Campaign Against Antisemitism has reported to the police a Newham councillor alleged to have posted a horrific article arguing that “The Germans were completely justified in persecuting and expelling the Jews…just as we would be today.”

We have also reported the councillor to Newham Council.

Belgica Guaña is alleged to have posted the article, titled “The Holocaust Hoax and the Jewish Promotion of Perversity”, on Facebook in 2016, two years before she became a councillor in Newham in London, where she was re-elected last week.

The article says that “The so-called ‘Holocaust’ is propaganda in an ongoing war between the Jews and those with the courage to stand up to them – a war that began with the National Socialists coming to power in Germany in the 1930s and continues to this very day. The Jews do not have the means or the numbers to defeat Europeans with the force of arms so they have to rely mainly on infiltration, subversion, and economic and psychological warfare, with the Holocaust hoax being the best example of the latter. 

“The Germans were completely justified in persecuting and expelling the Jews (which is all that was actually happening), just as we would be today. Hitler and the National Socialists freed Germany from the death grip of the Jews and gave it back to the German people.”

The essay also argues that Jews use pornography to control western societies by way of the “Holocaust hoax”, and pushes the “white genocide” conspiracy theory, as well as claiming that teenage diarist Anne Frank, murdered by the Nazis at Bergen-Belsen, was a “bisexual degenerate” whose popular diary is an “obvious fraud…laced with pornographic and sexually subversive messages”.

In May 2016, Cllr Guaña reportedly shared a post that said that “The Nazi holocaust [sic] was a crime against humanity, and the Israeli Genocide against Palestinians can not be ignored or denied,” and in December 2017, Cllr Guaña is said to have shared a video of the United Nations General Assembly, writing: “If you can have a minute of silence for the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. So how much time should I ask for the more than 50 years of invasion and oppression of the Palestinian people?” Both posts are further breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism. Other inflammatory material is also alleged to have been posted by Cllr Guaña, both before and during her term in office.

The allegation that Cllr Guaña posted the article was made in the JC, based on research by Labour Against Antisemitism. Cllr Guaña was suspended by the Labour Party on the eve of the local elections last week, reportedly a week after Labour Against Antisemitism submitted its complaint to the Party but, notably, immediately after the allegations were published in the JC.

The Labour group at Newham Council has repeatedly been the subject of controversy in relation to antisemitism allegations. In 2020, a leaked report reportedly detailed a complaint by the Council’s only Jewish member about a “culture of accepted antisemitism”, and then last year the Chair of Labour in Newham was reportedly to be investigated over alleged antisemitism, just days after his deputy was suspended over alleged antisemitic social media activity.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than four times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has this week written to the Conservative Party in relation to a disturbing pattern of incidents in the Bury North and South Conservative Association, which we and others have publicised in recent weeks.

On 17th February, it was reported that a Jewish councillor, Jordan Lewis, was deselected by the local association and was thereby unable to run with the endorsement of the Conservative Party. Ordinarily, in and of itself this would not have been a matter of concern, were it not for the pattern of incidents in the association that was to come. He was replaced by Shahbaz Mahmood Arif in the new Bury West ward, more on whom below.

On 31st March, it was reported that Dr Shadman Zaman, a prospective Conservative candidate in Besses ward, was asked to remove messages sympathetic to Jewish victims of terrorism of Israel. Although the local association claimed that it wanted to keep the election “local” and said in a statement that “Dr Shadman Zaman was not confirmed as a Besses ward candidate because of his failure to comply with instructions regarding electoral law and Party guidance and not because of any of his expressed views,” again, in view of the pattern of incidents, this defence was not entirely as believable to the Jewish community as it might otherwise have been.

On 12th April, it was reported, Sham Raja Akhtar, a Conservative candidate for Sedgley ward, had his endorsement by the Party revoked after numerous historic and inflammatory social media posts were uncovered, including one allegedly comparing Israeli footballers to “assassins”. However, it was claimed that Mr Raja subsequently represented the Conservatives at a hustings as late as 23rd April.

On 13th April, it was reported that Shafqat Mahmood, a Conservative candidate for Redvales ward, also had his endorsement by the Party revoked after historic and inflammatory social media posts were uncovered, including one saying that “Jews r at it again” in reference to a fake news item from a Pakistani propagandist outlet about an Israeli national supposedly being involved with ISIS. The baseless and offensive notion that Jews or the Jewish state created ISIS or direct it is an antisemitic trope that has developed over the past decade. According to a report, Mr Mahmood, who had backed George Galloway’s Workers’ Party in the Batley and Spen by-election last year, had allegedly also shared a social media post which labelled Sir Keir Starmer a “Zionist”. As the Home Affairs Select Committee has made clear, “‘Zionism’ as a concept remains a valid topic for academic and political debate, both within and outside Israel. The word ‘Zionist’ (or worse, ‘Zio’) as a term of abuse, however, has no place in a civilised society. It has been tarnished by its repeated use in antisemitic and aggressive contexts.”

Also on 13th April, it was revealed that Mr Arif, the Conservative candidate for Bury West ward who had replaced Mr Lewis, had allegedly shared an inflammatory article from the controversial far-left website, The Canary, about how Sir Keir Starmer was in receipt of donations from a “pro-Israel lobbyist” and that such “pro-Israel” figures who were backing Sir Keir had been opponents of Jeremy Corbyn. The undercurrent of the claims were – as was by that time common on the far-left – that those who had opposed Mr Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party had done so in service to Israel or in order to silence his opposition to Israel, a type of antisemitic trope known as the ‘Livingstone Formulation’, which was highlighted in the EHRC’s investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party.

At around the same time, concerns were raised about Mazhar Aslam, another Conservative candidate in Sedgley, over his past social media activity. The Party accepted his apology and stood by him.

The foregoing does not represent the first time that the local association has been rocked by allegations of antisemitism. Last year, Cllr Robert (Bob) Caserta was found to have breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors and Other Voting Representatives four times over comments apparently made during an interview to recruit a senior officer at the Council in July 2019. During that interview, Cllr Caserta was alleged to have referred to “grot spots” in Sedgley and said that it would be difficult to communicate with residents “unless you are able to speak Hebrew”. He had the whip removed but was reinstated by the Party. He was not a candidate in Bury in the 2022 local elections.

The recent incidents have raised urgent questions about the local association’s vetting processes, how it handles the revocation of endorsements, and whether the association has tolerated or indulged in prejudice towards Jewish people among its membership or has sought to exploit perceptions of such prejudice in any target electorate.

We have called on the Conservatives to investigate the local association as a matter of urgency.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

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It has been reported that a Jewish candidate standing for the Labour Party in the London Borough of Camden was the target of antisemitic intimidation in the run-up to the recent local elections.

Izzy Lenga, who successfully stood for Labour in Camden’s South Hampstead ward, has revealed that she faced “levels of antisemitism I’ve never had before” after she was made the target of a poster campaign that called for people to not vote for her because she supported “apartheid”.

The harassment campaign is reported to have been based on accounts on anti-Israel websites like The Electronic Intifada dating back to 2014 about how Ms Lenga, a well-known young activist and leader in the Jewish community, once took part in a basic training course in Israel organised by the IDF. Ms Lenga also took part in the BBC Panorama documentary about antisemitism in the Labour Party during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Posters publicising this information were plastered on walls and bus stops throughout the South Hampstead Ward in the weeks leading up to the election on 5th May.

The police do not believe that the people responsible for the 2014 articles had any role in the poster campaign, and have arrested a suspect believed to have been involved in the making or distributing of the posters because they apparently repeatedly misspelt the word “apartheid” in the same way each time.

A Metropolitan Police statement said: “We can confirm that a 39-year-old man was arrested on Friday, 29th April on suspicion of a Section 19 offence under the Public Order Act 1986. He was taken to a north London police station and was subsequently released on bail to return on a date in mid-June. Enquiries are ongoing. The arrest relates to two incidents where offensive materials were distributed in the South Hampstead area.”

Cllr Lenga was nevertheless elected as a councillor with the second highest vote in the South Hampstead ward.

Upon being elected, Cllr Lenga tweeted: “I’ve not spoken about it too much, but it’s been a really rough few months. I’ve faced levels of antisemitism I’ve never had before, and am eternally grateful for all those who’ve offered support.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than four times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.

It has been reported that a winning candidate for the Welsh Liberal Democrats has been suspended by the Party just hours after the results were announced for sharing an inflammatory video on TikTok a year earlier.

Little-One Brighouse, the newly elected councillor for Disserth and Trecoed with Newbridge-on-Wye in Powys, central Wales, was suspended by the Liberal Democrats after the Party was made aware of a video that she allegedly shared on TikTok in May 2021 which showed a burning Israeli flag.

In the video, the councillor can reportedly be seen posing in front of the camera while two other video clips play concurrently. In one, the viewer can see a burning Israeli flag. In the other, a caption reads: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, which is a popular chant.

The chant of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state — and its replacement with a State of Palestine — and is thus an attempt to deny Jews, uniquely, the right to self-determination, which is a breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

A spokesperson from the Welsh Liberal Democrats said: “We have received a complaint regarding this candidate which has been reviewed under our independent complaints process. As a result they have been suspended from the Party while the complaint is fully investigated. Liberal Democrats have a long and proud record of standing up against antisemitism and continue to champion a liberal, tolerant and inclusive society for all.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

The Labour Party has reportedly suspended a councillor alleged to have posted a horrific article arguing “The Germans were completely justified in persecuting and expelling the Jews…just as we would be today.”

The suspension came within hours of the JC publicising the allegation, but reportedly a week since Labour Against Antisemitism first filed the complaint, raising questions anew about how Labour is tackling antisemitism in its ranks and reviving concerns about the extent to which PR considerations are a driving factor.

Belgica Guaña is alleged to have posted the article, titled “The Holocaust Hoax and the Jewish Promotion of Perversity”, on Facebook in 2016, two years before she became a councillor in Newham in London, where she is running for re-election this week.

The article says that “The so-called ‘Holocaust’ is propaganda in an ongoing war between the Jews and those with the courage to stand up to them – a war that began with the National Socialists coming to power in Germany in the 1930s and continues to this very day. The Jews do not have the means or the numbers to defeat Europeans with the force of arms so they have to rely mainly on infiltration, subversion, and economic and psychological warfare, with the Holocaust hoax being the best example of the latter. 

“The Germans were completely justified in persecuting and expelling the Jews (which is all that was actually happening), just as we would be today. Hitler and the National Socialists freed Germany from the death grip of the Jews and gave it back to the German people.”

The essay also argues that Jews use pornography to control western societies by way of the “Holocaust hoax”, and pushes the “white genocide” conspiracy theory, as well as claiming that teenage diarist Anne Frank, murdered by the Nazis at Bergen-Belsen, was a “bisexual degenerate” whose popular diary is an “obvious fraud…laced with pornographic and sexually subversive messages”.

In May 2016, Cllr Guaña reportedly shared a post that said that “The Nazi holocaust [sic] was a crime against humanity, and the Israeli Genocide against Palestinians can not be ignored or denied,” and in December 2017, Cllr Guaña is said to have shared a video of the United Nations General Assembly, writing: “If you can have a minute of silence for the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. So how much time should I ask for the more than 50 years of invasion and oppression of the Palestinian people?” Both posts are further breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism. Other inflammatory material is also alleged to have been posted by Cllr Guaña.

Although Cllr Guaña has been suspended from the Labour Party and therefore no longer enjoys its endorsement in her bid for re-election, she will remain on the ballot paper listed as a Labour candidate, which is unavoidable in view of how close the revelations came before the local elections.

The allegation that Cllr Guaña posted the article was made in the JC, based on research by Labour Against Antisemitism. Earlier this week, Campaign Against Antisemitism announced that it is examining legal options in respect of the posting of the article.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously. They are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate action is taken.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said on Wednesday: “The article allegedly shared by this councillor is a not only an abhorrent collection of antisemitic tropes, from Holocaust denial and paedophilia to comparisons of Israel with the Nazis and support for the far-right ‘Great Replacement Theory’, but it may also imply support for Jewish genocide. In view of just how horrific this post is, we are examining legal options.”

The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

A Labour Party councillor is alleged to have posted a horrific article arguing “The Germans were completely justified in persecuting and expelling the Jews…just as we would be today.”

Belgica Guaña is alleged to have posted the article, titled “The Holocaust Hoax and the Jewish Promotion of Perversity”, on Facebook in 2016, two years before she became a councillor in Newham in London, where she is running for re-election this week.

The article says that “The so-called ‘Holocaust’ is propaganda in an ongoing war between the Jews and those with the courage to stand up to them – a war that began with the National Socialists coming to power in Germany in the 1930s and continues to this very day. The Jews do not have the means or the numbers to defeat Europeans with the force of arms so they have to rely mainly on infiltration, subversion, and economic and psychological warfare, with the Holocaust hoax being the best example of the latter. 

“The Germans were completely justified in persecuting and expelling the Jews (which is all that was actually happening), just as we would be today. Hitler and the National Socialists freed Germany from the death grip of the Jews and gave it back to the German people.”

The essay also argues that Jews use pornography to control western societies by way of the “Holocaust hoax”, and pushes the “white genocide” conspiracy theory, as well as claiming that teenage diarist Anne Frank, murdered by the Nazis at Bergen-Belsen, was a “bisexual degenerate” whose popular diary is an “obvious fraud…laced with pornographic and sexually subversive messages”.

In May 2016, Cllr Guaña reportedly shared a post that said that “The Nazi holocaust [sic] was a crime against humanity, and the Israeli Genocide against Palestinians can not be ignored or denied,” and in December 2017, Cllr Guaña is said to have shared a video of the United Nations General Assembly, writing: “If you can have a minute of silence for the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. So how much time should I ask for the more than 50 years of invasion and oppression of the Palestinian people?” Both posts are further breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

The allegation that Cllr Guaña posted the article was made in the JC, based on research by Labour Against Antisemitism.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The article allegedly shared by this councillor is a not only an abhorrent collection of antisemitic tropes, from Holocaust denial and paedophilia to comparisons of Israel with the Nazis and support for the far-right ‘Great Replacement Theory’, but it may also imply support for Jewish genocide. In view of just how horrific this post is, we are examining legal options.

“The Labour Party must urgently investigate both the veracity of the allegation and how Belgica Guaña was allowed to become and remain a councillor in spite of the post, and why she was endorsed by the Party in her bid for reelection.”

Cllr Guaña is not the only Labour candidate in the coming elections to be embroiled in controversy.

Cllr Lee Garvey, an independent candidate representing Pallister and Berwick Hills in Middlesbrough, had applied to become a member of the Labour Party, but was rejected after concerns were raised about material that he had allegedly shared online. Cllr Garvey allegedly compared Israel’s policies to the Holocaust and referenced antisemitic conspiracy theories surrounding the Rothschild family.

In a 2015 Facebook post referencing then-Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, Cllr Garvey reportedly wrote: “Just saw an interview with [Channel 4 News presenter John] snow and CaMORON where he says, we need to stop the Demonisation of Jews…Lets look at how I see it…Israel is doing to the Palestinians what they themselves suffered at the hands of the Nazi’s [sic].”

On another occasion, Cllr Garvey allegedly complained about the number of Jewish characters on television, saying: “Watch any US sitcom or show, you will find the vast majority have at least one Jewish character if not a Jewish family. Why is this when they make up JUST 2.2% of the population?? And if like me you fear the TV is just a Propaganda, it certainly makes you think [sic].”

In another alleged 2015 Facebook post, Cllr Garvey is claimed to have referenced classic antisemitic conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family, writing: “I also take the sleeping enhancer from those drug companies I despise, use money to purchase items given to us by the Rothschild family who I regard as less than poo and I also maek most of my living in churches and we all know how I feel about them…”

Another Labour candidate, Anne Pissaridou, representing North Portslade in Brighton, has been suspended by the Party for a second time after new revelations about her social media output. She is accused of posting messages on social media downplaying antisemitism allegations in the Labour Party and reportedly appeared to condone an online attack on a Jewish party member.

A third figure caught up in controversy is former Labour MP Martin Linton. Mr Linton served as the MP for Battersea between 1997 and 2010, but is now running as a council candidate in Wandsworth’s Lavender ward. He has allegedly made a number of inflammatory statements in the past.

In 2010, while Mr Linton was Chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, he reportedly claimed that the “Israel lobby” played a malign role in marginal constituencies. During a meeting held at the House of Commons by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of al-Aqsa, Mr Linton is reported to have said that “There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends…When you make decisions about how you vote and how you advise constituents to vote, you must make them aware of the attempt by Israelis and by pro-Israelis to influence the election.”

In an appearance on the Islam Channel, Mr Linton said that the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group Hamas should not be called “terrorists”. That is, Mr Linton explained “the wrong word to use when you are talking about someone who is fighting a military occupation”. Mr Linton’s preferred term is “Gazan militants”, because, while the actions of individuals may be described as terroristic, the same apparently cannot be said for groups and governments.

In 2010, Mr Linton appeared on the Iranian-backed news outlet PressTV to, it has been claimed, defend Hamas terrorists in Israeli prisons. On another occasion, he appeared on PressTV to defend Raed Salah, a prolific antisemite who claims that Israel planned 9/11.

Murad Qureshi, the candidate for the ward of Little Venice in west London, is also embroiled in controversy. Mr Qureshi is alleged to have made comments about the “powerful pro-Israel lobby” in the United States, and retweeted a Twitter post which read “You can get away with offending anyone so lomng as they’re not Jewish”. In a 2013 blog post, Mr Qureshi also reportedly questioned the “legal basis” for the trial of the leading Nazi Adolf Eichmann. Mr Qureshi allegedly wrote that “I am not sure the Eichmann trial can be held up as a model of due processes [sic].” From 2016 to 2021, Mr Qureshi was Chair of Stop the War Coalition, and has been photographed alongside Hamas politicians including leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

The Liberal Democrats appear to have reintegrated a member once suspended for reportedly sharing antisemitic material online.

In 2019, local Liberal Democrat candidate Abjol Miah was suspended during a council by-election in the Shadwell ward of Tower Hamlets after he reportedly shared antisemitic content, including a video produced by David Duke, five years earlier.

Mr Duke is a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, and runs a daily radio show that promotes the antisemitic “Zionist Occupied Government” conspiracy theory inspired by the infamous antisemitic conspiracy theory The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford’s notorious collection of antisemitic articles, The International Jew. The video reportedly shared by Mr Miah was titled “CNN Goldman Sachs and the Zio Matrix”.

“Zio”, short for “Zionist”, is an epithet invented and disseminated by Mr Duke, used to disparage anything that he deems to have come from a Jewish source, whether or not the individuals in question are actually Jewish themselves.

Mr Miah also allegedly shared other examples of antisemitic conspiratorial material. They include a picture of the globe with a Star of David on it featuring the words “Zionist globalism”, a picture that collected a series of logos of major newspapers and media companies with an Israeli flag in the background and the headline “Zionist dominated media”, and an illustration of a figure with a withered face, its mouth gagged with an Israeli flag, and words that appear to say “Zio globalist tyranny!” above it.

Mr Miah is understood to have campaigned for London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, in 2016, before having his Liberal Democrat membership “revoked, pending an investigation” following his alleged online activity. However, he is now understood to have been reintegrated into the Party as part of the campaign for Rabina Khan to become Mayor of Tower Hamlets

Ms Khan is a former member of George Galloway’s Respect Party who also campaigned for Sadiq Khan in 2016 before switching allegiance to the Liberal Democrats.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

A local council candidate who had his endorsement by the Conservatives revoked has allegedly gone on to represent the Party at a hustings.

Sham Raja, who was the Conservatives’ candidate in the Sedgley ward in Bury, was dropped by the Party on 12th April, after numerous historic and inflammatory social media posts were uncovered, including one allegedly comparing Israeli footballers to “assassins”.

However, it has been claimed that he appeared at a local hustings representing the Party on 23rd April, despite supposedly no longer being its candidate. He was reportedly filling in for Jason McLeod, who is a candidate for the Party in Levenshulme ward, which is not in Bury.

The claim comes as Conservatives in Bury face mounting scrutiny over the series of allegations of antisemitism and revelations of inflammatory past social media posts by some of its candidates.

Last year, a Conservative councillor in Bury who had the Party whip removed after he allegedly made antisemitic comments in a job interview was reinstated by the Party. Cllr Robert (Bob) Caserta was found to have breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors and Other Voting Representatives four times when he appeared before the Standards Sub-Committee over comments apparently made during an interview to recruit a senior officer at the Council in July 2019, when Cllr Caserta is alleged to have referred to “grot spots” in Sedgley and said that it would be difficult to communicate with residents “unless you are able to speak Hebrew”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

Image credit: Google

A Liverpool-based anti-racism festival has come under fire after it failed to plan any events or discussions about antisemitism.

Liverpool Against Racism consists of a series of cross-city events. There will be performances by musicians Rebecca Ferguson, The Christians and The Farm. A conference tackling racism is also set to take place with keynote speakers including historian David Olusoga, the BBC’s interim Head of Creative Diversity, Joanna Abeyie, and journalist Kevin Powell. In addition, teenagers will be asked to discuss issues to do with racism, stars will share their stories and give advice about how to tackle racial inequality, and there will be workshop events, including one that aims to deal with Liverpool’s role in the Atlantic slave trade.

However, the festival makes no mention of anti-Jewish racism in its promotional material or itinerary.

The Jewish former MP in the city, Dame Louise Ellman, has spoken out over the omission, saying: “I hope it is not the case that, as David Baddiel would say, ‘Jews don’t count.’”

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: “The aim of the Liverpool Against Racism event was to focus on anti-black racism, created as it was in the aftermath of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. However, involvement from all of our diverse communities was actively encouraged. Last December we proactively called out for organisations and groups to contact us and get involved. We had an amazing response…which has seen organisations across the city stage events to complement the Liverpool Against Racism programme.

“Following the call-out, we were contacted by representatives from the Jewish community and they were asked if they would like to be part of a panel event at the main conference. This offer was unfortunately not taken up. Mayor Joanne is incredibly proud of the Liverpool Against Racism programme and the fact that the city isn’t shying away from shining a spotlight on discrimination. We hope this inaugural event will pave the way for similar initiatives in the future and that more organisations, including Jewish groups, will join with us.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It appears to be increasingly axiomatic among so-called ‘anti-racists’ that prejudice and discrimination against Jewish people is not worthy of concern. Antisemitism is too often omitted from the agendas of diversity departments, the terms of reference of investigations into hate, and the itineraries of anti-racism events, to be a coincidence. The Jewish community sees this trend clearly, and we will continue to challenge it wherever it arises.”

David Baddiel appeared on a previous episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism.

Over 200 Scots have signed a letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in connection with the lack of clarity over whether the two Scottish Green ministers in her Government endorse the International Definition of Antisemitism or not.

Ms Sturgeon, who is the leader of the SNP, has repeatedly stated that all members of the Scottish Government must endorse the Definition as a prerequisite for being part of her devolved administration. However, it remains to be clarified whether or not Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater of the Scottish Greens, which has yet to adopt the Definition but on whose support Ms Sturgeon’s Government depends, support the Definition of not.

In response to these revelations, Sammy Stein, a founder member of the Scottish National Party’s Friends for Peace in the Middle East and Chair of Glasgow Friends of Israel, wrote a letter to Ms Sturgeon which has so far received 213 signatures.

