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May 5, 2016 / 27 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Corbyn’

Chief Rabbi of Britain Says Labour Has ‘Severe’ Problem with Anti-Semitism

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis came out in The Telegraph on Tuesday with a surprisingly hard-hitting, sharply critical op-ed taking up the gauntlet tossed at the Jewish world by dozens of members of the UK Labour Party.

The chief rabbi began by stating pointedly that claims of figures on the hard Left of the British political spectrum that Zionism is separate from Judaism, “are a fiction. They are a willful distortion of a noble and integral part of Judaism.

“Zionism is a belief in the right to Jewish self-determination in a land that has been at the center of the Jewish world for more than 3,000 years. One can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

“Comments from senior and long-standing members of the Labour Party, both Jewish and not, show just how severe the problem has now become,” the chief rabbi wrote.

“In recent days, we have heard anti-Semitism in the Labour Party described variously as “a smear” and as “mood music” being manipulated by political opponents of [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn. There has been nothing more disheartening in this story than the suggestion that this is more about politics than about substance,” he continued.

“If this inquiry turns out to be no more than a sticking plaster, designed to placate and diffuse until after the elections this week, the problem will surely get worse and not better,” he warned.

“Jeremy Corbyn has stated that his party “will not tolerate anti-Semitism in any form,” and I very much hope that this inquiry will deliver on that pledge and be followed by decisive action. All political parties share in the responsibility to rid our society of anti-Semitism but we cannot achieve that objective with political posturing or empty promises of action never to be fulfilled.”

Corbyn, Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron, and former London mayor and Labour Party member Ken Livingstone are set to give evidence to an inquiry by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee into UK anti-Semitism, according to The Guardian newspaper.

Labour itself launched an independent probe into allegations of racism and anti-Semitism within its own party as well.

But as The Telegraph pointed out in a piece on Tuesday, Corbyn appointed a non-Jew – Shami Chakrabarti, former director of the Liberty human rights campaign group – to investigate the allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

“Anti-Semitism is defined as prejudice or discrimination against Jews (italics original). By excluding a lead Jewish voice, well isn’t the Labour inquiry doing exactly that?” posited journalist Angela Epstein – a secular Jew.

Hana Levi Julian

UK’s Labour Party Secretly Suspended 50 Members Over Anti-Semitism, Racism

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The British Labour Party has apparently been quietly suspending one member after another for anti-Semitism and racism over the past two months – a total of 50 members, in fact.

But few of those suspensions ever saw the light of day in the media, and the 13 that were made public “are said to be just the tip of the iceberg,” The Telegraph reported Tuesday.

“Senior sources reveal that Labour’s compliance unit has been swamped by the influx of hard-left supporters following Jeremy Corbyn’s election” as head of the party, according to the report.

Corbyn himself admitted for the first time in an interview with the Daily Mirror on Monday night that although there is a problem, it is “not huge.” He worked hard to minimize the crisis, saying, “What there is is a very small number of people that have said things that they should not have done. We have therefore said they will be suspended and investigated.”

London residents go to the polls on Thursday, but the latest analyses by pundits predict Labour stands to lose more than 100 seats thanks to the racist and anti-Semitic remarks over the past two years by party lawmakers.

Labour suspended three councillors within seven hours Monday over virulently anti-Semitic posts on Twitter and Facebook last week. Two called for Israeli Jews to be “relocated to America” and the third compared a former Premier League soccer star to Hitler.

One of the councillors was Ilyas Aziz, from Nottingham, who said on Facebook, “it would be wiser to create Israel in America it’s big enough. They could relocate even now [sic]”.

Former Blackburn mayor Salim Mullah was the second, and Shah Hussain of Burnley council was the third. Hussain tweeted to Israeli soccer star Yossi Bennayoun, “you and your country doing the same thing that hitler did to ur race in ww2 (sic).”

According to The Telegraph, up to 20 Labourites were suspended within the past two weeks, though not all were made public.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Labour Party Ponders Cutting Ties to British Labour Over Anti-Semitism

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Israeli Labour Party is considering cutting ties to its British counterpart amid an ongoing wave of British Labour officials dismissed due to anti-Semitic comments, including remarks advocating the deportation of Israel’s Jews and claims that Hitler supported Zionism.

