A man has been convicted of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress after shouting antisemitic abuse at members of Shomrim, London’s Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol.
The incident took place on 5th November 2015 when volunteers from Shomrim were called to a burglary. Whilst they assisted the Muslim victim, Mark Zahra saw the scene and assumed that Shomrim were reporting the Muslim victim to the police and shouted at Shomrim’s volunteers: “F***ing Jewish scum. Why do you keep calling them [the police], because he’s Muslim?”
Last Thursday, following testimony by Shomrim’s volunteers, Mark Zahra was convicted at Wood Green Crown Court of racially aggravated intentional harassment alarm or distress under section 4A of the Public Order Act (see the relevant part of our guide to the Law of Antisemitism).
The sentence was a 12-month Community Order and a curfew for 4 months.
Cases of antisemitism are rarely prosecuted and Shomrim’s swift action and perseverance is to be applauded. In 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service prosecuted 15,442 cases of hate crime, but Campaign Against Antisemitism, Shomrim and CST are aware of only twelve prosecutions for antisemitic hate crime, despite the 26% rise in antisemitic hate crime during 2015, which made it the worst year on record.
The Labour Party’s annual conference is to begin this year with a rally “against racism and antisemitism” — a rally intended to “heal” deep rifts in the Party, despite being addressed by one of Labour’s most divisive politicians, the newly ennobled Baroness Chakrabarti.
The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has conducted brisk trade in statements condemning “racism and antisemitism” whilst simultaneously alienating Jews and tolerating brazen antisemites. What makes this latest development so astonishing, is that it is the Jewish Labour Movement, an affiliate of the Labour Party of nearly a century’s standing, which has invited Shami Chakrabarti to speak at their the rally, to be held in a pub near the conference.
The Jewish Labour Movement says the purpose of the rally is to “heal” and “redouble the effort to ensure antisemitism and racism have no place within [Labour]” — a stance that begs the question as to how any such healing can be possible when the wounds are wide open, with new injuries being opened up almost daily?
The Labour Party has become a political home of antisemitism and the Jewish Labour Movement has fought hard to save their Party from its grasp. Nothing has undermined that effort more than Shami Chakrabarti’s whitewash of a report which cleared the Party of antisemitism, a feat for which she was rewarded by ennoblement by Jeremy Corbyn to the very institution that he promised never to promote anyone to.
As a matter of policy we do not comment on the work of other organisations engaged in the fight against antisemitism, but in this case we must make an exception. The Jewish Labour Movement’s decision to invite Shami Chakrabarti to address a rally against antisemitism is misjudged to the point of surrealism. Indeed, the very idea that it is possible to hold a rally in a pub to heal antisemitism in the Labour Party is absurd because the Labour Party, under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, continues to deny that its antisemitism problem even exists. That is perhaps why the Jewish Labour Movement’s own poll of its members found that only 4% of them back Jeremy Corbyn in the current leadership election.
When antisemitism reaches the levels it now has within the Labour Party, the only effective strategy is to stand up and defy it with dignity.
Campaign Against Antisemitism Chairman Gideon Falter’s spoke at the Henry Jackson Society’s event in the House of Commons on “Europe in crisis — a shattered haven”. The event was held on 6th September 2016 in Committee Room 14 of the House of Commons. Matthew Offord MP chaired the evening which began with the documentary “Europe in crisis — a shattered haven” followed by speeches by Melanie Phillips, Gideon Falter and Tom Wilson.
Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out, will be speaking about antisemitism in football on 6th October at JW3, a Jewish cultural centre in London. It will be a good opportunity to ask Ms Wood about what Kick It Out is doing to stamp out antisemitism at football grounds.
Ms Wood will be appearing on a panel discussing antisemitism organised by Action Against Discrimination’s Chairman, Jonathan Metliss. Other panellists include football journalists Henry Winter and Anthony Clavane,as well as Jewish footballer Joe Jacobson and the Jewish Chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Tony Bloom.
Yesterday, Ken Livingstone returned to Vanessa Feltz’s show to repeat his bizarre, offensive claims first made in April, about Hitler’s relationship with Zionism. This, notwithstanding the fact that his claims had been ridiculed and torn to shreds by credible historians in the interim. He went as far as to say that since he made the claims “I couldn’t walk down the street for people stopping me and saying ‘We know what you said is true.’”
Ken Livingstone’s absurd opinions are not themselves the issue. British Jews are, sadly, accustomed to all sorts of accusations, from the notion that Rothschilds’ banks control the economy, to the idea (however laughable) that Jewish lizards control the planet from a base on the moon. Such conspiracy theories should be opposed and rationally discredited, but they will sadly always persist.
What matters in this case is the issue of political leadership: because it is only by poor, malicious or a deliberately indulgent leadership that such mendaciousness can flourish and gain currency in a population, particularly when that populace is casting around for a scapegoat for their economic or other ills.
What is shocking is not that Ken Livingstone is repeating his claims, but that in post-war Labour a former close colleague of its leader has been allowed to stay a member long enough to feel emboldened and repeat this garbage.
Labour has gone from being a pioneering force against racism to being the favoured political home of antisemites. We did not think that the situation could get worse after Jeremy Corbyn rewarded Shami Chakrabarti with a peerage for her whitewash of an investigation into antisemitism in Labour, but now we are hearing that Labour may have prejudiced a police investigation into one of its MPs.
