Long-Bailey sacked by Starmer supposedly over antisemitism

Rebecca Long-Bailey
John Ranson

Rebecca Long-Bailey has been dramatically sacked from Labour’s shadow cabinet after sharing an article supposedly containing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

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Party leader Keir Starmer took action after shadow education secretary Long-Bailey tweeted a link to an interview with the actress Maxine Peake.

Among many points covered in the interview in the Independent, Peake referred to the killing of George Floyd. Peake claimed: “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.” The Independent added the following note: “(A spokesperson for the Israeli police has denied this, stating that “there is no tactic or protocol that calls to put pressure on the neck or airway”.)”.

The Independent article also carries the following footnote: “UPDATE (25.06.20): A previous version of this article reported that a 2016 Amnesty International report had found that hundreds of US law enforcement officials had travelled to Israel for training. Our article also implied that this training could have included neck kneeling tactics. While it is true that US law enforcement officials have travelled to Israel for training, there has been no suggestion that this training involved the tactics referred to in the article. The article has been amended accordingly.

Labour statement

A spokesperson for the Labour leader said:

This afternoon Keir Starmer asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down from the Shadow Cabinet. The article Rebecca shared earlier today contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority. Anti-Semitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.

Long-Bailey response

Following the announcement, Long-Bailey laid out some thoughts in a Twitter thread. She made the point that Peake is a constituent of hers:

Fellow Labour MP John McDonnell said:

Throughout discussion of anti-Semitism it’s always been said criticism of practices of the Israeli state is not anti-Semitic. I don’t believe therefore that this article is or Rebecca Long-Bailey should’ve been sacked. I stand in solidarity with her.

While Jewish Momentum founder Jon Lansman described Starmer’s move as:

a reckless over-reaction from someone who promised to end factionalism in the party and political interference in disciplinary matters. Keir has now made these tasks harder.

Featured image and additional reporting by Press Association

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  • Show Comments
    1. Now that the suits have completed their repossession of the Labour Party, and the expat billionaire Media owners have completed their project to ensure permanent Conservative rule in this country (Prime Minister Johnson, for pity’s sake); anyone fancy chipping in to buy an island off the coast of Scotland where we can live in peace and quiet?

      1. I’m looking on the bright side; at least the Labour Party is branching-out beyond the usual victims of its witch-hunt and persecuting white people as well as BAME and, specifically . Jews who support human rights.
        Its is, undoubtedly, an Equal Opportunities employer.

    2. How absurd, and how disturbing, that Rebecca Long-Bailey has been sacked merely for suggesting that US ‘law-enforcement’ techniques, including the ‘knee on neck’ which led to George Floyd’s death, might have been learned from Israel.

      It seems that some people will not be satisfied until both major UK parties are as thoroughly Zionized and acquiescent as is already the case in America.

    3. Starmer is a perfect model of what the establishment wanted, he wouldn’t know a socialist principle if it slapped him in the face.

      Look at the tweets, look at the full article and please show me the anti Semite parts because I for one cannot see any. What I do see is a very well organised organisation campaign to smear and destroy.

      I hope the Unions and people who voted for Starmer realise exactly what they have done one day. People do not want a Labour Party in Government that are better at being Tories than the real ones, people want and need change where the sick get cared for without profits being stolen from care budgets, where the elderly do not die in winter because they cannot afford heating and where millions of children are not living in poverty.

      Rebecca Long Bailey must carry on, we need people like her to give us hope.

    4. I’m sorry, but RLB had to go.

      She knows that antisemitism is no.1 on the boss’s list of things to bury before the next election. She knows that any criticism of Israel is likely to be taken as antisemitism in some quarters. Before posting anything she should automatically ctrl-f Israel just in case, then just stay the hell away.

      Unless she comes out today with an unconditional and fulsome apology, I can see her being chased out of the Labour party altogether.

      This is not the first time RLB has shown a big failure of political judgement, a complete inability to “read the room”. This is the reason she didn’t get my vote in the leadership elections despite her politics being much closer to mine than Starmer’s. But now if she slips quietly away and allows the fuss to die down, she’s got some chance of rehabilitation before the next election.