MK Isaac Herzog, head of Israel’s Labour Party and Opposition leader, told Channel 10 News on Monday that he is “considering suspending relations” with British Labour and that “it’s possible there may be no other resort.” Herzog went on to explain that the majority of British Labour rejects these anti-Semitic views, which are held by “only a small and loud minority.”

Herzog’s announcement follows a letter by Labour MK Nachman Shai calling on Herzog to promptly sever ties with British Labour under its current chairman, Jeremy Corbyn.

“There is a toxic atmosphere of hatred and fanaticism in British Labour,” Shai wrote. “It is no longer a sister Party with which we can have close relations and coordinate policy.”

“When one of the Labour leaders creates a twisted connection between Adolf Hitler and Zionism this is no longer a warning sign – this is a moral collapse that requires immediate and unequivocal action,” Amir Peretz, another Israeli Labour MK and former Party chairman, wrote on his Facebook page.

Peretz was referring to comments made by former London Mayor and Labour Member Ken Livingstone last week, arguing that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism because he wanted to deport German Jews. Livingstone was suspended from Labour following the remarks, and the Party has said it will investigate anti-Semitism in its ranks.

Three more British Labour officials were suspended on Monday for anti-Semitic comments they had posted to Facebook, including comments referring to Israel “drinking Gaza blood” and accusing Israel of orchestrating last year’s ISIS terror attacks in Paris as punishment for a French UN vote in support of the Palestinians.

The scandal in British Labour comes at a sensitive time, with important local elections coming up in England on Thursday—including a contentious and racially-charged race for London mayor—which coincides with Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Herzog sent a letter to British Labour head Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday inviting him to bring a delegation to visit Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem. “While Ken Livingstone is surely anti-Semitic beyond repair,” Herzog wrote, “I’m sure there remain many Labour Party activists with a willingness to engage and better understand the scourge of anti-Semitism.”

“Yad Vashem is open to all visitors,” said Simmy Allen, Yad Vashem’s director of international communications, in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “Our vast resources are at the disposal of anyone who would like to learn about the Holocaust and experience a visit to Yad Vashem.”

It appears unlikely, however, that Corbyn will take Herzog up on the offer, leading Israeli Labour members to openly ponder whether they must dissociate from their British counterpart.

“With sister Parties like this, who needs enemies?” tweeted Itzik Shmuli, a Knesset member with the Labour Party.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Another UK Labour Member Suspended Over Anti-Semitic Vitriol on Facebook

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

British Labour Party councillor Ilyas Aziz from Nottingham has joined MP Naz Shah and former London mayor Ken Livingstone on the anti-Semite “time-out” bench.

It appears that with practice, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is becoming more adept at stifling his distaste for suspending members who pose a political risk to the party’s future.

This suspension came in record time: “Ilyas Aziz has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation,” said a party spokesperson quoted by the Guido Fawkes political website at 11:24 am Monday (May 2.)

In an exclusive post at 9:30 am the same morning, the same website had ‘outed’ several 2014 anti-Israel posts on Facebook by Aziz, in a manner similar to the posts that ‘outed’ Shah just a few days earlier.

Two Facebook posts by UK Labour Party councillor Ilyas Aziz from the summer of 2014, during the Israeli defensive counter terror war against Hamas in Gaza.

Two Facebook posts by UK Labour Party councillor Ilyas Aziz from the summer of 2014, during the Israeli defensive counter terror war against Hamas in Gaza.

Aziz had posted a Facebook response to the “relocate the Jews to America” graphic that got MP Shah suspended last week. “Tell you one thing, Naj, Jews and Muslims lived together in the Middle East, in peace pre 1948. Perhaps it would have been wiser to create Israel in America it’s big enough. They could relocate even now,” he wrote on July 19, 2014.

‘God did not give you the Land – the UK did ILLEGALLY’ proclaimed one of the graphics posted on November 6, 2014, with the text overlaid on the Israeli flag.

Another graphic was posted by Aziz during Israel’s counter terror war in summer 2014. This one urged Facebook users to “Stop drinking GAZA BLOOD (using the familiar Coca Cola-appearing bottles of cola) – Share a Message with … Baji, Bhai, Mama, Papa, Friends, Family …”

Another post posted five days earlier, during the conflict, declared, “A reminder of the treatment and suffering of Jews in Nazi Germany. ARE THERE ANY SIMILARITIES TO HOW ISRAEL IS TREATING PALESTINIANS.” Below was a link to an article on the UK-based ‘History Learning Site’ entitled: “Jews in Nazi Germany – Was there any form of filth or crime … without at least one Jew involved in it.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, allegedly launched an internal investigation into the rising expressions of anti-Semitism within the party. However, that did not stop Corbyn from expressing his own anti-Israel views, and his personal support for Israel’s enemies whose charters are devoted to the annihilation of Israel and her Jewish citizens.

Corbyn has in the past previously referred to Hamas and Hezbollah, both bona fide terrorist groups backed by Iran, as “friends.” This week he again refused to denounce either. A spokesperson for Corbyn issued a long-winded statement quoted by The Telegraph which said the Labour leader supported “Palestinian rights” and that he believes in speaking to people “with whom there is disagreement, particularly with they have large-scale support or democratic mandates.” It’s not clear how Hamas or Hezbollah meet the criteria for either.

“Jeremy Corbyn has been a longstanding supporter of Palestinian rights and the pursuit of peace and justice in the Middle East through dialogue and negotiation. He has met many people with whom he profoundly disagrees in order to promote peace and reconciliation processes, including in South Africa, Latin American, Ireland and the Middle East. He believes it is essential to speak to people with whom there is disagreement, particularly when they have large-scale support or democratic mandates. Simply talking to people who agree with you won’t help achieve justice or peace,” the statement said.

Hana Levi Julian

UK Labour Politician Warns ‘Israel is a Terrorist State Like ISIS’

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

A London politician campaigning for mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan was forced to apologize after sharing a Facebook post warning that “Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS,” according to a post on the Guido Fawkes political website.

The blog post quoted a piece in the British Jewish News Online that was published with an apology from the aforementioned politician, another Labour Party member who is also the leader of Brent Council.

Muhammed Butt, who is the Lead for Equalities at London Councils, shared a clip on social media that appeared to show a young girl from the Palestinian Authority in a conflict with an Israeli soldier. The clip was captioned at the bottom with the words, “Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS.”

Anti-Israel clip shared on FB page of British Labour politician Muhammed Butt, appearing to show Arab girl in conflict with Israeli soldier - caption says Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS.

After being ‘outed’ by the Jewish News Butt issued the standard politician’s apology, saying in a public statement: “I apologize for sharing this on social media. I do not agree with these views and as Leader of Brent Council I have championed diversity, tolerance and respect for all faith communities, and will continue to do so.”

He removed the post after it was brought to the attention of the public – and his political party – by the Jewish News.

But as with the other politicians of late, one questions how it is possible for him “not to agree with these views” if he shares the clip on his Facebook page, where it gains prominence.

The Labour Party has seen at least two politicians benched this past week as former London Mayor Ken Livingston joined MP Naz Shah in being suspended over rampantly anti-Semitic statements. Shah was suspended after a number of posts on her Facebook page from 2014 were ‘outed’ – including an entire graphic in which she advised the relocation of the state of Israel into the United States of America, including a list of reasons and benefits to everyone, especially the Arab world if that could take place.

Livingstone – who has also campaigned for Sadiq Khan – was also suspended when he commented that her actions were “over the top” but not anti-Semitic. To add insult to injury, he referred to Adolf Hitler “supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

Moreoever, Livingston refused to retract his statement, insisting in an interview with LBC on Saturday that Hitler was a Zionist and that he was simply stating a fact. “I never regret saying something that is true,” he said. How can I have hurt and offended the Jewish community when the prime minister of Israel said exactly the same thing?”

The reference is to a remark last year when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem that Hitler’s original intent was to expel all the Jews, rather than annihilate them; the slaughter came at the initiative of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Hussseini, who argued that expulsion would result in all the Jews arriving in the Holy Land, where no Arab wanted them. Livingston contends that Hitler up to that point was a Zionist; furthermore, it was Netanyahu who made the point, he said.

The entire mechanism of the “final solution” clearly has utterly escaped his notice.

