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Jeremy Corbyn grilled on antisemitism by Home Affairs Select Committee

Our Campaign was not among those that offered to give evidence to the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party. Having given support to Baroness Royall’s prior investigation into antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club and seen its fate, our assessment was that it would be a whitewash, and that Jewish groups and individuals that had taken part in it would prove to be as rudely disappointed as Baroness Royall and Jewish Labour proved to be when the Royall Inquiry was silenced. We therefore withdrew: we were proven correct.

Yesterday, Mr Corbyn appeared before MPs from the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee to answer questions about antisemitism in the Labour Party.

When it comes to antisemitism, he proved himself to be a man who fatally combines the flaws of incomprehension with a lack of responsible leadership.

A most revealing moment in Mr Corbyn’s appearance was when Nus Ghani MP declared that Chakrabarti’s report was one written as if to explain antisemitism to children: the words ‘Zio’ and ‘Paki’ were bad. Jews should not be called Nazis, and so on. For what lies behind that simplistic view is the man himself, trapped in his formative years, when Jews were, as he reminisced yesterday, those such as the Holocaust survivors working in sweat shops that he met as an activist: working class, poor and victims. When questioned repeatedly on all aspects of antisemitism, he repeatedly revealed this Corbyn, a man dedicated to fighting what he sees as a racism like any other, so much so, that he refuses to separate antisemitism from other forms of hate, even when Ms Ghani pressed him continuously to do so.

For the keys to understanding the complexity of antisemitism require a flexibility of mind and intellectual understanding that he demonstrated yesterday he does not possess.

Antisemitism is a prejudice that shape-shifts. It once was purely racism, but now has adapted and grown another skin. As the former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, winner of the 2016 Templeton Prize, points out: after the Enlightenment, it was no longer possible to hate Jews for their religion, so they were hated for their race; after World War II, racial discrimination became unacceptable, and so now Jews are hated for their new country. Mr Corbyn, as evidenced yesterday, is firmly stuck in 1945, and has not, and cannot comprehend the world of antisemitism in which, for example, his brother Piers resides. In this new incarnation, Israel is now the ‘Jew among nations’, creating ISIS, controlling banks, and perpetrating modern versions of the blood libel on innocent children. This new brand of hatred is projected on Jewish communities worldwide by their association with Israel. Jeremy Corbyn, indeed, stands front and centre of that part of the Left that, after the fall of the Berlin Wall embraced an ‘Anti-Imperialist’ Anti-Western position in which they heartily embraced anti-American Islamists, such as those in Iran and Israel/Palestine. In that cauldron, their own strains of Sovietist antisemitism met a genocidally antisemitic Islamism, igniting a new fire of global Jew-hate that has resurrected that which the world believed it would never see again.

Throughout his questioning, Mr Corbyn revealed his incomprehension of history’s emphatic twist. In an excruciating passage yesterday, one MP pressed Mr Corbyn on the fact that Ms Chakrabarti’s report contains no definitions and was therefore meaningless. He responded by explaining that antisemitism is ‘obvious’ and proceeded, child-like, to define it as “hating Jews for who they are”, reducing the most difficult and intricate of human hatreds, which is in large part a conspiracy theory, to simplistic babble. We are therefore unsurprised that he defended Paul Flynn for his attack on the appointment of a Jew as British ambassador to Israel because of his “dual loyalties”, a man famous for such comments who, nonetheless, Corbyn last week appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.

Neither can we be surprised that, when asked, “Does the State of Israel have the right to exist?” he initially replied, resignedly “it exists”.  Nor can we be surprised by his continuing yesterday to justify close comradeship and support of those such as Raed Saleh, Reverend Stephen Sizer, Paul Eisen and Hamas, simply because they embrace the ‘Palestinian cause’. In no other walk of political life could any public figure use the promotion of one cause, whatever its merits, to justify strong and supportive relationships with blood libellers, misogynists, genocidal antisemites, Holocaust deniers and homophobes, people who are essentially fascist and as hateful in their motivations as any racist or bigot. At one moment of black comedy, he attempted to avoid calling Hamas antisemitic until Keith Vaz, the Chair of the committee, read him an excerpt from the Hamas Constitution explicitly calling for all Jews to be sought out and murdered. Only then did Mr Corbyn relent.

These associations and their attendant poor justifications have led some to question whether Mr Corbyn is fit for public life, let alone fit to lead a social-justice party.

In the course of the questioning, Mr Corbyn said that he was “content” that the vice-chair of his Momentum movement, Jackie Walker, had had her suspension lifted, justifying it behind the classic ‘virtue’ argument that the Left cannot be racist – that because Ms Walker is of Afro-Caribbean heritage on one side and Jewish on the other, somehow her genetic inheritance released her from the charge of ignorant bigotry in proclaiming the Jews authors of the slave trade. He was by his own admission unaware of whether she’d ever apologised, and he seemed not to want to know either. Mr Corbyn then claimed that another Momentum activist and author of the racist trope against Ruth Smeeth MP was a victim of “the media”.

But apart from his total failure – willing or otherwise – to comprehend the nature of modern antisemitism, he has another flaw that makes him an enabler of antisemitism: his failure to effectively lead on this important issue. Antisemitism bubbles in all societies, but societies only become openly antisemitic when leaders enable it.

As Chukka Ummanna MP so pointedly remarked, when Ruth Smeeth was being abused by Marc Wadsworth at the Chakrabarti report’s launch — walking out in tears to jeers from activists under Mr Corbyn’s nose – he had no notion that, as leader of Labour, it was his place to spontaneously act and call it out. Instead, he did nothing, and then exchanged smiling and friendly words with the perpetrator on the way out. Instead of taking an emphatic lead, he refused yesterday to condemn Ken Livingstone’s comments about Hitler’s relationship with Zionism, citing ‘due process’. Similarly, he used half-hearted words about Ruth Smeeth’s abuse: he would not call that ‘racist’. He would not criticise Momentum’s dark heart, but instead praised it. When confronted with Jewish complaints that his behaviour made Jews feel “sad, shocked and insecure” he replied that he was “disappointed” with the victims.

Mr Corbyn yesterday proved that he is aground, a man whom the tide of history has bypassed. He sits, intellectually beached, unable to grasp the antisemitism he continues to enable. Not only that, his failure to assume the mantle of responsible leadership continues to enable the antisemitic bigotry in his party and beyond.

When Mr Corbyn was confronted with Ruth Smeeth MP’s statement that the Labour party is no longer a safe place for Jews, he disagreed. Yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn’s performance and the Chakrabarti report have only reinforced, rather than reversed that view.

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Campaign Against Antisemitism is about to hire its first employee and we need your help!

We are looking for office space, furniture and computer equipment. Can you help? We urgently need three desks in an office in North West London from which we can operate (for which we can pay a modest rent), as well as any office furniture or computer equipment you can donate.

Since we were established almost two years ago, we have campaigned as volunteers to turn the rising tide of antisemitism in Britain. Our work has expanded enormously, and we now have eight departments manned by a large team of volunteers. We are proud of what we have achieved without a single member of staff, but the time has come to hire our first part-time employee to run our long-term programmes, funded by a generous grant.

Please send suggestions, contacts or information (including photographs where possible) to info@antisemitism.uk.

Thank you for your support!

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Counter-extremism drive in shambles as terrorist flags set to fly over London this weekend

Talks between Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service have failed to prevent the flying of terrorist flags over London this weekend.

Every year, “Al Quds Day” is marked in cities around the world at the instigation of Ayatollah Khomenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Iran is principal sponsor of proscribed terrorist organisation Hizballah, the events tend to celebrate Hizballah’s terrorism, and this year’s march in London looks like it will be no different.

This year, as in previous years the march is expected to include a parade of Hizballah flags and antisemitic placards and chants. Whereas the flying of the Hizballah flag has been banned at this year’s march in other European countries, Britain ignominiously stands out for its permissive stance towards Hizballah supporters.

Section 13 of the Terrorism Act clearly states that “A person in a public place commits an offence if he (a) wears an item of clothing, or (b) wears, carries or displays an article, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation.”

However the British authorities, with flagrant disregard for the broad scope of the offence, consider that flying a Hizballah flag is acceptable because only the “military wing” of the terrorist group is proscribed (banned) under legislation. The concept of separate parts of Hizballah is nonsense; they are inseparable and both ‘wings’ believe that Jews should be sought out wherever they are in the world and murdered.

Post Brexit, we have seen the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service adopt stances of zero tolerance to hate crime, yet a procession of those supporting genocidal antisemitic terrorists appears not to concern them.

A monitoring team from Campaign Against Antisemitism will gather evidence at the event, following which we will evaluate our legal options.

Hundreds of people are expected at a counter-demonstration called for 15:00 on Sunday on North Audley Street.

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Jewish MP calls on Corbyn to resign after fleeing antisemitism press conference in tears

Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth has broken her silence and called on Jeremy Corbyn to resign after he failed to intervene in what she said was an antisemitic incident during the press conference to launch the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party.

After a Labour activist accused Smeeth during the question and answer session of participating in a media conspiracy, Smeeth left in tears and issued the following statement calling on Jeremy Corbyn to resign:

“This morning, at the launch of the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism, I was verbally attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional antisemitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy’. It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report on antisemitism in the Labour Party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people, which were ironically highlighted as such in Ms Chakrabarti’s report, while the leader of my own party stood by and did absolutely nothing.

“People like this have no place in our party or our movement and must be opposed. Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews. I have written to the General Secretary of the Labour Party and the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party to formally complain about this morning’s events.

“No-one from the Leader’s office has contacted me since the event, which is itself a catastrophic failure of leadership. I call on Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately and make way for someone with the backbone to confront racism and antisemitism in our party and in the country.”

At the beginning of the event, Jeremy Corbyn to compared Israel to ISIS, showing just how little grasp he has of this pressing problem for his party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has condemned the report as “a vague, meaningless whitewash that will do nothing to rid Labour of antisemitism or address the total absence of leadership it has shown on this issue.” The report is 41 pages long, but Campaign Against Antisemitism has produced a version with key phrases relating to antisemitism highlighted in yellow.

 

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The Chakrabarti Inquiry is a vague, meaningless whitewash that will do nothing to rid Labour of antisemitism

Today, the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party presented what it set out to present: a narrow set of recommendations on how the Labour Party should change its rules on racism.

The Inquiry did not examine the disgraceful cases of antisemitism in the Labour Party, or their even more disgraceful mishandling by the Party leadership, including Jeremy Corbyn who presides over a regime of the lightest slaps on wrists for even the most offensive and deliberate antisemites.

Inexcusably, the Inquiry proposes making it harder to suspend antisemites and keeping suspensions secret so as not to affect elections. Additionally the Inquiry dismisses any claims of antisemitism arising from sharing a stage with antisemites, and suggests that any antisemitic incident coming to light after more than two years should not be considered — a limitation period so short it has no parallel in any other disciplinary regime that we are aware of.

Apart from imploring Labour activists to stop calling Jews ‘Zios’ or accusing them of supporting Nazi policies, this Inquiry is a vague, meaningless whitewash that will do nothing to rid Labour of antisemitism or address the total absence of leadership it has shown on this issue.

As if to emphasise how far the Labour party are from dealing with their antisemitism problem, Jeremy Corbyn, during the launch, compared Israel to ISIS, and failed to intervene to defend a Jewish MP who left the event in tears after being very publicly racially abused by a Labour activist.

The Chakrabarti Inquiry has avoided addressing the well-documented postwar re-emergence of an insidious antisemitism of the ‘progressive’ Left, merely encouraging Labour members to not use abusive words. Instead of helping the Labour Party regain trust, this report will further harm its reputation in the Jewish community, as well as in the wider world.

The report is 41 pages long, but Campaign Against Antisemitism has produced a version with key phrases relating to antisemitism highlighted in yellow.

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York Students’ Union apologises for antisemitic incidents that ruined Jewish student’s university career

University of York Students’ Union has made a public apology and offered £1,000 to a Jewish student whose university career was wrecked by antisemitic incidents. It is the first case of its kind. Zachary Confino, 21, a law student, suffered stress and narrowly missed a first-class degree, after two years of battling with antisemitism from anti-Israeli students at the University of York. Jo Johnson MP, the Universities Minister, intervened to help broker the public, written apology from the university’s students’ union over his treatment.

It is right that the students’ union should apologise for the way in which it reacted to Zachary Confino’s complaints about antisemitism. But their apology and payment of compensation are not enough. There must also be a commitment to fighting antisemitism properly, something they failed to do in this case.

It should not be necessary for individual Jewish students to fight lengthy battles with their students’ unions over the course of many months or years in order to have Jew-hatred dealt with properly.

Students who abused Zachary by suggesting Hitler “was onto something” ought to have been disciplined for their racial abuse and bullying. How many other Jewish students do not have the incredible strength and dedication of Zachary Confino to fight the antisemitism they experience? And when will British universities start to fight it for them, as they should fight all forms racism within their student and professional membership?

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North London playground targeted with swastikas for four days in a row

Every day for four days this week, a playground in Stamford Hill, which has a large Jewish population, has been targeted with swastikas, leaving local parents with serious concerns. Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, found the posters in and around the playground on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. The Metropolitan Police Service is investigating and has appealed for witnesses to come forward.

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BBC exonerates newsreader after year long battle with CAA

The BBC has cleared newsreader Tim Willcox over allegations of antisemitism brought by Campaign Against Antisemitism. Giving its final ruling, the BBC Trust decided that Willcox had not made antisemitic comments during two broadcasts in November 2014 and January 2015.

In the first broadcast, Willcox was presenting a review of the next day’s newspapers which included a headline about Jewish donors ending their support for the Labour Party. Injecting his own analysis, Willcox suggested that the “Jewish faces” of the “Jewish lobby” would also probably be opposed to the “mansion tax” proposed by the party.

In the second broadcast, following the aftermath of the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, during which four shoppers at a kosher supermarket had been murdered, Willcox conducted an interview with a French lady who called for greater acknowledgment that Jews were now being targeted by Islamist terrorists. Willcox interrupted her to observe that “the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”

Media lawyer Tony Morris represented Campaign Against Antisemitism in our ensuing complaints to the BBC, which included complaints to the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit, Ofcom, the Director-General of the BBC and the BBC Trust. The BBC Trust is supposed to hold the BBC to account, but it fails to do so abjectly, as it has demonstrated in this case.

In a letter to BBC Director-General, Lord Hall, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chairman, Gideon Falter wrote: “I do not know of any other minority group so routinely told that its concerns are meritless by the BBC. Your organisation treats the concerns of Jewish licence fee payers with glib contempt, feigning to investigate but from the outset contriving to dismiss complaints at the earliest opportunity, and strenuously avoiding any meaningful public or private discussion.

Referring to the MacPherson principle used by the police and other public bodies when investigating allegations of racism, Falter continued: “In a country where the MacPherson principle is the gold standard for dealing with complaints of racism, I know of no other public body that, when faced with accusations of racism immediately retorts in the media that the accusations are groundless, the victims are not victims and that the matter is clear-cut. Normally one would expect a commitment to review the accusations in the most transparent and dispassionate manner possible, for example by means of an independent review, and public statements would be expected to reflect the fact that a review has been opened and no statement can be made that would prejudice it.”

Falter’s letter concludes: “Lord Hall, the BBC is part of British culture, but under your leadership and that of your predecessors, the BBC has become a blight for British Jews — a relic of the old-fashioned institutional antisemitism of the British establishment that has been excised from almost every sphere of public life, only to find sanctuary at your unaccountable, unrepentant BBC. You preside over an institution that is antisemitic both by act and concealment. The BBC that British Jews wish they could love and be proud of instead shames our country by shielding bigots.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has called for the BBC Trust to be replaced by Ofcom as the BBC’s overseer, a finding that has now been supported by a government-backed report. However, in the case of the Willcox complaints, Ofcom refused even to investigate, despite the fact that it already has jurisdiction over the BBC in cases of antisemitism.

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Man convicted for antisemitic harassment and threats after Shomrim swoop

Wilberth Henry has been convicted of antisemitic harassment and threats after shouting “I’ll f***ing beat you up, you f***ing Jewish c***”. Henry failed to attend court, but was convicted in his absence on evidence given by a member of Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.

Henry was reportedly spotted during a joint patrol by police and Shomrim. As a police officer approached him, he fled on foot, ran into a house and locked the door behind him. The police officer stayed at the front door whilst the Shomrim member ran to secure the back of the house. Henry then climbed out of a first floor window intending to escape, but stopped when he realised he had nowhere to go. After long negotiations, he eventually entered back through the window and was arrested.

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31 nations of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance adopt EUMC definition of antisemitism

The 31 nations of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) have adopted the EUMC definition of antisemitism. The definition, was first published in 2005 by the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), now the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), and has become the standard definition used around the world. Prior to its adoption by the 31 member states of the IHRA, the definition was already in use by the European Parliament, the UK College of Policing, the US Department of State and others including Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The definition recognises the many guises of contemporary antisemitism, including antisemitism disguised as political discourse regarding the State of Israel. The full definition can be found on our website.

The IHRA’s 31 member states are Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

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Labour reinstates senior activist who said Jews were responsible for slave trade

Jackie Walker, vice chair of the Labour Party’s influential Momentum pressure group, has reportedly been reinstated by the Labour Party after her suspension over allegations of antisemitism. Walker was suspended following an exchange on Facebook. She asked “what debt do we owe the Jews?” When another Facebook user responded by saying “the Holocaust”, Walker accused Jews of having special responsibility for what she called “the African Holocaust”. Walker claimed that “many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade” and then suggested that Jews murdered during the Holocaust were “victims to some extent through choice”.

According to the Guido Fawkes political blog, a Labour spokesman said: “Following the outcome of an investigation, Jacqueline Walker is no longer suspended and remains a member of the party.”

If the Labour Party has truly readmitted a member who publicly subscribes to antisemitic conspiracy theories of Jews financing and causing the slave trade, their ongoing inquiry into antisemitism can barely be taken seriously. To suggest that over six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust in part through choice to be victims is a grotesque and deliberate twisting of the historical facts. People do, however, choose to be antisemites and spread malicious myths about Jewish people, and for the Labour Party to readmit them so easily tells us that antisemitism in the Labour Party has become institutional.

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LBC axes Ken Livingstone primetime show following discussions with CAA

Ken Livingstone has been taken off air by LBC radio, following Campaign Against Antisemitism’s discussions with LBC’s owner, Global. Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party last month over his comments that Hitler was “supporting Zionism” for considering the forced deportation of German Jews to pre-state Israel. Livingstone has remained resolutely unapologetic and we felt that the disgraced former mayor should not continue to be afforded the platform of his own show on LBC.

Since 29th April, we have been demanding that LBC’s owner, Global, drop Livingstone, and yesterday Global confirmed to us that Livingstone would not be returning to his regular slot. Despite having a contract with Global, Livingstone is currently off air, and following our direct demands to Global that he should be permanently taken off air, they have now confirmed to us that his contract will not be renewed.

The strongest response to Livingston’s offensive remarks is for him to be shunned, which is what Global has rightly done, and we applaud them for heeding our calls.

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London police seek skinhead who told Jews to leave or be bombed

Police in London are searching for a man who reportedly approached a Jewish family with a metal bar and stick in his hand, and told them “Jews, move away, move away your children, a bomb is coming.” Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood patrol group, said that the man was described as a white male with a shaved head, wearing a dark grey short sleeve t-shirt and blue trousers. The incident took place on Queen Elizabeth’s Walk in north London, and the suspect was last seen walking on Lordship Park in N16.

