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Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis

Photo Source DAVID HOLT | CC BY 2.0

Several CounterPunchers, I included, have posted on the “antisemitism” campaign directed at the Labour party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn’s most virulent accusers have been from his own party, abetted by the tabloid media, and the supposedly liberal Guardian (though it has long been a Blairite holdout, and its chief op-ed writer on Israel is the ardent Zionist Jonathan Freedland).

This anti-Corbyn faction in the Labour party is made up of two overlapping groups: increasingly marginalized supporters of the former leader Tony Blair whose neoliberal “Thatcher lite” agenda has been superseded by Corbyn’s push to reclaim and revitalize Labour’s socialist origins; and a Zionist element, which turns out to be extremely well-funded, having well-documented strong links with pro-Zionist advocacy groups.

In particular, I’ve been researching organizational links and funding sources from key donors, along with associated parliamentary patterns on two significant issues–  the illegal invasion of Iraq and Saudi adventurism in the Middle East–  congruent with Israel’s declared interests.

Jeremy Corbyn, by contrast, has been an unyielding supporter of the rights of the Palestinian people.

The results, presented below, have (to say the least) been more than a mild surprise.

Corrections, and updates, from readers will be most welcome, as I intend to keep this list up-to-date and free from error.

LABOUR POLITICIANS WHO ARE/WERE OFFICERS OF LABOUR FRIENDS OF ISRAEL (LFI):

Rt. Hon Joan Ryan MP, LFI Chair (Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.  According to the Evening Standardof October 26, 2007, in 2005-06 she made the second highest expenses claim of any MP, while in 2006-07 she managed to achieve first place, with a total of £173,691/$227,800.  In May 2009 Ryan claimed more than £4,500/$5,900 under the additional costs allowance for work on a house she had designated as her second home. In February 2010 she was asked to repay £5,121/$6,700 mortgage interest, which she had wrongfully claimed. Corbyn by contrast has been the lowest claimer of expenses since these were monitored—in 2010 he claimed just £8.70/$11.40 for an ink cartridge.  His expenses rose significantly when he became leader of the main opposition party, and his claim between 1 June 2017-31 May 2018 amounted to £20,397.74/$26,700, still chicken’s feed compared to Ryan’s excesses).

Dame Louise Ellman MP, LFI Vice-Chair, former chair of Jewish Labour Movement(JLM)§. (Voted for the war on Iraq, and voted against a parliamentary inquiry into the war.  In 2011, The Jerusalem PostdescribedBerger as “an active supporter of Israel who has visited the country over 20 times”.)

Sharon Hodgson MP, LFI Vice-Chair

Rupa Huq MP,LFI Vice-Chair (Rejects BDS in a statement to We Believe in Israel)

Rt. Hon Pat McFadden MP, LFI Vice-Chair (Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Lord Jonathan Mendelsohn, former LFI Chair (Tony Blair’s unofficial liaison with business. In the 1998 “Lobbygate” scandal he was caught on tapeboasting to an undercover reporter (Greg Palast) posing as a businessman, about how he could sell access to government ministers and create tax breaks for their clients.

Rachel Reeves MP, LFI Vice-Chair (Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.  Supports curbs on immigration, and attracted controversy by hiring unpaid interns. In 2017, she received a “donation in kind” of £12,500/$16,400 from Sir David Garrard#)

Rt. Hon John Spellar MP, serves on the Political Council of the neoconservative and Islamophobic think-tank Henry Jackson Society (Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale, House of Lords LFI Chair (former MI6 (UK spying outfit) operative, specializing in Scandinavian affairs)

Jonathan Reynolds MP, LFI Vice-Chair

John Woodcock MP(resigned from the Labour party in July 2018, now sitting as an Independent MP), LFI Vice-Chair (Favoured UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Former Labour MP (1997-2010) Andrew Dinsmore, Member of the London Assembly for Barnet and Camden 2012- (Opposed the academic boycott of Israel in parliament, sayingthe boycott was “misguided” and “undermined academic freedoms” and contributed “absolutely nothing to trying to bring peace to the Middle East”)

