Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Unravelling the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey | Jewish Voice for Labour

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While the rest of the world is rocked by an anti-racist uprising, sparked by a the actions of a USA cop Derek Chauvin

– murdering George Floyd, the killer-cop kneeling on his victim’s neck for nearly nine minutes, choking him to death live on camera

A British political leader sacks a colleague who draws attention to Derek Chauvin style police misbehaviour in a faraway country which is a strong political ally of the USA – Israel.

Pictures, a thousand words…

Routine Derek Chauvin Police Behaviour in Israel

Palestinian Lives Matter

Could a copy of Sir Keir Starmer get away with this shite in most parts of Ireland?

Probably not, unless you were a leading light in the Fine Gael Party – for example Charlie Flanagan TD.

This sort of political shite might go down well with Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party.

Thousands of Labour Party members were shocked to learn that Rebecca Long-Bailey has been sacked from her position in the Shadow Cabinet based on her retweet of an interview with Maxine Peake, who is, incidentally, one of her own constituents. The allegation was that she had engaged in a “conspiracy theory that Israel was responsible for the death of George Floyd”

Is that what she did? Is that what she said? Was that even what was in the article that she retweeted? No, no and no.

Keir Starmer said this to the BBC “The sharing of that article was wrong… because the article contained anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and I have therefore stood Rebecca Long-Bailey down from the shadow cabinet.” And “I’ve made it my first priority to tackle anti-Semitism and rebuilding trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority for me.”

Where was this antisemitic conspiracy theory? Within a wide ranging interview, including discussion about her new film, what highly respected actor Maxine Peake, actually said was:

“Systemic racism is a global issue … The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”

How is it antisemitic to refer to this tactic of control? We know that knee on neck is used by Israeli (and we know it, not least because this has been photographed on many occasions). We also know that some US police forces have sent officers to Israel and/or welcomed officers from Israel as part of their training. The extent of that training has been attested to by Amnesty USA. And we do know the Minneapolis Police, responsible for the death of George Floyd was one such police force.

What we can’t know is whether that particular technique was taught to US police, and specifically to members of the Minneapolis force. Independent witnesses are not available. A spokesperson for the Israeli Police has even denied that Israeli police use it domestically – despite profuse photographic evidence to the contrary.

Despite these disputed and in some cases unknowable facts, there is enough evidence to support Maxine Peake’s inference that the knee on neck technique has an Israeli origin, with a plausible even probable transmission mechanism to the US. Coming to such a conclusion based on the available evidence is one that many people would share with Ms Peake. It is not antisemitic. It doesn’t hold Israel responsible for the death of George Floyd in any way. Many people will see such collaboration as deeply problematic. But it too is also not antisemitic.

The ongoing and widespread allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party do not have to be based on fact, and this is guilt by association to the nth degree. Yet again, this nonsense, this sending prominent Corbyn supporters to the wolves, masks the serious antisemitism in our society, some of which, does exist in the Labour Party. Pledging to address this is right, pledging to punish people (and it is almost always leftwing people) for something that only those determined to interpret every statement that refers to Israel in the slightest negative way as antisemitism is wrong and dangerous.
— Read on

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