The Death of the British Labour Party - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15131486
wat0n wrote:It is to claim they have a "firm grip" over US foreign policy, which is what skinster claimed. No, it does not - whatever support Israel gets from the US owes to US interests primarily, which is shown by the fact that Israel very, very rarely votes against the US in pretty much any topic in the UN.

@JohnRawls I agree, I'm fairly sure he doesn't want to get into that sort of argument again.

I'm not someone who shares the same ideology as Skinster, and we have had pretty heated disagreements on several issues, but she isn't exactly wrong there. Israel does have a pretty strong influence on the U.S. Government and foreign policy. Their PM spoke before our Congress to go after us for not kissing their ass enough and constantly pushes for the U.S. to support their interest, and our government normally does. We have one party that gives them everything and another party that gives them most of what they want. When there was a popular BDS movement in one of our states, a Governor declared his state in close solidarity with Israel via an executive order. Just a few months ago, I even got mail asking me to help feed Israeli settlers. They have way too much influence and have subverted our democratic institutions.

Edit: Gender fix.
#15131488
Random American wrote:I'm not someone who shares the same ideology as Skinster, and we have had pretty heated disagreements on several issues, but he isn't exactly wrong there. Israel does have a pretty strong influence on the U.S. Government and foreign policy. Their PM spoke before our Congress to go after us for not kissing their ass enough and constantly pushes for the U.S. to support their interest, and our government normally does. We have one party that gives them everything and another party that gives them most of what they want. When there was a popular BDS movement in one of our states, a Governor declared his state in close solidarity with Israel via an executive order. Just a few months ago, I even got mail asking me to help feed Israeli settlers. They have way too much influence and have subverted our democratic institutions.


skinster is a she.

Have you seen how popular Israel is in the court of public opinion? As long as this kind of support remains high, it's unlikely you will see any moves away from it. Hell, even if it decreases, it would also need to become a major election issue for any changes to occur, and it is not.

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https://news.gallup.com/poll/293114/maj ... ehood.aspx
#15131492
@wat0n

It is not lost on me that most Americans are more sympathetic to Israel, but that does not mean we should give them everything that they want regardless of the geopolitical consequences. I support Israel's right to exist as a nation, but we shouldn't give them the entire city of Jerusalem as their capital for example. At best, they should get half of the city and a massive wall to divide the two sides.
#15131496


JohnRawls wrote:@skinster

I don't think that Starmer actually cares at all about Israel and Palestein. Starmer apologising for anti-semitism to get rid of the image that Corbyn created is not the same as being friends with Israel or Palestein.


An Israeli lobby guy named Trevor Chinn gave 62K to Keir Starmer’s leadership campaign.

There is a high chance Starmer doesn't want to even come close to the whole Israel vs Palestein argument because it would remind people of Labour problems.


wat0n wrote: I agree, I'm fairly sure he doesn't want to get into that sort of argument again.


Keir Tory Starmer wrote:I am a Zionist without reservation.


JohnRawls wrote:Palestein.


If I wrote it that way wat0n would've called me an anti-Semite two pages ago. :D

wat0n wrote:It is to claim they have a "firm grip" over US foreign policy, which is what skinster claimed.


To U.S. foreign policy in West Asia AKA "the war on terror" they most definitely do. And you would know that if you read that paper on the Israeli lobby by Walt & Mearsheimer. And if you read the paper by the PNAC agenda about this war on terror. And if you remember which state was pushing hard for the war in Iraq before it happened. The same state has been doing the same on Iran too and was behind Trump's tearing up of a recent American deal with Iran. But perhaps these are coincidences.

There has to be some point in your life when you accept the reality of what Israel does, at home to 6 million denied rights and under its vicious rule and abroad in the countries where bombs and drones and Western soldiers continue to be. And the U.K. and U.S. governments are partners to all of this too, before you go crying wolf again.

Random American wrote:I even got mail asking me to help feed Israeli settlers.


That's hilarious. :lol:

Please can you feed us extremists who illegally settle on Palestinian territory and terrorize the local population daily. Thanks!
Last edited by skinster on 30 Oct 2020 19:23, edited 1 time in total.
#15131499
Random American wrote:@wat0n

It is not lost on me that most Americans are more sympathetic to Israel, but that does not mean we should give them everything that they want regardless of the geopolitical consequences. I support Israel's right to exist as a nation, but we shouldn't give them the entire city of Jerusalem as their capital for example. At best, they should get half of the city and a massive wall to divide the two sides.


I don't really disagree about that, but again, the public doesn't seem to be all that opposed either. At most, there is some dislike of the Israel government, but that will be solved when Bibi gets dumped.

skinster wrote:To U.S. foreign policy in West Asia AKA "the war on terror" they most definitely do. And you would know that if you read that paper on the Israeli lobby by Walt & Mearsheimer. And if you read the paper by the PNAC agenda about this war on terror And if you remember which state was pushing hard for the war in Iraq before it happened. The same state has been doing the same on Iran too and was behind Trump's tearing up of a recent American deal with Iran. But perhaps these are coincidences.

There has to be some point in your life when you accept the reality of what Israel does, at home to 6 million denied rights and under its vicious rule and abroad in the countries where bombs and drones and Western soldiers continue to be. And the U.K. and U.S. governments are partners to all of this too, before you go crying wolf again.


It's funny you mention Iran, a long while ago I predicted it would get Arab states to start siding with Israel eventually. That's exactly what has been happening lately. In the future, I'm sure conspiracy theorists will bring up Israel's support for Iran in the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s to justify this development.
#15131505




wat0n wrote:I don't really disagree about that, but again, the public doesn't seem to be all that opposed either. At most, there is some dislike of the Israel government, but that will be solved when Bibi gets dumped.


I used to protest AIPAC's annual conference in Washington D.C. That one year I missed in 2017, the conference was shut down by young Jewish activists who locked themselves to the doors. It was impressive. There is a lot of opposition in America from Jews. Why, is explained here:


But you can pretend that's not happening if you like, I'm sure it'll serve you well.

It's funny you mention Iran, a long while ago I predicted it would get Arab states to start siding with Israel eventually. That's exactly what has been happening lately. In the future, I'm sure conspiracy theorists will bring up Israel's support for Iran in the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s to justify this development.


You're the conspiracy theorist here: "There's no meddling by Israel in British politics". :lol:
#15131510
skinster wrote:I used to protest AIPAC's annual conference in Washington D.C. That one year I missed in 2017, the conference was shut down by young Jewish activists who locked themselves to the doors. It was impressive. There is a lot of opposition in America from Jews. Why, is explained here:


But you can pretend that's not happening if you like, I'm sure it'll serve you well.


It still seems to be a minority of the population, based on polling at least.

skinster wrote:You're the conspiracy theorist here: "There's no meddling by Israel in British politics". :lol:


How is my claim a conspiracy theory? :eh:
#15131516
wat0n wrote:It still seems to be a minority of the population, based on polling at least.


There's a lot of anti-Israeli activism on the ground in the U.S. whether you like it or not. It's in all the universities. Students for Justice for Palestine used to be majority Arab and these days it's majority Jewish in its chapters all over the country.

Outside the universities, the fast-growing Jewish org Jewish Voice for Peace wrote:Palestinian dispossession and occupation are by design. Zionism has meant profound trauma for generations, systematically separating Palestinians from their homes, land, and each other.

Zionism, in practice, has resulted in massacres of Palestinian people, ancient villages and olive groves destroyed, families who live just a mile away from each other separated by checkpoints and walls, and children holding onto the keys of the homes from which their grandparents were forcibly exiled.

[W]e choose a different path. We learn from the anti-Zionist Jews who came before us, and know that as long as Zionism has existed, so has Jewish dissent to it. Especially as we face the violent anti-Semitism fueled by white nationalism in the United States today, we choose solidarity. We choose collective liberation. We choose a future where everyone, including Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, can live their lives freely in vibrant, safe, equitable communities, with basic human needs fulfilled. Join us.
https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/discussi ... s-zionism/


How is my claim a conspiracy theory? :eh:


Suggesting Israeli lobby groups don't meddle in U.K. politics, such as attack / attempt to bring down a popular leader in one of their major parties, for saying Palestinians deserve rights too.

The Electronic Intifada wrote:On Christmas day last year Glasman posted a video rant gloating that his organization, along with “our spies and intel” had “slaughtered” Corbyn, “the beast.”

The video proved so embarrassing to Glasman – who evidently thought it would only be seen by his friends and allies – that he attempted to have every copy on the internet removed.

YouTube did remove the copy posted by The Electronic Intifada, but restored it after two weeks when we appealed under US copyright law.

