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No response from Starmer after front-bencher shares article with ‘gratuitous’ rich-Israeli headline, to fury of left MPs

Guardian article about relationship between owner of two UK businesses and minister Robert Jenrick described businessman as ‘Israeli billionaire’, despite lack of relevance of nationality to story. Steve Reed has so far not been disciplined for sharing

Keir Starmer has infuriated MPs and Labour supporters by failing to take action against Steve Reed, after the Shadow Communities shared an article whose headline they consider to contain a classic antisemitic ‘trope’ about rich Jews.

Reed shared a Guardian article about the relationship between under-pressure Tory minister Robert Jenrick and the owner of a mining firm in the north-east, who also owns a London-based corporation – and a meeting they had while Jenrick was considering a request for financial support from a rival mining firm.

UK minister, two UK mining firm bosses, one a ‘family friend’ – yet the Guardian decided to include in its headline that the owner Jenrick met was an ‘Israeli billionaire’.

Just two days before, Starmer had sacked of former Shadow Education secretary – in reality to clear the way for Starmer’s support for Boris Johnson’s school-return plan, but ostensibly for sharing an Independent article that mentioned, toward its end, the fact that US police receive training in Israel and may have picked up the ‘knee on the neck’ restraint technique there.

The significance of Reed’s tweet in the wake of Long-Bailey’s removal was quickly recognised by Twitter users and fellow Labour MPs.

Author Andrew Godsell challenged Reed directly:

And within hours, furious MPs had contacted the SKWAWKBOX to ask for coverage of the tweet and Starmer’s non-action. One told the SKWAWKBOX:

The reference to Ofer’s nationality is completely gratuitous, it has no relevance to an article about a minister’s chats with owners of two UK mining companies. The antisemitic significance of linking Jews with wealth is far worse than a comment about exchange visits by police and if Keir doesn’t act, he’s making a mockery of his sacking of Becky and of his supposed commitment to zero tolerance.

Another said:

Steve Reed’s “More Jenrick revelations” tweet can’t possibly be acceptable when RLB [Long-Bailey] was sacked for re-tweeting an article in the Indy by her friend and constituent Maxine Peak because LOTO considered it antisemitic.

Steve Reed’s tweet of a Guardian article references an Israeli billionaire Tory donor. By the same logic that saw Becky Long-Bailey sacked – why isn’t it considered that Steve Reed’s tweet is propagating an ‘antisemitic conspiracy theory’ in contravention of the IHRA definition? Will he be sacked?

The SKWAWKBOX contacted both Keir Starmer and Steve Reed about Reed’s tweet, to ask why it should pass unpunished after Long-Bailey’s sacking. Neither has responded.

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70 comments

  1. Important to remember here that, while the guardian featured articles of why labour MUST accept the IHRA definition of antisemitism every day for more than a month, they have done no such thing themselves.

      1. Whether or not the Guardian is institutionally antisemitic is irrelevant. It is institutionally anti socialist. That’s all you need to know!

  2. When I first read the report of Jenrick and his meeting with a businessman and friend. I did wonder why on earth would they make a point of this businessman being Israeli. I then thought stop nitpicking. I’m sorry but I’ve come to the conclusion that if people don’t complain or accuse this of being AS Starmer ain’t going act. If he’s that serious about ridding the LP of AS why hasn’t he demoted Rachel Reeves for her sycophantic eulogy of well known Hitler supporter Nancy Astor. I’m sorry to say I feel that Keir only acts on accusations of AS when certain pressure groups complain to him and his advisors. It’s like the leaked report he would rather look the other way and try to brush it under the nearest carpet around

  3. Starmer is a player. All he’s interested in is consolidating his soft right power base within the Labour Party. Whilst his unfortunate love affair with the chief rabbi and Netanyahu does sadly appear to be heartfelt, his chief consideration is his taking the Labour Party back to the right, and of course, strengthening his own hold on power, which means stamping out unwanted debate and eradicating left wingers. Both of these things were achieved in sacking Long-Bailey, getting rid of her AND her challenge re schools returns, and undoubtably shedding a large number of disgusted left wing Labour activists for whom he’s becoming (quite deliberately) toxic. As I said, a player, magnolia bland but in it to win it, and really doesn’t give a fuck about Labour values or the working people Labour’s supposed to be there to fight for. So, stay in and fight? I think not. This party under this leader is fucked, and going to become even fuckeder..!