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CAA complains to international boxing bodies over Tyson Fury

Campaign Against Antisemitism has complained to the World Boxing Council, the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Organisation, after the British Boxing Board of Control failed to take any action over Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury’s antisemitic slurs.

During a video interview with SportsViewLondon last week, Fury said: “Everyone just do what you can, listen to the government follow everybody like sheep, be brainwashed by all the Zionist, Jewish people who own all the banks, all the papers all the TV stations. Be brainwashed by them all.”

When Campaign Against Antisemitism issued a call for Fury to be banned from the sport over his repeated racist, homophobic and sexist comments, Fury took to Twitter. One tweet said: “I see all the Zionist media outlets are on my back, because I speak the truth! u will all see the truth soon enuf, they killed my lord jesus”.

Under intense pressure, Fury apologised, but we did not accept his apology as being sincere as this is merely the latest in a string of incidents. Rather than taking disciplinary action, the British Boxing Board of Control issued a statement claiming that Fury could not be racist as he is a “a man of Traveller heritage…a devout Christian and a family man”, ending the statement by taking the opportunity to advertise his next fight.

We have therefore complained to the British Boxing Board of Control about their handling of the matter, as well as writing to the World Boxing Council, the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Organisation, asking them to take disciplinary action in accordance with their regulations.

It is time that boxing showed serious intent to eradicate antisemitism from the sport, just as other sports have done.

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Jewish cemetery in Manchester vandalised overnight

Fourteen headstones were smashed at the Blackley Jewish cemetery in Charlestown, north-east Manchester, on Wednesday night. Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry from Greater Manchester Police issued a statement describing the vandalism as “a sickening act of antisemitism which we are taking very seriously.” He said that the attack appeared to be “deliberate and targeted” with “clear racial motivation”. The vandals appear to have climbed over the perimeter wall and broken gravestones at random around the cemetery. Chaudry promised to “do everything we can to find out who is responsible and bring the full force of the law down on them” and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

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Labour Party refuses to discipline MEP over “Nazi” tweet

Investigators from Campaign Against Antisemitism have discovered an antisemitic tweet by British Labour politician Afzal Khan. On 2nd August 2014, Khan tweeted a link to an article from which he quoted, “The Israeli Government are [sic] acting like Nazi’s [sic] in Gaza.”

Archived version

Khan is a Labour Member of the European Parliament for the North West and sits on various European Parliament committees including the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Budget Committee and the Security and Defence Committee, of which he is Vice Chair.

According to the definition of antisemitism that was first adopted by the European Union itself, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

His use of the Nazi slur is surprising given Khan’s prominence in interfaith dialogue work. He is co-founder of The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester and was awarded a CBE for his community and interfaith work in 2008.

However the Labour Party has declined to investigate or discipline Khan, instead issuing a short statement: “These views are not shared by the Labour Party and Afzal Khan MEP has been reminded of his responsibilities as a Labour representative.”

This is yet another signal sent to the Jewish community that the Labour Party is not taking its antisemitism problem seriously. We have seen repeated signs that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party operates a zero tolerance policy against racism, but only when convenient.

When it costs the party politically, antisemites go unpunished, whether it’s Father of the House, Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, or now Afzal Khan MEP. Suspending Khan would cost Labour politically in the European Parliament, so presumably that is why he has been reminded not to be antisemitic instead of being suspended and investigated.

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Shomrim deployed as men tour Stamford Hill in car, shouting antisemitic abuse

Shomrim, the volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol, rushed to deploy volunteers after a Vauxhall Vectra was seen touring Stamford Hill for a prolonged period on Monday evening, whilst its occupants shouted antisemitic abuse at Jewish passersby. The area has one of the largest Jewish populations in the country. Unfortunately police officers did not arrive in time to catch the perpetrators in the act, but thanks to detailed descriptions provided by Shomrim, it is hoped that the vehicle and its occupants will be successfully traced.

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Partial publication of the Royall inquiry is not enough

Baroness Royall has concluded her inquiry into antisemitism at the Oxford University Labour Club. Rampant antisemitism burst to the fore in February when Alex Chalmers, Co-Chair of the club resigned because “a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism met with Baroness Royall to contribute to her inquiry, however it does not seem that our recommendations have been adopted.

Only the Executive Summary of the report has been published, and it tells us nothing new, except that Baroness Royall thinks that Alex Chalmers was wrong when he resigned over institutional antisemitism. We are left to wonder what was left out of the publication, and why the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee has not permitted it to be fully revealed today.

There are no public findings about the antisemitic incidents at the club and those who perpetrated them, and it seems that the report is designed to be unremarkable. Perhaps this is because Baroness Royall has been made Co-Vice Chair of the desperately flawed Chakrabati inquiry into antisemitism in Labour.

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Accusing Jews of plotting against the Labour Party is antisemitic

Over the last few weeks, Jews and non-Jews alike, of all political persuasions, have stepped forward to highlight that the Labour Party has a problem with antisemitism.

Jews know what antisemitism is and rightly expect reports of our concerns to be taken seriously. But several individual Labour Party members, including senior figures, have dismissed Jewish concerns as untrue, and instead characterised them as a ploy, or a plot to destabilise Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. Even Corbyn himself said he suspected that “much of this criticism…comes from those who are nervous of the strength of the Labour Party at local level.”

On 5th April, Jeremy Corbyn supported his brother’s assertion that the complaints of antisemitism by Louise Ellman, a Jewish Labour MP, were the product of a Jewish plot to defend Israel’s interests. “He’s not wrong” Jeremy said of his Brother. On 1st May, Diane Abbott opined on the Andrew Marr show, to an audience of millions, that “It is a smear to say that the Labour Party has a problem with antisemitism.” On the same day, Len McCluskey, head of the Unite union said the antisemitism row had been “got up” by the right-wing press, “aided and abetted by… Labour MPs”. Ken Livingstone, who could scarcely discredit himself further, and Rupa Huq MP have joined the chorus of accusation.

To dismiss such fears at all is extremely concerning, but to characterise them as plots is to accuse the Jews of this country of dissembling, of having concealed motives. As such, it invokes the classic antisemitic trope of Jewish conspiracy. This incites hatred against Jews, and fear in the Jewish community, because it makes Jews feel that antisemitism is not taken seriously. All at a time when Jewish people around Europe have been targeted and killed for their religion and race. Some have already forgotten the numerous recent attacks on Jews in Europe, but Jewish people certainly cannot, from the killing of Jewish shoppers in Paris, Jewish museum-goers in Brussels, and Jewish worshippers in Copenhagen, to the killing of a teacher and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. Against this backdrop, could we not be allowed the liberty of judging for ourselves what is and is not antisemitic, and what might contribute to a worsening of our welfare?

Which other minority must suffer the double indignity of both being targeted by racists and then being told that it is only complaining about the racists as part of some nefarious plot? Where most forms of racism concentrate on denigrating their victims as inferior, weak or lazy, antisemitism has long focussed on painting Jewish people as being all-powerful, calculating manipulators. It implies that, far from being weak and deserving of fair treatment, they are cunning controllers of others, worthy only of suspicion and caution.

Whatever our individual political positions, Jewish people have every right to feel safe, and to say when they do not. We have every right to speak out when we see or feel antisemitism rising, even if it is within a mainstream political party. Jews are not conspiring to destabilise the Labour Party. The charges of antisemitism are not trumped up. Claiming that Conservatives or Blairites within Labour have concocted this debacle at the behest of ‘Zionists’ is to deny the problem whilst simultaneously fuelling it.

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Four fatal flaws with Labour’s antisemitism inquiry

Since Jeremy Corbyn announced that his party had commissioned an independent inquiry into antisemitism on Friday, we have been speaking to the media about our misgivings. The inquiry has been nobbled at the outset, and there are four reasons why.

Firstly, the inquiry’s scope only covers the rules in future cases of antisemitism. It will not examine existing cases that remain unaddressed, such as the case of Sir Gerald Kaufman.

Secondly, the Labour Party’s antisemitism problem is not so acute because the rules were too lax; it is acute because the Party’s leadership and structures have failed to identify antisemitism and condemn it. The inquiry should examine the conduct of the Party’s leadership, but it will not.

Thirdly, the Vice Chair of the inquiry is Professor David Feldman, who has already dismissed claims of antisemitism in the Party as “baseless” and “politically motivated” in an open letter. It is ludicrous to appoint as judge and jury someone who has already made up his mind in opposition to the vast majority of British Jews.

Fourthly, the inquiry seeks to concoct its own definition of antisemitism. There is already a definition that is used by the Government, the College of Policing, and even foreign institutions like the EU Parliament and the US Department of State. The definition is called the EUMC definition and it covers precisely the kind of antisemitism that has evaded Labour’s immune system: antisemitism disguised as political discourse. The EUMC definition is not up for debate, but we know that the inquiry will not adopt it because Professor Feldman has argued for its abolition every time he has been given the opportunity.

This broken inquiry is not the answer to Labour’s antisemitism problem.

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Corbyn refuses four times to say Hamas and Hezbollah are not his “friends”

In an exchange during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, Jeremy Corbyn refused four times to withdraw remarks in which he has previously referred to genocidal antisemitic terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends”. Challenged by David Cameron, Corbyn repeatedly avoided withdrawing the comments. As the Prime Minister pointed out, both terrorist groups advocate the murder of Jews around the world.

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Disgraced MP Naz Shah recuses herself from antisemitism inquiry

Disgraced MP Naz Shah has recused herself from the Home Affairs Select Committee, which is due to launch an inquiry into the rise of antisemitism. Shah has been suspended from the Labour Party following the revelation that she tweeted antisemitic comments. We have repeatedly called for her to be removed from the committee entirely, but at least this step means that she will not be one of eleven MPs leading the inquiry.

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Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Labour antisemitism furore

Campaign Against Antisemitism has had an extremely busy few weeks. Our investigations team found and then trawled through vast quantities of antisemitic material which we then brought to the attention of the media. For example, at the start of last week we proactively exposed antisemites, then at the end of the week gave our reaction as one after another antisemite showed him or herself for exactly what they are.

We are delighted that at last it seems that the media has started to use the same standards as the Jewish community to judge antisemitism. We like to believe that much of this is because we have shone a powerful spotlight on antisemites, but the massive result that has been playing out on the front pages of national newspapers and every news bulletin is due to the antisemites themselves, and their apologists.

Nobody forced Ken Livingstone to appear in a BBC radio studio and repeat his assertion that Hitler was “supporting Zionism”. Nobody made Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott deny that there was an antisemitism crisis. Nobody forced Seamus Milne, Corbyn’s closest aide, to praise the work of Hamas. Nobody told Labour kingpin, Unite leader Ken McCluskey to claim that antisemitism in the Labour party was a media plot. They all did this of their own volition, antisemites and apologists alike.

Yet we have also been there throughout, doing everything we can to keep our cause as a number one media priority. We have also admired the efforts of others who have worked tirelessly to further our cause, notably Labour MPs Wes Streeting and John Mann.

We have managed all this despite the fact that Campaign Against Antisemitism is an all-volunteer team and all of us have to balance our work against antisemitism with our work to earn a living.

Our experience during these last few weeks has proven to us that there is so much more we can and must do. To keep up our momentum and success we need to hire employees to supplement the work of our volunteers. We have already received a generous donation to cover one salary, but we need two full-time employees and an office. This means we need to raise the money for a second salary and a small London base.

Please donate as generously as you can at antisemitism.uk/donate. Every donation helps, but we also need long-term significant financial commitments. If you are in a financial position to help us continue to expose and defeat antisemites wherever and whoever they are, please contact us. We have recently won several battles, and we need you to enable us to win the war.

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Police data says antisemitic crime rose 25.7% and violence surged 50.8% in 2015

In 2014, antisemitic crime broke all previous records. Many linked the surge in Jew-hatred across Britain to fighting between Israel and Hamas, and expected antisemitic crime levels to fall to a background level. That is not what happened.

Our team has analysed data provided from all of the police forces in the United Kingdom.

We now know that in 2015:

  • Police forces recorded a 25.7% increase in hate crime against Jews, making it the worst year on record for antisemitic crime. The level of antisemitic crime was consistently high throughout the year.
  • Violent antisemitic crime jumped by 50.8%. In 2014 violent acts accounted for 16.9% of all antisemitic crime, but by 2015 violent acts accounted for 20.3% of antisemitic crime.
  • Despite the growth in antisemitic crime, police forces charged 7.2% fewer cases in 2015 than in 2014, meaning that only 13.6% of cases resulted in charges being brought.
  • There was no change in the non-criminal antisemitic acts reported to the police, meaning that in 2015 a higher proportion of the antisemitic acts reported to the police were criminal.

When the current wave of antisemitism began in 2014, politicians and police chiefs were quick to promise tough action. The day after Campaign Against

Antisemitism rallied outside the Royal Courts of Justice, the Prime Minister echoed our call for zero tolerance law enforcement against antisemites.

The promised crackdown has not materialised. In far too many cases, rank and file police officers and prosecutors often do not recognise some of the forms of antisemitism, or fail to take it seriously. Officers and prosecutors are not being given sufficient training or oversight.

The results speak for themselves. Antisemitic crime is climbing fast, violence against Jews is soaring, and the police response is gradually getting worse. If Britain is to escape the fate of other European countries, where antisemitism and extremism are rife and Jews are leaving in their thousands, we must train our frontline police officers and prosecutors, and properly oversee them.

We recommend:

  • Specific training and guidance on antisemitic hate crime for officers and prosecutors, produced in close consultation with us, in addition to the generic hate crime training that leaves officers and prosecutors ill-equipped to deal with the intricacies of antisemitism.
  • A review of all forces by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the appointment of a senior officer in each force with responsibility for overseeing the response to antisemitic hate crime.
  • Recording and regular publication by the Crown Prosecution Service of cases involving antisemitism and their outcomes.

This data should alarm those responsible for enforcing the law: they are failing British Jews badly. Britain has the political will to fight antisemitism and strong laws with which to do it, but in too many cases, those responsible for tackling the rapidly growing racist targeting of British Jews are failing to enforce the law.

If the situation continues to deteriorate, the Jewish community will be faced with the kind of rampant antisemitism seen in other European countries, which has left Jews feeling fearful and abandoned, many of them convinced that they have no choice but to emigrate.

The time to act was 2014. The authorities can still make up for lost time, but the window is closing. Britain’s fight against antisemitism and extremism cannot be allowed to fail.

Full details are contained in our National Antisemitic Crime Audit.

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Ken Livingstone claims Hitler was “supporting Zionism“

Ken Livingstone has told Vanessa Feltz during an interview on BBC Radio London that Hitler “was supporting Zionism before he went mad”. He made the comments whilst claiming that disgraced MP Naz Shah’s comments were not antisemitic even though she had apologised for them.

The Labour Party must expel Ken Livingstone. Today he has claimed that Hitler was “supporting Zionism”. Enough is enough. He should not be suspended, he should be expelled today. He is a hardened politician who has spent his political career accommodating antisemitic extremists and making antisemitic gaffes. Jeremy Corbyn should understand that zero tolerance for offensive comments like these is all or nothing, and it is time for Ken Livingstone to be banished.

Transcript

Vanessa Feltz (VF): You will have seen yourself written about in the Telegraph today. It’s their editorial. It says: “Others are furious about the conduct of Mr Corbyn’s friend and ally, Ken Livingstone, who says Naz Shah’s comments were not antisemitic.” Now she’s profusely apologized for them, said she made a mistake. If she’s apologized for them, presumably she acknowledges they are antisemitic. Do you still maintain they were not?

Ken Livingstone (KL): No, she’s a deep critic of Israel and its policies. Her remarks were over the top but she’s not antisemitic. I’ve been in the Labour party for 47 years; I’ve never heard anyone say something antisemitic. I’ve heard a lot of criticism of the state of Israel and its abuse of the Palestinians but I’ve never heard someone be antisemitic.

VF: She talked about relocating Israel to America; she talked about what Hitler did being legal; and she talked about ‘the Jews rallying’, and she used the word ‘Jews’, not ‘Israelis’ or ‘Israel’. You didn’t find that to be antisemitic?

KL: No, it’s completely over the top; it’s not antisemitic. Let’s remember, When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing 6,000,000 Jews. The simple fact in all of this is that Naz made these comments at a time when there was another brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinians. And there’s one stark fact that virtually nobody in the British media ever reports: in all these conflicts, the death toll is usually between 60 and 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli. Now any other country doing that would be accused of war crimes. It’s like we have a double standard about the policies of the Israeli government.

VF: You see, some people will say there’s a double standard operating in the Labour Party, that what’s really a flagrant kind of antisemitism, a deeply-embedded systemic antisemitism is hidden behind a mask of anti-Zionism or criticism of Israeli foreign policy, but that’s not what it really is. It’s really – as John Rentoul the political commentator for the Independent said on my programme, using a phrase that I would hesitate to use but he used this morning – he said “these are Jew haters, long-term Jew haters, and they can use criticism of Israel as a cloak behind which to mask that sentiment”

KL: He’s lying. As I said, I’ve never heard anyone say anything antisemitic but there’s been a very well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticizes Israeli policy as antisemitic. I had to put up with 35 years of this, and being denounced, because back in 1981 we were campaigning to say the Labour Party should recognize the PLO. We were accused of antisemitism and then 12 years later the leader of the PLO’s on the White House lawn, shaking hands with the Prime Minister of Israel

VF: How could it be therefore that you would think it was alright for Naz Shah to mention Hitler at all. If her comments were anti-Zionist or anti-Israeli foreign policy, why would that be part of the argument? Why would Hitler’s name even come into it?

KL: I don’t think she should have done that. As I said, she was over the top but we need to step back and look at the anger there is at the sort of double standards. We’ve just had nearly a decade of painful sanctions against Iran. We invaded Iraq because we thought they were going to get nuclear weapons but Israel’s had nuclear weapons for 40 years at least, and there’s never any sanctions any complaint by anyone in the West. It’s these double standards that make people angry.

VF: What do you think “over the top” really means? If I say, “Was it antisemitic?” and you say, “No, it wasn’t. Categorically no. Anyone who says it was is a liar but it was over the top”, over the top of what?

KL: Basically, to think of antisemitism and racism as exactly the same thing, and criticising the government of South Africa, which is pretty unpleasant and corrupt, doesn’t make me a racist. And it doesn’t make me antisemitic when I criticise the brutal mistreatment by the Israeli government. Let’s look at someone who’s Jewish, who said [… unclear …] Albert Einstein, when the first leader of Likud, the governing party now in Israel, came to America, he warned American politicians, “Don’t talk to this man because he’s too similar to the fascists we fought in the second World War.” Now if Naz or myself said that today, we’d be denounced as antisemitic but that was Albert Einstein.

VF: Lord Levy, a senior Labour peer I think you’ll agree, I said to him on the programme, “I’m going to be speaking to Ken Livingstone. What would you like me to say to him?” He said, “In saying what Hitler did was legal, in talking about moving all Jews from Israel to the United States (and of course, there are more Jews now in Israel than in any other country in the world), Ken Livingstone, in saying those things were legal, must be living on another planet. Vanessa, will you ask him, is he living on another planet and, if so, which planet is it?”

KL: Well, after Jeremy became leader, I was having a chat with Michael. He said he was very worried because one of his friends who was Jewish had come to him and said, “The election of Jeremy Corbyn is exactly the same as the first steps in the rise to power of Adolf Hitler.” So frankly, there’s been an attempt to smear Jeremy Corbyn and his associates as antisemitic from the moment he became leader. The simple fact is we have the right to criticize what is one of the most brutal regimes that’s going in the way it treats the Palestinians.

