Now we know why the Labour Party failed to publish the Royall Report
|Labour's Baroness Royal|
|Front cover of Royall Report|
Background to the Royall Report on anti-Semitism at Oxford University Labour Club
Earlier this year, as a result of the artificial media manufactured story about rampant ‘anti-Semitism’ in the Labour Party and at Oxford University Labour Club in particular, the Labour Party set up an inquiry under Baroness Janet Royall into allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’.
|the good Baroness is not quite with it|
Royall, was a former adviser to Neil Kinnock and someone always sympathetic to Zionism and Israel, (she went on a Labour Friends of Israel trip to Israel in 2007). When the Executive Summary of her Report appeared back in May she wrote on the web site of the Jewish Labour Movement:
‘I know that you will share my disappointment and frustration that the main headline coming out of my inquiry is that there is no institutional Antisemitism in Oxford University Labour Club.’
This was an extremely strange thing for someone who is genuinely concerned about anti-Semitism to say. Why on earth should anyone be disappointed with the fact that there is no anti-Semitism at OULC unless they were a Zionist who wanted to find anti-Semitism?
|Chalmers made it clear that it wasn't anti-Semitism that was the problem|
The Jewish Labour Movement, on whose web site she wrote, is the British wing of the Israeli Labour Party and it is affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation. The WZO directly funds the establishment of settlements in Palestine and it is one of the main organisations responsible for the apartheid structures of dispossession, discrimination and ethnic cleansing in Israel. As I wrote in May: [Zionist Royalle Finds What She Wanted to Find]
‘the ‘findings’ from Baroness Royall’s ‘investigation’ into anti-Semitism at Oxford University Labour Club were written before she even entered the hallowed portals of Oxford. It is fitting that they weren’t accompanied by anything as grand as evidence. Indeed that was the whole purpose of the report. It is evidence free.’
|Chalmer's Linked In profile|
Out of her depth
The overriding impression that comes across is that Royall is simply out of her depth. By her own admission she was ‘daunted’ by the task. She not only does not understand the differences between Zionism and anti-Semitism or related issues, she also doesn’t seem to understand that one of the purposes of compiling her Report was to investigate whether in fact there was anti-Semitism at OULC. Instead she proceeds by assertion and takes for granted that which she is supposed to be proving.
If there is anti-Semitism at OULC then Royall fails to provide the evidence. Royall retreats into generalities such as ‘there appears to be cultural problem in which behaviour and language that would once have been intolerable is now tolerated.’ Apart from benefiting from a proof reader the Report substitutes vague generalities and sloppy phraseology for concrete actualities and specifics.
|Chalmers was part of the unsuccessful disaffiliation from NUS campaign|
The catalyst for the Royall investigation
It should have been a very simple Report to write. Asa Winstanley investigated the background to the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations at OULC. It is clear that they consisted of nothing but reheated versions of the traditional libel that is levelled against opponents of Zionism and Israel's racism. In his article How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis, Winstanley revealed that Alex Chalmers, who resigned as co-Chair of Oxford University Labour Club because of ‘anti-Semitism’ had been an intern in the Israel advocacy and propaganda group BICOM.
In his resignation statement, which Royall makes Appendix 1 to her Report, Chalmers stated that his resignation ‘comes in the light of OULC’s decision at this evening’s general meeting to endorse Israel Apartheid Week.’ What has this to do with anti-Semitism? Perhaps Royall considers the fact that more Israeli Jews support the expulsion of Arabs than oppose it to be irrelevant to the question of whether Israel is an Apartheid state. More likely she is ignorant about this and other matters, but such a belief isn’t anti-Semitic. Yet Royall is seemingly incapable of making what is quite a simple judgment, viz. that Chalmer’s resignation was a propaganda ploy.
When Royall produced her original findings, Labour’s National Executive Committee agreed that the ‘evidence’ on which it was based would be printed at the same time as the Chakrabarti Report, of which Royall was a Vice-Chair.
