CST demands Labour 'take action' over anti-Zionist activist's 'disgusting slur' of British Jews

Moshe Machover accuses 'pro-Israel lobby' of driving attacks on Jeremy Corbyn


An antisemitism watchdog has condemned a prominent anti-Zionist campaigner's "disgusting slur", after he said the "pro-Israel lobby" was exploiting the legacy of the Holocaust to try to silence criticism of the country.

In an interview with an American online news channel, Moshe Machover, a Hampstead and Kilburn Labour Party member also claimed the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs were "driving" an "immense public campaign" in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn's adoption of new guidelines on antisemitism, which has provoked outrage among the Jewish community.

Labour adopted the guidelines in place of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of Jew hate, which sets out how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic.

A Community Security Trust spokesman told the JC Labour had to "take action" using their new antisemtism code over Mr Machover's "disgusting slur" to British Jews.

Mr Machover, a retired Israeli-born Professor, was expelled by Labour in October last year over an article he wrote entitled 'Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism' which quoted  Reinhard Heydrich, one of Hitler’s most notorious lieutenants.

But his expulsion, for alleged membership of the Communist Party of Great Britain whose newspaper the Weekly Worker he wrote the offending article for, was overturned, and he has been allowed back into Labour.

Discussing the campaign against Labour's new code, in an interview aired by online broadcaster The Real News Channel, Mr Machover said: "The view of the pro-Israel lobby is that antisemitism is something that is 'sui generis' - it is not like any form of racism.

"Just as they like to claim the Holocaust, the genocide in effect of Jews under the Nazi regime in Europe is not a genocide, it cannot be compared or even discussed with other cases of genocide but it is just something on its own.

 "It's a kind of object outside of general history - it shouldn't be discussed in connection with any other genocides.

"You know, it is to make Israel, in effect, something special, and Israeli supporters something special. This is part other ideology."

Mr Machover also claimed Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs had driven an "immense public campaign" in the UK against Labour's new guidelines on antisemitism.

And he said the code would "not stop the attacks" on Mr Corbyn which are motivated by "animals" of "conservative anti-Corbynites within the Party and in British society."

Praising the new code as a "right step in the right direction", Mr Machover said Labour had failed to adopt some of the IHRA examples of antisemitism "associated with the definition that explicitly conflate antisemitism with anti-Zionism or discuss attack on the Israeli Zionist regime."

He added: "For those various parts of the Israel lobby and the conservative establishment inside and outside the party the main point is to ring fence Israel and the Zionist project of colonialisation against criticism.

"They are not really interested in antisemitism per se. . This is not why they have made this immense public campaign part of which is motorised or driven from Israel via the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs."

Assessing the criticism of Mr Corbyn further, Mr Machover added: "It is not only the conservatives within the Party that are attacking him - it is sort of a joining together of conservatives and Zionists within the Labour Party as well as the conservative Jewish establishment, the self-proclaimed leadership of the Jewish community here and also forces without.

"I mean like the whole establishment."

He added: “Unfortunately after adopting what is a fairly good document, what is an advance on what the pro-Zionist pro-Israel lobby demanded - it is better than what they demanded - but it left the back door open by saying it will go on discussing with pro-Israel groups, essentially the Israel lobby on how to improve the formulation they adopted.

"So they actually inviting the Israeli lobby to continue its pressure on the Labour Party."

A CST spokesman told the JC: "Criticism of the Labour Party's new code has come from the Board of Deputies, JLC, CST, the Jewish Labour Movement, the Chief Rabbi and dozens of Rabbis from across the religious spectrum.

"For Machover to dismiss this as simply the 'Israeli lobby' working to stop criticism of Israel is a disgusting slur on British Jews.

"If Labour want to demonstrate that their new code is really as strong as they claim, let them prove it by taking action here."

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