The letter reads: “I was disappointed that you did not provide a clear answer to the matter of the two Scottish Green ministers as, to the best of my knowledge, neither of them has signed up to the IHRA [international] Definition of Antisemitism. I would thank you on behalf of the Scottish Jewish community for continuing to support the IHRA Definition and your strong stance against antisemitism. You have also made your position abundantly clear by stating that ‘I do speak for and am accountable for all the members of my Government, which is a signatory to the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism, and every minister before being appointed to my Government has to be clear that they sign up to and accept it. That includes the two Green Party members. It is my understanding however that with regards to your statement above, neither of the Green Party ministers has as yet signed up to the IHRA Definition despite the fact that they were invited by you to join the Government in August 2021. It would be helpful to know if this is correct and if it is, how is it possible that the two Green Party ministers were appointed to your Government BEFORE they signed up to the IHRA Definition.

“I would be grateful if you can advise the steps you plan to take in order to ensure that these two ministers comply with your guidance and how long it may be before you consider the appropriate steps to exclude them from your Government. I would suggest that this is a matter by which your commitment to continuing to actively support your stance against racism in general and antisemitism, in particular, will be judged and I do hope and expect that you will stay true to your publicly stated position.”

Mr Stein said: “There appears to be a clear discrepancy between what Nicola Sturgeon says about combating antisemitism and waht she decides to do about it. I believe she is very sincere in her support for adopting the IHRA definition, but she is clearly concerned about upsetting the Greens and losing control of her majority in Parliament. The fact that so many people felt compelled to sign this letter shows the strength of feeling within the community and I hope she takes notice of this and resolves this matter.”

Ms Sturgeon recently addressed a gathering of Scottish Jews, reiterating her Government’s commitment to the Definition but coming under pressure over the position of the Scottish Greens.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

The Labour Party has suspended a candidate in the upcoming local elections after he reportedly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, as a “Zionist”, questioning why he had so much support.

Ziad Alsayed, a candidate for the Baruc ward in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, allegedly wrote the tweet in Arabic on 26th February, saying “How could we side with a country that has a Zionist president?” He has since deleted the tweet.

Alun Cairns, Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, expressed his concern about another tweet written by Mr Alsayed, in which the Labour candidate calls Mr Zelenskyy a “fascist”. Mr Alsayed is understood to have responded to an expression of solidarity for Ukraine written by London Mayor Sadiq Khan with the words: “If you mean the Ukrainian people that’s OK, but not the fascist president.”

Although the Labour Party has suspended Mr Alsayed pending an investigation, he will remain on the ballot for the election, nominally as the Party’s candidate, because nominations have already closed.

A spokesperson for Labour said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously. They are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate action is taken.”

The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

Scrutiny is mounting over numerous allegations of antisemitism and other concerning claims among Conservatives in Bury.

Shaf Mahmood, who was due to stand as a Conservative candidate in the Redvales ward, saw his endorsement from the Party reportedly revoked last week after it emerged that he has tweeted, in 2017, that “Jews r at it again”. According to a report in the Jewish News, Mr Mahmood, who had backed George Galloway’s Workers’ Party in the Batley and Spen by-election last year, had allegedly also shared a social media post which labelled Sir Keir Starmer a “Zionist”.

That revocation came a day after another Conservative candidate, Sham Raja, who was the Conservatives’ candidate in the Sedgley ward, was also dropped after numerous historic and inflammatory social media posts were uncovered, including one allegedly comparing Israeli footballers to “assassins”. The tweets were reported in the Jewish Telegraph.

Another Conservative, Shahbaz Mahmood Arif, the candidate for Bury West, reportedly shared an inflammatory article from the controversial far-left website, The Canary. He had been selected by the local party after a young Jewish councillor had been – apparently inexplicably – deselected a few weeks ago. Another prospective Conservative candidate who was unsuccessful in his bid for selection feared that he was blocked due to his sympathies for the Jewish community and pro-Israel views, which Bury Conservatives denied.

Concerns have also been raised about Mazhar Aslam, another Conservative candidate in Sedgley, over his social media activity.

In a statement, Bury Conservatives said: “Following certain social media posts being brought to our attention yesterday made by two of the candidates for Sedgley Ward the Association has investigated the matter and spoken to both candidates. Mr. Sham Raja no longer has the endorsement of Bury Conservative Party in this election. Mr Mazhar Aslam continues to be a Conservative Candidate. His explanation was that the single post complained of was not antisemitic in nature although he understood some would not agree with the contents of his post.  He apologised and undertook to be more careful with the use of his language in this sensitive area in the future. His explanation and apology were accepted. We also wish to make clear that Dr Shadman Zaman was not confirmed as a Besses Ward candidate because of his failure to comply with instructions regarding electoral law and Party guidance and not because of any of his expressed views.”

Nick Jones, the leader of Bury Conservatives, said: “I am appalled at such ignorance regarding the State of Israel and I have asked the Conservative Association to investigate these matters immediately. As a Party we accept different views but it’s how these views expressed when the line is crossed is our challenge and investigation must be robust. As these statements have come to the attention of the association, I welcome that they have been dealt with robustly and on the day of them arising. The Conservative Council Group on Bury Council are friends of Israel and we fully support the IHRA [International] Definition of Antisemitism.”

Last year, a Conservative councillor in Bury who had the Party whip removed after he allegedly made antisemitic comments in a job interview was reinstated by the Party. Cllr Robert (Bob) Caserta was found to have breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors and Other Voting Representatives four times when he appeared before the Standards Sub-Committee over comments apparently made during an interview to recruit a senior officer at the Council in July 2019, when Cllr Caserta is alleged to have referred to “grot spots” in Sedgley and said that it would be difficult to communicate with residents “unless you are able to speak Hebrew”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

Image credit: Google

New data published by the New York City Police Department shows that antisemitic hate crimes rose by 92% in March 2022 compared to a year ago.

23 antisemitic hate crimes were reported in New York in March 2022. In March 2021, the police recorded eleven such incidents.

These findings reflect those of previous months: February 2022 saw a 400% increase in antisemitic incidents compared to February 2021 (56 compared to eleven the year before), while January showed almost 300% additional antisemitic hate crimes year on year.

While the NYPD recorded increases in hate crimes aimed at Muslims, people based on their ethnic origin in general, and based on the victim’s sexual orientation, the number of incidents with Asian or Hispanic victims went down.

Taking all reported incidents into account, the data reveals that there were more antisemitic hate crimes than those experienced by any other group except Asian-Americans.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Councillors in the northern Bavarian town of Bayreuth have voted to give new names to two streets once dedicated to noted antisemites.

One was named after the bishop, Hans Meiser, the first Landesbischof (Regional Bishop) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria from 1933 to 1955. Bishop Meisner, boasting a huge following among Bavarian Protestants, was said to have had Nazi ties and once wrote that there was something “corrosive, caustic, dissolving about the Jewish mind”. It has been renamed Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Straße in honour of the anti-Nazi theologian.

Hans-von-Wolzogen-Straße, named after the friend and biographer of the antisemitic composer Richard Wagner, is now to be called Friedelind-Wagner-Straße. Friedelind Wagner, the composer’s granddaughter, escaped Nazi Germany to the United States in 1941 after being implicated in anti-Nazi propaganda. Baron von Wolzogen, believed to have shared the composer’s antisemitic views, was the editor of the publication Bayreuther Blätter, which published antisemitic material, from 1878-1938.

Richard Wagner lived in Bayreuth from 1873 until his death in 1883. The Bayreuth Festspielhaus (Opera House) was constructed especially for the purpose of showing Wagner’s operas. His villa, Wahnfriend, was converted into a museum dedicated to his life and work after the Second World War.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

It has been reported that items displayed in the collection of a Glasgow museum may have been looted from their Jewish former owners by the Nazis.

