Why my vote for Corbyn on June 8, will *not* be an endorsement of the Labour candidate

By Daniel Margrain

Image result for pics of jeremy newmark

On May 4, 2017, the free weekly newspaper, Barnet Press, reported on the announcement of the three Labour candidates who are to contest the seats in my area at the forthcoming General Election.

The candidate standing for the Finchley and Golders Green constituency is Jeremy Newmark, who the paper describes as a “former chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council” and “former spokesman for Jonathan Sacks, who was Chief Rabbi from 1991 to 2013.”

Currently, Newmark chairs the Labour party-affiliated, Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The JLM is also affiliated to the Israeli Labor Party and the World Zionist Organization. According to the UN, the latter pumps millions into building in the occupied West Bank through its settlement division.

In my view, Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader is the best thing to have happened to the party and, potentially, to the people of the country, in decades. But I’m going to find it extremely hard, on a matter of principle, to vote for my selected Labour constituency candidate whose credentials I regard to be highly questionable.

A great deal has been written and covertly filmed about how the Israel lobby and the JLM are using both journalists and the Blairite fringe of Labour MPs within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership with a view to his eventual toppling using the specter of antisemitism as a weapon with which to achieve it.

Journalist Asa Winstanley contends that no mainstream journalists “have disclosed Newmark’s long-standing role in the Israel lobby, or his record of lying about anti-Semitism.”

In an excellent piece published by the Electronic Intifada (April 28, 2016), Winstanley comprehensively analyses the McCarthy-style witch-hunts by the JLM against Israel’s critics and outlines the links between right-wing, anti-Corbyn Labour and the Israel lobby within the party.

Bogus antisemitism crisis

Winstanley meticulously shows how the Israel lobby manufactured an ‘antisemitism crisis’, pinpointing the individuals involved, the tactics and dirty tricks used and the connections to individuals whose ties lead to pro-Israel groups both in London and Israel.

The investigative journalist also shows how media outlets such as the Telegraph, Huffington Post and the Jewish Chronicle have been complicit in the systematic attempt to disorientate Labour party members and supporters by either printing misinformation or reproducing unsubstantiated accusations and antisemitic smears against individuals. This in turn, has contributed to a false media narrative.

Among the individuals who instigated the fake antisemitism row highlighted by Winstanley, are David Klemperer who opposed Corbyn’s run for the labour leadership (but has since been kicked out of the party), and former Israel lobby intern, Alex Chalmers. But it is Newmark who is arguably the most influential.

The intention of the lobby is to create the impression that antisemitism is not only more prevalent within the Labour party compared with other political parties, but that it’s also more widespread compared to other forms of racism in UK society.

Neither claim stands up to scrutiny. In relation to the latter, a 2015 survey by Pew found that seven percent of the UK public held ‘unfavourable’ views of Jews. By contrast, about a fifth held negative views of Muslims and almost two-fifths viewed Roma people unfavourably.

In the aftermath of the massacres in Gaza in 2014, the London Metropolitan police recorded 358 anti-Semitic offences. Two hundred and seventy three of these were online, 36 involved criminal damage and 38 constituted “harassment”. Eleven cases of assault were recorded in which four resulted in personal injury.

One hundred and eighty thousand offences in these categories were recorded within the wider population throughout Metropolitan London. In other words, attacks against Jews in 2014 against a backdrop in which Gaza was being pulverized, made up only one in 500 of the total, while they made up around one in 86 of the population of London as a whole.

Community Security Trust (CST) figures for the first six months of last year show a rise of 15 per cent above those from the previous year. But this is from an extremely low base. The actual number of such incidents recorded for the first half of 2016 was 557. And that figure is still below that for 2014 when the Israeli assault on Gaza occurred. So claims that there has been a ‘surge’ in antisemitic incidences in recent years are false and misleading.

In terms of the former, there is no evidence to suggest that antisemitic views are any more prevalent in the Labour party which historically has been at the forefront of anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigns. On the contrary, racism and fascism is more likely to be symptomatic of far-right politics then left-wing politics.

Take the far-right ideology of Zionism as an example. Far-right political parties court the Zionist vote because Zionism is a far-right and racist political movement which, as Tony Greenstein put it, “sought to establish a Jewish state by accepting the anti-Semitic notion that Jews don’t belong in the countries they were born in.”

As a Labour supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, the decision of whether to put my cross next to the name of a hard-line Zionist and member of the Israel lobby who has lied about antisemitism and, in my view, seeks to undermine the democratic process from within, by prioritizing the interests of a foreign power over and above those of his own constituents, is not a difficult one. Zionists like Newmark have about as much in common with Corbyn as Gandhi has with Pol Pot.

Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA)

The cynical attempts to weaponize antisemitism for right-wing political purposes is also the role of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, a British propaganda organization and registered “charity”. Formed in August 2014 during a major Israeli offensive against Gaza, the aim of the CAA is to paint Palestine solidarity campaigning and opposition to Zionism as antisemitic.

