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Labour's McCarthyite Purge Continues As Actor Suspended Amidst False Antisemitism Scare

The purge of anti-Zionist activists from the Labour Party has claimed another scalp, the actor John Davies aka Johnny Beggs being suspended as part of the ongoing false antisemitism scare.

Davies, who has appeared in Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, was suspended by the party following allegations he had “questioned the loyalty” of “Jewish MPs” in an attack on Ruth Smeeth MP.

While accusations of Jewish dual loyalty is a legitimate antisemitic trope, this trope centres around the accusation that Jews are more loyal to “world Jewry” and their fellow Jews as opposed to their home nation.

This is not the claim that Davies makes. Davies’ words directly reference “socialism” and “the Labour Party” as the places that Ruth Smeeth’s loyalties don’t lie.

“Ruth Smeeth worked for BRITCOM, an Israel advocacy group. She either lied about Marc Wadsworth or has hearing difficulties  — nothing Marc said was remotely antisemitic. Her prime interests are neither socialism nor the Labour Party — they lie elsewhere.”

John Davies, writing as Johnny Beggs on Facebook

Widely debunked as a far-right Israeli conspiracy theory, the fake “antisemitism crisis” in Labour has been used by pro-Israel groups within Labour, some with extensive links to the far-right Netanyahu government, to quell criticism of Israeli actions and in an attempt to portray pro-Palestinian leader Jeremy Corbyn in a negative light.

A 2017 YouGov poll clearly shows that 32% of Labour members surveyed endorsed an antisemitic statement. Still too high a number, yet 40% of Conservative Party members endorsed the same and 39% of UKIP members.

In fact, as highlighted by Skwawkbox, antisemitism has fallen under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, as all commonsense would tell observers it should have done, Corbyn being a noted anti-racist campaigner.

A more detailed breakdown of the YouGov data

A further study in 2017 by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) found that those on the left were no more likely than average to hold antisemitic attitudes.

“Levels of antisemitism among those on the left-wing of the political spectrum, including the far-left, are indistinguishable from those found in the general population. Yet, all parts of those on the left of the political spectrum – including the ‘slightly left-of-centre,’ the ‘fairly left-wing’ and the ‘very left-wing’ – exhibit higher levels of anti-Israelism than average. The most antisemitic group on the political spectrum consists of those who identify as very right-wing: the presence of antisemitic attitudes in this group is 2 to 4 times higher compared to the general population…

Surveys of attitudes towards ethnic and religious minorities… 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.

Institute for Jewish Policy Research

Jewish Voice for Labour, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jewish Socialists’ Group, Jewdas and Independent Jewish Voices have all condemned suggestions that Labour are 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.

“I wholeheartedly support the right of anyone to criticise Israel without being branded antisemitic.”

Noam Chomsky on the expulsion of activist Jackie Walker

Just yesterday, Richard Burgon was forced to apologise for naming Zionism as an “enemy of peace”, a fully justified comment in the face of statistics that show that approximately 10,000 Palestinians have been killed since 2000 by Israeli actions, 2,200 of them children. During that same period, an astonishing 100,000 Palestinians have been wounded.

In these dark days when the shadow of fascism looms large once again across Europe, when populist rhetoric echoes from the likes of UKIP, France’s National Rally, Spain’s Vox and Italy’s Lega Nord, when will Labour start taking a real stance against those in the Party who trumpet the far-right ideology of the state Israel?

It is quite telling that suspensions only come for MPs, activists and Labour members who oppose this murderous regime, yet none have been suspended for supporting racism, apartheid and colonialism from the state of Israel. Is claiming that Ruth Smeeth is disloyal to socialism and Labour really a bigger offence that supporting the genocidal actions of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli far-right? it would seem so.

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