Chris Williamson has quit the Labour Party after the ruling National Executive Committee decided that he wouldn’t be allowed to stand again as the Labour Party candidate in Derby North.
Williamson had been one of the primary victims of the “antisemitism” conspiracy theory that has been utilised by the Israeli far-right and centrist Jeremy Corbyn critics in an attempt to portray criticism of Israel’s policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide in Palestine as antisemitism.
Chris has now decided to quit the party and contest his Derby North constituency as an independent socialist candidate after the ruling from the NEC, a decision that defied a High Court ruling in October that Williamson’s resuspension in June was illegal.
Williamson had originally been suspended in February after booking a room to show the Witch Hunt documentary at the Houses of Parliament, opponents such as Tom Watson and Ruth Smeeth using the incident as a pretext to rid themselves of Williamson. The Derby MP had seen himself made a long-term target through his unwavering support for Jeremy Corbyn and Palestine.
Witch Hunt exposes the true origins of the allegations of antisemitism within the Labour Party and explores the Israeli regime’s global support and alliance with the far-right as the state attempts to silence criticism of their genocidal policies in Palestine.
While the position of the NEC might be understandable as they seek to avoid negative headlines from a press who have willingly printed the ongoing smears, the decision flies in the face of socialist solidarity.
Sections of the right-wing and far-right press are determined to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and the socialist revival and have found great success with the “antisemitism” conspiracy theory. The move to block Williamson from standing is not going to stop the attacks and has caused a sizeable amount of anger amongst loyal Labour grassroots activists and voters.
While the socialist movement grows stronger and the truth about Israel and Palestine becomes clearer, opponents will seek ever-increasingly harsh retaliation as they attempt to quell the revival and supress the truth. Chris Williamson’s resignation is a tragedy to the party and he has been treated abysmally, the affair showing how much work there is still yet to do. Labour supporters must for now come together and get behind the election campaign that promises to elect more socialist candidates to parliament. However, following the election, there is sure to be a reckoning.
The claims of widespread antisemitism have long since been proven to be a fabrication, with those pushing the agenda known to be members of far-right Zionist and Islamophobic groups with links to the likes of the EDL and Tommy Robinson and those opposed to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.
In 2017, the landmark Al Jazeera series The Lobby exposed the Israeli regime’s interference in the British political process. Undercover footage showed Shai Masot, senior political officer at the Israeli embassy, plotting to “takedown” the Conservative MP Alan Duncan. The video goes on to show Masot informing Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan that he has access to “more than 1 million pounds” of Israeli funding to bring sympathetic politicians to Israel for junkets.
The implication of financial rewards and favours for positions sympathetic toward the far-right Israeli government is made quite clear in the documentary as is the extent of the links between Labour Friends of Israel and the Israeli government, other footage showing Labour activists discussing the apartheid state’s role in backing their activities.
The Lobby stands as a piece of primary evidence against the so-called “antisemitism crisis”, a theory now widely debunked as the machinations of the Israeli government and sympathisers in the Labour Party, including both those who are actually pro-Israel and those merely opposed to the socialist leadership of jeremy Corbyn.
Jewish Voice for Labour, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jewish Socialists’ Group, Jewdas and Independent Jewish Voices have all condemned suggestions that Labour is antisemitic, all stating that the accusations are designed to conflate antisemitism with criticism of Israel and undermine the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Prominent Jewish thinkers Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein have also added their weight to the criticism.
The purge that forced out Chris Williamson has seen the suspension or expulsion of dozens of pro-Palestinian, anti-racist and anti-apartheid campaigners including Jackie Walker, journalist Asa Winstanley, Marc Wadsworth and the actor John Graham Davies. There were also been calls for Richard Burgon to resign after he correctly labelled Zionism as an “enemy of peace”.
In May the Orwellian campaign saw Peter Willsman being suspended from the party for highlighting the fact that the “antisemitism” conspiracy theory is being pushed by far-right Israeli extremists and “indirectly” from the Israeli embassy.
Israel has openly admitted using such tactics in their propaganda war against critics.
“Vaknin-Gil Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs [has] stated ‘I want to create a community of fighters,’… She said she planned to ‘flood the internet’ with Israeli propaganda that would be publicly distanced from the government. Vaknin-Gil conceded that BDS activists’ human rights arguments are so compelling at the grassroots in Europe and the US that ‘over there, unless we will do something, we will lose.'”Dorset Eye
The fact that LFI is essentially a propaganda exercise for the Israeli government is almost undeniable at this stage and not only linked to ongoing interference in the British political process but also engages in the dissemination of propaganda and conspiracy theories in an effort to undermine the democratically elected leader of the opposition.
The fact that Labour Friends of Israel even exists is a scandal.
Israel is a state in violation of numerous international laws, it is a state that has, since 2000, been responsible for 10,000 Palestinian deaths, 2,500 of them children. It has shown a willingness to promote interference in the political process and spread false propaganda to undermine the leadership of the party.
In 2001, Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith ordered the Monday Club to suspend it’s links to the Tories until such time as the group proved it was not a racist endeavour. Perhaps it’s time that the Labour Party took similar action against the Labour Friends of Israel. The group is hugely opposed by grassroots Labour and has done little beyond undermining the Party, the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and facilitated the suspension and expulsion of countless socialists and human rights activists.