When Chakrabarti reported, there was no mention of Royall’s Report or the evidence it apparently contained. Clearly a decision had been taken that there was so little evidence and so much conjecture, that it would be best forgotten. However the Jewish Chronicle, like a dog with a bone, decided that it would publish the Report that Royall herself leaked as part of an article Baroness Royall report reveals Oxford Labour students engaged in antisemitism
As I wrote at the time the Executive Summary was published, one of the more ludicrous findings of the Report was that
"Many students reported that should a Jewish student preface a remark 'as a Jew…' they are likely to face ridicule and behaviour that would not be acceptable for someone saying 'as a woman...' or 'as an Afro-Caribbean…'
Ludicrous because it begs the question, in what role are Jewish students claiming that being Jewish is relevant? If it is to do with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians it is a complete irrelevancy. After all it is agreed by everyone that holding Jews responsible for the actions of Israel is anti-Semitic. The Zionist authored Working Definition of anti-Semitism defines one of the manifestations of anti-Semitism as ‘Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.’
Why then should it be considered relevant if someone claims to be Jewish in the context of a discussion of Israel or Zionism? Because this is what Royall’s ‘as a Jew’ finding is about? Unless of course what is really being suggested is that as Israel is a Jewish state, Jews do have a special role, in which case this is another example of Zionists trying to have their racist cake and eat it!
Ironically, at almost exactly the same time as Royall was reporting, David Aaronovitch penned an article ‘Have I got Jews for you!’ in the Jewish Chronicle of 5th May 2016. Aaronovitch waxed lyrical about Jews who spoke up as Jews:
‘my online world was invaded by the Asajews…. The "these people" were the Asajews. I heard quite a few of them on Any Answers last week. "As a Jew myself, I want to tell you that…" And there followed something that would say that the contributor believed that Labour had no antisemitism problem and that the real problem was those who kept on going on about antisemitism when what they were truly objecting to was any criticism of the state of Israel…. The Asajews used in this way are just a stage army and their deployment, frankly borders on the disgraceful.’
Of course Aaronovitch was complaining about Jews who spoke out as Jews against what Israel was doing in their name. Royall is complaining about the reaction to Jewish students who use their Jewishness to justify what Israel is doing.
As Asa Winstanley comprehensively demonstrated in another article, Instigator of anti-Semitism scam kicked out of Labour one of the other instigators of the anti-Semitism allegations at Oxford, former co-Chair David Klemper, was expelled from the Labour Party for having signed the nomination papers of a Lib Dem candidate at the local elections. Chalmers left the Labour Party soon after his resignation and he too signed the same nomination papers. On his FB page he demonstrated that he is an extremely reactionary Zionist operative when he displayed a ‘No thanks NUS’ graphic during the ballot as to whether Oxford University Student Union should remain affiliated to the National Union of Students. In fact those supporting affiliation to NUS won the ballot by a thousand votes.
A Shoddy Report
By any stretch of the imagination, Royall’s Report is shoddy and insubstantial. It is no wonder that according to the Jewish Chronicle report, Chalmers was ‘"disappointed" Royall's report had not gone into more detail about the "problem" at the club.’ The problem was there was no details.
Royall begins with a favourite Zionist meme, namely that anti-Semitism was an ‘ancient virus [that]… had infected our Party’ and for good measure she later repeats the comparison as well as quoting Gordon Brown to the effect that ‘Together our renewed efforts can rid the world of this
ancient virus.” This is an integral part of Zionist ideology. An early Zionist, Leo Pinsker, the founder of the Lovers of Zion, wrote in his pamphlet ‘Auto Emancipation’ that
'Judaephobia is then a mental disease, and as a mental disease it is hereditary, and having been inherited for 2, 000 years it is incurable. [L. Pinsker, Autoemanzipation, ein Mahnruf an seine]
Pinsker was a doctor and therefore defined anti-Semitism as Judaephobia. It is part of the Zionist fable that anti-Semitism applies to all of history and all classes equally. It is an incurable disease that may mutate and change its form but it bears much the same characteristics. And of course, if it is incurable, then why fight it. Traditionally Zionism represented an abandonment of the fight against anti-Semitism.