    1. It’s only fuckeder if you dont stand and fight and recruit and vote and recruit and campaign and recruit and then hopefully in a few months the pendulum swings back to members and supporters
      Maxine Peak made a very good point
      To do any other makes you a Tory

      1. the pendulum swings back to members and supporters….Like it did under Blair?

      2. Doug, I’m curious – all these new members you plan to recruit – will you be telling them to join because Labour’s a great party, or that you want them to join as left wing moles to fight the present leadership from within?
        Do you plan to persuade them with the truth or with a lie?

      3. David McNiven
        To me it’s always a numbers game , I’m an inveterate gambler and a dreamer, you know the surge after 2015 and JC election was a Munchian scream for change, why would anyone walk away from that
        It just makes you one of them

      4. ……..Maxine Peake made a very good point & then denied it.

      5. Steve Richards
        KISS
        If your not in the tent voting for left wing slate then your a Tory

      6. Doug, I appreciate that it was an inconvenient question but it was pertinent and deserves an answer.
        You’re asking people to recruit for Starmer – the exact opposite of what you claim to be doing.
        Your gambling addiction doesn’t enhance your argument or your credibility – quite the contrary.

      7. DM
        Starmer and his trolls on here want members to leave
        For the last time if your not in the tent voting then your a Tory

      8. Oh rly Doug?

        Where did we get last time hmm? Dunno about you, but I made sacrifices to afford to support Corbyn. And what happened? He turned out to be a cock flavoured lollipop. Many other supposedly left leaning MPs showed their true colours in recent years.

        And where is your little attempt to reclaim what you lost going to get you? Suspended? CLP closed? Accused of anti semitism?

        And to accuse people of being Tories if they don’t do what you want? Where the does your self entitlement get off? I could easily counter accuse you of being Tory because you continue to associate in the same club as documented right wingers who deliberately post an election to stop a Corbyn led government.

      9. nvla
        That’s it in a nutshell
        The internal Labour report means there is nowhere to hide, they have been exposed and starting with Blair they will be forced to leave party
        rejoin and recruit

      10. Doug, we live in a post modern society. This is baloney speak for make it up as you go along. I’m sure you’ve heard people saying about you can will things to happen or similar.

        Cummings (the smug git) gave us a masterclass in this phenomenon. He broke the rules, ignored the pressure, gave a press conference and that was it. The evidence is irrelevant. No one cares. And those that do care are irrelevant.

        The exact same thing will happen with the report. Did you not read skwawkies pieces on their sabotaging 2017? Culminating in locking Corbyn and team out of Labour HQ (because the expected to lose like they did in 2019).

        Staying is not the solution.

        It’s 2024. Labour teams are out canvassing. Knock Knock. “Hi I’m from Labour”

        Corbyn or Starmer?

        “Sorry?” “I’m here to discuss our manifesto”

        Corbyn or Starmer?

        “I’m not following you…”

        So I’ll stop you there. Corbyn? Why did you keep asking for more when people attacked you? Why didn’t you stand up for yourselves and for us? We were here for you…

        Starmer? Do you really honestly expect me to support such a duplicitous shit who doesnt do unity until it suits him?

        Either way, fuck off! And when you’re done fucking off, fuck off some more!

        I’d rather choose apathy and certain Tory victory than support these scumbags. I don’t have much in this world apart from honour and integrity and I’m going to try my hardest to keep them.

        Fuck Labour and the entitled shites who screwed us over!

  4. When did he tweet the article? The Guardian changed their headline yesterday from “Robert Jenrick faces questions over meeting with Israeli mining heir” to “Robert Jenrick admits Israeli billionaire he had meeting with is family friend”. (The Guardian put a reference to confirm the change on their website: “This article’s headline was amended on 27 June 2020 to better reflect the text of the story”.) https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/25/robert-jenrick-faces-questions-over-meeting-with-israeli-mining-heir.

  5. He will do diddly squat to him. Starmer the stupid only used the AS accusation to get rid of RLB. Depends on who says what or not. Don’t do as I do you’ll do as I say.

  6. I’m behind you 100% on this Steve. So petty and factional was the party leader on Beckie’s retweeting of Maxine Peake’s wonderful article pleading for Labour’s many left members to stay in the party and return 9 left NEC members in an election later this year, that you are providing a valuable social service by barking at Starmer on this.

    Snarl and yap more everyday until Sir Nicely Nicely learns to respect his party’s members.

    1. qwertboi – Perhaps you would be well advised to listen to your own advise and respect the democratic decision of the membership before pontificating to others.