The Daily Mail has reported that Naz Shah, who was suspended from the Labour Party over antisemitic social media posts, was readmitted to the Party despite being under active police investigation. It took considerable pressure for Jeremy Corbyn to suspend Naz Shah, who has admitted the antisemitic nature of her comments and apologised for them.
If it is true that there is an ongoing police investigation into antisemitic hate crime allegedly committed by Naz Shah and Labour was aware of it but decided to end her suspension before the police investigation had concluded, then this is yet further evidence of the Party’s abject failure to grasp its antisemitism problem.
In recent months we have seen Labour operate a revolving door of suspensions and readmissions for some of its antisemitic members and this latest revelation, if true, would be another clear indicator that the Party’s disciplinary process is being distorted for political effect.
On Tuesday, CAA’s Chairman, Gideon Falter, will speak on a panel alongside journalist and author Melanie Phillips, and the Henry Jackson Society’s Tom Wilson, at a public event in Parliament on the subject of “Europe in Crisis — a Shattered Haven”.
The event will begin with the screening of a short documentary on rising antisemitism and extremism across Europe, following which the panel will discuss developments, including the murder of Jewish citizens in multiple terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Denmark.
To book a free place, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org including your full name, the names of any guests, and any affiliations. The event begins at 18:00 on Tuesday in Committee Room 14 in the House of Commons. More details can be found on the Henry Jackson Society’s website.
Today the Jewish MP, Ruth Smeeth, revealed that she has received 25,000-odd pieces of abuse following the launch of Shami Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party. Ms Smeeth said that 20,000 abusive messages were received in the first twelve hours after the launch event at which she herself received antisemitic abuse from a Momentum member who subsequently left joking with a smiling Jeremy Corbyn. Ms Smeeth was clear that the abusers were acting in the name of Jeremy Corbyn. Following the launch, Ms Smeeth declared that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn “cannot be a safe space for British Jews” and called on him to resign.
Asked on the Victoria Derbyshire programme for examples of the abuse, Ms Smeeth said that one message read: “The gallows would be a fine place for this dyke piece of Yid s*** to swing from,” adding that this was “one of the worst, not the worst” of the abuse. She said that such abuse had become “seemingly acceptable” and that although she was sure Jeremy Corbyn would condemn it, this was insufficient, and called again for firmer action.
After Young Labour’s report into Oxford Antisemitism was succeeded by the suppression of Baroness Royall’s report, it could only be imagined that Chakrabarti’s whitewash represented the one of the lowest points for Jews in this country in recent decades. However, for tens of thousands of individual messages of abuse to be levelled at a Jewish MP after she herself did nothing more than protest clear and public antisemitism, represents the current level of virulent mob antisemitism. What makes it so dangerous is that this is not being fomented by fringe fascists, but by our own polity.
We call for politicians of all parties, and our public institutions to intervene as powerfully as they can to protect the Jews of this country from a growing racist movement that is clearly out of control.
In 2014, antisemitic crime in Britain reached a level that was unprecedented in thirty years of record-keeping. When we rallied outside the Royal Courts of Justice, we called for zero-tolerance enforcement of the law against antisemitism, and that is what we were promised. Ever since then, we have worked with the government and the authorities to ensure that antisemitic crime is punished as firmly as the law will permit, but while Britain has tough laws against antisemitic hate crime, and the government wants them to be strongly enforced, we have found the response from police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service in particular to be lacking.
Earlier this year, we published our National Antisemitic Crime Audit. We found that despite the crackdown promised in 2014, in 2015 hate crime against British Jews surged to a new peak, with a 26% growth in crimes against Jews and a 51% leap in violent antisemitic crime. Against the backdrop of major rises in antisemitic crime, the number of antisemitic crimes charged dropped. Last year the Crown Prosecution Service prosecuted a record 15,442 cases of hate crime, but we are only aware of a dozen prosecutions for hate crime against Jews.
British Jews are being denied British justice, and the resulting atmosphere of impunity is enabling antisemitism in our country to grow and become increasingly violent. We need you to report antisemitic crime to the police, and when you do, we need to be there to help you to ensure that the authorities do their job. That is why we are launching a guide to the law of antisemitism, and a new service allowing you to ask our experts for help.
Eminent Queen’s Counsel working pro bono for Campaign Against Antisemitism have produced a guide explaining the law of antisemitism and how to ensure that antisemites are prosecuted. The guide covers everything from reporting a crime through to specific criminal offences and points of law, and explains what the authorities must do. We are also launching a new service which allows you to ask us questions about the law or incidents you have witnessed. If necessary, we can even help you to deal with the authorities. As ever, our work is done by volunteers and our services are provided at no cost.
We are conducting a snapshot survey of British Jews to measure the effects of antisemitism in the UK. Please take part in this anonymous, three-minute survey at https://antisemitism.uk/survey/ and share the link with others so we have a wide and large sample of British Jewry. The survey will only be live for a short time, so please complete it now.
Since its establishment two years ago, Campaign Against Antisemitism has been dedicated to exposing and countering antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law. Everything we have achieved has been accomplished by our dedicated 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.
We welcome Ben, our Programme Manager. Binyomin has volunteered with us for over a year and passionately believes that it is possible to turn the rising tide of antisemitism through raising awareness of the problem, education and the firmest possible enforcement of the law. He has quickly established himself as a key member of our team, developing our long-term programmes and working with our volunteer team to greatly improve our capabilities.
