Antisemitism in Political Parties

Ian Middleton

2021-present: Green Party councillor, Kidlington South division, Oxfordshire County Council

2019: Green Party parliamentary candidate, Banbury

2019-present: Green Party Councillor, Kidlington East ward, Cherwell District Council

2019-present: Green Party parish councillor, Kidlington and Yarnton

2017: Green Party parliamentary candidate, Banbury, Oxfordshire

2015: Green Party parliamentary candidate, Banbury, Oxfordshire

Cllr Middleton is an author at the pro-Jeremy Corbyn website Evolve Politics; blogs at https://wavinganddrowning.wordpress.com/

Incidents

1. On 17th November 2012, Councillor Ian Middleton tweeted: “In 1948 Israel was formed after a manically warlike country used military force to wipe out the Jews. Seems they have short memories.”

2. On 2nd September 2014, Cllr Middleton retweeted a link to an article entitled: “Has the world forgotten the Holocaust?” He commented: “No, we’re reminded of it daily in Palestine & Gaza”.

3. Also on 2nd September 2014, when another Twitter user replied to Cllr Middleton’s comment above [2], saying: “We certainly are, when Arab terrorists shoot thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians because they’re Jews”, Cllr Middleton replied: “Or because they’re being treated like the Jews were during WWII.”

4. On 29th April 2016, Cllr Middleton tweeted: “Not a Livingstone fan but at least attack him for something he’s wrong about – There WAS a Nazi-Zionist agreement.” He shared a link to an article from Vox Political entitled: “Livingstone vindicated: There WAS a Nazi-Zionist agreement and Hitler DID support it”.

Vox Political is the online blog of Mike Sivier, a former Labour Party local election Candidate whose suspension from the Labour Party for disseminating antisemic discourse remains in place since he refused to undergo the antisemitism training which was required for it to be lifted.

Analysis

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

By suggesting that Israel was behaving in the same way as Nazi Germany when it tried to wipe out the Jewish population of Europe [1]; by making a direct comparison between the situation of Palestinians to that of Jews during the Holocaust [2], and by writing that Palestinian Arabs are being “treated like the Jews were during WWII” [3], Cllr Middleton was “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

By endorsing Ken Livingstone’s assertion that “Hitler was supporting Zionism” [4], he was supporting a perversion of the historical account of the Holocaust which had been formulated in order to demonise an identifiably Jewish movement. 

Outcome

In November 2019, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to Mr Middleton, but did not receive a response.

In November 2019, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to the Green Party. A spokesman said: “The Green Party utterly condemns and is committed to confronting antisemitism. We have taken action internally to do this, for example members received antisemitism training at our Autumn Conference 2018 and our Disciplinary Committee received training in September 2019. Any new allegations that come to light will be looked into. The Green Party has a robust complaints procedure which is conducted without prejudice. The current and previous leadership have regularly advocated signing the IHRA definition of antisemitism and a process of internal discussion is underway as is always the case with policy decisions in the Green Party. The decision is one that will ultimately be taken by the membership. A motion proposing that the Party signs up to the definition will be put forward by our leadership team and members of the Jewish Green Group at our next Conference in February 2020.”

In November 2019, Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted the above material as a formal complaint to the Green Party against Cllr Middleton. In April 2020, we were informed that the Green Party Disciplinary Committee had upheld our complaint, but that no sanction had been issued.

Rating

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