As if a further example of the futility of appeasement were needed, another has surfaced over the issue of MP Chris Williamson’s suspension from the Labour Party over, as it turns out, his rather pertinent remark that the Party had been ‘too apologetic about antisemitism’. As I have argued in previous posts, the Party’s approach in fact has been dominated by a continuing string of apologies and u-turns, not least over the eventual acceptance of the flawed IHRA ‘definition’ of antisemitism.
Despite the fact that Williamson did not actually make an antisemitic statement, nor supported anyone who did, suspension was swift. Then on 26 June, on the recommendation of a group set up to investigate the case, he was reinstated. Unsurprisingly, given their track record, some anti-Corbyn MPs and self-defined leaders of British Jewry, as the Guardian put it, ‘expressed fury’ and within a few days he had been suspended again by the Party!
This farcical situation, ironically, simply bears out Williamson’s original assertion. It also says something of concern about the integrity of the Guardian newspaper. Wont to describe itself as ‘preserving the sacredness of facts’ its news reporting of this episode (27, 28 June) simply quotes Corbyn’s critics with no space given to any of Williamson’s supporters, of which there are plenty, including a large number of Labour constituency parties. Why the Guardian has chosen to ignore good evidence and a balanced account, is difficult to say, but it is not good news if a supposedly ‘liberal thinking’ outlet allows itself to behave in such a way.
For a detailed discussion of the Chris Williamson affair and a robust defence of his position, see the recent statement (July 2) by the executive cttee of the Labour Party in Northern Ireland, posted by Jewish Voice for Labour: