Watch Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi of JVL and others debate the issue of “antisemitism and the left”

Posted 29 January 2018 at 12:57. Updated with a note from Noami Wimborne-idrissi at 14:47

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi writes:

Former MP Chris Mullin, author of 1980s novel A Very British Coup, which imagined the establishment reaction in the event of election of leftwing government, argued alongside me  that rightwingers have picked up allegations of left antisemitism as a convenient stick with which to beat the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

On the other side of the argument, Anna Turley, a Labour Friends of Israel MP who backed the 2016 vote of no confidence in Corbyn, bemoaned the rampant antisemitism which she alleges is driving Jews away from Labour. Saul Freeman representing Labour Against Antisemitism (although he is not a party member) was invited to kick off the discussion citing anonymous tweets – which were clearly antisemitic in the classic sense of the word – alleging they were the work of an associate of mine.

He is welcome to send the evidence for checking, but it’s unfortunate that I had no opportunity on air to challenge Freeman, who was allowed to have the final word.

I would like to have explained to viewers about his group, which does not deserve its name. It exists solely to harass critics of Israel.

In December LAA wrote to every MP trying to get SNP’s Tommy Sheppard disciplined for hosting a meeting in Westminster, chaired by me and with three prominent Jewish speakers, on the subject of antisemitism and freedom of speech. It went ahead but was invaded by about 20 self-proclaimed “friends of Israel” intent on disruption. We were only able to go ahead because we had been forewarned, so police searched everyone entering and we had the sergeant at arms and several uniformed officials waiting outside. A full report is available here.

Freeman himself contributes to scurrilous anti-Corbyn, anti-Palestinian outlets such as Harry’s Place, where he has insisted on using the terms antisemitism and antizionism interchangeably and accused Corbyn of supporting violent, jihadi Palestinian movements.