The Burrell Collection, which dates back to acquisitions made by the wealthy shipowner Sir William Burrell in 1944, already knew that two works on display were stolen from their Jewish owners by the Nazis in the 1930s. Glasgow City Council even paid out a large amount of money in compensation to the works’ would-be heirs. 

However, Glasgow Museums curator Martin Bellamy has recently published a book, A Collector’s Life: William Burrell, which maintains that even more works than previously acknowledged can be proven to have belonged to Jewish owners who relinquished their treasures as part of the practice known as “forced sale”. 

This was part of the wider policy of “Aryanisation”, in which Jews in Germany and Austria were forced to register property or assets – including life insurance, stocks, furniture and works of art – valued above a certain amount. They also lost favourable financial incentives available to non-Jews, and were forced to be part of the highest tax bracket irrespective of their actual income. If they chose to leave the country, they were forced to hand over half of their assets and exchange what remained at the least favourable rate of exchange of their destination.

Glasgow Life, a charity that administers the 9,000-piece collection, has admitted that works acquired under these circumstances are on display. They do not, however, identify precisely which works were acquired in this manner.

Scottish historian Sir Tom Devine said: “As long as the provenance of these items is established by experts and curators, it should always be made public. The question the public will ask is, ‘What do they have to hide?’ I find the refusal rather curious. Curators of museums always want the truth to be out, and unvarnished at that.”

Speaking on behalf of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, Ephraim Borowksi said: “I suggest that the point to be made is that this isn’t a question of law, but morals. Given the scale of the Holocaust, there may be no surviving family members to make a formal legal claim. It’s up to public galleries to acknowledge the dubious history of items in their collection.”

The Burrell Collection, which has recently undergone a £70 million renovation, will open to the public on 5th April.

It has been reported that a man woke up his Jewish neighbours at 4:00 by knocking on their door and yelling antisemitic abuse.

The man was said to have shouted: “I will kill you all, Hitler should come back.”

The alleged incident took place on 19th March and is understood to have occurred in the Stamford Hill area of North London on the morning of the Jewish Sabbath and lasted for approximately one hour.

It was also alleged that, yesterday, the same man told a six-year-old girl: “Get inside, I will kill you”, before threatening to burn her house down.

Both incidents were reported yesterday by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol.

If you have any more information, please contact the police on 101 or Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123, quoting reference number: CAD 4735 28/03/22

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than four times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 showed that three in five British Jews believe that the authorities, in general, are not doing enough to address and punish antisemitism.

The Kansas state Legislature has reportedly adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Bill HCR 5030, the short title of the bill named “Recognising the growing problem of antisemitism in the United States”, was adopted unanimously in the Kansas Senate with 38 “Yea” votes.

Gavriela Geller, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau, American Jewish Committee in Kansas is reported to have said: “We can’t fight what we can’t define. The adoption of the definition is a crucial step towards combating rising Jew-hatred.”

The 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey showed that less than one percent of Kansas adults identified as Jewish. In 2017, the Jewish population of Kansas was reported to be 17,300. This has not meant, however, that the midwestern state has been free of antisemitic incidents. 

In April 2014, 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Miller Jr, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and known neo-Nazi, was convicted of murder after killing three people in a shooting spree at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Kansas City and the Jewish retirement community Village Shalom, both in Overland Park, Kansas. Mr Miller was sentenced to death, but died in prison in 2021 while awaiting execution.

Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street. Since then, numerous local councils, universities and sport associations in the United Kingdom have adopted the Definition, as have several national governments and myriad municipalities and associations around the world.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A Connecticut woman was arrested on 12th March for arson and burglary after being accused of setting fires in a synagogue and a church.

Kimorah Parker, 30, allegedly broke into Tephereth Israel Synagogue on 11th March and started a fire that caused “fairly extensive” damage. She has also been accused of setting fire to St Matthew’s Lutheran Church.

Local police are investigating the arson with the assistance of the FBI.

The FBI released a statement in which it said: “Local police have arrested a suspect well-known to them and retain the lead over the ongoing investigations. No other incidents have been reported since the arrest. The FBI will continue to coordinate with local law enforcement and, pending further evidence collection, will determine whether federal charges are appropriate.”

A Tephereth Israel Synagogue congregation member called the incident “devastating,” adding: “We don’t know why the person who started the fire did this…we know she chose a church and a synagogue, so it wasn’t specifically Jewish; we don’t know a motive.

“It’s devastating, because that building holds a lot of memories for me and my family…I’m hoping that [the] building itself is still structurally sound and that they can repair it.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

It has been reported that a Jewish woman and a six-year-old child were screamed at by a man in North London, prompting them to run for safety. 

The man reportedly shouted “F*** Jews” to the woman and child and stood in close proximity to the two.

The incident took place at a bus stop in Stamford Hill and was reported yesterday by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol. 

If you have any more information, please contact the police on 101 or Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123, quoting reference number: CAD 7322 05/03/22

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than four times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.

Pennsylvania police have launched an investigation after graves in three separate cemeteries were vandalised with swastikas. 

Photographs uploaded to Twitter show large, orange swastikas spray-painted on headstones in Montgomery County.

Also written on one of the headstones was a name and an address.

Plymouth Township Police, who were called at around 6:00 yesterday from a concerned passerby, are using the name and address as a lead but Police Chief John Myrsiades has declined to provide a name at this time.

Chief Myrsiades said: “Either that was the person who did it, or more likely somebody that had a problem with somebody else. So at least it gives us a lead that we’re pursuing to try to get some information.” 

He added: “I’m torn between being sickened and being sad.”

In November, hundreds of residents of the Pennsylvania town of Lancaster turned out to support the town’s Jewish community after a chanukiah in the town-centre was vandalised.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A councillor in the Isles of Scilly has been told that he must take diversity training after he accused officials of creating “conditions similar to those in Bergen-Belsen or Dachau” in row over public bins and toilets.

Toby Tobin-Dougan, 63, made what was reportedly described as a “crass assertion” in an e-mail to a colleague and council officers.

A scrutiny committee reportedly found that the independent councillor’s comments, made in October of last year, had been “offensive in the extreme” and designed to “bully the recipients”.

Cllr Tobin-Dougan represents St Martin’s, the northernmost island in the archipelago. The island receives some 400 visitors a day in the summertime but has only one public toilet and no public waste bins. The Council says that it has begun working with the Duchy of Cornwall, which owns the land on the outer islands, to provide public bins.

Cllr Tobin-Dougan has been instructed to write a “meaningful apology” and attend diversity training, “with an emphasis on the need to ensure that respect should be given to the Holocaust.”

He reportedly told The Times that he was not a bully and that the e-mail had been sent “in the heat of the moment”, while a member of the scrutiny committee allegedly described the analogy with a Nazi death camp as “outrageous, beyond all decency,” and that it besmirched the Nazis’ victims. They added: “Were I able to, I would have no hesitation in recommending [Cllr Tobin-Dougan] be suspended.”

The Isles of Scilly have not yet adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

A newly published independent race report has stated that Harrow Council ignored several claims of antisemitism that were flagged up by members of staff.  

In addition to antisemitism, several cases of sexism and racism were allegedly witnessed by some members of council staff, though no action had been taken. 

One participant in the report said: “A colleague reported several instances of antisemitism and racism and nothing has been done about it for years. It is no good at all to talk about combating racism, then do nothing about it when reported. We are so fed up of this and this is the reason why nothing will change.”

Other staff members reportedly said that they did not feel comfortable reporting incidents of “casual racism” for fear of losing their jobs.

The report recommended that the council issue a “formal apology”. Harrow Council has reportedly been contacted for comment. 

Harrow Council adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism in 2017.

Image credit: Google

A councillor for the Conservative Party has been suspended after he being accused of supporting the far-right group Patriotic Alternative.

The group is known for its efforts to recruit youth to its white nationalist ideology. Previously, the far-right group published an online “alternative” home school curriculum condemned as “poison” and “hateful” and attempted to recruit children as young as twelve through livestreaming events on YouTube, according to The Times.

