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July 24, 2016 / 18 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Labour Party’

Corbyn Skips London’s First Muslim Mayor’s Swearing In

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Sadiq Khan (Labour) was sworn in as London’s first Muslim mayor on Saturday, having beaten Conservative billionaire Zac Goldsmith by a wide margin of 1,310,143 to 994,614 votes. It was a rare glimpse of sunshine for the Labour party, which has been enduring a string of defeats in both national and local elections over the past year, including a massive loss in local councils and in the Scottish parliament Thursday.

Mayor Khan, 46, was born in London to a working-class British Pakistani family. A Member of Parliament for Tooting since 2005 and a member of the Labour Party, he is a social democrat.

Jeremy Corbyn did not attend London’s Muslim mayor’s swearing-in ceremony. Khan had not supported Corbyn for the role of Labour party leader, voting instead for Andy Burnham. He distanced himself from Corbyn, and as mayoral candidate criticized Corbyn’s friendship with Hamas and Hezbollah, saying it gave Labour an “anti-Jewish” image. Khan also slammed Corbyn for not singing the national anthem last September. Corbyn, an anti-Royalist, stood in silence while God Save our Gracious Queen was played during a Battle of Britain remembrance ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral attended by the Prime Minister, Defense Secretary and military leaders. “He was very unwise. You are trying to be the British prime minister,” Khan told reporters at the time.

“I can’t quite believe the last 24 hours,” Khan told his supporters at his swearing-in ceremony at London’s Southwark Cathedral. “I’m determined to lead the most transparent, engaged and accessible administration London has ever seen, and to represent every single community and every single part of our city as mayor for Londoners,” he said.

Goldsmith, as well as Prime Minister David Cameron, repeatedly accused Khan of offering “platform, oxygen and cover” to religious and political extremists, including known anti-Semites such as Suliman Gani, a south London Islamic leader. Khan also attended a conference that was addressed by Yasser al-Siri, a convicted terrorist, and Sajeel Abu Ibrahim, a member of the now banned al-Muhajiroun group, which trained and activated the July 7, 2005 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan.

JNi.Media

Jewish Human Rights Watch Suing 3 Councils in High Court over BDS

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) has taken Swansea, Gwyneedd and Leicester councils to the High Court in London, alleging their boycott of Israeli goods is anti-Semitic and violates the 2010 Equality Act.

The group noted on their Facebook page: “We’re in the #‎HighCourt today and tomorrow about The Labour Party’s Leicester City Council & City and County of Swansea & Gwynedd Council’s #‎Antisemitic #‎Boycott motions. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.”

Several local councils across the UK voted to boycott Israeli goods after 2009, when Israel refused to embrace the Hamas’ need to shoot rockets at its civilian population.

In 2010, Swansea council was seeking contracts with Veolia, a company connected to a project building a light railway in eastern Jerusalem. But then a motion was put before the council stating the project “not only contravenes UN demands but is in contravention of international law,” since the UN “has demanded that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported.”

Several council members called on the council to not do business with “any company in breach of international law or UN obligations or demands, so long as to do so would not be in breach of any relevant legislation.” The motion was approved.

Andrew Sharland, an attorney for Leicester’s council, which in 2014 approved a similar boycott of Israeli goods, said the JHRW is trying to “stifle criticisms of Israel.”

“What this challenge really concerns is criticism of the State of Israel, and the claimant’s desire to suppress it,” he said.

Following the 2014 vote, JHRW issued a statement saying, “Leicester City Council has taken steps down an anti-Semitic path under the guise of helping community relations in Leicester. Frankly this amounts to a get-of-out-town order to Leicester Jews.”

In 2014, Gwynedd council also passed a motion calling for a trade embargo against Israel, condemning the “attacks by the Israeli state on the territory of the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.” Just to make sure they did not come across as anti-Semites, Gwynedd council added, “It must be made clear that the proposal condemned the Israeli state and not the Jewish religion.”

The British government earlier this year issued guidelines for public authorities which say these boycotts are “inappropriate” without formal legal sanctions or embargoes by the national government. In fact, the Cabinet Office has said these boycotts “undermine good community relations, poison and polarize debate, weaken integration and fuel anti-Semitism.”

But Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party has been ridding itself of an industrial-size stash of anti-Semitic members in recent days, criticized the government’s warning against BDS as an “attack on local democracy.”

David Israel

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

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

Israel Ambassador to UK Mark Regev Speaks Out on Labour’s Rising Anti-Semitism

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Israel’s new Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev has joined the fray over the rising anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Regev has jumped right in the middle between party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Jewish Labourites. Corbyn denies any anti-Semitism exists and says if it does, he will find it in an internal investigation he’s just launched and will root it out.  Jewish party members meanwhile have been threatening to leave over the rising number of anti-Semitic Labourites whose hate-filled remarks are being exposed by media since Corbyn became party leader.

In an interview published today on the front page of The Sunday Times, Regev said flatly, “I have no doubt that part of the Left is in denial. They say, ‘Anti-Semitism, that’s the Right, that’s the fascists.’

“That’s a copout. It doesn’t stand up to serious historical examination,” Regev said. “Anti-Semitism should concern everyone. When it does raise its ugly head, it should be condemned across the board, and failure to condemn it has to be in itself condemned,” he added. “If someone wouldn’t dream of sharing a platford with an anti-black racist or an anti-female sexist, shouldn’t one be equally concerned about sharing a platform with an anti-Jewish racist?” Regev asked.

The Sunday Times said Regev’s remarks would likely be interpreted as an attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose members have been cited for anti-Semitic remarks or activities, one after another.

Corbyn has defended most of them, but Friday finally himself called for an independent inquiry into the question of anti Semitism and racism within the party.

This past week two Labour members were suspended: MP Naz Shah, whose anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Facebook posts in 2014 were ‘outed’ by the Guido Fawkes political website, and former London mayor Ken Livingstone declared Adolf Hitler was a Zionist before he “went mad” and killed six million Jews in WWII.

The offensive language was deliberately calculated to provoke a maximum number of Jews, according to British journalist and historian Andrew Roberts. He wrote Thursday in an article on CapX that “the sole reason Ken Livingstone brought up the Fuhrer in his interview was to be as vicious and loathsome as he possibly could to any Jews listening, rather than genuinely intending to make some valid historical point about the migration policies of the putative Third Reich in the 1930s. He must know perfectly well that the very insertion of the word ‘Hitler’ in the context of a debate over anti-Semitism would create precisely the effect that it has.”

Livingstone claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also pointed out last October that Hitler originally intended only to expel the Jews. Jerusalem Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini urged Hitler to murder them all instead, he noted during a meeting of the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu later clarified the point in a long Facebook post, noting that the concept of the “Final Solution” came from Hitler and the Nazis alone. “The Nazis saw in the mufti a collaborator, but they did not need him to decide on the systematic destruction of European Jewry, which began in June 1941,” Netanyahu wrote.

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/british-labour-mp-naz-shah-suspended-over-anti-semitic-posts/2016/04/28/

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