      1. Off course, but 2 things:

        1 – over 36% of members CHOSE not to vote for Sir Keir or any other candidate for leader;

        2 – Sir Keir stood on a very comprehensive ‘unity’ ticket and pledged to continue his predecessor’s keynote policies, neither of which is being honoured by him.

        He is a sham and a conman and although he was a very unsatisfactory Head of CPS and, atrociously, am invitee to the Trilateral Commission, neither of which endear him to me, his deceit and deception (1, above) cause me no difficulties in distrusting him.

        A Labour Party member needs to trust his Leader. Sir Keir makes this impossible.

  7. This is all getting rather silly, would it have been ‘gratuitous’ if the headline had have been ‘rich-American’?

  8. The difference is that RLB casually endorsed false claims that erroneously linked Israel with the unlawful death of George Floyd and RLB was so stupidly reckless and/or naïve that she didn’t think there was any need to check out its veracity first. She then further compounded this by defying instructions from her boss to take down her tweet linking to this falsehood.
    Whilst all Steve Reed has done is link to a news article where the purely descriptive words that the self appointed guardians of ‘the left’ are disingenuously trying to make contentious are self evidently true and do nothing more than add context, just the same as they would have done if this billionaire had been described as Saudi, Russian, American, Chinese etc etc. The article unlike the one RLB stupidly endorsed isn’t falsely linking Israel to the horrendously callous murder of a man by another state’s law enforcers.
    It is disappointing that the self appointed guardians of ‘the left’ are now emulating the same reprehensible behaviour and tactics that were used by the Jeremy’s opponents to undermine him and destroy Labour’s chances in 2 GEs
    My abiding impression of Jeremy Corbyn is that he is an honourable and descent man who would have nothing but contempt for these so called supporters who seek to undermine much of what he stands for. Having experienced the same reprehensible behaviour from the RW I don’t think JC would want to be associated in any way with these pretend supporters who’ve adopted a philosophy of ‘the end justifies the means’ by attempting to use false claims of anti-Semitism to undermine his democratically elected successor and his party.

    1. I take it then, SteveH, that you believe RLB was sacked purely on AS grounds – that it had nothing to do with Starmer pitching Labour to the right and that this was an ideal opportunity to push that agenda further along the road?

      I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that there are nearly always two sides to every story, it often depends on which one we prefer to believe.

      So, perhaps you should have a look at this short piece by Ronan Burtenshaw which puts that other side into perspective:

      “Labour Leader Keir Starmer Sabotaged Rebecca Long-Bailey to Undermine the Left”

      https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/06/labour-party-uk-keir-starmer-rebecca-long-bailey

      1. Good share PW,and I recommend everyone to read the article you have linked to for a proper understanding of what Starmer is up to.

      2. Before the Knight of the realm became the establishment’s satrap in the Labour party, I stated he would have a right wing trajectory with a veneer of a left wing cover to give the illusion to the misguided, misinformed and maladjusted that he would continue the legacy of JC. As with all veneers, it comes off but in his case it vaporized at the first opportunity.

    2. SteveH
      Let’s see what comes out in trial of copper who killed George Floyd
      You think those techniques are not taught by Israel security forces
      Have you written your letter to Santa yet

    1. Jack – I believe you are being disingenuous and if you really can’t see that for yourself I fell sorry for you.

    1. Jack – In which case you won’t mind working it out for yourself by doing a little research, perhaps you’ll learn a valuable lesson in critical reading.

  9. SteveH, you are normally very quick to explain in great detail to posters when you believe they are wrong. You are obviously having some difficulty this time.

    1. Jack – But you haven’t claimed that what I have written is incorrect so I see no reason to defend my position. If you are, as you claimed, genuinely interested then you won’t mind finding out for yourself. Alternatively if you are being disingenuous, as I suspect your latest comment indicates then I really can’t be arsed. As I said above if you really can’t see that for yourself then I feel sorry for you, you have some issues that you need to address. Goodnight.

    1. Jack – I suggest you re-read my original post, the information you have requested is already there. If you require anything further then look it up for yourself. Despite your transparently disingenuous approach I’ve tried being polite but as you unfortunately haven’t responded to this approach it looks like I will have to resort to more direct language.
      I really can’t be bothered with your silly nonsense tonight so please just piss off, I am not here to provide light relief for your boredom.

  10. SteveH It’s a rather long winded way of saying you can’t explain, whilst at the same time showing everyone it’s YOU who is disingenuous. No wonder you support Starmer!

