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May 24, 2016 8:12 am

Jewish Watchdog Groups in Britain Seriously Skeptical About Labour Party’s Antisemitism Probe

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UK Labour Party antisemtism  probe chairwoman Sami Chakrabarti. Photo: YouTube.

UK Labour Party antisemitism probe chairwoman Sami Chakrabarti. Photo: YouTube.

Representatives of two Jewish watchdog groups in the UK told The Algemeiner on Monday why they are skeptical about the British Labour Party’s probe into allegations of antisemitism in its ranks.

Mark Gardner, director of communications for the Community Security Trust, and Jonathan Sacredoti, director of communications for the Campaign Against Antisemitism, each spelled out his reasons for doubting the inquiry’s ultimate effectiveness.

“Even if the investigation finds in favor of our concerns about antisemitism, it is possible that many Labour members will simply not accept its findings, or that counter-resolutions will go to the next Labour Party conference,” Gardner said. He added, however, that the next few months will “act as a tipping point one way or another. The probe could, at long last, help reverse some of the obsessive anti-Zionism that invites antisemitism or further damage to those who are trying to save the party.”

He was referring to the already controversial inquiry, whose chairwoman, Sami Chakrabarti, admitted last week that she had joined the party on the day of her appointment. Adding further to questions surrounding her ability to be neutral or objective, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday that she had praised a “militant linked to Jihadi John who once said that the ‘crimes’ of Israel outweighed those of the Taliban.” According to the report, in 2007, Chakarbarti called Moazzam Begg, a Guantanamo detainee, a “wonderful advocate…for human rights and in particular for human liberty.” 

“There are several key problems with the Chakrabarti inquiry,” said the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Sacerdoti. “Among them her allegiance to the very party she was appointed to investigate, which does not inspire confidence.” 

The probe itself is also being limited in purview, Sacredoti said, explaining, “It is understood that the inquiry’s scope only covers the rules in future cases of antisemitism; it will not examine existing cases that remain unaddressed.” One example he gave was that of Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, who last year accused Israel of fabricating stabbing attacks and claimed “Jewish money” controlled the Conservative Party.

Chakrabarti has also indicated that she will not be demanding that [former London mayor] Ken Livingstone answer her questions,” Sacredoti said.

Labour’s problem, Sacredoti maintained, is not a result of “the rules being too lax, but because the party’s leadership and structures have failed to identify antisemitism and condemn it properly.” The investigation, he said, should also examine the conduct of party leadership, especially Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “But it will not,” he asserted.

“Many see Corbyn as part of the problem. He has declared Hamas and Hezbollah to be ‘friends,’ despite their stated genocidal intent towards the Jewish people and their long history of terrorist attacks against Jews,” Sacredoti said, adding that the party leader has “also admitted to possibly having donated money to a Holocaust-denier, as well as having shared a platform with extremists with objectionable views about Jewish people.”

Over the last several months, Labour has suspended more than 50 of its members for antisemitic remarks and actions. According to a recent YouGov poll on behalf of The Times newspaper, nearly half of Labour’s members do not believe the party has a problem with Jews and that the issue has been exaggerated by the media.

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  • A Zionist

    There is a group of extreme left-wing ASHamed Jews who are objecting to Baroness Royall’s report claiming that antisemitism in the Labour Party is but a Zionist ploy, supported and financed by the Israeli government, to smear the Labour Party.

    “Free Speech on Israel” is the “organisation” whose statement includes:

    This (organisation) deplores antisemitism and all divisive racism and abuse. We believe the press outcry on antisemitism in the Labour Party was motivated to damage the party and its leadership, working with those dedicated to whitewashing Israel and silencing its critics. Labour should, rather, make a priority of opposing the constant press incitement against Muslims, refugees and immigrant workers.

    We must not censor legitimate political discourse. We assert our right to speak and organise against the State of Israel’s systemic, historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and violations of human rights and international law, to oppose the Zionist ideology which underpins its actions, and to support Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against those complicit in these injustices.

    This (organisation) therefore, urges the Labour Party to:

    1. Listen to the many Jews who are outraged by the lie that Jews are not safe in the Labour Party;

    2. Cease victimising those who speak out for justice for Palestine;

    3. Adhere to fair practice and transparency when investigating charges against members;

    4. End the purge based on flimsy evidence and controversial definitions of antisemitism.

    5. Call to order Labour Party members who bring the Party into disrepute by spreading calumnies about widespread antisemitism in the Party.

    Article (4) I think refers to the EUMC definition of antisemitism that includes showing how antisemitism occurs under the guise of being “anti-Israel” or anti-Zionist:

    British Trade Unions such as the UCU, the National Union of Teachers and the National Union of Students have become places where Jews, to be accepted and acceptable, have to renounce any support towards Israel. Jewish students at universities lack “safe spaces” but no one cares because Jews do not behave like the bullying SJP and PSC.

    Chakrabarti became a member of the Labour Party on the day she was appointed Chair of the Inquiry. Her Vice-Chair, a professor at the Pears Institute, David Feldman, refuses to enquire into contemporary antisemitism and is a member of Jewish Voices for peace.

  • A Sander

    This enquiry will bee the greatest whitewash of all time.