On the 20th April 2023 several British MPs turned the Houses of Parliament into an anti-Zionist, Israel-bashing chamber. A house of antisemitic lies. This took place just 13 days after the brutal Palestinian terrorist attack that killed three British/Israeli citizens, Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee. MPs have a responsibility, and spreading blatant lies about Israel spreads antisemitism, which in turn poses dangers to British Jews as well as those in Israel.
The antisemitic background,
Hearing MPs smear Israel in Parliament is not new. Israel is a democratic country the size of Wales. It is involved in a persistent low-intensity conflict with despotic neighbours that refuse to accept its existence. Although it may be difficult to believe given the obsessive focus on Israel, there are many far larger and more brutal conflicts taking place around the world.
It is totally legitimate to question Parliament’s obsession with the Jewish state.
None of the responses to such a question make sense. The one most used refers to ‘historic responsibility‘ which is an absurd argument. Nigeria and Pakistan are two nations with higher ‘conflict severity‘, and far more serious human rights concerns, yet despite the ‘historic responsibility’ of British rule, the UK Parliament does not obsess over the issues there.
Pakistani forces conduct over 70 counter-terrorist operations per day, in which many ‘terrorists’ are killed. If these were Israeli forces killing terrorists, the British Parliament would sit in an emergency debate. Instead there is total media and diplomatic silence.
Number of Parliamentary debates in 2023:
- Israel 9
- Pakistan (only about relief aid due to flooding) 1
- Myanmar 3
- Nigeria 2
- Yemen 1
In fact, if a politician obsessed about Pakistan, and constantly attacked it in Parliament, as so many MPs do with Israel, they would swiftly be labelled an anti-Muslim bigot. Which is kind of the point here. People often get trapped down a rabbit hole of defending Israeli actions once the obsession has brought the subject to the table. It has to be recognised that the antisemitism is the obsession itself. Antisemitism is the reason we are always talking about Israel in the first place.
On the 20th April there were 36 contributions from MPs across two parliamentary events that focused on Israel. Beginning at 11:50 am with a statement ‘on the situation in Israel and the OPT‘, made by the Foreign Minister. Later in the afternoon came a back-bench debate on ‘human rights protections for Palestinians‘.
The FM statement correctly focused on the horrific attack on the Dee family and spoke positively about the increasing trade and security relationship between the UK and Israel. There were some negative comments following the FM statement from well-known Israel hostile MPs like Tommy Shephard and Andy Slaughter, but to maintain focus I will look more closely at the lies spread during the back-bench debate later the same day:
The Back Bench debate begins
The Speaker immediately lets us know that the Back-Bench debate on the Palestinians, is ‘a very well subscribed debate’. We are also told that the previous debate was ‘hurried along‘ to make space. The previous debate had been about the UK’s standing in the world and international trade. Those are the type of important discussions being curtailed to make way for the Israel obsession of our MPs.
The debate was secured by Chris Law, SNP MP for Dundee. Law begins by saying that last October he visited Israel and the PA areas for the first time with the International Development Committee– which is weird because this trip does not yet appear in the relevant IDC SR report (page 128).
But it doesn’t take long for him to begin spreading the lies he has picked up along the way.
Law starts with a tick-box message about recent terrorist attacks, but incredibly – perhaps as a sign he didn’t really care – he suggests that the Dee family was attacked in Tel Aviv.
The Dee family were murdered in the Jordan Valley while making their way to a holiday in Tiberias. It is like a politician talking about the murder of Lee Rigby in Norwich (Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, London). It is that careless.
The lies of Chris Law MP
Law’s speech then goes on to include many lies:
- Unlawful killing by Israel is commonplace
- He presents terrorists as part of a civilian casualty count
- And hides 17-year-old terrorists behind the label of ‘children’
- Says settler violence is aided and abetted by the state
- Called the attack on Huwara ‘state sanctioned’
- Repeats official Palestinian statements as absolute truth
- Throws around empty statistics from propaganda driven NGOs
- Calls Israel’s control of its own border with Gaza ‘illegal’
- Claims Israel has destroyed the Palestinian ‘right to education’
- Says Israel is practising Apartheid
Then on the basis of this endless distortion, Law suggests that the UK should suspend trade talks with Israel and says that the UK has to acknowledge that the crime of Apartheid is being committed. He adds the perpetrators (of this made up charge) should be ‘brought to justice’.