We also welcome Stephen Silverman to the Board of Trustees, following his election by our volunteers to the new post of Director of Investigations and Enforcement. Stephen and his team work closely with police forces around the country, the Crown Prosecution Service and regulatory bodies to ensure that antisemitism is detected, investigated and punished with the full force of the law.
We must also say farewell to two of the people who have helped lead Campaign Against Antisemitism and who are now standing down. Jonathan Sacerdoti has acted as Director of Communications since our establishment, building Campaign Against Antisemitism’s strong voice against antisemitism, and for the past year and a half Angela Levin has been our Director of Mobilisation, putting in place an extremely talented and committed team of volunteers.
Lastly, Nathan Hopstein, who has been an integral member of the Campaign Against Antisemitism team since our establishment two years ago, has moved into the new position of Director of Organisation and Finance, ensuring that we put in place the systems and support that our volunteers need, and that our charity complies strictly with regulatory and financial requirements.
Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Campaign Against Antisemitism owes a great deal to Jonathan and Angela. We have accomplished so much together and the Board of Trustees wishes them every success in their professional work. Jonathan has expertly developed our voice in the media, and Angela has established our effective teams of specialist volunteers. They leave our charity stronger than ever, and on that note we are extremely pleased to have secured the talents of Binyomin and Stephen. Binyomin has worked closely with Angela for over a year as a volunteer and in his capacity as Programme Manager we are already witnessing the implementation of ambitious long-term programmes. I also welcome Stephen, one of our longstanding volunteers, to the Board of Trustees, having been elected by the Investigations and Enforcement team to lead their vital work.”
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement said: “I became a volunteer with Campaign Against Antisemitism because I believe passionately that the unprecedented rise of antisemitism in Britain in recent years is a threat not only to Britain’s Jews but also to the very values of the country itself. We have reached a dangerous tipping point where antisemitic opinions — sometimes disguised as political discourse but often not — are on the the verge of becoming normalised on social media, in public life and on university campuses. Last year’s 51% increase in violent attacks on Jews shows the extent to which antisemites have become emboldened. Our Investigations and Enforcement team will continue work with the the police, regulators and employers to secure justice against antisemites, and where necessary we will hold the authorities to account.”
Jonathan Sacerdoti said: ”After two years heading up the media strategy for Campaign Against Antisemitism, it is with some sadness that I announce my resignation. Campaign Against Antisemitism was born out of a need for a strong voice opposing antisemitism in the UK and beyond, at a time when levels of antisemitism and attacks on Jewish people have been increasing across Europe. I feel that I and our team of volunteers have exceeded all expectations in getting antisemitism recognised more widely on the national agenda, and while there is still much to be done, I feel it is time for me to move on and concentrate on my full time journalistic career. Having established the voice of the Campaign Against Antisemitism across national and international media outlets, I know that media and political discussion of this important issue will continue, and I wish the rest of the team success in their continued work.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism has responded to a claim in The Guardian for the second time claiming that we are a pawn of the Israeli government.
The claim was first made in 2015, when The Guardian printed a letter alleging that antisemitism in Britain was being exaggerated and that “the CAA was set up last summer, not to fight antisemitism but to counter rising criticism of Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza.” At the time, CAA Chairman Gideon Falter responded with a letter setting out the facts of rising antisemitism, and asking: “Why can some of your readers not accept the facts for what they are and address the very real problem of antisemitism, rather than supposing in spite of the evidence that it is a fiction, or that it does exist but would cease to if Jews supported Israel less? Jewish concerns must not be silenced by conspiracy theorists railing about Israel.”
On Tuesday, we were accused of being “pro-Israel lobbyists” in The Guardian again, this time because we have dared to condemn Jeremy Corbyn’s peerage for Shami Chakrabarti in return for her whitewash report clearing him and the party of rampant antisemitism.
Both claims were made in letters to The Guardian signed by a fringe assortment of British Jews.
CAA Chairman Gideon Falter has again responded with a letter:
A letter (9 August), signed by a fringe assortment of British Jews, accused Campaign Against Antisemitism of being “pro-Israel lobbyists” because we believe that Jeremy Corbyn has allied himself with and granted impunity to antisemites on the left, the latest example of which being his peerage for Shami Chakrabarti in return for her report clearing him and the party of rampant antisemitism. How shameful that in 2016, as a Jew who opposes antisemitism, I have to write to a British newspaper for the second time in a year to refute the allegation that our charity, set up exclusively to fight antisemitism, is actually a pawn employed by a foreign government to smear its enemies.
Antisemitism in the Labour party is real and recognised by the full cross-denominational spectrum of British Jews. Had that antisemitic slur against Campaign Against Antisemitism been signed by anything other than a tiny collection of Jews whose views are abhorred by the mainstream Jewish community, you would not have dared to publish it.
CAA’s Regulatory Enforcement Unit is complaining to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
The Guardian has yet again published a claim that Campaign Against Antisemitism is a pawn of the Israeli government. The claim was first made in 2015, when The Guardian printed a letter alleging that “the CAA was set up last summer, not to fight antisemitism but to counter rising criticism of Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza.” Today, we have been accused of being “pro-Israel lobbyists” because we have dared to condemn Jeremy Corbyn’s peerage for Shami Chakrabarti in return for her whitewash report clearing him and the party of rampant antisemitism.
