At the end of July an event organised by the group Labour Against the Witchhunt held a Zoom meeting which was broadcast live on multiple pages on Facebook. The meeting was ostensibly about free speech, but in fact turned into an attack on mainstream Jewish community organisations, including CST.
Twin Peakes: How antisemitic conspiracy theories about the death of George Floyd are shared by far left and far right
Rebecca Long-Bailey has lost her job as Shadow Education Secretary because she tweeted her support for an interview by the actor Maxine Peake, in which Peake said that “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services” The implication was obvious: that Israel is somehow partly, if not fully, being held responsible for the death of George Floyd.
The angry reactions to CST’s recent report, Engine of Hate: The online networks behind the Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis, show exactly why such research is necessary. The reactions denied what the report said, whilst demonstrating the behaviours that caused it to be written in the first place. Some might call that ironic. Attacks have misrepresented what the report actually says. Similarly, CST has also been attacked and misrepresented. CST expected these reactions. Nevertheless, the misrepresentations are worth noting and exposing. Unfortunately, doing so requires some length, so as the points can be explicitly demonstrated.
Mr Livingstone, did you intend to be anti-Semitic when you repeatedly hacked away at the most sensitive and painful point in Jewish history by claiming Hitler supported Zionism?” “Of course not! I am a lifelong anti-racist”. “OK then, off you go.” That is how Ken Livingstone’s disciplinary hearing might have gone under the Labour Party’s new Code of Conduct for anti-Semitism, which has been rejected by all of British Jewry’s leading organisations and by the Party’s only Jewish affiliate, the Jewish Labour Movement.
Britain's Jewish community and its institutions are well placed to overcome the current surge in anti-Zionist activity and Jew hatred on the political left, a leading expert on antisemitism believes. Dave Rich says Anglo-Jewry is robust enough to combat the hostility in politics and left-wing activism. But he does express fears about the increase in street-based activism.
Ken Livingstone is a left-wing anti-Nazi anti-racist former Mayor of London. David Irving is not, but was briefly famous for having lost a Holocaust Denial trial. Livingstone and Irving could never be accused of being natural bedfellows. There are, however, similarities.
Gerry Downing is an aging Trotskyist from the Socialist Fight organisation who has been expelled, re-admitted to, and now re-expelled from, the Labour Party. Amongst his many statements and ideas that have caused outrage is his belief that there is a ‘Jewish Question’ that needs to be solved.