Analysis Breaking Exclusive

Exclusive: days after accepting Islamophobia report in full, Labour targets new NEC member of Moroccan heritage for standing in solidarity with Palestinians

General secretary David Evans accepted ‘all’ LMN’s damning report on anti-Muslim racism among the Labour right – and its recommendations. But just days later, Labour is ‘investigating’ an NEC member for standing against the same anti-Palestinian bigotry Labour just promised to outlaw

Targeted for showing solidarity: Gemma Bolton

As the SKWAWKBOX showed earlier today, Labour is ‘investigating’ – the word used by the Jewish Chronicle’s Lee Harpin (author of ‘a litany of lies’ for which the paper paid out hefty compensation to a smeared Labour-supporting pensioner without even trying to argue its case in court), to whom the news was apparently leaked by someone in the party – newly-elected NEC member Gemma Bolton.

Her ‘crime’? Agreeing with the United Nations that Israel is an apartheid state and with Labour’s three biggest affiliated unions that the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ (BDS) campaign against goods and services produced in illegally-seized Palestinian territories, is a an effective means of protest.

But in targeting Ms Bolton, the party has put itself in a cleft stick of its own making.

Late last week, the Labour Muslim Network (LMN) published a measured but no less damning report on Islamophobia in the Labour Party, a huge problem among the Labour right. The SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed that Labour general secretary David Evans – he could hardly do otherwise after pledging to implement the whole EHRC report on antisemitism in the party – subsequently emailed party figures to announce that Labour would implement every recommendation in the LMN report, with leader Keir Starmer, deputy leader Angela Rayner and himself taking a lead to ensure it is done.

And one of the key recommendations of the report – and now a Labour commitment – is to adopt in full the working definition of Islamophobia created by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims.

And that definition, now Labour’s ‘bible’ on the subject of Islamophobia, is this:

Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.

The report gives examples of such racist targeting – which include these:

– Denying Muslim populations the right to self-determination…
– Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/ fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.

BDS is a campaign led by Palestinians in an attempt to resist the continuing annexation of their territory by an ultra-right Israeli government – it is a textbook case of an attempt to secure self-determination for the Palestinian population against a country that only last year was condemned by the United Nations for killing and maiming unarmed Palestinians, including children:

And in targeting Gemma Bolton for standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and against their persecution and often murder, Labour has opened itself and its hierarchy to charges of gross Islamophobia – even more so because Gemma Bolton is of Moroccan Muslim heritage.

Gemma Bolton was born Gemma Phaytan-Bolton, to a Moroccan Arab father and English mother. She adopted her mother’s surname a few years ago, but is very proud of her Arab roots and acutely aware of the racism experienced by Palestinians and other Arab people. Labour is targeting her for standing in solidarity with Palestinian Arabs against the racism perpetrated against them – as do many Muslims and non-Muslims – in direct contravention of the LMN report the party has just said it will implement in full.

Solidarity with other Muslims is very much an ‘expression of Muslimness’ – just as much as solidarity with the oppressed is a core feature of genuine socialism.

Ronnie Kasrils, the Jewish former Mandela ally, ANC government minister and anti-apartheid campaigner, said in 2007 of his own experience of visiting occupied Palestine:

Travelling into Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip, which I visited recently, is like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency.

It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints — more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger…

The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison.

It is shocking to discover that certain roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa.

For standing against this and daring to call it apartheid, the Labour right have set their sights on an Arab woman, perhaps not realising her heritage and the trap they were setting for themselves because of her now-English surname.

And shortly after promising to stamp out any such racism in the party, Labour is ‘investigating’ her – and leaking the information to a right-wing paper with a track record of lies and distortions against the left:

If Labour fails to reverse its action and instead act against those who targeted Gemma Bolton for agreeing with the UN, Labour’s biggest unions and many others – and the staffer who leaked the news to a right-wing rag – its position on Islamophobia is a sham and one that certainly merits statutory investigation.

Labour’s complaints department can be reached here.

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22 comments

  1. Gemma should take the labour party, keir starmer & david evans to court! I would gladly donate to a crowdfund for such a cause!

    1. Good idea Richard. Those of you with scruples who are party members should use every opportunity to affirm your socialism. Others, outside of the party will support you. The Left has always been on the defensive, now, it has to be original and combative. What’s to lose? Regards . ☮️

    2. Those socialists who have recently harboured the delusion that Jeremy Corbyn and at least SOME of the supposed Socialist Campaign Group could be the core for a genuine radical Left Party – by splitting from the now totally neoliberal , Blairism reborn, Starmerite Tory-lite, NuLabour Party, will be disappointed that today Jeremy has totally recanted his earlier, completely accurate, comment that the anti-Semitism issue was exaggerated in the Party for factional purposes ! https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/nov/17/jeremy-corbyn-labour-antisemitism-concerns-were-not-exaggerated

      There is no humiliation that the Labour left will not subject itself to in order to stay in the Labour Party – no matter how totally Right wing and neoliberal, and generally shit, it becomes. And the irony is that the Party , now firmly under Right Wing control, will STILL probably expel Corbyn ! Grovelling to the Right by the Party’s Left has a long , sad , history (both Bevan and the originally Left firebrand, Stafford Cripps , did it too in the 1930’s) – and the supine ‘whipped cur’ response of the Corbyn Circle to the endless sabotage of the Right during his Leadership period, and his pathetic recantation now, should surely prove to anyone with common sense, that the fake Leftie career poseurs of the old Labour PLP ‘Left’ will never be the basis for new radical politics or Party formations. For Corbyn and co the Labour Party is simply a well remunerating lifelong political posturing club, not a potential vehicle for radical change at all .

