Chakrabarti slaps down McCluskey’s stupid remarks on antisemitism

September 27, 2017 at 11:18 am (anti-semitism, conspiracy theories, crap, Jim D, labour party, plonker, Racism, Unite the union)

Len McCluskey (on BBC Newsnight): “I’ve never recognized [that Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism]. I believe it was mood music that was created by people trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn. In 47 years of membership of the Labour Party, I’ve never been at a meeting where there was any anti-Semitic language or any attacks on the Jews. They would have had short shrift in any meeting I was at.”

“Unfortunately, at the time there were lots of people playing games. Everybody wanted to create this image that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour had become misogynistic and anti-Semitic because they wanted to bring Jeremy Corbyn down.”

Shami Chakrabarti: “With the greatest of respect to Len, I was the person charged with investigating this. It wasn’t Len,” she said. “I have seen things which Len hasn’t seen. I would ask Len to read my report.

“There are real reasons why someone like Len may not have experienced racism and anti-Semitism. There is an obvious reason why he may not have experienced it. I was charged with investigating by Jeremy and the National Executive and I set out my findings, warts and all.”

  • See also, Coatesy on Labour’s new rules to fight anti-Semitism, here


  1. rotzeichen said,

    Speaking as a long term member of the Labour Party, I know of no one in my local Labour Party that has expressed antisemitic views, and I have no doubt that most if not all the other CLPs could say the same thing.

    There are always people within any organisation that can and do crop up saying all sorts of things that go against the norm and this forum is no exception.

    I note again that this organ is keen to promote the view that antisemitism is rife in the Labour Party whilst completely ignoring any other party, is there a reason for that I wonder?

    • Jim Denham said,

      So Chackrabarti’s wrong, eh?

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      The Labour Party has always been ridden by anti semites either openly or covert. It was originally Christian but is now a leftie we support Islamic Fascist Palestine. Same result kill the Capitalist Jews who run the World… The Labour Party stinks with the adulation of the new Messiah Corbyn but time will pass and he will die and Labour will return to representing the British working class and not others.

    • Ben said,

      I was nine years old when a classmate called me “a bloody Jew”. His father was an active Labour Party member. There was no doubt in my mind where his son had learned his charming habits.

    • archives689 said,

      So Chakrabarti’s wrong eh ?

      The recent JPR study endorsed by the CST says she is wrong.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Are you being deliberately obtuse, or are you just a bit thick?

        The reference to Chakrabarti in the context of the atl post here, is (self-evidently) what she said in response to McCluskey’s remarks.

        Do you think she’s wrong?

  2. archives689 said,

    • Jim Denham said,

      The “greatest speech at the conference”? Really? You’re pulling our collective plonker aren’t you?

  3. Don Kirby said,

    Len McCluskey is either a fucking idiot or being disingenuous.
    “In 47 years of membership in the Labour Party I’ve never been at a meeting where there was any anti-Semitic language.”
    Any lowly trade union rep knows that racist discrimination and harassment isn’t just or even mainly about people saying the N word or P word. Its treating people differently, making assumptions, repeating stereotypes assuming bad faith. Cant he get that just because people dont say words like y*d or K**e doesn’t mean he hasn’t witnessed anti Semitism.

    Actually I think Lens courting of JV4L and banging on about this probably suggests that he and his cronies Andree Murray and Karie Murphy have lost some influence to other advisors of Corbyn who can see the need to draw the line under the whole anti Semitism debacle with the rule change and support for JLM.

    • archives689 said,

      Don you are just so spot on. At any price. The price for Corbyn may be much higher than he can possibly imagined. Activists will come to see that sucking up to union busting is a price too far.

      • archives689 said,

        You see there is only one way to get the hasbarafiosi off your back and that is to tell them to fuck off. And they will fuck off trust me. But once you are in what Mark Braverman calls the fatal embrace you are doomed. And you are a volunteer. Sigh.

  4. Jim Denham said,

    Here’s the BBC ‘Daily Politics’interview with Ken Loach:

    COBURN: There was a fringe meeting yesterday that we talked about at the beginning of the show where there was a discussion about the Holocaust, did it happen or didn’t it… would you say that was unacceptable?

    LOACH: I think history is for us all to discuss, wouldn’t you?

    COBURN: Say that again, sorry, I missed that.

    LOACH: History is for all of us to discuss. All history is our common heritage to discuss and analyze. The founding of the state of Israel, for example, based on ethnic cleansing is there for us all to discuss. The role of Israel now is there for us to discuss. So don’t try to subvert that by false stories of anti-Semitism.

  5. SteveH said,

    The question here is,

    why do Shiraz and other pro war leftists hate the Palestinians so much?

    why do they give Israel special treatment (maybe Shriaz are anti Semites?)

