Labour & Anti-semitism. Not!

This spring it seemed that the charge of anti-semitism was laid at the door of the Labour Party becoming a weapon in its factional fighting. This storify tells the story in several parts.

  1. This has been written over several months as it never seemed the right time to publish and has been extended again as the furore over Shami Chakrabarti's nomination to the House of Lords
  2. I can't believe this isn't stopping. The fighting inside the Labour Party, around the practice or not of anti-semitism that exploded in 2016 takes four stages. It was/has been used or perceived as being used as part of the purge of left wingers launched after Corbyn's victory in the leadership. Much of this is detailed by Richard Hutton in his article which I link to below. Hutton also examines the allegations of anti-semitism in the 2016 Young Labour NEC representative elections and the allegations that it was/may have been started or at least weaponised as a smear by the right.
  3. The row broke into the open pushed by the ever thirsty Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes) when Labour's Naz Shah was found to have shared a graphic suggesting that the answer to Middle East peace was to move Israel to the US Mid West. She rapidly apologised but Ken Livingstone decided she need some help in defending herself and did so using a metaphorical hand grenade. All of this overshadowed the racism of Zac Goldsmith's London Mayoral campaign, helped and repeated by the Prime Minister and other members of the Government front bench. The result of Livingstone's comments, was that he and Shah are suspended, and an independent enquiry is set up.
  4. Here's the Guido Fawkes expose
  5. And here's a report on Livingstone's intervention
  6. Norman Finkelstein, the cartoon's original author and a famed Jewish Palestinian rights campaigner in the United States would have been a more effective defender.
  7. Diane Abbot defends the Party, its membership and leadership against the smear.
  8. As do Corbyn and McDonnell
  9. There is no place for anti-semitism or any form of racism in the Labour Party, or anywhere in society
    There is no place for anti-semitism or any form of racism in the Labour Party, or anywhere in society
  10. Corbyn announces a semi-independent inquiry
  11. This has been a while coming, as allegations of antisemitism arose during the election of the NEC Youth representative, and Oxford University Labour Club's role in it. Richard Hutton in a detailed piece of work looks at the events leading up to the Naz Shah exposure and concludes that much of it is a smear, an attempt to delegitimise much of the left and the anti-israeli government proponents, most particularly Jeremy Corbyn.
  12. The next stage is that Jackie Walker, a long time member and anti-racism campaigner is suspended for alleged anti-semitism. She is black and jewish, but vice chairperson of Momentum.
  13. All this unleashes a deluge of commentary, I have on the whole chosen to quote and highlight people who I believe put the anti-racist cause before other political causes.
  14. A number of independent commentators, starting with Crooked Timber with an interesting article as he explores the UK's wired-in support for a single state solution since we think we achieved this in Northern Ireland. He also use Football as a metaphor. Not covered in this story is the way that those who hang on to the vision of a secular single state solution are pursuing a post-modern allegedly anti-semitic narrative.
  15. The Jewish Socialist Movement issued a statement
  16. Newsthump weighs in, pointing out that it would be strange for an antisemitic organisation to have elected an ethnic Jew as its leader; and who beat another one to get there.
  17. I've left the Dowling affair alone. Gerry Dowling was expelled (again, although technically refused entry) from the Labour Party after arguing a robust 'anti-imperialist' line.
  18. By this time, Tony Greenstein has been suspended from the Party,
  19. And the Chakrabarti report is released, and reported by the BBC
  20. who cover the first counter attack about Corbyn's statement that there is no hierarchy in racism and no racial collective guilt for the actions of oppressing extremist nation states, but not the row about media bias. Kieth Kahn Harris reviews the report, with a supportative view, arguing the report, is if wanted a common place to start from.
  21. The report text...
  22. Tony Greenstein argues that it fails to address certain central political issues, and permits those who look to stigmatise anti-Israeli government ideas the freedom to continue.
  23. And finally, and this should be read by all who want to make an apology, Naz Shah repeats her apology in Haaretz.
  24. However, the Jewish Chronicle, now arguably a partisan in this argument, obtain a copy of the Royall report into Oxford University Labour Club, and raises the issue that Chakrabrti has not commented on its contents.
  25. The text ....
  26. There's not really anything there.
  27. Tony Greenstein records the movement by some from welcoming the Chakrabarti Report to opposing it.