A statement from Jewish Labour members on the current attacks on Jeremy Corbyn

Revised post, as press released, 26 March 2018. Signatories’ list updated at 18.12:

Statement from Jews in the Labour Party

We are Jews in the Labour Party currently actively campaigning for Labour in local elections.  We are appalled by the actions and statements of the Board of Deputies.  They do not represent us or the many Jews in the Party who share Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for social justice and fairness.  Jeremy’s consistent commitment to anti-racism is all the more needed now.

As the British people call time on May and the Tories, they are getting more desperate.  We would hope that any organisation claiming to represent Jews would be calling them to account when, to cite two examples in the last two months, the Prime Minister‘s ex Chief of Staff uses a national newspaper to dredge up an antisemitic conspiracy theory, and Havering Conservative party issues a dogwhistle leaflet hoping to mobilise racism in their local election campaign.  The Board of Deputies has been silent on both. It also says nothing on the global rise of the far right and the toxic anti-immigrant rhetoric of the tabloid press, despite the imperative from Jewish history to speak out against racism and fascism.

The Board of Deputies and those supporting them must be aware that this is an attempt to influence local elections and has nothing to do with the real and necessary task of challenging racism and anti-semitism at all levels of political life.  We call on them to stop playing politics and start representing what our community needs.  We believe that is best represented by the politics we fight for and hope to see win on May 3rd.


Jenny Manson  and Leah Levane co-chairs of JVL, on behalf of Jewish Voice for Labour

Jewish Socialist Group

Sue Lukes Labour council candidate, Islington North CLP

Joseph Finlay Enfield Southgate CLP

Lev Taylor Camberwell and Peckham CLP

Stephen Marks Oxford District Labour Party

Richard Kuper Holborn & St Pancras CLP

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Chingford and Woodford Green CLP

Cllr Mike Howard Hastings & Rye CLP

Glyn Secker

Dave Rosenberg Islington North CLP Convenor Cable Street 80

Julia Bard Islington North CLP

Ian Saville, Brent Central CLP

Lara Johnson. Bracknell CLP

Ivor Dembina Vauxhall CLP

Pam Laurance, Brent Central CLP

Pauline Laurance, Finchley and Golders Green CLP

Miriam Yagud Stroud CLP

Miri Franklin

Dorothy Macedo Worthing West CLP

Alice Bondi, Penrith and the Border CLP

Sue Hughes  Hornsey & Wood Green. CLP

Angie Mindel  Nottingham East CLP

Paul Halas Stroud CLP

Ruth Appleton, Holborn & St Pancras CLP

Daniel Vulkan, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP

Susan Pashkoff, Leyton and Wanstead CLP

Professor Lynne Segal Islington North CLP

Brian Warshaw Labour International

John Goodman Rugby CLP

Mica Nava Islington North CLP

Professor David Epstein, FRS. Kenilworth & Southam CLP

Diana Neslen Ilford South CLP

Roland Rance, Walthamstow CLP

Eran Cohen, Finchley and Golders Green CLP

Annabelle Sreberny Islington North CLP

Mark Findlay, Brighton Pavilion CLP

Inbar Tamari Walthamstow CLP

Rebecca Lissak Bristol East CLP

Cllr Barry Lewis Thanet North CLP

Professor Judith Suissa Finchley and Golders Green CLP

Ivan Wels, Nottingham East CLP

Riva Joffe, Holborn and St Pancras CLP

Ruth Lukom Walthamstow CLP

Mike Gerber Walthamstow CLP

Sue Shaw Henley CLP

Deborah Maccoby  Leeds North-East CLP

Alex Scott-Samuel  Liverpool Wavertree CLP

Professor Andrew Samuels Islington North CLP

Rosamine Hayeem Harrow East CLP

Abe Hayeem Harrow East CLP

Cllr Barry Kushner Liverpool Garston and Halewood CLP

Professor Miriam E David Hornsey and Wood Green CLP

Shlomit Ferguson Enfield CLP

Jay Blackwood Bristol East CLP

Max Kane Hove CLP

Councillor Barry Buitekant, Haggerston Ward, Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP


Contact Sue Lukes 07715 008536 [email protected] for any further details

Comments (110)

  • we are seeing a recurrence of the false anti-semitism campaign in time for the elections. What is needed under the new General Secretary is a robust reaction to this attack, not conceding to it.

