UK Labour Marxists hand out papers at party conference comparing Israel to Nazis
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MP likens anti-Semitism claims in Labour to 'McCarthyism'

UK Labour Marxists hand out papers at party conference comparing Israel to Nazis

Article in free pamphlet distributed to attendees accuses Jewish state of apartheid, calls it ‘structurally racist’

Israeli-born British Labour Party activist Moshe Machover. (Screenshot from YouTube)
Israeli-born British Labour Party activist Moshe Machover. (Screenshot from YouTube)

A Marxist faction of Britain’s Labour Party handed out pamphlets at the party’s conference in Liverpool on Sunday with an article comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

The article was titled “Why Israel is a racist state” and written by Moshe Machover, an Israeli-born Labour activist and staunch anti-Zionist.

In the piece, Machover charged that it is a “well established fact” that Israel is “structurally racist, an apartheid state,” according to the Chronicle.

It used quotes from Israeli academics to justify comparisons between Zionism and Nazism, including by Hebrew University Professor Daniel Blatman earlier this year said the government’s policies were reminiscent of those in 1930s Germany.

In a similar pamphlet last year Machover used a quote from Reinhard Heydrich, an architect of the Holocaust, implying the Nazis initially supported Zionist ambitions. Machover was temporarily suspended from the party over that move.

Reinhard Heydrich (photo credit: German Federal Archives/Wikipedia)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has faced accusations of harboring anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments, later said “he was glad” when Machover was reinstated to the party.

Machover’s article would appear to violate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism for comparing Israeli policies to those of the Nazis. Labour adopted the definition in full earlier this month after an outcry over its adoption of a version that stripped out some clauses regarding criticism of Israel (though it added a statement that emphasized the right to “free speech” on Israel).

Separately, Labour MP Christopher Williamson, speaking Sunday at a meeting of the Labour Against the Witchhunt group, on the sidelines of the party conference, compared accusations of anti-Semitism in the party to “McCarthyism.” He invoked George Orwell’s “1984,” according to social media reports, where “good is bad, black is white and we had the Ministry of Truth and all the rest of it.”

Williamson admitted there was “online appalling abuse, there is no doubt about that.” But, he said, “they’re conflating this online abuse with Labour Party members as if it [is] Labour Party members that are responsible for that. But where is the evidence for that?”

He was speaking alongside Jewish anti-Zionist activist Tony Greenstein, who was expelled from the party in February for using the term “Zio” and mocking the phrase “final solution.”

On Sunday, Corbyn insisted he was not an anti-Semite, but refused to apologize for a series of incidents involving him and other party members that have drawn accusations of rampant anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment.

In an interview with BBC host Andrew Marr ahead of the party’s annual conference, Corbyn defended his own conduct and his handling of some of the scandals that have rocked the opposition party in recent months.

When asked by Marr if he wanted to “express personal remorse” over the ongoing crisis, Corbyn responded: “I’ll simply say this, I am an anti-racist and I’ll die an anti-racist. Anti-Semitism is a scourge in any society. I have opposed it all my life and I will continue to oppose it all my life.”

Corbyn insisted to Marr that he was “absolutely” not anti-Semitic, while defending his remark about British Zionists not understanding irony, his attendance at a memorial for Palestinian terrorists, and Labour’s reluctance to fully adopt the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism — a move which, when finally adopted earlier this month, he unsuccessfully attempted to undermine by seeking a caveat asserting that branding Israel a racist endeavor is not anti-Semitic.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn listens to a speech at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, England, on September 23, 2018, the official opening day of the annual Labour Party Conference. (AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS)

While allegations of anti-Semitism have dogged Corbyn since he became Labour leader three years ago, the furor has reached a new magnitude since March.

The revelation that Corbyn defended the mural, and the Jewish community’s “Enough is Enough” demonstration in Parliament Square in its wake, were swiftly followed by the row over the party’s initial refusal to adopt in full the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. Also, over the summer, there broke a lengthy series of revelations about Corbyn’s own links to terrorists, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers. Former British chief rabbi Lord (Jonathan) Sacks last month branded Corbyn a dangerous anti-Semite.

The crisis over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has caused a major schism within its ranks and led Jews to express fears over their future in the country.

Almost 40 percent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Corbyn became prime minister, according to a recent poll conducted for The Jewish Chronicle.

JTA contributed to this report.

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