________________________

Statement of Principles:

________________________

After Machover’s reinstatement – moving forward

Following the success of our efforts to get Moshé Machover’s expulsion rescinded, now is the time to broaden our campaign against suspensions and witchhunts in the Labour Party more widely.

Push your branches and CLPs to pass motions demanding that:

  • All the damaging insinuations of antisemitism be publicly retracted
  • The whole system that allowed this travesty of justice, which has brought the Party into disrepute, be fully investigated and reformed; and those who instigated this damaging course of action be held to account
  • All the recent expulsions and suspensions  be reviewed and revoked unless there is clear evidence of breach of rule.
  • A full apology as requested by Moshé Machover be published

The Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry Report made it clear that the present procedures in the Labour Party were woefully inadequate and called for new ones based on due process, natural justice, transparency and proportionality. It is urgent that Labour move forward with a radical reform of its arcane, Star Chamber disciplinary system.

Moshé Machover gains distinguished international support  Add your name


Constituency party resolutions

C7. Bury North CLP passed with one vote against on 16 November

This CLP notes that on 3 October 2017, Emeritus Professor Moshé Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, was expelled from the Labour Party.

A lifelong Israeli Jewish socialist, anti-racist, and committed campaigner for social justice in Israel-Palestine, he was accused by the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes of writing “an apparently anti-Semitic article” and of “membership and support for another political party…with incompatible aims to the Labour Party”.

Although Professor Machover has since had his expulsion rescinded, we are alarmed and dismayed by the way in which his exclusion from the Party was handled, in particular that the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report (2016) were so stridently ignored despite having been approved and adopted by the NEC.

The Chakrabarti Inquiry found that the party’s “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and called for “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”.

To date, Prof Machover who vehemently denies the accusations has not been given the opportunity to challenge either the accusation of antisemitism or his alleged support for another party or organisation.

We therefore call for:

  • a full apology as requested by Moshé to be published;
  • the NEC to immediately implement the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report paying particular regard to the points mentioned above;
  • and for there to be a right of appeal and that the right of appeal is retroactive for all recent expulsions and suspensions carried out under previous rules.

_______________________________

C6. Battersea CLP passed with one vote against on 28 November

    1. This, the Battersea Constituency Labour Party (CLP) notes with deep concern the expulsion of the Israeli-born activist and retired professor Moshe Machover from the Labour Party on 3 October in response to his published article ‘Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism’, and the allegation that the article was itself antisemitic. By contrast, this CLP welcomes the groundswell of grassroots support for Moshe Machover that led to his reinstatement as a Labour Party member on 30 October, but is concerned that the Labour Party has failed to publish any apology to Moshe Machover over its handling of his case or to retract the allegation of antisemitism levelled against him.
    2. This CLP believes that the Labour Party should adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards antisemitism as towards all other forms of hate speech or racism; welcomes the intention behind the newly amended membership rule on conduct prejudicial to the Party adopted at the 2017 Party Conference; but argues that it would be entirely wrong for the Labour Party in implementing that rule to seek to conflate anti-Zionism, criticism of the state of Israel or support for the Palestinian people with antisemitism.
    3. This CLP therefore resolves to call on the Labour Party:
      1. to publish a full and unreserved apology to Moshe Machover as he has requested, explicitly retracting the allegation of antisemitism levelled against him; to conduct an inquiry into how his case has been handled by the Labour Party; and to initiate an urgent review of all other recent cases of expulsion or suspension from the Party;
      2. to engage actively with Jewish Voice for Labour and other organisations that the Party considers appropriate in developing any further Labour Party policy, rules or codes of conduct relating to antisemitism and other forms of racism;
      3. to implement the newly amended Labour Party membership rule on conduct prejudicial to the Party with active reference to Jewish Voice for Labour and other organisations that the Party considers appropriate, safeguarding every member’s right to hold and express their own beliefs and opinions on all issues relating to Israel / Palestine so long as those beliefs and opinions are not in themselves antisemitic or in any other way racist.
    1. This CLP mandates the Secretary of Battersea CLP to send the text of this resolution, as passed, to the Leader of the Labour Party, the Chair of the Labour Party and the General Secretary of the Labour Party.

