Labour councillor investigated for alleged anti-semitism slammed ‘white supremacy’

Posted On 21 May 2020 at 4:11 pm

A Brighton Labour councillor vowed not to “bow down to white supremacy” after she was reported for anti-semitism for describing Israel as racist.

Councillor Nikkie Brennan stepped down as deputy chair of the council’s Housing Committee in March after pictures of her with a placard opposing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-semitism emerged.

Councillor Brennan, who was elected last May on a Momentum slate to the East Brighton ward, had been protesting outside a council meeting last autumn where councillors, including current council leader Nancy Platts, voted to adopt the definition.

While stepping down, she released an official statement apologising for campaigning in that way and said that she was now more knowledgeable about the IHRA definition.

But just three days later, she posted on her Facebook page: “Let me make something clear. I have not resigned as a councillor and I will go on speaking up for the people who elected me.

“I will not bow down to white supremacy and I will always challenge racism in ALL its forms as I always have.”

The pictures of Councillor Brennan at the protest, taken last autumn before she was elected

The post remained live until yesterday afternoon, but was deleted after Councillor Brennan was approached by Brighton and Hove News. She has not responded to our questions.

The pictures of Councillor Brennan holding the placard had been circulated in local Labour Party circles after the protest.

Soon after, she was selected as part of the Momentum slate for East Brighton and was elected in May last year, after which she was appointed as deputy chair of the Housing Committee.

If one Labour councillor steps down or has the whip withdrawn, then the balance of power on Brighton and Hove City Council will be equally divided between Labour and the Greens.

Labour said: “This is part of an ongoing investigation by the party and we cannot comment on internal investigations.”

  1. Johnathan Smith Reply

    The BoD purge of the critics of Isreal is a cancer that will end up destroying the Labour Party.

  2. Mister T Reply

    Repeat after me: “criticism of the Israeli state is not anti-semitism”. Many Jewish people oppose the government of Israel.

    • Valerie Reply

      When I made a comment behind a recent article here making your point and making a point like this cllr’s regarding Israel it was removed by Jo Wadsworth. It’s an inconvenient truth.

      • Mister T Reply

        To be fair, I have no idea if there were any additional reasons she was investigated for the charge. There’s another dark side of this, where people sometimes use the terrible actions of the Israeli government as an excuse to promote hate against Jewish people, which is not on. But if it was just criticism of Israel, then it’s not anti-semitic.

  3. Roy Burman Reply

    Calling Israel a racist and apartheid state is a lie and is anti Semitic in intent.

    • Robert Reply

      Roy,

      Israel deploys civil legal code for Israelis, yet military law for occupied Palestinians. That’s racist.

      Israel keeps Palestinians from there homes and lands, and lets Israeli and foreign jews live in the homes, demolish them or work their lands. That’s racist.

      Israel keeps Palestinians away from their homes and lands, forcing them to live in refugee camps for decades. That’s racist.

      Israel has roads for jews and denies access to Palestinians. That’s apartheid.

      Israel has build a wall cutting off Palestinians from their lands, and separating jews and Palestinians. That’s apartheid.

      Israel holds Palestinians without charge but not jews. That’s apartheid.

      Israel blocks Palestinians from fishing in their waters, farming their land, building ports and airports but provides them for Israelis. That’s racist.

      Israel has segregated Palestinians into land-island ghettoes without free movement between Palestinian communities and Israel(reminiscent of bantustans of apartheid South Africa). That’s apartheid.

      Jewish terrorist groups are celebrated for the building of Israel on top of Palestine, whilst Palestinians are denied their internationally lawful right of armed resistance, and labelled terrorists. That’s racist.

      Israel builds for jews on Palestinian lands, and then denies Palestinians access an builds walls. That’s apartheid.

      Israeli army regularly details and abuses Palestinian children, including many under 10, but not jewish children. That’s apartheid.

      Settlers destroy olive trees groves (developed over centuries) of Palestinians farmers, and there is no legal redress. That’s racist.

      Israel claims it is providing self-determination for jews in Palestinian lands, but denies the Palestinians the right to self-determination. That’s apartheid.

      If IHRA (Internation Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-semitism) stops people from saying jews, like all people are entitled to self-determination, but not by destroying existing communities and stealing land from them, as that would be apartheid and a racist endeavour, then IHRA is racist anda part of the apartheid actions. The European Charter of Human Rights protects our right to say so, which is why people cannot be prosecuted for saying so. People can only perpetuate smears against the anti-racist campaigners fighting for the freedom of Palestinians, just as our ancestors fought fascism in Spain and Germany.

      There are undoubtedly left-wing anti-semites. Few in number, and misinformed by conspiracy theories, poor language skills to articulate their case, and a lack of educations, unlike the far-right. 1 racist is one too many however,and must be dealt with.

      Facts and real and ful context hurt many people’s cases who want to silence the fight to protect and free Palestinians. Calling out racism, apartheid, genocide, war crimes, and breaches of human rights can never be, will never be, and is not anti-semitic.

      I urge people to read their history on Palestine, and how Britain promised foreign jews Palestine, but also promised Palestinians freedom if they fought the Ottomans on behalf of Britain in WW1. It’s worth noting that Britain also failed the Kurds after WW1 as well, who are now spread amongst several countries, despite living on the same lands, they don’t havbe their own state either.

      Pre-Israel jews should have negotiated with a country to take on land for a new state. In the end, the UN voted to partition Palestine, which had land proposals biased in favour of Israel. It’s also worth noting that less than a 1/3 of the countries were even in the UN at the time. Just 33 countries voted in favour.

      Britain is responsible for creating this mess. The US has prolonged and worsened it through their white Christain anti-muslim crusading and power-building in the Middle East. The West demands Palestinians negotaite with Israel whilst their massive arsenals are pointing at their heads, and Israel holds all the cards. If Germany had occupied Britain, how long would it be before Britons stop being freedom fighters and become terrorists?

    • Mister T Reply

      Roy, how precisely can you deduce anti-Semitic intent from criticising Israeli state policy? If I called the US government imperialist, war-mongers that condone institutionalised racism, would that make me anti-American or anti-white? No. Because a country’s government is not the same thing as an ethnic identity.

  4. Andy Reply

    In this country call Palestine with a proud people etc etc

    Could Roy and Robert name the king or queen or president or foreign secretary or prime minister or currency. In the year 100 or 200 or 300 or 400 etc etc.

    Yasssr Arafat was born in Cairo, Egypt. His father, Abdel Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, was a Palestinian from Gaza City, whose mother, Yasser’s paternal grandmother, was Egyptian. Arafat’s father battled in the Egyptian courts for 25 years to claim family land in Egypt as part of his inheritance but was unsuccessful.

    How much do the Palestinians receive in aid and what did they spend it on?

    Why was the separation wall not built in the 1960s or 1970s or 80s or 90s?

    It’s not just Israel that has security borders with Gazza.
    Why is it you don’t t mention Egypt?

    It’s a strange racist country that has Arab MPs doctors etc etc. Try walking round in an Arab country as a homosexual or Christian or Jew or a Muslim minority sect.

    Criticise the government of Israel if you want to, but if you exclusively criticise and do not mention all the injustices in other countries then it’s pretty obvious what you are.

  5. Mister T Reply

    “if you exclusively criticise and do not mention all the injustices in other countries then it’s pretty obvious what you are.”

    A target of whataboutism? Is a person obligated to mention all other injustices at all times? To what extent is the person levelling the charge of racism for the opposing Israeli government obligated to research the target’s positions on all other injustices? What if railing against Israeli policy is a particularly personal cause for reasons other than racism? All good questions, I hope you’ll agree, Andy.

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