According to the Zionists, anti-Semitism and racism don’t have any relationship to class or material factors, they aren’t a product of particular types of societies. Anti-Semitism although a product of non-Jews and their reaction to Jews must ultimately relate to something about Jews themselves. Traditionally this was indeed the attitude of Zionism. Herzl wrote in his pamphlet The Jewish State that
When we sink we become a revolutionary proletariat... when we rise there rises also the terrible power of our purse. [The Jewish State, p.26]
Anti-Semitism was the product of the Jewish presence in non-Jewish society. In his autobiography, Trial and Error, the President of the Zionist Organisation, Chaim Weizmann, who later went on to become Israel’s first President, wrote that:
Whenever the quantity of Jews in any country reaches saturation point, that country reacts against them. In the early years of this century, Whitechapel and the great industrial centres of England were in that sense saturated... The determining factor in this matter is not the solubility of the Jews but the solvent power of the country. England had reached the point when she could or would absorb so many Jews and no more.
Like all diseases anti-Semitism affects everybody though some non-Jews, for example Muslims, might be more susceptible. Fortunately today we have strong political retrovirals so this disease can be treated but the main thing is that it is a form of pathology unrelated to society or surroundings. In other words Royall starts off her Report with a racist analysis of racism.
Royall is nothing if not unoriginal. She just loves to repeat without question commonly held beliefs, no matter how wrong they are. She states in her introduction that ‘For many years, Jews of all ages have strongly supported Labour’. In fact Jewish support for the Labour Party has been declining ever since the 1960’s. A Jewish academic and Jewish Chronicle journalist, Geoffrey Alderman, explained this in some detail in The Jewish Community in British Politics, in a chapter, ‘Return to the Right’: As early as 1961 ‘over 40% of Anglo-Jewry was located in the upper two social classes whereas these categories accounted for less than 20% of the general population.’ The conclusion Alderman drew was that ‘at the time of the 1964 general election which Labour won, ¾ the top 2 social classes supported the Conservative Party.’ (p.137) In other words Jews voted like any other of their social class and predominantly for the Tory Party. The myth that Jews have always voted for the Labour Party is exactly that – a myth.
This however is but one example of the problems with the Royall Report. Another example is where Royall declares that she would be bound by the ‘London Declaration (2009) of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism’.
You can gauge the nature of this Declaration by the section ‘Challenging Antisemitism’, point 1 of which states that ‘Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity.’ Since, according to the Zionists’ Working Definition on anti-Semitism, it is anti-Semitic to hold Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the Israeli state, then the London Declaration, which declares that Israel is part of a ‘Jewish collectivity’ must by definition be anti-Semitic!
What a muddle Royall gets herself into. The only explanation of Royall’s logic is Humpty Dumpty’s dictum that ‘Words mean what I want them to mean. The only question is who is master!’. If Royall’s report is guided by an anti-Semitic Declaration, then it is clearly not worth the paper it is written on.
Royall accepts that there is no ‘institutional anti-Semitism’ within OULC, but she also makes it clear that she is disappointed by her own finding!
Jewish Labour Movement
Royall makes a series of recommendations, the most controversial of which is the proposal that
‘Training should be organised by Labour Students together with the Jewish Labour Movement for officers of all Labour Clubs in dealing with antisemitism.’
The Jewish Labour Movement is an openly Zionist organisation. According to Wikipedia ‘It views Zionism as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people’. Zionism is the movement which established the State of Israel. A state which calls itself a Jewish state which was founded on the expulsion of ¾ million Palestinians and which refuses a right of return to those refugees at the very same time as it encourages Jews who have no connection to Israel to ‘return’ to what it terms their ancient homeland. Apart from the conflation of Jews and Zionism which Royall otherwise purports to deplore, the very idea that Jews belong, not in the countries where they were born but in Palestine, is itself a racist and anti-Semitic idea. Despite this, Royall considers that the JLM is a fit body to conduct anti-racist training. It is like asking the Yorkshire Ripper to take over the management of a woman’s refuge project.