  11. If the US administration wanted to train their police forces in miltary restraint techniques of the more severe kind that might have been used at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo – they’d probably want to avoid the PR disaster of using their own military to train police.
    I believe they’d anticipate a degree of plausible deniability from using foreign experts who couldn’t be forced to testify to anything.
    Who else would they choose BUT the Israelis with whom they have such intimate political links and so many shared secrets?

  12. Yes, Starmer sacked RLB for a number of reasons not limited to her comments on the Maxine Peake article, but then she pretty much gave him an open goal to shoot at.

    In truth, Rebecca Long Bailey has not exactly been the brightest of bunnies when it comes to her choice of endorsements to date.

    Sign up to the IHRA list of demands, no problem, except there is a real problem with that list of demands when it comes to issues of free speech in relation to holding the state of Israel to account for it’s actions.

    Sign up to the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights list of demands, no problem, except there is a real problem with that list of demands when it alienates perfectly reasonable people who believe that biological sex is an immutable fact.

    And now the Maxine Peake article, no problem, except claiming that the knee on the neck used by US police forces was learned from the Israeli secret service was an out and out lie.

    I mean seriously, does this woman even read the things she is putting her name to ?

    I think the left of the party need to think long and hard where they go with this. Given her poor judgement on a number of issues, is Rebecca Long Bailey a ditch worth dying in ?

    1. SAR “claiming that the knee on the neck used by US police forces was learned from the Israeli secret service was an out and out lie.”

      How do you know it was a lie?

  13. Keir Starmer appears to have been antisemitic according to ihra conflating jews with israel….
    *Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.*
    Thanks skwawky for lodging a complaint, I will be attempting to make a complaint too.

    The sacking of Bailey who retweeted Maxine Peake’s interview that said
    The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.” (A spokesperson for the Israeli police has denied this, stating that “there is no tactic or protocol that calls to put pressure on the neck or airway”.)
    ((There is however much photographic evidence of Israeli police using this on palistineans.)) Have a look SteveH
    was more about Bailey standing with the unions, standing up for the safety of teachers, school children and their families,and actually OPPOSING THE GOVERNMENTS CALLOUS ATTACKS ON THE VULNERABLE

    While starmer seems to be all about crushing the unions, purging the left maintaining a close relationship with msm, The BOD, and supporting this fascist government

    If only action was taking as quickly on those guilty of racism misogyny and bullying and infact sabotaging those who pay their wages by working against the party, and costing us our success in the election, as evidenced in the recent leaked dossier ….

    If only he had been so demonstrative in calling for Jenrick “unlawful property deal” to be sacked….
    If only he would act equally stringently in regards to Steve Reed retweeting
    Guardian article about relationship between owner of two UK businesses and minister Robert Jenrick describing unnecessarily businessman as ‘Israeli billionaire’, despite lack of relevance of nationality to story.

    If only he hadn’t promoted Rachel Reeves who celebrated her hero Nancy Astor, the first female MP to take her seat in the House of Commons, WHO WAS AN ANTISEMITIC NAZI SYMPATHISER who said: “Adolf Hitler is a welcome solution to the world Jew problem.”

    If only we had a Labour party that was Social Democratic and not neoliberal, led by a member of the trilateral commission

    If only…..

  14. Jack T

    Use of the knee on the neck as a means of pacification and restraint goes back many decades if not centuries.

    You will also find it is used in Krav Maga, Hapkido, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial arts

    It’s hardly a move invented or disseminated by the Israeli secret service.

    1. There is a huge difference between what has been done in an ad hoc way and making an action part of the training syllabus,and instruction manual.

    2. Knee on neck is an illegal move in Greco-Roman wrestling, as is anything ‘dangerous’ or potentially life threatening, but the point has been made that there is photographic evidence that Israeli Defence Forces have used potentially life threatening illegal ‘holds’ to pacify unarmed civilians in March this year, just prior to the George Floyd killing……just another unfortunate coincidence that Sir Keir Starmer refuses to condemn.

    3. @SAR

      Interesting list.

      Krav Maga. Isreali. Development due to Israeli military and secret service. Uses moves poached from other styles. The most aggressive of the four you mentioned (not that the other four aren’t).

      Hapkido. Korean. Development due to desire to avoid brute strength against brute strength. Similar to Aikido.

      Judo. Japanese. Development due to offshoot from Jujitsu. Competitive. Primary goal is to subdue or immobilise. Olympic sport.

      BJJ. Brazilian. Mashup of styles including Judo, wrestling and Jujitsu. Designed to equalise inequality in bulk, height etc (floor fighting). Won a lot of MMA when it first started.

