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Statement of Principles:

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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.” […]

Antisemitism on Campuses in the US

Testimony to the US House Committee on the Judiciary on November 7, 2017 at a hearing on ‘Examining Anti-Semitism on College Campuses’, is relevant more widely: “The problem is that we still are learning how to talk about Israel’s actual political power in ways that do not immediately echo much older and antisemitic depictions of imaginary Jewish power.” […]

Antisemitism and the far-right today

In a careful and nuanced analysis, first published in April 2017, Rob Ferguson: (1) argues that we face a growing threat of antisemitism from the right, in the context of a general rise in racism, and above all, Islamophobia; (2) examines the charge that a “new antisemitism” has emerged on the left and among Muslims; and (3) looks at the extent and character of antisemitism in the Middle East and among Muslim communities and asks how we should respond. […]

Shenanigans on Labour’s right

A few days ago the Labour Party launched the Democracy Review. It represents the most significant opportunity to radically transform the structures, culture, and balance of power of the party in modern history.

So we like this story in Skwarkbox which shows the so-called “independent” slate standing candidates in the forthcoming NEC elections is anything but independent, actually feeding its information straight to Progress and Labour First, two organisations that tried strenuously to prevent Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader, that supported the challenge against him and are widely regarded as implacably opposed not only to his leadership, but to the vision and direction of the Labour party under him. […]

Dogpiling – becoming the target of coordinated online abuse

Greg Hadfield , was elected then suspended as pro-Corbyn secretary of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party in July 2016 and later from the Party itself (following “unspecified allegations by an unnamed complainant about [his] “treatment” of Councillor Warren Morgan, the leader of the Labour Group on Brighton & Hove City Council … in October). He still remains suspended, his case unheard.

In September this year the self-styled online group “Labour Against Antisemitism” seemed to accuse Hadfield of antisemitism. He asked for evidence – and instead got a torrent of abusive tweets. Here he chronicles the abuse and asks: why now? He suggests a connexion, looking at how Progress supporter Cllr Morgan rushed to trash the reputation of Labour Party conference delegates by regurgitating second-hand fabrications about alleged antisemitism. […]

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.” […]

Julia Bard celebrates Moshé Machover’s reinstatement as a victory for justice and for grass-roots campaigners in the Labour Party against the right wing’s persistent attempts to chip away at the left and to discredit Corbyn by trying to taint them with the accusation of antisemitism: “Ordinary members have discovered that they have the clout to demand that the Labour Party’s structures, officers and representatives act in accordance with its founding principles of socialism, equality, accountability and justice.” […]

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. We urge members to press their branches and CLPs to adopt motions on a range of related issues and will publish any we are notified of on this page. […]

A victory for Moshé Machover

We reproduce the recent exchanges between Moshé Machover and the Labour Party about his reinstatement, which was decided yesterday, 30th October. Judge for yourselves, but the letter from Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes, is grudging to the point of rudeness. There is no apology and he says nothing of substance about the smears of antisemitism which still hang over Machover’s head.

We haven’t heard the last of this case. […]

René Cassin: the Jewish Voice for Human Rights – Fellowship Programme

The René Cassin Fellowship Programme (RCFP) explores Jewish visions for a just society and provides individuals with the knowledge, skills and contacts needed to enhance their activism in the areas of social justice and human rights. The RCFP brings together a cohort of exceptional professionals to explore human rights issues from a uniquely Jewish perspective. As a supporter your webperson received the above email about their training programme with a link to forward to friends. […]