Former Labour MP (2010-2017) Michael Dugher, LFI vice-chair. (Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.Has criticized the BDS campaign, sayingin a tweet: “Boycotting Israeli institutions is ignorant, wrong and counterproductive to peace. We should be building bridges and furthering dialogue”.  A keynote speaker at the ‘We Believe in Israel’ conference, he saidhe was “proud to be a Zionist”, and that “Each time I visit Israel, my admiration for that great country grows”. In parliament he termed a backbench motion to recognize a Palestinian stateas “unnecessary and divisive”)

Former Labour MP (1997-2010) Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner 2012- (LFI Chair 1997–98, 2000–-07)

Former Labour MP (1997-2005) Stephen Twigg, ex-LFI chair (Voted for the war on Iraq)

LABOUR POLITICIANS WHO ARE LFI SUPPORTERS:

Ian Austin MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. On 1 June 2012, he apologised after claiming that a Palestinian human rights group had denied the existence of the Holocaust. Members of Friend of Al-Aqsa made reference to the fact that Austin had written about the group in an article written on the Labour Uncutwebsite in 2011. In 2017, he received a “donation in kind” of £10,000/$12,400 from Sir David Garrard#, and £5,000/$6,200 from Sir Trevor Chinn*)

Luciana Berger MP, Director of LFI (2007-2010),also parliamentary chair of JLM (Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. Rejects BDS in a statement to We Believe in Israel)

Rt. Hon Nick Brown MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Rejects BDS in a statement to We Believe in Israel)

Rt. Hon Liam Byrne MP

Vernon Coaker MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Rosie Cooper MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.)

Yvette Cooper MP(Voted for the war on Iraq)

Mary Creagh MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. Supports military action in Syria)

Jon Cruddas MP(Voted for the war on Iraq)

Wayne David MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Gloria DePiero MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Angela Eagle MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. Supports military action in Syria)

Chris Evans MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Jim Fitzpatrick MP

Rt. Hon Caroline Flint MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

James Frith MP

Mike Gapes MP, former LFI Vice-Chair(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. Supports military action in Syria)

Barry Gardiner MP, former vice-chair of LFI (Voted for war on Iraq, and supported the Israeli onslaught on Gaza 2008-09)

Preet Gill MP

Mary Glindon MP

Lilian Greenwood MP

Nia Griffith MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Andrew Gwynne MP

Fabian Hamilton MP(Voiced opposition to Ed Miliband (then Labour leader) who criticized Israel’s 2014 operation in Gaza “wrong and unjustifiable”. In parliament he opposed a backbench motion to recognize a Palestinian state. Rejects BDS in a statement to We Believe in Israel)

Rt. Hon David Hanson MP (Voted for the war on Iraq)

Rt. Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. Stemcor, the steel trading company in which she owns shares and which was founded by her father and is run by her brother, paid tax of just £163,000/$214,000 (0.01%) on revenues of more than £2.1bn/$2.75bn in 2011. Corbyn has pledged to close these tax loopholes)

Rt. Hon George Howarth MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Dan Jarvis MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.  According to the Register of Members’ Interests, he accepted a donation of £2,500/$3,100 from Sir Trevor Chinn*)

Diana Johnson MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Darren Jones MP

Helen Jones MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Kevan Jones MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Mike Kane MP

Barbara Keeley MP

Liz Kendall MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. Abstained on a parliamentary motion recognizing the state of Palestine.  According to the Register of Members’ Interests, she accepted a donation of £2,500/$3,100 from Sir Trevor Chinn*)

Peter Kyle MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Rt. Hon David Lammy MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Chris Leslie MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.Has statedthat “Marxism has no place in the modern Labour Party” )

Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. Rejects BDS in a statement to We Believe in Israel)

Ian Lucas MP(Also member of the Labour Friends of Palestine. Opposes BDS)

Sandy Martin MP

Chris Matheson MP

Steve McCabe MP (Voted for the war on Iraq)

Catherine McKinnell MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Conor McGinn MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Stephen Morgan MP

Melanie Onn MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Toby Perkins MP(voted for UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Jess Phillips MP

Bridget Phillipson MP

Lucy Powell MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.  Introducing legislation in the House of Commons banning private, invite-only groups on Facebook because they “promote hate speech”).

