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Statement of Principles:

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Support for Amnesty International UK’s refusal to host settlement apologists

Jewish Voice for Labour has given its full support to Amnesty Intenational for refusing to host a meeting organised by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) which would include speakers who support illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. And Ben White gives more background on the JLC. […]

A graphic account of the moral bankruptcy of the leadership of the American Jewish community

Eli Valley is an American cartoonist/polemicist who often leaves Steve Bell looking timid by comparison. Coming from the heart of the American Jewish community, whose leadership rounds on its critics with remorseless intensity, Valley has responded with a quiet fury of his own. Now read on! […]

Zionism, Antisemitism and the Left Today

“I am seeking a change in the way in which Zionism is spoken about on the left. I am also calling for a more thoughtful response when the question of antisemitism is raised.”

Brian Klug’s talk, a transcript of which is reproduced here, was given as the opening contribution to a debate organised by Marxism 2017 on Zionism, Antisemitism and the Left Today. It is the first of a series of discussion articles we will be republishing about antisemitism and Zionism in the near future. […]

Saying the unsayable

Uri Avnery, founder and guiding spirit of Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc, is utterly committed to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Yet, if Avnery were in the British Labour Party today he would no doubt have been suspended by now.

For he is under few illusions about what has and is done in the name of Zionism. He rejects the idea that Jews worldwide are a nation or, as he puts it: “THE BASIC trouble is that the entire relationship between Israelis and Diaspora Jews is built on a lie: the belief that they are the same people. They are not.” And he argues further, and provocatively: “ZIONISM IS an anti-Semitic creed. It was so right from the beginning.”

You don’t have to agree with Avnery to see that the ideas he is expressing are important ones, deserving a clear-headed interrogation, not hands raised in shock and horror. […]

Moshé Machover – an interview

In an international campaign organised to defend Moshé Machover by Science for the People , several important political questions emerged. In this wide-ranging interview with Machover some of these are explored: How to understand the debates and manoeuvers within the Labour Party? What is the history of Palestine solidarity activism within Labour? Why is Machover himself such a red rag to those who support Israel? […]

Anti-Zionism and antisemitism

Phil Edwards continues his argument, started in “Antisemitism and the left – deconstructing the arguments”, against the theses advanced in the Jacobson/Schama/Sebag Montefiore letter (reproduced in Part 1 of this analysis) which tries to claim that anti-Zionism inevitably has antisemitic characteristics. […]

Zionism 101 – for historians

Historian Simon Schama co-authored a letter to The Times this week about Zionism and antisemitism in the Labour Party, with fellow historian Simon Sebag Montefiore and novelist Howard Jacobson. Robert Cohen takes them to task for the slippages and elisions in the argument which only add to the lock down of freedom of speech on Israel by attempting to make criticism of Zionism toxic by association. He concludes that: “There are other ways to define Jewish self-determination that do not undermine the rights of another people. There are other ways to achieve Jewish security that do not involve creating a heavily armed Jewish Sparta in the Middle East. There are other Jewish options that need exploring 100 years after Balfour.” […]

Robert A.H.Cohen writes from the the Amos Trust’s 1,000-mile ‘Just Walk to Jerusalem’: “We know we cannot turn back the clock to a time before Balfour. Whatever the second Balfour century looks like it will include Jews and Arabs living on the land.

The question is: will they live as equals and in peace or will they live, as they do today, as oppressed and oppressor?…Our call is simple, but frustratingly it is also highly contentious: Equal rights for all who call the Holy Land home.” […]

The end of the British consensus on Israel

Robert A.H.Cohen writes: “[T]he formal Jewish leadership in the UK are painting themselves into a blue and white corner and looking ever more out of touch with a general public which is beginning to understand that Israel/Palestine is a conflict about human rights and not about terrorism.” […]

The Israeli Labor Party lurches even further to the right

In an extraordinary statement, Israeli Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay called the settlement enterprise “the beautiful and devoted face of Zionism” and said Israel must retain control over the Jordan Valley in any peace deal with the Palestinians. He went on: “Over the years, regardless of the party in power, the settlement project demonstrated commitment, determination, and love of the country. You, the settlers, are the pioneers of our generations, people who act in the face of adversity, who cause the wilderness to bloom, who realize the impossible.”

This is the British Labour Party’s sister party?! […]