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One could be forgiven for describing the EHRC Report into the Labour Party’s crimes of ‘fantisemitism’ a “Storm in a Teacup,” but that would be the understatement of the century; this travesty of injustice is more like a “Typhoon in a Teaspoon!” This extreme, highly politicized, overreaction cannot be accepted from the EHRC, the public body whose remit is combating racism and Human Rights abuse, but remains totally devoid of ethnic minority representation. The EHRC have systematically ignored the Windrush scandal, the Grenfell Tower disaster, Racial Profiling, Stop and Search, Police violence, migrant incarceration and the Black Lives Matter grievances totally aside from obscenely blatant racism and Islamophobia in the Tory Party. Once again the Tory Party are relying on compliant BBC stooges to pepper Labour MPs with aggressive questioning demanding admissions of guilt and grovelling contrition. After I was too sickened to keep watching, Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark was trounced by a courageously honest respondent!
Jewish Voice for Labour have not raced to fulfil any arbitrary publication pressure deadline, stating that they are deliberately taking their time to fully respond with carefully considered judgement regarding all of the report material presented. Given their standing representing Labour’s unbiased Jewish community I believe this is a wise decision. They have linked to other assessments already posted on the internet and I have been wading through all of the material I can find which I will share with you here. According to Tony Greenstein’s assessment of the EHRC Report jvl will discover very little substance that might constitute any really significant violations beyond poor management before Corbyn replaced Iain McNicol. Responses are all the more valid when they emanate from a member of the Jewish community, sadly one who has been targeted as “the wrong kind of Jew” and labelled anti-Semitic. Greenstein’s Video Presentation is a must watch as it lays out why he feels so strongly about the Weaponization of anti-Semitism.
On his website Tony Greenstein’s Post entitled, “Starmer Declares War on the Left – Its About Time to Declare War on Him” he adds, “We Demand the Reinstatement of Jeremy Corbyn.” Targeting his venerated predecessor, the Labour Leader’s response to the EHRC Report is truly shocking. He insists that, “The EHRC Report Should Be Rejected along with the Myth of Labour Anti-Semitism. Jeremy Corbyn was absolutely right in the comments that got him suspended: ‘One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents’. It is a real shame that he did not say so when he could have made a real difference to the civil war in the Labour Party. Unfortunately, it was the Corbyn leadership’s silence and complicity in the witch-hunt that made his suspension possible in the first place. Hundreds of socialists and Corbyn supporters have been suspended and expelled for comments that often do not amount to much more than what Corbyn said.”
With reference to the Labour Party, Greenstein rightly claims that, “We need to understand that the campaign by the right inside and outside the party was never about fighting antisemitism. It was always a campaign designed to get rid of Corbyn and make sure that the Labour Party becomes once again a safe ‘second eleven’ that could run Britain on behalf of capitalism, and follow the US into any new military adventure. Sadly, it appears as if Corbyn and his allies still do not understand this basic reality. The six candidates supported by the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance in the current NEC elections have made sure not to mention the word ‘witch-hunt’, or propose any actions on how to stop it. In a tweet following his suspension, Corbyn writes that, ‘I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong. I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism’.”
Greenstein explains how, “Corbyn himself has now become a victim of this ‘zero tolerance’ approach he champions. The fight for socialism is intrinsically linked to a culture of free speech and open debate on all issues – including, importantly, the question of Israel/Palestine. Please click here to sign and share the excellent petition/open letter by the LLA Anyone who believes that Jeremy Corbyn was suspended on the basis of what he actually said today needs their head examining. It was planned long ago. Back in July there were rumours emanating from Starmer’s office that Corbyn would be suspended when the EHRC Report was released. The Canary reported on 22nd July that ‘According to a few Labour sources this morning, it’s ‘very possible’ and ‘highly likely’ that Jeremy Corbyn will have the whip removed very soon, as a result of some of the recommendations in the EHRC report.’ #LabourAntisemitism.”
