Jeremy Corbyn is a controversial party leader. Everyone probably
remembers David Cameron's "For heaven's sake man, go!"
from 2016 during the Labour party turmoil. While he has many
supporters he also has many detractors that hates his guts.
In particular, his stance on the Israel/Palestinian conflict have
caused controversy. For example, he has announced that if he is
elected Prime minister he will recognize the Palestinian state "as
soon as possible". Such pledges have in the past
not been taken lightly by the Israel lobby.
For example, the Swedish government recognized the State of Palestine
in 2014 which caused Israel to recall its
ambassador. In 2016 its Foreign minister Margot
Wallström (who masterminded the recognition two years earlier) was
placed number eight on Simon Wiesenthal Center's top "ten worst global
antisemitic/anti-Israel incidents" that year for her comment about
Israeli "extrajudicial executions".
Such juxtapositions of antisemitism and Israel-criticism or
antizionism is a commonly used tactic by the Israel lobby.
Many of Corbyn's backers are convinced that the allegations of
antisemitism is part of a campaign to influence the party's view on
Israel and the Palestinians. I will cite their beliefs and evidence
for their beliefs. For example, Jonathan Cook on MiddleEastEye
There are mounting indications that the intensifying campaign by the
Israel lobby in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the
parliamentary opposition, is starting to have precisely such
In the three years since he was elected to lead the Labour party,
Corbyn has faced non-stop accusations that his party has an endemic
"anti-Semitism problem", despite all evidence to the contrary. Of
late, Corbyn himself has become the chief target of such
Or Hilary Wise, speaking at a Labour party conference:
I've never actually seen anything quite like, it is a campaign of
slurs and accusations of antisemitism largely against the leadership
of Jeremy Corbyn, against the left of the party. I have looked into
these allegations very carefully and academically, a few of them are
justified, most of them actually are not. I'm afraid it is an
orchestrated campaign. If you want to know a little about how the
orchestration works, you can watch the Al-Jazeera program, the
documentary which it made two years ago. It is called "The Lobby"
you can watch it online. [Here the moderator interrupts her and asks
her to be careful because she are steering into territory (something
unheard)] Sorry, I'm being extremely careful..
Watch that documentary so that you can see what we're up against.
As the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn led government gets ever closer,
I'm afraid the campaign will get ratcheted up. And also the list of
people being denounced for being antisemitic, often just being
proponents of Palestinian rights, that list will get longer and
longer. [moderator interrupts again]
The rounds of applause that can be heard from the audience confirms
that these beliefs are not fringe within the Labour party.
Labour Friends of Israel (LFI)
One group alleged to participate in this campaign against Corbyn is
LFI. As its name suggests, its mission is to strengthen ties between
Israel and the Labour party, such as by sponsoring MPs visits to
israel. But it has also been accused of inappropriate collusion with
Israel. Ruth George, an MP who sides with Corbyn, wrote:
Support from the State of Israel, which supports both Conservative
and Labour ‘Friends of Israel’, of which Luciana [Berger] was chair,
is possible and I would not condemn those who suggest it, especially
when the group’s financial backers are not being revealed.
It’s important for democracy to know the financial backers for any
political group or policy.
George apologized and said she was "deeply sorry
for her ill-thought out and poorly worded comment". Nevertheless, her
statements echoed suspicions about the organization being funded by
Joan Ryan's accounts of antisemitism
In 2016, Joan Ryan, LFI Chairperson at the time, who manned the
organizations stall in a Labour conference reported
We've had a fantastic day, loads of party members signing up to our
supporters list, but we have also had three incidents of
anti-Semitic harassment on our stand to the people who are staffing
that stall today and that, I think, tells you something about why we
need to be having this against anti-Semitism rally.
This led to an investigation within the Labour party of Jean
Fitzpatrick, one of the persons accused of committing antisemitic
harassment. Unbeknownst to Ryan, the discussion she had with
Fitzpatrick was being filmed by an undercover
Al-Jazeera reporter. After it was released to the
public it appeared to many in the Labour party that the allegations
didn't hold water.
After leaving the party, citing rampart antisemitism, she received death
threats, among them one which read "Stop telling
lies about Jeremy Corbyn – he is a decent man, you lying Jew
whore. You need to be shoved right back in the ovens."
There is some evidence of Israeli involvement in the "civil war" in
the Labour party and that the activity is directed from the secretive
Ministry of Strategic Affairs. In 2016 Israel's embassy in London sent
a leaked diplomatic cable to Jerusalen, complaining
about the ministry's political activity in Britain:
"'operating' Jewish organisations directly from Jerusalem ... is
liable to be dangerous" and "could encounter opposition from the
organisations themselves, given their legal status; Britain isn't
Another example is a "mission" that surfaced on Act.IL, a phone app
developed by the Israeli-American Council and sponsored by the
aforementioned ministry used to coordinate social media user. The
mission asked the app's users to post and like negative comments on a
Huffington post story about Jeremy Corbyn. The story was
first broke by the Twitter account @AntiBDSApp run by
Canadian activist Michael Bueckert.
A third example is the Israeli embassy scandal
uncovered in 2017. In it Israeli embassy official Shai Masot was
caught discussing how to "take down" pro-Palestinian British MP Alan
Duncan. Masot is also heard discussing with Joan Ryan
Israeli funding for LFI members visits to Israel:
“What happened with the names that we put into the Embassy, Shai?”
“Just now we’ve got the money, it’s more than one million pounds,
it’s a lot of money,” Masot replied.
“I know, it must be,” said Ryan.
“And now I’ve got the money so from Israel so… it’s not physical,
it’s an approval,” Masot continued to explain.
“I didn’t think you had it in your bag!” joked Ryan.
This lead to a scandal in which the Israeli embassy distanced itself
from Masot who it claimed was a "junior employee" who had acted on his
own. He was subseqently forced to resign. Unsurprisingly, Corbynites
believe he was thrown under the bus.
Recently a group of Israeli laywers, academics and human rights
activists have submitted freedom of information
requests to two Israeli government departments - the
Ministry of Strategic Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs -
which they suspect have been meddling in UK politics.
Antisemitism or antizionism?
Almost all the allegations appear to be related to the
Israel-Palestinian conflict. Some appear (to me) to be maybe
antisemitic but also very antizionist. For example, the map of Israel
interposed on the United States, shared by Naz Shah on
Twitter in 2014 which she later apologized for:
However, the American scholar and prominent antizionist Norman
Finkelstein defended the map and thought it was funny:
I’m not adept enough with computers to compose any image. But I did
post the map on my website in 2014. An email correspondent must have
sent it. It was, and still is, funny. Were it not for the current
political context, nobody would have noticed Shah’s reposting of it
either. Otherwise, you’d have to be humourless. These sorts of jokes
are a commonplace in the U.S. So, we have this joke: Why doesn’t
Israel become the 51st state? Answer: Because then, it would only
have two senators. As crazy as the discourse on Israel is in
America, at least we still have a sense of humour. It’s
inconceivable that any politician in the U.S. would be crucified for
posting such a map.
Above I only list Naz Shah as one example. Many more are in the same
Ken Livingstone's comments while discussing Naz Shah:
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 –
this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.
Some felt the comments were antisemitic others did not. Himself he
claimed he was the target of a witch hunt. In 2016 Jackie
Walker was expelled from the Labor party for (among
other things) writing in a Facebook post:
I’m sure you know, millions more Africans were killed in the African
Holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in
a way it doesn’t for Jews...and many Jews (my ancestors too) were
the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course
why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean.
So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and
perpetrators to some extent through choice. And having been a victim
does not give you a right to be a perpetrator.
Again, some felt the comments were antisemitic others did not. Walker
has since then produced a documentary about it called The
Lynching. Corbyn has on several ocassions been accused
of associating with either terrorists or
A lot of the information in this answer comes either directly or
indirectly from the 2017 undercover documentary The lobby
Of course it should be noted that those who oppose Corbyn have the
exact opposite view. Their view is that the allegations are not part
of an orchestrated campaign to oust Corbyn and that allegations of
antisemitism are not used as a smear tactic.
To be clear, I'm not asking for opinion or discussion, what I am
asking is if there are any reputable reports I could look at that
could give me an analysis or breakdown of where the accusations have
originated & what subdivisions within the party have received what
portions of them.
While no such breakdown exists (but see the Chakrabarti
inquiry which concluded that "the Labour Party is not
overrun by antisemitism" or the Britain Israel Communications and
Research Centre report which came to the opposite
conclusion), it is clear that most of the allegations have been levied
at Corbyn himself, his supporters and/or pro-Palestinian MP:s. It is
also clear that many of the allegations come from pro-Jewish or
pro-Israeli individuals and organizations. Which is quite obvious
since such individuals are likely to be more concerned about
antisemitism than the general British public.