The organisation is chaired by Gideon Falter, who is also a board member of the Jewish National Fund which has a long history of supporting ethnic cleansing in Palestine. The CAAs preferred McCarthyite tactic appears to be to target left-wing political activists, Corbyn supporters and journalists who are critical of Israel by abusing and smearing them with unsubstantiated allegations.

Among those who have been libeled by the group include Rebecca Massey, a prominent Labour Party activist in Brighton and Hove, Labour parliamentary and council candidate, Dinah Mulholland and the campaigning journalist and Labour party activist, Mike Sivier.

In relation to the latter, the CAA submitted an article to the press that contained “lies, doctored quotes and misinterpretations” of Sivier’s work. This resulted in his subsequent suspension from the Labour party without a proper investigation of the facts having taken place.

If the role of the CAA is to expose genuine cases of antisemitism and to promote social harmony, one would expect it to condemn far-right fascist organisations and their supporters. But as Tony Greenstein, who has himself been a victim of CAA smears, highlighted, a search of the campaign’s archive revealed just two articles that mention Britain’s main fascist organizations – the British National Party, the English Defence League and the National Front. Those groups include Holocaust deniers within their ranks.

By contrast, Greenstein pointed out there are some 77 articles attacking Jeremy Corbyn and 32 articles in the archive that attack Shami Chakrabarti, a civil liberties campaigner and now a prominent Labour politician serving as shadow attorney general.

It is obvious that the activities of the CAA and other Zionist and pro-Israel lobbying groups such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews are designed to achieve the exact opposite of what they purport to set out to do. Rather than create peace and harmony between people, they actually create tension, discord and antagonism.

This, of course, serves a political and ideological purpose. The promotion of the idea that Jews within the diaspora are under threat of antisemitism, intimidation and violence is intended to encourage their emigration to Israel thereby helping to further reinforce Zionism’s role as Israel’s state ideology.

The Israel lobby, who have a significant financial stake in the Labour party and further afield, clearly see Corbyn as an anathema to the realization of these interests. A Newmark victory in Golders Green and Finchley would almost certainly strengthen the Zionist position within the political establishment and thus help to bring the Zionist dream closer to fruition.

The disproportionate power the Israel lobby is able to exert is a major concern for anybody who values the principles of democracy. While it is wrong to suggest that Zionism and Judaism are synonymous, it is nevertheless apposite to point out that the majority of the Jewish demographic (59 per cent), which in its totality represents just 0.5 per cent of the British population, identify politically as Zionists.

The democratic process is not best served in a situation in which such a tiny section of the population supposedly has a disproportionately powerful lobby at its disposal. Although the majority of the world’s Zionists are non-Jewish, Zionism is at its core unquestionably a Jewish movement – indeed the major Jewish communal movement.

Over-representation

It’s the over-representation of Jews in the capitalist ruling class that gives the Israel- Zionist lobby it’s power. This is a historical phenomenon that actually explains the Zionist project itself and it’s purpose – to create a state expression for this distinctive bourgeois layer. The history of different peoples, of the relation of oppressed and oppressor peoples, is class based and linked to the different evolved class structures of those peoples.

The Jews have a more distinctive historically evolved class structure than many other groups. An understanding of the issues concerning questions of material reality and historical fact, is crucial to evaluating where we are today. The exploitation by racists of the facts, don’t make these facts less valid. As a society we need to talk about them as opposed to having them suppressed within the cloak of ‘antisemitism’.

The suppression of such questions risks their monopolization by the small minority of antisemites who have a racialised hatred of Jewish people. They are thankfully very rare. It’s important to keep talking about Zionism as a political category in order to refute the conflation between Zionism and Judaism that public figures such as Chief Rabbi Mirvis and others have so scandalously made.

Given the attempts to conflate the two, it should not come as any surprise why people would make the innocent mistake of using the term the ‘Jewish lobby’ in discussions or debates. Under such circumstances, it is easy to see how others with nefarious motives are able to exploit this misunderstanding for political and sectarian- racist purposes.

One such individual is the Zionist antisemite, Rupert Murdoch, who has complained that “Jewish-owned” newspapers are too critical of Israel. This illustrates how Zionists who loathe and resent Jews as Jews, unless they support a pro-Zionist political stance, are able to perpetuate the Jewish global conspiracy trope for their own narrow political objectives.

This rationale is used to explain why the JLM are able to prevent non-Zionist Jews from affiliating to their organisation while conversely accepting that non-Jewish Zionists are welcome to join. Significantly, in this sense, the JLM are more accurately described as a Zionist movement as opposed to a movement of Jews.

