A candidate in Labour’s deputy leadership contest has urged members to “distance themselves” from expelled activists with “abhorrent” views.
Rosena Allin-Khan’s comment came after she took issue with anti-Zionist activist Tony Greenstein’s claim, that supporting both Israel and the Palestinians is akin to supporting Jews and Nazis.
He was kicked out of the party for three breaches of its regulations, including: “offensive comments online; offensive posts and comments on his blog; and an email in which he mocked the phrase ‘final solution’”. Yet, he continues to have “I’m with Corbyn” on his social media profile, and tweet supportive messages for the outgoing Labour leader.
Greenstein accused Allin-Khan of being a “hypocrite” after she tweeted: “If I’m Deputy Leader, I’ll focus on suspending and expelling antisemites”.
He told her: “when I met you at the Brighton Kemptown meeting you congratulated me on wearing a Palestinian badge I asked why then had u [sic] signed up to the fake ‘antisemitism’ campaign & the Board of Deputies 10 pledges-u [sic] stuttered 2 find an answer – the racists are those who smeared antiracists”.
Greenstein added, that for Rosena Allin-Khan “to support both the Zionists and the Palestinians – it’s like claiming to support Black Africans whilst supporting Apartheid or the Jews and the Nazis – you can’t support the oppressor and oppressed at the same time”.
She said his comment was “disgusting”.
Speaking to Jewish News, she stressed he was no longer a member and “his views are abhorrent.”
“It doesn’t help that people who hold such views, who have been expelled from the Labour Party, continue to assert that they are Labour activists – when the opposite is true.”
“I first encountered this individual when he was leafleting outside a Labour meeting in Brighton, it wasn’t pleasant”. She added, that “anyone in our movement should distance themselves from people like this.”
Allin-Khan, who has worked as a humanitarian doctor with Palestinians since 2009, added “I know what they are suffering, I know it’s an injustice and I take a stand without being an antisemite.”
Responding to her criticism, Greenstein said: “I didn’t ‘assert’ that I was a Labour activist.. I mentioned nothing about who I was, not even my name!”.
He added, despite being expelled, “of course I’m a Labour activist. You don’t have to be in the Labour Party to be one. I’m an active trade unionist and Vice President of Brighton & Hove Trades Council. I also work closely with many Labour members in Labour Against the Witchhunt and Labour Left Alliance.”