Both claims were made in letters signed by a fringe assortment of British Jews. There is an overwhelming, cross-denominational consensus amongst British Jews that Jeremy Corbyn has allied himself with and granted impunity to antisemites on the left. Yet for the second time, The Guardian has published a letter from a tiny fringe group of Jews who are wilfully blind to antisemitism and prefer to accuse those fighting antisemitism of dual loyalties and ulterior motives.
Accusing Jews who oppose antisemitism of dissembling, and promoting the interests of a foreign government is an antisemitic trope that should be considered unacceptable for publication in a British newspaper. In this case it seems the Guardian’s justification is that the letter is signed by some Jewish people; no matter that they resort to incorrectly trying to undermine a charity fighting antisemitism.
That this has now happened twice shows how willingly The Guardian will assist those who smear British Jews who speak out against antisemitism, using as cover the fact that the libels are spread by a tiny group of Jews, even though their views are abhorred by the Jewish community.
Extensive further allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party have come to light today, adding further to the scandalous handling by Labour of its antisemitism problem.
The Observer reports that Friends of Al-Aqsa, whose founder, Ismail Patel, has publicly supported genocidal antisemitic terrorist group Hamas, collected £10,000 for Jeremy Corbyn’s last leadership campaign at a fundraising dinner. Patel gave a speech in 2014 in which he said: “Hamas is no terrorist organisation. The reason they hate Hamas is because they refuse to be subjugated, occupied by the Israeli state, and we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel.” Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman told The Observer that the donation cheque had bounced, and that there might have been a second cheque that was lost, insisting: “There’s nothing dodgy going on.” He then withdrew his comment when it was pointed out that the donation had not been declared to the Electoral Commission. It is unclear whether this means that the official line is that something “dodgy” might be or might have been “going on”.
Next, The Sunday Times reports that the soon-to-be Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti, whose inquiry into antisemitism in the party we decried as a “whitewash”, ignored allegations by policy adviser turned whistleblower in Jeremy Corbyn’s office. Josh Simons reportedly submitted evidence of antisemitism and “flippant disdain” for the Jewish community among senior Labour figures to Chakrabarti, telling her that some of Corbyn’s team had “at least a blind spot with antisemitism and at worst a wilful disregard for it”. One member of the office even referred to a “Jewish conspiracy”, according to Simons. He is reported to have particularly singled out Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s Director of Strategy, who Simons says subjected him to an “inquisition” about being Jewish, his family and his attitude to Israel. Milne has also spoken out openly in support of the genocidal antisemitic terrorist group Hamas, praising them for their “spirit of resistance”.
Meanwhile Sky News has reported that having been engulfed in an honours storm, Shami Chakrabarti may be appointed to the Shadow Cabinet when she joins the House of Lords. Asked by Sky News, Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman refused to rule out that Chakrabarti would be promoted straight to the Shadow Cabinet. We strongly suspect that she was promised the position and the honour before or during her inquiry into antisemitism, and that the inquiry was therefore designed to cover up antisemitism within Labour rather than fix it. Chakrabarti for weeks coyly and then aggressively refused to comment on whether she had been offered a peerage, right up until the publication of the honours list.
This constant stream of controversy and scandal within the Labour Party in relation to antisemitism people further erodes the trust of all reasonable Britons in the party itself. Weak cover stories, half excuses, support from and for extremists, power and honour being handed to those covering up antisemitism, and now money being donated by terrorist sympathisers and supporters; there can be no question that this is being misread or spun by a specific interest group.
A web of evidence and connected actions is revealing a party engaging in anti-Jewish activity not by accident but by design. The pretence of dealing with this antisemitism by means of a weak and tendentious inquiry, followed almost immediately by the reward of its author with a paid position of power and possible front bench role, seems to confirm what many Jewish people have suspected for some time.
Labour needs to clearly answer questions about politicians and senior staff with anti-Jewish tendencies and positions. They need to answer properly why they accepted donations from anti-Jewish terror supporters rather than fudge the question by suggesting an error in the cashing of the cheque itself. They need to address openly their immediate elevation to the Lords of the person they claimed was investigating their problem. They need to root out the antisemites from all parts of their party rather than empowering them.
If they do not do these things, then it is little wonder that the party is increasingly seen as unrepentantly and institutionally antisemitic, much to the shame of many in Labour like John Mann MP, whose proud personal history of fighting antisemitism now stands at odds with the behaviour of his party.
If anybody still took Shami Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party or Jeremy Corbyn’s declared opposition to antisemitism seriously, this must be the final straw.
Jeremy Corbyn has nominated Shami Chakrabarti for a peerage in return for her inquiry into antisemitism which cleared the Labour Party of antisemitism. It is the only nomination that Jeremy Corbyn has made, and he has previously promised that he would never nominate anyone for a peerage.
Shami Chakrabarti’s inquiry into antisemitism was suspected of being a fraud from the moment she promised to conduct it in Labour’s interests. Sure enough, she delivered a whitewash which failed to deal with Labour’s antisemitism problem in any meaningful way. She did not tackle allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party or their woeful handling by Jeremy Corbyn, and she even refused to adopt a definition of antisemitism.
Having promised to never send anyone to the House of Lords, that is exactly what Jeremy Corbyn has done in return for a clean bill of health.
The Labour Party’s inquiry into allegations of antisemitism in the Oxford University Labour Club has today been leaked. Carried out by Baroness Jan Royall, the report was commissioned after Alex Chalmers, Co-Chair of the club, resigned in February 2016 stating rampant levels of antisemitism as his reason for doing so. The incident brought antisemitism in the Labour Party into the public spotlight, and Campaign Against Antisemitism met Baroness Royall to assist her inquiry.