      I just hope that whoever next gets the Shadow Education brief will be just as enthusiastic for a National Education Service.

      1. I gather than what you are saying is that no-one in the Labour Party should stand up for the violations being commited on a daily basis against the Palestinian people?
        To hell with critisism, to hell with human rights, just sit there and be quiet eh?
        Uncle Joe would be proud.

      2. You might have failed to realise – It was cleared by Starmer’s office before she re-tweeted it.

        And your reference to this: ‘”She knows that any criticism of Israel is likely to be taken as antisemitism in some quarters.”

        So, are you saying because ‘some people’ want to deem anything said about the Israeli state is anti-Semetic – It should never be said?

    5. What HaddersM is agreeing to is thought control. He is saying Big Brother should control Labour. That we should all refuse to tell the truth if the powerful don’t like it. That evidence must go down the memory hole. Labour is now Orwellian and kiltering to totalitarianism. It is a fact that US cops are trained in Israel. It is a fact that for many years police depts from across the country have accepted this training. It is a fact that some of it has taken place in the Occupied Territories. And it is a fact (take a look at the images all over the internet) that Israeli police put their knees on the necks of Palestinians. Okay. We have to bury the facts so we can win an election. What? What do we do then? Deny climate change? Deny the existence of poverty? Deny racism? Deny whatever is inconvenient to power? Far from R L-B keeping her mouth shut, she should have come out fighting long ago. She should have told the truth: Zionism as the policies of the Israeli State is racist. Where’s the evidence? Well, here’s Chaim Weizmann: “There is a qualitative difference between a Jew and an Arab.” Pretty clear? If I were to say: “There is a qualitative difference between a white person and black person,” would I be a racist? When Weizmann helped finesse the Balfour Declaration, he wanted the term “Jewish people” replaced by “Jewish race”. Corbyn, McDonnell and R L-B made the mistake of placating the Zionists. They should have said we are not taking any lessons in anti-racism from people who imprison 1.8 million people in the Gaza Strip because they are Arabs; people who ethnically cleansed 750, 000 Arabs at least in 1948, people who call Arabs “two-legged beasts”, people who offered to cooperate with the Nazis against the British. Yes, look it up. Lehi did exactly that in January 1941, expressing its sympathy for the “German conception” of a “New Order in Europe”. Why are we apologising to people who sided with the Nazis against the British war effort, who signed the Havarra transfer agreement which broke the economic blockade of the Nazis in August 1933? Why are we apologising to people who ignore international law, who build settlements on land seized in war? Why are we apologising to people who assassinated Folke Bernadotte, sent letters bombs to Churchill, Eden and Bevin? No apology is owed these people. Jewish physicist Wolfgang Yourgrau writing in 1943 said: “The growth of fascism in Palestine at a time when the liberated nations will put it into its grave is a tragi-comedy.” He was talking about the fascism of the Zionists. As a Hashomer Hatzair protest proclaimed at a secret meeting of the Hagana on 13th March 1946: “A Nazi is a Nazi be he a Jew or otherwise, and it is a false sentiment of the Jewish people to condemn Nazism and condone Jewish fascism.” That was Jewish people saying that. We should not apologise for a nano-second to these people. We should face down their racism, their thought control, their essential totalitarianism. Say it loud and don’t stop saying it: Zionism is racism and we will have nothing to do with it.

    6. For decades now, due to the First past the post electoral system, those on the left have been faced with a choice of the “lesser of 2 evils”. If enough sitting labour MPs form a separate party, it would challenge the status quo. That is how the original Labour Party started when voters only had a choice of Liberal or Conservative. Now is a good time with 4 years to build support before the next election.

    7. Unjust as the sacking probably is, it’s hard to feel very much. Democracy ended when Corbyn lost the election in deplorable circumstances in December, conveniently clearing the way forJohnson’s suspension of health and education services, and the inevitable bank bailouts and corporate profiteering., under cover of the coronavirus.

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