As if attempting to inflict more public wounds on its tattered reputation, the once anti-racist Labour Party has today dropped its investigation into the rampant antisemitism at the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC), clearing the two members under investigation.
This verdict is an insult to the intelligence of the Jewish community, and adds that insult to the already traumatic injury to Labour’s once steadfast relationship with it. Jewish Students at Oxford have recounted in painful detail the incidents that took place.
Students testified that members of the OULC had called Auschwitz a “cash cow”. Jews were called “Zios”. They were asked to renounce Israel publicly before speaking. The dead Jewish victims of the Paris Hypercacher terrorist attack were mocked. Terrorist acts against Jews in Europe were rationalised. It was asserted that the banks were controlled by the “Paris-Tel Aviv axis” — all in clear breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism, a definition Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have already shown to have been lying in saying they had accepted.
Following this, Labour Students was sent to investigate. Its findings were suppressed. Baroness Royall was commissioned to follow up, and although her positive findings for Labour were leaked (she found that there were rotten apples but no institutional problem), to her publicly expressed chagrin, those rotten apples were not exhibited. The ever more rancid, rotting pot was handed to Shami Chakrabarti, a former human rights barrister who proclaimed that the offenders would be dealt with under the terms of her new whitewash report, which introduced a system of secrecy over due process that would have made the Pinochet regime blush.
We can now see the fruits of her labours: with Ilyas Aziz and now, two un-named Oxford students, cleared without censure.
Within the small Jewish community, the Oxford students have told their story privately, as well as testifying for the Sunday Times. Here, in 2017, with the enormous weight of public evidence that antisemitic incidents took place, the only remaining way to profess that there was no actionable antisemitism in the OULC is to effectively call those who witnessed it liars.
From the case of the Oxford students, through Jeremy Corbyn’s stating that his brother was “not wrong” to characterise Louise Ellman MP’s complaints of antisemitism as politically motivated; to Diane Abbott and Len McCluskey’s public assertions that allegations of antisemitism in Labour were “smears” and “got up”; through Ruth Smeeth’s ordeal at the hands of Jeremy Corbyn himself as he stood by while she was attacked and consequently received 25,000 abusive messages including death threats; after our outcry at the silent readmission and public defence of Jackie Walker after she repeated the 1950s discredited canard that Jews were the authors of the slave trade; our protests at the failure to summarily expel Ken Livingstone for his offensive claim that Hitler supported Zionism; through Corbyn’s assertion that the respected Jewish journalist Jonathan Freedland’s thoughtful Guardian piece on Labour antisemitism represented “utterly disgusting subliminal nastiness”; and the video Corbyn himself released online characterising Jewish complaint as so much rubbish to be thrown on the floor: there is only one, single, clear message running through everything Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has to say about our community: Jewish complaints are empty lies.
In 2017, lamentably and astonishingly, Her Majesty’s Opposition is resurrecting an ancient antisemitic charge against Jews: of dissembling. Jewish politicians, Jewish journalists and now Jewish students’ complaints are all similarly charged as being maliciously motivated. In this, the Labour Party has been guilty of what the International Definition of Antisemitism calls “employing sinister stereotypes” and invoking “… mendacious …demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews”.
The Labour Party itself is now in breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism. By the standard set by that definition, the Labour party is antisemitic and not safe for Jews; we further publicly call it out for lying in publicly saying it accepted the definition.
We call on Theresa May’s government, the courts, as well as Tom Watson and other senior Labour figures, to utilise the International Definition to oppose the Labour Party’s racism. It is no longer possible, in our view, to save the Labour Party from its own racism, but it is necessary to defend the Jewish community against what is becoming a waking nightmare.