Royall, like Chakrabarti, describes how the Jewish Labour Movement is the successor to Poalei Zion, which affiliated to the Labour Party in 1920. She seems to think that this is a matter of pride rather than shame. Poalei Zion in 1920 was a tiny organisation with little implantation in the Jewish working-class in Britain. Jewish trade unionists, tended, almost without exception, to be hostile to Zionism which posited the struggle for socialism in Palestine rather than where they lived. Socialist Zionism was thus an eternal contradiction. The affiliation of Poalei Zion was a measure of the pro-imperialist politics of the Labour Party. It was because the Labour Party under the Fabians and the Webbs, Sydney Webb later became the Colonial Secretary Lord Passfield, believed in the idea of Empire as a form of trusteeship for the uncivilised natives, that they took so warmly to Poalei Zion with its rhetoric of developing the land for the backward Arabs.
Allegations of anti-Semitism
Intriguingly Royall also mentions one serious false allegation of anti-Semitism that was reported to the Police. Asa Winstanley suggests that this refers to false allegations against Rachel Bradshaw of Stirling University However Royall gives no further details.
Royall makes a dogs dinner of the question, ‘what is anti-Semitism’. Zionists of course have difficulty with this because their overriding need is to try and persuade people that opposition to a state, the State of Israel, is anti-Semitic. The problem with this is that Israel, like any other state, is not a human being. It is difficult to be racist towards a state. Anti-Semitism is therefore redefined as hostility to the Jewish state. According to this not very convincing narrative people oppose Israel not for what it does, the mass murders, the entrenched discrimination, the Occupation, torture and imprisonment of children etc. but because the state is Jewish!
This is the ‘new anti-Semitism’. What it does is enable all those political forces which have historically been most antagonistic to Jews as Jews to pretend that they too are opposed to anti-Semitism. It reaches its ludicrous apogee in groups like the BNP or English Defence League which combine traditional anti-Semitism with avid support for Israel and Zionism.
Thus Royall cites the Zionist Community Security Trust’s definition of anti-Semitism as being ‘hostility, phobia or bias against Judaism or individual Jews as a group.’ This is a nonsensical definition. Hostility to Judaism, a religion, might indeed be a cover for hostility to Jews in much the same way as opposition to Israel might be a disguise for anti-Semitism. However it is not very usual and why define individual Jews as a group?
Defining anti-Semitism isn’t rocket science. It is hatred or hostility, discrimination or violence towards Jews as Jews. The more sophisticated anti-Semites hold to a conspiracy theory in which Jews are the ones who control and manipulate world events and countries. Therefore a belief in a world Jewish conspiracy is normally seen as anti-Semitic.
Reading through this section what I find most startling is how superficial is Royall’s grasp of what racism or oppression is, still less where it comes from. Royall makes the trite observation that ‘oppression of any sort… (is) the strong oppressing the weak, the rich oppressing the poor.’ She doesn’t ascribe agency to anyone or anything. Royall doesn’t see oppression or racism in any context. It just happens, it exists, it has no social origin or political context.
Royall also makes the equally trite comment that to some people Jews cannot be the victims or discriminated against, without ever saying who these people are. Having given us this profound insight she then jumps to observing that there is a ‘view that criticism of the government of Israel is not anti-Semitic (it is not)’ and therefore ‘being anti-Zionist cannot be anti-Semitic. Yes it can.’ Apart from anything else this is as good an example of a non-sequitur as one is likely to find. The premise, Royall’s observations on racism and anti-Semitism do not lead to the concluson she draws. It is an example of the shoddy methodology of her Report.
Clearly there are some people who are anti-Semitic who disguise or hide this as anti-Zionism. I have some experience of such people for example Gilad Atzmon, the anti-Semitic jazzman. However they are enormously aided by the false accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ that are made by Zionists. As I wrote in The Seamy Side of Solidarity ‘Guardian 19.2.07. ‘Like the boy who cried wolf, the charge of "anti-semitism" has been made so often against critics of Zionism and the Israeli state that people now have difficulty recognising the genuine article.’
