Fact-checking Newsnight on Labour’s ‘antisemitism problem’

This is a very detailed critique of the anti-Semitism allegations made against Corbyn’s Labour party. Jamie Stern-Weiner shows how many of the supposedly anti-Semitic comments were made before Corbyn became leader of the Labour party, but have apparently only just now become an issue. He also points out that much of this is about factionalism within the Labour party itself, and is basically just a smear tactic by the Blairites to hold on to power. He also notes that Alex Chalmers, a member of the OULC, who made accusations of anti-Semitism against the group, was an intern for the Israel Lobby group, Bicom. Mr Stern Weiner also notes that Evan Davies, when he presented the edition of Newsnight in which these allegations were discussed, simply accepted them and did nothing to challenge what were frequently just unsupported assertions. Stern Weiner also makes the point that, counter to what was said on Newsnight, there is very much controversy about these allegations amongst the Jewish Socialist community. When Tom Greenstein was accused of anti-Semitism, 50 Jewish members of the Labour Party wrote in his defence. And the Jewish Socialist Group has stated that the scandal has been deliberately exaggerated from a very small number of cases to attack Corbyn’s leadership, which is increasingly popular with both Jews and non-Jews.

It’s also worth reading some of the comments to this piece. Guy Debord’s Cat states that this scandal has been deliberately concocted by GCHQ and the Blairites. He also points out that the allegations of anti-Semitism against the Socialist party are untrue, as its founder, back when it was militant, was Ted Grant, who was jewish. One of the other commenters also provides the text of a complaint sent to the BBC about the allegations made against the Socialist party. And still others have pointed out that these allegations were made when the Tory party was going through a bad patch, and seem to be to deflect attention from the Tory party’s continuing destruction of Britain’s public services.

Jamie Stern-Weiner

Last night’s Newsnight gave top billing to the suspension of Labour MP Naz Shah for allegedly antisemitic comments.

Presenter Evan Davis opened proceedings as follows:

‘Labour is struggling to deal with the charge that it has an “antisemitic streak”.  Does it?

This is a good question.  As I showed in a recent openDemocracy piece on Labour’s alleged ‘antisemitism problem’, it is one that virtually no mainstream journalist who has reported on the issue has considered worthy of investigation.

In order to find out the answer to this question, Newsnight ran a short introductory film quoting five individuals all of whom agreed that Labour has an antisemitism problem, and that the Corbyn leadership has failed to adequately deal with it.  This was followed by a ‘debate’ between two individuals who also agreed that Labour has an antisemitism problem, and that the Corbyn leadership has failed to adequately deal with it.

Both film and ‘debate’ were…

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