The Community Security Trust has done excellent work over the years, both in protecting Jewish communities in the UK, and educating the wider population on the continuing threat from anti-Semitism. So it has been both baffling and disappointing to see it produce a report which effectively claims the “Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis” has some kind of conspiracy behind it. It calls the apparent conspiracy the “Engine of Hate”.
At the very outset, those it claims are part of this “Engine” are cast as “online networks”, and the report contains several diagrams not-really-hinting at links between them. It is the kind of nudge-and-wink that, were it written about people who are Jewish, would be condemned as anti-Semitic, and rightly so. It is a bizarre exposition.
One Tweeter has pointed this out: “This is the most bizarre report and this dubbing of Twitter accounts as interconnected and in some sort of 'engine room' is disingenuous and full of holes … By suggesting that there is some sort of mechanical operation gives this whole narrative a whole new meaning. That a number of different and entirely unrelated or connected accounts could be working together suggests some sort of conspiracy”.
Shaun Lawson has looked at the CST report and found it wanting. “I've just browsed through the report. I'm startled by what I found. The report claims to have identified 36 Twitter accounts responsible for propagating antisemitism. And, to be fair to it, it does highlight at least some antisemitic tweets and accounts”. There is more.
“Yet it's also done the most extraordinary thing. In effect, the CST have come up with a new definition of antisemitism …The CST appear to be suggesting that you're 'antisemitic' if you’ve: 1. Angrily criticised Rachel Riley … 2. Angrily criticised Tom Watson … 3. Used the hashtag GTTO (Get The Tories Out) … 4. Referred to what al-Jazeera exposed in their film, The Lobby … 5. Criticised Luciana Berger”. Yes, really.
He gives this summary. "Far and away the worst thing the report does is accuse those who've highlighted: 1. That Labour's 'antisemitism crisis' has been openly weaponised for political gain … 2. That a great deal of it is indeed a smear, because it's not backed up by these awkward things called facts … Of antisemitism. Outrageous and disgraceful. What the report's authors need to account for is: 1. Why antisemitism has been repeatedly found to be considerably LOWER on the left than on the right … 2. Why it's been found to have FALLEN on the left since Corbyn became leader”. And his conclusion?
“The final bullet point in CST's mission statement is as follows: ‘To speak responsibly at all times, without exaggeration or political favour, on antisemitism and associated issues’ … Folks: from a British Jew and grandson of a Holocaust survivor... you could've fooled me”.
And one Tweeter who the CST included without any evidence to do so has told them “I said NOTHING antisemitic. I can support my views on [Luciana] Berger with evidence. I'd like my tweet removed and my account name redacted from this reply which had NOTHING to do with me”. There may be others.
Worst of all is the inference that the Labour Party is somehow involved, but it is not. It is difficult to see what the CST’s report hopes to achieve. Other then smearing Labour.
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