen people arguing in all seriousness that any criticism of Israel is de facto anti-semitism: are we really saying that only Jews can be the judge of that? A very small transposition shows the ludicrousness of that: if only people of colour were deemed competent to determine what constituted racism, then in any interaction between the police and a person of colour, it would merely take the word of that person that the police's treatment of him was racist to lead to the suspension and investigation of the office. OK, reductio ad absurdam, but actually not that much reduction. The call for evidence is entirely reasonable, and frankly, one that the Labour Party itself should be leading

Anonymous said...

I agree that there have been lots of home goals and double standards in this debate. If you agree with someone that arebeing assertive, if you disagree aggressive and bullying. We cannot afford to go on like this, we cannot keep feeding information to the MSM and other that can be misused and thrown back. The MSM are creating a shit storm out of all this and much of it will stick. So let’s be more careful how we express ourselves.
This article would be more balances if it recognised the power of the MSM, the establishment and the influence of the Israeli lobbying.

Jim Denham said...

Very fair and sensible post, Phil:

Antisemitism is a real problem on the left and within Labour. The fact that some on the right have "weaponised" the issue doesn't change that.

Jon Lansman (who, unlike JVL and the crass Pete Willsman, recognises antisemitism as a serious problem within the party) has made a decent case (in a piece for the Graun) for Labour's Code being an improvement on the IHRA definition. But we’re way past this now and it’s Labour’s failure to recognise this reality that’s now the issue.

The message sent by not simply adopting the IHRA definition overrides any nuanced critique and improvements. Everything is now seen through the prism of Labour’s (real if sometimes exaggerated) antisemitism problem. Unless we tackle that first all nuance looks like not taking antisemitism seriously.

Plus: does Labour apply such a nuanced approach to any other community’s self definition of racism? There is a lot to say about say the understanding of ‘islamophobia’ and the problems of this as a term which conflates anti-Muslim racism with criticism of Islam as a religion and of conservative Muslim culture (including from secular Muslims and ex-Muslims). Sometimes this is how anti Muslim racism manifests itself, but not all such criticism is racist. But Labour is not coming out with a nuanced response to that. Only antisemitism. Which looks once again that Labour has a particular problem with Jews.

The only way to resolve this is for the NEC to back down and simply reiterate its support (previously agreed in December 2016) for the full IHRA definition and then sit down with Jewish organisations (*not* just JVL, but the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council etc) and discuss caveats to clarify the right criticise Israel, which is there anyway in the IHRA definition, but people think may be put at risk by some of the examples attached to the definition. Although the NEC approved the Code of Conduct, they also agreed – at the urging of left-wing Jewish member Rhea Wolfson – to reopen talks about the Code with Jewish organisations. But, as one NEC member put it to LabourList‘s Sienna Rodgers , “the only person who can change the NEC’s mind is Jeremy”.

Ian Gibson said...

"The only way to resolve this.." That will do nothing to resolve the problem: it will only be used to make the problem worse. Labour need to explain explicitly and clearly the very real problems with the IHRA examples that haven't been included; they need to challenge the description of the IHRA definition as 'universal' (needless to say, used frequently in the media and never, ever challenged when an anti-JC speaker uses it); they need to quote the lead author of the definition who is on record as saying that it was never written to be used in this way and is deeply concerned that it is being used to suppress free speech on Palestine; they need to list those organisations and institutions which have chosen not to use the IHRA definition (including the EU's Agency of Fundamental Rights, the body concerned with racism and discrimination, and the UK's own Home Affairs Select Committee), and why: and they need to give those Jewish voices who do not support this the voice that the media simply won't.

Aggressive challenge, such as that of Willsman, is always too easy to misrepresent as hate whilst fudging what was actually said - but simple passivity will not lessen this either. The weaponisation has been taken to such extremes that it's actually becoming somewhat self-defeating: now is the time to take the fight back to those, but only with clear, rational arguments and examples of why the excluded examples were problematic.

Boffy said...

There Was Nothing Wrong With Pete Wilsman's Comments.

Boffy said...

"Saying "I've seen no evidence of anti-semitism" coming from someone who isn't Jewish is like some bloke claiming sexism is a myth because he's never experienced it."

No it isn't! Wilsman did not say he had not seen anti-Semitism, only that he had not seen "the widespread anti-Semitism in the party" that is being claimed exists. I don't have to be a woman to know a sexist comment or action if I hear or see it, nor do I have to be black to recognise racism when I see it, or Muslim to recognise Islamophobia when I see it!

Interestingly, where is all of the same attacks on the tories for Fabricant's retweeting of the cartoon showing Sadiq Khan as a pig getting butt-fucked by another pig?