According to Greenstein, “Starmer is using the recommendations of the EHRC in order to purge the Left by removing the presence of a former leader. The question is whether or not the Left responds by declaring war on Starmer or, like Momentum makes a pathetic plea for unity with those trying to destroy it. Some of thought that when Lansman’s cronies were defeated earlier this year by Momentum Forward that its politics might change. Unfortunately Momentum Forward has continued where Lansman left off. Yesterday they put out an appalling statement in reaction to Corbyn’s suspension in which they protested that ‘This suspension risks politicising Labour’s response to antisemitism.’ Perhaps someone should tell Scatterbrain that anti-Semitism has been weaponised for over 5 years now. Starmer wants to destroy the left not unite with it! McDonnell symbolises the political weakness of the Labour Left and Momentum, he defends Corbyn in the name of the fight against ‘antisemitism,’ the very thing used to get rid of Corbyn.”
Greenstein exclaims, “Who do Momentum think Margaret Hodge, Tom Watson, Lucian Berger et al represent? The anti-racist left? Momentum pathetically plead that the suspension ‘should be immediately lifted in the interests of party unity.’ Where have these dunderheads been living? Starmer isn’t interested in party unity. He’s interested in driving out the left from the Labour Party. If Momentum don’t recognise this it’s because they are wedded to the same reformist illusions as Lansman. Momentum’s co-chairs then go on to describe the EHRC Report in completely uncritical terms. Scatterbrain says that: “for many it will make for difficult reading. It concludes that the Labour Party complaints process for antisemitism is inadequate, and expresses concern that the current process does not ensure fair and transparent sanctioning of antisemitism complaints. It also finds unlawful acts to have been committed by former Labour Party agents. It is clear that whatever this year’s Momentum elections were about they were not about politics.”
Greenstein asserts that, “The EHRC is not an anti-racist body. Its Commissioners are taken from the corporate and banking world with the odd lawyer thrown in. It is an organisation of the liberal Establishment that has been mobilised to drive a wedge into the Labour Party using identity politics to disguise its purpose. It is a body that has said next to nothing about the Windrush scandal, done nothing about the ‘hostile environment’ policy of the Tories, it has said nothing about stop and search, refugees or institutional racism. Why? Because it is itself an institutionally racist body. As Simon Woolley, a former Commissioner wrote the EHRC doesn’t have one single Black or Muslim Commissioner. It is stuffed with liberal and corporate do gooders. Woolley wrote ‘I’ve been particularly stuck by the huge gulf between the EHRC and the new generation of young Black Lives Matter activists’.”
According to Greenstein, “The EHRC is utterly irrelevant to the victims of racism in Britain today. It is a body whose sole purpose is in incorporating and blunting the anti-racist message. It is as much our enemy as Boris Johnson. Whilst we must oppose Corbyn’s suspension he is the author of his own misfortune.” This view is strongly felt by many of Jeremy Corbyn’s most ardent supporters; why was he so eager to appease those who were exaggerating and exploiting such a relatively insignificant problem among a very small number of members? His determination to just “turn the other cheek” resulted in him getting repeatedly pummelled in the press when possibly a single defamation Lawsuit would have sent the wolves packing. Greenstein says that, “When the EHRC first proposed its investigation it should have been vigorously opposed as an intrusion by a State body into a democratic political party. What has happened is the kind of tactic used in police states. The State has effectively sought to neutralise a radical political party.”
Greenstein justifiably describes Boris Johnson as “a genuine racist” and points out that the EHRC is dependent on his Government for its funding. The EHRC aversion to taking on issues that might expose Tory failures or wrongdoing is obvious: ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you!’ “According to a Yougov poll for Hope not Hate, nearly half of Tory Party members oppose having a Muslim Prime Minister and more than two-thirds of Tory members believe the myth that parts of the UK are under Sharia law. 45% think some areas are not safe for non-Muslims.” He stresses, “if that is not enough nearly two-thirds of Tory members believe that Islam is a threat to western civilisation. Yet the EHRC has fought shy of doing anything about an openly racist party led by someone who believes that Black people are ‘picanninies’ with ‘water melon smiles.’ Unlike ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party Islamaphobia in the Tory Party is part of its DNA. Yet this useless body has kept its mouth shut for fear of losing what’s left of its grant.”
Greenstein rants about how Corbyn should have acted, but where were all these people of wise council when it could have made a difference right in the very beginning? Despite Tory immunity from criticism and the relentless onslaught of vilification that Corbyn suffered in the Media, his enemies were stunned by the 2017 Election result. False confidence perhaps, but smears alone were not enough; the Covert 2019 Rigged Election required industrial scale fraud still to be Investigated. Greenstein says, “Corbyn, whose stupidity is beyond doubt, said nothing when what he should have done was to refuse all co-operation. When 2 openly Zionist organisations, both of which are effectively extensions of the Israeli state, the Jewish Labour Movement and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, made their complaints to the EHRC, Corbyn should have launched legal action to stop it in its tracks. This is state interference in a legal party and a breach of Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights on freedom of association.”
Greenstein reports that, “Realising that its previous statement was hopelessly inadequate Momentum issued another statement after a meeting tonight. The statement was equally useless. It read: ‘The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn by the Labour Party leadership is a factional attack on the left that inevitably undermines the fight against anti-semitism and makes a mockery of Keir Starmer’s pledge to unite the Party. Tonight our Party is more divided than ever’.” The Article includes a picture stating the harsh reality that: “Apartheid was legal – The Holocaust was legal – Slavery was legal – Colonialism was legal.” However he says, “This perfectly reasonable meme was part of the Notice of Investigation which led to the expulsion of Simon Hindmarsh – it made a political point that all the world’s worst atrocities were legal – in the eyes of Labour’s witchhunters it was ‘antisemitic’ – go figure.”
Of the Momentum leadership Greenstein says, “When will the Scatterbrain and Sriskanthan get it into their heads that there has never been a fight against ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party? It has always been an attack on anti-Zionism and the Palestinians. Every Letter of Investigation I have seen accuses people of anti-Semitism based on their comments about Israel, the world’s only apartheid state. Phil Woolas, Labour MP for Oldham & Saddleworth ran a nakedly anti-Muslim campaign trying to stir up the racist White vote – and Tom Watson ‘lost sleep’ over the injustice of the High Court removing this racist Does Scatterbrain really think that Tom Watson, Hodge and co. were really interested in fighting anti-Semitism? The same Hodge who was praised by the BNP for her housing policies? Or the same Tom Watson who ‘lost sleep’ thinking about the injustice of the High Court removing racist Labour MP Phil Woolas from the Parliament after running a campaign that aimed to ‘make the White folk angry’?”
Greenstein claims that, “The ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign waged for the past 5 years was not about anti-Semitism. If it was then isn’t it strange that so many Jewish members have been expelled or suspended.” He questions, “why should Labour MPs who voted to legalise torture be concerned about anti-Semitism anyway? We know Starmer’s attitude to racism. Black Lives Matter is just a moment whose time has gone. He believes in more funding for the racist Metropolitan Police. At a time of Black Lives Matter, stop and search, Windrush etc. the only form of racism that matters is ‘antisemitism’.” As a Jewish person himself he asserts, “Jews in Britain are a privileged White community. To prioritise ‘anti-Semitism’ over racism against Black and Muslim people is itself racist.”
Greenstein acknowledges, “Sure there is some antisemitic prejudice if you look hard enough but as the EHRC Report concedes most of it is in social media. No one has ever died from a tweet but plenty of Black youth have died in Police custody yet Starmer has nothing but praise for the Police. Growing up as a Jewish person in non-Jewish communities I never had to fear being attacked in the street. I didn’t have to hide from the deportation squads. My father wasn’t stopped when driving for being Jewish and handcuffed. Jews in Britain are not oppressed. They are, for the most part, a prosperous middle class community. The days of working class Jewish communities are gone. The Jews of the East End have moved to London’s suburbs. My favourite restaurant, Blooms in Whitechapel closed years ago. In short Jews do not experience state racism. They are the kept pets of Britain’s ruling class for whom it is a safe form of anti-racism.”
