Pro-Jewish demonstrators harassed at Dutch Labour event hosting Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn was the main speaker at a “Fair Tax Event” organised by PvdA (the Dutch Labour Party) in The Hague on Thursday 6th of July, the last day before the Dutch parliament went into its summer recess.

The event was a clear attempt by PvdA to regain some leftist credentials and kudos, after most Labour voters and supported have concluded that PvdA, in its “two big parties” coalition (2012-’17) with Mark Rutte’s VVD (NatLib; car-owner liberals), had abandoned those credentials and all its anti-VVD election rhetoric, in order to overcome the EMU Greek crisis and the EU migration crisis and to get the Dutch economy back on an even keel. At the 2017 general election, PvdA tumbled from 38 to 9 seats (in a 150 seat parliament); and it hasn’t recovered much. Polls by pollster Maurice the Hond for most Dutch parties haven’t moved for months; and the PvdA remains stuck around 10-11 seats (and social liberal D66, in the government coalition, remain at 13, from 19 at the election).

The parliamentary performance of PvdA doesn’t help it to regain credibility; at one point, it vehemently supported a vote of no confidence; but at its 2018 Spring conference, it humbly begged to be admitted as a supporter in case the present VVD, D66 and Christian Democrats coalition lose their small Senate majority in the 2019 provincial elections.


The PvdA Tax (evasion) event would have gone almost unnoticed in the Dutch media were it not for an incident. Youngsters from CIDI (the Dutch hardcore pro-Israel lobby) displayed a banner inscribed “Labour: for the many, not the few Jew” from the balcony of the event venue. They were immediately attacked and harassed by members of the audience. Security had to extract the three youngsters and escort them to the front door; before and after the event Corbyn has ignored CIDI requests to talk about antisemitism in Labour (allowing insulting murals; Ken Livingstone’s resignation).

PvdA party leader Lodewijk Asscher, scion of a prominent Jewish Amsterdam family of bankers, lawyers, booksellers and politicians, in correspondence with CIDI had pointed to Corbyn’s recent declarations and promises of stamping out antisemitism in Labour; but CIDI pointed out that the definition of antisemitism that Labour have adopted is a very much diluted version of the internationally accepted definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

PvdA, Dutch Labour, have a much stricter Antisemitism policy for its politicians and speakers than Labour; in the Netherlands antisemitism is reduced to the extreme left and extreme right; and Muslim youths and imams out to provoke the community to get attention.

Labour, the last remaining big social democratic party in the EU, is hampering the recovery chances of its sister parties by not adequately addressing this behavioral issue.

(https://twitter.com/CIDIjongeren/status/1014932469185949696/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1014932469185949696&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.elsevierweekblad.nl%2Fnederland%2Fachtergrond%2F2018%2F07%2Fcidi-jongeren-belaagd-op-pvda-evenement-met-corbyn-630021%2F ) .

* Bernard Aris is a Dutch historian (university of Leiden), and Documentation assistant to the D66 parliamentary Party. He is a member of the Brussels/EU branch of the LibDems.

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33 Comments

  • Again more reasons why Labour are not fit to run the country. They are now a Europhobic far left outfit. Anti semitism, Saudiphobia, banker bashing, anti corporate bigotry and Europhobia are all traits of anticapitalists and it is the anticaptialists who run Labour now.

    Coupled with recent attacks by Labour politicians directed at Scientology, the obsession with conspiracy theories about everything from Bilderberg, Davos to TTIP to the EU Commission, it is quite clear that the party is riddled with intolerence and alarming attitudes which directly mirror or simply share the views of the Trumpist right.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 9th Jul '18 - 1:20pm

    A necessary antidote from Bernard, to the complacency in the left on the nonsense of UK Corbyn hard core, re the antisemitism issue.

    The refusal to adopt a definition every other party here,like me, to like UK Labour. and organisations such as the Crown Prosecution Service, readily adhere to, makes it impossible for ex Labour members, albeit years ago, to warm to them.

    This issue is important, the Jewish members of our parties and at the heart of our public and cultural life, are feeling alienated, this is outrageous in modern Britain.

  • Bernard Aris 9th Jul '18 - 3:12pm

    @David Raw

    No, Corbyn did not organise this heckling, but het is stubbornly refusing to do anything substantial about the antisemitism in his movement (ignoring the part jews all over Europe played in launching and building both Liberal and Social-democratic parties (Nertherlands and Germany are good examples; see Fortschrittliche Partei in Germany and interbellum Amsterdam alderman Monne de Miranda in the Netherlands).