     _______________________________

    C5. Leeds North West CLP passed on 24 November

    This Leeds North West CLP welcomes the reinstatement as a member of the Labour Party of Professor Moshé Machover.

    This Leeds North West CLP notes that:

    • The Chakrabarti inquiry found that the party’s “… complaints and disciplinary procedures … lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise…” and called for “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”
    • Professor Machover, who denies the accusations, has still not been given the opportunity to challenge the accusation of anti-Semitism, or his alleged support for another party or organisation.

    It demands:

    • That all the damaging insinuations of anti-Semitism must be publicly retracted.
    • A full apology, as requested by Moshé Machover, must be published.
    • That the whole system that allowed this travesty of justice, and which has brought the Party into disrepute, must be fully investigated by the NEC, and reformed, and those who instigated this damaging course of action held to account.
    • That the Party establishes a clear and transparent disciplinary procedure based upon Trade Union best practice on discipline of members. Natural justice : not procedural unfairness based upon prejudice.
    • This should result in a review of recent expulsions and suspensions and these should be revoked where there is no clear evidence of breach of rule.

    _______________________________

    C4. Ceredigion CLP passed  by overwhelming majority.

    This CLP calls on the Head of Disputes of the Labour Party to publicly retract all allegations of antisemitism he made against Moshe Machover and apologise for having raised them in the first place

    _______________________________

    C3. Cambridge CLP passed by a strong majority, 17 November 2017

    That:

    The Labour Party’s rescission of its summary expulsion on 3 October 2017 of Professor Moshe
    Machover from membership of the Party following strong national and international concern is
    welcomed. In accordance with the recommendations of the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry, Dr Machover
    should be accorded forthwith the opportunity to challenge the as yet unspecified allegation of
    antisemitism made against him, in hearings which uphold and do not deny the principle of natural
    justice and which protect his right to free speech as a Party member and citizen; failing this, the
    allegation should be withdrawn and an apology made to Professor Machover.

    The Labour Party brings into force with immediate effect all parts of the “New End to End”
    disciplinary process recommended in the Report of the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry to prevent similar
    expulsions in the future which breach the principle of natural justice by failing to ensure due process.
    [Page 21 of Inquiry Report]

    _______________________________

    C2. Oxford District Labour Party (joint meeting of Oxford East and Oxford West CLPs) passed with three votes against on 10 November 2017

    This meeting notes that:

    The 2016 Chakrabarti Report found the Labour Party’s “complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise” and “failed to observe the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”.

    The report’s recommendations have been adopted by the NEC.

    Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases

    This party therefore welcomes the decision to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover.

    We call on the NEC to proceed to implement the conclusions of the Chakrabarti report which it has already accepted.

    We further call on the Labour party to protect the right of members to contribute to the political debate across numerous platforms, without expressing support for other political parties or views contrary to the values of the Labour party.

    _______________________________

    C1. East Devon CLP passed overwhelmingly, 7 November 2017

    This CLP welcomes the re-instatement of Moshe Machover which reverses his summary expulsion of October 3rd.2017.

    This CLP additionally calls for an unreserved public apology to Machover from the Party for enabling the publication of selective material  designed  to smear with suggestions of   anti semitism when Head of Disputes acknowledges that the matter has not been the subject of  hearing or investigation.

    This CLP regards the debacle surrounding the handling of the Machover case, together with the numerous previous suspensions and expulsions of members, sometimes with little or no supporting evidence, as indicative of a compliance and disciplinary machinery ‘not fit for purpose.’