      1. This is more demeaning than a public flogging. Now for the destruction of the left everywhere. What next, the stocks for covivid sceptics to the vaccine? Enough, surely, enough CLPers. Regards to you all. ☮️

  2. While Cummings’ Johnson permits the most rancid chumocracy of SERCO G4S Deloitte Kate Bingham, Dido Harding etc Starmer & Evans pursues a young lady to crush her because of “words and meanings” and her stating BLEEDING OBVIOUS FACTS.

    SIR Starmar, you and Evans are pungent disgraces, VICIOUSLY DECEITFUL conscience free careerist. ABUSERS of the Labour Party. You feel no shame, because you have none.

  3. Do we know that she’s Muslim?

    Whether she is or not, Palestinians are Arabs too so Ms Bolton has a straightforward case of racism to hit back with if they make even the tiniest finding against her. Hopefully she’ll include the institutional hostility towards Palestinians and/or Arabs including via the IHRA’s effective outlawing of criticism of Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians

    1. Andy, I don’t believe Moroccans see themselves as Arabs but rather Berbers, still very much part of the Islamic world. Like Christianity their are different strands to Islam.
      As some from a Moroccan cultural background Gemma Bolton, appreciates the complexities in a far more sophisticated manner that most Europeans do.
      Morocco still has an important Jewish minority that lives in peace side by side with the Muslim majority. David Evans and Starmer have their work cut out, by suspending Gemma Bolton.
      Solidarity Gemma!!!

      1. Good points which were made very well. Calm, informative. Thank you. ☮️

    2. And the honourable JVL, plus Arab Christians who view themselves as Palestinian. Regards ☮️

  4. So now it’s a condition of membership of the Labour Party, you must not publicly support the Palestinian struggle. Soon it will be the law, especially if Starmer becomes Prime Minister in all this turmoil. JVL has a good article about the State Department moves to brand numerous NGOs as antisemetic including Ofam and Amnesty internatinal. Sorry, I am unable to post the link. We all know this is nothing to do with concern about hatred of jews. Capitalism seems increasingly paranoid and fearful, preparing to use any means to crush decent.

  5. Does the party accept vexatious claims of anti semitism are hate crimes
    Were any of the claims made by the usual suspects upheld by the EHRC
    In which case what is the party going to do about it
    Or
    Crowdfund legal challenge, the party would need to sell a lot of colouring in books to defend it

  6. Starmer’s on the wrong side of everything socialists and decent people of all ethnicities stand for.
    I don’t even know a word adequate to describe that and I know them all.

    1. When I was in the Labour party and the choices for a socialist in the leadership election was(zilch)I was limited to RLB so despite her craven bending to the BOD I voted for her.And thats what was on offer after 4years of a socialist revival under Corbyn.Weve seen all of this before on a list to long and too painful to repeat.I admire the idea of fighting back,but the idea of a democratic socialist Labour party is a wonderful dream that has turned into a nightmare and like all tyrants you will need more than a rule book to remove the evil knight and his misfits.And for those who have health problems or high blood pressure its a killer.And for those of unsound minds…carry on you’ve plenty of company in the Nu Labour party.And it breaks my heart to see that young girl crucified like many of my former comrades.

      1. Joseph – “I voted for her.And thats what was on offer after 4years of a socialist revival under Corbyn.Weve seen all of this before on a list to long and too painful to repeat.”

        No honest person can see otherwise. We have been shafted. I feel sorry for those of your age group. As i’m pained after observing four and a half years then these months. But many share responsibility for a cult approach. If they are told to drink cyanide, they dutifully get in line to take their gulp. Completely blind and deaf to the value of the thousands behind them and beyond.

      2. Left without a choice apart from BOJD’s pin up girl. I really felt for the CLP left. On topic ,this comrade demands our support. By ours I mean not just party members. Good luck. ☮️

      3. Joseph, I still a member of the Labour Party and I hope that you still see me and others like me as comrades. We share the same struggle.

    2. Indeed, David. I thought, Petain, Quisling and fewbut they were weren’t I opposition. This beggars belief and what will follow is frightening. Regards ☮️ Wobbly

  7. Signpostwindchimes…..you don’t have to feel sorry for my age group we benifited more than anyone alive today from the post war marvellous Labour government.People with real vision that gave us everthing after the slaughter of the first and second world wars.We saw the slums come down and we had the right to education and health and a Social security system built by us the working class….They the Conservative and unionist party never wanted anything for us,but our fathers new what these parasites were capable of.My generation was not forced to fight wars and lived in a country changing for the better through our comrades dedication in government.ITs todays people who I fear for and the sick,the unemployed and most importantly the vunerable. WE have been sold out now by the parasites and vermin that represent the membership of the Labour party.,and I am both angry and sad to see so many decent human beings being thrown under the bus for wanting the working class to lead decent lives with security and a civilised country.God make these parasites on the working class suffer.

  8. Gemma Bolton nor anyone in the Labour party should have their right to free speech curtailed, the Labour party is becoming an intolerant party, trawling social media posts going back years, someone sharing a tweet, where is it going to end? Fortunately Gemma has the law and Labour party policy on her side, here are some examples…
    The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) recent report on the British Labour party said “Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights ECHR] will protect Labour Party members who, for example, make legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government, or express their opinions on internal party matters, such as the scale of anti semitism within the party.”
    “We [the EHRC] note the approach of the Home Affairs Select Committee, namely that it is not anti Semitic to hold the Israeli government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, to criticise the Israeli government, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest anti Semitic intent.”
    A Labour party spokesperson said: “The NEC has today adopted all of the IHRA examples of anti Semitism, in addition to the IHRA definition which Labour adopted in 2016, alongside a statement which ensures this will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/04/labour-adopts-ihra-antisemitism-definition-in-full

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