His speech was just regurgitated anti-Israel propaganda. Chris Law has been hand-held during a short trip, and fed with poison by a string of NGOs that are bad-faith actors with little interest in truth (or human rights).
Law then returned to the UK to demonise Israel by spreading the lies has been told. At no point did his talk acknowledge Israel’s real security concerns. Instead it was just the mantra of the modern politicised NGO – the lies about apartheid and ethnic cleansing. He then obscenely compares democratic Israel, which survives only because it outmuscles the radical Islamist forces that surround it, to China and Russia – two global superpowers – neither democratic – and both with a history of committing some of the worst human atrocities in recent times.
To add insult to injury, Chris Law has just been to Armenia as part of a delegation to ‘foster closer relations’. It was paid for by the Armenian Government. Armenia is not even a democracy and it has a woeful human rights record. Law has defended Armenia several times on Twitter and has never made a critical tweet about the regime. Chris Law’s problem doesn’t seem to be with human rights at all – so what is his real problem with Israel?
The hate-fest continues
Andy McDonald, Labour MP for Middlesborough was next to take a swipe. He suggested Israel *often* DEPORTS children in solitary confinement where they spend hour after hour – he went on to claim that they emerge from those situations with ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. Although I searched for some time, I was unable to find which NGO fed McDonald the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ script. The source is relevant because this is where all this poison is coming from. Our MPs are being told what to say by NGOs that are driven by an antisemitic, and often Islamist ideology. Many of these NGOs even have ties to terrorist groups such as the PFLP.
This was made clear in the speech from Andy Slaughter – Labour MP for Hammersmith. Slaughter has a long history of anti-Israel activism. During his talk he referenced NGOs who briefed the MPs before the debate. He names Medical Aid for Palestinians, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights and Defence for Children International (DCI). DCI has been proscribed by Israel for its ties with the PFLP. As just one example of the evidence of which Andy Slaughter claims does not exist – when the DCI ‘coordinator’ was killed during a *violent* confrontation with Israel, the PFLP put out a statement mourning the death of their ‘leader’.
“The Front praised the comrade as a leader, noting that he was in the ranks of the national liberation struggle and the PFLP from an early age, arrested several times, and was a model for a steadfast struggler and advocate for the rights of our people through his work in Defence for Children International.“
Why are British MPs taking their scripts from such groups?
The lies and hypocrisy of Naz Shah
Naz Shah joined in. She is the Labour MP for Bradford West. Shah was once sanctioned for promoting the relocation of Israel to the US. The Jewish community rushed (as it does) to accept the apology, without bothering to pay attention to the persistent poison that Shah spews about Israel when given the chance:
“The evidence of Israel’s human rights violations is not in doubt. What is in doubt is the international community’s will to do something about it.”
Shah went on an endless one-sided rant about ‘1000s’ of Israeli crimes, attempting to draw stupid parallels (which in many ways justified terrorism), and ended by suggesting that Israel needs to be dealt with by the International Criminal Court. This is the line that all anti-Israel activists take these days, because it is the one being fed to them by the NGOs.
But then she said this:
“any relationship with Israel, or any other country for that matter, should be based on a demonstration of an acceptance of our values, which we hold dear.”
Surely, if human rights are so universal, we will find Naz Shah speaking up on human rights everywhere – including of course Pakistan, the country that her family had come from. So we can check Naz Shah’s relationship with other countries, to see whether she is consistent – or if she is treating Israel as an exception.