  • We have always claimed that the campaign inside the Labour Party of false allegations of antisemitism has a dual purpose: to attack on the left and the rise of Corbyn, and to silence criticisms of Israel’s human rights abuses. Following the removal of Ian McNichol and several of his supporting officers who have been in the forefront of this campaign it was clear that this setback for the right would be followed by a counter attack – and it has duly arrived. It is not in our name and we avowedly dissociate ourselves from it. They do not speak for us.

    In English law there is the principle of ‘mens rea’ – guilty of purpose: to be convicted a person has to be found to have purposely committed the offence. This is patently not the case with Jeremy Corbyn, but this principle of natural justice means nothing to the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council because they have a different agenda. It is lamentable that they expend so much energy crying wolf whilst paying scarce attention to the revival of neo-fascist monsters in Europe.

    There are many many thousands of Jews around the world who dissociate themselves from this campaign of false allegations of antisemitism and as a Jewish organisation we are proud to stand and to be counted amongst them.

    Glyn Secker

  • David Booth says:

    After a really depressing few days, reading this breath of common sense and clear sighted, balanced, comment has cheered me up. And not for the first time. Thanks for that.

  • Paul Merron says:

    Seeing as most targeted as being anti-semites in LP are in fact Jewish MPs then perhaps we need to investigate the reasoning behind these accusations.

  • David Jones says:

    thanks Tony. Just one question, if this is all false why does Jeremy admit that there’s a problem?

  • Maria says:

    Paul Merron, we all know why they are doing this, they will do anything in their power to get rid of Corbyn even persecute real Jews. The people targeting Corbyn are not in fact realjews at all, they are Zionists most are atheists. Realjews are good moral people they do not support either Israel or Zionism as it is FORBIDDEN in Torah. Zionists have hijacked Judaism for their own land theft purposes. Over 5000 real jewishrabbis gathered just a few months ago in Boston to hold a meeting condemning Israel and its atrocities. I’ve lost count of the amount of real Jewish groups being set up on social media in response to Zionist hijacking of Judaism and the apartheid and ethnic cleansing in Palestine, real Jews are mobilising against these Zionist fake Jews in their millions.

    • Mark Moskowitz says:

      This false, antisemitic rant is exactly what seems to permeate Labour. Zionism advocates a national homeland for Jewish people. Incessant hatred of Zionism and the state of Israel is antisemitism. It’s like saying, ” I really like Greeks but they don’t deserve their own country “. Zionists are Jews, Maria, not hijackers or land thieves or ethnic cleansers. Why is it, if Israel is ethnic cleansing, that the so-called ” Palestinian ” population is exploding? Ridiculous! BTW,l Rabbis are Jewish, even the 5,000 whom you say gathered in Boston to condemn Israel.

  • Jay says:

    Unfortunately, you people are ignorant of any authentic Jewish ideas from the Judaism or Jewish history. You would not even recognise one if it smacked you in the face. It is sad. People like you always side with our oppressors due to your own petty interests instead of standing up for your people. It is clear that socialism and Corby are your gods, not the God of Israel nor His people.

  • G B Millward says:

    I cannot understand why, if someone genuinely believes that a person has been antisemitic, they don’t report it to the police. Is it because they are aware of the offence of wasting police time. Whereby if you knowingly make a false allegation,you can be charged with the offence of wasting police time which renders you liable to a fine or prosecution.

    • Diane Miles says:

      Not all Jews are Zionist (see most of the postings on this site). Not all Zionists are Jews – if you can include radical right wing evangelicals among Zionists. People who object to the policies of the Israeli government in the occupeid territories are not anti-Jew, they are anti-atrocity.

    • Sharon Maxwell Magnus says:

      They do. Why not try reading the Jewish Labour movements briefing? If you don’t care, cool, but please don’t pretend this has come out of nothing.

    • Rajan says:

      Excellent point!

