Left-wing Jewish group has complained on several occasions to Charity Commission – but notes that MP Margaret Hodge was a supporter of the group until it criticised Keir Starmer
Left-wing group Jewish Voice for Labour has issued a statement on Keir Starmer’s offensive exploitation of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin as a backdrop for his political campaign video – and both right-wing MP Margaret Hodge’s decision to defend him and the condemnation of his actions by the right-wing Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) group (among others):
JVL has complained to the Charity Commission about the CAA being a partisan political organisation and its flagrant breach of charity rules. The Charity commission has informed us they are investigating the body.
But Margaret Hodge is a patron of the CAA and supported it until the CAA correctly called out the appalling, offensive, actually upsetting misuse of the Holocaust memorial in Berlin as a back drop by Keir Starmer and David Lammy.
JVL’s complaint to the Charity Commission about the political activities and bias of CAA, which has charity status, submitted in early 2021 reads in part:
The first [new] example is an announcement by the CAA which was placed on its website on 16th December 2020, summarising a complaint [rejected] the CAA had made to Ofcom, concerning an eight-minute feature which had been broadcast on Channel 4 News the previous day. In the feature, a group of young adults of Palestinian heritage, all based in the UK, spoke about their life experiences and about the tensions they have encountered when seeking to discuss their cultural histories and their views on the Israel/Palestine conflict. CAA’s complaint, and the news feature can both be viewed here.
Put simply, the feature gave young Anglo-Palestinians (a section of society whose voice is rarely heard) the chance to give their side of the Israel/Palestine story and to express their points of view, drawing on their and their families’ personal histories of exile from their homeland and the forms of both subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination that they have suffered. The feature also contained supportive comment from Prof. Avi Shlaim, a Jewish academic who has written critical histories of the foundation of the State of Israel; and it contained an explanation of why, from the young protagonists’ point of view, the so-called IHRA Working Definition of Anti-Semitism has a potentially chilling effect upon discussion around these issues. …
Nevertheless, the reaction of the CAA was as follows:
“It is extraordinary that Channel 4 News could have devoted an entire segment to discussing defining antisemitism without including a single representative of the mainstream Jewish community . . in which there is a consensus in favour of widespread adoption of the [IHRA] Definition. [This] represented a failure by Channel 4 News to show due impartiality in its programme, which is also a breach of Ofcom’s guidance . . . . If the programme had done, it might have realised that it was promoting the antisemitic ‘Livingstone Formulation’ that was used to such unlawful effect in victimising Jews in the Labour Party” (Emphasis added)
The CAA’s complaint to Ofcom failed. The Charity Commission told JVL that it was investigating their complaint. A further JVL complaint to the Commission was sent in March of this year, following an attack by the CAA on journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who they said had “overstepped the line” for an article written in December 2021 where she suggested “criticism of the state of Israel is deemed anti-semitic.”
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