“The worst cancer I’ve ever seen”

July 27, 2018

The above post is the kind of lie that is common on Facebook, which Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been slow to remove.

Zuckerberg is Jewish and it is particularly galling when left-wing Jews in the media and social media, including at powerful institutions such as Facebook, the New York Times and the BBC, allow the facilitating of anti-Semitic hatred whether in the guise of lies told about the Holocaust, or falsehoods told about Israel -- Tom Gross



[Note by Tom Gross]

I attach an investigative report from today’s Times of London that documents widespread anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial on Facebook.

The Times (of London) notes that among Facebook’s content was a photograph of a Jewish woman with text: “I have the power to genocide the entire White race . . . deliberately corrupting their children, destroying their families.”

Another showed a Star of David with the caption “the worst cancer I’ve ever seen”.

The Times adds: “Cartoons [on Facebook] that depict Jewish people as hook-nosed cockroaches, links to a website selling ‘holohoax’ books banned by mainstream retailers and fan pages for a convicted Holocaust denier are also accessible.



Tom Gross adds:

Perhaps even worse in some ways (and The Times of London news pages are itself often guilty of this) are the absolute lies told about Israel – worse because most people don’t have the knowledge or tools to know they are being lied to.

The anti-Semitism hidden behind misinformation on Israel is promoted by political parties such as the increasingly left-wing British Labour Party, the party which could well form the next government of one of the five UN permanent member states.


What incitement against Jews results in



After the article from today’s Times of London, I attach a news article from the print edition of today’s New York Times (on page A7) titled “U.K.’s Jewish Papers Denounce Labour Party as ‘Existential Threat’.

After that I attach a comment piece from Wednesday’s Times (of London) by Daniel Finkelstein, titled “Jeremy Corbyn is blind to the racism in his party”.

The piece makes good points but in my view Finkelstein (who is a subscriber to this list) and his headline writer are a little too soft on Corbyn, who isn’t “blind” to anything and knows exactly what he is doing in allowing anti-Semitism to fester, either because he believes it is a vote-winner, or because he himself is so anti-Israel as to in effect be anti-Semitic, or both.

(Former Labour Cabinet minister Margaret Hodge is among senior Labour figures under previous Labour leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown openly to call Corbyn an anti-Semite. I attach an article on Hodge at the end of this dispatch.)


Among related dispatches:

The world’s most pervasive form of abuse: The Pleasures of Anti-Semitism

Among my short TV interviews on Corbyn:






On Monday, the day he missed the Labour Party meeting to discuss the rampant anti-Semitism among sections of his party, Jeremy Corbyn instead met the Emir of Qatar whose government has paid millions of dollars to Hamas and other terror groups.

The state-run Qatar News Agency reported that Corbyn met Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Emir’s residence in London (photo above, courtesy of the Qatar News Agency).

Until it was exposed on a blog, there had been no reports of the meeting in the British media and it was not publicly disclosed anywhere by the Labour Party or the Leader’s Office.

Qatar has a far, far worse human rights record than the US but Corbyn didn’t appear to lead any street protests against the Emir’s visit in the manner in which he addressed the mass rally against Donald Trump in London earlier this month.

Last week, the BBC published evidence which purported to verify claims that Qatar’s ruling family paid a billion dollar ransom to Hizbullah terrorists.


1. “Anti-Semitic hate posts allowed by Facebook” (By Katie Gibbons, The Times (of London), July 27 2018)
2. “U.K.’s Jewish Papers Denounce Labour Party as ‘Existential Threat’” (By Stephen Castle, New York Times, July 27, 2018)
3. “Jeremy Corbyn is blind to the racism in his party” (By Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (of London), July 25, 2018)
4. “Labour acts against Margaret Hodge for calling Corbyn racist” (By Pippa Crerar and Heather Stewart, The Guardian, July 18, 2018)




Anti-Semitic hate posts allowed by Facebook
Anger at social media firm as value falls $120bn
By Katie Gibbons
The Times (of London)
July 27 2018

Mark Zuckerberg faced criticism this month for saying Holocaust denial was allowed on Facebook because it was “hard to understand intent”


Antisemitic posts claiming that the Holocaust is a lie and that Jews are “barbaric and unsanitary” remain on Facebook despite being flagged to the social media company, an investigation by The Times has found.

