UK: Police launch investigation into alleged anti-Semitism in Labour Party By Robert Stevens

5 November 2018 — WSWS

The London Metropolitan Police have announced a criminal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism by Labour Party members.

The investigation, announced Friday, follows months in which the party’s Blairite right-wing has falsely tarred Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite. The Met’s police investigation marks an escalation of the destabilisation campaign aimed at undemocratically removing the twice-elected party leader.

The Met’s investigation bears all the hallmarks of a dirty tricks operation. On September 4, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick gave an interview at the London-based LBC radio station in a “Call the Commissioner” show. Afterwards, LBC passed her a dossier of an internal Labour Party report containing 45 cases of alleged anti-Semitism by party members.

The LBC had already passed the leaked material to a former leading police officer, Mark Chishty. Chishty reportedly concluded that the dossier includes 17 instances that should have been reported to the police for investigation, with another four potential race hate crimes. It is on this dubious basis that a criminal investigation has been launched, with Corbyn’s name once again dragged through the mud.

Cressida Dick announced the opening of a formal investigation on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme, rather than a press conference, thereby evading public scrutiny. She said, “We have been assessing some material that was passed to me, in a radio studio of all things, about two months ago and we are now investigating some of that material because it appears there may have been a crime committed. We are liaising immediately with the Crown Prosecution Service and I hope we will be able to clear that up very quickly.”

The Met’s investigation has resuscitated the right-wing’s bogus anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn, notwithstanding Dick’s telling the BBC that “we are not going to investigate the Labour Party.”

As with the entire slanderous campaign against Corbyn and his supporters, led by right-wing fanatics, nothing about the dossier can be taken at face value. Virtually none of the contents of the leaked documents have been made public and those which have do not state whether the alleged accusations of anti-Semitism by individuals cited have already been dealt with, as is appropriate, by either the party or the police.

One case that has been cited by the press would appear to have little to do with anti-Jewish prejudice, even if the accusations were to prove true.

According to reports, a serving Labour councillor put a child through “10 years of hell” and referred to him as “Jew boy.” The councillor is alleged to have chased a girl, “aged six or seven, around with air freshener, saying she smelled of curry and calling her ‘a chocolate monkey’.” The councillor in question, Jim Dempster, was already named eight months ago over allegations relating to his time as a shop owner in the late 1980s and early 1990s and comments made against two Muslims. Dempster has denied ever making the comments. He was already suspended from the Labour Party for making Islamophobic comments about Scottish National Party Transport Minister Humza Yousa, questioning his commitment to the local area by saying “no-one would have seen him” during a visit “under his burka.”

Despite virtually nothing being made available to the public regarding the dossier, a number of key players in the campaign against Corbyn leapt in with further scurrilous claims that he represents a threat to Jewish people.

Joe Glasman is head of political and government investigations at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, which has charitable status but is almost exclusively occupied with waging a political campaign against Corbyn. He made clear his own familiarity with the leaked document, asserting, “The secret internal dossier contains over 80 pages of anti-Semitic hatred by Labour Party members, including numerous admissions of guilt, but the Labour Party kept the dossier secret and did not even tell Jewish Labour MPs who were directly threatened within it, despite police considering threats to their safety to be so severe as to warrant special police protection. It is absolutely right that police officers have opened a criminal investigation, which we hope will encompass both the anti-Semitic hate crimes and the Labour Party’s complicity by concealing its evidence.”

“Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite,” he added, “whose leadership the once fiercely anti-racist Labour Party has become institutionally anti-Semitic and an existential threat to British Jews.”

Blairite Margaret Hodge, who helped initiate the failed right-wing 2016 coup against Corbyn and who screamed in his face in Parliament earlier this year that he was a “f—ing anti-Semite and a racist,” said that Labour should have called in the police itself, adding “For me as a Jewish Labour MP … there is a feeling of fear about and that is why firm action taken by the police and the party is so important.”

Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson said, “I am not surprised,” and that he hoped the Met investigation would “silence a very small number of people who believe that anti-Semitism doesn’t exist in my party, or in other parties.”

Over the weekend, the anti-Semitism campaign went into overdrive with the pro-Tory Daily Express reporting under a headline Brussels conference to make Labour Party anti-semitism KEY ISSUE,” that the investigation would be central to discussion at an event hosted by the European Jewish Association (EJA) tomorrow.

Among those speaking will be Gideon Falter, a businessman and chair of the Campaign Against Antisemitism. Other speakers are “Tory MP Matthew Offord and a journalist from the Sunday Express,” reported the newspaper. The event will hear from representatives from European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Hungary. In all these countries there is a growth of far-right and anti-Semitic movements. The aim of the British participants is to falsely conflate Corbyn and his backers with movements that are genuinely fascistic and anti-Semitic.

In the lead up to the June 2017 general election, Falter made numerous slanderous anti-Corbyn statements, including one on April 5, 2017 that “Today’s Labour Party is doing more to bait Jews and normalise antisemitism than the [fascist] BNP [British National Party] ever dreamed of. It is time to abandon it.”

The pro-Zionist fanatics have only been able to pursue their campaign because of the refusal of Corbyn and his key supporters to oppose them. The impact of this refusal to fight is already having a chilling effect. At the University of Sheffield, the Sheffield Labour Students (SLS) society responded to the Met’s announcement by cancelling an event it was due to host with Labour MP Chris Williamson.

Williamson is a leading supporter of Corbyn and previously served as his Shadow Fire and Emergency Services Minister. He was due to speak at a meeting backed by the Stop The War coalition, “Why we need an anti-war Government.” This was cancelled last Thursday, with SLS voting to postpone the event “indefinitely … until the current Scotland Yard police investigation into allegations of antisemitism has been resolved.”

Cancelling the event came after the Union of Jewish Students targeted Williamson as an “anti-Semite” because he described the slanders against Corbyn as part of “a dirty lowdown trick” used for “political ends.” It is reported that the SLS decision was backed by some supporters of Momentum, the pro-Corbyn group set up after his election as leader, whose leader Jon Lansman has since been instrumental in facilitating the anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn.

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