      It’s interesting to note that of all the styles above, only one has a style taught to civilians, and another variation to the security services…

  15. Jack T

    Maxine Peake herself has retracted the comment as inaccurate.

    If the author of the article herself has no evidence for the claim, and freely admits she was wrong in posting it, I’m really not sure what else to say to you.

    Perhaps you have access to evidence that Maxine Peake doesn’t, if so, please feel free to share it with us.

    1. SAR we can all cite instances of comments being withdrawn after the commenter has been ‘knelt on’ but it doesn’t necessarily detract from what they said.

  16. Fuckin hell JackT you’re on fire today , well done nailed at least 2 Tory bots so far , keep up the great work , they can’t explain why , cos there is NO WHY ! its all weapons grade BULLSHIT !

  17. Rob

    Maxine Peake herself has stated that her comment was untrue, ie a lie.

    That’s all the explanation you should need from the author herself.

    And no, far from a Tory bot here, unless you can stretch that definition to include someone who has voted Labour at every general election since 1979

    1. Yeh and so have I , so what ! It don’t mean you are a socialist , take a look at those on the RW of the party.. ha ! I don’t give a stuff what Peak said or retracted it’s how that twat Starmer used it to attack the Left and remove one of his political opponents he fears in an utterly cowardly way . The use of AS is complete BULLSHIT ( in fact Starmer has imo broken the IHRA definition himself ) as it’s clear she would not cow tow to him and had some balls to stand her ground.
      So yeh there’s the reason WHY SAR , the reason is the false use of AS to purge yet more of the Left , just you lot can’t bring yourselves to admit it .
      Mind you what the fuck do I care I’m no longer in the cesspit of a corrupt party that masquerades as a Socialist party

    2. SAR

      By definition, a lie is a statement deliberately made with the intention to deceive, while an incorrect statement is not by definition a lie.

      I’m sure you must have stated something at some time that you thought to be true but then turned out not to be, notwithstanding that you didn’t make it with the intention to deceive. I know I certainly have – I’m only human, after all, and we all make mistakes – it’s whether we can admit to them that matters.

      The fact that there are multiple photographic examples of the technique being used by Israeli security personnel on Palestinians and that it is also a matter of record that American law enforcement personnel have attended training sessions provided by Israeli security services, then it is not unreasonable to make such a connection.

      Whether there is any truth in it, or not, remains an open question since they’re unlikely to admit to it even if it is true but it doesn’t mean she was deliberately intending to deceive anyone by making such a statement.

      1. PW As we’ve seen, the Zionists will try and capitalise on any incident they can and use it to deflect from their own brutality against Palestinians. They have the majority of the right wing media on their side because it’s conducive to both of them to try and undermine Socialists wise to their thuggery.

  18. There’s been, as I understand it, a denial by Amnesty US on the specific point about the knee on neck technique being taught by Israeli forces to US police.
    There’s an organisation called NGO MONITOR which is funded largely from the donations from ‘foundations’ of wealthy Jewish families. Despite its innocent-sounding name it’s an anti-palestinian black propaganda website. Click on ‘webinars’ in the header.
    It’s attacked Amnesty US in the past I believe, likely with support from the US administration -which may account for Amnesty saying “We didn’t say that” and effectively throwing Peake & RLB under a bus.
    Amnesty did, however, write in 2012 on Israel training US police. It makes Peake’s claim logically defensible if not proven in detail.
    https://www.amnestyusa.org/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-departments-training-with-a-chronic-human-rights-violator-israel/

    1. ‘Foundations’ by the way are one of the favourite ways for the wealthy in many countries to avoid paying tax.
      If some of those tax savings go to fund dodgy fake ‘charities’ and ‘independent’ organisations like NGO MONITOR, nobody in governments looks that hard at corruption or black propaganda, particularly if it says exactly what they want but can’t say officially.

      1. Like tentacles of a malevolent octopus the Israeli Govt is everywhere corrupting and undermining all to cover its destruction of the Palestinian race , note I said the Israeli Govt and not Jews many of whom like the JVL are as appalled as anyone else over what’s happening.

  19. You forgot to mention where Steve Reed references these dealings by the government with said Israeli billionaire as “sleaze”.
    Steve Reed, the shadow communities secretary, said: “Mr Jenrick must now tell us whether he declared his friendship with Mr Ofer to officials prior to the meeting, why he did not immediately step back from making the decision and what further discussions he had with Mr Ofer.

    “It’s time for some honesty. Mr Jenrick must come to the House of Commons to explain exactly what he’s been up to because the public are now worried that a new era of Tory sleaze has begun in earnest.”

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