    Beside the antisemitism that has taken hold via Monumentum and blinkered pro-Palestinian activists in Labour,
    the Danish Social Democrats, desperate to regain monumentum and influence,
    now are playing the same “Identity politics” against all muslim inhabitants/co-citizens as the FolkeParti, Geert Wilders’ old buddies, who like UKIP did to Labour stole much of their working class vote; upsetting our Social Liberal sister party the Radikale Venstre of European Commissioner Verstager;
    and to add insult to injury, Asschers PvdA is aping them…

    see: https://socialsciences.ku.dk/news/the-danish-social-democratic-case/

  • Lorenzo Cherin 9th Jul '18 - 4:17pm

    The above written by me was scrambled in the sending, and is disjointed, but, though Stimpson goes too far, and David Raw not far enough, yes there are issues we should be concerned about, Corbyn is not the culprit as much as a few very dangerous on the far left, it would be good if those who constantly defend them did not on a subject like this

  • Lorenzo Cherin 9th Jul ’18 – 4:17pm…………… Corbyn is not the culprit as much as a few very dangerous on the far left, it would be good if those who constantly defend them did not on a subject like this…………….
    Could you point to anyone defending those on the far left (or on the far right) who are anti-semitic?

  • I am uneasy with the suggestion that the definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is appropriate. This definition (which can be found easily online) includes in its list of examples some that are uncontroversial (eg criticising Jews on racial or religious grounds) with some that are deeply problematic (eg opposing the existence of the state of Israel or comparing contemporary Israeli actions to those of the Nazis). While the latter two might well be insensitive, depending on the particular phrasing that is used, I would not consider them to be de facto antisemitic. Thus the definition blatantly fails to distinguish prejudice against the Jewish people from legitimate criticism of Israel and its policies.

  • I don’t believe that there is significantly more of an issue with anti-Semitism in the labour party than in any other UK political party only that it gets reported on more. I could be wrong with the first element of that sentence but even if I am then I don’t see how it becoming a line of attack from other political parties helps resolve anti-Semitism within the UK scene? Surely some issues should be non-political in order to be resolved as quickly and as successfully as possible?

    I would presume/hope that discussing Israeli political policy and all the wrongs in that is a separate point and for a separate article. I see that it’s been stuck to quite well in comments thus far.

  • Jayne mansfield 9th Jul '18 - 11:19pm

    @ Stimpson.
    Fascinating.

    So life long anti-racists, who have been abused, spat at, and threatened with violence, when antisemitism and racism because of our their opposition to both are now apparently the antisemites and racists.

    Tell me more. I would love to know how bizarre Liberal Democrats can become in their goal of becoming the major opposition party, by undermining the major opposition party.

  • Jayne mansfield 9th Jul '18 - 11:25pm

    @Stimpson,
    May I pre-empt any criticism of the chewed up nature of the above. Minor stroke, work out what I intended to say, in the order I hoped t to type it.

  • DJ 9th Jul ’18 – 8:17pm…………..I don’t believe that there is significantly more of an issue with anti-Semitism in the labour party than in any other UK political party only that it gets reported on more…………..

    It’s more sinister than that. The so called rise in anti-Semitism in Labour is a lie; sadly trotted out by some on here…
    In August 2017 YouGov asked 1614 adults from across the political spectrum whether 5 different stereotypical anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish people were either ‘Definitely true’ ‘Probably true’, Definitely not true’ or ‘Probably not true’….The results were compared the responses to those given by 3411 respondents to almost identical questions in 2015.

    Analysis of both surveys showed that anti-Semitic views held by Labour voters had declined amongst every single statement from 2015 until 2017 (the period under Corbyn’s leadership).

    BTW, In every category, Conservative voters were more likely to be deemed anti-Semitic than Labour voters and, all other political parties (apart from the Lib Dems whose results are comparable to Labour’s), have a far bigger problem with their voters agreeing with anti-Semitic statements.

  • Nonconformistradical 10th Jul '18 - 8:37am

    Referring to Ralph’s posting on 9 July at 7:16pm..

    Opposing the existence of the state of Israel is one thing – the UN partition of Palestine gives the state of Israel legitimacy.

    Comparing (some) contemporary Israeli actions to those of the Nazis might be quite a different matter. I can think of a term used by the Nazis to refer to expropriation of other countries’ lands which might fit quite well with ongoing Israeli settlement expansion in Palestinian land – expansion which clearly has the support of the present Israeli government.

  • Jayne mansfield 10th Jul '18 - 10:20am

    @ Joe Otten,
    I have never met anyone on the left of politics who has denied the reality of the holocaust rather than learning from it.

    Sadly, it seems that the Liberal Democrat Party has become the mouthpiece of the Daily Mail and other right wing rags, attributing every evil to Corbyn’s Labour rather than recognising that antisemitism is a frightening manifestation of the political Right.

    Maybe, you and Mr Aris should examine the rise of fascist sentiment in Trump’s America , (or more importantly the EU), one manifestation being the vilification and conspiracy theories concocted about George Soros.

  • The far left have always been nationalists. Foreigners to them are fine as long as they are refugees, the poor or willing to work in the public sector.

    When it comes to foreign investors, investor rights, foreign ownership, non doms or job offshoring – they turn into little Trumpites.

    Hearing Corbynites attack foreign state owned firms running our public services, attack jobs going overseas, attack impartial overseas arbitration for disputes in trade or the casual lack of respect for expats (they’ve left so why should they get a vote – bunch of Tories), sums this all up.

  • Bernard Aris 10th Jul '18 - 12:23pm

    @ Jayne Mansfield,

    obviously you haven’t been following the D66/ALDE delegation in the Europarliament, who have been very alert in pointing out the resurgent antisemitism in Hungary (the anti-Soros campaigns), Poland (Neonazis demonstrating in Warsaw and the PiS regime critisizing foreign reaction to it), and in Trumps following (video of an alt-right meeting with nazi salute right after his election; his Charlottesville demonstration answer). Just to let you know: we’re on those cases too!

  • I’m sure there are people across the political spectrum that deny the holocaust. I’m sure there are people who say it was only a million not six (as if that makes any difference), all political parties have idiots and nasty pieces of works in their ranks but what I don’t believe is Corbyn is one of them. Naive and other worldly I’d accept but a racist anti-Semitic I think not.

    As to the rise of anti-Semitism if only it was just that we had to be afraid of. I’m afraid anti-Semitism is just one part of the scape goatism that is arising through out the world. The fear of the other, the fear of the different is being used by politicians across the piece to disguise their failures.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 10th Jul '18 - 1:32pm

    I did not say anyone here defends antisemitic left wing extremists, I do think you can not go far enough in criticising those if complacent.

    Several comments here are that. Of course there is antisemitism in the Labour party that is more recent and worse because there are very many who are involved who were not, they were in parties or groupings hithertoo to the far extreme left, not democratic socialists, at all, but people whose views are not recognised as within the left main strand.

    If Jewish members of that party are saying it and they are, I have done research into it, and it is true that many are feeling alienated, we must take this seriously, or we are saying their experience is not true.

    Extremism is left and right, always wrong, not right.

    I think as Liberals we need to be open not closed, to the feelings of those feeling put upon.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 10th Jul ’18 – 1:32pm………………..I did not say anyone here defends antisemitic left wing extremists, I do think you can not go far enough in criticising those if complacent…………………….
    In that case what did your, “Corbyn is not the culprit as much as a few very dangerous on the far left, it would be good if those who constantly defend them did not on a subject like this”, mean?

    and, again…………………….. Of course there is antisemitism in the Labour party that is more recent and worse because there are very many who are involved who were not, they were in parties or groupings hithertoo to the far extreme left, not democratic socialists, at all, but people whose views are not recognised as within the left main strand………….

    How, then, do you explain the ‘YouGov’ polls of 2015 and 2017 which show the exact opposite of your assertion?.

  • frankie: “I’m sure there are people who say it was only a million not six (as if that makes any difference)”

    I think it does make a difference, just what exactly I’m not sure about. The problem we have is not that the Holocaust was or wasn’t bad, just that we are now more aware of other large-scale atrocities. Perhaps what is needed is for a reframing, just as we’ve reframed Remembrance Day to remember those who died in wars since WWI rather than just those who died in WWI.

  • Jayne mansfield 10th Jul '18 - 2:44pm

    @ David,
    A realisation of one’s own mortality, whilst surprisingly shocking, has some positive aspects. One positive being, that a desire to create a kinder, more socially just society for our grandchildren’s generation takes on a new urgency, and in my case, the motivation to develop new neural pathways to overcome residual damage to the brain.

