Antisemitism in Political Parties



Andrea Carey Fuller

2019: Green Party parliamentary candidate for Lewisham, Deptford

2018: Green Party candidate, New Cross ward, Lewisham Borough Council

2016: Green Party candidate, London Assembly

2016: Green Party candidate, Evelyn ward, Lewisham Borough Council

2104: Green Party candidate, Ladywell ward, Lewisham Borough Council


Incidents

  1. On 29th September 2019, a statement was published in the London Green Left blog, to which Andrea Carey Fuller was a signatory. The statement included the following accusation against Campaign Against Antisemitism: “CAA is a campaign which systematically makes accusations of antisemitism against pro-Palestine activists (esp. Jewish ones). To take up this complaint would be to collude in an anti-Palestinian agenda that would also discredit the Green Party. It is astonishing that the Party could fall for such a tactic, unwittingly or through lack of political courage.” It further asserted: “The IHRA definition poses a serious threat to academic freedom and freedom of expression by conflating opposition to Israeli policies with antisemitism…A complaint which now exploits the definition, without the backing of conference, in order to frame allegations against a member is itself evidence of this threat. For the Green Party to sponsor a politically motivated external campaign against one of its own spokespersons is an affront…”
  2. On 8th July 2020, Ms Carey Fuller retweeted an article entitled: “The Britain-Israel partnership driving ‘antisemitism’ allegations.” The author, Green Party member Les Levidow, claimed that [a] “Since spring 2016 there has been a high-profile, escalating campaign of false allegations against pro-Palestine activists. A prime target has been the Labour Party, with allegations that its leadership had failed to address its alleged internal antisemitism problem.” The purpose of this “campaign”, according to Mr Levidow was “not just to protect Israel from justified criticism but also to shield British hegemonic interests”, and thus, he wrote, [b] “the intimidation campaign has united diverse political forces (the UK government, the entire mass media, most of the Parliamentary Labour Party, etc.) around a common motive to undermine the pro-Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party.”One of the “counter-actions” proposed [c] by Mr Levidow at the end of his ‘analysis’ is to explain why Israel (which he describes here as “the Zionist colonisation project”, and below as the “Zionist apartheid settler-colonial regime”) “has always been ‘a racist endeavour”. The article included [d] an image by the controversial Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, which showed Jeremy Corbyn standing behind a podium labelled ‘Palestinian rights’, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — shown repeatedly shouting “Anti-semite! [sic]” — fired rockets at him (one labelled ‘defamation’) from a warplane labelled “The Lobby”.
  1. On 28th July 2020, Ms Carey Fuller took part in a hustings meeting for prospective Green Party deputy leadership candidates, hosted by the Young Greens group. All of the candidates were posed the following question: “In the light of recent events, what will candidates do to ensure we actively are at the forefront of tackling antisemitism within society?” Ms Carey Fuller responded [circa 22:00] initially by stating that she had joined a 48-hour Twitter boycott prompted by the platform’s failure to adequately censure the musician Wiley following a prolonged antisemitic tirade. However, she continued: “Obviously I think the antisemitism is a difficult issue because there’s [sic] two issues here. One is obviously discriminating against people purely based on their religion, which is out of order, but there is still a right for people to speak up against how the Israeli government treats the Palestinian people, and that’s completely different.” She continued by discussing her role in the boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement before concluding: “But I think we do need to be very careful that we make that distinction, and that everybody supports Jewish people to have their rights, their views, and a lot of Jewish people want to see their Israeli government act in a more humane way towards Palestinians, so just be careful, people, about this debate, OK.”When asked by the chairperson whether she had any concrete suggestions for challenging antisemitism, she merely reiterated her view that “we do need to be careful that what we’re challenging is people discriminating against people purely because they’re Jewish, but to actually condemn the Israeli government for their actions is not antisemitic, and there’s a difference.”
  2. On 4th August 2020, Ms Carey Fuller was criticised by another Green Party member for having retweeted a video by former Labour MP Chris Williamson, in which he denounced the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), saying: “Over the last few years we’ve seen how the Commission’s lack of independence has led to its purpose being perverted in order to attack the British left, Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. The warning signs came as early as September 2017, when the Commission’s Chief Executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, said: ‘Antisemitism is racism and the Labour party needs to do more to establish that it is not a racist party’. No major political party has ever been singled out…The number of cases of alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party are minuscule and were clearly exaggerated as part of a pernicious smear campaign against Corbyn and his supporters.” Mr Williamson went on to allege that the EHRC’s impartiality was compromised by supposed links to Jewish individuals and organisations. Ms Carey Fuller appears to have now deleted her retweet.

Analysis

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis is that Ms Carey Fuller’s actions and statements amount to breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism and qualify as antisemitic discourse according to our methodology.

By signing a statement which accused a Jewish charity fighting antisemitism of being a “politically motivated external campaign” enacting an “anti-Palestinian agenda” by “systematically [making] accusations of antisemitism against pro-Palestine activists” [1]; by sharing an article claiming that false accusations of antisemitism were being made against the Labour Party and pro-Palestinian activists in order to protect Israel from criticism and “shield British hegemonic interests” [2a]; which spoke of an “intimidation campaign” via accusations of antisemitism as having “united the UK government, the entire mass media, most of the Parliamentary Labour Party, etc.) around a common motive to undermine the pro-Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party” [2b]; which employed an image which alleges that accusations of antisemitism made against Jeremy Corbyn originate from Israel via “the Lobby” (a trope regarding the hidden power of diaspora Jews or Israel which originated in the antisemitic propaganda of 1970s Soviet Russia) [2d]; and by sharing a video in which it was alleged that Britain’s equality watchdog had become part of a conspiracy to “attack the British left, Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters”, and that accusations of antisemitism in Labour were part of a pernicious smear campaign against Corbyn [4], she was not only disseminating material alleging large-scale conspiracies which necessarily involved Jews, but was also deploying the so-called ‘Livingstone Formulation, by accusing Jews who cite evidence of antisemitism of lying, conspiring or having deceitful motives in doing so, when there is clear evidence that there have been breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism. This constitutes “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

By sharing an article describing the State of Israel as a “Zionist colonisation project” and a “Zionist apartheid settler-colonial regime” which has “always been ‘a racist endeavour’” [2c], she was “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour).”

By responding to a question about dealing with antisemitism in British society with the assertion that “a lot of Jewish people want to see their Israeli government act in a more humane way towards Palestinians” [3], she was both “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel” and invoking the so-called “dual loyalty” trope: “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”

Outcome

On 1st July 2020, an interview with Ms Carey Fuller was published in the London Green Left Blog, in which she was asked about the likelihood of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism being brought back to the Green Party’s autumn conference for adoption, and whether she supported the definition. She responded in the negative, explaining that she had been a co-proposer with Les Levidow (see [2], above) in 2016 of a policy motion opposing the definition.

On 29th July 2020, a number of young Green Party members expressed concern about Ms Carey Fuller’s response at the hustings in [3], with the member who claimed to have written the question regarding antisemitism which was posed to all of the candidates stating that they were “horrified” by the way she “instantly mentioned Israel without any promt [sic] or involvement in the question.”

In August 2020, Ms Carey Fuller stood as a candidate for the deputy leadership of the Green Party, but was unsuccessful.

In September 2020, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to both Ms Carey Fuller and the Green Party; Ms Carey Fuller did not respond, and the Green Party told us they were unable to comment on individual cases lest it prove prejudicial to any future disciplinary proceedings.

At the time of first publication, on 16th September 2020, it was not known whether any action had been taken by the Green Party against Ms Carey Fuller.

In June 2021, we were informed that Ms Carey-Fuller was no longer a member of the Green Party; however, the circumstances under which she left remain unknown.

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