Conversation moves on at this point to the London mayoral election

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Naz Shah employed antisemitic Labour Councillors

Campaign Against Antisemitism investigators have discovered antisemitic tweets by close associates of suspended Labour MP Naz Shah, who resigned as Parliamentary Secretary to John McDonnell before the Labour Party bowed to pressure to expel her. We continue to call for Shah to be expelled and removed from the Home Affairs Select Committee which is about to hold an inquiry into antisemitism.

We have now found antisemitic tweets by Bradford Councillors Ishtiaq Ahmed and Mohammed Shabbir, both of whom work closely with Naz Shah and, in addition to being Councillors, are employed by a charity that she chaired.

Councillor Istiaq Ahmed

Councillor Ahmed tweeted a link to Nazi film, “The Eternal Jew” on 10th May, 2014. The film was commissioned by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels with the purpose of winning public support for antisemitic violence. The opening segment, posted by Councillor Ahmed from the “HitlerMyFührer” Youtube channel, begins “One of the most illuminating customs of the Jews’ so-called religion, is the slaughter of animals…” He has also posted an Israel conspiracy theory video alleging that Israel is behind the Islamic State and caused the Iraq War.

Councillor Ahmed was originally a Councillor for George Galloway’s Respect Party in Bradford’s Manningham Ward. In 2013, Respect suspended him and he remained in office as an independent councillor. He is stepping down at May’s Bradford Council elections. He has said that he has rejoined the Labour Party and is backing Labour’s candidate for Manningham Ward, Sarfraz Nazir.

Councillor Ahmed is employed by the Sharing Voices charity, which Labour MP Naz Shah chaired.

Councillor Mohammed Shabbir

Councillor Mohammed Shabbir repeatedly tweeted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that a conspiracy led by the Jewish state created ISIS. On 24th July 2014 he tweeted: “I find isis vile and repulsive as much as Zionism. Don’t forget baghdadi trained by mossad.” On 8th August, 2014, he tweeted: “Here is a question. Is #isis serving a purpose to create a pretext for Israel to invade Syria and Iraq. Has quest for greater Israel started”.

Shabbir routinely uses the antisemitic epithet “Zio” and accuses Jews of “playing the Holocaust card”. Political blog Guido Fawkes has also found a tweet in which he wrote: “Every Palestinian who survives the ongoing genocide in Gaza is a holocaust survivor”.

According to Shabbir, there might be a “Zionist lobby in the press”. He has even claimed that the BBC is run by a “BBC Hasbara Media Cartel”. Hasbara is a Hebrew word meaning “to explain” and in this context alleges a conspiracy to influence the media.

In addition to his role as Labour Councillor for Heaton Ward in Bradford, Shabbir is also Chief Executive of Sharing Voices, a mental health charity which Labour MP Naz Shah chaired.

Shabbir’s political stance is that Israel has no right to exist, which is antisemitic according to the EUMC definition of antisemitism. On 30th July 2014, he tweeted that “Zionism has usurped Judaism” and that “the Occupation started in 1948”. That is the year that Israeli statehood was recognised. He goes on to quote that “resistance is only there because of occupation”.  This logic effectively justifies terrorism against the only Jewish State until it ceases to exist.

It seems that Naz Shah is not alone in holding disturbing views about Jews and the Jewish state. Indeed she has employed and worked closely with people with similar views. It is entirely possible that we are beginning to expose yet another nest of antisemites in the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn must admit that his party has a problem and deal firmly with it. We see no sign of that.

Jeremy Corbyn did his best to excuse Naz Shah but has finally bowed to pressure to suspend her. This makes a mockery of his promise to fight antisemitism in his party. Zero tolerance is all or nothing. We now have a bizarre situation in which Shah is suspended but still sitting as a Labour representative on a Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry into antisemitism. Jeremy Corbyn must sort this out, and also address the festering issue of Sir Gerald Kaufman, who made antisemitic comments in October last year in the presence of the Shadow Minister for Justice and has yet to have any action whatsoever taken against him.

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Labour defends “Jewish question” MP playing pivotal role in antisemitism inquiry

Social media posts from 2014 by Labour MP Naz Shah have been discovered proposing that the Jewish state should be “relocated” to America, suggesting that she would “tweet Barack Obama and David Cameron and put this idea to them”. She has also tweeted an image with the quote “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal” and added “#ApartheidIsrael”. In August 2014 Shah tweeted a link to an article claiming that Zionism used “religious symbolism…to groom other modernised men and women of Jewish descent to exert political influence at the highest levels of public office by using the guilt of the pogroms and offered a solution to the ‘Jewish Question’ in Europe.” In July 2014, she posted a link on Facebook to a newspaper poll asking whether Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza, commenting: “The Jews are rallying to the poll.”

Naz Shah currently sits as one of only 11MPs on the Home Affairs Committee about to launch an inquiry into antisemitism, despite openly and publicly expressing these views.

Earlier this month Naz Shah alleged in a letter to the Prime Minister that Abdul Zaman, the deputy chairman of the Bradford Conservative Association, had made antisemitic comments in a public speech made in the Mirpuri dialect.

Shah shot to prominence int he Labour Party when she beat George Galloway in the last General Election.

In response, the Labour Party has issued a statement from Naz Shah saying: “This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused.”

One cannot simply apologise for “any offence caused” and expect evidence of gross and brazen antisemitism to disappear. Once again the Labour Party has been revealed to have within its ranks people who express extreme prejudice towards Jewish people in their public statements; once again the party has failed to find these statements itself, and reject those who freely and willingly express them. How can we believe Labour when it says it takes the problem of Jew-hatred seriously when it repeatedly defends antisemitic MPs. It seems that Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-racism policy only operates when convenient.

Jewish people cannot be considered fair game for this kind of racism. It’s time for a concerted and united effort to fight antisemites.

We have offered to assist the Select Committee in its work investigating antisemitism, however if Naz Shah remains on the committee it will be hard for those of us giving evidence to take the inquiry seriously.

Please take a moment to sign the petition calling for Naz Shah to be removed from the inquiry.

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Labour Party suspends member who said Holocaust is used as “financial racket”

The Labour Party has reportedly suspended a party member who called the Holocaust a “financial racket” and “a useful political tool”. John McAuliffe, a self-described “foreign affairs heavyweight” who is believed to be based in Dublin, was suspended after posting on his Facebook page: “The Holocaust has been the most useful political tool of the Zionist government in Israel to establish a financial racket in the West, whereby Israel receives an unlimited sum for the duration of its existence. The large level of poverty in Israel among Holocaust survivors shows they don’t care about the emotional impact they are trying to generate. It is about money and military technology. This further paints a clearer picture of the divide between Zionism and Judaism, and their incompatibility.”

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NUS President-elect dodges the issue, cries sexism, Islamophobia and racism

In the run-up to the election of Malia Bouattia as President of the National Union of Students last week, delegates to the union’s annual conference heard a great deal about her views. They heard that she has called Birmingham University a “Zionist outpost in higher education” because it has “the largest Jsoc [Jewish student society] in the country.” She has railed against “Zionist-led media outlets”. She has defended Palestinian terrorism as “resistance”. She has led opposition to the union condemning ISIS.

Yet the delegates at the National Union of Students Conference, ignored the warnings and elected Bouattia anyway, on behalf of the more than two million students across the United Kingdom whom the delegates supposedly represent. As if to reinforce the point that the union was in the grip of utterly perverse, unrepresentative student politicians, shortly before electing Bouattia, the delegates debated whether to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, with fierce applause for the students who condemned Holocaust Memorial Day for not being ‘inclusive’ enough.

Disturbed by Bouattia’s election, Campaign Against Antisemitism, backed by over 1,500 people who signed our open letter, called on her to retract her comments, condemn terrorism and endorse her union’s policy on antisemitism. Today she answered us and the many students’ unions up and down the country who have been threatening to disaffiliate from the National Union of Students.

Writing in today’s Guardian, Bouattia was clear as mud. When she said that the media was “Zionist-led” she says she meant that the media just favoured Zionism. She did not address her comments about the University of Birmingham’s Jewish society, nor did she explain away her defence of despicable acts by proscribed Palestinian terrorist groups as “resistance”. She claimed that her opposition to condemning ISIS was a principled stand against “Islamophobia” and that her campaign against the government’s Prevent counter-extremism strategy is simply her way of defending “civil liberties”.

Even if we accept her excuses, we still do not have an answer why she sees a large student Jewish society as problematic, or why she spoke in defence of Palestinian terrorist groups which espouse the most antisemitic ideology imaginable.

In her article, Bouattia blames the entire controversy on other people misunderstanding her, offers to reword her offensive statements instead of admitting their offensive nature and ignores some of the most important concerns altogether. But this brazen self-justification pales besides her most brazen act of all: in defending herself, she decided to smear her critics as being motivated by her gender and racial and religious background. Others in the new cohort of union officers have claimed the same. When Jews and non-Jews alike call you an antisemite, is it not doubly antisemitic to ignore their concerns whilst counterclaiming sexism, Islamophobia and racism?

The outgoing Presidents of the National Union of Students and the Union of Jewish Students have urged their supporters to “fight for what you believe in” from within the National Union of Students, and not to talk of disaffiliating. But when the National Union of Students is in the vice-like grip of activists who unabashedly tolerate antisemitism and defend terrorism, it is not surprising that many prominent students’ unions are proposing motions to disaffiliate.

The National Union of Students is supposed to represent and unify students. This week it has done the opposite.

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“In each generation they rise up to destroy us”

This evening, Jewish families around the world will read those words as we celebrate the festival of Pesach. We recall the passage of our ancestors from darkness to light as they escaped slavery under the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Tonight, we pause to celebrate our freedom, but also to remember that those who seek our annihilation will never rest.

Sadly, the message of Pesach has not lost its relevance for Jews over the millennia.

From the all-volunteer team at Campaign Against Antisemitism, we wish our Jewish supporters a happy and meaningful Pesach, and we invite our non-Jewish supporters to pause with us to reflect upon our freedom, and those who strive to destroy us.

Those who seek our destruction hate not only Jews, but all of society. Ours is the fight for civilisation itself. Join our fight by volunteering or donating.

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Posters at Edinburgh and Glasgow universities claim Jews invented the Holocaust for financial gain

Posters have been found at Edinburgh and Glasgow universities claiming that the Holocaust was a “robbery” and a “fraud” used by Jews to create a “Holocaust industry”. According to this line of thinking, the Holocaust was greatly exaggerated or entirely fabricated by Jews so that they could make financial gains, for example from war reparations.

A student at the University of Edinburgh found a poster pinned to a noticeboard, then a student at the University of Glasgow made a similar discovery.

The posters have been widely condemned and the students’ unions, universities and Police Scotland are investigating. We are following their cases with interest.

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CAA calls on new NUS President to retract comments, condemn terrorism and endorse the NUS policy on antisemitism

Today, the National Union of Students has plumbed a new low, electing as its President a candidate who has been prominently revealed in recent weeks as having extremely troubling views about Jews. Malia Bouattia has called Birmingham University a “Zionist outpost in higher education” because it has “the largest Jsoc [Jewish student society] in the country.” She has railed against “Zionist-led media outlets”, defended Palestinian terrorism as “resistance” and voted against condemning ISIS.

Shortly before her election, the National Union of Students Conference debated whether to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day, with fierce applause for the students who argued against joining in with the national memorial for the genocide which wiped out more than one third of the world’s Jewish population. Though the Conference voted to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in the end, it was abundantly clear that those opposing the move had the backing of a very large number of delegates.

The National Union of Students has positioned itself as a fierce opponent of racism, with a ‘no platform’ policy which prevents racists from speaking. However today, the new President of the union is someone whose actions contravene the definition of antisemitism adopted as policy by the union.

Today Campaign Against Antisemitism calls on Malia Bouattia to retract her comments; condemn Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS (all of which espouse the most extreme antisemitic ideology possible); and endorse the definition of antisemitism used by the union, including antisemitism which masquerades as political discourse about Israel.

Please add your name to our petition.

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CAA complains over Goebbels quote in refugee advert

Campaign Against Antisemitism has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority and the Evening Standard over the inclusion this week of an advert about refugees.

The advert is headlined “Millions of refugees have fled war and persecution last year”, followed by a quotation from Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels: “The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them.” The advert then ends: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, with the hashtag #WhatWillWeDo.

The advert, sponsored by online organic food company Etefy, apparently tries to equate the Holocaust with the current migrant crisis, however the inclusion of the quotation, without context, explanation or rebuttal, is inexcusable.

Some have interpreted the advert as agreeing with Goebbels and others have even interpreted it as blaming Jews for the crisis.

You may wish to contact the Advertising Standards Authority and the Evening Standard.

We would like to thank everyone who has reported this ill-considered advert to us.

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Confusion over suspension of ‘antisemitic’ Conservative Councillor

Abdul Zaman, the deputy chairman of the Bradford Conservative Association, has been suspended after making ‘antisemitic’ comments in support of local Conservative council candidate Sajid Akhtar.

Bradford politics has been heavily affected by the Biradri clan-based system of politics under which the selection and election of candidates and politicians can be influenced by their belonging or promises to a particular clan. The Biradri has been implicated in George Galloway’s election as MP for Bradford West for the Respect Party, leading the Labour Party to remove the local party’s ability to select its own candidates.

Zaman delivered a speech in the Mirpuri dialect which defended the Biradri system, ending in a statement about Jews and Christians. The speech ends with a call for the whole community to talk to their neighbours and friends and tell them to vote for Akhtar “so that the Jews and Christians know that we are one Biradri.”

This has been interpreted as either a message of unity, or as one of division, telling the local community to show Jews and Christians that they will adhere to the Biradri system and not be divided. Interpretation is made more difficult by the fact that Mirpuri is a purely oral dialect, and various phrases used in the speech can have different literal translations.

Local Labour MP Naz Shah has complained about the speech in a letter to the Prime Minister.

Zaman was immediately suspended pending investigations by the local Conservative Party as well as the national Conservative Party. We are following the case with interest.

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National Secular Society suggests Jews are responsible for antisemitism

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, has told LBC radio that the Jewish community has corrupted the political system and subverted due process in order to build unregistered schools in London. The presence of unregistered Jewish schools has been criticised heavily by many in the Jewish community.

Porteous Wood told LBC on 3rd April: “It’s far worse than what you’re reporting. There is a very very strong Jewish Lobby that actually undermines — of which the government appear to be frightened — and allows the rule of law to be undermined. Whether we are talking about education or indeed as is another open secret effectively in places like Stamford Hill planning rules just don’t apply. If the Jewish community wants to build — massively overbuild — and extend their houses, then they just get away with it. It’s another open secret. It’s less of a surprise that local authorities feel intimidated — as I think they do — and no doubt there are an awful lot of Jewish Councillors elected who are going to be very happy to look in the other direction, but when it gets to central government just thinking ‘Well actually we won’t do anything about it’, then it is a national disgrace.”

Not only does he think there is a “very very strong Jewish Lobby” which is successfully stopping the Department of Education from regulating Jewish schools, he also believes that Jews are successfully intimidating local authorities into failing to enforce planning regulations. Most appallingly, he thinks that Jewish Councillors ‘look the other way’ when it comes to enforcing planning regulations. Such language is straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Porteous Wood has yet to personally publicly apologise. A National Secular Society official said that “no malice was intended”, which is strange because the statement was extremely malicious.

The National Secular Society has also been criticised this week after the discovery on its website of an article about Jewish schools which claims that Jewish schools are responsible for rising antisemitism: “As more Jewish kids are taken into faith schools and fewer are taught alongside non Jews should we be surprised that the horror of antisemitism is prospering in Britain, with more attacks in 2014 than for decades?”

Opposing all religion is not discriminatory, nor should the National Secular Society be criticised for objecting to lawbreaking unregistered schools, but this week an antisemitic subtext has burst to the surface.

Please feel free to contact the National Secular Society’s Honorary Associates about this, however amongst the names of the great and the good you may also notice the names of the infamous, such as Baroness Jenny Tonge.

You may even wish to add your voice to the calls for Keith Porteous Wood to resign. One of Stamford Hill’s most senior rabbis, Rabbi Avrohom Pinter has commented: “The National Secular Society has now moved from promoting a secular lifestyle to blatant antisemitism. With Mr Porteous Wood at its CEO the NSS can no longer claim any form of legitimacy in the political sphere when we know their opinions are based on prejudice and hate. We have long wondered what fascinated the NSS about Jewish schools. We now know that their bias is against Jews and not schools. I trust that Government ministers and the media will take this on board when analysing NSS campaigns in future. There are some very decent people associated with the NSS and although we don’t see eye to eye on many matters, I am sure that a number of the NSS’s Honorary Associates will wish to cease their association with an organisation run by an individual who is actively promoting classic antisemitic myths and stereotypes.”

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Campaign Against Antisemitism issues report on British Muslims and antisemitism

For at least twenty years, the British Jewish community has been out in front when it comes to interfaith work. As Britain’s Muslim population has grown, British Jews assumed that interfaith models that led to huge advances in relations with British Christians, could apply just as well to relations with British Muslims. Indeed building bridges with British Muslims has become the focus of outreach work by British Jews.

Today, our analysis of the ICM survey of British Muslims for Channel 4 and Juniper Television shows that the gradual buildup of understanding and friendship between Britain’s Jews and Muslims has been utterly eclipsed by growing antisemitism amongst British Muslims.

On every single count, British Muslims were more likely by far than the general British population to hold deeply antisemitic views. It is clear that many British Muslims reserve a special hatred for British Jews, rating Jews much less favourably than people of other religions or no religion, yet astonishingly British Muslims largely do not recognise antisemitism as a major problem.

It has long been suspected that sections of the British Muslim population harboured hatred towards British Jews. This survey goes some way to identifying pockets of prejudice, but it also shows that the prejudice is horrifyingly widespread.

From the ICM survey data made available by Channel 4 and Juniper Television, we have been able to identify some of the worst pockets of prejudice. Antisemitic British Muslims are more likely to be men, to be older than 35, to be social renters, to be in employment, to have been born outside Britain, to live south of the Midlands in England, or in Scotland, and they are overwhelmingly likely to sympathise with terrorism, violence and extremism.

The data is frustratingly limited in one some respects, and one in particular: it does not delve into the various political and religious movements that comprise the British Muslim population.

This data shows that Jews remain the ‘canary in the coal mine’, as they have been throughout history: those who harbour hatred of Jews also hate British society and sympathise with our most deadly enemies. Britain must confront rampant antisemitism within its Muslim population, but also amongst the general population, whose shocking views should be no less concerning simply because the views of British Muslims are worse.

The full report is available on our website.

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Shomrim rush to scene in London as man shouts death threats at Jewish boys

In the early hours of this morning, three young Orthodox Jewish boys were walking along Manor Road in the Stamford Hill area of London when a man started shouting allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar! F***ing Jews! Kill the Jews!”

The boys called Shomrim which responded immediately, the suspect was still in the area, threatening pedestrians and shouting antisemitic abuse. Shomrim liaised with the Police and assisted the victims until the police arrived, at which point the man was arrested.

Chaim Hochhauser, Supervisor at Stamford Hill Shomrim, said “Antisemitism and all types of hate crime are unacceptable. I urge victims and witnesses to report such incidents immediately. Such incidents should never be accepted as the norm, no matter how regularly these incidents sadly happen.”

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Labour Councillor’s Twitter account praises “my man Hitler” for Holocaust

Aysegul Gurbuz is the youngest ever Councillor in Luton, representing High Town Ward for the Labour Party since 7th May 2015. She also sits on a panel supervising Bedfordshire Police. Her support for Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to lead the Labour Party was published on his campaign website.

But tweets on her Twitter account also show strong support for Adolf Hitler who is referred to as “my man Hitler” and the “greatest man in history”. Another tweet hoped that Iran would use a “nuclear weapon” to “wipe Israel off the map”. Other tweets expressed “disgust” that “Jews are so powerful”, and one even stated “Ed Miliband is Jewish. He will never become prime minister of Britain.”

One tweet said: “If it wasn’t for my man Hitler these Jews would’ve wiped Palestine years ago. Sorry but it’s a fact.” The tweet’s author added “Not hating on Jews btw”, presumably concerned that someone might think they had some kind of problem with Jews. Among the most shocking tweets was one that began: “Jews cannot expect us to sympathise with their history under Hitler”.

Gurbuz was also a candidate for Warwick Student Union’s Ethnic Minorities Officer, listing in her manifesto a commitment to “Increase awareness of Holocaust Memorial Day”, as well as serving on the Executive Committee of the Warwick Friends of Palestine Society.

When we approached Gurbuz for comment, she said that her sister had probably tweeted the tweets, and that she had no recollection of them.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has reported the matter to the Labour Party, the University of Warwick, the University of Warwick Students’ Union and the police. We also provided details of the story to the media.

We understand that she has been suspended by the Labour Party and has deleted her Twitter account.

Our investigations team found these antisemitic tweets on Aysegul Gurbuz’s personal account. There is no defence for that. The Holocaust was a uniquely dark chapter of our recent history, when more than six million Jews were murdered as part of a plan put in place by Adolf Hitler. Not only do the tweets glorify Hitler, they also express hope that Iran will wipe out another six million Jews in Israel with a nuclear weapon.

Antisemitism is rising in Europe and in the UK, and the regular revelations of antisemitic tweets and opinions emanating even from senior Labour party figures such as Sir Gerald Kaufman MP has failed to elicit any meaningful response from Jeremy Corbyn. How many more cases must we see before the Labour Party takes action?

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Four arrested after London Jewish family’s car egged by attackers shouting antisemitic abuse

Shomrim has reported that a car carrying a Jewish couple and their baby has been attacked with eggs, whilst the perpetrators shouted “F***ing Jews” and “Kill the Jews” amongst other antisemitic abuse. The incident took place at 02:00 this morning in London’s Blackwall Tunnel. There was no prior contact or incident between the two cars.

Officers from Tower Hamlets Police stopped a vehicle and arrested its four male occupants shortly after the incident, and investigations are ongoing. Shomrim are assisting the victims.

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Labour Party activist reported to party and police over pro-Hitler antisemitic tweets

Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to the Labour Party and the police to report activist Choudhry Shahzad, after antisemitic tweets were found by our investigators.

On 14th July 2014, Shahzad tweeted a fabricated Adolf Hitler quotation which has become an antisemitic meme “I could have annihilated all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was annihilated them. – Aldof Hitler #GazaUnderAttack”. He then returned to Twitter 35 minutes later to correct his grammar and spelling, writing a second tweet saying “I could have annihilated all the Jews, but I left some of them to let the World know why I was annihilating them. – Hitler”.

On 2nd August 2014, Shahzad tweeted the meme again, writing: “Hitler Well Said: I could have annihilated all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was annihilated them. – Adolf Hitler”. He returned to Twitter five hours later to tweet photographs of Gaza captioned: “I could have annihilated all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was annihilated them. Hitler”.

On other occasions, Shahzad has tweeted quotations from Hitler, despite styling himself as a “progressive” patriot whose Twitter profile photo is overlaid with a Union Jack and whose cover photo shows the Houses of Parliament by night.

Shahzad is a keen supporter of the Labour Party, appears to be on good terms with Ruth Cadbury MP, and has recently campaigned for Sadiq Khan MP, however there is no evidence that they were aware of his admiration for Adolf Hitler, or that he occupied any official position.

The Labour Party has been dogged by daily revelations of antisemitism amongst its activists, but has yet to take meaningful action.

Last year, teacher Mahmudhul Choudhury was convicted after tweeting the same fabricated Hitler quotation. Choudhury was also banned from teaching for life by the Secretary of State for Education after Campaign Against Antisemitism instigated professional misconduct proceedings against him.

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With Sadiq Khan MP

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Neo-Nazis demonstrate against Jews at war memorial in Golders Green

A group of nine neo-Nazis demonstrated for half an hour against Jews during the Jewish Sabbath at the foot of the war memorial in Golders Green.

Last summer, the same group of neo-Nazis, led by Eddie Stampton, attempted to hold a larger demonstration in Golders Green on 4th July. The Metropolitan Police Service used their powers under the Public Order Act to move the demonstration to a kettling pen in Westminster and limited its duration to one hour. The move by the police was seen as a very public defeat by the neo-Nazis and came as a result of the large counter-demonstration planned by Campaign Against Antisemitism and a month of negotiations with the Metropolitan Police Service’s Public Order Branch.

The neo-Nazis were forced to organise any future demonstrations in total secrecy, to avoid giving us the ability to organise against them. They arranged their demonstration on Saturday by inviting only a small group of committed neo-Nazi individuals and we had no advance warning of their presence. The Metropolitan Police Service received notification the day before the demonstration.

The sole speaker on Saturday was Jeremy Bedford-Turner, whom we reported to the police last July for his antisemitic speech in the kettling pen. He delivered a similar speech to his speech last July, accusing Jews of everything from subverting Roman justice resulting in the crucifixion of Jesus, through to subverting many of the world’s governments in modern times.

Three weeks ago, Campaign Against Antisemitism took measures which we hope will significantly impact this particular neo-Nazi group in the weeks to come. Antisemitism must always be met with zero tolerance, whether it comes from the far left, Islamists, or the far right.

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Greater Manchester Police officer keeps job after Hitler post

Police constable Shahid Shah has won a fight to keep his job after being caught out posting an image of the Israeli Prime Minister superimposed on Adolf Hitler. “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is explicitly specified as antisemitic according to the definition of antisemitism used by the UK College of Policing.

Shah apologised and admitted that he had breached professional standards, but his lawyer, Julian King, successfully argued that he should merely receive a formal written warning and take part in diversity and social media training.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Shah posted the image during a debate on Facebook in a private group for police officers. The image superimposed an image of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu on a picture of Hitler pointing at a map with Nazi colleagues. The debate apparently turned antisemitic, with one officer commenting to ask whether the “execution of six million Jews is OK too?”

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan told the disciplinary hearing: “He did cause offence to members of the Jewish community, failed to show initially that he accepted what he had done was wrong and showed he had failed to learn lessons from a previous warning about what he had posted on Facebook.” The hearing also heard that Shah “only apologised when he was interviewed” about the post.

Shah responded: “If this has caused people upset, I’m sorry. It was never my intention to offend, only to prompt debate about the situation in Gaza. I saw innocent women and children being killed and wounded and I wanted people to think long and hard about the situation.”

Shah’s lawyer told the hearing that the Professional Standards Branch of Greater Manchester Police had initially recommended the PC should face misconduct rather rather gross misconduct proceedings, which would have meant that he could not be dismissed, however Assistant Chief Constable Shewan overruled the decision and instigated gross misconduct proceedings which could result in dismissal.

The chair of the hearing panel said that Shah had made an “early admission, apologised in his interview and accepted it was an error of judgment.”

We commend Assistant Chief Constable Shewan for his decision to overrule the decision of the Professional Standards Branch to merely bring misconduct proceedings, however many Jews will feel that they have been failed this disciplinary process.

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David Cameron tells Jeremy Corbyn to ‘sort out’ Labour’s antisemitism problem

As the scandal of rampant antisemitism in the Labour Party continues, the Prime Minister today told Jeremy Corbyn that his party must “sort it out”.

The statement, made in response to a question from Mike Freer MP, came on the heels of revelations today that the Labour Party readmitted a councillor suspended for saying that “Jews” are behind ISIS, while another councillor was caught out sharing Facebook posts making a similar claim. The revelations come as a video by Campaign Against Antisemitism about antisemitism in the Labour Party was viewed 20,000 times within 24 hours of its release.

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Labour reinstates councillor who said “Jews” behind ISIS, as another makes similar claim

The ongoing scandal of rampant antisemitism in the Labour Party continues as it emerges that Labour’s councillor for Kensington and Chelsea, Benazir Lasharie, has been reinstated by her local party after being suspended in October last year for her claim that “Jews” might be behind ISIS. Meanwhile, a Labour councillor and former Lord Mayor, Khadim Hussain, has been exposed for promoting a similar theory.

Lasharie had reportedly posted a video on Facebook entitled: “ISIS: Israeli Secret Intelligence Service”, commenting on it: “Many people know about who was behind 9/11 and also who is behind ISIS. I’ve nothing against Jews..just sharing it.” She then added “I’ve heard some compelling evidence about ISIS being originated from Zionists!” When Everyday Antisemitism wrote the story up, it was shared thousands of times on Facebook by people who agreed with Lasharie and were astonished that Labour had suspended her. For example Asian Shout-Out lamented the assault on Lasharie’s “freedom of speech” with commenters on Facebook claiming that she was “telling the truth”.

Hussain has today been exposed by the Jewish News for sharing Facebook posts saying Hitler killed “six million Zionists”.  He also shared an article entitled “Greater Israel courtesy of ISIS”, above which he added: “There is no doubyt who created the so called ISIS and who is arming those vile terrorists!”

The revelations come as a video by Campaign Against Antisemitism about antisemitism in the Labour Party was viewed 20,000 times within 24 hours of its release.

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British Transport Police seek man in connection with antisemitic abuse on a train

British Transport Police are seeking a man they think might have information about an incident of antisemitic abuse.

On Sunday, 31st January, a group of men believed to be Chelsea fans singled out an Orthodox Jewish man on a train and started to chant antisemitic abuse at him. The men boarded a Euston-bound train at 19:50 at Milton Keynes, following a match between Chelsea and the Milton Keynes Dons.

Detective Constable David Peek, from British Transport Police, said: “The carriage was crowded and they began using foul language. One of them singled out an Orthodox Jewish man and all of the men began chanting antisemitic abuse at him. The victim moved carriage as a result of this disgraceful behaviour. Nobody should have to put up with abuse just because of their race or religion, and we take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously. I think the man in the image I am issuing today will have information about the incident. Please tell us who he is?”

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference 210 of 21/03/2016. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

British Transport Police generally has a strong record dealing with incidents of antisemitic racism and we hope that the public will provide the information that they need. At the beginning of the month, two West Ham fans were convicted for antisemitic chanting on a train after being identified by the public following an appeal for witnesses by British Transport Police, with which we were pleased to be able to assist.

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CAA video on antisemitism in Labour viewed by 20,000 people in 24 hours

Campaign Against Antisemitism has released a new video entitled “Does the Labour Party have an antisemitism problem?”. The video was watched by over 20,000 people within 24 hours of its release and continues to spread through social media. The video lays bare some of the more grotesque antisemitic quotes from Labour party members, from a peer through to MPs through to local party members.

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What do you have when antisemitism in your ranks is no longer surprising, and complaints from Jews are a daily nuisance?

It is a simple checklist for a political party, really:

  • Do not call antisemitic terrorist groups your “friends”
  • Do not just say you’ll “reflect” when challenged about it
  • Do not associate with Holocaust deniers
  • Do not give a free pass to your senior MPs when they suggest Jews are using their “Jewish money” to facilitate murder
  • Do not cover up investigations into student members who harassed Jews, for example by calling Auschwitz a “cash cow”
  • Do not promote to positions of power people who think that Hitler is the “Zionist God”
  • Do not readmit and then re-expel members who want to solve the “Jewish question”

It is a checklist that the Labour Party has had a great deal of trouble following.

The catalogue of antisemitic acts committed by Labour Party members is growing at an alarming rate. Since making the case for a wholesale investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party just over a week ago, new revelations have come to light.

  • As the Oxford University Labour Club is investigated, Labour students at other universities have been revealed to also have “some kind of problem with Jews”, as Alex Chalmers bravely put it as he resigned as Co-Chair of OULC.
  • It was discovered that Gerry Downing, who wants to solve the “Jewish question”, was readmitted to and then re-expelled from the Labour Party, before being quizzed on his views by Andrew Neil in an interview.
  • Today we learned that Vicki Kirby, who thinks that Hitler is the “Zionist God” and that Jews have “big noses” and “slaughter the oppressed” has been elected Vice Chair of the Woking branch of the Party, and that nothing will be done unless there is “new evidence”.

The decline of the Labour Party has been worryingly swift. This time last year, the Party largely shrugged off accusations of antisemitism by pointing out that its leader was Jewish, but that excuse vanished when Jeremy Corbyn became Leader of the Opposition and showed early on that he could tolerate some pretty extreme antisemitism. Since then, the intermittent trickle of evidence has become a steady stream.

Back in October, we were horrified by Labour’s utterly determined refusal to take action against Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, but we read today’s announcement by the Labour Party that they will do nothing about Vicki Kirby because there is no “new evidence” with resignation.

Jews must feel welcome in any political party. It is extremely dangerous when they do not. Every Party has embarrassing lunatics who are not picked up by vetting procedures until they stumble into the limelight, but when that happens we expect that their Party will firmly and swiftly reject them.

Many Labour members are speaking out bravely against the antisemitic rot that is devouring their political home, but far too many seem not to be terribly bothered.

When antisemitism in your party’s ranks is no longer surprising, and complaints from Jews are a daily nuisance, your party has pervasive antisemitism and a broken system for rooting it out.

The Labour Party is starting to look institutionally antisemitic, and that is dangerous for Jews, dangerous for democracy and dangerous for Britain.

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Criminal record and £1,240 bill for two West Ham fans who sang antisemitic song on a train

Two men have been convicted under the Crime and Disorder Act of racially aggravated harassment alarm and distress for singing antisemitic football songs on a train.

The two West Ham fans, Richard Prendiville and a man identified only as R. Peacock were both convicted at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on 2nd March. The case against a third man was dropped. Prendeville was fined £220 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £23 plus £350 costs, whilst Peacock was fined £270 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £27 and £350 costs.

The men were identified after British Transport Police issued an appeal for witnesses, which Campaign Against Antisemitism and others circulated widely.

In a statement issued at the time, investigating officer PC Michael Botterill said: “This sort of casual racism has gone unchallenged for too long. We know the vast majority of football fans are decent people, but for those who continue to make life unpleasant for the travelling public, our message is clear: we will not tolerate your yobbish behaviour.”

We have been watching the case closely and liaising with British Transport Police. We commend the victim for reporting this, and British Transport Police for acting quickly to identify and punish Prendeville and Peacock.

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Arsenal fans caught on camera singing antisemitic songs

Arsenal fans have disgraced themselves by singing an antisemitic song on their way to a match against rival team Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. As they rode the London Underground to the stadium, a group of Arsenal supporters can be heard loudly singing “I’ve got a foreskin, haven’t you? F***ing Jew!”

The witness who filmed the incident told the Daily Mail: “I got off at Seven Sisters [Station] and spoke to the police about it but they didn’t really do anything about it. The video I shot isn’t the half of it – they were singing about the Holocaust and Aushwitz – I’ve heard that kind of thing before but it doesn’t normally happen with Arsenal. There weren’t really any other Spurs fans on the train, but there were normal commuters. No one seemed shock, some people were actually laughing. I was really offended by it.”

British Transport Police told us: “We have been made aware of a video on social media showing antisemitic behaviour on board a Tube train BTP takes these matters very seriously. The matter is currently being investigated and enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with any information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting reference 131 of 08/03/16.”

We have asked why it seems that no action was taken when the witness spoke to police at Seven Sisters Station.

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Derbyshire antisemitic drunk convicted, ordered to do 150 hours’ community service and pay £145

A drunk man has been convicted and ordered to perform 150 hours of unpaid work and told to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge after he hurled antisemitic insults in the street of Derby after last year’s Paris terrorist attacks.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how David Gregory, 46, of Gerard Street, Derby, had been angered by the terrorist attacks in Paris and went out drinking the following day. He was walking down Etwall Road in Derby at about 16:30 on 14th November 2015 when he saw a man jogging towards him. Gregory launched a string of obscene, racist insults at the man, who ran away and called police.

Lynne Bickley, prosecuting, said: “He thought the things he was saying weren’t nice things to hear and the last salute he had in his hand was in the shape of a fist. Police saw him standing on the pavement swaying, believed to be drunk. He said the female police officers looked young enough to be his daughters.”

Mrs Bickley said he then made numerous antisemitic comments and other remarks about people with dark skin.

After Gregory’s arrest for racially aggravated aggressive behaviour, he continued to make offensive remarks in the back of the police car, officers said.

Jaz Soodi, in mitigation, said Gregory had apologised for his outbursts and was embarrassed by his actions, which he could not remember. “He basically told the police what he told me – he couldn’t believe he had done it,” Mr Soodi said. “He was angry about what had happened in Paris. His partner had phoned police and said he was annoyed by it.”

Suicide bombers and gunmen killed 130 people during the attacks in the French capital on 13th November 2015.

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First four arrests as CAA announces new unit to track and punish antisemites on Twitter

Campaign Against Antisemitism has established a new specialist team which monitors antisemitism on Twitter, builds up evidence and works with police forces across the UK to bring those responsible to justice. Today, we announce the first arrests as a result of these investigations.

Jew-hatred on Twitter made headlines in 2014 when the “#HitlerWasRight” hashtag trended worldwide, but since then the issue has dropped from the public eye despite the problem continuing to worsen.

Campaign Against Antisemitism made efforts to work with Twitter to proactively remove antisemitic accounts from the platform, but those efforts ended when Twitter told us that “proactive monitoring and reporting is not compatible with our basic structure and policies as a platform.” We also worked with victims of antisemitic incitement on Twitter, helping them to report their cases to the police, but found that police forces threw up obstacles which victims did not know how to overcome.

With Twitter and police forces leaving the problem unsolved, we created a social media investigations team, specialising in monitoring social media, gathering evidence, and ensuring that the police take action, with the help of our existing legal team comprising some of the UK’s top criminal lawyers.

These efforts have borne fruit; despite difficulties with police forces, four arrests have now been made. In all cases, those arrested disguised their Jew-hatred as criticism of “Zionists”, but through extensive monitoring, we were able to gather evidence showing that their incitement was in fact targeting Jews.

Freedom of speech comes with obligations, not just rights. When people choose to incite hatred or intimidate others in public, they must face the consequences of their choices under the law of the land.

It is sad that the job of tackling antisemitism on Twitter is being left to our volunteers, but we refuse to allow the daily barrage of online intimidation of Jews to continue unabated. The message to UK-based antisemites on Twitter is clear: continue to publish anti-Jewish racism and you will be brought to justice.

We would like to thank and pay tribute to the extremely dedicated team of volunteers which has secured these arrests, with more to follow.

  • A man has been arrested by South Wales police and released on bail over allegations that he tweeted messages such as: “We need to root out the fifth column American/British Jews who’s loyalty is to Netanyahu and racist Israel.”, “Massacre, slaughter and revenge are deeply ingrained in the collective Jewish psyche from the moment of birth onwards.” and “Very rich powerful Jews can get away with being paedophiles, while Jewish journalists/bloggers can get away by simply not writing about it.”
  • A man has been arrested by Sussex Police and released on bail over allegations that he tweeted messages such as: “Jews are nasty murdering bastards”, “We don’t want a Jew [Ed Miliband] to lead our country”, and “Let me be clear. If all Jews died today I’d be happy. Would I do it? No. Would I applaud? Yes”
  • A man has been arrested by Thames Valley Police and released on bail over allegations that he tweeted messages such as: “We evicted the Jews in the past and we took their property because of their thievery. So not a problem. Excise the cancer.” and “When we chucked the Jews out we prospered hugely, they weedled their way back and it turned to s***.”
  • A woman has been arrested by Police Scotland over allegations that she tweeted messages such as: “Pedophilia is all about having power to humiliate someone smaller… The Jewish Talmud positively endorses it” and “I want the Jews in exile as they have been thrown out of every country so far for their bulls***”
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The Labour Party’s antisemitism problem is festering: treat the disease, not just the symptoms, or the patient is doomed

Allegations in today’s Sunday Times and Thursday’s Telegraph have confirmed what we already suspected about the Labour Party’s response to allegations of antisemitism: the party is refusing to deal with the disease. Instead, allegations of antisemitism are ignored, or covered up.

