In a shocking event hosted at Student Central in London, Alex Kenny of the National Union of Teachers joined a panel including Professor Jonathan Rosenhead of the so-called Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), author Ghadaq Karmi, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition. Activist Rob Ferguson also spoke. Members of our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit were on hand to capture all that was said.
The event included a wide array of outrageous claims. It started with Ghada Karmi’s accusations that the Jewish community have created an “artificially whipped-up witch hunt” claiming that “there is only one way to deal with it: no appeasement.” She accused Jeremy Corbyn of “appeasement” in commissioning the whitewash Chakrabarti report, and merely for meeting Jewish community organisations at all, saying “he should never have met them, having met them, he should have thrown them out straightaway.” Dr Karmi finished by turning on those MPs who attended a rally condemning antisemitism in the Labour Party, demanding that Labour “get rid of those MPs.”
Dr Karmi’s speech was followed by Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, a leading figure in the so-called Jewish Voice for Labour. Previously Professor Rosenhead has been heard promoting the debunked theory that modern-day Jews are imposters from ‘Khazaria’ and defending Ken Livingstone. This time, Professor Rosenhead questioned the legitimacy of claims of Labour antisemitism, going as far as to blame Israel for the issues of antisemitism plaguing the Labour leadership and activists. He said: “If I was the Israeli government, I’d be running all sorts of false flag operations, getting people to post, and they have hordes of them in Israel doing this sort of stuff on the internet, saying things which will then discredit Jeremy Corbyn.” Attacking the MPs who have defended Ruth Smeeth in the disciplinary case of Mark Wadsworth “accused of antisemitism at the antisemitism launch of the Chakrabarti Committee because they wished to undermine the report by staging this.”
Professor Rosenhead returned to prior form later on, emulating Ken Livingstone, saying: “Just before the outbreak of war, the United States had organised for hundreds of thousands of Jews to escape from Germany and go – not to the United States, certainly, but to a number of Latin American countries that had agreed to have them. And in those last few weeks before the war, the Zionists stopped that from happening. Because a Jew who got out of Germany and didn’t go to Palestine was a Jew lost. And the result was, hundreds of thousands of Jews who would have escaped did not.”
Later on in the event Ben Jamal of the PSC called the antisemitism crisis in the Labour Party an attempt to “destabilise” Jeremy Corbyn, although he later admitted that there is an issue of antisemitism within the anti-Israel movement. Last year, Campaign Against Antisemitism exposed in a report the PSC’s failure to regulate antisemitism on its Facebook page, whilst managing to remove racist comments against other minorities, even made-up ones.
This event served as an underlining of the JVL’s continued role as harbourers of Holocaust revisionism, and shields for antisemites.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has long said that JVL is a sham. This event is yet further proof of it and Student Central should be ashamed of having hosted it.