Virendra Sharma MP

Barry Sheerman MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Ruth Smeeth MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.  Smeethused to workfor a pro-Israel campaign group, BICOM (considereda ‘strictly protected’ source by US Intelligence). The Register of Members’ Interests shows that Smeeth declared a donation of £5,000/$6,200 from Poju Zabludowicz’s company Tamares Real Estates in June last year. Zabludowicz, a billionaire property speculator, used his wealth, inherited from his Israeli arms dealer father, to establish BICOM. Smeeth also declared a donation of £2,500/$3,100 from Sir Trevor Chinn*)

Angela Smith MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Jeff Smith MP

Owen Smith MP

Gareth Snell MP

Wes Streeting MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen. Vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism. Rejects BDS in a statement to We Believe in Israel)

Graham Stringer MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Emily Thornberry MP(Shadow secretary of defence)

Anna Turley MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Karl Turner MP

Chuka Umunna MP(Received donation of £25,000/$32,700 from Sir David Garrard#)

Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP(Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Tom Watson MP, Labour Deputy Leader (Voted for the war on Iraq. Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen.  Watson was keynote speakerat LFI’s 2016 “annual lunch” and praised LFI for being “fearless in its support for the state of Israel”.  Since December 2015, Watson has received £50,000/$65,500 in personal donations from Sir Trevor Chinn*.  Watson has also received £15,000/$19,600 from Sir David Garrard#, and £4,500/$5,900 from LFI. There is no Labour politician more welcoming of pro-Zionist largesse than Watson)

Phil Wilson MP(Abstained or not present during 2016 vote to withdraw UK support for Saudi war against Yemen)

Rt. Hon Rosie Winterton MP(Voted for the war on Iraq)

Rt Hon Lord Anderson of Swansea

Former Labour MP (1987-2010)Alun Michael, South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner 2012– .

Lord Beecham DL

Rt Hon Lord David Blunkett, member of Tony Blair’s cabinet. (Voted for the war on Iraq when he was an MP)

Lord Clarke of Hampstead CBE

Rt Hon Lord Clinton-Davis(former director of The Jewish Chronicle and former member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews)

Lord Davies of Coity CBE

Rt Hon Lord Foster of Bishop Auckland(Voted for the war on Iraq when he was an MP)

Rt Hon Lord George Foulkes of Cumnock(Voted for the war on Iraq when he was an MP, and voted against a parliamentary inquiry into the war.)

Lord Harrison

Lord Haskel

Baroness Dr Hayter

Lord Kennedy

Lord Michael Levy (Chief fundraiser for Tony Blair, he was Blair’s special envoy to the Middle East (1998-20017).Describedby The Jerusalem Postas “undoubtedly the notional leader of British Jewry”)

Lord Livermore

Rt Hon Lord John Reid of Cardowan(As Blair’s minister of defence sent 3,000 British troops to Helmand province, Afghanistan. Supports curbs on immigration)

Lord David Sainsbury of Turville(Supermarket tycoon, and major donor to the Labour party (£18.5m/$24.3m until 2016). Served as Blair’s minister of science, without salary)

Lord Stone of Blackheath

Lord Turnberg

Rt Hon Lord David Watts

Lord Robert Winston of Hammersmith (Since 2017 founding member and co-chair of the UK-Israel Science Council)

Lord Young of Norwood Green

Ψ The JLM director, Ella Rose, was an Israeli embassy officer before she became JLM director.

# Sir David Garrard: property tycoon, offshore tax-dodger. In 2006 it was revealed Garrard had made a secret “loan” to the Labour Party of £2.3m/$3m (this is in addition to donations of £1.5m/$2m since 2003 under the “New Labour” leaders Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband). He was also nominated for a peerage at that time, but the nomination was withdrawn when news of the suspect “loan” became public.  In 2013 Garrard hosted a junket to Israel by 11 Labour MPs, including shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy, shadow defence minister Gemma Doyle, LFI chair Anne McGuire and vice-chair Louise Ellman.  He left the Labour party in March 2018, citing Corbyn’s “antisemitism” as his reason.

*Sir Trevor Chinn: former chair of the Kwik-Fit and Lex chain of motor garages. Has funded the Conservative Friends of Israel and LFI; and he sits on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Leadership Council.  Chinn also sits on the executive committee of the Zionist advocacy group BICOM (considered a ‘strictly protected’ source by US Intelligence). Chinn has funded several leadership rivals to Jeremy Corbyn.  The Independent reportsthat Chinn has donated an undisclosed amount to Tony Blair, who was of course the main UK sponsor of the illegal invasion of Iraq.

 

More articles by:

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina.  He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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