Take the case of Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, for example. On 27th October 2015, Kaufman, whose seniority earns him the title of Father of the House of Commons, delivered an antisemitic speech on parliamentary premises to Labour’s Shadow Minister for Justice and other MPs. He claimed that British Jews use “Jewish money” to subvert the British government so that Israeli Jews can “execute Arab-looking people”. At first, the party tried to ignore the matter. Eventually, Jeremy Corbyn expressed “deep concern” but  both Corbyn and the Opposition Chief Whip continue to ignore our calls to take disciplinary action. All they did was to call for Kaufman to apologise, and even an apology was not forthcoming. Case closed, as far as Labour is concerned.

The latest allegations come in the wake of the brave decision by Oxford University Labour Club Co-Chair Alex Chalmers to resign, citing as the reason that “a large proportion” of the Club and student left “have some kind of problem with Jews”. Oxford’s Jewish Society gave some examples and Labour Students, to which Oxford’s Labour Club is affiliated, opened an investigation. Campaign Against Antisemitism immediately offered the help of two of our best investigators, but days after the investigation had opened, it had been shut down: the Labour Party did not want to investigate the problem of antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club, they instead wanted to investigate the antisemitic conduct of some individual members. As part of a wider investigation into alleged vote rigging in student elections.

Now we know why. According to today’s Sunday Times, the initial investigation by Labour Students uncovered allegations that the Club’s members had condoned antisemitic attacks on synagogues in Paris in 2014, and mocked Jewish mourners of last January’s massacre at a Jewish supermarket in Paris when they appeared on television. They called Auschwitz “a cash cow” and called Jewish students “Zios”. There were plenty more examples, pointing to a “poisonous” atmosphere which would lead to the “long and proud tradition of centre-left Jews in the Labour party” to be “lost for a generation”. Now the investigation by Labour Students has been subsumed into another investigation run by the Labour Party, and its report has been buried.

Labour MPs Michael Dugher and Rachel Reeves have called for the initial report by Labour Students to be published immediately, telling the Telegraph that it “isn’t acceptable for the Party to now wrap serious allegations about antisemitism inside Labour Students into a wider inquiry”. The Telegraph quotes a source within Labour as saying: “The original report was handed to Corbyn’s office and circulated among senior Labour staff but they wanted it to be buried…It plays to a wider issue: everyone knows there is a problem with antisemitism on the left but they continue with impunity, they have a carte blanche under Corbyn. There was an understanding that the Party would endorse the Labour Students’ findings and build on them. But that is not what has happened. They did not like the findings so shut it down.”

What we are seeing is a buildup of very disturbing evidence. Jeremy Corbyn has his own past associations with antisemites. Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman was able to make an antisemitic speech to other Labour MPs, including the Shadow Minister for Justice, without even being interrupted. Labour student activists have turned the cradle of the Party’s leadership, the Oxford University Labour Club, into an antisemitic cesspool which the Club’s own Co-Chair could no longer stand. And in response, Kaufman has been protected instead of being disciplined, and the investigation by Labour Students has been buried because it revealed the true extent of the problem.

Antisemitism is a form of rot. It is no good painting over its grotesque symptoms: the disease must be cut out, and that takes bravery and resolve. Those speaking out have shown their bravery, but Labour’s leadership has shown no resolve at all.

Jewish people should feel comfortable in any political party, but in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, Jews are likely to become an endangered species.

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Community service, £900 costs and suspended prison sentence for antisemitic abuse

Rashal Miah, an Uber driver from Tottenham in North London, has been found guilty of racially and religiously aggravated harassment, and sentenced to a six month suspended prison sentence. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and attend 15 days of ‘anger management’ training, as well as covering the prosecution costs of £900.

In September 2014 Miah abused the Jewish driver of a school bus full of children who asked him to reverse his car which was travelling the wrong way down a one-way street. Miah left his black Mercedes and threatened the Jewish man who was identifiable as Jewish from his clothing. Miah had pleaded “not guilty” to shouting: “Shut the f*** up, you f***ing Jew. I will slit your throat.” He went on to refer to the school van driver as “Yehudi” (Jew) and said: “I’m going to kill all the Jews.”

Uber has said that it has banned Miah, and we have asked Transport for London to comment.

Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, provided support to the victim through the lengthy court process.

We commend Shomrim, the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service for their firm response to this incident.

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Remove “institutionally antisemitic” BBC’s right to self-regulate, says CAA, as independent review criticises “flawed” BBC Trust

Sir David Clementi has concluded his government-backed independent review of the BBC by calling for “fundamental reform of the system of governance and regulation,” suggesting that the BBC Trust be relieved of its regulatory duties, with Ofcom taking over instead.

In the past year, the BBC has rejected several complaints from Campaign Against Antisemitism including about:

  1. The assertion by newsreader Tim Willcox that “Jewish faces” and a “Jewish lobby” oppose the mooted ‘mansion tax’;
  2. The assertion by newsreader Tim Willcox that the murder of Jewish shoppers in Paris last January might be caused because “Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands”;
  3. A thirteen-minute antisemitic diatribe on BBC Radio London in December during which a caller was allowed to deliver a lengthy discourse about a supposed Jewish conspiracy, with barely a challenge from the presenter throughout; and
  4. A completely gratuitous line during a drama: “Jews, whenever there’s a problem, there’s Jews at the bottom of it”

The BBC routinely dismissed our complaints by issuing press releases claiming that there had been no antisemitism, before any internal investigation had taken place. After a particularly reprehensible BBC broadcast in January, Campaign Against Antisemitism Chairman Gideon Falter wrote to the BBC’s Director-General, Lord Hall: “I do not know of any other minority group so routinely told that its concerns are meritless by the BBC. Your organisation treats the concerns of Jewish licence fee payers with glib contempt, feigning to investigate but from the outset contriving to dismiss complaints at the earliest opportunity, and strenuously avoiding any meaningful public or private discussion.”

Referring to the MacPherson principle used by the police and other public bodies when investigating allegations of racism, Falter continued: “In a country where the MacPherson principle is the gold standard for dealing with complaints of racism, I know of no other public body that, when faced with accusations of racism immediately retorts in the media that the accusations are groundless, the victims are not victims and that the matter is clear-cut. Normally one would expect a commitment to review the accusations in the most transparent and dispassionate manner possible, for example by means of an independent review, and public statements would be expected to reflect the fact that a review has been opened and no statement can be made that would prejudice it.”

Falter’s letter concludes: “Lord Hall, the BBC is part of British culture, but under your leadership and that of your predecessors, the BBC has become a blight for British Jews — a relic of the old-fashioned institutional antisemitism of the British establishment that has been excised from almost every sphere of public life, only to find sanctuary at your unaccountable, unrepentant BBC. You preside over an institution that is antisemitic both by act and concealment. The BBC that British Jews wish they could love and be proud of instead shames our country by shielding bigots.”

Lord Hall’s office responded to “reject your allegation”, but offered no constructive measures to improve the investigation of widespread concerns of a culture of impunity at the BBC, which are felt particularly by many in the Jewish community. Despite welcoming the call for independent regulation today, the BBC did not accept our call for independent investigation of our complaints of antisemitism.

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CAA reports Islamic Research Foundation International to the Charity Commission over “cursed race” antisemitic diatribe

Following a litany of antisemitic statements made on Peace TV Urdu, which draws its funding from a charity, Campaign Against Antisemitism has complained to the Charity Commission, calling for a statutory inquiry.

During routine monitoring of the channel, Ofcom reported that Jews were described as “being ‘this cursed people…this cursed race’; possessing ‘evil genius’…filling Europe during history ‘with their poison’…‘hatching conspiracies’…considering ‘non-Jews’ to be ‘not human’…considering it acceptable to ‘cheat non-Jews, to rob them and to deceive them’…that during the twentieth century ‘Jewish bankers…lay down their roots like a cancer… [to take] the whole of Europe in their grip’, and in the present day that Jewish people ‘want to bring the world to heel through the global banking network’…and presented [the Protocols of the Elders of zion[ as a factual document containing ‘in great detail’ the plans of ‘some very powerful Jews’.”

Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI) is a registered charity which exists to “Operate Peace TV successfully and broadcast a variety of programmes for the public benefit”, but Peace TV has repeatedly been caught out by Ofcom for broadcasting programmes which breach the Broadcasting Code and the latest incident may amount to criminal conduct. CAA has discovered that IRFI’s President, Dr Zakir Naik, is also Chairman of the company whose subsidiaries own the broadcasting licences for Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu.

Previously, Peace TV was caught airing a programme which advocated that Muslim men should beat their wives, and gave specific guidance as to how they should do so, and in 2012, Ofcom found Dr Naik himself repeating in two separate broadcasts that non-Muslims should be put to death.

These breaches were all detected during routine monitoring by Ofcom and it would be an almost impossible coincidence if the only occasions on which Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu broadcast such content were on the occasions that Ofcom happened to be monitoring those channels.

Since the activities of IRFI, Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu are inseparable, and Ofcom has repeatedly caught Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu broadcasting programmes which breach the Broadcasting Code and are not for the public benefit, it follows that some, if not most, of IRFI’s funds are not being used for charitable purposes.

Due to the gravity of the breaches identified by Ofcom and the complicity of IRFI’s President in at least two such breaches, we have called for a full statutory inquiry so that the Charity Commission may avail itself of the full range of statutory sanctions set out in the Charities Act 2011.

We are also referring the broadcaster to the police as it is a criminal offence to broadcast programmes which constitute incitement to racial or religious hatred.

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University of Kent refuses to take action over “Elders of Zion” conspiracy speaker because she is “a bona fide journalist”

Following a speech to students at the University of Kent in which journalist Amira Hass reportedly claimed that the “Elders of Zion” planned “colonial” hegemony over Palestinians, the Head of the Office of the Vice Chancellor has told Campaign Against Antisemitism that no action will be taken.

“Elders of Zion” is a phrase used absolutely exclusively in the context of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, the antisemitic fabrication first published in 1903 which alleges the existence of a Jewish conspiracy to further the interests of Jewish people to the detriment of mankind, and forms the basis for many antisemitic conspiracy myths. Neither the organisers nor attendees appear to have spoken out.

Hass is quoted by blogger David Colier as saying: “And I ask myself did the Elders of Zion really sit together at the beginning of the seventies and then during the nineties, and plan, and have all these military orders, all these changes?” The remark was allegedly made on 28th January at a conference entitled “Israel and the Palestinians: Colonialism and Prospects for Justice” which was a joint event by University of Kent and SOAS.

Asked to clarify the University’s position and what action will now be taken to prevent the use of further antisemitic rhetoric at the University under the guise of political discourse about Israel, David Powell, Head of the Office of the Vice Chancellor confirmed to us that no action would be taken, writing:

“A debate may doubtless be had about the precise point that Ms Hass may have been making in her own presentation but we would note that she is a bona fide (and award winning) journalist working for a respected Israeli newspaper.”

Claiming that the “Elders of Zion” plotted the subjugation of Arabs is not free speech; it is hate speech.

Using that phrase is inexcusable, especially when the person using it is doing so advisedly to an audience of students, knowing the full connotations of her words, both as a Jew and as an “award-winning” journalist.

It is a disgrace that the University of Kent has decided that no action will be taken against the organisers, and that no change in policy is required to prevent antisemitic rhetoric disguised as political discourse in the future.

You may wish to contact the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at enquiries@bis.gsi.gov.uk to ask what action will be taken to protect Jewish students. You may also wish to express your views to David Powell on 01227 826 596.

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Antisemitic book at unauthorised school referred to police after CAA intervention

The schools inspectorate, Ofsted, discovered “a narrow Islamic-focused curriculum” and “inappropriate books and other texts including…antisemitic material” in unregistered schools in Birmingham, during a surprise inspection in November last year.

The discovery was noted in a letter from Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools to the Secretary of State for Education.

Campaign Against Antisemitism was adamant that the police should investigate the antisemitic material found by the Ofsted inspectors, as well as Ofsted taking regulatory action against the schools and potentially prosecuting those who operated them.

We immediately made enquiries of Ofsted to ask whether they would refer the matter to West Midlands Police and hand over their evidence, but Ofsted ignored our approaches completely, while West Midlands Police responded that: “There is no trace of any such referral from Ofsted being made to West Midlands Police.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s specialist Freedom of Information Team then made a mandatory application to Ofsted requiring it to disclose what they had or had not done in response to the discovery of the antisemitic material. Ofsted has today responded to our team, writing:

“This matter was not referred to West Midlands Police at the time of the inspection, as inspectors felt there was insufficient evidence to suggest that a criminal offence had been committed. We subsequently reviewed this decision, and Ofsted’s Regional Director for the West Midlands agreed that a referral to West Midlands Police should be made. This has now been done.”

Incitement to racial and religious hatred is a serious crime, and it is made only more serious if the perpetrators are teachers and those being indoctrinated are the children in their care.

We now hope that West Midlands Police will be able to compile a case against those responsible for the presence of the book in a school. We are following the case with interest.

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Twitter troll fined only £450 for sustained racist abuse against Jews and Muslims

A Twitter troll in Scotland has been fined only £450 for tweeting racist abuse against Jews, Muslims, black people and homosexuals, including: “I hate Jews, homos, blacks (slaves) and am all against Islam. I say kick the f****** out”.

Robert Rankin, 52, was convicted of sending abusive or threatening communications at Paisley Sheriff Court, but in spite of a previous conviction for racially abusing a neighbour, he received a comparatively small fine. However, Sheriff Simon Fraser warned: “This is pretty unpleasant stuff and if you repeat this, you are going to find yourself going to prison.”

We regret that such sustained and vitriolic abuse from a man with an existing criminal record has been so lightly punished. Zero tolerance only works if the courts play their part.

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Former Labour MP links antisemitism to “brutal” Israelis

Former Labour MP for Derby North, Chris Williamson, has reacted to the exposure of rampant antisemitism at the Oxford University Labour Club by tweeting, “I hope they won’t find any such evidence. Did you see this [Channel 4] News item; brutal”. Williamson appears to both suggest that antisemitism had not been taking place at Oxford University Labour Club, despite numerous reports, not least from the Co-Chair who resigned in disgust at it, and that it is somehow linked to perceived “brutal” actions by Israel.

The most widely-accepted definition of antisemitism states that “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” is antisemitic.

We have asked the Labour Party to investigate Chris Williamson over his tweet.

Labour Students and the University of Oxford are now understood to be investigating the Oxford University Labour Club.

Thanks to Sussex Friends of Israel for alerting us to this.

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Rampant antisemitism exposed at Oxford University Labour Club

Campaign Against Antisemitism commends the Co-Chair of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, for his principled decision to stand up against antisemitism amongst his fellow students. If only there were more people prepared to recognise antisemitism when they see it, and refuse to ignore it.

Chalmers decided to resign after the club voted to embrace “Israel Apartheid Week”. Chalmers wrote about his resignation in a hard-hitting Facebook post, saying: “Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former Co-Chair claiming that ‘most accusations of antisemitism are just the Zionists crying wolf’, a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews. The decision of the club to endorse a movement with a history of targeting and harassing Jewish students and inviting antisemitic speakers to campuses, despite the concerns of Jewish students, illustrates how uneven and insincere much of the active membership is when it comes to liberation.”

Oxford University Labour Club is a member organisation of Labour Students, which said that they were “deeply troubled” and that they “unequivocally condemn any form of antisemitism”. Without offering any specifics, Labour Students promised to investigate and take action.

Since Chalmers announced his resignation, Oxford Jewish Society has published further allegations in a Facebook post of their own, shedding further light on the rampant antisemitism at the heart of the Labour Club.

According to Oxford Jewish Society:

  • Members of the Labour Club’s committee have been known to sing the song “Rockets over Tel Aviv” and have specifically expressed support for Hamas’ tactic of launching indiscriminate attacks against Israel’s Jewish citizens.
  • One Labour Club member stated specifically that it was “not antisemitic” to allege the existence of a “New York – Tel Aviv axis” that rigs elections, and said that “we should be aware of the influence wielded over elections by high net-worth Jewish individuals”. He also stated that it was “not antisemitic” to allege the existence of an international Jewish conspiracy, even though he did not endorse the idea himself.
  • One Labour Club committee member stated that all Jews should be expected to publicly denounce Zionism and the State of Israel, and that nobody should associate with any Jew who fails to do so.
  • Several individuals, some who have been on the Labour Club committee, repeatedly used the word “Zio” (a word normally only found on neo-Nazi websites) to refer to Jewish students.
  • Several Labour Club members have alleged that US foreign policy is under the control of the “Zionist Lobby” and when asked if by “Zionist” they simply meant “Jewish” they did not answer.
  • One member of the Labour Club was formally disciplined by their College for organising a group of students to harass a Jewish student and to shout “filthy Zionist” whenever they saw her.
  • In a public discussion on the Labour Club’s Facebook group, one member argued that Hamas was justified in its policy of killing Jewish civilians and claimed that all Jews were legitimate targets. Several other members, including two former Labour Club co-chairs and one then on committee, defended the member as making “a legitimate point clumsily expressed”.
  • Two Labour Club members argued that Jenny Tonge, a peer expelled from the Liberal Democrats over antisemitism, should be encouraged to join the Labour Party.

Jewish people should feel comfortable in any political party. Many of the pivotal figures in Labour have been Jewish, but we have also received increasing reports from Jewish Labour supporters who no longer feel welcome in their party.

It has been more than three months since Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded to an antisemitic outburst by Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman by voicing “deep concern” and assuring us that he was “implacably opposed to racism” before deciding to take no disciplinary action whatsoever against the MP.

We call for the Labour Party and Oxford University to investigate this matter fully and take the strongest possible action to demonstrate to Jewish students that antisemitism will not continue to be tolerated. Where the law has been broken, this matter must be referred to the police; these students are supposed to be amongst our nation’s brightest and cannot be excused.

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Jewish man and girlfriend called “F***ing Jews” and murderers on London Underground

A 23-year-old Jewish man and his girlfriend have reportedly been subjected to antisemitic abuse from a fellow passenger on the London Underground. The victims were allegedly called “F***ing Jews” by the aggressor, who was described as Muslim, and told that they and their “people” were killing “my people”. Other passengers in the carriage apparently studiously ignored the incident, which is now being investigated by the police.

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Police must act against antisemitic speaker in London’s Hyde Park

We have heard reports of antisemitic ranting at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park on a number of occasions, but none matched the brazen ferocity of the speaker captured in a video circulating online.

Claiming to be against all religion, on the two occasions caught on video, the speaker issued a non-stop tirade against Jews, shouting at any identifiably-Jewish person who passed.

To one orthodox Jewish man he said: “You’re a very f***ing dirty Jew. Don’t take it personally, take it to hell,” continuing to passersby, “His cock has been brutalised by a rabbi paedophile who cut his foreskin off. That’s how f***ed up the Jews are.”

