A West Midlands Unite activist hascriticised Holocaust Memorial Day for ignoring the “Palestinian genocide”.
Steve Price wrote that he thought the national commemoration day dedicated to the remembrance of the six million Jews and other minority groups who were murdered by the Nazis should take into account Black Lives Matter, slavery, imperialism and “Palestinian genocide”.
“We are all deeply scarred by what the Nazis did to the Jews... And to the communists, the trade unionists, the Roma, the gay community, and the disabled. But this ‘memorial’ is too narrow,” he wrote. “Don’t Black Lives Matter, then? Can we talk about slavery, and reparations please. Can we talk about the violent bloody legacy of imperialism, of conquest and genocide after genocide?
“So, yesterday was ‘Australia Day’. Wave your f***in flag. Did you know there were protests about the shameful genocide of the native Australians? And how about the Native Americans, in the land of the free? And most poignantly, can we talk about the historic, and ONGOING, Palestinian genocide.”
Mr Price was allegedly involved in a 2018 plot to try to unseat moderate enemies of Jeremy Corbyn. Last week, it was revealed that Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge asked the police to investigate Unite over a series of emails suggesting it may have unlawfully funded political campaigns to topple the former leader’s opponents.
The BBC reported it had seen an email sent by Mr Price in February 2018 to Unite Assistant General Secretary Howard Beckett. In the email, Mr Price reportedly outlined a plan to “put the skids” under former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, as well as former minister John Spellar. It was also claimed that in another email, Mr Price wrote that it had been agreed that he would be paid but he needed a “form of words to describe what I’m (not) doing”. Ms Hodge said: “In these emails, it appears Unite officials, including Howard Beckett, were deliberately orchestrating the deselection of longstanding Labour MPs. They reportedly did this by funnelling money through their solicitors, who might not have been aware this was being planned.”
The JC has learnt that Mr Price has posted a number of times on Facebook about Jews, Israel and antisemitism, and is a supporter of Jewish Voice for Labour.
In a post on 23 July, 2018 he attacked Ms Hodge, who was facing disciplinary action for calling Jeremy Corbyn an antisemite. Sharing an article in which the then-shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said the investigation should be dropped, Mr Price wrote: “Margaret Hodge. Here we go again. Why is JMac backing off on this — how is it okay to abuse Corbyn like that. Disgusting. The right wing use ‘disrepute’ charges against the left all the time, but if ever there was a justifiable case...”
Mr Price wrote that Mr Corbyn was being subjected to a “witch-hunt” over antisemitism and “persecution” over his links to terror group Hamas, whom he had described as “friends”. In another post he targeted Jewish philanthropist Sir Trevor Chinn, attacking him for donating £50,000 to support Sir Keir Starmer’s campaign and drawing attention to the fact that Sir Trevor was a “long-time supporter of Labour Friends of Israel and on the executive of the Jewish Leadership Council”.
Other posts shared by Mr Price included a picture which described Israel as having “no history”, only “criminal history”, and others in which he posed alongside Chris Williamson, who resigned from Labour after being suspended in a row over the party’s handling of allegations of antisemitism .
Unite claims that it never accepted Mr Price’s deselection campaign proposals and no payments were made. Unite and Mr Beckett have both denied unlawfully spending union funds on campaigns to deselect moderate Labour MPs.
In a statement to the BBC, Mr Beckett said: “Margaret Hodge is making a political stunt. She’s obviously doing it because of the fact that there is a Unite general secretary election. She opposes my candidature; she supports someone else in the race.”