The Community Security Trust has just published ‘Engine Of Hate’, an interesting Open Source Intelligence study of antisemitism on Twitter. The report ‘identifies 36 key pro-Corbyn Twitter accounts, each with their own, overlapping, online networks that drive social media conversations about antisemitism and the Labour Party’. Interestingly the technical work was contracted out to the data analytics company ‘Signify’.
Lawson tweeted a series of criticisms about the CST work. He has 12,500 followers so it’s worth taking the time to examine his critique. Turns out of course that it’s another pack of lies.
LIE #1: Absurdly Lawson says that the CST is suggesting that ‘you’re antisemitic if you ‘angrily criticised Rachel Riley’; ‘angrily criticised Tom Watson’; ‘used the hashtag GTTO (Get The Tories Out)’; ‘referred to what al-Jazeera exposed in their film, The Lobby; ‘criticised Luciana Berger.’ The CST suggests nothing of the sort, of course. The first three were simply used to identify the 36 ‘Engine Room’ Twitter accounts ‘that drive social media conversations about antisemitism and the Labour Party’. The Al Jazeera non-exposé is included in the study because Asa Winstanley’s piece about it was the most popular article shared on Engine Room accounts. Six of the top ten URLs shared by the Engine Room accounts in tweets that mentioned the keywords (such as ‘antisemitism’, ‘Jew’, ‘witchhunt’, ‘Rothschilds’, ‘Zionist’, ‘smear’) came from one website: Electronic Intifada. Four of these six articles were written by Winstanley.
Luciana Berger MP features in the CST Report because of @WarmongerHodges, one of the 12 of the Engine Room accounts that tweeted antisemitic content. @WarmongerHodges targeted Berger, suggesting that she was lying in declaring that she needed police protection at the 2018 Labour Party conference.
LIE #2: Lawson’s next untruth is to suggest that the CST report fails to distinguish anti-Zionism from antisemitism. A blatant lie – see page 11 of the report – ‘Not all anti-Zionists are antisemites: for example, a minority of Jews, usually for religious reasons, do not believe that the existence of the current secular State of Israel is in the best interests of the Jewish people.’
LIE #3: I need hardly mention what follows: the hoary old ignorant lie that supporting Zionism and supporting the Palestinians are mutually exclusive.
LIE #4: The next lie is Lawson’s assertion about the Al Jazeera non-exposé. He suggests that Joan Ryan MP ‘flat out lied about an ordinary Labour member being ‘antisemitic’ when she was anything but.’ As I blogged at the time, at the 2016 Labour Party Conference a woman called Jean Fitzpatrick comes to the Labour Friends of Israel Stand. It is clearly a setup job and she is clearly scripted – but of course Ryan does not know this (neither does the viewer, come to that…..). Fitzpatrick is a Facebook friend of Jackie Walker; it is possible that Walker recommended her for the role. Other of her Facebook friends include notorious Israel haters Tony Greenstein, Glyn Secker, Mike Cushman, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and Timothy Horgan. Fitzpatrick is a hardcore PSC supporter.
Fitzpatrick asked Ryan how LFI proposes that a two state solution should be reached. Fitzpatrick moves quickly into antisemitism mode (asking “at what expense” Israel exists). She revealed she is a PSC supporter. She professed to want to know how LFI will facilitate a Two State Solution “because you’ve got a lot of money, a lot of prestige in the world …. Working for LFI is a stepping-stone to a good job …. A friend of mine’s son got a really good job at Oxford University on the basis of having worked for LFI”. Ryan (to her credit) immediately spotted the antisemitism and tried to terminate the conversation. She did NOT say that Fitzpatrick was an antisemite! She said that Fitzpatrick’s comment was antisemitic – which it was.
LIE #6: He states that antisemitism has ‘fallen on the left since Corbyn became leader’. Not true.