You Can’t Trust Labour on Antisemitism

The following Early Day Motion had been signed by 16 MPs thus far:

That this House is shocked by the killing of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces whilst reporting on raids in Jenin; extends its sincere condolences to her family and colleagues who are devastated by her death; is appalled that this widely-respected, brave and committed journalist was hit by a bullet whilst wearing a press vest, with gunfire having started without prior instruction to stop filming; notes that fellow journalist Shatha Hanaysha who was present at the time believes that the group was targeted for attack by the Israeli army; considers that this shocking incident must be in the wider context of Israeli forces systematically targeting journalists working in Palestine and the failure to properly investigate killings of media workers; notes that the International Federation of Journalists, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians previously submitted a formal complaint to the International Criminal Court last month regarding such treatment; calls for a full independent investigation of this case, with swift action to bring those responsible for Shireen’s death to account; and joins the National Union of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists in demanding an end to, and justice for, the wider targeting and killings of Palestinian journalists by Israeli forces.

Nine Labour MPs – plus Corbyn who remains a Party Member and Webbe who was expelled – have signed this EDM which not only blames Israel for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh but also suggests that Israel targetted her and targets other journalists. There is no evidence that she was killed by Israel and the assertion that she was – plus the repulsive conspiracy theory – is deeply antisemitic (IHRA: ‘Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective’).

Labour MP (or former Labour MP)Proportion of Muslims in Constituency
Grahame Morris0.3
John McDonnell23.6
Kim Johnson8.6
Bell Ribeiro-Addy5.7
Ian Lavery0.3
Ian Byrne0.9
Beth Winter1.0
Jeremy Corbyn (Whip suspended)9.0
Claudia Webbe (expelled)15.2
Richard Burgon10.6
Rachael Maskell1.2

Israel has called for a joint investigation into the death. But the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected the request.

And look at these tweets from two more Labour MPs:

Muslim proportion: 7.4%
Muslim proportion: 24.5%

And Starmer piled in:

Muslim proportion: 14.1%

The truth about the funeral (Israel Police tweet) :

Plans for the funeral procession were coordinated in advance by the Israel Police together with the Abu-Akleh family. About 300 rioters arrived at the hospital in Jerusalem and prevented the family members from loading the coffin onto the hearse to travel to the cemetery. The mob threatened the driver of the hearse and then proceeded to carry the coffin on an unplanned procession to the cemetery by foot. This went against the wishes of the Abu-Akleh family and the security coordination that had been planned. Police instructed that the coffin be returned to the hearse, as did the EU Ambassador and Abu-Akleh’s own family, but the mob refused.  Police intervened to disperse the mob and prevent them from taking the coffin, so that the funeral could proceed as planned in accordance with the wishes of the family.  During the riot that was instigated by the mob, glass bottles and other objects were thrown, resulting in the injury of both mourners and Police officers.

Labour suggested that its victory in Barnet ten days ago demonstrated “the progress Keir Starmer has made to regain the trust of Jewish voters.” The response of Labour MPs to the recent events in Israel prove that this is a barefaced lie.

No Jew should vote Labour.

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Postscript 1: Elder of Zion fisks the strategy of the anti-Israel propagandists: ‘Thinking Past the Sale’

Adding Naz Shah MP (Muslim proportion in constituency 51.3%).

Postscript 2: Adding Imran Hussein MP (Muslim proportion in constituency 36.9%).


Four more Labour MPs have signed the EDM (which now has signatures from 26 MPs):

Marsha de Cordova MP (Muslim proportion in constituency 5.5%).

John Trickett MP (Muslim proportion in constituency 1.4%).

Kate Osborne MP (Muslim proportion in constituency 0.7%).

Andy McDonald MP (Muslim proportion in constituency 9.8%).

So 20 Labour MPs or former Labour MPs have either signed the mendacious EDM or sent mendacious Tweets.

13 of the 20 have proportions of Muslim constituents above the Great Britain average of 4.5%.

Not one Conservative has signed or tweeted.

Postscript 3: Additionally to the 20 names above, the following 8 Labour MPs made comments demonising Israel in the House of Commons yesterday (16 May) (Proportions of Muslim constituents in brackets): Afzal Khan (29%), Stella Creasy (25.4%), Diane Abbott (13.9%), Nadia Whittome (13.2%), Andy Slaughter (11.8%), Mohammad Yasin (7.9%), Matt Western (1.0%), Christian Matheson (1.0%).

Zarah Sultana (see above – 7.4%) signed the EDM.
Postscript 4: Apsana Begum has signed (33.6%).

Postscript 5: McDonnell and Sultana spoke at the anti-Israel PSC / StopTheWar rally in London on 15 May

Postscript 6: Three more Labour MPs have signed: Cat Smith (and here) (1.8%), Graham Stringer (16.7%) and John Cryer (22.6%). Stringer is a member of Labour Friends of Israel!! But he clearly feels the need to curry favour with his Muslim constituents. Or is he (like Wes) trying to play from both ends simultaneously?

Postscript 7: Two more Labour MPs have signed (making 20 in all, 10% of all Labour MPs): Mick Whitley (1.0%) and Nadia Whittome (13.2%)
Postscript 8: Number 21 is Lloyd Russell-Moyle (1.9%)

Postscript 9: Numbers 22-25: Emma Lewell-Buck (2.9%), Mohammad Yasin (7.9%), Yasmin Qureshi (18.6%), Diane Abbott (13.9%)

Postcript 10: Number 26: Tony Lloyd (23.6%)

Postscript 11: Numbers 27-28: Clive Betts (10.0%), Mary Kelly Foy (1.0%)