      If there is any credible allegation, ie not a false, nasty allegation being used to smear the Labour Party, against anyone of racism, antisemitism or any other form of hatemongering, then let that be taken to the police. The Labour Party, which opposes all kinds of discrimination, including antisemitism, would be fully back the use of official channels to complain against such abuse.

    • John says:

      Yet, by simply spreading malicious rumours via a media that strongly support the Tory party, one can get lies out into the public domain with little to fear, in the way of recrimination. Good on JVL for standing for truth against the racist, Zionist JLM

  • Ian Hilpus says:

    I have sent a Tweet to ITV Good Morning Britain LBC and BBC Good Morning…I await with interest

  • Charles chiverton says:

    How do we expose the duplicity that we are witnessing every single day.
    The lies being spread gleefully by the right wing media is disturbing to say the least.
    They seam hell bent causing trouble for the labour in ghe run up to election time.
    These so called Labour mps supporting the lies are anything but Labour politicians.
    There support of All things that the friends of Israel is disturbingly worring .
    It’s time they were held account for the actions of illegal occupation of palistine

    • Mike says:

      Charles surely you are falling into the trap of mixing up anti-semitism and anti-Israel.Who should be held to account for the actions of illegal occupation of Palestine. The Jews of Britain?
      Anti-semitism is holocaust denial, is failure to see an anti-semitic mural and has nothing to do with Israel.
      I could also talk about the Palestinian issue but this is obviously not the forum. However, let me just one thing…
      There is a distinct lack of condemnation of the Palestinian terrorists who can creep into an Israeli house and murder a thirteen year old girl in her bed and call it freedom fighting. Support the Palestinians all you want but surely it would be better to persuade Abbas to spend his money on his people than buy himself a £50M plane!

  • George McManus says:

    Can we share this through the wider media?

    • Ian Saville says:

      Yes, this is here to be shared as widely as possible.

      • rachel garfield says:

        i have posted it all over facebook and am trying to get an open letter rebuttal by academics to the press.

  • Val Bethell says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve just been reading the lead story on BBC news about Corbyn’s complicity in anti semitism with distress and disbelief. it simply wasnt about a man or a party I recognised. Your statement was helpful in reestablishing some perspective and sense of reality.

  • Emma says:

    Thank you so much for doing this.

    Any true racism/anti-Semitism should, of course, be tackled/rooted out (from all parties).

    However, it is obvious that these particular accusations are utterly groundless and just a cynical attack on Corbyn and the party in general before the upcoming local elections.

    Just as similar accusations, from the same quarters, were utterly groundless when they occurred before the second (forced!) leadership election.

    It is very sad that it has come to this; but, thank you all, again.

  • Shlomo Anker says:

    As some of you know I have some different opinions on Israeli politics to some of you however I am 100% with all of you on this and its time LEFT-WING JEWS FINALLY UNITE.

    WE NEED TO UNITE and have a solid Socialist Voice from the Jewish community.

    Add my name to the list. Shlomo Gareth Anker. Hampstead & Kilburn CLP.


    In the Guardian this morning there are no comments allowed underneath these evil McCarthy attacks on Jeremy Corbyn. We can only pray that people will vote for him more than normal, because this is much an attack on the poor and needy as it is on him. Abusing this issue is not good for those it seeks to protect, as discerning people can see it for what it is – McCarthyism.

  • David Taylor Searle says:

    I cannot thank you all enough for this statement of Truth.
    It is so reassuring that so many others both appreciate the dangers of these masquerades and distortions, and the abhorent but likely outcome of the possibility of abetting others’ antisemitism and racism.
    Thank You All with the greatest sincerity.

  • JAMES says:

    Not Jewish or even a member of the Labour Party any more. Thanks for this. Refreshing to see a more balanced and rational approach.

  • liz says:

    Thank you. ”The earth is supported by the power of truth; it is the power of truth that makes the sun shine and the winds blow; indeed all things rest upon truth.

  • Shirley Franklin says:

    The anti-Jeremy rhetoric is sickening. As a peace and health campaigner, and as a Jew (whose great great uncle, Herbert Samuel)embarrassingly signed the Balfour Declaration) I know it is utter CRAP to declare JC to be antisemitic. To argue for a just world for all in Palestine, Gaza and Israel is not antisemitic.