It seems that for the Israel lobby, slaughtering Corbyn once was not enough.

You can still watch the video here:



And perpetuating the antisemitism smears conspiracy, which is also dangerous. David Graeber is speaking to you here.
#15131526
skinster wrote:There's a lot of anti-Israeli activism on the ground in the U.S. whether you like it or not. It's in all the universities. Students for Justice for Palestine used to be majority Arab and these days it's majority Jewish in its chapters all over the country.


Activists are always the noisy bunch. They are rarely representative of the majority of the population.

skinster wrote:Suggesting Israeli lobby groups don't meddle in U.K. politics, such as attack / attempt to bring down a popular leader in one of their major parties, for saying Palestinians deserve rights too.



And perpetuating the antisemitism smears conspiracy, which is also dangerous. David Graeber is speaking to you here.


That's a funny way of turning the meaning of words upside down. By the way, no, I don't think there is all that much coordination between the different anti-Israel groups. The fact that they exist in both the far-left and far-right is interesting but also confirms this.
#15131530
@skinster

62k is kinda nothing for a country as large as UK. Did Starmer say anything about Israel outside the whole anti-semitism and apologies context? Does he have a stance on the conflict?
#15131538




wat0n wrote:Activists are always the noisy bunch. They are rarely representative of the majority of the population.


The activists don't matter so much so the Israeli government spends millions in an attempt to counter them and peaceful movements like BDS, which they attempt to criminalize around the world, with little success. You should check out the American version of The Israel Lobby documentary for more on how these lobbies work where you are.


JohnRawls wrote:@skinster

62k is kinda nothing for a country as large as UK. Did Starmer say anything about Israel outside the whole anti-semitism and apologies context? Does he have a stance on the conflict?


62K is a large campaign contribution. If you take it from a Zionist you're going to defend Zionism, like Starmer does:

Keir Tory Starmer  wrote:I am a Zionist without reservation.
#15131540
Richard Sanders & Peter Oborne wrote:Antisemitism report: By suspending Corbyn, Starmer is tearing Labour apart
The EHRC report : the evidence points at culprits other than Corbyn.

It's 35 years since Neil Kinnock established his reputation as Labour opposition leader with his blistering attack on Derek Hatton and the Militant Tendency.

It’s approaching a quarter of a century since Tony Blair established himself as Britain’s next prime minister by taking on the Labour left with his sensational removal of Clause 4 from the party's constitution. Both Kinnock’s evisceration of Militant and Blair’s abolition of Clause 4 were massive moments in political history.

Yesterday, another Labour leader, Keir Starmer, tried to copy the Kinnock and Blair masterstrokes.

And tried too hard.

He suspended former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, alongside whom he served as a senior member of his front bench team for several years, and in an especially sensitive post.

And for what?

'Serious failings'
Last night, it was not even clear what rule Corbyn was supposed to have broken. And while the media establishment is busy eviscerating the political corpse of Jeremy Corbyn, a closer look at the actual content of Thursday's report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission suggests he’s been done an injustice.

The report concluded that the Labour Party was guilty of "unlawful acts of harassment and intimidation" in two instances. It also found the party had breached the Equality Act of 2010 "by acts of indirect discrimination relating to political interference and a lack of adequate training."

"Our investigation has identified serious failings in leadership," the report said.

The press – en masse – has taken it as a resounding vindication of the dominant narrative of the last four years - that Corbyn abjectly failed to deal with an upsurge in antisemitism in the Labour Party after 2015, either because he was blind to the prejudices of his followers, or he was subject to them himself.

But what’s the evidence?

The findings of the report are based on 70 case studies from the period between March 2016 and May 2019.

These dates are significant. Until the spring of 2018, Labour Party headquarters was under the control of Ian McNicol, who had been general secretary since 2011. According to an internal Labour Party report, leaked to the press in March this year, McNicol and his team were ferociously hostile to the Corbyn leadership.

The inside story
Commissioned just a few months before Corbyn stood down, the report was entitled: "The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014-2019". It ran to 851 pages and drew on tens of thousands of internal emails and WhatsApp messages. It cited numerous examples of vitriolic, often foul-mouthed abuse towards the leadership team.

The report was widely denounced as an attempt at self-justification by a disgraced and dying regime. But it’s notable that the superb and meticulously researched Left Out, The Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn, by Times journalists Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire, tells much the same story.

