During an interview on BBC Radio 4, Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh appeared to equate anti-capitalism with antisemitism. And speaking to The Canary, another Labour source condemned her comments as “absurd”.
“To be anti-capitalist you have to be antisemitic”
McDonagh accused people who take issue with capitalism of being unable to take antisemitism seriously, saying:
I’m not sure that some people in the Labour Party can. Because it’s very much part of their politics, of hard left politics, to be against capitalists and to see Jewish people as the financiers of capital. Ergo you are anti-Jewish people.
Presenter John Humphrys then asked:
In other words, to be anti-capitalist you have to be antisemitic?
McDonagh replied “yes”, before saying:
Not everybody, but there is a certain… there’s a certain strand of it. These people are not Labour, have never been Labour, but we now find them in our party.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
In response, a Labour source told The Canary:
It is absurd and damaging to equate challenging the inequalities and injustices of an economic system with antisemitism.
This is an ongoing problem. McDonagh is far from the only anti-Jeremy Corbyn figure to misuse the term “antisemitism”. Labour MP Jess Phillips recently accused Young Labour of antisemitism for tweeting the phrase “Joan Ryan Gone – Palestine Lives”. But correcting the record, grassroots group Jewish Voice for Labour told The Canary:
Joan Ryan is a non-Jewish MP whose activities as chair of Labour Friends of Israel have pitted her repeatedly against supporters of justice for Palestine… Yoking her resignation with the slogan “Palestine Lives” seems entirely justifiable and carries no hint of hostility towards Jews. The fact that the tweet seems to have been removed is a reflection of the gagging of pro-Palestinian voices that Ryan and her allies promote.
It’s not just that allegations like these smear citizens who take issue with the banking industry and inequality. They also risk undermining genuine instances and genuine concerns about antisemitism in Labour and wider society.
Featured image via YouTube – Siobhain McDonagh
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?