In September 2022 she visited Pakistan, and in March 2023 she visited the UAE. In 2019, before the pandemic, she visited Pakistan again. As well as Saudi Arabia. And if we go back to both 2017 and 2018, there are even more visits to Pakistan. Here she is promoting trade with Pakistan:
And of course sending best wishes on Pakistan’s Independence Day:
Naz Shah has been caught lying and misleading the House. She doesn’t stand by those words she used to attack Israel at all. Pakistan is a country far away from ‘accepting’ British values, yet she promotes the UK/ Pakistan relationship. Israel is not alone as the target of her venom. She also attacks India – just as she works to improve ties with Pakistan. This has nothing to do with the UK – she is importing the fight of the Ummah.
She is not alone. Imran Hussain Labour MP for Bradford East also joined in. Following a distorted take on events that would be worthy of a place in Electronic Intifada, he was beating the drum for the UK to immediately recognise Palestine – another of the anti-Israel movement’s propaganda demands. Hussain has visited both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan this year. Hussain’s Twitter feed is much the same as Shah’s – attacks on Israel and India, love for Pakistan:
Flick Drummond’s tell-tale statistic
Next up was Flick Drummond, Conservative MP for Meon Valley. Another person who has clearly been to Israel on one of these outings. She quoted a military court conviction rate of 99.74%.
I found this statistic circulating from 13 years ago. Why on earth is an MP throwing around a statistic from 2010? What makes it worse is that the statistic is based on nothing more than a single Haaretz article in which the journalist cherry-picked data from an ‘official report’ that nobody else has access to.
We also know from the Haaretz article (that Drummond has clearly never read) that the majority of these cases were for things like illegal stays in Israel or minor traffic offences. It is for this reason that Palestinian lawyers often advise Palestinians to plead guilty. Drummond has rendered herself nothing more than a parrot standing in Parliament spouting nonsense.
She goes on to tell us she has recently met someone from Breaking the Silence. Another rancid NGO feeding our MPs their scripts.
Liam Byrne’s values are written by despots
Liam Byrne the Labour MP for Birmingham, Hodge Hill added another ingredient to the mix. During his error-laden anti-Israel rant he told the House about the Israeli ‘brutality’ in the Al Aqsa Mosque stating that ‘even UN observers said that there was blatantly excessive and unjustified force, with stun grenades and rifle butts used in a holy place’. Is Liam Byrne really this easy to lie to? Or does he, like many, just believe any demonising lie he is told about the Jewish state? Why does he say ‘even’ as if the UN has a special ‘truthful’ status. Few organisations have a longer history of lying about Israel than the UN – which is a forum dominated by despotic nations.
This is not a question of dismissing all those that criticise Israel. It is about understanding how bigotry, racism and antisemitism work. We know from history that at times of heightened bigotry, when a minority is targeted most severely, that the institutions holding power often drive the lies.
And so it went on
Sam Tarry was next. Labour MP for Ilford South. The population in his constituency is approximately 46% Muslim. Hardly a surprise he was there to bash the Jewish state. It is democracy in action – an MP fulfilling the wishes of his constituents. The NGOs prepared him with a long line of statistics. No idea where they came from, and they are certainly not based on facts. He even suggested 418 Palestinians were injured in the attack on Huwara.418!!! Says who??????
Tarry stated that a two-year-old girl with heart problems was denied treatment during an IDF raid in Nablus – which is based on nothing but an empty unverifiable claim by the Palestinian Red Cross. This is how it works – the MP wants to kick Israel, the NGOs tell them what to say – and the MPs unquestioningly repeat these stories in Parliament. This in turn rewards the strategy. Palestinians can say anything they like – and in the end these claims become the ‘truth’ repeated in parliaments around the world. A factory of fake news.
The names were mostly familiar – such as John McDonnell, Tommy Sheppard, Richard Burgon and of course Jeremy Corbyn. One by one they stood up to spit their lies as they demonised the world’s only Jewish state. There was nothing new in what they said, these same actors have been doing it for years.
And then it was over.
The hate that drove Labour’s antisemitism crisis has not gone away, instead it is getting progressively worse. Dozens of toxic NGOs, some with ties to terrorist groups are spreading poison amongst British MPs. Sadly, many of the Jewish mainstream (and one key Jewish newspaper) have decided to ignore the sewer in which this antisemitism spreads and work blindly for a Labour government.
The UK’s Jewish community will live to regret this negligence.
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