    What other nation that carries out systematic violence, brutality and ethnic cleansing that the Israelis carry out would find defenders on the left?

    What other nation that has thoroughly racist policies at its heart would the left claim were the victims of racism themselves?

    Why do the pro war left support the criminals and criminalise the victims?

    As the Palestinians are increasingly asking, Shiraz and pro war leftsists, why do you hate the Palestinians so much?

    It is easy to see why the right wing support Israel because it fits in with their whole ideological construct, the strong oppressing the weak, the cream rising to the top, trickle down economics etc etc. It is almost unfathomable to understand why would support israel in the way Shiraz andf other pro imperialist leftists do. Except I guess the clue is in the pro imperialist part of this!

    It is in this light that the left should not capitulate to these defenders of sadism, brutality and oppression, these people such as Jim Denham who support the criminals, the oppressors against the victims and the oppressed. We certainly should not be lectured by total scum such as Jum Denham, who is filth personified.

    Again we should ask and always ask why do you hate the Palestinians so much? What is it that they have done to you?

    • Jim Denham said,

      “Shiraz and other pro war leftists hate the Palestinians”: you are a liar, go away and don’t come back.

      “Once possibility is that Jim is Christian Zionist nut job. There are others of course”: try thinking about the others, pal.

      • Stephen Bellamy said,

        Lemme think. You are a Zio stooge ?

      • Jim Denham said,

        Bellamy: “Lemme think”: first time for everything, eh?

  6. Jim Denham said,

    Andrew Coates comments re the loathsome “Labour Party Marxists” (ie the CPGB and a few other apologists for “left” anti-Semitism):
    People have also noted that the Labour Party Marxist talks about “Zionists” not “some Zionists” – and does bother defining the term.

    The leaflet is also extraordinary crude in drawing links between said ‘Zionists’ on slender evidence, notably of Prinz and Heydrich.

    As David Rosenberg said of Ken Livingstone’s drivel,

    “During the recent controversy, when Livingstone was pressed for the source of his claims that Hitler “was supporting Zionism… before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”, he told the Evening Standard, “Everything I said… was true and I will be presenting the academic book about that to the Labour Party inquiry.”. That “academic” source was Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, written in the early 1980s by Lenni Brenner, an American freelance journalist. Brenner’s book reads much more like tabloid journalism than any serious academic study. It makes crude allegations of Zionist-Nazi collaboration, treats the actions of some Zionists as representing all Zionists, and utterly distorts the power relations between Zionists and Nazis.

    In truth, there were attempts by some Jews in Germany to make deals with the Nazi dictatorship that was hostile and repressive towards all Jews. In Germany’s case these were Zionists (an ideological minority among German Jews), who were criticised by other Zionists and other Jews for doing so. Further attempts to make deals with Nazi rulers were made by some Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, but these attempts do not break down on simple Zionist/anti-Zionist lines. Some bourgeois Jews who were not Zionists also attempted to extract concessions from their oppressors, to save some lives through such deals. On the other hand, many left-wing Zionists participated in the anti-Nazi resistance, especially in the ghettoes. But, whatever deals were attempted in Germany after Hitler came to power, Hitler had already made crystal clear his absolutely poisonous hatred towards all Jews when he published Mein Kampf in 1925, and a second edition in 1926.

    When Lenni Brenner came to London in 1983/84 to promote his book the Jewish Socialists’ Group was unimpressed with the publicity but nevertheless invited him to speak to one of our meetings about it. He was terrible. He gave an extremely crude analysis which tried to make facts fit very thin pre-ordained theories. When he was challenged on his “analysis” he reacted with aggression. When audience members argued that his comments were antisemitic he flew into a further rage and told us that he could not be racist or antisemitic because his wife was Black. That, I’m afraid, is the calibre of Livingstone’s prime source.

    Of course, if you do serious research you can find many examples that would show that in terms of combating antisemitism and fascism, whether in Germany or, for example, in Poland Europe’s largest Jewish community pre-war, the 1930s and ’40s were not Zionism’s finest hour. And the willingness of Zionists to seek cooperation with the most reactionary regimes towards its goals has a long pedigree that stretches as far back as Theodor Herzl’s meeting with Plehve, a minister in Tsarist Russia, a representative of the murderous oppressors of Jews, radicals and revolutionaries. Herzl promised Plehve, on no authority at all, that Jewish radicals and revolutionaries would cease their struggles against Tsarism for 15 years if he would give a charter for Palestine. Nothing came of it, but not for want of trying.

