Tom Watson: A Worried Man.
Labour Deputy: Tom Watson.
MP for West Brom, Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour party, is looking trimmer these days, however, it is not the weight that is bothering him. Tom Watson is worried about alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour party, which has seen a pregnant Jewish MP, Luciana Berger leave the Labour party to join a group of disaffected Labour and Tory MP's in parliament. Watson said it is disgraceful how a Jewish female MP, with child, namely Ms Berger, has been hounded out of the Labour party by racist thugs.
Anti-Semitism has dogged the Labour party ever since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader. A mass demonstration of British Jews took place outside of parliament last year to confront what they see as Corbyn's anti-Semitism.
Mr Corbyn has long been an opponent of Israel for a long time indeed. Mr Corbyn opposes the way Israel deals with the Palestinians, but some have accused him of being an anti-Semite.
As to whether Mr Corbyn is an anti-Semite is best known only to him. Recently, a strong Corbyn supporter in the shadow cabinet, Chris Williamson, has been suspended from the Labour party. During a Momentum meeting, Mr Wlliamson was recorded saying the Labour party had given too much ground on allegations of anti-Semitism. Mr Williamson is not the first Labour MP to have been suspended over alleged or intentional anti-Semitism, Muslim MP Naz Shah was also suspended over such allegations as was one of Mr Corbyn's cheerleaders, ex-Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.
Tom Watson feels more Labour MP's will walk and join the new independence group. Over alleged anti-Semitism, yes but also because of Labours until now, muddled approach over Brexit. Mr Corbyn has come out and said he would support another referendum to decide should the UK stay or go from the EU.
Of course, the Labour party is not the only party in trouble, as described 3 Conservatives fed up with Theresa May not listening to various issues have also joined the Independence Group. Whether this grouping will evolve into a fully fledged political party remains to be seen.
Anti-Zionist Does Not Necessarily Mean anti-Semitic.
We hear this word 'anti-Semitic' bandied around a lot just lately. I do not disagree that there are anti-Semites, those who are open about it and those who hide behind the anti-Zionist movement.
Wherever anti-Semitism exists or any other form of bigotry it should be stamped out, that said, it would appear that anti-Zionists are being lumped in with anti-Semites. This is happening because of ignorance or it is a deliberate policy to silence criticism of the state of Israel.
It is the second notion that worries me, the same is happening in the US, are we getting to the point where any criticism of the state of Israel is going to be banned?
Israel is a democratic nation in the Middle East, perhaps from a western standard, the only true democracy. However, it's policies of settling Palestinian land are seen by some as a deliberate policy to replace the native Arabs by the settlement of Jews. These actions are condemned by the UN yet the activity is still taking place, Palestinians since 1948 have been forced off their land and forced to flee by the actions of the Israelis.
Then you have Gaza, where despite Jews leaving the land and giving it up to Palestinians, Gaza does not control its own airspace or sea, they are heavily patrolled by Israeli planes and ships. Gaza is dependent on Israel for its electricity which sometimes leaves Gaza without power. Israel has fought wars against Gaza ending in the deaths of many Palestinians and leaving many homeless. The current Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has been described as a right-wing fascist in his hard-line stance towards the Palestinians.
A border wall now separates the West Bank from Israel proper making the lives of Palestinians a nightmare as they face checkpoints. Trump recognising that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, has it seems, put the final nail in the coffin of any Palestinian - Israeli peace.
So finally, if you are a genuine critic of the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians, you should under freedom of speech, have the right to hold this view. However, it seems in this climate, any view that the authorities do not like they ban and threaten those with these views with prison, truly disturbing times that we live in.