The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, reportedly gave a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament to Labour Party member Tapash Abu Shaim, who has a history of allegedly promoting antisemitic conspiracies. Representatives from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) were also reportedly on the tour, which took place on 17th May 2012.
In a tweet of thanks, Mr Abu Shaim wrote: “You are best tourist guide Mr @JeremyCorbyn . Your knowledge about your history so deep and clear.” Mr Corbyn responded in a tweet the next day, writing: “@TapashAbuShaim @PSCupdates It was a pleasure showing PSC supporters round the vagaries of Parliament & British history last night; thanks!” Both tweets are still on Twitter.
In February, we released a report which exposed antisemitism inside the PSC.
The Labour Party was apparently informed about Mr Abu Shaim’s social media activity in August but it appears that no action was taken. Concerns were reportedly raised last year over his attendance at the Labour Conference in 2016. Guido Fawkes also revealed that Mr Abu Shaim manned a Palestine Solidarity Campaign stall at the recent Labour Party conference. The exhibition stall and desk was apparently inside the conference centre secure zone. According to Guido Fawkes, Labour has now launched an investigation into Mr Abu Shaim’s behaviour.
Mr Abu Shaim’s promotion of antisemitic conspiracies on social media has been well documented. According to political website, Guido Fawkes, just four months before Mr Corbyn gave Mr Abu Shaim the guided tour of Parliament, Mr Abu Shaim reportedly posted on Facebook: “9/11 Truth could be the answer to the Israel/Palestine conflict”, along with a link to an article by Veterans Today, a far-right US website which publishes antisemitic conspiracy myths.
In the wake of the January 2015 Paris terror attack, in which people were murdered at the office of Charlie Hebdo and at a kosher supermarket, Mr Abu Shaim reportedly posted: “US politician Jack Lindblad claims Charlie Hebdo killings were ‘by US and Mossad’ to keep Israel’s Netanyahu in power.” In another post, he reportedly claimed that ISIS really stands for “International Solidarity for Israeli Sentiment”. He shared yet another which read: “confirmed ISIS is a Mossad united state of IsraHELL creation.”
The Labour Party introduced new rules at its conference making it easier to expel antisemites from the Party, however the Conference saw ugly scenes including a room applauding a call to be allowed to deny that the Holocaust happened, and shouting “Throw them out” in response to a speaker urging the expulsion of the Party’s Jewish grouping. Despite this, Jeremy Corbyn failed to mention antisemitism at all in his Conference speech.
A Labour Party spokesperson is quoted by Guido Fawkes as saying: “We are an anti-racist party and condemn in the strongest possible terms antisemitism and all forms of discrimination – they have no place in our Party. Our recent rule change at [our] Annual Conference shows the Party is taking a proactive approach to tackling antisemitism. This rule change will strengthen our disciplinary proceedings and help the Party uphold its core values of equality, solidarity and inclusion.”