The "bureaucracy at Southside (Labour HQ) had been acting as if they were a law – and organisation – unto themselves," wrote Pogrund and Maguire. They detailed how, during the 2017 election, officials, including Sam Matthews – who headed the disputes team that handled antisemitism complaints – were secretly “funnelling hundreds of thousands of pounds of resources into the seats of devout opponents of the leadership."

In other words, for two thirds of the period under investigation by the EHRC, Labour HQ and the complaints procedure were under the control of individuals not just resistant to the authority of the leadership but, allegedly, working actively to undermine it. Remarkably, the EHRC report makes absolutely no reference to this context at all.

Absence of context
The leaked Labour party report further claimed that, prior to the spring of 2018 – under the McNicol regime - Labour HQ was appallingly lax in its handling of antisemitism complaints. It lays out, in great detail, evidence of lengthy delays and says that, between November 2016 and February 2018, there were at least 170 complaints that were not acted on at all, which it says the leader’s office was unaware of at the time.

In one of its most remarkable passages, the EHRC simply reproduces these allegations, almost verbatim, along with the accompanying statistics. It then briefly states: "Some former staff members denied these allegations of inaction," before adding: "Delays in progressing complaints were also common in our complaint sample."

This is vital. Matthews, McNicol and a number of other employees from Labour Party HQ at this time were the leading "whistleblowers" in Panorama’s enormously influential Is Labour Anti-Semitic? programme in July 2019. When the Corbyn leadership pushed back against their claims, Matthews and others took them to court. Earlier this year, Starmer apologised to them and settled out of court, paying them large sums of money.

Yet the EHRC report appears to be accepting the leaked report’s version of events prior to the spring of 2018 and rejecting theirs – while nevertheless holding Corbyn responsible for their inaction. Matthews has always fiercely rejected the leaked report’s allegations. He and other staff claimed that their work was hampered by continual interference from the leader’s office.

The EHRC report also alleges unwarranted interference by Corbyn’s team. It says this happened in 23 of the 70 cases it studied. But in many of the examples it cites it is clear the leader’s office was interfering, not to prevent investigations for antisemitism, but to speed them up.

This was true in particular of the case of Ken Livingstone, one of the two individuals whose behaviour the EHRC ruled constituted "harassment and intimidation".

The EHRC acknowledges this but says it is irrelevant. "The inappropriateness of political interference in antisemitism complaints is not necessarily about the particular outcomes that it led to, but rather the contamination (and/or the perception of contamination) of the fairness of the process," it says.

Leadership interference
Ten of the 23 cases where the leadership interfered occurred in the interregnum between McNicol, who stood down as general secretary in February 2018, and Jennie Formby, a Corbyn loyalist who took over in April that year. The leader’s office always claimed they were invited by the disputes team to offer opinions at this time, which Matthews and others have disputed.

"It does not matter for our analysis whether the formal process was instigated by LOTO [Leader of the Opposition] staff or by GLU [Governance and Legal Unit] staff," the EHRC report says. "They were all Labour Party employees acting in the course of their employment when they set up this system, therefore the Labour Party is responsible for their actions."

There was, in fact, a sharp rise in the number of suspensions for antisemitism during this period of increased leadership interference. Again, the report entirely fails to mention the political significance of the transition from McNicol and Formby. Indeed, neither McNicol, Matthews or anyone else in senior positions at party HQ before April 2018 is mentioned by name at any point in the EHRC report.

Soon after Formby took over, Matthews and a number of other staff members resigned. Matthews has said he was effectively driven out by officials less keen to confront antisemitism and told Panorama he contemplated suicide. From the spring of 2018 onwards, with Formby in control, the number of formal investigations, suspensions and expulsions for antisemitism all rose exponentially.

Forty five members were expelled in 2019, compared to one in 2017, according to Labour party statistics.

The EHRC acknowledges these figures are broadly in line with its own findings and also accepts that improvements were made in a number of areas. It states firmly that significant inadequacies remained through 2019 and 2020, particularly as regards the training of staff handling antisemitism cases. But it is impossible to read the report carefully without concluding that the bulk of its criticisms relate to the period before April 2018.

Echoing many of the allegations in the leaked internal report, it says the party had a policy of not pursuing complaints based on social media shares or likes until "mid 2018". It says the complaints procedure lacked resources "until 2018", though it stresses "more remains to be done". And it says "there was no consistent or reliable system for recording antisemitism complaints … before 2018."

Blaming Corbyn - again

In large measure Corbyn is being held responsible for the failures of party officials who were not just his political opponents, but also among his principal accusers when it came to allegations of antisemitism.

He is being simultaneously condemned for failing to show leadership, and for interfering in the complaints procedure – even when that interference was aimed at speeding up investigations.

In a statement responding to the EHRC report, Corbyn said reforms to the party’s processes for handling complaints were "stalled by an obstructive party bureaucracy… From 2018," he said, "Jennie Formby and a new NEC that supported my leadership made substantial improvements, making it much easier and swifter to remove antisemites. My team acted to speed up, not hinder the process."

It's worth highlighting one other fact buried away in the detail of the report. The EHRC "identified concerns about fairness to the respondent [that’s the person being complained against) in 42 of the 70 sample files."

The EHRC’s conclusions may or may not be legally valid. Legal challenges are being considered. But common sense and natural justice surely cry out against them. The EHRC’s failure to even reference the significance of the transfer of power at party HQ between February and April 2018 has facilitated obfuscation and lazy reporting.

A mortal wound
Middle East Eye was present on a conference call with the authors of the EHRC report and almost 30 other journalists on Thursday morning.

The questioning largely focused on why the report had not been tougher, personally, on Corbyn. Not one journalist probed the inconsistencies, contradictions or omissions of the report.

Starmer clearly believes he has now firmly established his own political identity and laid the foundations for the transformation of Labour’s electoral prospects – in the mould of Kinnock and Blair.

It may be that he has simply destroyed his reputation for moral and intellectual integrity – and inflicted a mortal wound on the soul of his party.
https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/e ... orbyn-soul
Last edited by skinster on 30 Oct 2020 23:35, edited 2 times in total.
#15131541
skinster wrote:The activists don't matter so much so the Israeli government spends millions in an attempt to counter them and peaceful movements like BDS, which they attempt to criminalize around the world, with little success. You should check out the American version of The Israel Lobby documentary for more on how these lobbies work where you are.


:lol:

The Israeli politicians who do so are simply playing to their base.
#15131554
Random American wrote:Our constitution is outdated, but the First Amendment is very good in that regard by making it hard to ban certain types of political speech.

This is completely untrue. The first amendment did not protect free speech. The states were left free to restrict speech and did so.
#15131555
Rich wrote:This is completely untrue. The first amendment did not protect free speech. The states were left free to restrict speech and did so.

It is now applicable to the states with the due process clause in the 14th amendment. The states used to have that power.

Edit:
skinster wrote:That's hilarious. :lol:

Please can you feed us extremists who illegally settle on Palestinian territory and terrorize the local population daily. Thanks!

Of course they don't frame it like that and use manipulative language to get people to donate because most Americans don't want Israel to conquer everything to bring about end times despite their disproportionate influence on our government.

Anyway, on the Palestine issue, I support a two state solution.
#15131590
Random American wrote:In my view though, you guys should focus more on economic policies instead of jumping to support the next thing that just happens to oppose the west. Opposition to neoliberalism is appealing, but unsavory comments and actors are not.


I hardly think an expression of sympathy from before Corbyn was leader - which has since been revised - amounts to support. Additionally, it's easy to ignore the Palestinian cause and only express support for their self-determination when asked, but the amount of land not under Israeli control shrinks and divides every day, as Israel colonises more and more Palestinian areas. If ever there was a time to actively stand up for the people of Palestine, it is now.
#15131623
wat0n wrote:Have you seen how popular Israel is in the court of public opinion? As long as this kind of support remains high, it's unlikely you will see any moves away from it.

This didn't just happen in a vacuum. The alliance of pro-Israel lobby groups and and right wing Christian fundamentalists (think Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority) has been relentlessly pushing the message thst Israel is the Only Democracy In The Middle East™ for the last 40 years, while there has been almost no prominent outlet presenting an alternative view. This will obviously influence public opinion on the matter.

The simple fact is, prior to the 1960s, America was of course sympathetic to Israel. But since then, the relationship has gone far, far beyond any rational alliance. I can't imagine the fallout if Britain was caught recruiting spies in the NSA, for example, but when Israel did exactly that with Jonathan Pollard in the 1980s, you actually had American politicians taking Israel's side! To pretend that relentless lobbying has had no impact on this ridiculous state of affairs is an insult to the intelligence.

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