    My biological parents were a member of the Australian airforce based in Lincolnshire, and an English WRAF. There are some causes that really are worth fighting for.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 10th Jul '18 - 2:52pm

    Expats

    My view was and is now, that there are too many on the left, the decent left, who are closed minded on the level of nasty and mean behaviour there, quick to say it about the right as well as far right. Complacency is not helpful. That is why I say that, not to accuse here but to countenance those here to recognise this is a problem.

    The survey is not one to quote here. It is about Labour voters. Most of those voters voted Labour already and also were added to by students new as voters. It is the members not merely voters wherin the antisemitic problem is growing, because, though not en masse, there is a big increase in people who joined who were outside of the Labour strand of thought or vote, who supported and voted for extremist parties.

    The glance or investigation into the myriad of farther left forums, reveals truly wearisome deeply worrisome levels of association of Jews with money and power and control, as well as the extent of racist and one sided hate to Israel, and its people, rather than towards particular government policy.

  • Malcolm Todd 10th Jul '18 - 3:09pm

    Well, I think this is the moment when I finally quit even visiting Lib Dem Voice. Shoehorning “Jewish”, “Labour”, “harassed” and “Corbyn” into a headline to feed the spurious “anti-semitic Corbynite Labour” meme, even though there isn’t the slightest evidence for it in this story, is low, low, low. I have no problem with LDV being partisan – why wouldn’t it be? – but this is dishonest and manipulative, and a cynical exploitation of the legitimate fears of Jews in today’s Britain.

    Shame on you. And goodbye.

  • Alex Macfie 10th Jul '18 - 7:28pm

    It seems to be a knee-jerk reaction among Corbynites to scream “Daily Mail” at any criticism of him. The problem with that is that we Lib Dem critics of him also criticise the right-wing Tory government and its policies supported by papers like the Fail. And a central plank of the liberal, Lib Dem critique of Corbyn is that he is pro-Brexit, which, in case you hadn’t noticed, the Daily Mail is as well. Of course they are pro-Brexit for different reasons, but we Lib Dems don’t support it whether it’s for Empire nostalgia or for socialism in one country.
    Jayne Mansfield was caught out in the lazy Corbynista assumption that criticism of Corbyn automatically makes someone a right-winger in her loaded comment to Bernard Aris about George Soros. Clearly in her world, anyone who calls out Corbyn for tolerating anti-semitism can’t have any concern about garden-variety right-wing anti-semites. And Bernard showed her to be wrong in her assumption. We oppose hatred and discrimination whether it comes from the left or the right. That is why we are liberals.
    And incidentally, I don’t think Corbyn is personally anti-semitic. But he does too easily tolerate people who are.

  • Alex Macfie 10th Jul ’18 – 7:28pm…………………. Clearly in her world, anyone who calls out Corbyn for tolerating anti-semitism can’t have any concern about garden-variety right-wing anti-semites…………
    Yet another disgraceful post in a disgraceful article

  • Alex Macfie 11th Jul '18 - 6:24am

    expats: how is either the article or my post “disgraceful”? All it does is expose some of the fallacies in Corbynista thinking. In particular, the sentence you quote is from a passage where I point out that Ms Mansfield’s whataboutery fell flat, because it turned out that the “whatabout” was something that her opponent HAD campaigned on. Whataboutery is based on the binary fallacy, so is a poor debating tactic anyway, but in this case it was demonstrably incorrect. How is it “disgraceful” to point such a thing out?

  • Jayne mansfield 11th Jul '18 - 7:25am

    @ expats,
    There are some comments that say more about the commenter than the person to whom they are addressed.

    @ Alex Macfie,
    I have never knowingly screamed other than when giving birth.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Jul '18 - 7:41am

    The long delays in Ken Livingstone’s case caused a serious blot on the reputation of the current Labour leadership. They know that he defeated an official Labour candidate,an MP and a cabinet member, when he first stood for election as London Mayor.
    Did they fear that he could do that again?

  • Jayne mansfield 11th Jul ’18 – 7:25am……………[email protected] expats, There are some comments that say more about the commenter than the person to whom they are addressed………….

    And, sadly, there are some articles that say the same about the direction of this party!

    regards, XP

  • Innocent Bystander 11th Jul '18 - 11:00am

    I burn no candle for Ken Livingstone but what he said is exactly correct against the historical record. The charge of anti-semitism laid against him was not that he lied but that there are some who are deeply offended by certain historical facts and want them to be forgotten and he should have been sensitive to that.
    I have even less regard for Corbyn, but his enemies have weaponised anti-semitism charges against him when they couldn’t care less about the topic.

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