The Green Party has failed to respond after Campaign Against Antisemitism notified the Party’s leadership of severe antisemitic conduct by two prominent members of the Party.
Claudine Letsae, who recently served as the Green Party Equalities and Diversity Coordinator and now holds the International Coordinator portfolio, has among the worst and most prolific record of antisemitic comments of any political officeholder that we have ever seen.
Using an anonymous account which has recently been suspended by Twitter, she has tweeted that “the Zionists Own the media and everything else inbetween [sic]” and said of London’s Royal Free Hospital that “They are run by Zionists, they are one NHS Trust that is extremely corrupt”.
In reference to the Western coalition’s retaking of the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS, Ms Letsae commented: “The cruelty of this Zionist nations [sic] knows no limitations to their barbarity and cruelty #FreePalestine.”
Protesting the closure of the controversial Exhibit B installation at the Barbican Centre, she wrote: “It would not happen if it was Jewish exhibition #ExhibitB @BarbicanCentre because it is minority that has less of a voice-if its black people [sic].” Then, responding to a question by another user, she replied: “well the Jews are no longer persecuted and they have received their reparation. None for the African slaves yet.”
She has also promoted the antisemitic Khazar myth, which claims that Jews are descended from a Central Asian people and have no connection to the Land of Israel.
Ms Letsae was also a signatory to a letter published in the London Green Left blog that accused Campaign Against Antisemitism of being “a campaign which systematically makes accusations of antisemitism against pro-Palestine activists (esp. Jewish ones)” and that opposed the International Definition of Antisemitism.
These are just a sample of the incidents relating to Ms Letsae. It is astonishing that she could have been considered appropriate to serve as the Party’s Equalities and Diversity Coordinator or that she is deemed fit to continue to serve in a different portfolio now, as well as having been a Parliamentary candidate.
We have also drawn the Green Party’s attention to Jeremy Parker, a former Parliamentary and local council candidate who has applauded the description of Facebook as a “weapon of mass Zionist attack” and has repeatedly compared Israel to the Nazis, as well as having shared an article describing Zionism as “a variant of white supremacy”. According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism.
He has also claimed that Israel controls the United States, writing, “Time for Trump to be honest and recognise Israeli sovereignty over the United States of America. #IsraelFirst,” and he has promoted articles undermining the fight against antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has previously submitted numerous cases to the Green Party relating to antisemitism on the part of its officeholders and candidates. The Party’s response to these cases has largely been characterised by a lack of transparency, compounded by the failure to apply the International Definition of Antisemitism, which has been adopted by the British Government and all other major political parties, or indeed any discernible or consistent definition or metric, within the disciplinary process. Without the public adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism, it is difficult to see how justice can be done and seen to be done for both victims and accused.
Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted this article to the Green Party for comment but did not receive a response.
Joe Glasman, Head of Political and Government Investigations at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “The various cases that we have brought to the attention of the Green Party are deeply concerning. It is remarkable that one of the worst cases we have ever encountered is the Party’s International Coordinator who until recently held the Equalities and Diversity portfolio, which is emblematic of how the far-left has a blind spot when it comes to antisemitism.
“The cases are bad enough, but the combination of the Party’s unwillingness to address the issue and its constitutional limitations on doing so point to more severe problems beneath the surface. In its report on antisemitism in the Labour Party, the EHRC was clear that parties must have the capacity to tackle discrimination and inequality within their membership and structures, and that its findings applied to all political parties.
“For the Greens to keep ignoring antisemitism among some of their leading officeholders, election candidates and members is unsustainable. We will continue to hold the Greens, and all parties, to account over anti-Jewish racism.”
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.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.