On Sunday morning, Diane Abbott was quick to get out in front of voices criticising her “antisemitic” Observer letter. She swiftly apologised, blaming “the errors” on “an initial draft being sent”. True to form, Diane’s defence doesn’t add up.
The Jewish Chronicle today reports that Diane submitted two letters to the Observer, each hours apart. After the first attempt, she was prompted to resubmit the letter including an address and after a few hours – with plenty of time to make adjustments -Diane sent the letter again. Both submissions were identical.
To make matters worse, the email came from Diane’s personal email address and a whole week elapsed – without any attempts at correction – between the letter’s submission and publication. To be fair to Diane, she hasn’t always advanced the view she held out on the Observer’s letter page. It also baffles Guido that the Observer missed the story entirely.
It is all the more bizarre that she downgraded antisemitism to prejudice when during a debate on antisemitism in April 2018, she came out strongly and clearly against that very position, arguing passionately:
“I came into politics to fight racism and I have never resiled from that position. For me, it has always been the case that racism includes antisemitism. Jew hatred is race hatred, and one antisemite in the Labour party is one too many.”
It might surprise some to read that Guido is leaning towards thinking that the increasingly befuddled Diane should be an object of our sympathy rather than condemnation…
Following his speech this morning in response to Labour’s release from EHRC antisemitism monitoring, Keir Starmer had some choice words for Jeremy Corbyn. When asked if the former Labour leader would be able to stand for the party again, Starmer said:
“Jeremy Corbyn will not stand for Labour at the next General Election as a Labour Party Candidate. What I said about the party changing, I meant, and we are not going back.”
It still doesn’t explain why Starmer twice campaigned for him to become Prime Minister…
Kier Starmer is taking action against a Labour MP’s use of “disturbing language” against Israel. At PMQs today, Kim Johnson called Israel’s government “fascist”, before adding it was an “apartheid” state. Tom Harwood is now reporting that Kim has been called in to the Labour Whip’s office, where she is likely to be suspended if she can’t apologise fulsomely. This isn’t even the first time Kim has caused controversy, the far-left Corbynite previously denied her predecessor was hounded out of politics by antisemitism. At least Labour is now taking these issues seriously.
As sure as night follows day, the people Jeremy Corbyn choses to associate with are exposed as antisemites. A Church of England vicar, Stephen Sizer, has today been banned from church for 12 years by a tribunal. The tribunal upheld four antisemitism complaints, including one from 2015 in which Sizer claimed Israel was responsible for 9/11. This was the very same claim Corbyn once defended.
At the time, the Mail revealed that Corbyn had sent a letter to church authorities in which he claimed Simon was victimised because he “dared to speak out against Zionism”. Corbyn added that:
“Reverend Stephen Sizer seems to have come under attack by certain individuals intent on discrediting the excellent work that Stephen does in highlighting the injustices of the Palestinian Israeli situation”
Before defending Sizer on the basis that “the internet is a complicated piece of technology”. All in a days’ work for the “lifelong campaigner against racism”…
Antisemitism campaigner and comedian David Baddiel has weighed in on the latest row around a Welsh Labour Minister. Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Social Services, sponsored a vigil dedicated to “remembering all”, which paid tribute to holocaust victims who were “Gypsies, Roma and Travellers” – yet forgot to mention Jewish people. This is despite Jewish victims outnumbering Roma and Sinti by 30:1.
Baddiel tweeted that Morgan’s actions foster an attitude implying Jews “deny other victims of the Holocaust”, adding it’s a form of “softcore Holocaust denial”.
This also fosters an attitude, which I see on here from antisemites, implying Jews deny - which they don't - other victims of Nazism, in order to own the atrocity (a ridiculous idea, given the numbers). It's a form of what @deborahlipstadt calls softcore Holocaust denial. pic.twitter.com/wEWa71LgCd— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) January 19, 2023
This must be an error of omission, rather than deliberate, surely? Julie is yet to make amends…
Not for the first time in recent months, it looks like the Royal Households’ political receptors aren’t properly tuned. This weekend hundreds descended on Buckingham Palace for their garden party, among them Shaima Dallali. If you think that name rings a bell that’s because she recently became president-elect of the National Union of Students, and sparked an Antisemitism row that’s seen the Department for Education official cut ties with the organisation. What was the Palace thinking?
Responding to the news, a Department for Education source tells Guido: “There are plenty of decent, hard-working people in the university space who would have loved to go to a swanky event in the Palace who haven’t called people dirty zionists, stoked religious tensions and raised money for dodgy pressure groups”. Taking to Linkedin, Shima said she was “honoured to represent City, University of London at the Queen’s Garden Party”. Though Guido’s not entirely sure how sincere this was given she’s previously tweeted “I dont even like the royal family”.
Since her election, Jewish students have raised many concerns about Dallali, who in 2012 wrote “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews … Muhammad’s army will return #Gaza” referencing the massacre of Jews in the 628 Battle of Khaybar. The Jewish Chronicle also report she’s “sung the praises of a Jew-hating cleric’ and labelled Waseem Yousef as a “dirty Zionist”. The NUS recently also refused to properly apologise for inviting rapper Lowkey to its Liverpool conference. Guido hopes she enjoyed the do…