Arguably, nowhere is this dichotomy best illustrated than by the treatment meted out by the JLM to the Jewish anti-Zionist activist, Jackie Walker. The controversy that surrounds Ms Walker and others, as Mike Sivier posited “is not about antisemtism, but removing a person who does not support Zionism from a position of influence.”

The media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingston, Jackie Walker and others, are politically motivated and represent a determined effort by the Israel lobby to make Britain’s Labour Party ‘a safe pair of hands’ for Israel and Zionism.

Defining antisemitism

The confusion that surrounds antisemitism could be easily clarified if the widely used definition of the term was simplified. But as a result of their decision to adopt the long and convoluted European Union Monitoring Centre (EUMC) definition of antisemitism, groups like the CAA and the JLM are deliberately muddying the waters.

This deeply flawed 500 word ‘new antisemitism’ or even ‘antisemitic anti-zionism’ definition authored by attorney Kenneth Stern (strangely accepted by Jeremy Corbyn), intended to combat political criticisms of Israel, is so wide in scope that it’s essentially meaningless.

Brian Klug, an Oxford academic who specializes in the study of antisemitism, manages it in 21 words: “Antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are”.

Ultimately, the real target of Zionists like prospective Labour MP for Golders Green and Finchley, Jeremy Newmark, who insist on the EUMC definition, is not antisemitism, but the undermining of a Corbyn-led Labour Government, which they view as a very real threat to their Eretz (Greater) Yisrael project of a territory stretching from the River Nile to the River Euphrates.

As far as this writer is concerned, what is strange is that by agreeing with the Zionists that the EUMC definition has legitimacy (when in truth it is deeply flawed and has no status) does, is it emboldens Zionists in their political attacks against Jews and non-Jews alike who are rightly critical of the illegal actions of the state of Israel. I can only assume that there is still a long way to go before the corrupting influence of Zionism is removed from the democratic institutional structure of the Labour party once and for all.

The suspension from the party of the likes of millionaire Zionist donor, Michael Foster, who compared Corbyn supporters to Nazi storm troopers, is insufficient and clearly more needs to be done. Corbyn’s apparent cosying up to Zionists like Newmark and others within the party who are among the first in line to stab him in the back, while leaving long-term comrades like Ken Livingston out to dry, is a situation that ultimately, can only end in tears for the Labour leader. Corbyn’s lack of a principled stand on this matter reflects a serious weakness in his leadership.

The kind of democratic socialism espoused by the Labour leader on the one hand, and the political ideology of Zionism on the other, are irreconcilable concepts and if he fails to get a grip on the situation it could ultimately contribute to his downfall.

 

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31 thoughts on “Why my vote for Corbyn on June 8, will *not* be an endorsement of the Labour candidate

  1. Our local labour MP is a zionist neocon, member of Henry Jackson society. I would like to support Corbyn, but I think he is anti-corbyn. Tories are second here so it’s a quandary. I will probably spoil my ballot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neil you need to remember that this election is about getting rid of the Consefvative government who have destroyed this country and destroyed people’s lives. I understand your quandary and what has happened to Jeremy Corbyn by these despicable creatures is abhorrent. Without your vote, it is one less vote for getting the Tores out and it’ also one less vote for Jeremy. Every time a Labour Councillor loses a seat, Jerey is blamed for the result and you know that this is preposterous and not fair. If you have to vote the Greens because they are more likely to unseat a Toey then by all means but when you vote, remember why you are voting. Remember the policies of the Labour Party and what they will do for the people of this country. This loathsome creature who does not support his leader is only a pawn. Treat it as such and vote for what you stand.

      Like

      1. Hi Shelley, I’m Daniel not Neil. Anyway, I’ll probably reconsider as the election gets closer. Thanks for thoughtful contribution.

        Like

    2. Vote to get the Conservatives out first. It is the general election toon we are all fighting for that at the moment. Winning the election will put Jeremy Corbin in a much stronger position to tackle those within the party trying to undermine him.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Neil, if your local Labour MP is anti-Corbyn and doesn’t get in again, he will make sure that Corbyn gets the blame for it. It’s the best of a lot of bad options, I know, but I think you should still grit your teeth and vote Labour.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. I understand your quandary, but we first need to get JC to form a government only then can 5th Columnists be addressed. I feel the same about my local MP Alan Whitehead who voted against JC in the second election. I will vote Labour – but it isn’t because of my MP but in spite of him in my support for all JC stands for.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Colan, I intend to stand outside the polling station where I will hand out flyers with the info contained in my article.