    However, this whole effort to try to find evidence of Zionists behaving badly in the 1930s in order to expose the way Zionism behaves today, is such a poor way of supporting the Palestinians and their just demands. It rests on too many crude generalisations. You do not have to go back to Hitler and the 1930s in order to expose and challenge the oppression of Palestinians by Zionist ideology and practice today. As Shami Chakrabarti rightly pointed out in her report, from the Inquiry that followed in the weeks after Livingstone’s remarks, critics of Israeli policy could “use the modern universal language of human rights, be it of dispossession, discrimination, segregation, occupation, persecution and … leave Hitler, the Nazis and the Holocaust out of it”. I agree with her wholeheartedly. The case against Israel’s occupation and ill-treatment of the Palestinians is unanswerable. Trying to base that case on what some Zionists did in Germany in the 1930s will always end up diverting the argument towards accusations of antisemitism, and ultimately lets both the Israeli government and the Zionist movement in 2017 off the hook.”

    • archives689 said,

      So Jim are you supporting Del Singh’f family’s quest for an apology and the revocation of the award to JVL or no ?

    • Ben said,

      “…The case against Israel’s occupation and ill-treatment of the Palestinians is unanswerable…”

      It is the case for Israel’s policies that is unanswerable. Confronted by a murderous hatred and unremitting campaign of violence, terror, war and dehumanizing propaganda, the tiny Jewish state has defended itself with courage, and shown humanity and reasonableness towards its fanatical and vicious enemies. It is not Israel which practices dispossession, discrimination, segregation, occupation and persecution, it is the Jewish people who have been subjected to these crimes by the European and Muslim worlds. And today the West promotes the lie that Jews may not legally reside in Judea, nor in East Jerusalem, nor even in the Jewish Quarter of East Jerusalem. The anti-Israel British left today sounds more like Nazis than socialists.

      “…the willingness of Zionists to seek cooperation with the most reactionary regimes towards its goals…”

      As for its leaders engaging in diplomacy with reactionary political figures in order to advance the political situation of the defenseless, endangered and oppressed Jewish communities of the antisemitic Christian and Muslim worlds, Zionism has nothing to apologize for. Especially as every power in the world, right or left, was doing the same to advance the cause of their peoples.

      “…lets both the Israeli government and the Zionist movement in 2017 off the hook…”

      Israel is not “on the hook” for anything. It is its “critics” on the left who are, as they engage in defamation and calumnies against Israel and the Jewish people instead of fighting for the rights of the Jewish people. The left today supports the rejectionism of the Palestine Arabs and their supporters, instead of advancing socialism, internationalism and justice. Which is a shame, since world politics needs a strong, powerful and effective left.

  7. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Just spent the weekend in Liverpool and had a walk along Bold St. Certain book shop on this street. Glad I was not an Israali..tourist..

  8. SteveH said,

    “Glad I was not an Israali..tourist”

    And as the Palestinian says, oh to be a tourist! What utopia!

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Get yer lederhosen oan SteveH ma bhoy and the Irish tricolour roon yer neck. Dem Jews killed yer Saviour! Time tae get yer ane back.

      • SteveH said,


        the casual disregard you show for the oppressed is very much in line with the Nazi mentality.

        I am always interested, how did you come to detest the Palestinians so much? Is it something from your childhood/upbringing (are your parents sadistic scum?) or was it your exposure to this Palestinian hating site?

  9. Jim Denham said,

    Yves Coleman comments (btl) at Tendance Coatesy:

    1° I think the worst in this Zionist/nazi comparison is that you could make, with much more reasons, comparisons between the democratic US and nazi Germany during the period n1933/1939 or between the Stalinist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany during 1939 and 1941. So people who pretend to be « antizionist » without mentioning the REAL RESPONSIBLES for the Holocaust are certainly not sincerely anti-imperialist and sincerely anti-Stalinist, the two forces which were REALLY responsible for the rise of Hitler to power and the fact that these two powers let Hitler rebuild German military power between 1933 and 1939 and did not boycott nazi Germany. Neither the democratic European countries at that time, nor the US nor the USSR did anything to fight against nazism before the WW2 and for the USSR even later… No democratic country tried to protect and welcome the Jews and the Soviet Union did not protect Jews either. No democratic country or the USSR organised a BDS against Hitler….So one can always denounce “Zionists” or “bourgeois Jews” TODAY but it’s most of the time only a cheap excuse to hide the real negative role of imperialism and Stalinism in the rise of Nazism and Judeocide.