Tim Wills, a borough councillor in Worthing, is alleged to have joined a Patriotic Alternative chat room on the social media platform Telegram in June, where he reportedly posted messages of support.

Earlier this year, the far-right group was found to be using Telegram to create neo-Nazi channels dedicated to sharing vile messages, antisemitic conspiracy theories and images glorifying Hitler. 

On 22nd September, Cllr Wills is alleged to have written: “My view is Covid is a loss maker for us, we just need to centre on white genocide […] because many of our white race are convinced about vaccines, but not about our replacement, and need to be informed about this?”

In another message, he is alleged to have encouraged members to “Remember the fourteen words”, likely a reference to the neo-Nazi fourteen-word oath: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”, a slogan initially devised by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group “The Order” which was responsible for the murder of Jewish radio host Alan Berg.

He also reportedly said that because Patriotic Alternative “have no chance of political power any time soon, sadly”, he viewed the Conservatives as “the best of a rotten lot,” as the group would still have a “right-wing minority who are on side”. He also reportedly said that if it were not for his “sensitive job” as a Conservative councillor, then he would take on the vacant regional organiser position in his local branch.

A Conservative Party spokesperson confirmed that “Cllr Tim Wills has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.”

Hope Not Hate describes Patriotic Alliance is “a racist far-right organisation with antisemitism at its very core. They aim to combat the ‘replacement and displacement’ of white Britons by people who ‘have no right to these lands’.” The group reportedly holds that “it is Jewish elites, particularly, who are orchestrating the ‘replacement’ of white Britons.”

The group is led by the former head of the youth wing of the BNP, Mark Collett, who is reported to have dabbled in Holocaust denial, collaborated with the infamous American antisemite David Duke, and espoused antisemitic and racist views.

report into Patriotic Alternative published last summer found that several members of the group engaged in Holocaust denial.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years and continues to support the authorities following suit.

The town of Huntington in Suffolk County, NY, has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

The Definition was adopted following the passage of a majority resolution, without objection, at a meeting last week of the town’s governing board.

Earlier this year, Suffolk County, where Huntington is located, and neighbouring Nassau County adopted the Definition.

Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

A former Chairman of a parish council has come under investigation over alleged antisemitic and discriminatory remarks.

Dr Chris Clews is accused of having made antisemitic, racist, homophobic, and sexist remarks in emails to former council colleague Philip Bond. It was also alleged that he insulted parishioners and held views that amounted to Holocaust denial, which would be a breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

It was reported that Dr Clews was initially reluctant to resign, but after mounting pressure from angry parishioners, he was forced to step down. In his resignation letter, he wrote: “I do talk a lot, but at least there is some thought to what I say”, and lamented that “it appears we are no longer entitled to express in private, alternative thoughts or ask questions about some matters and events”.

A council spokesman said: “There has been a thorough investigation which established that a significant proportion of the most offensive emails written by Mr Clews were done so privately over a long period of time with the complainant. The finding, after a significant investigation, was that they were not sent in his capacity as a councillor. The sanctions available to local authorities in England in cases where a councillor is found to have breached their code of conduct is restricted by law. In effect the strongest form of sanction available in most situations is censure – in other words a letter of rebuke. This was made clear to all complainants at the start of the process.”

Warwickshire Police confirmed that they are currently investigating the situation.

A controversial councillor infamous for using the term “Jew process” and a leading union boss have reportedly received warnings of auto-expulsion from the Labour Party.

Jo Bird, a councillor for the Bromborough Ward on Wirral Council, reportedly faces expulsion due to her alleged association with antisemitism-denial group Labour Against the Witchhunt, a faction that Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved to proscribe several weeks ago. Last month its members began receiving letters of automatic expulsion.

Cllr Bird re-joined the Labour Party in 2015, when Jeremy Corbyn was running for the Party’s leadership, and has a long history of controversy relating to Jews, including renaming ‘due process’ in the Labour Party as “Jew process”, for which she was suspended. She was suspended a second time but was readmitted on both occasions. She was apparently investigated for a third time after reportedly suggesting that antisemitism is being privileged over other forms of racism.

Cllr Bird is also a member of Jewish Voice for Labour, the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, and she has described Labour’s institutional antisemitism as based on mere “accusations, witch-huntery and allegations without evidence”. She failed in her bid for election to the NEC, and had been tipped to succeed Dame Louise Ellman, a Jewish MP who quit Labour prior to the election due to antisemitism, as the MP for the constituency.

Cllr Bird apparently intends to appeal the possibility of expulsion.

Recently, it was reported that Labour Against the Witchhunt suggested to its members that they may lie about their political affiliation to avoid being kicked out of the Labour Party, although there is no evidence to indicate that Cllr Bird will avail herself of this advice. Indeed, she has reportedly expressed her pride at speaking at a Labour Against the Witchhunt event.

Also reportedly facing expulsion for alleged association with a proscribed group is Ian Hodson, the elected president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). The union has 17,000 members and is apparently threatening to break away from the Party in protest at the threat to its boss.

It has not been reported which of the banned factions – Labour Against the Witchhunt, the disgraced former Labour MP Chris Williamson’s Resist group, Socialist Appeal and Labour In Exile Network – he is alleged to be associated with. However, it has been reported that in 2017 Mr Hodson promoted an article that claimed that Labour’s Jewish affiliate had been “implicated” in the “efforts of the Israeli embassy to damage a Corbyn-led Labour Party with confected allegations of antisemitism.”

It has also been reported that a criminal defence solicitor and Campaigns Officer at Liverpool Riverside Constituency Labour Party has been suspended from the Labour Party for 24 months following an investigation into allegations involving antisemitism.

The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

The Leader of Calderdale Council has refused to act against a fellow councillor who organised an anti-Israel rally last month, where it was reported that antisemitic chanting and a sign bearing a swastika were present, causing outrage.

Labour Party Cllr Tim Swift was urged by members from both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to take action against councillor and Cabinet member Jenny Lynn, who organised the event in Halifax, and who was allegedly filmed raising her fist in the air while the crowd chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

The chant, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state – and its replacement with a State of Palestine – and is thus an attempt to deny Jews, uniquely, the right to self-determination.

It was also said that a sign depicting swastikas alongside former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on a wanted poster was present.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, which Calderdale Council has adopted, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” and “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” are both examples of antisemitism.

It is understood that one of the invited speakers at the event was the disgraced conspiracy theorist Rev. Dr Stephen Sizer who, in 2015, was ordered by the Church of England to stop using social media after he claimed that an Israeli conspiracy was behind 9/11, which the Church denounced as “clearly antisemitic”.

Holly Lynch, the Labour MP representing Halifax, was also due to speak but said on Twitter that “upon seeing the speaker list” for the rally, she was “very clear” that she would “not share a platform with one of the speakers” and refused to attend.

Mr Swift was contacted by Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Baker and Conservative group leader Steven Leigh, who both urged him to take action.

Cllr Baker said: “Last year the whole council agreed to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Some of the views expressed by speakers at this event would clearly be seen as antisemitism under this definition. We are pleased to see Holly did not share a platform with them but it’s not acceptable that a Labour councillor and Cabinet member was involved in organising this.”

Ms Lynn appeared to deny any wrongdoing, stating: “There is nothing incompatible about my role as chair of a community based organisation – Halifax Friends of Palestine – and my role in supporting all our communities and I will stand on my record on that. There is nothing antisemitic about standing up for the rights of Palestinian people.”

Lord Austin, an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism who quit the Labour Party in opposition to antisemitism, said: “Of course Cllr Lynn cannot be the Cabinet member for Communities and take part in events like this. The council leader needs to act.”

However, Mr Swift declined to take action on Cllr Lynn, saying that “Councillor Lynn has a long track record of working for equality and cohesion in Calderdale, both as a community activist and a councillor, and has a proven record of working in harmony with people of all faiths and none”.