  • Lewis says:

    Jewish here and from Chicago (as you would call it the States).

    Anti-Semites are quite stupid people and it’s enough that they’re stupid, we don’t have to add our stupidity on top of it and run around like chickens with our heads cut off all the time.

    I’m aware that anti-Semitism gets a bit more of a pass in the UK than here, but whatever Corbyn was involved in was detracted (WTX News 3/26 “I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic.”) Either he is lying his head off or simply as a non-Jew was not as cued into the tropes of the superstition.

    The sign of a true anti-Semite is trying to obliquely bait people into debates about cultural decline, IQ research, the alleged post-modern menace, and things like that. We are getting quite familiar with the modern anti-Semite over here and it is not coming from socialists who can only honor their past fights (such as taking down Hitler) by living as anti-racists.

    • Diane Miles says:

      If JC had looked more closely at the image, would he have thought, “that is a bunch of evil, ugly old men. They must be Jewish.”? If he had thought such a thing, it would have been anti-Jewish. But he didn’t think it and so it his comment didn’t suggest he was anti-Jewish.

      What all this contraversy does seem to suggest is that attributing Jewishness to an image of a few ugly old men is PRO-Jewish?

  • Professor Miriam David says:

    This is quite clearly a campaign to destroy Labour at the local elections. It seems ill-advised and counter-productive. It there were ‘real’anti-semitism in the Labour party or the wider society no-one would dare to make these ridiculous claims. To mount a campaign against Jackie Walker is patently absurd but must be painful for her personally.

  • Carmel Cadden says:

    Well done, JVL! Would be good to get your voice heard loud and clear in MSM as well as on social media!

  • susan lofthouse says:

    My immediate reaction was that it was a last minute attempt to destroy Labour votes in the forthcoming elections. Thank you so much for this statement, which I shall circulate.


    I am not of any particular religious creed.It is suspicious that at every election, by-election or general election, that some minor politician jumps up from behind the benches and screams antisemitism from the top of their voices and then it is left to the majority of the Jewish community to have to come down on this side or that side, I don’t doubt that somewhere there are those that do not support the true integration of the Jewish faith in to the political field of British politics, so they will run interference to create the deliberate destabilisation within. Our far right wing MSM ( mainstream media.) only stirs up more ill feeling towards the intended target(JC) but in doing so brings down the Jewish community with it, as it portrays the greatest witch hunt ever since the Spanish inquisition took place, thus widening the political divide even further in the eyes of the non internet savvy out there who rely on MSM. Far be it for me to tell you how to react but as I see this, you need to be seen on the MSM standing by Jeremy Corbyn and talking down these ridiculous accusations and calling for an end to this antisemitic finger pointing on very scurrilous, spurious, trumped up grounds.I truly thank you all for printing this article and the tremendous support you have all shown but you need to get your voice heard outside this single community and into the ears and eyes of the wider faiths and press/news agencies.

  • linda weir says:

    this is a nasty twist ,which serves to divide party members and make people angry at the false , twisted take on Jeremy’s answers. he is true and rooted in his soul to labour, and i am 100 with him. and the jewish labour party members.

  • How often will the right wing media be allowed to continue to pump out these lies.They work on the basis of “if you throw enough mud some of it will stick.They need to be brought to heel and to explain their need to publish such dross

  • Nick Rowling says:

