Dave Rich Profile picture
Aug 6, 2018 9 tweets 4 min read
In my Guardian article yesterday I claimed that Corbyn and his team want to rewrite @TheIHRA definition on #antisemitism to neuter @UKLabour's own rule against antisemitism. This is key to understanding what they are trying to do and I'll explain it a bit more here /1
If a party member is disciplined for antisemitism it is always under the rule against conduct that is "prejudicial, or... grossly detrimental to the party." This used to be at the discretion of the NEC /2
This changed last September when party conference made the expression of antisemitism and other prejudice an automatic offence. The old rule is on the left, new rule on the right /3
Second sentence: the NEC "shall regard any incident which in their view" reasonably demonstrates antisemitism "as conduct prejudicial to the party." /4
If Labour has no official definition of antisemitism, the NEC can still "in their view" decide that (for example) helping to organise a meeting that says Gaza is like Auschwitz isn't antisemitic and doesn't require disciplinary action /5
If comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is just wrong or offensive rather than antisemitic, a party member who did such a thing can apologise for "the concerns and anxiety this has caused" and move on. /6
However, if the party has a fixed definition of antisemitism that says such a comparison is antisemitic, the NEC has no wiggle room and their view is irrelevant. They have to act because of the rule passed in September /7
There are two ways around this. One is to stop saying antisemitic things. The other is to carry on saying the same things but change the definition of antisemitism. And you know the rest of the story. /End
PS: as we know from Jennie Formby's letter to @margarethodge an apology often means "no formal investigation need be opened" and "is not generally an admission of guilt". So a big difference between an offence that can be settled by apology and one that needs disciplinary action.

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More from @daverich1

Oct 8, 2018
This week @johnmcdonnellMP is coming to Barnet to help JVL Chair Jenny Manson's campaign to become a Labour MP. What kind of MP would Manson be for Britain's largest Jewish community? The kind who gave evidence in Ken Livingstone's defence. Here's how she did it /1
Manson appeared as a witness for Livingstone in his Labour Party disciplinary hearing last year. I've read the transcript. She said Livingstone's claim that Hitler supported Zionism - for which he was found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute - was "true" /2
Manson said that Naz Shah's "Relocate Israel into United States" Facebook post - for which Shah was suspended, and which Shah accepts was antisemitic - was "quite funny" /3
Read 9 tweets
Sep 26, 2018
Jeremy Corbyn said some positive things about antisemitism, British Jews and the Labour Party in his speech today. Good for him. The problem is that everything else he says on the subject means he can't build any trust in the good stuff. I'll explain why /1
In this interview he is asked about threats to @lucianaberger. He answers by saying there are no threats. This is what Luciana said in Parliament back in April about the antisemitism she faces within Labour. Corbyn heard it all but now denies it exists /2
Here he is asked about appearing on Press TV. He says he stopped in 2009 but this is completely untrue. His own register of interests lists payments up to 2012. Press TV is the state broadcaster of an antisemitic government that denies the Holocaust /3
Read 11 tweets
Sep 23, 2018
Today's Sunday Telegraph reports a story from the new edition of my book, about an antisemitic article that @johnmcdonnellMP had removed from the @LRCinfo website. But who wrote the article? And what happened to its author? /1
The article claimed "The Labour Party has become a pawn of Zionist organisations", amongst other conspiracy nonsense. It was written by Mike Cushman, secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour, and first published by Free Speech On Israel /2
The Labour Representation Committee & Labour Briefing both reposted the article, then removed it at John McDonnell's insistence (he is former Chair & Honorary President of LRC & still influential in them when he wants to be). Then... nothing /3
Read 6 tweets
Jul 29, 2018
Today's Observer reports Jeremy Corbyn on Press TV in 2012 saying "the hand of Israel" was behind Jihadist terrorism in Egypt. But there was another interesting guest on that show with Corbyn: a convicted Hamas terrorist called Dr Abdul Aziz Umar /1 theguardian.com/politics/2018/…
Here is Umar ("Brother Amr") via satellite with Corbyn and Lauren Booth. He got seven life sentences for helping to organise a Hamas suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 2003 that killed seven people. He was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal themuslimtv.net/view_video.php… /2
Umar provided an apartment for the bomber to prepare his bomb and stood guard at the door while he got ready. Two of the people killed were a bride-to-be and her father, the day before her wedding terrorism-info.org.il/Data/pdf/PDF_1… /3
Read 9 tweets
Jul 23, 2018
Some people are saying Ken Stern, an author of the IHRA antisemitism definition, thinks Labour was right to change it and write their own Code of Conduct. I've got a paper Stern wrote in 2010 on the definition- let's see what he says (spoiler: it's not what the Canary claims) /1
The paper is on p.32 of this collection, from a conference I was at in 2010 kantorcenter.tau.ac.il/sites/default/… /2
Firstly, Stern didn't write the IHRA definition. He helped to write its predecessor for an EU agency called the EUMC but he was not its sole author: he names 8 other Jewish community reps & academics who contributed & then says "What we produced was changed somewhat by EUMC" /3
Read 7 tweets
Jul 22, 2018
I've got a couple of questions about @UKLabour's new Code of Conduct on antisemitism that we are told is so much better than the @TheIHRA definition. These are details that have been missed but seem important /1
First: the Labour Code says "Discourse about international politics often employs metaphors drawn from examples of historic misconduct." Has there ever been a more craven euphemism for the genocide of six million people than "misconduct"? /2
Second: it says "The term "Zionism” is intimately bound up in the history of Israel’s foundation as a state and in its role in international relations more generally." What do they mean by "role in international relations", other than support for Israel? /3
Read 5 tweets

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