In the mistaken belief that they are meeting with representatives of ‘the Jewish community,’ both the Labour Party Deputy Leader, and the suspended Bradford MP have given credence to the antisemitism smear against the party, as well as lending legitimacy to notoriously racist, pro-settlement organisations.
On Sunday, Naz Shah MP will attend a meeting by the Leeds Jewish Representative Council (LJRC), whose former Deputy, Antony Cohen is so racist that even the pro-Israel Board of Deputies of British Jews launched a code of conduct complaint against him, and illegal colonisation denier Geoffrey Alderman came to his defence.
The Jewish Chronicle reports that during the 2014 war on Gaza that killed over 2,000 Palestinians,
Antony Cohen, a deputy for the Leeds Jewish Representative Council, told the Board’s meeting on Sunday: “I’m going to lay my cards on the table, I don’t care about any Palestinians, I only care about the Jewish people in this country and in Israel. We are facing a tremendous danger.”
The comment prompted 10 deputies to launch a code of conduct complaint for racism following the meeting.
The complaint accused Mr Cohen of violating the Board’s code on discriminating against others and added that his remarks could “constitute incitement to racial hatred” .
the first thing we did was contact her and ask her for a meeting urgently. She got back to me and we had a long conversation in which she apologised, expressed remorse and indicated that she would be willing to meet the Jewish community publically to discuss what had been said.
I could find no public record of Antony Cohen’s apology and remorse for his own comments, which led to his resignation.
The following Sunday on June 5 at an event in Manchester, Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party is on a North West Friends of Israel (NWFOI) panel discussion, entitled “Antisemitism of the Left: A Labour Party Problem?” It will be chaired by Jewish Labour Movement Chair Jeremy Newmark whom a tribunal judge called a ‘preposterous, arrogant liar,’ in 2013.
The JC reports that NWFOI co-chair called Watson ‘an ardent Zionist,’
Anthony Dennison, NWFOI co-chair, said he was “very proud” to have secured such a high-profile figure for the event.
“There are questions that need to be asked of the Labour Party,” he added, explaining that Mr Watson – who he called “an ardent Zionist and a real friend” – was well-placed to answer them.
NWFOI has worked closely with another extremist group Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI). Researcher Hilary Aked wrote a detailed investigative piece in the Electronic Intifada in December 2015, ‘Is new UK Zionist group funding settlements?‘ in which she revealed that North West Friends of Israel and Sussex Friends of Israel, promoted the ‘IsrAction day’, the stated aim of which is to ‘beat the BDS’ – the Palestinian civil society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement: according to The Jewish Chronicle, ‘IsrAction Day’ in December 2014 was cosponsored by the Israel Solidarity Campaign, or ISC.
Despite presenting itself as a grassroots initiative, it is a propaganda outfit working closely with the Israeli government. It is also the UK affiliate of a new faction within the World Zionist Organization, which finances the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
[…] In a detailed response emailed to The Electronic Intifada, ISC advisory board member Jeremy Newmark, former CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council, confirmed that the group “provided a four figure sum” to Sussex Friends of Israel to sponsor the event. Sussex Friends of Israel seems likely to have been the sole recipient of almost $35,000 in external funding for IsrAction Day. This figure comes from the financial accounts of Over the Rainbow, the ISC’s parent organization.