Cartoons that depict Jewish people as hook-nosed cockroaches, links to a website selling “holohoax” books banned by mainstream retailers and fan pages for a convicted Holocaust denier are also accessible.

Facebook’s community guidelines class antisemitic material as hate speech and the company says that it is committed to removing posts that are reported. However, it does not consider Holocaust denial hate speech.

The Times found scores of examples of material designed to incite hatred and violence against Jews. Some of it had already been flagged to the company. When the material was highlighted to Facebook yesterday some was taken down but several antisemitic posts and pages remained up last night.

Among the content removed was a photograph of a Jewish woman with text that includes: “I have the power to genocide the entire White race . . . deliberately corrupting their children, destroying their families.”

Another, which remained, showed a Star of David with the caption “the worst cancer I’ve ever seen”.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was criticised this month for suggesting that Holocaust denial material should be allowed as people were not “intentionally getting it wrong”. He said: “If we were taking down people’s accounts when they got a few things wrong, then that would be a hard world for giving people a voice.”

Some $119 billion was wiped off the value of Facebook yesterday – the biggest one-day fall in US corporate history – as it reported growth far below expectations. Analysts said that the public were losing trust in the company after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, in which Facebook profiles were used without consent to target American voters with political adverts.

Facebook is also attempting to address the problems it has had with fake news by running an advertising campaign promising to do better.

Damian Collins, chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, said: “This yet again highlights the deep chasm between the text of Facebook’s own community guidelines and the action that it fails to take to implement them. These disgraceful antisemitic posts have no place in society and no place on social media.

“Hiding behind freedom of speech has long been the defence of social media companies, but there is absolutely no excuse for the hosting of this vile content on Facebook. I urge Facebook to finally take action and properly implement its community guidelines.”

Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the home affairs select committee, said: “Facebook are providing people with a huge global platform to incite racial hatred and to deliberately spread lies that fuel antisemitism.

“They can’t just shrug their shoulders and pretend it has nothing to do with them. What is the point of them even pretending to have community standards or social responsibility if they turn a blind eye to the promotion of violence and extremism?”

David Ibsen, executive director of the Counter Extremism Project, said: “Facebook not only allows Holocaust deniers and antisemitism to continue to be freely available online but Mr Zuckerberg is using freedom of expression as his excuse. These antisemitic views are against Facebook’s own community guidelines. We urge Facebook to take meaningful and urgent action to ensure their platform is not used for encouraging violent and illegal activity like this.”

A spokeswoman for Facebook said that it did not allow antisemitic hate speech or incitement of violence of any kind, even though some posts remained up after being flagged. Last night the platform removed some of the posts highlighted by The Times after a review found that they violated its policies relating to hate speech.



U.K.’s Jewish Papers Denounce Labour Party as ‘Existential Threat’
By Stephen Castle
The New York Times
July 27, 2018

LONDON – Three Jewish newspapers in Britain charged on Thursday that a government led by the country’s opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, would be an “existential threat” to their community – a coordinated attack that deepened a long-running crisis over accusations of anti-Semitism within his Labour Party.

In a move they described as unprecedented, The Jewish Chronicle, The Jewish News and The Jewish Telegraph all published the same scathing commentary on their front pages, under the headline “United We Stand.” It protests Labour’s decision to drop a passage about Israel from an internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism that the party incorporated in its official code of conduct.

The Labour Party rejected the claims and said in a statement that it posed “no threat of any kind whatsoever to Jewish people,” and was “committed to tackling and eradicating anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

Yet for months Mr. Corbyn has been unable to close down a damaging dispute over allegations that, under his leadership, the party has failed to tackle anti-Semitism within its ranks. That has alienated lawmakers, faith leaders and parts of a Jewish community in Britain that once saw Labour as a natural political home.

In March, demonstrators gathered outside Parliament in a protest intended to show that Jews no longer felt welcome in the party. That followed the revelation that in 2012, Mr. Corbyn had endorsed a mural that was widely considered anti-Semitic – something for which he has since apologized.