If a man says sexism is a myth because he's never experienced it, he's an idiot, but Wilsman did not say that anti-Semitism is a myth, he simply said he has not seen widespread anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Given that the party is a party of 600,000 members, and even accepting all of the spurious accusations - the most glaring of which were those raised against Marc Wadsworth - there are only about 200 cases being investigated, which is 1 in 3000 members. That does not seem like widespread anything to me, other than widespread fear mongering, and attempts to undermine Corbyn by whatever means are at hand, and whatever damage it may do in the long-term to the real fight against anti-Semitism.

Boffy said...

"does Labour apply such a nuanced approach to any other community’s self definition of racism? There is a lot to say about say the understanding of ‘islamophobia’ and the problems of this as a term which conflates anti-Muslim racism with criticism of Islam as a religion and of conservative Muslim culture (including from secular Muslims and ex-Muslims)."

The question of Islamophobia and self-definition actually shows the point. How many times in the past have we seen discussion closed down on the basis of accusations of "Islamophobia"? The actions of the SWP some years ago in attacking Searchlight over grooming, because they the SWP did not want to be seen as criticising Pakistani men involved in such activity, is one example that comes to mind.

It seems that when its a matter of the SWP shutting down debate by shouting "Islamophobia" its one matter for the AWL, but when its a question of their Zionist friends shouting "Anti-Semitism" its another. It reminds me a bit of the way in the 1980's, Ken Livingstone and Ted Knight could see no wrong in the actions of Gaddafi.

Boffy said...

"The only way to resolve this is for the NEC to back down and simply reiterate its support (previously agreed in December 2016) for the full IHRA definition and then sit down with Jewish organisations (*not* just JVL, but the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council etc) and discuss caveats to clarify the right criticise Israel"

Perhaps the AWL would also like trades unions to sit down with Tory business organisations to establish a code of conduct for the way trades unions can operate, how they should elect their representatives, what those representatives can say, and when and where it will be convenient for those unions to take industrial action so as not to cause offence or inconvenience.

Or perhaps the AWL thinks that rather than that it would be easier all round if the trades unions avoided adverse publicity by simply capitalulating to the demands of the Tory employers organisations from the start!

Anonymous said...

Yes, nothing the party does will satisfy the likes of Arkush or Austin. But quite frankly, that is missing the point. It isn't, and never has, been about placatng the likes of them.

Labour contains a handful of genuine anti-Semites, who need to be dealt with in an agreed fashion. But it has rather more - not least amongst the huge post-2015 influx - who buy rather too easily into various pat conspiracy theories to "explain" the injustices in this world.

One way to deal with this is political education. Of course the Bitterites have no interest here - actively desiring a small, passive party run by SPADs - but I might have hoped the present leadership might have shown more interest in building up the party's capital here (though I also appreciate having to constantly fire-fight for the last three years has hampered that) But ever the optimist, I still think some good can come from this in the longer run ;)

Ed said...

At this stage I don't know what Labour's critics would have to do for people to withdraw the assumption that they must be acting in good faith, or that there's some kind of subtle, sensitive approach that could defuse their hostility. The code of conduct was spot-on. The changes it made to the IHRA definition/examples were spot-on. There was no way of going about this that would have kept the BOD, JLC and co on board. The whole point of their insistence that every single word of the IHRA definition/examples be included was to create a permanent sword of Damocles hanging over Labour. There is very little effective, robust criticism of Israel that could not be said to fall foul of the controversial examples (lo and behold, John Mann rushed to the press with some quotes from a speech by Seumas Milne about Israel's settler-colonial origins that could presented as 'anti-semitic'; I'm sure pro-Israel groups have a thick dossier of similar statements from past and present).

The BOD and co were never going to relinquish that weapon (and giving them what they wanted over the IHRA definition would have won Labour no credit; there would have been a terse one-sentence press statement acknowledging the move, then they would have gone back on the attack). The same goes for the JLM, they are just not honest brokers, whether we are talking about the creative-accountant and all-round charlatan Jeremy Newmark or his successor Ella Rose.

I know there's a temptation when you see three newspapers branding Labour as an 'existential threat' to Jews in Britain to say that there must have been some errors on our part. But that's just not the reality. We're dealing with people who appear to have entered a state of delirium as they realize that no claim they make will ever be fact-checked. After seeing Hodge's slanderous, foul-mouthed tirade treated as a sober contribution to the debate on anti-semitism, with plaudits from Labour MPs and a Guardian op-ed, Pollard et al clearly saw an opportunity to up the ante even further. There may well be Jewish people in Britain who really believe the stuff about an 'existential threat', as Barnaby Raine says, having taken all the claims about rampant 'Labour anti-semitism' at face value, and that saddens me. But I don't believe for a moment that the three newspaper editors took their own inflammatory nonsense seriously. And in any case, you can't engage with a belief that has absolutely no basis in reality as if was rational and grounded in the facts.