    Sad to see so many of my socialist comrades sticking up for Corbyn because he’s either a liar or an idiot. He says ‘he didn’t look closely’ at a wall painting which had offended a lot of people (not just Jews) before defending the artist’s’right to free expression’ and comparing him to Diego Ribera whose socialist murals were erased by Rockefeller.
    This, I’m afraid won’t do. This disgusting wall painting clearly illustrates the anti-semitic fake ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, which first emerged in Tsarist Russia and then was adopted by the Nazis and made essential reading in every school,and which advanced the utterly absurd theory that the Western world was threatened by a conspiracy of Jewish bankers and Jewish revolutionary workers in order to bring about a zionist utopia.
    Now, just look at the reproduction of the mural and tell me that it is an attack on contemporary capitalism – of course it bloody well isn’t. It’s the old Protocols -the artist doesn’t even pretend that it’s anything else.
    Furthermore, the left should wake up to the fact that this anti-zionist trope is still alive promoted by both right and left in the Trump and Brexit campaigns. Just look at the number of references to Goldman Sachs and Soros as memes for Jewish capitalists who are out to undermine democracy which crop up everywhere.
    Furthermore, that Corbyn and other labour leaders aren’t prepared to confront these anti-semitic tropes but rather to defend them – as Corbyn & many of you are doing – is shameful. It may help you win the Brit nationalist vote which you need so desperately if you’re going to get your Brexit (and if ever Corbyn will become PM) – but you will lose all credibility as as a genuine socialist party in the process.

    • Diane Miles says:

      Mike Cushman, this comment seems to suggest that everyone who looked at this painting should know that it “clearly illustrates the anti-semitic fake ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, which first emerged in Tsarist Russia and then was adopted by the Nazis and made essential reading in every school,and which advanced the utterly absurd theory that the Western world was threatened by a conspiracy of Jewish bankers and Jewish revolutionary workers in order to bring about a zionist utopia.”

      I respectfully submit that the sort of knowledge implied by your comment suggesting that “everyone who looked at this painting” should know all this stuff is very very wrong. Very few people even those with a high level of education would be educated in the history that you refer to.

    • Mike Cushman says:

      It was not obvious from the small reproduction of the mural on Facebook that it is antisemitic. We’ve had to look at it carefully in the large scale reproductions and read the comments of the artist recently circulated that it is.

      The mural was flagged in the Jewish Chronicle in 2015 as potentially, not flagrantly, antisemitic. It was not elaborated into a media witch hunt then, so the question you have to ask yourself is why is the issue being so exaggerated now? Is it coincidental that it is the start of the local election campaign and this follows a pattern of shouting about antisemitism at the start of each national election cycle?

  • Richard MacKinnon says:

    Well done JVL.

  • David Williams says:

    As the husband of a Jewish socialist whose family lost members in the Holocaust, I am horrified at the way that these people are using this issue and particularly horrified that they are using it to further a right-of-centre agenda. Your timely response is most welcome: I hope that it will go at least some way limiting the damage done.

  • Nigel Richards says:

    This story is only achieving a distraction from a real story of financial corruption within the brexit leave camp and it goes to the heart of 10 Downing Street. Maybe we should all be pushing the focus back on that story!

  • Michael says:

    Very sad indeed.

  • Paul says:

    Solidarity with my Jewish fellow party members. Similar attacks were levelled at Ed Miliband (who I thought was a thoroughly decent man who would have made an excellent prime minister), despite the fact that he was a real victim of thinly veiled anti-semitism in the media.

  • Stephen Sparrow says:

    Thank you JVL for your closely reasoned arguments. I had gust finished reading Jack Mandel’s thread on twitter (to which I replied as somersetspadger) and was feeling quite depressed when I read you piece. I was significantly uplifted by it.
    I believe there is a urgent need to explain in clear terms what antisemitism and, more generally, what racism means as there are a lot of people out there who do not understand, including I’m afraid to say, some Jews. You cannot choose which race you you are born into but you CAN choose what politics you support and what religion (if any) you believe in and this is such an important distinction that is often forgotten. Not all Jews practice Judaism and not all practitioners of Judaism are born Jews although if you believe the writings of Joshua Ferris this latter case might be quite difficult. We must also remember that a very large number of Jews live outside Israel and many are deeply critical of the state of Israel. In many of the charges of antisemitism these factors are forgotten. Please, please try to educate people so that the world can live in greater harmony and tolerance.

    Stephen Sparrow

    • Tim Hamper says:

      The press attacked him for not eating a bacon sandwich correctly – talk about dog whistle!

  • Shlomit says:

    Some of the newspapers which are relishing the attack on Corbyn, were supporters of Adolf Hitler.

