Analysis comment

Labour allows former councillor who called Muslim colleague ‘Jezbollah’ to rejoin party

Labour accused of Islamophobia again

Former Labour councillor Joe Goldberg has boasted of rejoining the party. Goldberg quit in 2018 and attacked the party under Jeremy Corbyn, but has tweeted a picture of a Labour membership card with the comment ‘Guess who’s back’.

But Emina Ibrahim, Goldberg’s former colleague on the council and still a Haringey councillor, has attacked the party’s decision to allow Goldberg to rejoin, because of a comment Goldberg made about her on Twitter:

A Labour Muslim Network report last year accused the Labour right of entrenched and growing anti-Muslim racism – a report to which Keir Starmer and David Evans responded by pledging to implement all the report’s recommendations without delay. One of the most prominent of those recommendations was the adoption of the All-party parliamentary group on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia. The second paragraph of that definition reads:

Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism, and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.

Describing pro-Corbyn Muslims as ‘Jezbollah’, a reference to the Lebanese Hizbollah group, seems to fall foul of this on several points. And Goldberg’s tweet featured in both the LMN report and last year’s leaked Labour report about sabotage and abuse by right-wing Labour staff.

Goldberg is mentioned some thirty times in the leaked Labour report, both concerning the tweet to Cllr Ibrahim and recommendations that a ‘notice of investigation’ should be sent to him about a Twitter conversation with a left-wing Jewish council candidate. No such notice was ever issued by the party, despite repeated requests from Labour’s then-head of its governance and legal unit.

The reaction to Ibrahim’s tweet suggested that Labour members have no expectation that the party will take any action at all in this case either, let alone in accordance with the LMN recommendations:

The 2018 tweet about Emina Ibrahim did not represent an isolated use of the term by Goldberg. A Twitter search at the time of writing turned up some seventeen other instances of ‘Jezbollah’, dating from before Corbyn was even party leader through to late 2019:

Joe Goldberg was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication. However, he responded to one challenge quoting Ms Ibrahim with a mention of his lawyers:

The Labour party does not comment on individual members, at least officially.

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  1. One rule for the Left, one rule for the Right?
    In my region a well known Right Wing Labour Anti-Corbyn member made a disgusting comment about a famous Jewish actress who supported Corbyn.
    He called her “Labour’s house trained Jew.”
    I know a number of members complained to the Labour Party about him but the answer came back – no case to answer.

      1. Why are you so defensive Steve H Hall,there was a time when you would not have tolerated this type of nasty low racism.ITs clear to me that under this Labour leadership that supporters of a Apparthied state are being brought into the Labour party and alarmingly supported by followers like yourself.This type of secatarian bigotry is familiar and has no place in Britain.and is only openly seen in and practiced in the failed apartheid statlet of right wing fascists.

      2. Joseph – I’m not being defensive, I’ve no reason to be. All I have done is asked a very simple question,
        When did this happen?
        The rest of your post is just your own agenda and is nothing to do with me.

        ps – I listened to a radio program on Sunday that I thought might interest you.
        A Long Way from Vietnam
        BBC journalist Nga Pham asks why irregular Vietnamese migration is the second highest into the UK (Albanian nationals are the first), and why the numbers are rising every year.

      3. Steve H….I know a lot about the Veitnamese refugees from Veitnam who have settled here in Cambodia and are called Cham.They tend to keep to themselves and a lot speak French as a second language and are fellow parishoners of mine at the local Catholic church.One observation would be that as well as adopting the religion of the West they are not interested in Communism or the reasons for the war in Vietnam..They are basically lost even here on the border between the two countries.I like them and feel sorry for them.but I do wonder whether they are victims of colonialism even more than refugees from Communism.

  2. Goldberg is a JLM committee member – ie one of the vice chairs – and along with half-a-dozen other committee members, participated in the Panorama hatchet job, albeit anonymously (all of them, that is, except Izzy Lenga). And just to make certain that no-one is left in any doubt that the JLM is a totally corrupt fascist organisation, they’ve got Margaret Hodge as their ‘Parliamentary Chair’.

    PS Scroll down the page a bit to see NEC members

  3. Conference live
    Don’t envy the chair trying to keep order
    Oh Jeremy Corbyn
    What proportion of delegates will be rabid right wing Temporary Embarrassment supporters
    There will be copious amounts of blood on the carpet

  4. Doug…. And first priority is that a old man like Corbyn is given protection by Momentum activists from the Labour off shoot of the JDL JLM..a increasingly rabid dog organistion that has no place in Britain today but is increasingly part of the right wing Labour party….Theres a lot more like Goldberg in the Labour party alarmingly.and thriving under the disguise of a Labour leader Starmer .

  5. I have long said that I have never seen any racism in my CLP or the Labour Party in general, I was wrong, that is hard to admit but there is a section of the party that are overtly racist and they are endemic to the hierarchy and staffers, sadly nobody has the power to check their outrageous behaviour

      1. So…SteveH- simple question here: do you agree, yes or no, that it’s time for Keir and those who advise him to admit that Islamophobia and anti-BAME racism are just as unacceptable as AS and that it’s time for the party to stop treating AS- which is something ALL OF US have always opposed- as if it is the ONLY form of bigotry that matters>

  6. Do I not recall on of our contributors, on being asked to respond to a question, respond by saying “I don’t feel the need to”?

  7. Hypocrisy is the vice that I despise most of all. I have time for people who stand by their beliefs & are willing to argue their cause, but the Labour Party is so uncertain of its principles & lacks the ‘cajones’ to indulge in free & open debate. . Is the JLM a political party with its own agenda? Has the BBC become a political party with its own agenda? Free & open debate with Julian Assange in prison. A sign of the times.

  8. Anti Arab racism/Islamophobia is OK in the Labour Party which recognises only one type of racism – Antisemitism. Furthermore if you defend the human rights of Arabs whether Muslim or Christian in Palestine Israel or Gaza you will be deemed to be an Antisemite and will be expelled from the party. Utterly disgusting but thats the way it is.

  9. There’ll be no consequences for this. Any ‘investigation’ will be lip service and kicked into the long grass.*
    Anyone who thinks the Labour Party is NOT institutionally racist and a safe haven for white nationalism is a gullible fool.
    — SuperMickyChow (@SuperMickyChow) August 28, 2021

    Micky’s got Labours number here
    * see the Forde report

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