    This CLP calls therefore for the immediate implementation of the Chakrabarti Inquiry proposals governing compliance and disciplinary matters to ensure that he abuse of process visited on Moshe Machover will not be replicated on others in the future.

    In particular this CLP insists on the following –

    a) the right of the accused to full disclosure of the alleged case against them.
    b) the right to know the identity of their accuser/s ( unless absolutely compelling factors indicating otherwise.)
    c) the right to a proper hearing.
    d) the right to confidentiality rather than trial by media.
    e) the right, where a case is proven, to proportionality of sanction.
    f) the right for disciplinary and compliance matters to be handled by trained staff that are independent and not captured by Party faction.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Branch resolutions

    5. Highgate branch (Holborn and St Pancras CLP) passed nem con, 14 November 2017

    This branch/GC welcomes the decision by the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes to reinstate Professor Moshé Machover after the evidence provided in support of the expulsion proved insufficient to demonstrate his membership of rival organizations, which was the motivation given for the expulsion.

    This branch expresses its disquiet at the current state of the Party’ disciplinary procedures, despite the commitment, following the Chakrabarti Report, to introduce natural justice, due process, transparency and proportionality into its procedures and calls for their urgent reform.

    This branch/GC further request the Party’s Head of Dispute to apologize to Professor Machover for the unsubstantiated allegations of antisemitism.

    It notes that a number of Party members have been suspended for greater or lesser periods of time, many on the basis of allegations of antisemitism, but with no clear charges or timetable for proceeding, and calls for such cases to be dropped or rapidly resolved through new, Chakrabarti-style, disciplinary procedures.

    This branch affirms that while antisemitism is monstrous – and, like all forms of racism, should be vigorously dealt with – false accusations of antisemitism are monstrous too. It therefore calls for all insinuations of antisemitism to be justified or publicly retracted and an apology issued if false allegations have been made.

    _______________________________

    4. Finsbury Park branch, of National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), 9 November 2017

    Professor Emeritus Moshe Machover was expelled from the Labour Party on 3 October 2017. Professor Machover is Jewish, born in Tel Aviv, Palestine in 1936,  and is the distinguished co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which from the 60s to the 80s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine (further information on Matzpen can be obtained at: http://www.matzpen.org/arabic/ );

    The Head of Disputes accused Prof Machover of writing an “apparently antisemitic article” according to the new IHRA definition, and further accused him of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party. We are delighted that Prof Machover’s expulsion has been rescinded.

    Finsbury Park branch sends its solidarity and support to Prof Machover.

    We call on the NEC to write to Prof Machover to express RMT’s support and solidarity.

    We call on the General Secretary to write to the Labour Party to explain that whilst we are pleased that the injustice of Prof Machover’s expulsion has been rescinded we demand the immediate withdrawal of the antisemitism charge levelled against him and an apology for such an accusation ever arising.

    We also ask the General Secretary to call on the Labour Party, to which we are not affiliated but support a group of socialist MP’s financially, to protect the right of members to contribute to the political debate across numerous platforms and publications, without being accused of expressing views contrary to the values of the Labour party when this is patently not so.

    _______________________________

    3. Brixton Hill Branch (Streatham CLP) passed nem con, 9 November 2017

    Brixton Hill Branch Labour Party welcomes the rescinding ofthe expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, before any hearing of evidence against him, from the Labour Party.

    This branch notes the expulsion has been justified though a process of guilt by association and was sparked by a totally unfounded allegation that Professor Machover, who is Israeli and Jewish by origin, wrote an antisemitic article. This allegation is based highly selective quoting from a long and closely argued article and by an extreme interpretation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association working definition of antisemitism that “pejorative language which may cause offence to Jewish people” is antisemitic.

    This branch therefore demands from the Party: an apology for such tarnishing of his reputation; and an urgent review of Party disciplinary procedures so such an injustice is not repeated.

