I note that my name has been mentioned in “an investigation into Joshua Garfield’s complaint relating to antisemitism in the Newham Labour Party”
I am not much interested in this but since my name is mentioned in the report (page 4) I will take the time to comment on that section specifically:
“Gavin Sealey is allowed to publish an antisemitic article from the website ‘Exposing Zionism UK’ on the Newham Labour Facebook group (18 January 2020).”
I don’t recall the particular article. Looking for the ‘website’ I found a Facegroup group: https://www.facebook.com/EZUKFP1/
“Gavin Sealey had been suspended from membership of the Labour Party at that time and he was finally expelled in February 2020, for antisemitism. He was a public supporter of the well known antisemite Gilad Atzmon.”
I note that there is no instantiation to support the charge of antisemitism against me unless it is being ‘a public supporter of well known antisemite Gilad Atzmon’. I shared a number of posts by Atzmon over a period of five years but I do not know that this constitutes being ‘a public supporter’ of Atzmon.
For anyone interested in knowing why I was expelled from the LP there is a lengthy account here: https://52.netstorms.org/case-number-3641/ but what I want to highlight is my comment at the end:
- I am asked if there are further matters I wish to raise in my defence. I do not perceive anything I have said as a defence. The only further matter I wish to raise concerns the motivation for this charge or inquiry or whatever it is. What motivated the Labour Party to trawl through five years of my Facebook posts. These are presented as ‘evidence’ but evidence of what? Evidence in support of what charge? Think about it; evidence is usually sought in support of some allegation or conjecture. What is the allegation that preceeded the search for ‘evidence’ in this case?
I can only speculate as to whether my coming to the attention of Newham Councillor Joshua Garfield had anything to do with me being investigated by the Party.
Returning to the Hirsh Report, it says that the particular post from ‘Exposing Zionism’ “named Lisa Nandy as ‘one of the five Zionist stooges left in the Labour leadership contest’. It says that ‘all five have grovelled before the Board of Deputies in order to get endorsement from the Israeli lobby group’. The report says that this image is antisemitic.
I cannot remember the post or the context in which I presented it but it is very likely the context in which I commented, on my website, on the Labour Leadership candidates acceptance of the ‘Ten Pledges’. This was my view then and remains my view now: https://52.netstorms.org/a-crisis-of-antirationalism/
I am a very polite person and, although I do not hide my views, I do not use terms such as ‘grovelling’ to describe other people’s behaviour. I do not necessarily dismiss an article for its use of such imagery in relation to public figures but I do not approve it.
According to the report:
“Gavin Sealey’s introduction and defence of this piece is antisemitic because, as Joshua Garfield puts it in his complaint, it will have ‘radicalised average Labour members to distrust Jewish people’s concerns and think ill of Jewish organisations’. Sealey portrays the Board of Deputies … as inherently Conservative and anti-Labour. In this way it inaccurately gives the impression that Jews, including Labour Jews, are on the whole are Conservative and antiLabour. This portrayal of mainstream Jews as hostile to the Labour Party and its values fosters an antisemitic image of Jews in the minds of Labour People.”
I find the image of myself ‘radicalising average Labour members’ particularly ludicrous. A characterisation of the political stance of a particular Jewish institution does not imply an intention to characterise Jewish people in general as having that same stance. To imply that would be stupid and to infer it is stupid. I do not believe that ‘average Labour members’ are stupid but the only inference I can take from Garfield’s comment is that he does.
This ‘investigation’ has been reported in the Newham Recorder: https://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/newham-labour-antisemitism-report-leaked-1-6916897
It has also been reported on the On London website: https://www.onlondon.co.uk/newham-whats-going-on-with-the-mayor-and-the-fight-against-labour-antisemitism/