    • Paul Wesson says:

      Shlomit, That argument died when all of the writers who supported Hitler changed their minds based on facts or passed on. Hitler is dead. It is a distraction that makes people look silly. Unless you have evidence to the contrary, I think we can safely say that none of the journalists writing for those papers nor their editors or proprietors support Hitler. The past is another country.

  • reggie side says:

    yes the media and political establishment are out to get Corbyn. But Im a bit gobsmacked that he didn’t spot the obvious anti-semetisim in that horrible mural.There is a problem on the left giving too much space for conspiracy theorists who – deliberately or through ignorance – spread deep rooted anti-semetic tropes (the rothschilds, israel was behind 9/11 and Isis, a secret cabal of jewsih bankers runs the world etc etc).
    Its no good complaining that the other side dont play fare – what do you expect? They will defend their power and privilege by fair means and foul – but denying there is a problem with a resurgence of antisemitism, and not vigorously stamping on it when it appears is just giving them ammunition.

  • Victor Martin Hunt says:

    I so wish that I could stand beside you today , sadly my only useful weapon is my Twitter page which is at your command . @Methusalada74

  • Jerry says:

    This appears to be a politically motivated attack, using a 6 year old, unintended post to directly attack JC. I think it does not reflect well on the Board of Deputies and it is political to mix faith and politics.

    I just saw their chair do this live on TV. The Israeli issues are complex and like any state will have supporters and opposition both within and external to their state which will change over time, no different to the UK.

    Regardless of faith we need a fairer distribution of wealth, from my knowledge and extensive education in the Jewish faith from the age of 5 onwards, this should be a priority for all Jews and my understanding is it is not the name of a faith that is important, it is your actions and inner beliefs that define you and reflect on you.

    These actions seem to reflect non Jewish tennents in pursuit of political aims to support a political ideology rooted in power and greed.

    It is transparent and devisive and the British Board of Deputies is representing themselves and not British Jews.

    Like recent smears on JC this is the tactics of fear.

  • Cyril Chilson, Oxford says:

    I have been expelled last week from the LP for ‘antisemitism’ after over a year of suspension from the Party. My so-called disciplinary hearing as you would imagine was a kangaroo court from start to finish and revolved around the equation: “criticising Israel = antisemitism”. An issue which seems to have annoyed my adjudicating NCC panel (whose members were not Jewish to the best of my knowledge) was my reference to the claim of certain Jewish leaderships (e.g. the Board of Deputies), for a Jewish solid consensus on the role of State of Israel in Jewish collective identity and the way in which those leaders endeavour to marginalise and silence Jewish voices of opposition to the ‘right or wrong – my country’ principle vis-a-vis the atrocities which Israel and commits on a daily basis in the occupied Palestinian territories – in the name of the ‘Jewish People’. This has been presented in my charges shit as ‘Deliberately misapplying the label of antisemitism so as to diminish and distort the term, thus denying Jewish people the language to describe their own oppression.” This manipulation which seems to be inspired, in not directly borrowed, from Israeli ‘Hasbara’must be exposed and denounced. Israel’s intervention in British democracy playing cynically the ‘Jewish solidarity card’ on one hand and the false-antisemitism ‘sympathy card’ on the other – must be brought to an end. The current attack on Jeremy Corbyn is part and parcel of this Grand Strategy and this is a golden opportunity to turn the public spotlight on this strategy and reveal its true colours.

  • geoffrey waring says:

    Thank you JVL for setting the record straight, and putting this terrible situation in context. I’ve been mystified and horrified by these unfounded attacks on Jeremy, someone who has fought all his life against racism and anti semitism. I hope JVL’s voice will be heard in the mainstream media now to counter the falsehoods being bandied around as fact by much of the media.

  • Phil Harris says:

    Well … not a Jew but rejoined Labour … glad to see some informed comments. Would be with you in London at today’s rally if it were not 350 miles away!
    Best wishes for local elections.

