Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis is that Mr Lloyd Evans’ statements and actions amount to breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism and qualify as antisemitic discourse according to our methodology.
By repeatedly likening events in Israel to Nazi Germany [1a][2a][4a]; by further endorsing such comparisons [2d]; and by endorsing the term “Anti Zionazism”, which equates Zionism with Nazism, in the context of a discussion of Israeli-Palestinian relations [4b], Mr Lloyd Evans was “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
By endorsing a comment which asserted the existence of a “Zionist conspiracy” and accused Zionist Jews of being “gaslighters” (that is, of perpetrating a form of psychological abuse through deceit) [1b]; and by endorsing comments alleging that western governments are controlled by “Jewish bankers” and that America is controlled by Israel [2b][2c], Mr Lloyd Evans was “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 endorsing a comment which described “the Jewish people” as behaving towards Palestinians in the same manner as the Nazis had towards Jews [2d], he was endorsing a statement which was “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.”
We further note that the report of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) following its statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party, in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, includes a section entitled “Types of antisemitic conduct that amounted to unlawful harassment” with a subsection entitled “Suggesting that complaints of antisemitism are fake or smears”. This subsection states that: “Labour Party agents denied antisemitism in the Party and made comments dismissing complaints as ‘smears’ and ‘fake’. This conduct may target Jewish members as deliberately making up antisemitism complaints to undermine the Labour Party, and ignores legitimate and genuine complaints of antisemitism in the Party. These comments went beyond simply describing the agents’ own personal experience of antisemitism in the Party.”
Additionally, in its report, the EHRC made clear that its judgements apply to all political parties and emphasised that the European Convention on Human Rights does not protect racist speech, which may include antisemitic speech.
On this basis, the EHRC found that denying antisemitism in the Labour Party and making comments dismissing complaints as “smears” or “fake” — such as allegations that complaints of antisemitism are “part of a smear campaign by ‘the Israel lobby’ to stigmatise critics of Israel as antisemitic, and … intended to undermine and disrupt the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn MP” — are not protected by the fundamental right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In other words, such comments are not protected as freedom of speech at all, but amount to unlawful harassment of Jewish people.
Futhermore, the EHRC specified certain examples of antisemitic conduct which would be unlawful on the same basis within the relevant context.
Mr Lloyd Evans’s comments in which he repeatedly made comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany, or endorsed such comparisions, as described above; his endorsement of comments which referenced conspiracy theories about Jewish power and control over financial and other institutions [2b][2c]; and his endorsement of a comment which was “blaming Jewish people generally for the actions of the state of Israel” [2d] appear, under our analysis, to be captured within the examples given in the EHRC’s report.
Moreover, by comparing Israel with Nazi Germany or endorsing such commments, as described above; by endorsing comments which referenced conspiracy theories about Jewish power and control over financial and other institutions [2b][2c]; and by “blaming Jewish people generally for actions of the state of Israel” [2d], Mr Lloyd Evans, as an agent of his Party, may therefore have caused Plaid Cymru to breach equality legislation.