New Labour purge against Israel critics

David Miller discussing the Emirati lobby in 2018. (RT/YouTube)

The UK Labour Party has launched a new purge of the left and the Palestine solidarity movement still remaining in its ranks.

A noted academic expert on the Israel lobby and two leading members of a Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) branch were among those whose party membership was suspended on Monday.

Professor David Miller of Bristol University, as well as Becky Massey and Pam Page of Brighton PSC all received letters from the party within hours of each other, they told The Electronic Intifada.

Along with the summary expulsion of another local member in October, the suspensions seem to add up to an attack on Brighton PSC – one of the UK’s most active branches of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The new purge commenced only hours after Labour’s new right-wing leader Keir Starmer held a virtual meeting with the leadership of the Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Israel lobby within the party.

A sociologist, Miller is an expert on the propaganda operations of state and corporate lobbies.

He has documented the methods and history of the pro-Israel lobby for years.

“This latest round of suspensions continues the targeted harassment of socialist members,” Miller told The Electronic Intifada.

A book Miller co-wrote about Labour was censored during the party’s conference last year, after Israel lobby pressure.

Under the guise of Labour’s “anti-Semitism crisis,” the party bureaucracy has accelerated this trend in recent months under the new right-wing leadership.

But it is merely a continuation of a similar policy under Jennie Formby, the outgoing pro-Corbyn general secretary, Miller said.

He argued that the suspensions were designed to target members who understand the racism of Zionism, “which is very obviously incompatible with membership of the Labour Party.”

Pam Page and Becky Massey.

Becky Massey told The Electronic Intifada that the purge – occurring even during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown – was “barbaric.” She said that Labour bureaucrats “don’t know me. I could be isolated, nervous, frail, anything.”

Pam Page told The Electronic Intifada that the suspensions seemed to add up to a purge against Brighton PSC. “I am 71 years of age and live alone,” she said. “I felt sending it when we are isolating was a very insensitive thing to do.”

Included in the party’s letters were details of how to contact the Samaritans, the suicide prevention hotline. This only “added insult to injury,” said Page.

“I don’t intend to fight to stay in the party,” she said. “I may have felt differently if we had a socialist project to fight for.”

Former left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn stepped down after a devastating general election loss in December.

The years-long manufactured anti-Semitism crisis against him played a decisive role in his defeat.

Among the party’s allegations against one of the three purged Brighton PSC members was the posting on Twitter of an article by this writer from 2016 on how the Israel lobby manufactured the crisis against Corbyn.

The Jewish Labour Movement declined to comment.

The Labour Party declined to comment on the record.

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Look at it this way. It shows the world two things. The ugliness which lies underneath the smiley face mask of those neo-fascists drones and the political flim flam farce of the Labour-Tory two step-shuffle.

Hopefully those purged will not be discouraged. They will see this for what it is. Freedom to organize and mobilize for a truly better world and future, apart from the hypocrisy and chicanery of Labour-Tory. Now get to it.

Free Julian Assange, Free Palestine... Now!

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Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.