The Labour Party’s Anti-Semitism Reaches Crisis Stage

Anti-Semitism, poetically dubbed “the oldest hatred, forever young,” is rearing its ugly head in a rapidly unfolding scandal within the United Kingdom’s Labour Party.  To clean house and/or try to contain the fallout, Labour chair Jeremy Corbyn has initiated an independent inquiry.  On May 2, a British paper reported that fifty members of the Labour party have been “secretly suspended” in the past two months over anti-Semitic remarks.  But there have been public suspensions and resignations as well.  On May 3, Naz Shah stepped down from the Home Affairs Committee, pending the results of Labour’s investigation into her past anti-Semitic social media posts.  On May 2, Labour suspended three councillors (Ilyas Aziz, Shah Hussain, and Salim Mulla) for anti-Semitic remarks discovered in their social media.  On March 15, Vicki Kirby, who was elected vice chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party following being suspended in 2014 for anti-Semitic writings on Facebook, was suspended a second time for posting anti-Semitic remarks (this time, on Twitter).  On April 28, former London mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended following a statement he made claiming Hitler was a Zionist.  Other recent suspensions include Khadim Hussein (March 23) and Mohammad Shabbir (April 27). 

These perpetrators of the anti-Semitism that has been reported so far are mostly posting on social media, and thus projecting their hatred with ease around the world.  They include common canards that: equate Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians and Nazi treatment of the Jews; propagate the blood libel; advocate for the expulsion of Jews out of Israel; and maintain that Israel created and controls the Islamic State.  Here are some examples, from the political elite in Britain that were introduced above:

Calls for the Relocation of Israel

  • "Jews and Muslims lived together in the Middle East, in peace pre 1948. Perhaps it would have been wiser to create Israel in America it's big enough. They could relocate even now."  -Ilyas Aziz, July 2014
  • A post of an image on Facebook titled “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict” that had Israel superimposed in the United States, with the statement “relocate Israel Into the United States,” with comment “problem solved” –Naz Shah, August 2014

[The “peace pre 1948” reference ignores the lethal Arab riots against Jewish civilians, including in the British Mandate for Palestine (1920, 1921, and 1929), Morocco (1875, 1903, 1907, 1912), Algeria (1934), Iraq (also known as the Farhud, 1941), Egypt (1945), Libya (1945 and 1948), Aden (1947), and Syria (1947); the Arab leadership’s genocidal incitement against Jews during Israel’s War of Independence; and the dhimmi/lower class status institutionalized for Jews throughout the Arab world, all which predate Israel’s conquest of the territories in 1967, and the rebirth of the modern state of Israel.  Calls to relocate Israel deny the Jews their historic and internationally-recognized right to Israel where it is currently.  Aziz’s and Shah’s quotes above also imply that Israel instigated its wars against the Arabs, which is patently false.]

False Links Between Hitler/Nazis, and Israel/Zionism

  • “lol we invented Israel when saving them from Hitler, who now seems to be their teacher.” –Vicky Kirby, August 2014

[The modern state of Israel was established in 1948, after the Nazis had succeeded in murdering 6 million Jews and Hitler had committed suicide.  Despite promising the Jews a national home in the British Mandate of Palestine, the British restricted immigration into the Mandate in the 1930s and 1940s, when the Jews were being persecuted in Europe.  So Britain didn’t “save them from Hitler.” 

Modern Zionism dates back to over 60 years prior to 1948, with the First Aliyah to Israel (1882-1903), First Zionist Conference (1897), Second Aliyah to Israel (1904-1914), Balfour Declaration (1917), Third Aliyah to Israel (1919-1923), San Remo Conference (1920), Fourth Aliyah to Israel (1924-1928), and Fifth Aliyah to Israel (1929-1939). 

Ancient Zionism is of course much older.  A sovereign Jewish state had existed before, both in autonomous and semi-autonomous form from around 1000 BCE to 135 CE.   The Old Testament is chock full of mentions of “Israel,” “Judah,” “Zion,” the yearnings for the loss of sovereignty during the Babylonian Exile (598-538 BCE), and the subsequent joy from the restoration of statehood under the Persian Empire.]

  • “When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews." –Ken Livingstone, April 28, 2016

[Livingstone’s quote is debunked as balderdash here.]

  • “your school education system only tells you about Anne Frank and the 6 million Zionists that were killed by Hitler” -Khadim Hussain, February 2016
  • “A reminder of the treatment and suffering of Jews in Nazi Germany.  ARE THERE ANY SIMILARITIES TO HOW ISRAEL IS TREATING PALESTINIANS? [SIC]” –Ilyas Aziz, August 2014
  • ““you and your country doing the same thing that hitler did to ur race in ww2” –Shah Hussein, to Israeli soccer player Yossi Benayoun, July 2014
  • “A repugnant new form of fascism: The Palestinian Holocaust in Gaza.”  

-Mohammed Shabbir, August 2014

  • “Every Palestinian who survives the ongoing genocide in Gaza is a Holocaust survivor” -Mohammed Shabbir, August 2014

[Israel’s actions in Gaza were/are neither genocide nor a holocaust.  Click here for an accurate description of Israel’s defensive actions in Gaza, and comparative statistics of casualties of the Arab-Israeli/Israeli-Palestinian conflict with those of other unrelated conflicts in the Middle East.]


  • “Stop drinking Gaza blood.” -Ilyas Aziz, August 2014

[Aziz’s quote propagates the blood libel]

  • “Is this a coincidence. You bloody daam [sic] right it is. We all know Zionism game being played. It’s bloody obvious who is manipulating this. Those who are not sure. ISRAEL.”  –Salim Mullah, August 2015

[Mullah’s quote suggests French and Japanese support of the Palestinians resulted in the Islamic State attacking their nationals, and that these attacks were instigated by Israel.  This is a conspiracy theory used to defame Israel for the actions of the Islamic State]

Jeremy Corbyn Plays Arsonist and Firefighter

In a seemingly Orwellian tone, one once remarked that “the innovative leader needs to be an arsonist and a firefighter.”  Is Jeremy Corbyn the arsonist/firefighter of anti-Semitism in his party? While proclaiming in this year’s May Day Parade that Labour “stand[s] absolutely against anti-Semitism in any form,” he allies himself with terrorist organizations that seek to destroy the Jewish State.  He has called Hamas and Hezb’allah “friends,” and has recently refused to condemn them despite strong pressure to do so.  The latter resulted in Corbyn receiving public praise from Hamas.

Both Hezb’allah and Hamas are listed as terror organizations by both the United States and the European Union.  Hamas’s charter calls for the extermination of all Jews by Muslims (Article 7), likens Jews to Nazis (Article 20), accuses Jews of defaming Mohammed and “challenging” Islam and Muslims (Article 28), and accuses Jews of being “warmongering” and “imperialistic” (Article 32), among other screeds.  Hezb’allah’s charter also states “the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception…Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated…”  

Current estimates project that Labour will lose between 150 to 200 seats in the elections held today.  Let’s hope that this spike in anti-Semitism within Labour becomes a teachable moment both for the party and the English people.