The latest rift concerns the failure of the party’s national executive committee, its governing body, to accept the full text of the working definition of anti-Semitism compiled by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. While Labour has adopted the document’s definition, it has not accepted all of the 11 illustrative examples accompanying it.

In particular it rejects one that defines “claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor” as anti-Semitic. Labour’s objection is that the definition could be used to restrict unfairly how Palestinians or their supporters may describe their plight.

Mr. Corbyn, who comes from the activist left wing of the Labour Party, has long been a supporter of Palestinian causes and a critic of many Israeli government policies, though he insists that he opposes all forms of bigotry, including anti-Semitism.

Tensions are running high among Labour lawmakers, who have clashed over the issue, culminating in a confrontation last week in which Margaret Hodge, a veteran lawmaker, reportedly swore at Mr. Corbyn and described him as an anti-Semite.

Ms. Hodge now faces disciplinary proceedings, though that prospect has only raised the temperature, and one member of Mr. Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, Nia Griffith, said that penalizing Ms. Hodge would be “completely absurd.”

Labour lawmakers are scheduled to vote in September on whether to adopt the remembrance alliance definition’s full wording, following discussions at a meeting earlier this week.

In their joint article, the three newspapers argued that they were taking the collective stance “because of the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.”

Under the adapted guidelines, they argued, a Labour Party member would be “free to claim Israel’s existence is a racist endeavor and compare Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany, unless ‘intent’ – whatever that means – can be proved.” Labour made the omission, they added, to avoid the expulsion of “hundreds, if not thousands,” of party members.

The article also targeted the Labour leader personally, arguing that “the stain and shame of anti-Semitism has coursed through Her Majesty’s Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015.”

Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, described the coordination between the papers as “entirely unprecedented,” and said that it was “utter nonsense” to suggest that incorporation of the examples would inhibit criticism of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.

“If this is how they treat an ethnic community in opposition, when things get tough in government, what possible confidence can anyone have that they will protect us?” Mr. Pollard said of Mr. Corbyn’s party.

In its response, the Labour Party said that its code of conduct on anti-Semitism “adopts the I.H.R.A. definition and expands on and contextualizes its examples to produce robust, legally sound guidelines that a political party can apply to disciplinary cases.”

“We have concerns about one half of one of the I.H.R.A.’s 11 examples, which could be used to deny Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters, their rights and freedoms to describe the discrimination and injustices they face in the language they deem appropriate,” it said.



Jeremy Corbyn is blind to the racism in his party
By Daniel Finkelstein
The Times (of London)
July 25, 2018

The opposition leader’s obsession with western imperialism as the fount of all evil means he ignores antisemitism


I was almost forty years old when I first visited Israel. I reflected on this the other day when I thought about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party and how it made me feel.

Even in my late thirties it wasn’t a pilgrimage. I accompanied William Hague to meetings with Israeli politicians such as Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres.

We also went to Ramallah and met Yasser Arafat, who presented the Tory leader with a huge mother of pearl Bethlehem crib, one of the ugliest gifts I’d ever seen. William told me it was the second one Arafat had given him. Apparently the PLO had bought a job lot in order to cope with the number of international visitors and was still struggling to get rid of them.

At the time, in 2000, the political situation looked promising. A friend who had moved to Israel to report on the conflict sat with me for more than an hour discussing what he could do with his life now that peace was on the way.

And then, after a three day visit, we packed up the mother of pearl crib in its plush red box and flew home.

I’ve always been a supporter of Israel, ever since my mum told me about the people who had left Belsen with her on the train and found themselves homeless. I reached the same conclusion as the UN – that there had to be somewhere for the Jews to go, a land for them to call home.

Yet I have never felt more than that. It has been a practical matter for me, one of security and justice. Israel needs to exist and should do so side by side with Palestinians, whose right to statehood needs to be recognised too.

But it’s not a yearning. I don’t feel a little bit Israeli. In 1946, my father was close enough to the King David hotel in Jerusalem when the British HQ there was blown up by zionists that he felt the blast. The point of him telling me the story, however, was that we were British and the attack was unconscionable.

This brief history helps to explain three things about my reaction to the latest controversy about Jeremy Corbyn’s party and antisemitism. Firstly, there is my anger. One of the most significant ways in which the party has weakened the international definition of antisemitism relates to the accusation that a Jew has a dual loyalty, to Britain and to Israel. A statement that this is antisemitic is missing from Labour’s new definition.