The full version of Baroness Royall’s report was originally kept secret, with only the executive summary being published in May. It was then expected to be published in full alongside the wider-ranging Chakrabarti Inquiry report into antisemitism in the Labour Party last month, but instead Baroness Royall was brought into the Chakrabarti Inquiry as a Co-Vice Chair, perhaps as a means of keeping her quiet. Baroness Royall’s report remained unpublished and the report issued by the Chakrabarti Inquiry was a total whitewash. The JC has now published a leaked copy of Baroness Royall’s full report.
Baroness Royall finds “no evidence that the Club is itself institutionally antisemitic” but notes a “cultural problem in which behaviour and language that would once have been intolerable is now tolerated. Some Jewish members do not feel comfortable attending the meetings, let alone participating.”
Looking at the wider issue of antisemitism, she also explains that “a pervading discourse now is that Jews are neither weak, nor poor, neither workers, nor have-nots. In short, Jews cannot be victims and cannot be discriminated against.” She goes on to say that “being anti-Zionist…is often used deliberately as a tool of antisemitism”.
Baroness Royall further notes “an environment in which Jews cannot debate, or feel safe to do so, unless their every remark is prefaced by a criticism of the Israeli government”. While she explains that a clear definition of what is antisemitic “can provide useful tools for helping consider what may, or may not, constitute antisemitic discourse” and urges the Chakrabarti Inquiry “to consider this carefully”, the Chakrabarti enquiry conspicuously avoided defining antisemitism.
The full text of Baroness Royall’s report does not change our opinion following the publication of the partial report. The full report tells us nothing new, except that Baroness Royall thinks that Alex Chalmers was wrong when he resigned as Co-Chair of Oxford University Labour Club over rampant institutional antisemitism.
The leaking of Baroness Royall’s report has revealed that it too fails to identify individuals who are guilty of antisemitism within the Labour Party. It now seems that this reluctance to name those responsible may be a reflection of Labour’s inner conflicts.
The Young Labour conference at Scarborough followed shortly after Young Labour’s own suppressed investigation. It became clear at that Scarborough conference that some of the individuals alleged to be guilty of antisemitism at Oxford are the same young politicians with important roles in Momentum, the movement that help engineer the election of Jeremy Corbyn.
The fact that they are under suspicion lends greater urgency to the task of providing transparency on this issue, which the Labour party refuses to do.
Yet again, it seems that the needs for political expediency outranks the desire of the Labour Party’s leadership to confront the antisemitism in its ranks.
A study funded by the Scottish Government has found that the Scottish Jewish community is feeling increasingly isolated and fearful. SCoJeC, a charity which advocates for Scottish Jews, was commissioned to undertake the research which included a survey and focus groups.
Researchers discovered that it was becoming relatively common for Scotland’s 5,887 Jews to keep their Judaism secret, and that many of the 400 Israelis living in Scotland hide their nationality and do not speak Hebrew in public. Noting that a growing number of Scottish Jews could name nothing positive about being a Jew in Scotland, the study reported that some Scottish Jews were considering leaving Scotland due to rising antisemitism.
One Jew summed up the change in two quotes given two years apart, saying in 2014 that Scotland was a “darn good place to be a Jew”, but reporting this year that “I feel alienated, and no longer Scottish first then Jewish, I feel Jewish only.”
Numerous respondents told SCoJeC that they had stopped attending synagogue services due to fear of antisemitism, were the victims of antisemitic jokes or social media posts and felt victimised for being Jewish.
Much of the prejudice directed at Scottish Jews was due to the bigotry of Scots opposed to Israel, who expressed their views by bullying, intimidating and abusing Jews. Respondents said that they were singled out for their cultural and religious ties to the Jewish state, and that Zionism, the movement for Jewish self-determination, had become socially unacceptable. The Scottish Government came in for criticism in the report for its “disproportionate obsession” with Israel and respondents said that Police Scotland was losing the confidence of Scottish Jews by failing to tackle blatant antisemitism amongst the ranks of Scottish anti-Israel activists.
The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance, responded by saying: “I will give full consideration to [this study] and look forward to working with the Jewish community to ensure that Scotland continues to be one of the best places in the world for people from all backgrounds to live, work and raise their families.”
Nothing in the report gave any indication that the situation for Scottish Jews was likely to improve.
This morning at 10:30, the Home Secretary will publish a Hate Crime Action Plan which will include measures to review the police response to hate crime including antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomes the adoption of its recommendations by the government. Under the new strategy there will be a thorough review of police forces’ response to hate crime by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). This measure is one of a series of recommendations adopted by the Home Office following regular discussions with CAA.
In May this year, CAA’s National Antisemitic Crime Audit was welcomed by then Home Secretary Theresa May. The Audit noted that there had been a 26% rise in antisemitic crime reported to the police around the UK, a 51% surge in antisemitic violence, but a drop in charging by police forces. Amongst our key recommendations was a national review by HMIC and we are delighted that Theresa May and her successor as Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, have adopted it.
In recent weeks our Chairman and our Director of Investigations and Enforcement have held meetings with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, and Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt to discuss the poor response to antisemitic crime.
