When Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission announced it was investigating Labour’s treatment of its Jewish members, many of Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents claimed this as proof of his supposed antisemitism. But the inquiry is itself a political weapon — and as the Commission publishes its much-hyped, long-delayed report today, the attacks against the Left are only intensifying.
by Daniel Finn
Part 5 - A Dodgy Dossier
Fortunately, we have the opportunity to scrutinize the JLM’s submission to the EHRC, which was leaked on the eve of the 2019 general election (the CAA submission has yet to reach public view). Close examination of the JLM’s dossier reveals it to be stuffed with falsehoods, trivialities, misrepresentations, and non sequiturs.
The section on Jeremy Corbyn, for example, claims that “a video emerged showing Mr Corbyn in Tunisia in 2014 laying a wreath next to the graves of Black September terrorists, who murdered Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.” In fact, the men who carried out the Munich attack that year are buried in another country, Libya. Corbyn was accused of laying a wreath for the PLO commander Abu Iyad — which would certainly be much less objectionable than the presence of British politicians like Tony Blair and David Cameron at the funeral of Ariel Sharon — but had not in fact done so.
The section on Corbyn’s purported record also accuses him of saying that “Zionists . . . don’t understand English irony” and insists that “Zionists” must have been a code word for “Jews.” In reality, Corbyn said nothing about “Zionists” as a general category of people: he was specifically addressing a small coterie of yobs, who were indeed militant, right-wing Zionists, and who were heckling the Palestinian ambassador at a meeting in London.
Corbyn’s put-down, which relied entirely on the premise that the hecklers were English, unlike the ambassador, was characteristically much gentler than their boorish conduct merited. One is left wondering why, if Corbyn’s own record is as damning as his critics maintain, they invariably find it necessary to massage the facts into an altogether unrecognizable shape.
The JLM submission claims that the Labour MP Ian Austin was subjected to antisemitic “victimization” when he faced a disciplinary hearing for screaming abuse at the party chairman, Ian Lavery. The JLM describes this as a “heated discussion about antisemitism,” although eyewitnesses did not report hearing Austin say anything about antisemitism while he was referring to Lavery as a “bastard” and a “wanker.”
Austin, who once boasted that senior Labour figures had compared his views on immigration to those of the BNP, subsequently resigned the Labour whip, campaigned for Boris Johnson in the 2019 election, and has since received a peerage for his services.