And yet the allegation of dual loyalty is one of the most common ways I encounter antisemitism, through the suggestion that my political position on an issue is the result of my “zionism”. This, alongside the posting of comments about Israel to almost anything I or other Jews write.

The other day the comedian David Baddiel, who is no zionist but is Jewish, mentioned on Twitter that he was watching golf. Back came the reply from one of Mr Corbyn’s supporters: “Lucky you watching golf, no need to be watching what’s going on in Palestine.”

Along with anger, there is fear. Complacently, I had always assumed that what happened to my parents couldn’t happen to me or my children. There were too many liberal, progressive people who wouldn’t allow it. I no longer believe this with the same confidence. (I found it really painful to write those words. I deleted the last sentence twice, but I left it in because, sadly, it’s true.)

It’s less the antisemitism itself that has induced this fear. It is the denial of it. The reaction I expect on the left to the rise of antisemitism – concern, determination to combat it, sympathy – is not the one I’ve encountered, at least not from supporters of the leadership. Instead there is aggression, anger at the accusation, suggestions that the Jews and zionists are plotting against Jeremy Corbyn.

A leading Corbyn-supporting commentator described Margaret Hodge as “agent Hodge” after a small (almost certainly random) fall in Labour’s poll rating followed her outburst against Mr Corbyn’s record on antisemitism.

And then, perhaps most of all, there has been bemusement. To a political observer, the Labour Party’s handling of the international definition of antisemitism has been baffling. Why on earth would a party that already has a serious problem dealing with accusations of antisemitism start fiddling about with the international definition, despite the anger and dismay it has caused in the Jewish community and among many brave Labour moderates? The absurd suggestion that all they’re trying to do is improve it can’t be taken seriously, can it? I mean, who would be stupid enough to start tinkering around with the grammar or whatever despite almost every Rabbi in the country pleading with them not to?

No. The only reasonable explanation is that Mr Corbyn feels – and the irony of this is impressive – more theological about Israel than I do. Antizionism means so much to the Labour leader that it has become more important for him to create a safe environment for almost any anti-Israeli accusation than it is for him to create a safe environment for Jews.

Israel is a tiny country. It’s the size of Wales. At one point you can cross the country on foot in less than two hours. But to Mr Corbyn and his allies it is a symbol of the one thing that they battle against more than any other: the evil of western imperialism.

Zionism has, for them, ceased to be a description of the desire for a homeless refugee people to make a small state for themselves in their ancient homeland. Instead it stands for an ideology of occupation and world domination. This translation of the practical project of Jews seeking security into a world conspiracy to spread imperialism is, by its nature, antisemitic, and it is unsurprising that it attracts people who hate Jews or that it encourages people to say antisemitic things.

So it may seem odd that Mr Corbyn, who regards himself as anti-racist, should be so blind about racism against Jews. The key is this: he regards Israel as the ultimate racist endeavour and everyone who supports it as complicit.

And this isn’t marginal to him, it’s central. He can’t start expelling people from Labour for extravagant accusations about zionism and racism, because they are what he believes himself.



Labour acts against Margaret Hodge for calling Corbyn racist
By Pippa Crerar and Heather Stewart
The Guardian
July 18, 2018


The Labour party descended into open conflict as it launched disciplinary action against Margaret Hodge after an angry public confrontation in which the veteran MP branded Jeremy Corbyn an antisemite.

The MP for Barking, a secular Jew, defended her decision to confront the Labour leader in the Commons to share her “anger and outrage” over the party’s refusal to ditch a controversial new code of conduct on antisemitism.

At the same time it emerged that Corbyn’s allies had privately discussed in the run-up to last year’s general election how to “deal with” John Woodcock and other critics, including Peter Mandelson.

Woodcock, the MP for Barrow and Furness, resigned from the Labour party on Wednesday with a furious parting blast at the leadership, claiming an ongoing disciplinary process was rigged against him.

Theresa May raised Labour’s antisemitism woes at prime minister’s questions, telling MPs: “While I was negotiating our future security relationship with Europe [at the Nato summit], he was renegotiating the definition of antisemitism.”

Angry Labour MPs, led by Luciana Berger, chair of Jewish Labour, will table a motion on the party’s antisemitism problem at next week’s meeting of the parliamentary party.

In an article for the Guardian, Hodge claimed that under Corbyn’s leadership Labour was now seen as antisemitic by Jews and the British public. “He is now perceived by many as an antisemite,” she said.

“I chose to confront Jeremy directly and personally to express my anger and outrage. I stand by my action as well as my words.

“My grandmother and my uncle were murdered by Hitler and many cousins were slaughtered in the gas chambers ... I joined the Labour party to fight racism. To find myself 50 years later, in 2018, confronting antisemitism in my own party is completely and utterly awful.”

The Labour leader’s spokesman pledged that “action will be taken” against Hodge for her tirade over the decision by the party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) to approve the code despite criticism from Jewish leaders.

The senior official said that Hodge’s comments were “unacceptable” and Labour rules forbid MPs from behaviour that is disrespectful or could bring the party into disrepute.

He confirmed that Corbyn himself would not make a complaint. He did not expand on what action would be taken against Hodge but sanctions have in the past ranged from verbal warnings to suspension.

“Under the terms of PLP [parliamentary Labour party] rules, behaviour has to be respectful between colleagues and not bring the party into disrepute,” he said. “The behaviour was clearly unacceptable between colleagues. Jeremy’s door is always open to discussions with members of the PLP. Action will be taken.”

Hodge had approached Corbyn behind the speaker’s chair in the Commons on Tuesday night as MPs took part in a series of knife-edge votes on Brexit. Friends denied reports she swore at the Labour leader but acknowledged she had called him “an antisemitic racist”.

In her article, Hodge accused Labour of dealing with complaints about antisemitism from members in a “desultory” manner. She claimed that a large demonstration in March had “effectively been ignored” by the leadership.

The “arrogance” displayed by Corbyn’s team by its refusal to adopt in full the internationally accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism “takes one’s breath away”, she said.

Labour figures reacted furiously to the threat of disciplinary action. Ian Austin, the MP for Dudley, said: “Imagine if Jeremy and his team were as quick to take action against the people responsible for racism as they are with the people complaining about it.”

David Miliband, the former Labour foreign secretary, also criticised the move. “It is the Labour leadership which has brought the party into disrepute – not ,” he said. “How dare they preach about respect between colleagues when this very code legitimises the most appalling disrespect.”

However, one senior Labour MP who witnessed the altercation described Hodge’s behaviour as “shocking, bullying, intimidating and grossly offensive” and added: “It is beyond belief. I can’t understand that anybody would think that man [Corbyn] would have an antisemitic bone in his body.”

Corbyn briefly attended a rancorous three-hour session of the NEC on Tuesday to support its decision to leave the code of conduct in place but throw it open to fresh consultation. It has been widely criticised because it fails to incorporate all the examples listed alongside the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

The leader’s office was also facing claims from Woodcock, who quit while he was suspended from the party amid harassment allegations, that senior Labour figures were out to get him as a result of his trenchant opposition to Corbyn.

In an email sent after an NEC meeting in May last year, a senior Labour figure told colleagues: “We need to deal with Woodcock, and for that matter Peter Mandelson and the others, but it needs to go through a legally sound process.”

At that time no formal complaint had yet been made against Woodcock, while Mandelson was viewed as a political problem for the party leadership but has faced no claims of impropriety.

Woodcock was suspended in April over accusations, which he vehemently denies, that he sent inappropriate texts and messages to a former staff member between 2014 -16. There is no suggestion the staff member’s complaint was motivated by the NEC email.

The email refers to the suspension and subsequent removal of another individual associated with the party because of “a long and colourful list of charges including sexting young women”, and continues: “If John Woodcock had similarly been suspended … then yes we could have refused to endorse him.”

Woodcock, who will now sit as an independent, claims the email is evidence that senior Labour figures were intent on forcing him out – along with other outspoken critics of Corbyn – long before the disciplinary process was launched.

A Labour spokesman said: “I’m not aware of anything like that. He’s not the only Labour MP who has often spoken against the party leadership. This is a bit of a red herring and a smokescreen in regard to a serious case that should have been fully investigated.”


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