At a time when antisemitic hate crime is increasing, it is encouraging that the Home Office has listened to our recommendations. In January 2015, we presented our five point action plan to the Home Secretary, Director of Public Prosecutions and Chief Executive of the College of Policing. In May this year we specifically called for a review of all forces by HMIC in our National Antisemitic Crime Audit, to which Theresa May responded: “I welcome this review by the Campaign Against Antisemitism and we will consider its recommendations carefully as we develop our new Hate Crime Action Plan.”
Proactive measures are essential, and we welcome this announcement. We look forward to continuing our work with the Home Office to help translate this plan into action, helping to protect Jewish and other minorities.
The recent surge in recorded hate crime following the referendum has revealed to the country what Jewish citizens have known for too long: hate crime is often dismissed and not prosecuted. Non-violent antisemitic hate crime often goes unprosecuted, creating an atmosphere of impunity. This created a climate where there has been and a 51% leap in recorded antisemitic violent attacks.
For too long, British Jews have been denied British justice, and we are very pleased that this is now under the spotlight. Hate crime must be prosecuted with zero tolerance and that means swift, thorough police work and expert prosecution. We need to see more cases prosecuted, not just those for certain minorities; one type of hate crime is not more or less important than another.
In a letter to The Independent, Baroness Tonge has bizarrely claimed that Campaign Against Antisemitism criticised her speech last Thursday to the House of Lords because she says we are opposed to organ donation, and that she is perfectly entitled to call on British Jews to “travel more widely and hear the opinions of Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world, as I do in my international development work”.
In response, CAA Chairman Gideon Falter wrote: “In yesterday’s Independent, Baroness Tonge claims that we have criticised her because she thinks we are opposed to organ donation, which is nonsense. As she well knows, we object to her fuelling of the antisemitic blood libel that Israelis secretly harvest organs. It is a modern incarnation of a medieval lie which was used to incite massacres of Jews in England in the 12th and 13th Centuries. We also criticised Baroness Tonge’s attempt to hold British Jews collectively responsible for perceived injustices committed by Israel. The real scandal is not that Baroness Tonge — whose past comments forced her to resign her party’s whip in disgrace — said these things, but that she remains in the House of Lords and the Liberal Democrat Party, which disgraces itself with every day that she remains a member.”
If you feel that it is time for the Liberal Democrats to expel Baroness Tonge from their Party, then write to Tim Farron at email@example.com. You may also wish to make a formal complaint to the Party using this simple online form: http://www.libdems.org.uk/making_a_complaint. In answer to e-mails and letters from CAA and our supporters, the Liberal Democrats have said that they can only initiate disciplinary proceedings against Baroness Tonge if formal complaints are made on their website.
On Thursday, Baroness Tonge, made a speech in the House of Lords in which she repeated her demand that British Jews condemn the Jewish state. She also claimed that Israel was responsible for the rise of ISIS, and that Palestinian terrorist organisations whose declared mission is to annihilate all Jews had a “justified grudge”.
We cannot know how many of our supporters heeded our call and wrote to Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, but CAA has received a response and so have many of our supporters.
The Party confirmed that though Baroness Tonge was forced to resign the Liberal Democrat whip in 2012, she remains a member of the Party and, of course, is an active member of the House of Lords.
Though the Party’s response did not answer our call to publicly call for Baroness Tonge to be expelled from the House of Lords, it did say that a disciplinary process could be started to have her expelled.
A part of the response sent to CAA but oddly omitted from replies sent to our supporters stated: “We’re a democratic party so the leader isn’t allowed to simply expel an individual. However, we do have a robust complaints procedure and when a complaint is received it’s investigated accordingly.”
We were unsure whether this meant that an investigation had been opened so we have sent a further e-mail asking that disciplinary proceedings be started, and that the Party should join our call for Baroness Tonge to be expelled from the legislature.
Baroness Tonge, who was forced to resign from the Liberal Democrat Party in the House of Lords over antisemitic remarks in 2012, has once again tried to hold Jews to account for ‘crimes’ she perceives Israel to have committed.
Speaking in the House of Lords today, Baroness Tonge blamed Israel for the rise of extreme Islamism and ISIS. She then went on to say that Israel did not deserve the support of British Jews, but that Jews nonetheless had a special responsibility to stop the Israeli government “destroying…the Middle East and the wider world”.
Tonge also claimed that Palestinian terrorist groups have a “justified grudge” against Israel, effectively defending the terrorism that is aimed at Jewish people in Israel and around the world by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organisations.
In January last year we condemned Baroness Tonge for submitting a written question in the House of Lords which asked the government “to encourage Jewish faith leaders in the United Kingdom publicly to condemn settlement building by Israel and to make clear their support for universal human rights.”
Baroness Tonge has a long history of making these sorts of remarks. It is despicable to see her continuing to use the House of Lords to try to make demands of Jewish people. Dictating to Jews what their relationship should be with the Jewish state of Israel is unacceptable, and the definition of antisemitism clearly states that it is antisemitic to hold Jews “collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”
Having previously suggested an investigation into supposed Israeli harvesting of human organs, which is the modern-day incarnation of the mediaeval antisemitic blood libel, Baroness Tonge is once again claiming that British Jews are the ones with unacceptable opinions on Israel.
We cannot expect Baroness Tonge to apologise, as she means it, and has a long history of antisemitism which has seen her forced to resign from the Parliamentary Liberal Democrat Party. It is now time for her to be expelled from the Liberal Democrat Party entirely, not just the parliamentary party, and it is also high time she was expelled from the House of Lords.