The irony is that it is Royall herself who is providing the alibi and rationale for the making of false accusations of anti-Semitism. What Royall is doing is giving cover to those who are anti-Semitic. If someone is an anti-Semite then they aren’t an anti-Zionist. The two are mutually exclusive. If anti-Zionism is a disguise then clearly it cannot be the same as the thing it is disguising. Otherwise it isn’t a disguise! It’s a matter of logic but one which seems to entirely escape the good Baroness.
When Royall say that ‘not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semites and anti-Zionism is not necessarily anti-Semitic’ what she is really saying is that normally anti-Zionists are anti-Semites and that normally anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. The proof for this assertion is a lengthy quotation from John Mann MP’s All Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism which manages to find that Zionism was is ‘a movement of national liberation.’ It is a strange national liberation movement which formed an alliance in 1917 with British imperialism in the form of the Balfour Declaration! A movement that was sponsored by the British occupying power in Palestine. The Fraser v UCU Employment Tribunal observed of John Mann that
when it came to anti-Semitism in the context of debate about the Middle East, he [John Mann MP] announced, “It’s clear to me where the line is…” but unfortunately eschewed the opportunity to locate it for us. Both parliamentarians clearly enjoyed making speeches. Neither seemed at ease with the idea of being required to answer a question not to his liking.
Like many people, Royall fails to understand the MacPherson principle (which Chakrabarti to her credit did get right). A racial incident is not, contrary to Royall’s assertion, ‘an incident that is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.’ MacPherson said that for the purpose of an investigation by the Police, in the specific circumstances of the institutional racism of the Metropolitan Police in the Stephen Lawrence affair, where someone claims to be the victim of a racial incident the Police must record it as such and treat it as such. That doesn’t mean that it is a racial incident. Only the courts can make that decision. The extension of the MacPherson principle to ‘any other person’ demonstrates just how much Royall is at sea.
Oxford University Labour Club
When it comes to OULC and anti-Semitism Royall has virtually nothing to say. It is no wonder that the NEC didn’t publish her Report. She found that ‘some Jewish members do not feel comfortable attending meetings.’ Perhaps that is because they are also Zionists who don’t like having to defend Israel. What has that got to do with anti-Semitism? Royall accepts that when it comes to a debate on Israel and Palestine ‘the debate is politically chared and robust.’ She alleges, again without any examples, that ‘at least on one occasion the boundaries of acceptability were breached.’ And that is it, no evidence or examples are given.
Royall says that she regrets that ‘incidences of anti-Semitism’ (Royall doesn’t insert the word ‘alleged’) ‘were not reported to any authority’ and concludes that ‘this makes it very difficult to verify’. In which case how does she know there were such incidences? It is such leaps of logic which render this Report so enticing, if only as an example of how not to argue a case.
When it comes to the meat of the Report, specific allegations of anti-Semitism against individual members of OULC there is an even thinner gruel. She concludes that ‘it is clear to me from the weight of witnessed allegations received that there have been some incidents of anti-Semitic behaviour and that it is appropriate for the disciplinary procedures of our Party to be invoked.’ At no stage are we given any examples of these allegations still less any detail. However Royall then goes on to say that ‘it is not clear to me to what extent this behaviour constituted intentional or deliberate acts of anti-Semitism. This is particularly true of historical hearsay evidence .’ Which at the very least casts doubt as to whether what is alleged is anti-Semitism at all. In any event she provides no examples of what she means before concluding that she sees no value in pursuing the very disciplinary cases that she said it would be appropriate to pursue! Really you couldn’t make it up.
And that is the sum total of the allegations of anti-Semitism in Oxford University Labour Club. The clear and obvious conclusion is that the affair was contrived by a manipulator who was co-Chair of OULC, Alex Chalmers, who made allegations of anti-Semitism in the context of support for the Palestinians. For him ‘Jews’ means supporters of Israel. It is not surprising that he has refused to answer Asa Winstanley’s questions and has gone to some considerable lengths to cover his tracks, for example deleting his profile on Linked In. Of Royall’s report it is fair to say that the least said the soonest mended!