Has Labour/the left been guilty of some failings on anti-semitism? Sure, we can accept that and work on it. Is Labour/the left an 'existential threat' to Jews in Britain? The only way of responding to that in a way that respects people's intelligence, and respects the real history of Jewish oppression, is to roll your eyes in derision. If anyone really believes it to be true, it's a terrible indictment of all those who have stoked up this controversy or failed to challenge it, but it's not something that Labour can take responsibility for.

There is no way around it, we just have to hold the line. If ever there was going to be an issue to fight on, this is it: we're not talking about Livingstone's idiocies or Walker's ramblings, we're talking about a code of conduct drawn up with great care, which should be considered exemplary. And it has never been more obvious that the controversy is about Israel, not about attitudes towards Jewish people in Britain; the entire shit-storm of the past fortnight has been exclusively based on Labour's refusal to impose constraints on the way people can talk about Israel at the behest of pro-Israel campaigning groups. That's the message we need to get across, without equivocation or apology.

Keith said...

Ed is right. The prime minister of Israel should not dictate what the Labour Party can discuss or its policy toward a foreign country. Some people seem unable to distinguish between racism and opposing the Israeli trump. Neither should Saudi Arabia get a blanc cheque in Yemen for example.

Ed said...

I'm absolutely seething now after seeing Michael Segalov's intervention on BBC as the 'pro-Corbyn' voice on this subject, which he's trumpeted on his Twitter account. Not only does he demand that Corbyn call for Willsman's suspension - not his resignation from the NEC or voluntary withdrawal from the slate, his actual suspension as a member - he also wants Corbyn to 'admit the good intentions over the IHRA code backfired'. I'm almost speechless over that. After two weeks of relentless, despicable smearing and provocation, in which the entire Labour Party has been presented as a quasi-genocidal force and thugs like Hodge and Austin have been lauded for their abusive slander, Segalov thinks WE are the ones who should be apologising. When are these people ever going to learn? You cannot defuse this by bowing your head meekly and apologising for non-existent sins. It just encourages the attacks.

What, exactly, does Segalov think could have been done differently? Criticising Willsman is one thing, but his NEC comments obviously didn't start the row, we had a fortnight of full-blown media shit-storm before the recording came to light, generated entirely by attacks on the NEC's new code from the likes of the BOD, provocations from Hodge and Austin, and then the repulsive 'existential threat' statement.

People who say the code of conduct 'could have been handled better' have an obligation to say exactly how. Do they mean the substance of the code? If so, they're wrong (for reasons you spelled out very well a couple of weeks ago, Phil, as did others). The changes to the IHRA definition/examples were both essential and exemplary. So that leaves us with 'consultation'. But just think that through for a moment.

Let's say Labour had meetings with the BOD, JLC etc on the code of conduct. There could only be two outcomes. Either Labour accepts their advice and adopts the full IHRA definition/examples. That would be wrong in principle (see above), set Labour up for more attacks in the near future, and earn us no credit as long as Labour's leadership continues to support Palestinian rights and a wider left-wing agenda. Or else they reject the advice, so instead of 'they didn't consult us', the attack line is 'we told them and they ignored us!' The second would be no better for Labour than the first.

I sincerely hope Corbyn ignores Segalov's advice and pays heed instead to the counsel of people who aren't wilfully blind to the nature of the attacks on Labour. Should we be self-critical and try to put our own house in order? Of course. Should we imagine for one moment that any reasonable step we can take to address genuine problems will earn us credit with our opponents? Not a chance. Wake up guys and recognise what we're dealing with.

Jim Denham said...

The Willsman affair provides a useful illustration of the problem for the serious left within Labour when it comes to dealing with anti-Semitism:

Willsman circulated his report of the 17th July NEC meeting to all CLP secretaries on 20th July.

With the exception of the reference to “Trump-fanatics”, everything in the tape-recorded clip is in his own report. The references to the letter from the 68 rabbis and the ‘hands up if you’ve ever seen antisemitism in the Labour Party’ are in the report, more or less verbatim.

What’s clear from Willsman’s report of the NEC meeting (buttressed by what I know of Willsman’s general politics) is:

- Willsman does not understand the forms of contemporary antisemitism. He therefore believes that there is no antisemitism in the Labour Party. The belief is genuinely held but completely wrong.

- Proceeding on that basis, Willsman needs to find, from his own point of view, an explanation for criticisms of antisemitism in the Labour Party. The answer he comes up with is that it’s a bunch of right-wingers who want to do in Corbyn and/or Labour as a whole and/or suppress all criticism of Israel.

