Labour members handed pamphlet comparing Israel to the Nazis

The article was distributed inside an edition of the Labour Party Marxists newspaper at the main entrance of the Brighton conference


Thousands of Labour members were handed a shocking pamphlet openly comparing Israel to Adolf Hitler's Nazis ahead of a debate on Palestine at their conference in Brighton.

An article on the front page of the booklet by Hampstead and Kilburn Labour Party official Moshe Machover stated it was a "well established fact" that "Israel is a racist state."

The same piece - which calls for the "de-Zionisation of Israel" - then makes a clear attempt to link Israel with Nazism by selectively quoting from academic sources.

It was distributed outside the main entrance of the Brighton Conference venue in the Labour Party Marxists newspaper under the headline "A racist endeavour".

Mr Machover writes that some of the "harshest condemnation of Israel's racism" were "recognised experts on the history of fascism and Nazism."

He then writes of what he calls a "shocking comparison with Nazism" made by Hebrew University Professor Zeev Sternhell of statements made in Israel's Knesset by two right-wing politicians.

Continuing this theme, Mr Machover, who successfully fought expulsion for Labour over his links to the Communist Party of Great Britain, refers to a 2017 article by Professor Daniel Blatman, who wrote that the "deputy speaker Bezalel Smotrich's admirations for the biblical genocidaire Joshua bin Nun leads him to adopt the values that resemble those of the German SS."

Tel Aviv-born Mr Machover has a previous history of using academic quotes, particularly from Israel, to support his extreme anti-Zionist position.

He concludes by writing: "Uprooting colonialist racism requires a change of regime, decolonisation - which in the case of Israel means de-Zionisation."

Labour delegates debated a motion on Palestine during Tuesday afternoon's session at conference.

During the debate, one member of the pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group was loudly cheered as she claimed she was speaking for Jews who had never experienced antisemitism.

Vanessa Stilwell, of Dulwich and West Norwood CLP, said Jeremy Corbyn was "the most anti-racist leader this party has ever had".

Referring to the situation in Gaza, the Labour activist stumbled as she attempted to detail allegations of Israeli attacks in Gaza.

Ms Stilwell is the wife of Glyn Secker - the Labour activist suspended over his 'Jews in the gutter' speech at a Palestine demo, which was exposed by the JC in May.

But despite a few cries of 'Free Palestine' from the stage, the debate was largely overshadowed by the continuing divisions over the party's position on Brexit.

In her keynote speech, Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, accused Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to create an "apartheid state" in Israel.

She also referred to the crisis in Gaza - but appeared to make a deliberate effort to stop too much focus on Israel/Palestine in a more general speech about Labour internationalism.


Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive