We are in full solidarity with Pete Willsman and believe that nothing he said was anti-Semitic.
It is not anti-Semitic to state the belief that the Israeli state is involved in alliance with others in manufacturing claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party for political reasons. Indeed there have been proven instances of Israeli state interference in British politics before, as shown by the excellent undercover documentary The Lobby(Al-Jazeera).
Such a claim is not to deny the existence of anti-Semitism in wider society or indeed the Labour Party. But, as the figures released by Labour Party General Secretary Jennie Formby clearly demonstrate, this is happening on a very small scale: out of over 1,300 complaints received, only a small number had any case to answer.
While we condemn anti-Semitism unreservedly, we also believe that many Labour Party members have been wrongly accused of anti-Semitism, which causes great distress to those affected. We refute claims that anti-Semitism is “rife” or “endemic” in our Party – there is no evidence to substantiate this.
It is surely no coincidence that the audio of Willsman’s comments (who was secretly recorded in January), is only now being published. With pressure building up over the bad EU election results and the forthcoming Peterborough by-election, the real target of this latest campaign is clear: it is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn.
We stand with Pete Willsman and Jeremy Corbyn and against the witch-hunt of left-wingers in the Labour Party!
Sheffield Labour Left Steering Committee