- Some of these right-wingers are members of the Jewish community: “Some of these are people in the Jewish community (who) support Trump, they’re Trump fanatics, and all the rest of it.” (Anyone who’s ever heard Willsman speak will know his bombastic style.)

(He has presumably also picked up second-hand snippets of information which he then uses, albeit inaccurately, to flesh out his line of argument: https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/board-of-deputies-president-jonathan-arkush-under-fire-after-message-congratulating-trump-1.54660)

So: He doesn’t understand contemporary antisemitism, consequently denies its existence, and concludes that allegations that it exists are made in bad faith by right-wingers with ulterior motives.

But Willman’s approach only sums up the way that a lot of other people on the left view the arguments about left antisemitism. In fact, there are many far worse examples (albeit not from people standing for election to the NEC). The task of the serious left is not to turn our backs on people like Willsman (I make no comment on whether or not to vote for him) but to set about a major job of educating our movement on what constitutes contemporary antisemitism, how it often manifests itself on the left and how to deal with it.


Anonymous said...

Have done. Rosen's a Corbyn apologist and conspiracy theorist. In short, an unreliable witness.

Johny Conspiranoid said...

What is there to apologise for about Corbyn?
How does being a conspiracy theorist make someone an unreliable witness?

Boffy said...

The real issue here is not Willsman's comments, but the need for Labour to identify and Expel The NEC Mole, who has been acting as a fifth columnist in our ranks, covertly recording the proceedings of private NEC meetings, obviously in order to try to find material of any sort that can be used to justify the Tories, and Labour Right's sustained attack on Corbyn and the party, and who to that end, rushed off post-haste to hand over the recording to the Jewish Chronicle.

The fact that there is nothing actually untrue, or Anti-Semitic contained in the recording, is irrelevant. The intent in making the recording was quite clear, and it was overtly to damage Labour and Corbyn supporters. It is an open act of treachery and sabotage, for whom the perpetrator and their associates should be expelled. The fact that it was handed over as a "covert" recording is designed to give it a more sinister character, to compensate for the fact that there is nothing untrue or Anti-Semitic in Willsman's comments contained in the recording.

Ed said...

Now that Momentum has pulled its support from Willsman, let's see what happens next. Does this action:

A) draw a line under the whole controversy or at least calm the storm somewhat, earn them plaudits from Labour's critics, a fair hearing from the media, etc.?

B) encourage renewed attacks, beginning in the first place with other members of the 'JC9' slate? I've already seen the attacks directed towards Darren Williams, presumably there'll be talk of Lansman — after all, he was there in the room when Willsman made his comments and still endorsed his presence on the slate, if that's an unforgivable sin, surely we need to whittle down this evening's 'JC8' to a JC6 or 5 or 4. Better still, we could have a JC Big Fat Zero, which would save them the trouble of opposing the left slate at all.

Anonymous said...

The rumour - and it is only that - is the "incriminating" recording of Willsman was actually released by somebody in Momentum.

The plot thickens?

Boffy said...

It now turns out that Wilsman had already circulated his NEC comments, internally to CLP Secretaries a fortnight ago. Nothing in his comments a fortnight ago obviously raised any concern for anyone, having read them!

The whole furore as with 90% of this anti-Semitism attack in general has been artifically confected by the Labour Right, and by the Tories, including the Jewish Tories leading organisations such as the BOD, JLC and so on. The fact, that his comments raised no suggestion of anti-Semitism, when he circulated them a fortnight ago, and yet have led to calls for his expulsion as soon as some Tory Fifth Columnist on the NEC releases a covert recording of those very same comments, illustrates the point!

Its time for Corbyn and Labour's leadership to stop apologising, stop trying to firefight against a storm of artificially confected charges against them, now being dragged out from ten years ago, including the ridiculous charges against Corbyn that he stood on a platform with a Holocaust survivor on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and that this Holocaust Survivor is an Anti-Semite(!) purely because they criticised Israel, and compared its actions to those of Nazi Germany, illustrates just how hysterical the campaign against Corbyn has become, and why Labour's strengthening and clarification of the IHRA examples on that point are vital.

When the Labour Right, Tories and Zionists resort to labelling Holocaust Survivors as anti-Semites, and as they have done with the JVL, Jewdas and others, reserve to themselves the right to define who is a good Jew and who is a bad Jew, you know that they have reached the reductio ad absurdum of their arguments.

Johny Conspiranoid. said...

I don't know what was in the NEC papers in front of Pete Willsman but what's in the press is never evidence of anything.
The whole purpose is to get you arguing amongst yourselves. How many people in the country at large buy this "Labour is Anti-semitic" conspiracy theory? Not many in my experience.
And there's nothing wrong with what he said.

Johny Conspiranoid. said...

And as for his manner and the shouting on the recording, I wonder what happened just before the recording.