Among the favourites to win Labour’s Manchester Gorton selection contest is North West MEP Afzil Khan. According to local sources Khan has been lining himself up for the Gorton seat for many years. This tweet from 2014 could be a problem:
At the time Marie van der Zyl, a Board of Deputies vice president, and Sharon Bannister, president of the Manchester Jewish Representative Council said:
“We are deeply disappointed by these tweets, [which are] still deeply offensive… There is no place for antisemitism in our politics.”
He has now deleted the tweet. Labour MPs and councillors have been suspended for less…
UPDATE: Khan gets in touch with a weak excuse:
“In 2014 I tweeted a link to a blog post about the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza. The blog post and the quoted headline referred to the content of a speech by Sir Gerald Kaufman in Parliament. My twitter account clearly states that tweets are not endorsements. I did not then – nor do I now – endorse the content of this blogpost and certainly not the headline.
“I have long since deleted this tweet and when this issue was raised with me last year I apologised for any offence caused. I met with the local Jewish Representative Council to apologise and I was also supported by prominent members of the Jewish community in Greater Manchester.”
Jeremy Corbyn statement:
“I’m very sad at the passing of Sir Gerald Kaufman MP. An iconic and irascible figure in the Labour Party, Gerald worked with Harold Wilson when he was Prime Minister in the 1960s and became a Labour MP in 1970. Gerald was always a prominent figure in the party and in Parliament, with his dandy clothes and wonderful demeanour in speaking. Gerald came from a proud Jewish background. He always wanted to bring peace to the Middle East and it was my pleasure to travel with him to many countries. I last saw him in his lovely flat in St John’s Wood in London, surrounded by film posters and a library of the film world. He loved life and politics. I will deeply miss him, both for his political commitment and constant friendship.”
Which means Ken Clarke is the new Father of the House. By-election in Manchester Gorton, where Labour have a 24,000 majority and the Greens came second in 2015…
“Last week’s reported comments by Sir Gerald Kaufman about the Jewish community, the Conservative Party and Israel are completely unacceptable and deeply regrettable. Such remarks are damaging to community relations, and also do nothing to benefit the Palestinian cause… At my request, the Chief Whip has met Sir Gerald and expressed my deep concern.”
It comes after 8 Labour MPs wrote to Corbyn demanding he take action. Will the old nut apologise?
Another particularly nasty quote to add to Gerald Kaufman’s long list of unpleasant comments about Israel and “Jews“. The Labour nut has been caught at a pro-Palestine event claiming “Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party” have made them more pro-Israel. Stay classy…
Kaufman then shared with the room a bizarre conspiracy theory about the recent spate of stabbings: “More than half the stabbing claims were definitely fabricated”. Here is the truth of what is happening in Israel at the moment, via Bicom:
Is he after a promotion into the Jezbollah Shadow Cabinet?
UPDATE: CST, the charity protecting Jews from anti-semitism, tell Guido:
“The language invites antisemitic interpretation about Jews, money and controlling politicians. It is not so distant from what a previous Father of the House, Tam Dalyell said about Tony Blair being “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisors”. Neither is it the first time Kaufman has said such things in front of Martin Linton MP. In 2010, he accused “right wing Jewish millionaires” of owning half the Conservative Party, whilst at the same meeting Linton spoke of the “long tentacles of Israel”: for which he apologised. Plus ca change.”
UPDATE II:Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush has also condemned the remarks by Sir Gerald Kaufman:
“We condemn Sir Gerald’s outrageous comments. We challenge him to travel to Israel immediately to ride around with the emergency services and to see for himself whether it is possible to fabricate knife attacks when victims are lying on the ground with blood pouring from their wounds. We also invite the Labour Party to initiate disciplinary proceedings to investigate his disgraceful words.”
UPDATE III: Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said:
“The globally-recognised EUMC definition of antisemitism clearly states that it is antisemitic to make ‘mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about…Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.‘ The speech delivered by Sir Gerald Kaufman, as reported by David Collier, is antisemitic and the Labour Party should investigate immediately. Sir Gerald has therefore reportedly delivered a speech in which he alleges that British Jews are colluding to subvert the British government by way of bribes, and that the effect of this conspiracy is to allow Jews in Israel to execute Palestinians with impunity.”
Guido understands that representations have been made to the Opposition Chief Whip…
Labour nut Gerald Kaufman had his own colleagues shaking their heads when he condemned the RAF killing of an ISIS jihadi:
“What does this government do? It wants to bomb. Bombing will achieve nothing whatsoever, but will kill more people and will create more refugees. It is now following the deplorable Obama in carrying out murder by drones, almost certainly against international law.”
A last minute pitch to be Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Defence Secretary?
A bit of an Emily Thornberry moment for Gerald Kaufman responding to EVEL:
“Even the title of this motion sounds racist.”
Labour’s contempt for England slips out again.