  • Connie Aldaya says:

    It sounds to me as if Jonathan Friedland and the BBC have started a hate campaign against Jeremy Corbyn this morning, the vile statements continually coming out of of my radio are disgusting, BBC4 and BBC5 have continually hammered his reputation and this has got to stop. Its turned from an anti Semitism discussion to an anti Jeremy Corbyn programme. The public are very well aware of what the BBC are really up to, they are a propaganda machine for the Tory Party and they and the Tories have set out to destroy this honest, kind man who has principles and is winning the argument with his honesty, they are scared of him so they are using this hate campaign in an effort to save themselves in the polls. Disgusting behaviour. The BBC should be be concentrating on all the other important topics happening at the moment such as the alleged Electrol scam.

  • joe hannigan says:

    SHALOM,NFL. The Tory tactics are ” argumentum ad hominem” and should be combatted. However,it is a problem that anti-Bibi and pro-Palestine are often mistranslated as anti-Semitism. I struggle with this myself.

  • Margaret Passman says:

    JVL – have any of you been interviewed by the MSM? You should be.

  • Ruth Behan says:

    Well said JVL – I wish I would hear more of you in the media especially Radio 4.

  • Mike L says:

    The argument being used now is not that the mural was directly anti-semitic but that it used “anti-semitic” tropes; it seems that if you picture rich bankers playing on the backs of the poor you are somehow repeating the conspiracy theories of the nazis or the kkk, but it is those attacking the mural who equate bankers and J
    ewish people, and they clearly are not anti-semitic, but are doing the work of the far right for them.
    There is clearly a problem with class and money in our society. The rich, of whatever race, religion or cultural background are oppressing the poor in a manner not seen for decades.
    It is a pity that the mural uses only rich white men, but it does not identify them as Jewish.

  • Ruth Steigman says:

    Please add my name – I’m s Labour member now
    Ruth Steigman

  • Maureen Hardcastle says:

    Please, please,please, shout this out loudly. This is underhand Tory tactical methods, churned out once more just before elections.
    They are doing their masters and detonators bidding and its disgusting.
    Please go on national tv, national radio, front pages of all the papers that you can, to set the record straight.

  • Simon says:

    I am a proud Jew and up until the last few months have been a Labour party member and supporter all my life. I see there is political opurtunism by the right at work. Never the less until the labour party rids its self of grass root supporters who talk in terms of the World being controlled by Jewish bankers and the Jews being behind every conspiracy, then this will continue to happen. Stop turning a blind eye to the anti-semites within the party. I and most of my friends are former labour party supporters and would not vote labour until you have cleaned up your act and for those Non Jewish supporters who believe they have had clarificationby the statements put out by this organisation that is not the case.

  • Conell says:

    The BBC’s entertaining of the narrative of offence and hastily giving generous airtime to a Board of Deputies in support of that narrative, speaks volumes of their equitable approach.

  • Rita Goulden says:

    I would like to be able to post this letter on FB but there is no facility and my tech skills are rudimentary! Utterly disgusted at the way criticism of Israel and anti-semitism seem to have become conflated in the minds of so many which is being exploited by the media and anti-Corbyn MPs! Must we really have this bloodletting NOW on the eve of Local Elections? This is NOT a coincidence!

  • Carmen Malaree says:

    I am not Jewish but I have many Jewish friends and also some family. I am a Labour party member and I have never come across any antisemitic feelings among members. It seems to me that in this antisemitic campaign there is a political attempt to smear Corbyn once again. Why bring about what happened in 2012 with a mural that was removed? I think Corbyn didn’t even see it and he has explained this. When I see the names of those Labour MPs leading the campaign accusing J Corbyn of not condemning in strong words the antisemitism within the party I think there is a second intention in this. So glad to read this article. Many thanks.


    I am afraid that after desperate attempts by the mainstream media since JC was made leader of the labour party they and particularly the BBC, think they have finally found their ‘GOTCHA’, issue with which to beat him with. He is obviously a man of very strong convictions, but antisemitic and racist he is not. If there is antsemitism and racism in ANY political party it must be dealt with robustly but using JC as a scapegoat for a deeper political agenda must be resisted. At the end of the day JC was elected by a large majority to be leader and it is about time malcontents in his own party plus the BBC have got to live with this idea. I am looking forward to a time when he is our P.M. and will turn his attention to the middle east and bring a lasting peace and justice to all people in that region. HOPE.

