Rebecca Massey, the newly-elected Interim Chair of Central Hove, Brunswick and Adelaide Labour Party, is an active user of Twitter. She uses her account, @beckycheabas, to propagate views familiar to those attempting to counter the strain of antisemitism that masquerades as political discourse about Israel.
Whilst most of her tweets are dedicated to the demonisation of Israel, referring to it often in hyperbolic terms such as “pathological”, “barbaric” and “apartheid”, some reveal a deeper prejudice. For example, Massey asserts that Israel controls the British government, tweeting that “Israel has Tory & Labour parties under control”.
— Rebecca (@BeckyCheAbas) September 12, 2015
According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, which was adopted by the British Government in December, prompting Labour to also claim that they adopt it, “Making…stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as…Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.
When Chuka Umunna said following Ken Livingstone’s declaration that Hitler supported Zionism that “Offending Jewish people is a betrayal of our Labour values”, Massey jumped to Livingstone’s defence, tweeting that Umunna had “swallowed the conflation of Zionist with Jewish”. Massey is “Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews” according to the International Definition of Antisemitism.
@CarbonisedPleb Umunna swallowed the conflation of zionist with jewish (or pretends to) He was clearly full of malice, yet seems proud of it
— Rebecca (@BeckyCheAbas) June 14, 2016
On another occasion, Massey tweeted an article explaining how the “Israel lobby manufactured the UK Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis”, as if that crisis were not as a result of British Jews decrying egregious antisemitic statements by senior Labour Party figures. Since these allegations did not come from Israel but were from British Jews, the “Israel lobby” is a misnomer: she means a ‘Jewish lobby’ again deploying what the International Definition refers to as “the myth…of Jews controlling the…government or other societal institutions.”
How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party's anti-Semitism crisis https://t.co/c5qycaobK2
— Rebecca (@BeckyCheAbas) April 29, 2016
We were unsure as we read Massey’s tweets that this could possibly be the same Rebecca Massey that has newly been elected to a position of responsibility in the Labour Party. But Greg Hadfield, the former secretary of Brighton, Hove and District Labour party, suspended last October, confirmed our fears when he tweeted his congratulations on her election.
— Greg Hadfield (@GregHadfield) January 14, 2017
As the local Labour Party’s minutes reveal, Rebecca Massey is the newly elected interim-Chair of Central Hove, Brunswick & Adelaide Labour Party. Moreover, she was recommended for the post by her local Momentum group. One can only wonder about how the local Jewish community in Brighton and Hove might feel about the news.
That Massey claims that Labour’s antisemitism crisis is a fabrication of the “Israel lobby” is truly ironic: for that antisemitism crisis rests squarely in the black hearts of individuals like her.
The Labour Party does not act on antisemitism. Even worse has been perpetrated by even more high-profile figures and yet has famously been dismissed after hearings in camera under the terms of the laughable Chakrabarti report. We have no confidence whatsoever therefore that Massey will be disciplined.
We will, however, continue to expose individuals like her until at some point, the Labour Party accepts that for so long as it remains an institutionally racist party, it cannot possibly command the respect of the British people.