In July, Hastings Council reportedly refused to condemn the same antisemitic “from the river to the sea” chant.

The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

Image credit: Twitter via the JC

The Village of Great Neck in the State of New York has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

The village’s Mayor said that it was “an important message to give”, adding: “Obviously there has been a significant rise in antisemitism with all of the discussions and writings that people make on social media as well as different channels…I think it’s important to really speak in a unified voice against antisemitism or any other racism.”

The Village of Great Neck has a large Jewish population, with a 2013 report citing Jews as making up 71% of the wider Great Neck peninsula.

Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds the decision. Britain was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism and Lord Pickles worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street. Earlier this month, we reported that South Korea had adopted the Definition.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism worldwide. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.

Greater Manchester Police has begun rolling out a virtual reality project which allows its officers to experience what it is like to be the victim of a hate crime.

The first-of-its-kind project is designed to help officers sympathise with hate crime victims.

Officers run through three scenarios with three different victims, all based on true incidents that took place in Manchester but which were not reported to police.

One scenario focuses on antisemitism with elements of misogyny, while the other two cover disability and transgender hate crime.

The antisemitism scenario begins in a synagogue, where the victim – a young woman – tells the wearer of the virtual reality goggles about her experience and how it made her feel. The scene then shifts to a reconstruction of the incident, with the wearer becoming the victim in the scenario, including taking on their height and stance.

In the case of the disability scenario, the wearer also adopts the visual impairment of the victim as well.

The final stage of the scenario keeps the wearer in the position of the victim, but this time in conversation with police officers, one who re-enacts a response that received good victim feedback and the other whose response could be improved.

According to the police force, antisemitic and transgender hate crimes were included because of the surge in the number of incidents, while disability was included because it is considered to be significantly underreported. The fact that all three incidents were not reported is a reminder that many hate crimes and hate incidents go unreported.

Campaign Against Antisemitism was one of a number of organisations that provided input into the various scenarios, and we applaud Greater Manchester Police for its ingenuity in training officers about hate crimes.

Earlier this week, Campaign Against Antisemitism reported on very positive feedback from Cornwall and Devon Police following an antisemitism training series that we provided to the force.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is pleased to report on very positive feedback to a training series on antisemitism recently delivered to Cornwall and Devon Police.

After engaging with the police force on a particularly difficult case, in which we continue to support the victim, we were invited to deliver a programme of training.

The force observed that the imagery used in the presentation “was very useful,” as were the explanations of why certain videos and songs are offensive to Jewish people. Officers from the Diverse Communities Team described the training as “excellent”, particularly because it drew on the “personal perspectives” of the course leaders, and noted that the training “will support officers and staff in providing the best service to victims.” The Head of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights described the sessions as “highly informative”.

The Assistant Chief Constable found the training “extremely insightful, interesting and eye-opening,” noting that the presenters were “very approachable in their willingness to answer questions,” while the force’s Engagement Officer said that the course “gave me a deeper understanding of the issues faced by the Jewish community.”

One officer said: “I would recommend this training to anyone who wants to know more about antisemitism and for anyone who thinks that there is no longer a problem with hatred against Jews.”

The force submitted requests for additional training.

We are grateful to Devon and Cornwall Police officers for their positive engagement with the training and are confident that they will apply insights into their policing.

Campaign Against Antisemitism regularly provides antisemitism training to regulators, police forces, public bodies, university societies and other institutions, free of charge.

If you would like to arrange antisemitism training for your association, please e-mail [email protected].

Campaign Against Antisemitism applauds Labour Party councillors in Bassetlaw after they apologised for ‘liking’ a fellow councillor’s Facebook post which compared the Conservative Party to Adolf Hitler’s SS.

The SS, the abbreviation of Schutzstaffel, was the leading paramilitary organisation under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Ian Ampleford, a Momentum activist, shared a Facebook post explaining that he had been banned from a Facebook group because he “made an innocent post comparing the Tories to the SS”. He added sarcastically: “I would like to take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly to anyone who voted for a German military organisation at the last general election.”

It is understood that Mr Ampleford’s original message, leading to his ban from the group, stated that his SS grandfather “would be proud of what the Tories have done to Britain”. This post was reportedly “liked” by Claire Plevin, a councillor for the ward of East Retford North.

Following this, East Retford West councillor, Jim Anderson, added to the inflammatory comparison with a post of his own, in which he stated that he was not surprised that Mr Ampleford had been “blackshirted”. He added: “Surely most self respecting SS thinkers would be appalled at being linked in such a way.” This post was then “liked” by Cllr Clarkson, the current Mayor of Retford.

Campaign Against Antisemitism called on the councillors to apologise. A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism told the Daily Express: “There is no reasonable basis for this offensive compariason. Such trivial equations of today’s politics with the darkest period in human history diminish the meaning and memory of the Holocaust. This is the opposite of the example politicians are supposed to be setting, both about Holocaust education and how to conduct public debate. Labour councillors must apologise.”

All three councillors were criticised by their Labour colleagues and fellow councillors, and were reportedly approached for comment by the media.

Cllr Clarkson said: “I would like to make an unreserved apology. I hold my hands up for innocently and naively liking a post by Jim Anderson as I was flicking through Facebook. I did not read the actual post, so did not know the context. I was merely liking a picture of what I assumed was Jim sat with a glass of wine and a copy of Private Eye whilst he was on holiday. That is my mistake and one which I will certainly learn from.”

He added: “I wholeheartedly support the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s comment that there is no excuse for comparing modern day politicians to the Nazis. Indeed, those with whom I have worked and been acquainted with over many years know that I would never sink to make these kind of comparisons and/or refer to Nazism or the Holocaust in any way other than within its historical context. Once again, I give my unreserved apology for any hurt that may have been caused by my flippant liking of an image on social media without reading the text associated with it.”

Cllr Plevin said: “My actions were wrong and inappropriate, and I apologise unreservedly.”

We applaud Cllr Clarkson and Cllr Plevin for recognising the impropriety of their endorsements of the inflammatory posts and apologising. No apology from Cllr Anderson – who posted one of the inflammatory comments himself – has yet been reported, and we call on him to follow his colleagues’ example.

The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

A policewoman who has been praised for confronting lockdown protesters is now alleged to have posted inflammatory social media messages and was reportedly in contact with a suspected Jihadist in Syria.

An urgent investigation has commenced into Ruby Begum, 26, who joined the Metropolitan Police in 2016 and has inspired others as a young officer wearing a hijab on the frontline of police work.

However, she is now alleged to have posted social media messages in 2014 comparing Israel to Nazis, in breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism, and referred to non-Muslims as “kuffars”.

The officer from the Met’s Taskforce, a unit which deals with public order, is alleged to have written on Twitter in January 2015: “It’s alright when Israel does it #HolocaustRemembranceDay,” as well as “Zionists have no hearts! They’ll get what’s coming to them subhanallah [glory be to God]” and “Dirty Zionist. Jahannam [hell] is awaiting.”

In 2014, on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, she allegedly wrote: “Must be stupid if you think I’m gonna do 2mins silence for 9/11.” On the 2019 anniversary, by which time she was working in the Met, she is claimed to have written: “Omg it’s 9/11 today? Jokes, I only noticed.”

Ms Begum has also reportedly written, “Kuffar lips have been all over my mug there is no way I’m using that thing again” and is claimed to have described Pakistanis as “p***s”.

