Monday, 18 September 2017

Confusing debate on anti-Semitism motion at Brent Council

In a debate at Brent Full Council, made even more confusing than usual by another round of musical chairs in the Conservative groups, eventually the following motion was agreed with three abstentions. It is the original Joel Davidson motion amended by Cllr Shafique Choudhary (amendment highlighted in yellow). There was cross party support with three abstentions.  Council refused permission for the amended motion moved by Reg Colwill (see posting below) to be debated. I find the amendment on Palestinian rights confusingly worded although the intention appears to be to give equal recognition to Israeli and Palestinian rights. The motion retains many of the guidelines that speakers presenting deputations opposed at the meeting.

On the face of it I think the Reg Colwill motion was much clearer and I cannot understand why the Labour group voted against it being debated. Any interesting insight from the backrooms?
This Council notes with alarm the rise in antisemitism in recent years across the UK. This includes incidents when criticism of Israel has been expressed using antisemitic tropes. Criticism of Israel can be legitimate, but not if it employs the tropes and imagery of antisemitism.
We therefore welcome the UK Government’s announcement on December 11th 2016 that it will sign up to the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The guidelines highlight possible manifestations of antisemitism as sometimes including:
·      “Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
·      Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
·      Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
·      Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
·      Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
·      Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.  
      Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination alongside Palestinian’s right to self-determination  (Removes ‘e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor’)
·      Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
·      Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
·      Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
·      Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.” This Council welcomes the cross-party support within the Council for combating antisemitism in all its manifestations.

This Council hereby adopts the above definition of antisemitism as set out by the
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and pledges to combat this pernicious form of racism.


Anonymous said...

why don't they concentrate on cleaning up the fly tipping and rubbish in the Borough, the ridiculous amount of bad parking...especially on event days...but always loads of pavement parking forcing pedestrians to walk in the road, and get hooted at by drivers Most of all why don't they stop cutting the most needed services..young people, youth services, disabled...all the adult training centres have been closed....the one adventure playground (with great history ) demolished....and left to rot....why are they debating stuff that has absolutely no relevance to them, and the ratepayers of Brent ?...they are supposed to be making Brent a better place to live and be honest they are just ruining it

Anonymous said...

The debate on anti-semitism went on longer than any other council business. Given the council by law is obligated not to discriminate against anyone for any reason, was this virtue signalling an appropriate use of council time. What will the council do with this definition now?