Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Another Labour Party anti Semitism story

'Labour's John McDonnell in anti-Semitism row over website that has carried 'tributes to suicide bombers'

EXCLUSIVE: In 2014 Mr McDonnell linked from his own web page to a site that has carried "tributes" to suicide bombers.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was today caught in his party's growing anti-Semitism storm after directing people to a website that has carried "tributes" to suicide bombers.

Labour MPs reacted with fury after learning that in 2014 Mr McDonnell linked from his own web page to the site, which once carried sympathetic articles about at least two bombers.

One of the pieces focused on a man who murdered 19 Israelis outside a nightclub.

Among other archived articles carried on the site was one posted in 2002 claiming Israel has no right to exist and should be "dismantled".

When the Standard asked the Shadow Chancellor's office for a comment, his spokesman said the link from Mr McDonnell's site would be removed immediately.

Just days ago Mr McDonnell said Labour had to "sit up and listen" to claims of anti-Semitism in the party, adding that anyone with offensive views should be banned.

A spokesman told the Standard: "John was supporting a peaceful campaign against the bombing in Gaza at the time in 2014. The campaign suggested using the link to this website in order to take part.
"He was obviously not aware of  the views this website historically expressed 10 years previously but John's office has subsequently removed the link in question immediately.

"John has a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism and has a record of campaigning against all forms of racism."

Mr McDonnell wrote a post on his MP website in 2014 promoting a boycott against Israeli goods but then directed readers to another website called Innovative Minds.

Among articles it has carried are one from 2001 entitled Why The Road To Paradise? An Interview With The Family Of A Martyr, about Saeed Hotary, who blew himself up outside a Tel Aviv disco, killing 19 party-goers.

The piece quotes the bomber's father saying: "The only way the Palestinians can be stronger is through these bombings. When martyrs blow themselves up, the Jews and Americans listen."

A piece thought to be from 2002 entitled A Bride In The Dress Of Martyrdom told the story of Aayaat al-Akhras, who killed two Israelis when she blew herself by a Jerusalem supermarket.

Calling the attack a "successful heroic operation", the article went on to say the bomber will "remain an example for every Palestinian woman".

A third piece from 2002 argued that "even if the Zionist State is the size of a postage stamp it has no right to exist."

Labour MP Michael Dugher said material the website previously published was "extreme and deeply offensive", adding: "The Labour Party must take anti-Semitism seriously and tackle it in the strongest possible way.

"Sadly these efforts are undermined when things like this are once again exposed."

Tory MP Sir Eric Pickles, chairman  of Conservative Friends of Israel, said the articles amounted to "tributes to suicide bombers".

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