Greenstein says, “The ‘antisemitism’ campaign was always about attacking Corbyn. Yet Momentum’s Scattergood/Sriskanthan believes that a campaign which only arose when Corbyn became leader is somehow being jeopardized by Corbyn’s suspension! Momentum Forward and Lansman’s Momentum Renewal are peas in a pod. If you want to read a decent statement on the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn then you can do worse than read the Morning Star’s Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension is a declaration of war.” He proposes activism, stating, “you don’t win a war by asking someone trying to kill you to hold your hand! What Can We Do? This Saturday Labour Against the Witchhunt is organising a public meeting with Ken Livingstone, Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Tony Greenstein speaking. The following Saturday there is a similar line-up being organised with Asa Winstanley, Chris Williamson and Tony Greenstein speaking, chaired by Miko Peled, the ‘wrong sort of Israeli Jew’ chairing.”
Greenstein announces other events, “On Friday Brighton & Hove LLA will be organising a local anti-witchhunt meeting. Starmer’s suspension of his predecessor is unprecedented. We should be clear about why we oppose it and where it came from. Corbyn himself laid the basis for what has happened. His opposition to Open Selection at the 2018 Labour Party Conference and then his decision at the 2019 Party Conference to support ‘fast track’ expulsions which we were assured were only for ‘egregious’ cases but which have since been used in EVERY ‘anti-Semitism’ case laid the basis for his own suspension. Corbyn has literally fashioned his own noose. However just because someone is an idiot or a coward doesn’t mean one should not support them! The Labour Left Alliance have launched an Open Letter: Reinstate Jeremy Corbyn please sign it. Labour Against the Witchhunt has also issued a statement ‘Reinstate Jeremy Corbyn’ as well as a model motion Reinstate Jeremy Corbyn! Stop the witch-hunt!”
Greenstein says, “The gloves are off and anyone who thinks that by conceding to the lie that there was an ‘anti-Semitism’ problem in Labour that they are then going to gain a tactical advantage is seriously mistaken. ‘Anti-Semitism’ was the Right’s chosen weapon. It was never about anti-Jewish racism, hence why the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism was foisted upon the Labour Party. In fact I am incorrect. It was Corbyn himself at the end of 2016 who unilaterally adopted the 38 word IHRA. Having spent his whole political life supporting the Palestinians, having been called an ‘antisemite’ countless times, he voluntarily adopted a definition whose only purpose was to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and define him as an anti-Semite. Anti-Semitism was chosen as the method of attack precisely because it was not a form of racism but a means of denigrating opposition to the Israeli state and giving the Right some moral stature. It fitted in well to the Left’s addiction to Identity Politics rather than Class Politics.”
Greenstein is heavily critical of, “Those like Momentum’s Scatterbrain and the rest of the NCG who think they can gain Corbyn’s reinstatement on the basis of adhering to the EHRC Report are fooling themselves and no one else.” He states, “Free Speech has been abolished by Starmer’s new General Secretary David Evans. As part of the new democratic order David Evans, Labour’s General Secretary has issued another warning to local parties not to discuss the EHRC Report. It is clear that far from being a democratic party, the Labour Party has now become a tyranny. It is of prime importance to democrats in the party that Evans is defied and told where to go. It is crucial that local parties defy Evans and go ahead and condemn the report and Starmer with it. That is what Momentum should be calling for not unity with the evil.” There was a similar prohibition issued by David Evans trying to curtail any debate among party members over the misuse of party funds to pay off a huge unwarranted legal settlement.
Greenstein has written what he claims is just a “Brief Summation” of the EHRC Report, or rather his well considered response to it. Since it is actually quite lengthy I will feature it in its entirety in a post tomorrow. Referring to the report Greenstein says, “I spent two weeks compiling a 2 part summary of the 851 page Leaked Labour Report. The EHRC Report is an insubstantial tract. At 130 pages is remarkable for the fact that it is shallow and superficial, lacking in substance. Its main focus is the alleged failure of Labour’s disciplinary and complaints processes. Whereas it took me 3 days to read Labour’s Leaked Report on Anti-Semitism the EHRC Report was a breeze. There is nothing in it apart from procedure. The EHRC has produced a mouse and yet Starmer willed it on as a means of attacking the Left. Its failures are manifest to anyone who isn’t cerebrally challenged.” I can only hope that this EHRC wrecking ball embraced by Keir Starmer to vilify his predecessor will prove his downfall and fascinate Corbyn’s vindication. DO NOT MOVE ON!