    2) in the US those who were the most militant against Hitler after 1933 were NOT the Left or the main Jewish organisations but Jabotinsky’s friends, ie the REAL Zionist Far Right ! No American antizionist knows or says that ! You have these historical facts documented in detail in “The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler, by Ben Urwand” a book which shows how the strange alliance between Jabotinsky’s friends and Ben Hecht (who was antizionist and leftwing, and posed its conditions to start a mass campaign against antisemitism in Germany to the partisans of Jabotinsky) pushed the American Left and the mainstream American Jewish organisations to openly denounce Hitler before 1939 and to denounce Jewish persecutions in the 1930s and made them well known to the American public.
    So even far right zionists had a positive role on this specific aspect at a specific time ! No left antizionist can deal with this important fact ç

    3) As regards the fairytale according to which the Nazis did not want to kill the jews before 1941 I am always surprised when Trostkyists use this argument as Trotsky their beloved Leader had foreseen exactly the opposite ! Trotsky was much less stupid and ignorant than most Trotskyist antizionists today. He knew that Nazi Germany was not a nice travel agency organizing trips to Palestine….as some antizionist think today…

    4) although some people like Trotsky had the intuition and foresaw the inevitability of the Judeocide most people DID NOT BELIEVE IT COULD HAPPEN even when it started in front of their own eyes. There are many testimonies of Jews (Left or Rightwing) in Germany, France and Eastern Europe who until the end thought such a mass massacre was impossible or would happen on a much smaller scale (as it had been the case in previous centuries). So it’s very easy for pseudo radicals today (who at the time say there is no antisemitism today and close their eyes every time Jews are killed in France) to be more aware of everything…. 70 years later. These are the same people who said that the gang who tortured and killed Ilan Halimi in 2006 because they fought « jews have money », the murderer of 3 children and their teacher in 2012 in Toulouse in a Jewish school were NOT antisemites, it’s the same leftwing people who pretend to have clear views about antisemitism …. 7O years ago !!!

    5) The same goes with the use of the very negative role of the « Judenrate » (Jewish councils imposed by the Nazis), denounced also by Hannah Arendt who has always been a sloppy historian : to denounce in one’s armchair the Jews who participated to the Judenrate is very easy. I would just like to know if all these people who denounce the Jews who « cooperated » with the Nazis would do if they were enclosed in a ghetto, without food, without weapons and circled with hundreds or thousands of soldiers. I would like to know how many of the present antizionists would have sacrificed their life and fought without weapons or with a ridiculous number of weapons against Nazi soldiers…..

    6) Basically, this whole question of Zionism/Nazism comparison rests on a total lack of empathy and understanding with the victims of a very critical situation which very few people foresaw and understood 70 years ago. Our priority should be to respect the victims, ALL THE VICTIMS, including all the Jews (bourgeois, zionist, reactionary) who were slaughtered by the Nazis…. even when they « cooperated » under the threat of guns…. If you have no empathy towards the bourgeois or zionist or reactionary victims of the Nazis, then I dont trust your « antizionism », I would say to start any discussion about this subject.

    Obviously when I refer to the passivity of the USSR….I refer to the period PRECEDING the German attack against Russia…. Not after 22 June 1941…. But what did the USSR do between 1933 and 1941 to stop Nazism and to help the Jews ?
    One has to compare the financial and military strength of the American and Russian States before 1941 to the “power” of the “Zionists” at the same time….. This material comparison should be at the basis of any reflection about Nazi/”Zionist” “collaboration”….. not an abstract and ahistorical view

    • Ben said,

      Trotsky foresaw the Holocaust in his writings before WW2. So did Uri Zvi Greenberg, Avraham Stern and Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Interestingly all are excoriated by the left today, except perhaps for Trotsky, whose convoluted and unprincipled thoughts on the subject of Jewish national rights are not given critical scrutiny by most of his contemporary followers today. And the cult of Pablo Neruda, complicit in Trotsky’s assassination, continues apace with nary a note of protest from the flag-bearers of anti-Stalinism.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Trotsky’s “convoluted and unprincipled thoughts on the subject of Jewish national rights “?

        I am aware that he was an anti-Zionist for most of his life, but by the time of his death he was re-assessing his hostility to the idea of a Jewish homeland, and even considered moving there once it was established, but … “convoluted and unprincipled thoughts”?

        Please explain, Ben.

      • Ben said,

        “…Please explain…”

        After the holidays.

      • Jim Denham said,

        I look forward to that

  10. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Trotsky was born Jewish and being a clever old fox would have known about the Black Hundred pogroms against Jews and the Nazi/Balkan/Islamist intention to wipe out the Jews..
    It makes sense that he would eventually conclude the Jews would need a homeland and preferably Israel the formerJewish homeland before the Romans attempted to wipe them out…I reckon that even the thickest liberal Jew knows the intention of Islam is to wipe them out by any means available..
    Sorry for suggesting that some Jews are thick! But do not climb on the back of a lorry thinking you are going for a shower!

    • rotzeichen said,

      Your comments are below gutter level, and I suspect you are no more a working class Glaswegian than I am aristocrat.

  11. Labour antisemitism: Shut up Len! – Shiraz Socialist (Second Run) said,

    […] in the New Statesman article is superficially reasonable and certainly a vast improvement on his previous comments on this subject, which seemed to suggest that the whole issue was just “mood […]

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