A Jewish man has been assaulted on a bus by a woman shouting antisemitic abuse. Just after 10:00 this morning, a woman boarded the 253 bus in Amhurst Park in Stamford Hill, north London, and began shouting antisemitic abuse at a Jewish man who was already on the bus. She then proceeded to pour a bottle of juice over him and two Muslim ladies on the bus intervened to stop the attack. Shomrim, the volunteer Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, are assisting and supporting the victim. Police are now appealing for witnesses to step forward. Campaign Against Antisemitism is speaking to TfL regarding CCTV and ticketing evidence.
The National Union of Students has voted to remove the right of Jewish students to choose their representative on the union’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Fascism Committee. In previous years, the Jewish student representative bodies (representing around 8,500 registered Jewish students) were consulted and had a say in choosing the Jewish representative on the committee. That is no longer the case, and now the decision will be solely that of NUS’s National Executive Committee and its President Malia Bouattia. Indeed it was Bouattia who approved the amendment, using her casting vote.
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. When CAA and others called on her to retract her comments, condemn terrorism and endorse the NUS policy on antisemitism she counterclaimed instead.
Given Malia Bouattia’s track record on Jewish matters, it may not come as a surprise that it was her casting vote that condemned the Jewish student body to lose the right to choose its representative in the NUS campaign against racism and fascism.
The Union of Jewish Students has condemned the decision, saying that this just another example of “Jews being pushed out of university life”.
This is another instance of the welfare of Jewish students being deliberately ignored, and voices of Jewish students being shunned. Furthermore, by replacing the Jewish students’ representative with an unendorsed committee member, there is a clear risk that the perpetrators of antisemitism will feel protected.
In reality, this decision can only open the door to antisemites and denude the NUS of its ability to represent and protect Jewish students. Just in April, Bouattia said she would “listen to and understand Jewish concerns”. Once again she has listened, understood, and done the opposite of what was asked.
Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions claims that the Crown Prosecution Service takes hate crime seriously. So why is hate crime against Jews being routinely dismissed by the Crown Prosecution Service? Watch our new video and ask the Attorney General by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the world reacted with shock to the horrific attack on families celebrating Bastille Day in Nice on Thursday night, many on social media turned to a familiar scapegoat, convinced that this atrocity, like all others, real or perceived, could be pinned on Jews.
Search on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere and the outpouring of sadness and sympathy is overwhelming, however, it is all too easy to find oneself stumbling upon the antisemitic opportunists and Jew haters who take every opportunity to profess and publicise their hatred. A search on Twitter for hashtags “#NiceAttack”, “#Nice” or “#PrayForNice” and the words “Jew”or “Zionist” displays pages of antisemitic conspiracy myths.
One of the truly awful aspects of these posts is that they are rarely contradicted. Mostly they are supported or discussed in blind faith and acceptance that this is the truth. By remaining unopposed, these heinous statements gain traction and credibility. Each time a few more will follow the train of thought, that possibly previously they would have not.
The latest antisemitic libel comes in the week that the Home Affairs Select Committee’s Inquiry into Antisemitism heard from the Chief Rabbi that more must be done by social networks, governments and internet service providers to stop the spread of racism and antisemitism in particular. This is another spectacular failure to do so and in the process antisemitic libels have just gained a few more believers.
The BBC has published an analysis of the terrorist atrocity in Nice, claiming that the attach was somehow worse than the murder of Jews at the Hypercacher kosher supermarket last January because in Nice, “the people at large” were targeted despite doing nothing “provocative”.
Through the last 18 months of jihadist terror in France, a simple pattern is emerging: it keeps getting worse. If the January 2015 attacks were aimed at specific groups – Jews and blasphemers – the November follow-up was more indiscriminate. At the Bataclan and at the cafes the Islamists killed young adults, out being European hedonists. This time, it’s gone a step further. In Nice, it is the people at large – families and groups of friends – doing nothing more provocative than attending a national celebration. Ten children were among the dead.
The BBC claimed that it was not as bad when terrorists just killed “Jews and blasphemers”, and then asserted that what has happened in Nice is a “step further” because the Jewish people shopping for their Shabbat meals in the Hypercacher kosher supermarket were not “people at large — families and groups of friends”. Instead, they were clearly “more provocative” by being Jewish and partaking in a Jewish shopping activity.
The article, by Hugh Schofield, the BBC’s Paris Correspondent, goes on to suggest that the terrorist murderers were somehow not responsible for their own bloodthirsty atrocities, because they merely “fell prey to the torrent of jihadist propaganda emanating from so-called Islamic State”. By claiming that they “fell prey” to propaganda, the BBC suggests that rather than deciding to go out and kill innocents, the decision happened to them, such that they were passive and not in control.
Finally, the BBC imagines a “moment when the attacks become so outrageous they provoke a backlash. A mosque is burned to the ground. Some white youths go on a rampage through a banlieue (suburb)”. The implication is that the worst has yet to come, and that the worst will be attacks on Muslims which would be far worse than slaughtering Jews or “hedonists” or “blasphemers” or people in Nice. The BBC tells us “this is what IS desperately wants to happen, of course” as if the slaughter of Jews and other members of society is not what they are actually trying to achieve; it is just a technique to start “a truly bloody civil conflict”. The notion that the BBC believes that the terrorist massacres in Paris in January and November last year, and now in Nice last week was not “truly” a bloody conflict.