He told another orthodox Jewish male who was passing: “Look at the Nazi Jew and see him for what he is…Your time is coming as it did in my father’s country, Deutschland…Why do you think our ancestors kicked you out of Deutschland? You learn nothing, you smug, fat Jew. Smug, fat, bearded Jew! Scum!”

The speaker referred to Jews as “Twelve tribes of head-banging schizophrenics praying to a wailing wall.” He also repeatedly claimed that Jews were Nazis as well as being their victims, for example: “They started Nazi Germany, and they got it back, Adolf Hitler style.”

As Joseph Cohen recorded him, the speaker shouted: “The day the Jew becomes a human being will be the day the Jew becomes free of the s*** of Judaism! Simple. Record it and tell your f***ing rabbi to stop molesting boys.”

No police action appears to have been taken and we are helping one victim to make a criminal complaint.

Most disturbing was that the video showed not a single member of the public remonstrating with the speaker. On the contrary, one man approached him and shook him by the hand, and a woman was recorded defending the speaker, saying: “What the Jews are doing to Gaza, to the Arabs, I think it’s a nightmare…This does not mean I don’t have friends that are Jews.”

Contrary to common perception, Speakers’ Corner is covered by no special laws and incitement to racial and religious hatred by a bigot standing on a ladder at Speakers’ Corner is just as illegal as it would be  anywhere else.

Speakers’ Corner is famous for freedom of speech, but that threatening and illegal hate speech is not permitted anywhere in our country. While we are for freedom of speech we do not believe that anyone has the absolute right to abuse freedom of speech to threaten and intimidate minorities. The law agrees with us.

We are keen to identify the speaker in the video. If you can help, please contact monitoring@antisemitism.uk.

Darren Mark Lumb, who has pleaded guilty to directing antisemitic abuse at Jon Trickett MP. Image source: EDL News
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Ex-BNP thug pleads guilty to directing antisemitic abuse at MP

A former BNP regional organiser has reportedly pleaded guilty to making an antisemitic verbal attack against his MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities Secretary, Jon Trickett.

Darren Mark Lumb, who has previous links to the English Defence League and National Front, was accused of accosting the MP for Hemsworth in West Yorkshire in the street on 23rd January 2015 and launching into an antisemitic rant.

During the trial last Thursday at Leeds Crown Court, Lumb, who is 47 and lives in South Elmsall, changed his plea to guilty to one count of religiously aggravated harassment and stalking with fear of violence, and one count of breaching an Antisocial Behaviour Order.

A friend of Trickett’s said the MP had been left shocked and shaken by the incident and that “he hasn’t experienced rage like it in his life”.

Lumb has previous convictions for assault and disorder, and in 2011 was found guilty of using racially aggravated threatening or insulting words and behaviour after he reportedly called a petrol station worker “a black bastard”. He stood as a BNP candidate for South Elmsall and South Kirkby in the Wakefield Metropolitan district council election in 2011.

Lumb was bailed on the condition that he did not approach the MP or his staff, and will return to court on 3rd March for sentencing. We await the verdict with interest.

Mr Trickett, who has been MP for Hemsworth since 1996, was former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s parliamentary private secretary for two years and was then promoted to the shadow cabinet by Ed Miliband. He was one of 36 MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election.
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Labour Party Middle East group cancels event to have been chaired by “Jewish lobby” journalist

Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East has reportedly cancelled an event due to be chaired by Abdel Bari Atwan, who has allegedly made antisemitic comments in the past about Israel and “the Jewish lobby”.

Joan Ryan MP, who had campaigned to stop the event told Jewish News: “We welcome LFPME’s recognition of the legitimate concerns about Mr Atwan’s inclusion in this event.”

In 2007, Atwan is reported to have said: “If Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.” In 2010, it is claimed that Atwan told an audience at the London School of Economics that “the Jewish lobby… [is] endangering the whole world”.

We congratulate Joan Ryan MP on her successful campaign, but the fact that it was necessary in the first place is utterly shameful.

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Ha’aretz correspondent allegedly tells Kent students “Elders of Zion” planned “colonisation”

Israeli journalist Amira Hass has reportedly told students at the University of Kent that the “Elders of Zion” planned “colonial” hegemony over Palestinians. Blogger David Collier attended a conference entitled “Israel and the Palestinians: Colonialism and Prospects for Justice” which was a joint event by University of Kent and the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Writing in his blog, Collier recalled: “I tried to make sense of what I was hearing. Hass was discussing a hidden agenda, a secret group of Jews, plotting and planning beyond the reach of Israeli democracy – by extension, this secret group were to blame for the ‘war crimes’, for the death of innocent Palestinian children. Hass was spinning tales of a Jewish cabal, of shady secretive control, of unworldly plots and sinister deeds. A road that leads to dead children. Hass was resurrecting a classic historic antisemitic blood libel in a British university.”

He then quotes Hass as saying: “And I ask myself did the Elders of Zion really sit together at the beginning of the seventies and then during the nineties, and plan, and have all these military orders, all these changes?”

The “Elders of Zion” refers to a fictitious Jewish cabal that supposedly controls world affairs to the detriment of mankind and forms the basis for most antisemitic conspiracy myths.

We have asked the University of Kent to make clear its position and take action to prevent the use of antisemitic rhetoric under the guise of political discourse about Israel.

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Magistrate quits as Judicial Conduct Investigations Office rules he should be removed for antisemitic comments

Abul “Abz” Hussain has resigned from the magistracy before he could be removed from office by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, following proceedings instigated by Campaign Against Antisemitism. In December 2014, the Sunday Telegraph published an exposé revealing that Hussain, was a serving magistrate, despite having published antisemitic comments on Facebook.

Campaign Against Antisemitism immediately contacted the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office which agreed with Hussain that he could not continue to serve as a magistrate until their investigation concluded. The investigation has taken more than a year, but the result is the right one, even though Hussain resigned from office before he could be removed by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice.

The comments were first brought to light by Ted Jeory, who blogs about politics in the East End of London. Jeory’s revelation in 2010 of Hussain’s antisemitic views led to him being expelled from his senior position in George Galloway’s Respect Party, but it was not until the Sunday Telegraph exposé that we found out that he was still passing sentence as a Justice of the Peace.

The Facebook comments related to Abul Hussain’s facial hair and degenerated into slurs against Jews, including “u know the worlds coming to an end when a jew accuses another of being his kind!” and “jews like u are boring so find everything lame, here’s a penny go put it in the bank and u just might get a pound after ten years interest!”

We commend the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office for its ruling that antisemitism must be treated with zero tolerance, our only regret being the protracted nature of this investigation.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “Mr Abul Hussain, a magistrate appointed to the North East London Area, has resigned from judicial office following an investigation into an allegation that he had posted racist and antisemitic comments on social media. A Disciplinary Panel recommended that Mr Hussain be removed from the judiciary, but he resigned before the disciplinary process had been formally concluded. His resignation took effect from 26 August 2015. Had he not resigned, the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice would have removed him from judicial office.”

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Graffiti in London says “Holocaust is a lie” and attempts to blame bankers

A Jewish man from London sent in the following report to our Everyday Antisemitism service:

I was walking home the usual way through from grotty Acton to peaceful Turnham Green and its station, when I saw graffiti on a wall of the alleyway — the main walking route between the two areas. It reads: “Goyim, the Holocaust is a lie. Google bankers the fact”.

Goyim means non-Jew or gentile in Yiddish, but it has been usurped by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers as a means of demonstrating Jewish ‘otherness’, and is frequently used to suggest that Jews have a derogatory view of non-Jews.

The reference to bankers appears to be a badly written attempt to exhort passersby to search for “Bankers: the facts” on the internet. Jews are often accused by antisemites and neo-Nazis of exercising supposed financial dominance to hide ‘evidence’ of a Jewish conspiracy, such as a conspiracy to exaggerate or invent the Holocaust.

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14-year-old detained by Shomrim and arrested by police for attacking Jews with fireworks

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in Hackney after a group of youths attempted to place lit fireworks in the pockets of Jewish pedestrians. Volunteers from Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, arrived almost immediately and witnessed the boy chasing one victim and hurling a lit firework towards him. The Shomrim volunteer chased and detained the boy, then called the police who arrested him.

The Metropolitan Police Service said: “A 14-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and possession of a firework in the street. He was taken to a north London police station and subsequently released on police bail to a date in early March. No one was injured during the incident.”

We commend Shomrim and the Metropolitan Police Service for their swift and effective response to this incident.

Gerald Kaufman and Jeremy Corbyn
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Three months after Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, Labour continues to ignore calls for disciplinary action

On 27th October 2015, Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, Father of the House of Commons, delivered an antisemitic speech on parliamentary premises to the Shadow Minister for Justice and other MPs.

He claimed that British Jews use “Jewish money” to subvert the British government so that Israeli Jews can “execute Arab-looking people”.

One month later:

  • The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has told us she will not investigate because the speech “did not bring Parliament or MPs into disrepute”
  • Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have expressed “deep concern” but have taken no action.
  • The Opposition Chief Whip continues to ignore our calls to take disciplinary action.

Today is three months since Sir Gerald Kaufman’s speech. Jeremy Corbyn has told us that he is “implacably opposed” to racism, and today he has delivered further words about the importance of fighting antisemitism, including signing the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s Book of Commitment, but it is all meaningless unless the words are backed by action.

Racism must be fought by all political parties, but the Labour Party and Parliament as a whole have taken no action to address Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitism in the three months since his speech.

  1. Please remind your MP that three months after Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, we still demand justice.
  2. Please write to the Opposition Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton MP at rosie.winterton.mp@parliament.uk.
  3. Please tweet @jeremycorbyn and @uklabour, tagging @antisemitism.
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Man and child on London bus call Jewish passengers “F***ing Jews…Disgusting Jews” whilst making throat-slitting gesture

A group of young Jewish people have told Jewish News that they were confronted by a man with a child, on a bus travelling through Golders Green, London. A female victim told the paper: “We were at the back on the top deck not showing any signs of disruptive behaviour. When we arrived at our stop, we walked down the stairs when I heard a man mutter ‘These f***ing Jews’. I asked him why he thought what he was saying was necessary. He looked directly at me with no response but told his son that we are ‘disgusting Jews’. At this point the rest of the group I was traveling with got off the bus but three of us remained.”

The witness added that the man and the boy later “placed their fingers across their throats while smiling at us” as she and her companions walked away from the bus.

A Police spokesperson told Jewish News: “Detectives in Barnet are investigating an allegation of antisemitic abuse. The incident is said to have taken place on a route 102 bus near Golders Green station. At about 22.30, a man who was with a young child, subjected three victims, in their early 20s to anti-Semitic abuse. The investigation is ongoing and officers are working with Transport for London to obtain any CCTV that is available. The suspect is described as a man of Middle Eastern appearance, approximately 5 foot 8 with slight stubble. Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101, or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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Just before Holocaust Memorial Day, Nazis parade “Hitler was right” banner in centre of Newcastle

A group of neo-Nazis from “National Action” paraded in the centre of Newcastle at the foot of Grey’s Monument with a “Hitler was right” banner on Saturday. Members of the group performed Nazi salutes in the centre of the square. Some local people remonstrated with them but at least one onlooker returned their Nazi salute (see photo below). When a musician in the square attempted to play saxophone music, one of the neo-Nazis violently attacked him. In addition to the assault, the use of the banner and Nazi salutes constitute offences of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress under section 4A of the Public Order Act, as well as other possible offences.

The group previously attempted to demonstrate in Liverpool in August and September 2015, causing widespread public disorder and the cancellation of their demonstrations, with the group humiliated in August when they were unable to leave Liverpool Central train station. They then returned unannounced in November 2015 and delivered short speeches outside various public buildings and monuments in Liverpool, including speeches against Jews saying that: “Jews don’t care about me. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about any of us. All they care about is money and power.” Their video of the event contained additional antisemitic graphics and quoted from Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic diatribe, Mein Kampf. There have been no arrests.

In June 2015, “National Action” filmed themselves desecrating a menorah in Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park by spraying graffiti and hanging a Nazi flag from it. There have been no arrests.

National Action’s blog contains 282 references to the word “Jew”, including accusations that Jews:

  • Use the blood of non-Jews in rituals
  • Usurp power through financial and political conspiracies
  • “Terrorise” the non-Jewish population through usury
  • Dilute Aryan races by operating the slave trade, then campaigning for civil rights in order to weaken Aryan races

It is very clear that “National Action” is an antisemitic neo-Nazi organisation which is trying to propagate fascist ideology and sees as its role models some of the most hideous figures in history. The group’s purpose is incitement to racial and religious hatred and its activities range from vandalism to violence. Unfurling a banner proclaiming “Hitler was right” and performing Nazi salutes for less than ten minutes in a public square is cowardly and a deliberate effort to provoke disorder.

This group is not a dying vestige of British neo-Nazism but a new, young movement and we are pleased that Northumbria Police are taking this incident so seriously. Enough is enough and this brazenly criminal group must be brought to justice.

That young British people are openly idolising Adolf Hitler in Britain in the days before Holocaust Memorial Day is a reminder that for us to say “Never again” with any confidence, we must be vigilant and fight antisemitic racism ruthlessly.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “Northumbria Police is carrying out enquiries into the protest that was held at Monument in Newcastle City centre at 1:55pm on Saturday, January 23. We had no prior warning that the protest was due to take place and city centre officers attended immediately after receiving information that it was happening. Upon officers’ arrival the demonstration had ended and we believe it lasted less than 10 minutes. We have received one report of assault and we are in the process of investigating this along with looking into whether any other offences may have taken place. Detectives are checking CCTV footage from the city centre area and material posted on social media and enquiries are ongoing.”

We would like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, Vera Baird QC, and Northumbria Police for their efforts to ensure that these criminals are brought to justice. We are following this case with interest.

National Action attack busker in Newcastle, January 2016

National Action corralled in train station in Liverpool, August 2015

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Police open investigation into swastikas found in residential London neighbourhood

The Metropolitan Police Service has opened an investigation after two swastikas were daubed on a wall in Kentish Town, London. Police went to the scene before the swastikas were cleaned off. A police spokesperson told Jewish News: “Attending officers found offensive graffiti drawn onto a wall of the building and informed the local authority who removed it. No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Conservative councillor for Housing and Community Safety, Oliver Cooper, reported the graffiti to the police. He said: “This appalling incident is only the latest in a sad escalation of hate crimes and hate speech: whether it’s graffiti swastikas, or hatred on social media. It’s important that everyone tackles this head-on. I will be asking Camden Council what’s being done to reverse this rising tide of hate locally, and make sure we keep the community safe.”

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Journalist forces antisemite to disembark from train for claiming “ISIS was created by the Jews”

British journalist James Bloodworth has posted on Facebook that he forced a man to disembark from a train after he made antisemitic comments.

Bloodworth said that he had an altercation with the man after he refused to remove his bags from Bloodworth’s seat at the start of the journey. After he had eventually agreed to remove the bags, Bloodworth took his seat and settled down to read is book, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.

His fellow passenger asked what Bloodworth was reading, to which he replied that it is a book about ISIS. The man replied: “You mean the Israeli intelligence services.” Bloodworth said he ignored the comment until the man pressed: “You do know that ISIS was created by the Jews? Who is the book by?” When Bloodworth told him that the book was by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, the man allegedly responded “Weiss is a Jewish name.” Bloodworth says he then asked the man to stop talking to him, but the man insisted, claiming that “No Jews died in the Holocaust. It’s a hoax. The gas chambers and all that. You’re just uninformed.” Bloodworth said he kept repeating the point and when he used the word “Sheeple,” Bloodworth lost his temper, telling the man that he would forcibly eject him at the next stop.

According to Bloodworth’s account, he allowed the man to gather his belongings before marching him to the door, saying: “You’re getting off this f***ing train” to a small round of applause from fellow passengers.

Bloodworth ended his Facebook post saying: “I’m a nice guy who’s kind to animals, children and my grandmother. But don’t slander the Jews in the quiet coach.”

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Facebook COO shirks fight against online hate

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday and delivered an astonishing message: fight hate on Facebook by ‘liking’ hate pages and posting positive messages on them.

For a company with an extremely poor track record in fighting online hatred, we expected that the company’s next announcement might be for technology that detects and removes common content that incites and intimidates, such as Islamist or neo-Nazi links, memes and hashtags.

Instead, Sandberg’s ridiculous suggestion places the burden once again on Facebook’s users.

Already the company requires users to report “hate speech” such as antisemitic content, but then Facebook invariably tells users that the content they reported did not breach “community standards”. We continue to see everything from modern day antisemitic conspiracy myths that Jews are funding ISIS, to mediaeval blood libels, spread like wildfire on the social network, with Facebook’s reporting system failing abysmally to have any effect.

Sandberg’s new idea that users should spend their time ‘liking’ pages that incite hatred and trying to post positive content on them is the most ludicrous non-solution imaginable. ‘Liking’ and commenting on pages increases their visibility on users’ news feeds, and thereby exposes more people to the page’s message. The idea that positive comments would have any effect is also nonsensical as comments can be deleted faster than they can be written, which is why antisemitic comments posted on our own Facebook page rarely stay there longer than a few minutes.

The sole evidence Sandberg offered in support of her idea was a story about the ‘successful’ targeting of the German National Democratic Party’s page on Facebook. Extolling the benefits of what she called a “like attack”, Sandberg took Facebook users for fools, patronisingly saying: “Rather than scream and protest, they got 100,000 people to like the page, who did not like the page and put messages of tolerance on the page, so when you got to the page, it changed the content and what was a page filled with hatred and intolerance was then tolerance and messages of hope. The best antidote to bad speech is good speech and the best antidote to hate is tolerance.” Except that what really happened is 100,000 people wasted their time because not long after the “like attack”, NPD’s Facebook page was back to normal, except that now it had a lot more ‘likes’ and appeared more often on Facebook users’ news feeds and higher in search results.

Instead of coming up with increasingly pointless ways of distracting users from Facebook’s failure to robustly tackle incitement and intimidation on its platform, it is time for Facebook to innovate. Facebook must develop means of detecting and removing hatred in exactly the same way that it proactively removes child pornography and copyright music and video from the platform.

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Thug who threatened to “kill all the Jews” convicted by Crown Court

Rashal Miah was convicted today by a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court despite pleading “not guilty” to telling a Jewish man: “Shut the f*** up, you f***ing Jew. I will slit your throat.”

The incident took place on 29th September 2014 in Stamford Hill in London. An orthodox Jewish man who was recognisably Jewish from his clothes was driving a school van full of children through traffic. Miah was driving a black Mercedes towards the school van on the wrong side of the road, which caused traffic to build up and block the road.

The driver of the school van asked Miah to reverse his car to let traffic pass, at which point Miah exited his car, “aggressively” approached the van and said: “Shut the f*** up, you f***ing Jew. I will slit your throat.” He went on to refer to the school van driver as “Yehudi” (Jew) and said: “I’m going to kill all the Jews.”

Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol provided support to the victim through the lengthy court process.

We commend the victim, Shomrim and the Metropolitan Police Service for working together to ensure that this antisemitic individual was brought to justice. We await news of the sentence with interest.

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Arrested! Three suspects in custody after Jewish shoppers allegedly pelted with gas canisters by neo-Nazis

Yesterday evening, the Metropolitan Police Service arrested three men, aged 18, 22 and 24, each on suspicion of a religiously aggravated public order offence.

The arrests follow an incident on Wednesday evening in which three Jewish shoppers were allegedly subjected to antisemitic abuse in Tottenham Hale by three white men in a pickup truck.

The three men reportedly shouted “Hitler is on the way to you, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler” and threw small gas refill canisters towards the victims, two men and a woman. None of the victims were injured, but they were badly shaken by the experience.

Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, was called by the victims and liaised with the police.

Cowardly attacks on Jews are becoming too frequent. Following reports of three men throwing small gas canisters at Jews and shouting neo-Nazi abuse, we are pleased that the police have acted quickly and made three arrests, thanks in part to the help of the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, Shomrim, which has assisted the police and supported the victims.

Our call for zero tolerance of antisemitism under the law is being heard. We look forward to all police forces acting this effectively and quickly when antisemitic crimes are reported to them, and hope that such protection will happen without the need for insistent appeals for action by the Jewish community. Jewish British citizens have the right to be protected.

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Football fans banned for three years for Nazi salutes and mimicking escaping gas

Two Southampton FC supporters who yelled abuse, mimicked the sound of hissing gas and made Nazi salutes at Tottenham Hotspur fans have been banned from attending matches for three years.

Thomas Flynn and Michael Haydon committed the offences at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium during a match on 19th December 2015.

Flynn, 22, of Yeovil Chase, Harefield, Southampton and Haydon, 23, of White Hart Lane, Cadnam, admitted a charge each of using threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour in what was deemed a religiously aggravated public order offence.

They were barred from attending games in Britain and abroad for three years after being convicted at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, where prosecutor Charles Nightingale had described how Flynn, Haydon and another man were seen shouting antisemitic abuse including “gas the Jews”.

Mr Nightingale said one of the Spurs fans reported: “There was a white male raising his right hand and finger below his nose and making hissing sounds imitating gas escaping.”

After a steward notified police, Haydon was arrested at the ground, while Flynn was detained nearby. The court heard that the third man was never identified.

Haydon had been drinking since that morning, said his lawyer Jane Hiatt, and admitted making hissing sounds but denied saluting and shouting abuse.

In mitigation she said of the season ticket holder, who had attended games since he was aged five: “This is very out of character and a blip. He’s horrified and ashamed.”

Nicola Attwood, for Flynn, said her client — who was sober — also admitted hissing but denied making salutes. She said: “He is disgusted with himself and that he deserves a ban and that the people would be gravely offended by his behaviour.”

Magistrate Victoria Parker sentenced them to a three-year banning order preventing them from attending games in Britain and requiring them to hand passports to police before major games abroad.

They were also handed a 12-week community order and curfew, banned from going within a mile of St Mary’s Stadium four hours before and after kick-off on matchdays, and ordered to pay £145 in costs.

She said: “This was a very serious matter and watching you during these court proceedings I think you know that and are very ashamed of what you did.”

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BBC includes gratuitous antisemitism in Christmas and New Year dramas

Whilst there are legitimate artistic reasons to use antisemitism as part of a drama, if antisemitism is gratuitous and irrelevant to the story or art it should not be included. This is supposed to be elementary, but we are very concerned by the BBC’s unjustifiable references to Jews in some of its broadcasts.

The first example is a serialisation of Agatha Christie’s mystery thriller, And then there were none, episode two of which was aired on 27th December 2015 at 21:00. In one scene, the characters discuss the identity of the mysterious “Isaac morris”. During the discussion, one character says: “Jews. Whenever there’s a problem, there’s Jews at the bottom of it.”

While this totally gratuitous antisemitism is conserved in the BBC’s adaptation of the book, the title of the adaptation was changed to remove a racist term for black people, and since the antisemitism is irrelevant to the plot and characters, it is totally unclear why the BBC included it in the adaptation.

The second example is from popular soap opera Eastenders. In the episode that aired on 6th January 2016 at 18:00, one character tells another that Herod was “King of the Jews” before reciting his villainous acts.

There is nothing new about nativity stories in which the villains are all explicitly described as Jews, while the fact that Jesus was Jewish is forgotten. The Church however has rejected this antisemitic telling of the nativity story, but the tradition seems to be alive and well at the BBC.

The BBC has a complaints hotline (03700 100 222) but it seems to specialise in telling Jews why they were wrong to be offended. Ofcom (0300 123 3333) has jurisdiction over the BBC in matters of racism and this year MPs (www.writetothem.com) will vote on renewing the BBC’s charter.

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London petrol station cashier reportedly tells Jewish customer “I hate you guys”

Campaign Against Antisemitism received a report that on 9th December 2015, a Jewish man was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a petrol station in Stamford Hill, London, when he went to pay for his petrol. According to the report, as he finished paying for his petrol, the cashier said, “I hate you guys,” to which the victim responded, “What do you mean?” The cashier then allegedly answered: “I hate you and all you Jewish people.”

We have discussed the matter with the Metropolitan Police Service, which has confirmed that they attended the incident and treated it as a racially or religiously aggravated incident intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress, which is an offence under the Public Order Act. However, the victim declined to give police a statement and no evidence was found to substantiate the allegation, so the police were left with no option other than to have a discussion with the alleged offender and close the case.

Shomrim, the volunteer Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, was introduced to the victim and helped him to make a statement to the police, but due to the absence of a corroborating second witness statement, police action was still not possible.

The police can only act when allegations are supported by evidence, including evidence from victims themselves wherever possible. Anybody who experiences antisemitism in person should first call the police, and then if it is safe to do so, they should try to capture video evidence using a smartphone and take the contact details of anyone else who witnessed the incident.

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Twitter toughens its rules against hatred and incitement, but will it make a difference?

Twitter has announced tougher rules against hatred and incitement on the platform. In a statement, the company wrote: “We believe that protection from abuse and harassment is a vital part of empowering people to freely express themselves on Twitter.”

Whereas the old rules would often require that a user threaten or promote violence before Twitter took action, the new rules state that users “may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease”. The rules also prohibit the promotion of terrorism, targeted abuse of harassment, posting another user’s private information or creating multiple accounts with which to abuse others.

We welcome these changes, as well as the investment in enforcement that the company says it has made. In particular, we hope to see much firmer action against users who promote antisemitic conspiracy myths using the word “Zionists” instead of “Jews”, and the removal of terrorist sympathisers from the platform.

Much more importantly though, we hope that Twitter will become more proactively helpful in removing antisemitism from its platform. Removing antisemitic content should not fall to the victims of antisemitic Twitter trolls; there is no reason why Twitter cannot proactively seek out antisemitic content and remove it, as we have called for repeatedly.

Twitter should also be working more proactively with British police forces. Police forces often require data from social networks for use in evidence, but obtaining it can dramatically slow down or even thwart police investigations. In the worst cases, Twitter should be proactively reporting users to the police for investigation.

Ultimately, removing Twitter accounts only hampers antisemites as they can create a new account moments after having their account removed, even though they must rebuild their Twitter following. That is why, when we find that an antisemitic Twitter user is based in the UK, we will always seek prosecution, as criminal sanctions are harder to ignore than sanctions Twitter can enforce, and arrest sends a stronger message to other antisemites on Twitter than the disappearance of an account.

Though we encourage Twitter users to report to Twitter antisemitic accounts which appear to be based overseas, we believe that UK-based accounts should be reported to the police, and our volunteer team will continue to work with our supporters and the police to ensure that British antisemites on Twitter are brought to justice.

BBC radio show presenter allows caller to opine for 13 minutes about Jewish world domination

Last week on BBC London Radio, during a phone-in, a BBC presenter and a caller discussed Jews.

The caller was given over thirteen minutes of airtime, spewing vile antisemitism, with many of his arguments left unchecked. Though it was clear from the outset that the caller was an unrepentant antisemite, the presenter allowed him to opine at length on the subject of Jewish world domination, even telling his caller: “I’m giving you more than I have done anyone.”

In addition to providing the full recording, we have produced the following excerpts for inclusion in any complaints that our supporters might wish to make to the BBC. Complaints can be made online at or by telephone on 03700 100 222. The comments were made during the Simon Lederman talkshow on BBC London Radio on Tuesday 22nd December at 5:07am.

Excerpts

BBC presenter:

“There is a debate, listen I’m not saying there is no debate, clearly there is a debate about whether Israel in its current form should be where it is.”

Caller:

“They are trying to control us more and more and more. They want to put a chip up our backsides, a ring through our noses, and a vizor for our horizons… the elite… the Rothschilds”

“It’s not just about old money, it’a about the Zionists”

“Most of the Jews of the world come from eastern Europe, from a place called originally, an empire called Khazaria… The Rothschilds, the people who own the Bank of England, the people who own the Federal Reserve, they’re all Zionist Jews. The people who own corporate America, the media, you’ll find if you just do a little bit of research, they’re all Zionist Jews. We are ruled by Zionist Jews.”

“The history of Jews from Palestine, that area of Judaism, it’s a long long history of thousands of years, has nothing to do with Zionism.”

“True Judaism… they’re against Zionism, those guys with the hats and the curly hair.”

“They control the money, the money, finance… 80% of corporate America, of the media, is owned by Jews. And they’re Zionist Jews.”

“We are dominated by the Jews’ system, the financial Jewish system.”

“We keep going on about the Jews… mainstream media, they keep banging on about the Jews and the Holocaust… we keep going on about six million Jews.”

Gerald Kaufman and Jeremy Corbyn

Two months after Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, we still demand justice

On 27th October 2015, Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, Father of the House of Commons, delivered an antisemitic speech on parliamentary premises to the Shadow Minister for Justice and other MPs.

He claimed that British Jews use “Jewish money” to subvert the British government so that Israeli Jews can “execute Arab-looking people”.

One month later:

  • The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has told us she will not investigate because the speech “did not bring Parliament or MPs into disrepute”
  • Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have expressed “deep concern” but have taken no action.
  • The Opposition Chief Whip continues to ignore our calls to take disciplinary action.

Racism must be fought by all political parties, but the Labour Party and Parliament as a whole have taken no action to address Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitism in the two months since his speech.

  1. Please remind your MP that two months after Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, we still demand justice.
  2. Please write to the Opposition Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton MP at rosie.winterton.mp@parliament.uk.
  3. Please tweet @uklabour, tagging @antisemitism.
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Charity Commission opens statutory inquiry into charity which claimed “f***ing Jews” are tracking smartphones, following evidence from CAA

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has announced that it is launching a statutory inquiry into alleged misconduct and mismanagement by the Ghulam Mustafa Trust.

The decision follows a complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Full statutory inquiries into charities are relatively rare. In 2012-13 there were just fifteen inquiries.

Campaign Against Antisemitism originally reported the Ghulam Mustafa Trust to the Charity Commission in September after a video was posted on the charity’s official Facebook page. The video was made by a trustee of the charity and showed viewers how to remove a supposed tracking device planted by “the f***ing Jews” in Samsung smartphones. The video urged viewers to check their smartphones for the tracking device, which is in fact the circuit that handles near-field communication. A young child was present during the filming of the video and can be heard speaking off camera.

Following an investigation by the Charity Commission, the video was removed and the charity was instructed to put in place a social media policy and code of conduct for trustees, but the trustee was left in his post, no apology was issued and the video had already been online for months, during which the charity had ignored complaints by Facebook users that it was antisemitic.

Campaign Against Antisemitism supplied detailed documentation to the Charity Commission in support of a statutory inquiry, and following this, the Charity Commission has decided that a statutory inquiry is warranted.

The Charity Commission can only use its powers to remove and permanently disqualify a trustee if recommended to do so by a statutory inquiry.

We commend the Charity Commission for taking the decision to launch a statutory inquiry into this serious misconduct and mismanagement by a trustee of the Ghulam Mustafa Trust. This step allows the Charity Commission to use the full extent of its powers, including removing and disqualifying the trustee, and that is what we hope the inquiry will decide is the appropriate measure in this matter.

When charities engage in inciting hatred, it is vital that the firmest regulatory action is taken and we are very pleased to note the Charity Commission’s decision to use powers reserved for the most serious concerns in dealing with this vile antisemitic incident. We await the outcome of the inquiry with interest.

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Recognising the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist connections whilst failing to ban it shows that the red lines on extremism are blurred beyond all useful purpose

In April last year, the Government commissioned a review of the Muslim Brotherhood. Whilst the full review is classified, the major findings were published last Thursday.

The review found that the Muslim Brotherhood:

  • Is linked to Hamas, which is the “Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim Brotherhood treat them as such”;
  • Conducted terrorist attacks against “both British and Jewish interests”;
    Is the origin of ideology which “has inspired many terrorist organisations, including…Al Qaida and its offshoots”;
  • Leaders “routinely use virulent, antisemitic language”;
  • “Played an important role in establishing and then running the Muslim Council of Britain” with which the Government severed ties “after an office holder signed a public document which appeared to condone violence against any country supporting an arms blockade against Gaza”;
  • Requires its members to keep their membership “a secret”;
  • Has built “a complex network of charities…linked to Hamas”;
  • “Held out the prospect and ambition of an Islamic state in this country as elsewhere”;
  • “Applauded suicide bombing by Hamas”; and
  • “Selectively used violence and sometimes terror in pursuit of their institutional goals.”

The review is a portrait of an insidious, clandestine, centralised network which has used front organisations, especially charities, to encourage and finance extremism, antisemitism and terrorism.

The conclusion of the review is that “aspects of Muslim Brotherhood ideology and tactics, in this country and overseas, are contrary to our values and have been contrary to our national interests and our national security,” however the Prime Minister has astonishingly decided not to ban the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.

In recent months the Prime Minister has clearly stated that the Government’s Counter Extremism Strategy must involve not only fighting those who commit extremist acts, but also those who support and encourage extremism. In July the Prime Minister explained: “When you look in detail at the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were first influenced by what some would call non-violent extremists.”

It is clear from the review that while “the Muslim Brotherhood has not been linked to terrorist-related activity in and against the UK”, it promotes extremism. In his response to the review, the Prime Minister said that “membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism…Parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism.”

In October the Government published its Counter-Extremism Strategy, promising to counter extremist ideology, build partnerships with all those opposed to extremism, disrupt extremists, and build more cohesive communities. At the time, we warned that “success will be measured by action.” We welcome the Prime Minister’s promise to consider action under the Counter-Extremism Strategy.

The Muslim Brotherhood in the UK should be banned under the Terrorism Act.

The review of the Muslim Brotherhood details its longstanding record of antisemitism, intolerance and support for terrorism, not least by Hamas which is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recognising this but failing to ban the Brotherhood shows that the Government’s red lines on extremism are blurred beyond all useful purpose.

The full review can be downloaded. You can also download our full response including the most relevant excerpts from the review.

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Hope Not Hate condemns those who fight Islamist extremism

A report by the left-wing anti-racism campaigning organisation Hope Not Hate has caused consternation for listing prominent critics of Islamic extremism and decrying them as anti-Muslim.

Entitled “The Counter-Jihad Movement: Anti-Muslim hatred from the margins to the mainstream”, the 180-page report listed over 900 people and organisations which Hope Not Hate considers to be “dedicated to anti-Muslim hatred and prejudice,” claiming that they represented the “new face of the far-right.”

Some of those included in the report are not “anti-Muslim” at all, but are in fact simply critics of Islamic extremism. For example, Melanie Phillips, a prominent Jewish journalist, has apparently been listed due to her continued calls for a firmer stance against Islamists. Raquel Saraswati, a headscarf-wearing, devout female Muslim was even included, because she campaigns against so-called honour-based violence within her religion.

Last summer, as neo-Nazis announced their plan to demonstrate against the presence of Jews in Golders Green, we decided to firmly oppose them, simultaneously preparing a demonstration which gained the support of thousands of you who planned to attend, whilst also negotiating with the police. Our counter-demonstration strengthened our hand in negotiations with the police, and the police took the action we called for and excluded the neo-Nazis from Golders Green on pain of arrest. There have been no neo-Nazi demonstrations against Jews since. By contrast, Hope Not Hate had called for the neo-Nazis to be left alone to hold an anti-Jewish rally with dangerous and potentially violent members of far-right groups in an area full of Jewish people, on Shabbat.

As campaigners against antisemitism, we know all too well that some “anti-racist” organisations have in fact allowed themselves to become facilitators for extremism. They advocate ignoring extremists to avoid “drawing attention” to them, and they berate critics of religious extremism as racists.

It is necessary to confront Islamism and Hope Not Hate discredit themselves by standing against those who take a firm stand, lumping them together with those who may indeed have anti-Muslim views. Hatred of Muslims has no place in our society and we will always stand against it, but fierce opposition to Islamism, violent extremism, and the pathways towards that violence are necessary for the survival of our society.

We commend the Jewish Chronicle for its reaction to Hope not Hate’s report, and hope that other Jewish organisations who previously partnered with Hope Not Hate will follow suit.

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Bonehill-Paine sentenced to three years and four months for “anti-Jewification” incitement

Joshua Bonehill-Paine, has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison for his antisemitic incitement. In a sentencing hearing this morning at Southwark Crown Court, His Honour Judge Leonard QC sentenced Bonehill-Paine to three years and four months in prison, taking into account his past offences and track record of incitement, however under sentencing rules Bonehill-Paine might be released on licence after serving half of his sentence if he is deemed to have behaved well in prison. The six months he has so far spent in custody awaiting trial will also be deducted from his overall sentence.

Remarking on the case, Judge Leonard called materials produced by Bonehill-Paine “about the most inflammatory documents I will ever see,” adding, “With time I hope you can mature and see the harm you are doing.”

The race hate internet troll, was unanimously convicted by a jury yesterday of incitement to racial hatred for calling for “anti-Jewification” demonstrations in neighbourhoods with large Jewish populations this summer.

Bonehill-Paine has been in police custody since June, when he was arrested in a dawn raid. At a hearing in July, he pleaded “absolutely not guilty” and he has now been convicted at a trial which made for an uncomfortable spectacle for our volunteers.

The trial centred on advertisements Bonehill-Paine produced for the “anti-Jewification” demonstrations and though calm, articulate and confident, Bonehill-Paine’s testimony was simply not credible.

In one exchange with prosecutor Mark Weekes, Weekes said: “You describe yourself as a facist,” to which Bonehill-Paine replied: “I am a freedom fighter. If that means I’m a facist, then yes.” Weekes sought to clarify: “You accept the description of yourself as a facist, yes?” Bonehill-Paine replied: “No.”

At one point, Bonehill-Paine claimed that he was not an antisemite when asked about a ‘joke’ on his website in which he asked “How do you fit six million Jews in a car? In the ashtray.”

The trigger for Bonehill-Paine’s arrest and prosecution was his production of two advertisements for the “anti-Jewification” demonstration in Golders Green in July. One advertisement featured Adolf Hitler rendered as a smiley face captioned “#SummerOfHate”, with text claiming that the demonstration would be “an absolute gas”. The other advertisement featured an antisemitic caricature of a Jew being sprayed with weedkiller behind the entrance to Auschwitz, with a caption declaring: “We’ve become complacent and allowed for weeds to grow in the cracks of London. It’s time to clear them up with Round-Up and Liberate Golders Green for future generations of White People.”

Giving evidence, about the advertisements, Bonehill-Paine was asked by Weekes about the comment in the ads that the demonstrations would be “an absolute gas”. Bonehill-Paine claimed that the comment was a joke “for a younger generation”. Weekes asked why it was funny, to which Bonehill-Paine remarked simply: “I have a dark sense of humour.” He went on to claim that every single antisemitic element of the ads was an example of “dark humour” aimed at “younger generations”, including the imagery suggesting that Jews were weeds which should be eliminated with weedkiller.

