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Statement of Principles:

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The real target of “the new antisemitism” is the Palestinians

With the spread of the notion of the “new antisemitism” (encapsulated in the IHRA definition of antisemitism ), any reproach directed towards the state of Israel now assumes the taint of antisemitism. Antisemitism, Neve Gordon, an Israeli academic and activist, argues is effectively weaponised, not only to stifle speech but also to suppress a politics of liberation. Its real target is the Palestinians. […]

A JVL response to the Jewish Chronicle on Labour’s antisemitism

Eli Hazan, a senior official in Israel’s ruling Likud party, recently branded Jeremy Corbyn as an “antisemite”. Michael Whine of the CST, while clear in his rebuttal of Hazan in claiming Corbyn was antisemitic, nonetheless unjustly described him as anti-Israel, and repeated alarmist claims about antisemitism and the Labour Party which are not borne out by the evidence – as is made clear in this JVL open letter. […]

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. […]

Antisemitism and the left – deconstructing the arguments

In a multi-part posting, Phil Edwards looks carefully at who is being accused of what as he probes the accusations of – vs the reality of – antisemitism on the left. Part 1 clears the ground for a surgical dissection of the Howard Jacobson/Simon Schama/Simon Sebag Montefiore letter about anti-Zionism in part 2. It will be followed by a separate posting of Part 3 in which Edwards engages in a thorough demolition of what he thinks the writers’ are really getting at. With a further Part or Parts to follow. […]

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.” […]

JVL letter in the Guardian

Jenny Manson, chair of Jewish Voice for Labour, corrects John Crace’s misapprehensions and untruths about the JVL launch meeting at Party conference. […]