Complaints to the BBC can be made online or by calling 03700 100 222, however, based on past experience, the institutionally antisemitic, self-regulating, BBC is extremely unlikely to find itself at fault. You might instead prefer to complain to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, explaining why you have not felt comfortable reporting the matter to the BBC and leaving it in their hands. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 020 7211 6000.
Two men were arrested in separate incidents last Sunday, as Jewish Londoners continue to be subjected to antisemitic abuse.
In one incident, a 25-year-old man was detained by Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, after he grabbed an elderly religious Jew’s hat, then tried to grab other Jews’ hats and punched them.
In a second incident the same day, Shomrim stopped a 23-year-old man for suddenly shouting antisemitic abuse at a Jewish boy.
In both cases, the Metropolitan Police Service arrived and made arrests, thanking Shomrim for their “teamwork”. Shomrim is the template for community policing, patrolling the streets and working closely with local police to thwart a wide range of crimes, from antisemitic assault through to common burglary and finding missing persons.
Police are looking for a third man in connection with yet another incident, which took place on Wednesday last week. As a man in a silver van approached a Jewish pedestrian, he opened the window to shout “F***ing Jewish c***” as he drove past. Witnesses are being sought for the incident which occurred at approximately 20:00 on Craven Walk in Hackney.
A 14-year-old boy who placed lit fireworks in the pockets of Jewish pedestrians has escaped with paying £20 in compensation and a referral order. The boy was arrested on 31st January in Hackney after volunteers from Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol, chased and detained the boy, then called the police who arrested him.
The Hackney Youth Offender Panel issued a contract for a total period of a year and ordered the youth to pay £20 in compensation in a stunningly lenient verdict which will do nothing to deter such attacks.
Campaign Against Antisemitism will be raising this judgement with the Ministry of Justice as an example of disturbingly light sentences for antisemitic crime.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said: “A 14-year-old male who was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault has been dealt with by the Hackney Youth Offender Panel. Police had been called at around 08:00 on Sunday, 31st January to Dunsmure Road N16 to reports of a youth assaulting members of the Jewish community. He was referred to the Hackney Youth Offender Panel for the above offence. A contract was issued having effect for an extended compliance period of two months and a total contract period 12 months. Also compensation of £20.00 is to be paid.”
We congratulate Theresa May and look forward to continuing our work with her once she is Prime Minister. She has shown great commitment as Home Secretary to ensuring that antisemitism is punished with the full force of the law, but much remains to be done. We look forward to continuing our work together to protect British society from the poison of antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has today released a new guide to recognising antisemitism. Originally developed by our Investigations and Enforcement team to help police forces recognise antisemitic hate crime on social media, we have now adapted the guide for use by members of the public who want to better understand the language, themes and imagery of ‘the oldest hatred’.
The guide can be found on our website. Please do distribute it to anybody you believe may find it useful, and if you can see ways to improve the guide please send us your feedback.
A march in support of genocidal antisemitic terrorist group Hizballah went ahead in London on Sunday, after Campaign Against Antisemitism’s talks with the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service failed.
Hundreds of demonstrators festooned themselves and their children with Hizballah flags, and then marched through the streets of the capital in support of the terrorist group which strives for the annihilation of Jews worldwide and has perpetrated terrorist attacks against Jewish targets around the world for decades.
Members of our evidence team were made to leave for asking demonstrators about Hizballah’s policy of murdering Jews, whilst the demonstrators paraded in front of police officers with printed placards reading “We are all Hizbullah [sic]”, as they have done in previous years.
Section 13 of the Terrorism Act makes it a criminal offence for a person to carry 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 [terrorist] organisation”, but the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service both obtusely argue that only the military wing of Hizballah is proscribed, and someone carrying a Hizballah flag could be supporting the political wing which is not proscribed. There is no such thing as a separate “political wing” of Hizballah which is one single organisation, with one flag.
As though to underline the double standards at play, the day after the Hizballah demonstration, Sophie Linden, the Deputy Mayor of London for Policing and Crime issued a statement saying: “We are concerned by the reported increase in racial hate crimes following the referendum result.
City Hall and the Metropolitan Police Service are giving these reports our fullest attention. I am receiving daily briefings on hate crimes and I remain in close contact with the police and partners.”
Measures taken against hate crime are utterly meaningless if supporters for genocidal antisemitic terrorists are allowed to brazenly demonstrate in
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#Shomrim & @MPSHackney searching for male who unprovokedly threatened a family "Jews, move away, move away your children, a bomb is coming"
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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?
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.
Eggs thrown & anti-Semitic abuse hurled towards Jewish motorist & his car in unprovoked attack in Blackwall Tunnel pic.twitter.com/Cu1lVJaxNt
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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-Outlamented 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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***”
A man has been arrested by South Wales Police and released on bail
A man has been arrested by Sussex Police and released on bail
A man has been arrested by Thames Valley Police and released on bail
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.
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.
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:
The assertion by newsreader Tim Willcox that “Jewish faces” and a “Jewish lobby” oppose the mooted ‘mansion tax’;
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”;
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
What do we make of this response by @ChriswMP? Surely he is not suggesting that actions by the Israeli police justifies antisemitism in UK?
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.
One prominent hard left activist at Oxford told me there needed to be a "final solution" to Israel. Not surprised by OULC revelations.
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.
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.
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.
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 toldJewish 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.
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.
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.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism is a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law. Everything that we do is done by people who volunteer their time, using donations contributed by members of the public. Join the fight against antisemitism by subscribing to our updates, volunteering, or donating.