One well-aimed Twitter thread is all it took to destroy the Labour NEC’s shameful decision on antisemitism

Jeremy Corbyn
Support us and go ad-free

For many in the Labour party – and that probably includes Jeremy Corbyn – the National Executive Committee’s (NEC) decision to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism with all its examples is a major blow.

And if you want a concise rundown on why the NEC’s decision is not only wrong, but also a spectacular self-own, look no further than Palestine/Israel specialist and seasoned anti-Zionist Jamie Stern-Weiner‘s Twitter feed.

Packing punches

Regularly cutting through the conflation of antisemitism and anti-Zionism in his research and on social media, Stern-Weiner presented the NEC with a powerful reminder that Labour should answer to its members, not its would-be saboteurs:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Associate global editor at Daily Mail Online Jake Wallis Simons was just one of the many right-wing commentators to relish the idea of using the IHRA examples (not the definition, Jake) to renew attacks on Corbyn.

So much for wiping the slate clean…

But many on the NEC, including Momentum founder Jon Lansman, appeared to be sure that by adopting the examples, the party would finally be able to turn to more important issues.

Stern-Weiner didn’t even need to make the argument that this wouldn’t be the end of the antisemitism row; Labour Friends of Israel did it for him:

Free speech clause

It appears that the NEC’s attempts to counter suppression of free speech on Palestine/Israel by including a “freedom of expression on Israel” clause has become the new stick to beat Labour with.

And – surprise, surprise – one of Corbyn’s most scathing critics, Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge, swung it with all her might:

Perhaps the NEC thought the ruling would satisfy Dame Hodge and her fellow critics and the “toothless free speech caveat” would protect Labour members. Wrong:

Only the beginning

But surely groups like the Jewish Leadership Council would back off now that Labour had caved in to their demands? Wrong again:

Did anyone really think that the debate would cool down following the decision?

Instead of being the beginning of the end of Labour’s antisemitism row, according to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, it was “only the beginning”:

Bad faith

Whether the NEC made the decision to adopt all of the IHRA examples in good faith or not, Stern-Weiner’s thread goes a long way to highlighting their cataclysmic mistake.

Describing the creation of Israel as a “racist endeavour” can now get you banned from Labour. That’s despite the fact that such an opinion is mainstream among academics, non-Zionist Jews, and most importantly Palestinians.

The decision is a disservice to Labour members and progressives around the country. And if the NEC continues to cave in to those who wish to depose a socialist leadership instead of meaningfully tackling antisemitism, the party is in for an even rougher ride.

And sadly with rulings like this, it’s not completely underserved.

Get Involved

– Support the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Also find out more about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. And see previous Canary articles on Israel.

– Appreciate the work we do at The Canary? Please consider supporting us

Featured image via WikiCommons/YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

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?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed