Partisan Report on Antisemitism discredits Home Affairs Select Committee

House of Commons Home Affairs Committee Report:                    

  • Depends on evidence from almost exclusively pro-Israel, anti-Corbyn sources
  • Advocates re-defining antisemitism so as to intimidate and silence pro-Palestinian voices, including making it a punishable offence to use the word Zionist “in an accusatory context”
  • Dismisses the Chakrabarti Report’s principled recommendations for fair and transparent disciplinary Labour Party procedures  in cases of alleged antisemitism and other forms of racism, proposing draconian, politically motivated measures instead

London, October 16 – The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee today issued a Report on Antisemitism in the UK that, while correctly identifying the far Right as the source of most hate crime, shows such bias in its sources and assessment of evidence that it calls into question the committee’s reputation and competence.

The Report, from a Tory dominated committee, takes up the weapons that have been used to try to unseat Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader by smearing those he has attracted to the Party with charges of antisemitism. The apparent collusion of Labour committee members reflects the dirty war being waged against Corbyn’s radical leadership by elements within the party.   

Prof Jonathan Rosenhead, from the Jewish-led campaign group Free Speech on Israel (FSOI), said the select committee had aligned itself with extreme pro-Israel advocates, by setting restrictive limits on what may and may not be said, threatening to close down free speech on Israel and Palestine.

“The dire record of antisemitism over the centuries and especially in the last one means that vigilance is essential,” said Prof Rosenhead. “But antisemitism is not, currently, the major racist threat in this country; nor is it a significant problem in the Labour Party. This report loses all sense of proportion. It risks actually weakening the defences against true antisemitism (‘hatred of Jews as Jews’) by trying to extend its meaning to include many legitimate criticisms of Israel.

“For those of us who argue, along with many other Jews and Israelis, that the Zionist project has inflicted intolerable injustice on the Palestinians, the adjective ‘Zionist’ inevitably has an ‘accusatory’ aspect.  But it is directed against the State of Israel and its founding ideology, not against Jews.”

NOTES

  1. House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee report on antisemitism http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/home-affairs-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/inquiry2/publications/
  2. Free Speech on Israel is a network of labour, green and trade union activists in the UK, mainly Jewish, who came together in April 2016 to counter attempts by pro-Israel right wingers to brand the campaign for justice for Palestinians as antisemitic. 
  3. Prof Jonathan Rosenhead explores the workings of the campaign to discover antisemitism in every corner of Corbyn’s Labour Party https://opendemocracy.net/jonathan-rosenhead/jackie-walker-suspense-mystery
  4. Free Speech on Israel submission to the Chakrabarti Inquiry. https://www.scribd.com/doc/315237906/Free-Speech-on-Israel-Submission-to-Chakrabarti-Submission
  5. Asa Winstanley exposes the fabrication of many antisemitism allegations https://electronicintifada.net/content/how-israel-lobby-manufactured-uk-labour-partys-anti-semitism-crisis/16481
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5 thoughts on “Partisan Report on Antisemitism discredits Home Affairs Select Committee”

  1. We wait with baited breath…….for Lansman’s rejection of the HAC report……. ha-bloody-ha! (And that’s the first time I have ever used a swear word on line, being at end of tether with these hypocrites!)

  2. This report strikes me as being similar to an empty tin can tied to the tail of a dog.
    It makes a lot of noise – as does the dog – but signifies nothing of any significance.
    Glasman, Akehurst, Newmark et. al. are all empty wind bags and zionist trolls.
    Who cares what they say?
    The Labour Party has more important matters to consider.
    It needs to get on with creating a better, fairer and kinder British society.
    That is what is really important – not silly reports like this one.

  3. Since Momentum has no democratic structure through which to elect officers, Lansman’s “leadership” is enshrined

  4. My comment just now on my Facebook page.
    Fully support the ‘Free Speech’ statement (see below) and Prof Jonathan Rosenhead’s comment. But something else is also going on, namely a vigorous effort to reinforce, amplify, further promote the notion that support for the state of Israel is now part of contemporary Judaism. I’m not at all religious but from what I hear, it’s still very difficult to be part of most mainstream Jewish communities if you don’t accept the centrality of Israel in Jewish life — the Israelocentric interpretation of modern Judaism. This of course is potentially very dangerous for diaspora Jews because it makes it difficult for many people of goodwill who aren’t antisemitic and would be horrified to be thought so, makes it difficult, that is, for averagely-informed people as to how to judge whether diaspora Jews are, or are not, complicit in Israel’s crimes — crimes against the Palestinian people.

    There was and still is a phrase, ‘the anti-Zionism of fools’ (echoing the 19th century August Bebel’s formulation, ‘antisemitism is the socialism of fools’). Foolish antizionism was antisemitic antizionism, simplistically, opportunistically blaming all Jews for Israeli human rights abuses. Once upon a time I think it was very clear that this was not tenable, and I hope it becomes untenable again in the near future, but right now it seems to me that there’s room for tragic ambiguity.
    What are people to understand when they hear and read statements made supposedly on behalf of entire Jewish communities by self-styled, or even elected, leaders and representatives of those communities, defending Israel whatever it does, articulating apologetics on its behalf, declaring Israel’s centrality in Jewish life, almost as a substitute for the deity itself?

    It is surely people like the authors of the Home Affairs Select Committee Report who are insisting on the equating of Judaism with Zionism, with the disastrous, false corollary that antizionism always equals antisemitism. It’s dangerous and it must stop.

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