    This branch calls for

    • All the damaging insinuations of antisemitism to be publicly retracted
    • A full apology as requested by Professor Machover to be published
    • The whole system that allowed this travesty of justice, which has brought the Party into disrepute, to be fully investigated and reformed and those who instigated this damaging course of action held to account
    • All the recent expulsions and suspensions to be reviewed and to be revoked where there is no clear evidence of breach of rule.

    _______________________________

    2. East London Unite Community branch agreed unanimously, 7 November 2017

    This branch congratulates General Secretary Len McCluskey on his announcement at Labour Party conference that Unite will affiliate to Jewish Voice for Labour. Following McCluskey’s pledge that Unite would “not just endorse, we will be getting involved in” JVL, we encourage branch members to join JVL either as full members, or as affiliates.

    This branch is concerned that, almost immediately after the successful launch of JVL, the leading Israeli socialist dissident Professor Moshé Machover was summarily expelled from the Labour Party following “allegations” about “an apparently antisemitic article” which “may cause offence to Jewish people”. However, Professor Machover was then informed that, since he was being expelled for “support for an organisation which is incompatible with membership of the Labour Party”, these defamatory allegations would not be investigated and he could not challenge them. They would, however, be kept on file in case he ever tried to rejoin the party.

    We note that the expulsion was rescinded following a public campaign, with dozens of Labour party CLPs and branches passing motions in support of Professor Machover, and several hundred party members signing an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn. But the defamatory allegations themselves have not been withdrawn.

    The action taken against Professor Machover was an affront to democratic principles of the right of the accused to hear charges against them and their right to defend themselves against charges (and hence due process guaranteed to all accused) and was in direct contravention of the findings of the Chakrabarti report which called for “clear and transparent procedures for dealing with allegations of racism and antisemitism”.

    This branch welcomes Professor Machover’s readmission to the Labour Party, and supports his demand for the formal withdrawal of allegations of antisemitism, and for an apology. We will to submit motions to the GCs of each Labour Party CLP to which we are affiliated, repeating the points above and calling d for the introduction of the recommendations on disciplinary proceedings and allegations of racism, in the 2016 Chakrabarti report.

    This branch calls on General Secretary Len McCluskey to make representations to the leadership of the Labour Party in support of these demands. We call on all Unite delegates to Labour Party bodies, including the NEC, to act in support of these demands, in line with Unite’s pledge of support for JVL.

    _______________________________

    1. Motion passed by Otley & Yeadon Branch (Leeds NW CLP), 1 November 2017

    This Otley & Yeadon branch / Leeds North West CLP welcomes the reinstatement as a member of the Labour Party of Professor Moshé Machover.

    This Otley & Yeadon branch / Leeds North West CLP notes that:

    • The Chakrabarti inquiry found that the party’s “… complaints and disciplinary procedures … lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise…” and called for “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”
    • Professor Machover, who denies the accusations, has still not been given the opportunity to challenge the accusation of anti-Semitism, or his alleged support for another party or organisation.

    It demands:

    • That all the damaging insinuations of anti-Semitism must be publicly retracted.
    • A full apology, as requested by Moshé Machover, must be published.
    • That the whole system that allowed this travesty of justice, and which has brought the Party into disrepute, must be fully investigated by the NEC, and reformed, and those who instigated this damaging course of action held to account.
    • That the Party establishes a clear and transparent disciplinary procedure based upon Trade Union best practice on discipline of members. Natural justice : not procedural unfairness based upon prejudice.
    • That all the recent expulsions and suspensions be reviewed and must be revoked where there is no clear evidence of breach of rule.

    This Branch/CLP further agrees:

    To submit this motion to the next higher unit of the Labour Party (e.g. Branch to CLP).

    To send the motion as passed to the following:

    Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes
    Chair of the NCC
    Chair of the NEC
    Party General Secretary
    The Leader’s Office
    Shami Chakrabarti
    Plus the Chair and Secretary of all other branches of this CLP

     

6 comments to After Machover’s reinstatement – moving forward

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>