Weekes was impressively dogged, painstakingly taking Bonehill-Paine through the evidence. When he came to the smiley face rendered as Adolf Hitler, Weekes said: “You used a smiley face with a Hitler face.” Bonehill-Paine gave his stock response: “I think it’s absolutely funny.” Weekes retorted: “You think people in Golders Green would think this is funny?” When Bonehill-Paine replied “Yes I do”, Weekes sharply enquired: “Even with the ‘Summer of Hate’ written underneath?” Bonehill-Paine weakly responded: “That was the theme.”

At one point Weekes asked incredulously about the demonstration: “This is supposed to benefit Golders Green?” Bonehill-Paine replied that he “wanted to cooperate with the community.”

Bonehill-Paine’s defence was utterly shredded as private correspondence recovered from his computer by police data forensics officers came to light.

In one e-mail, Bonehill-Paine had written: “Perhaps a civil war is looming or a world war. If we don’t take action we can say goodbye to independence. Pointing the finger at the Jew has proven to be suicide for many aspiring nationalists but I must take a stand as I see Jews taking dominion over white folk.”

In a Skype conversation, Bonehill-Paine wrote: “Apparently Israel has condemned the marches. We are shaking them to the very core…The Jews are absolutely outraged.”

Whilst Bonehill-Paine has no significant far right following, it was his online activity that started the “anti-Jewification” demonstrations and prompted Campaign Against Antisemitism and others to repeatedly bring his activity to the attention of the police.

Although Bonehill-Paine did not successfully organise any demonstrations due to police bail conditions banning him from London, another neo-Nazi, Eddie Stampton, picked up the idea and organised demonstrations, but dropped “anti-Jewification”, instead claiming to be demonstrating against the Shomrim Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol which works with the police. This change of theme may have caused Bonehill-Paine and Stampton to fall out. In an argument in the comments section of the Daily Stormer neo-Nazi website, a user purporting to be Stampton angrily wrote to Bonehill-Paine: “An [sic] demo in Stamford Hill billed as ‘anti-Jewification’ will be banned by the Home Office as ‘likely to stir up racial hatred’. That is why we have done the next best thing. Use your brain.”

Bonehill-Paine attempted to blame Stampton for incriminating comments made in a video in which Bonehill-Paine says: “Jews are a foreign enemy.” Bonehill-Paine claimed Stampton had sent him text to read out and even though Bonehill-Paine said he “didn’t agree with it” he claimed “it was a favour for a friend and I never agreed to have it published.” The idea was openly mocked by Weekes during his summing up, asking: “Why would he read a text that he disagrees with for 31 minutes?…It is clearly racial hatred.”

The defence was left arguing that Bonehill-Paine was an aspiring comedian and even quoted jokes by Jimmy Carr, claiming that Bonehill-Paine’s comments were “for publicity, attention, self-advertisement”. The defence also tried to argue that the legal threshold for incitement had not been met because Bonehill-Paine had issued no “call for blood”.

As Bonehill-Paine awaited the verdict, his demeanour changed and he started to fidget nervously, grasping a wooden crucifix that he had been wearing around his neck earlier. Finally the jury emerged from its deliberations and delivered its unanimous verdict: guilty.

During today’s sentencing hearing Bonehill-Paine seemed cold and detached.

Commenting on the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Barnes, who led the investigation, said: “As this case demonstrates, there is no place for people inciting racial hatred under the guise of protest and those that do this will be investigated and brought before the courts to answer for this crime.”

The anti-Jewification demonstrations were firmly put to a stop after a demonstration planned for 4th July was forcefully opposed by Campaign Against Antisemitism. We prepared to bring thousands of counter-demonstrators out to oppose the neo-Nazis in Golders Green whilst simultaneously negotiating with the police. It was our counter-demonstration and firm negotiating position which the Metropolitan Police Service said prompted the use of powers under the Public Order Act to exclude the neo-Nazis from Golders Green, instead kettling them in Westminster and limiting their demonstration to an hour spent surrounded by police. No further demonstrations have taken place.

We are pleased that Bonehill-Paine has been convicted of this serious crime and is no longer at liberty to incite racial hatred. We are also very pleased that the severity of his sentence reflects the severity of his actions and sends a strong message to others like him.

We would like to thank our volunteer team which worked tirelessly to successfully oppose the antisemitic demonstrations, and the volunteers who have attended court proceedings so that Bonehill-Paine’s pathetic reality can be brought to light.

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WH Smith removes Mein Kampf from branch in Jordan and promises franchise policy review in letter to CAA

Following the shocking revelation that a WH Smith branch was stocking Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic diatribe, Mein Kampf, on its “Bestselling Books” shelf, WH Smith’s CEO has written to Campaign Against Antisemitism promising swift action.

We were contacted by supporters who had read an article in The Jerusalem Post which showed photographs of an Arabic translation of Mein Kampf for sale at WH Smith at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. That Mein Kampf is a bestseller in many Arab countries is a sad reminder of the deep-rooted antisemitism across the Middle East, but we were nonetheless shocked to find WH Smith apparently catering to demand.

We immediately contacted the retailer and received a swift and unequivocal apology from CEO Steve Clarke.

WH Smith’s branch in the airport is operated by a franchised affiliate, and WH Smith can take no punitive action against the staff involved. The book has however been removed from the shelves and WH Smith has confirmed that stocking Mein Kampf is already banned under the company’s ranging policy which franchisees must obey. The company’s international management team are now reviewing their franchise policies following the incident to ensure that they are sufficiently robust should this reoccur.

We regret that the person who decided to stock Mein Kampf will almost certainly go without sanction or education, but we accept that is not within WH Smith’s power. We welcome WH Smith’s speedy and appropriate response.

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Hertfordshire Constabulary appeals for witnesses to antisemitic singing at local football match reported by CAA

Following a report by Campaign Against Antisemitism, Hertfordshire Constabulary has launched an appeal for witnesses to antisemitic singing by hooligans at Hertford Town FC’s home ground, Hertingfordbury Park.

CAA became aware of the incident after a contributor to Everyday Antisemitism posted a local newspaper’s match report on Everyday Antisemitism. Everyday Antisemitism is run by Campaign Against Antisemitism and allows anyone to register to post about their experiences of antisemitism.

According to the report, at a match on Tuesday, 1st December between Hertford Town and Welwyn Garden City, antisemitic singing broke out amongst Hertford Town fans, which they directed towards their opponent’s fans. According to the report, a “mindless minority” started the antisemitic singing, repeating the song twice.

After CAA brought the incident to the attention of Hertfordshire Constabulary, the force has opened an investigation and police are working to trace those responsible.

PC Sam Bailey, Hate Crime Officer for East Hertfordshire, said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary does not tolerate racism. We will take every report of such behaviour seriously and will seek to take action against those who are responsible. I am appealing for anyone with information about this incident to contact me.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Bailey on 01992 533 651, quoting crime reference A1/15/3507. Alternatively, information can be anonymously passed to Crimestoppers, the independent crime-fighting charity, on 0800 555 111 or through www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

We commend Hertfordshire Constabulary for opening an investigation as soon as we reported the incident to them, and for taking a firm zero tolerance approach to this antisemitic hooliganism.

Hertford Town FC’s Code of Conduct stipulates that supporters and their guests must “Promote ethical and non-racist, non-sexist principles” and “Show due respect to the players, coaches and supporters of all teams.” We are enquiring what action Hertford Town FC took in relation to this incident.

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A week after condemning antisemitic campus exhibition, LSE publishes then removes antisemitic blog post

A week after condemning a campus exhibition celebrating Palestinians who had stabbed Jews, the London School of Economics has published and then removed an antisemitic blog post.

The blog was published on the LSE website and claimed that, as a matter of religious belief, Jews consider non-Jews to be inferior to the extent that Jews are permitted to “exterminate” non-Jews.

One extract read:

Notions of ‘racial’ superiority are contained in Jewish scriptures and Rabbinical pronouncements have the effect of relegating ‘the other’ to a standard which is sub-human and, therefore, not deserving of the same considerations that are reserved for one’s ‘own kind’.

The blog post entitled “Delegitimising through Dehumanisation: Palestinian ‘human’ rights denied”, was written by Australian academic Dr Sandra Nasr and caused outrage on social media. Jonathan Hoffman contributed a post about the blog on Everyday Antisemitism which encouraged Everyday Antisemitism’s social media followers to write to the LSE’s Director.

Everyday Antisemitism is run by Campaign Against Antisemitism and allows anyone to register to post about their experiences of antisemitism.

LSE has now removed the offensive blog post but has not apologised, saying simply that “editorial guidelines were not followed” in the racist post they have now removed.

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Police investigating academic who allegedly said “Jews have become the Nazis” after CAA complaint

Cambridgeshire Constabulary is investigating after Campaign Against Antisemitism filed a complaint against a retired University of Cambridge academic who allegedly told an Israeli schoolgirl that she will not answer her question about horses until “there is peace and justice for Palestinians”. Asked about her motivation, she reportedly said that the “Jews have become the Nazis”. The case caused uproar on social media and in the national press, but no police investigation was opened until Campaign Against Antisemitism took action.

Dr Marsha Levine, an expert on the domestication and history of horses, was reportedly approached by 13-year-old Shachar Rabinovitch by e-mail. Shachar was undertaking a school project and sent Levine an e-mail in her best, most polite English. Levine allegedly responded coldly that “You might be a child, but if you are old enough to write to me, you are old enough to learn about Israeli history and how it has impacted on the lives of Palestinian people. Maybe your family has the same views as I do, but I doubt it.”

Interviewed by the JC after the alleged e-mail exchange was posted on Facebook, Levine reportedly said: “Jews have turned themselves into monsters. I want this girl not to worry about horses…I don’t see any obligation to further her ego or make her feel better about herself. I don’t think it’s about her – I think it’s about her parents. I gave her useful information which might help her for the rest of her life. I have to stand up for what I believe in…The Jews have become the Nazis. Jews are behaving just like the people who treated them. It’s not all Israelis or all Jews.”

Speaking to the Telegraph, Shamir Rabinovitch, Shachar’s father, said he was “shocked” by the reply. He said: “You have to ask yourself: what is there to gain from not talking to a 13-year-old girl? How does that solve anything? She asked a very polite question about horses, something she is interested in. Why do you reply with such anger? It really crossed the boundary. I think it’s ok to have different opinions about Israel…But it’s not OK to involve children in this stuff.”

We will now leave the case in the hands of the police and follow its progress with interest.

One month after Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, we still demand justice

On 27th October 2015, Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, Father of the House of Commons, delivered an antisemitic speech on parliamentary premises to the Shadow Minister for Justice and other MPs.

He claimed that British Jews use “Jewish money” to subvert the British government so that Israeli Jews can “execute Arab-looking people”.

One month later:

  • The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has told us she will not investigate because the speech “did not bring Parliament or MPs into disrepute”
  • Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have expressed “deep concern” but have taken no action.
  • The Opposition Chief Whip continues to ignore our calls to take disciplinary action.

Racism must be fought by all political parties, but the Labour Party and Parliament as a whole have taken no action to address Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitism in the month since his speech. Please remind your MP that one month after Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic speech, we still demand justice.

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Jewish students in Scotland “feeling compelled to deny or hide their Jewish identity”

A report in today’s Herald reveals the fears of Jewish students at Scottish universities. Students have reportedly said that they were “hounded” for failing to attend lectures during Shabbat, and one student even told the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (ScoJeC): “I was told by my university that either I sit exams on Shabbat or I fail.” In another case, a Jewish student said that she no longer went to the business school or library and was worried about attending classes “due to fear of being harassed or attacked.”

In a letter voicing concerns about a new definition of academic freedom, which ScoJeC worried could make it even harder to protect Jewish students’ rights, ScoJeC wrote: “It is troubling that when the Jewish Student Chaplaincy Scotland has intervened with the support of ScoJeC to assist Jewish students who find themselves subject to abuse, our concerns have been dismissed by senior university staff who appear not to recognise that there have been failures.”

ScoJeC blamed much of the intimidation of Jewish students on the tenor of political discourse about Israel, writing: “We have evidence that the manner in which some academic and research staff have expressed views about the situation in the Middle East has contributed to both Jewish and Israeli students feeling compelled to deny or hide their Jewish identity at the very time in their lives when they should have the freedom to explore it. The issue is not that some academic and research staff hold views about the situation in the Middle East — that is their right. Nor is it simply that they have expressed those views in public — what concerns us greatly is the manner in which some staff have done so.”

Universities are supposed to be places of tolerance and respect, but for Jewish students across the UK university is often not the broadening experience that it should be. Any Jewish student who voices support for Israel, where half of the world’s Jews live, is liable to face a wall of extreme, unabating hatred, which is the opposite of what university should be. The victimisation of Jewish students in this way appears to allow more traditional forms of discrimination to flourish.

We encourage students to make use of laws against hate crime. Please contact us if you are unsatisfied with the way that a university or the police has handled your complaint. Victims of antisemitism can also raise awareness of the problem by posting their experiences on Everyday Antisemitism.

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Green Party spokesman remains in post after voicing antisemitic conspiracy theory

According to the Guido Fawkes political blog, the Green Party’s spokesman, former Labour MP Tony Clarke, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “There are British oil companies such as Genel Energy, run by Nathaniel Rothschild, one of George Osborne’s friends, who are making money, who are buying oil from ISIS, who are putting money into the pot, allowing ISIS therefore to fuel their evil across the world.”

It is worryingly common to hear antisemitic conspiracy theorists claim that ISIS is funded by the Rothschild Jewish banking family, a shorthand reference to nefarious Jewish financial influence.

City AM has reported that the Green Party has retracted their spokesman’s statement: “The Green Party and Tony Clarke apologise to Genel Energy for this false statement, which they have withdrawn and have undertaken not to repeat. The Green Party and Tony Clarke wish to publicly retract this statement and accept it to be untrue and without foundation. Genel Energy…is not, and never has been, a purchaser of oil from anyone.”

The Green Party has disgraced itself. It is clear that this apology was wrung from the Party by the possibility of action for defamation by Genel Energy.

In the run-up to this year’s general election, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett showed that she had no idea how to combat antisemitism when asked what she would do to protect British Jews. The Party has long been criticised for its failure to tackle antisemitism within its own ranks.

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Charity trustee who made a video claiming “f***ing Jews” track Samsung smartphones and posted it on charity’s Facebook page allowed to stay on

A trustee of the Ghulam Mustafa Trust has been allowed to continue to run the charity by the Charity Commission, despite having made a home video with instructions to stop the “f***ing Jews” from “tracking every photo” on Samsung smartphones, which he posted on the charity’s Facebook page.

Following Campaign Against Antisemitism’s complaint to the Charity Commission, the Commission visited the Ghulam Mustafa Trust and established that it was indeed a trustee who had made and posted the video. In spite of the vile antisemitic myth proposed in the video, that Jews use secret microchips in Samsung smartphones to track users’ photographs, the Charity Commission merely demanded that the video be removed from Facebook and that the charity improve its bureaucracy by:

  • Adopting a social media policy;
  • Reviewing and removing any other offensive social media postings; and
  • Adopting a code of conduct for the charity’s trustees.

In an e-mail to Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chairman, the Charity Commission, said: “The Commission did establish that the video had been made by one of the trustees of the Charity… The Commission assessed the content of the video as ‘wholly unacceptable’”. Yet the Commission did not remove the trustee from his position on the charity, instead opting only to impose “remedial regulatory action”.

The Charity Commission will be amongst the beneficiaries of tough new counter-extremism powers proposed by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary. But these new powers will be of no use whatsoever unless the bodies responsible for enforcing the law use the powers they are granted.

David Cameron has spoken about how “ideas based on conspiracy that Jews exercise malevolent power” contribute towards dangerous extremism, yet here we see the Charity Commission leaving a trustee in place running a charity, when he has personally made and spread exactly such a conspiracy theory via online video and social media. We also know that more and more extremists are influenced by social media videos and other content. Regulatory bodies like the Charity Commission have to use the powers they have to show this behaviour is totally unacceptable, rather than feebly giving actively antisemitic trustees a free pass.

We are referring the Charity Commission’s decision on this matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which has jurisdiction in this matter.

We also understand that the Charity Commission was advised by the police that the video did not constitute a crime, which is contrary to advice that we have received. We will be discussing this further with the police.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s condemnation of Sir Gerald Kaufman’s antisemitic comments falls far short of what is warranted

Following a meeting between the Opposition Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton, and Sir Gerald Kaufman, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned Sir Gerald Kaufman’s comments.

One week after Sir Gerald Kaufman accused British Jews of subverting the government with ‘Jewish money’ so that Israeli Jews could shoot ‘innocent’ people, Jeremy Corbyn has spoken out and the Opposition Chief Whip has expressed ‘deep concern’. That’s positive, but it’s a week late and falls far short of what is warranted. We have been calling for a week for the Labour Party to take formal, firm disciplinary action against Sir Gerald Kaufman. Nothing less will do if Jewish people are to have any faith that the Labour Party’s ‘implacable opposition’ to racism is anything more than a soundbite.

Corbyn’s condemnation comes as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, told Campaign Against Antisemitism that she would not investigate the matter because Kaufman’s comments did not draw the House of Commons or its members into disrepute. Kaufman is formally known as “Father of the House” because he is the longest serving and oldest MP, and he was speaking on Parliamentary premises to a group which included MPs such as Andy Slaughter, the Shadow Minister for Justice.

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Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards: I will not investigate Sir Gerald Kaufman

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, has written to Campaign Against Antisemitism to say that she will not investigate the antisemitic comments made by Sir Gerald Kaufman in a speech because she does not believe that they bring the House of Commons or its members into disrepute.

Campaign Against Antisemitism had sent a complaint to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards under clause 16 of the Parliamentary Rules of Conduct for MPs which states: “Members shall never undertake any action which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally.”

At a meeting last week at 1 Parliament Street, David Collier, a blogger who attended a meeting of the Palestine Return Centre, said that Kaufman claimed that “Jewish money, Jewish donations” dictate government policy on Israel. Kaufman reportedly began his speech by claiming that the wave of antisemitic stabbings in Israel which has seen Jews stabbed, axed, run over and shot in the streets for being Jews, was “fabricated”.

Kaufman’s claim that British Jews use “Jewish money” to subvert the government so that Israeli Jews may shoot innocent people combines antisemitic conspiracy theory with antisemitic blood libel. The fact that Kaufman, who is known as the Father of the House as the longest standing MP, made such comments and the fact that other MPs sat in taciturn acceptance of those comments patently brings the House into disrepute. How are Jewish people supposed to have faith in an institution whose members engage in such conduct?

We are appalled that the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has examined the evidence put before her and found that the offence is not sufficiently grave to merit action.

All eyes must now return to the Labour Party itself, which we and others have asked to take disciplinary action. We remain in contact with the Labour Party which has so far only confirmed that the Opposition Chief Whip has met Kaufman today to “discuss” his comments, but not that disciplinary action is being taken.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards’ Letter

Dear Mr Falter,

Mrs Harrison has forwarded to me her email exchanges with you.  I have reviewed them very carefully and can confirm that she is correct. Generally, I may not look into complaints about the expression of a Member’s views and opinions and the bar for bringing such complaints into my remit is a high one.

I understand the distinction you seek to draw between the expression of views and opinions on the Middle East conflict and the words used by Sir Gerald to explain the position of the UK government. However, I agree with Mrs Harrison that this was an expression of his views and opinions – reflecting his interpretation of events – and so your allegation is caught by the general bar on my investigating complaints about the expression of views and opinions.

While many will disagree profoundly with Sir Gerald’s words, I do not consider that that in itself means they reflect either on the House as a whole or on its Members generally.

Yours sincerely,

Kathryn Hudson
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Extracts from Sir Gerald Kaufman’s Speech

Justice, justice, you shall pursue - צדק צדק תרדף
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