There appears to be a crisis developing in the Labour Party with regard to anti-Semitism which is apparently galloping out of control. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn claims to have been an “anti-racist campaigner” all his life – but he has also been a self-declared “friend of Hamas and Hezbollah” as well, and has protected his brother Piers after he made anti-Semitic comments as well.

Meanwhile the upcoming elections for mayor of London are fast approaching – and Labour candidate Sadiq Khan is becoming less and less likely to win the seat, given those who have been his greatest supporters.

In addition, the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons has just launched its investigation into anti-Semitism in the UK, even with its newly-suspended member still listed on its website. MP Naz Shah still appears as a member of the committee, and her photo and bio still appear on the website.

Hana Levi Julian

British Labour MP Naz Shah Suspended Over Anti-Semitic Posts

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

British Labour MP Naz Shah has discovered a “heartfelt” apology is not enough to get her off the hook for anti-Semitism, even in the UK, even three times repeated.

The Bradford West parliamentarian was ‘outed’ by the Guido Fawkes political website for serious anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Facebook posts she made two years ago.

In a statement she read this week in the British House of Commons, she offered a “profound apology” which she then also posted on Twitter. Shah said that she “made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict. But that is not excuse for the oofense I have given, for which I unreservedly apologize.”

Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, who has caught more than a few critical comments himself in recent weeks for the rising anti-Semitism in his party, warned her about the “offensive and unacceptable posts.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the comments were “simply appalling” and called for an urgent meeting “for clarification of her views on Israel and the UK Jewish community.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative Party member, simply called for her suspension.

“Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the general secretary. Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed,” said a Labour Party statement that followed.

But being unable to take part in any party activities did not indicate whether in fact Shah would ultimately be allowed to remain as a Member of Parliament.

Minutes before the Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Corbyn had issued a statement defending Shah, saying that her social media posts were made before she became a lawmaker.

“Naz has issued a fulsome apology,” he said. “She does not hold these views and accepts she was completely wrong to have made these posts. The Labour Party is implacably opposed to anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.”

Perhaps, but individual members of the party, more than a few, are not – and the number of those who feel free to express those views is rising, particularly under the leadership of Mr. Corbyn. His own brother, Piers, took aim at Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman — and brother Jeremy defended his right to do so. At the time, Ellman had called for Labour to clamp down on anti-Semitism in the party – but Piers Corbyn called her remarks “absurd” and said, “Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.”

Nevertheless, there were Labour Party MPs who called for Shah’s suspension, including MP Lisa Nandy. Labour MP Kate Hoey told the BBC that Shah should resign “right away” from the Home Affairs Select Committee, which is tasked with investigating the rising anti-Semitism in Britain.

Prominent British politician Lord (Michael Abraham, Baron) Levy recently sounded the alarm that anti-Semitism is rising in the Labour Party itself, and not in the UK in general, and has threatened to leave the fold if something is not done to stem the tide. A son of observant Jewish parents, Lord Levy warned that Corbyn is presiding over what appears to be a resurgence in the party’s acceptance of anti-Semitism.

Hana Levi Julian

British PM Calls UK Jews ‘British Success Story’ in Passover Message

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron called the country’s Jewish community a “true British success story” on Friday in his Passover message.

Cameron said British Jews are “excelling in every field and working constantly the build a fairer society for everyone.”

Nevertheless, he said, anti-Semitism spares no Jew.

“As Jewish communities unite to celebrate the festival of Passover, our thoughts will turn to the increasing number of abhorrent anti-Semitic attacks over the past year,” Cameron said.

“Jewish communities, wherever in the world they are, must not be left to live in fear. Sadly, even here in the UK, we still see cases of anti-Semitic abuse.

“I am determined to do everything in my power to stamp it out,” he said. “Part of that is remembering the horror of the Holocaust, because to ignore history is to risk repeating it.”

Cameron, who leads the Conservative Party, has called Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “threat to national security.” Corbyn has in the past referred to himself as a “friend” of Hamas and Hezbollah, and has refused to condemn anti-Semitic statements made by his brother Piers.

Recently a number of prominent Labour Party members have expressed dissatisfaction with the rise of anti-Semitism within the central party leadership. Some have begun to distance themselves from the party as a result.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/british-pm-calls-uk-jews-british-success-story-in-passover-message/2016/04/24/

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