The British “NGO” Campaign Against Antisemitism has posted a petition online that proclaims Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as “unfit to hold any public office”. But who exactly are the Campaign Against Antisemitism?
Far-right groups have long attempted to use the mask of just causes to hide their true intentions. During the First World War the proto-fascist group the British Empire Union successfully conflated Judaism with the anti-German sentiment generated by war, subsequent groups masked antisemitism behind crusades against “Russian agents” and more recently we have seen the likes of the EDL championing the fight against terrorism and paedophilia to mask their own Islamophobia.
Pro-Israel groups have also utilised the same tactics, masking their support for Israel and the policies of the apartheid state behind a veil of championing the very legitimate struggles against the likes antisemitism and fake news. Ironically, these groups not only seek to conflate Judaism and Zionism but also promote fake news and propaganda as they try and excuse the abominable policies of Israel.
Originally formed during Israel’s murderous 2014 war on Gaza, the CAA was formed “in response to the rise in attacks against Jews across Europe and the UK during the Gaza conflict”, while critics contend that its actual purpose was to stop criticism of Israeli actions during that conflict, attempting to conflate legitimate criticism with antisemitism.
A mere dip into the rabidly pro-Zionist world of the Campaign Against Antisemitism shows that the concerns of this “charity” are far from the legitimate fight against real antisemitism they proclaim, frequently targeting pro-Palestine and socialist activists.
Speaking to the BBC’s Daily Politics, legendary filmmaker Ken Loach said that he been a Labour Party member for 50 years and had “never in that whole time heard a single anti-Semitic word or a racist word” and that recent smears have been “without validation or any evidence”. The CAA’s response was immediate, accusing Loach of engaging in “discourse that enables anti-Semitism and the dissemination of anti-Semitic ideas”.
Others targeted include Diane Abbott, Ken Livingstone and of course Jeremy Corbyn. While the CAA website features 39 individuals from the Labour Party, it features just 2 from the BNP, 5 from UKIP and none from the other less well known far-right extremist parties in the UK.
The CAA keeps a record of alleged “antisemitic” incidents on their website, some of the crimes mentioned include “sharing an article on Facebook titled “how Israeli lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis”, “using a cartoon to portray Israelis as the new Nazis”, Tweeting “…anyone feel the strong arm of the Israel lobby?”, Tweeting “#Israel regime and army are increasingly assuming the arrogance and genocidal character of the #Nazis. Curious and strong irony here”, accusing “Israel of seeking to exploit Syria’s civil war by seeking to obtain oil from Syrian territory” and many, many other incidents of criticism of Israeli actions which have been conflated and combined with legitimate incidents of antisemitism, all as an effort to muddy the water between the truth and the propaganda based fiction.
In 2017, the CAA proclaimed that “New CAA research shows antisemitism amongst officials in Labour is tight times worse than any other party”, making the absurdist and ideology betraying suggestion that “80% of cases were in parties of the progressive left”, fingering Labour, the Greens, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats as perpetrators.
Their own claims would be debunked when the results of their 2017 “antisemitism barometer” would be revealed. Published annually from between 2015 and 2017, the Campaign Against Antisemitism commissioned a YouGov poll to discover the levels of antisemitism amongst the British population with the data able to be broken down to show how this differed across different political parties. The results were enlightening.
The 2017 poll (released in 2018) showed clearly that Labour Party members were less inclined toward antisemitism than Conservative Party and UKIP members and that levels of antisemitism in the party had fallen since Jeremy Corbyn became the leader. These facts were there for all to see, yet perhaps not what the Campaign Against Antisemitism wanted to hear as there have been no such polls since.
But why the focus on the “progressive left” when, as the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) said in 2017, “The most consistently found pattern across different surveys is heightened animosity towards Jews on the political right… The political left, captured by voting intention or actual voting for Labour, appears in these surveys as a more Jewish-friendly, or neutral, segment of the population.”?
Patrons of the CAA include the Conservative Party’s Eric Pickles, the Conservative Party’s Matthew Offord, the Conservative Party’s Mike Freer, the Conservative Party’s Bob Blackman and the independent MP Ian Austin. There is not one Labour or even Liberal Democrat MP who serves as a named honorary patron of the CAA. However, the CAA does boast the Zionist and prominent anti-Corbyn critic Margaret Hodge as a patron.
The Chairman of the CAA is Gideon Falter. To give us an insight into Falter’s beliefs concerning Zionism, we only need to look at his 2016 criticism of left-wing Jews. Following the claim by Chief Rabbi Marvis that Zionism is a “noble and integral part of Judaism”, a long list of prominent Jews co-signed a letter to state that anti-semitism did not equate to antisemitism. A further letter in defence of Shami Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism within the Labour party in August was signed by many of the same names.
“As Jews whose views are not represented by the chief rabbi, the Board of Deputies of British Jews or the pro-Israel lobbyists of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, we dissociate ourselves from the attacks on Chakrabarti and urge Corbyn to hold firm in implementing the positive recommendations in her report.”Letter to The Guardian by prominent Jews, August 8, 2016
Falter dismissed the concerns of the dozens of prominent Jews who signed the letter, stating that they were “a fringe assortment of British Jews” and they had committed an “antisemitic slur” against the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Gideon Falter is also a board member of the Jewish National Fund, an organisation that is “complicit in ongoing forms of land theft and ethnic cleansing“, standing accused of taking land and funding the infrastructure for illegal settlements. The JNF charter specifies reclamation of land for the Jewish people as its primary purpose.
Organised and controlled by Zionists and conservatives, the Campaign Against Antisemitism is not a neutral political voice, nor does it refrain from political activism. In August of last year, the CAA launched an almost identical petition stating “Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite and must go” which the Charity Commission ordered be reworded, reminding the CAA that noted charities must be independent of party politics. The 2018 petition of course gaining a significant amount of publicity in the far-right anti-Corbyn tabloid press.
This latest petition is yet another clear example of the Campaign Against Antisemitism involving itself directly in the political process by spreading a conspiracy theory that, as we have seen, has been widely debunked as the machinations of Labour opponents and pro-Zionist elements. The Charity Commission must now act to deregister the CAA as it becomes very clear that the organisition is a political propaganda organisation and represents neither the legitimate and important fight against antisemitism nor the interests of British Jews at large.
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Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-semitism and the Abuse of History
By Norman Finkelstein
In this long-awaited sequel to Norman Finkelstein’s bestselling “The Holocaust Industry” – Finkelstein lays into the human rights record of Israel and attacks Alan Dershowitz for poor scholarship. In “Beyond Chutzpah”, Norman Finkelstein moves from an iconoclastic interrogation of the new anti-Semitism to a meticulously researched expose of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Pointing to a consensus among historians and human rights organizations on the factual record, Finkelstein argues that so much controversy continues to swirl around the conflict because apologists for Israel contrive it. Examining the spread of distortions masquerading as history, Finkelstein scrutinizes the most recent addition to this genre, Alan Dershowitz’s “The Case for Israel” and, setting Dershowitz’s assertions on Israel’s human rights record against the findings of the mainstream human rights community, finds that Dershowitz has systematically misrepresented the facts. Thoroughly researched and tightly argued, “Beyond Chutzpah” lifts the veil of contrived controversy shrouding the Israel-Palestine conflict, enabling readers in search of a just and lasting peace to act on the basis of truth.
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