She is further believed to have communicated for many months with a woman thought to have left Europe for the ISIS caliphate in Syria in 2014, and Ms Begum also reportedly disclosed without explanation that her own passport had been confiscated for a month, raising serious questions about the Met’s vetting processes. It is understood that there is no indication that Ms Begum ever tried to join ISIS or travel to Syria herself, and that some of her tweets express disgust at the terrorist group’s activities.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has apparently launched an investigation after The Mail on Sunday drew attention to the case, with Ms Begum placed on “restricted duties”.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police is reported to have said: ‘There is no place within the Met for any racist, homophobic or otherwise hateful attitudes and officers and staff can expect robust action should they be found to hold or express such views. The information provided by The Mail on Sunday regarding a police constable’s social media posts is concerning and is being treated very seriously. Following that assessment, the Met made a voluntary referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct who determined that the matter should be investigated locally. The Directorate of Professional Standards will now conduct a thorough investigation to establish the full circumstances behind the social media posts. The officer has been notified of the investigation and placed on restricted duties.”

Recently, the Metropolitan Police saw one of its own convicted for far-right terrorism.

Earlier this week, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said that she expects those behind the antisemitic attacks in May to be held responsible and face justice.  

In May, incidents of antisemitism in Britain skyrocketed after clashes erupted between Israel and Hamas, the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group. These incidents included signs that featured antisemitic themes at rallies, a rabbi in Essex being assaulted and hospitalised, and a convoy of cars that drove down the Finchley Road shouting “F*** the Jews…rape their daughters” through a megaphone.

Dame Cressida said that her officers “still have a number of investigations to complete” while adding that she expects her team will be “bringing people to justice.”

It was confirmed that the allegations that are currently under investigation so far include “a very offensive placard” and “somebody who was shouting vile abuse as they were driving along.”

“Antisemitic attacks are obviously vile – we all wish they didn’t happen,” the Commissioner said. She added: “We are working really hard to make sure we get ahead of the problem…we saw, yes a spike, a high in reported antisemitic crime.”

Commissioner Dick noted that “a fair proportion of reported crime was online” but also added that this “does not excuse it.”

Speaking on the anti-Israel demonstrations where several antisemitic signs and chants were present, Commissioner Dick said: “Policing those protests was challenging, although the amount of disorder associated with those protests was very much less than on the last two occasions when tensions had been particularly high in that region.”

Following a complaint from Campaign Against Antisemitism, the Metropolitan Police Service is investigating multiple police officers over their participation in antisemitic protests whilst in uniform.

Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick after two videos emerged, one showing a uniformed police officer embracing protestors and chanting “Free, free Palestine,” with another showing officers at the same demonstration greeting and shaking hands with the drivers of a convoy of cars that displayed Palestinian flags.

The protests were characterised by some of the worst incidents of antisemitism seen on the streets of London in recent years. Swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler as well as calls for Jews to be murdered and Jewish women to be raped were all accompanied by the constant beat of the same words that were chanted by the officer who appears in the first video.

Scottish Labour councillor Jim Sheridan has been suspended from the Party for a second time after his inflammatory comments led to an antisemitism investigation last month.

The investigation came after he appeared to double down on previous inflammatory comments, as well as claiming that former Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was suspended from the Party simply for “expressing free speech.”

Cllr Sheridan made the comments during a debate at Renfrewshire Council on the effect on free speech of the recently-passed Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.

Cllr Sheridan was quoted as saying: “I feel I must make a contribution to this debate about free speech. As someone who was personally attacked for contributing, or making, what I thought was perfectly reasonable comments about antisemitism, I was attacked for free speech.

“And I also include, Provost, the former leader of the Labour Party, who was thrown out of the Labour Party for expressing free speech.”

Cllr Sheridan appeared to be referring to a comment that he posted on his Facebook page in 2018, saying: “For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering. No longer due to what they and their blairite [sic] plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain who need a radical Labour government.”

He subsequently deleted the post, but, following a complaint, he was suspended by the Labour Party pending investigation. Last year, his suspension was reportedly lifted without explanation or apology from the councillor, who now seems to be doubling down on his previous comments as well as excusing the antisemitic former leader of the Labour Party.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism against Cllr Sheridan remains outstanding.

The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.

Hastings Council has reportedly refused to condemn calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

The chant, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, which only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state – and its replacement with a State of Palestine – and is thus an attempt to deny Jews, uniquely, the right to self-determination, was heard in an anti-Israel rally in Hastings town centre in May.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is an example of antisemitism.

Hastings Borough Council, which is led by the Labour Partyadopted the Definition last year after a campaign by Dany Louise, a councillor who had bravely resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism.

Ms Louise, no longer a councillor, called on the Council to implement the Definition and condemn the recent chanting, which she described as “naked antisemitism on the streets of Hastings.” Ms Louise told Campaign Against Antisemitism that two other residents (one Jewish, one not) also sent in written questions to the Council on the same subject, but the Chief Legal Officer rejected all three questions late enough not to leave time for revised questions to be submitted.

The Officer wrote to her: “I have considered your question in accordance with…the Constitution and decided to reject your question as it is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility, power, duty or function.”

Ms Louise said: “I was absolutely shocked by the Chief Legal Officer’s rejection of my written questions. In truth, I doubted that the Council leader would take them seriously, but it did not occur to me that they would be rejected entirely, for spurious reasons unrelated to the content of the questions. I find it altogether unsatisfactory – it is an anti-democratic and morally bankrupt action from the Council.”

She added: “I’ve been dealing with this Labour group for about four years now. It has been heart-breaking and phenomenally frustrating attempting to encourage this group to engage or deal with the antisemitism in their ranks. They have simply refused to acknowledge the issue, let alone discuss it in any sensible adult manner.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by local councils.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 showed that three in five British Jews believe that the authorities, in general, are not doing enough to address and punish antisemitism.

A councillor for Bingham Town Council has apologised for shouting out “Heil Hitler” during a council meeting on 25th May.

Councillor Viv Leach shouted the remark after the councillors voted on a motion, seemingly comparing their raised arms to Nazi salutes.

A Bingham Town Council spokesperson said: “During the Town Council’s meeting on Tuesday May 25, an inappropriate comment of ‘Heil Hitler’ was made by Councillor Leach for which she wishes to apologise unreservedly.”

Apologising for the comment, Cllr Leach said: “The comment was made in response to an observation which, on reflection, was stupid and thoughtless of me. My comment was not intended to cause offense, but it has and for that I am extremely sorry. If I could take the comment back I would, and therefore I fully accept that there may be consequences.”

The Town Council’s Mayor, Councillor Andrew Shelton, said: “the Council does not and will not tolerate such offensive language or unacceptable comments. However, we will support Councillor Leach in making amends and help identify appropriate training.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The Nazi genocide of six million Jewish men, women and children was punctuated by the call of ‘Heil Hitler’. It is therefore shocking to hear the call of ‘Heil Hitler’ in a town council meeting in 2021 Britain. Cllr Viv Leach’s conduct was utterly deplorable and it is no wonder that she has now apologised for it and accepted that there will be consequences. Mere ‘training’ is, however, insufficient. Instead, she should devote time to taking meaningful action against antisemitism so as to show the sincerity of her remorse. She could start by proposing that her council adopts the International Definition of Antisemitism.”

A swastika and antisemitic graffiti were discovered on a student’s desk at the Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City on 27th January. The incident occurred on the same day that the school formally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

School officials have declined to provide further details on the contents of the antisemitic graffiti.

A Jewish parent of a student at the school claimed that this vandalism is not an isolated incident and it is rather part of an increasingly concerning pattern. According to local press, several incidents of antisemitic behaviour have been reported at Pembroke Hill School, including swastikas graffitied across a Jewish student’s locker and a bathroom wall. On another occasion, a student allegedly raised his arm in a Nazi salute while shouting antisemitic epithets at a Jewish student.

In a letter to parents on 27th January, the head of the school maintained that the recent incident would be harnessed to educate the community and student body on the impact of intolerance and prejudice, and the importance of respect.

Pembroke Hill School officials stated that disciplinary action will be taken against whoever is responsible for the recent incident and the school will continue to uphold a zero tolerance for actions or symbols that reinforce “any form of bigotry”. The school has been unable to identify the perpetrator, however it remains under investigation.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has expanded our coverage of antisemitism. Please contact us if you would like to share feedback or volunteer to assist with this project.