      Like

  2. I am in a similar predicament, I don’t want to vote for Jim Fitzpatrick this time around. However with a heavy heart I will vote, and hope everyone else does the same because the cause is much bigger tif than some dodgy MP. I want to see a labour government under Jeremy Corbyn and that will only happen if we all vote. Then if we are victorious we can work to oust the traitors and villains. Or we end up with the Tories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good, reasoned points. I’m taking many comments on board and it seems the wisest choice is to grit my teeth, put a peg on my nose and pretend it’s not me in the polling booth and be done with it – vote for the horrible Zionists because if the tories got back in I would hate myself more by voting for somebody else.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I can fully understand your views: I thought I knew Jim well. He was Chair of our CLP and member of my ward and an outspoken speaker for the FBU. When Jo Richardson died, Jim stood as MP but eventually lost the vote (amidst a rather nasty and vicious campaign by his opponents) to Margaret Hodge! However, comparing their parliamentary voting records – they could be twins! I really do not know what happened to the person that I and many others respected and considered a good comrade. Perceived power or the salary obviously corrupts. I never voted for Hodge.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. a very well represented argument. but as others have said we need to remove the conservatives from power. and i expect there will be many that will be torn between voting for a candidate they do not support or placing their vote somewhere else. i think the overriding position should be to vote labour whilst holding your nose as these people will continue to do their dirty work whether they are elected or not. we need to have a change of government and change of direction in the way this country is headed, and for me the only way to achieve this is to vote labour, sometimes through gritted teeth, otherwise we will let the conservatives back into power.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This article is viciously antisemitic. Shame on you.

    Example : “It’s the over-representation of Jews in the capitalist ruling class that gives the Israel- Zionist lobby it’s power.”

    Like

    1. No it isn’t. You are obsessed with it. I’ve seen you on youtube disrupting academic free speech. You are a disgrace.

      Like

    2. You are the one who should be ashamed. Twisting facts to suit your own perverted shady far right agenda. Don’t get so ‘Uppity’ when your case is so groundless & transparent. People are not as stupid as you think Johnathan.
      Twisting the knife to destroy the Labour party from within & causing distension amongst members.
      Actively supporting the politics of a bullying,murderous right wing government that lacks decent human morals & bullies its neighbours. A nation that continually breaks International laws by stealing land from others less powerful. I could go on.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You people are so utterly deluded. Labour or what passes for Labour will be obliterated June 8th as well you deserve.Uk citizens refuse your Socialist / Marxist drivel which will bankrupt the country. Time to get back in your box for another 40 years cf Michael Foot

      Like

      1. Uh????? it appears each Government have to double the last?
        Labour inherited a national debt in 1997 of £325bn, when they left in 2010 it was at £790bn. To be fair, Labour were keeping the Debt down, before the bank crash. http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/7568/debt/government-debt-under-labour-1997-2010/
        Within four years the Tories had doubled that to £1,490bn [£1.4tr] It just keeps going up, but where do we borrow it from?
        Fresh Air, banks create money from Fresh-Air every time they make a loan, this is then added to our GDP. [See the scam yet?] We rely on Debt, for Growth, this is why we need immigrants, as we have 20m Economically In-Active [can’t get a loan] ONS figures. Every time a loan is paid back, that money is destroyed, no longer in the Economy, so we must create more. Perpetual Debt.

        So you see, you thick piece of shit, no perpetual debt= no capitalism.

        Here are more facts:
        http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_chart.html

        And more:
        http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/

        As you can see, under your beloved Tories, the UK national debt is growing at a rate of £5,170 per second.
        But in this post-truth world, don’t let the small issue of FACTS get in the way of your pro-Tory narrative and dogma.

        Now perhaps you’d actually engage with the issues relevant, to you know, the actual article I posted?

        Tories are so dumb, it’s untrue.

        Like

      2. Mmmm, How did that prediction go for you? Will you be eating all of your humble pie, or as a socialist will you be sharing it?

        Like

  5. “Zionists like Newmark have about as much in common with Corbyn as Gandhi has with Pol Pot.” Did you notice you were equating Newmark with Gandhi, and Corbyn with Pol Pot? Corbyn may be a natural ally of terrorists and tinpot dictators but I would hardly put him in Pol Pot’s league.

    Like

  6. Reblogged this on Socialist Fight and commented:
    Here is the central argument that shoes that charges of antisemitism against Socialist Fight members are entitely bogus and a central part of the Zionist attack on the entire anti Zionist and pro Palestinian left:

    “Over-representation

    It’s the over-representation of Jews in the capitalist ruling class that gives the Israel- Zionist lobby it’s power. This is a historical phenomenon that actually explains the Zionist project itself and it’s purpose – to create a state expression for this distinctive bourgeois layer. The history of different peoples, of the relation of oppressed and oppressor peoples, is class based and linked to the different evolved class structures of those peoples.

    The Jews have a more distinctive historically evolved class structure than many other groups. An understanding of the issues concerning questions of material reality and historical fact, is crucial to evaluating where we are today. The exploitation by racists of the facts, don’t make these facts less valid. As a society we need to talk about them as opposed to having them suppressed within the cloak of ‘antisemitism’”.

    Liked by 1 person

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