________________________

Statement of Principles:

________________________

Moshé Machover Gains International Support

Fields Medal

In an extraordinary development, an international array of talent has rallied to the support of a retired professor expelled from the British Labour Party. They join the growing ranks of Party members and trade unionists demanding an apology to Professor Moshé Machover for alleging that an article of his was antisemitic; and for an inquiry into the processes that resulted in his expulsion. […]

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. […]

A call for natural justice, due process and transparency in Labour’s disciplinary procedures

Following the debacle over Moshé Machover, expelled then reinstated without apology in a matter of weeks, this article argues for a rapid end to Labour’s arbitrary disciplinary procedures. Machover’s reinstatement must herald wide-scale reform, based on natural jsutice, due process and transparency, in the spirit of Shami Chakrabarti’s Report. […]

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.” […]

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. […]

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. […]

Labour says it is time to recognise a Palestinian state

In a wide-ranging interview with Middle East Eye, Shadow Foreign Minister Emily Thornberry states forcefully that the Balfour Declaration should indeed be marked as “a turning point in the history of that area and I think the most important way of marking it is to recognise Palestine”. […]

Why Corbyn should not “celebrate” the Balfour Declaration

Michel Segalov writes: “This celebratory dinner will no doubt see nostalgic celebrations of imperialism that ignore Britain’s role in fuelling an international conflict that has cost so many lives, and Corbyn is right to avoid it” […]

Len McCluskey on antisemitism

We reprint here – taken from the provocatively named Israel Hate Watch website – the recent correspondence between Luke Akehurst, Director of We Stand by Israel, and Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite.

We do so for a number of reasons (a) to show the systematic campaign mounted by We stand by Israel (300 emails to McCluskey, identical to Akehurst’s); (b) to expose the shallowness of the arguments made by We Stand by Israel; c) to give wider publicity to McCluskey’s cautious and careful response; and (d), since we are mentioned a number of times, to show the kind of distorted campaign being waged against JVL. […]