A woman holds a Union flag umbrella in front of the Big Ben clock tower (R) and the Houses of Parliament in London.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Britain’s Labor Party expelled a political activist this week over allegations that he had engaged in Holocaust revisionism. Her dismissal is only the latest in a string of incidents in which the opposition faction has disciplined members over allegations of anti-Semitism.
Gill Kaffash, who was also named as a former official of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign by The Jewish News, came under fire for allegedly stating that attempts to ban Holocaust revisionism hamper efforts to determine what really happened during the Second World War.
“There is no doubt that a great number of Jews along with other victims of the Nazi army were killed by Hitler. However, historical phenomena need to be further examined to uncover the truth. Therefore banning opposition to the theses termed as ‘invariable reality’ is irrational,” Kaffash was quoted by the Jewish newspaper as telling Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency in 2005.
Noted Holocaust denier Paul Eisen even went so far as to praise Kaffash for her support in a 2008 essay on his website entitled “My Life as a Holocaust Denier.”
Speaking to the press on Monday, Jewish Labor MP Louise Ellman lamented that party members were being “allowed to get away with posting anti-Semitic comments in their tweets and on their websites.”
Kaffash’s ban came only weeks after Labor suspended Vicki Kirby, a senior official, for the second time since 2014.
Kirby had previously tweeted that Jews have “big noses,” stated that Hitler is the “Zionist God” and asked why ISIS isn’t “attacking the real oppressors.”
Following Kirby’s most recent suspension and the announcement of an internal investigation against her, Jewish Labor Movement head Jeremy Newmark accused party chief Jeremy Corbyn of being “impotent” in the face of a “resurgence of the acceptance of anti-Semitism.”
Despite promising the leadership of the Board of Deputies of British Jews last month that he was “resolved in strong terms to fight anti-Semitism from wherever it comes,” Corbyn has come under increasing fire from the Jewish community following recent events.
In February one of the heads of Oxford University’s student Labor movement resigned in protest of what he described as blatant anti-Semitism among members.
“Whether it be members of the executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former co-chair claiming that ‘most accusations of anti-Semitism are just the Zionists crying wolf,’ a large proportion of both [Oxford University Labor Club] and the student[s] left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” Alex Chalmers lamented on Facebook.
In an email to The Jerusalem Post in February, a spokesman for Britain’s Zionist Federation said that “it’s not surprising that Labor students glorify Hamas when their own party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has described them as a social justice movement while inviting them to Parliament. The views and actions of these supposed socialists are now indistinguishable from those of fascists.”
Corbin has previously endorsed a blanket arms embargo on Israel and the boycott of Israeli universities involved in weapons research. In 2003 he claimed that Osama bin Laden was framed for 9/11.
Labor is not the only party to have taken action against anti-Semitic officials. According to The Jewish Chronicle, the UK Independence Party kicked out London chairman John Hellings last week. He was accused of calling a Jewish member a “north London Jewish c***.”