  • Jules alford says:

    This is surely an inadequate response. JVL could play a role in persuading Jeremy Corbyn to honestly confront what has become a real problem with a significant section of Labour’s grassroots support that has imbibed certain anti-Semitic tropes and narratives about global capitalism and bulldozed the distinction between Zionism and anti-semitism. This is a growing challenge because of the rise of populism, authoritarianism and fascism throughout the world. Corbyn has simply not been fleet footed enough in his response to these challenges as tacit campist support for Assad and Putin’s annihilatory war against the Syrian people indicates. If you don’t want to give the right an opportunity to attack Labour in the run up to local elections the house needs to be put in order far more rigorously than Corbyn has displayed so far.

    • G J Sandberg says:

      You have evidence of this significant problem? 5 or 6 examples please. With names if you have them.

  • Trevor Taylor says:

    My I respectfully suggest to those that have evidence of anti semitism by individuals, report this to the police who are the rightful authority. This will not only determine the real size of the problem within the LP but also the strength of the claim.

    • Iain Crawford says:

      Absolutely – Antisemitism is a crime which should/can only be judged via the courts.
      If I accused someone publicly of theft I would quite rightly have to back it with evidence or face defamation actions.

  • Let the HONESTY of Jeremy Corbyn be known! He is a real Hero.
    Thank you all for this!

  • Barry Edwards says:

    I was campaigning for Labour in Barnet at the weekend; a borough with a large Jewish community that could swing to Labour on 3rd May.

    This couldn’t be connected, could it?

  • My father was Jewish, not that I should need to state that to qualify my contribution. My feeling is that the British media have taken Mear One’s work and overlaid their interpretation over it using it to attack Corbyn in advance of the May local elections. They have accused Mear One’s graffiti piece of being anti semitic. But the artist himself has publicly stated that the graffiti is aimed at the global elites, Bankers in general, and not specifically Jewish people. It’s ironic that they are attacking Corbyn using this piece; as he stands as one of the few political leaders who actively works in support of addressing the rampant inequality of the world. Why not actually discuss the message of the piece and explore why Corbyn originally tweeted support of it? I thought that anger against bankers in the post 2008 era was something that most people can agree with and get behind. The only thing missing from his mural was a depiction of the politicians that bailed out those bankers with public money while ordinary workers subsequently suffered the most sustained fall in wages in recent history. Perhaps if the imagery had been more emphatic there would have been less confusion about who the piece is really aimed at? I myself am in no doubt and anyone that is should talk directly to the artist himself and not go round the houses smearing others by association – when the offence appears to be only in misinterpretation of the artwork, and not through actual understanding of what it is meant to say. A bit more talking results in more understanding.

  • Councillor Barry Buitekant, Haggerston Ward, Hackney says:

    Please add my name to the statement

  • John Scott says:

    I completely agree with these statements, there are some in the Party who do not want socialism in Britain. There are others taking part are Tories.
    If these are true, take thecomplaints to the proper authorities, The Police, let them investigate.

  • Ian Sheen says:

    I read the headlines this morning with a mix of resignation and despair at another media attack on Corbyn, but the source of this latest one was particularly depressing, in that prominent Jewish leaders are using their own political bias to try to influence voters. I am a CLP member and a non-Jew and I would not hesitate to terminate my membership if I thought that Corbyn was an anti-Semite. Jews have a long and distinguished history in the Labour movement, with the great Gerald Kaufman being a fine example, which makes today’s announcement by the Board of Deputies all the more infuriating. Thank you to JVL for their considered response.

  • Carol Sherrard says:

    A sad day for the victims of real antisemitism – abused once again. I hope people will see the thinness of the evidence cited by the Deputies.

  • Guy Falkenau says:

    As someone of Jewish ancestry who lost over a dozen family members in the holocaust I entirely reject any suggestion that the party is institutionally anti semitic.I joined the party in 1958 at the age of 14 and have never encountered an individual party member displaying anti semitic views and I live in town with a significant Jewish community.The accusations against Jeremy Corbyn come from those with a particulsr political agenda and if anything they do nothing to serve the interests of Jews both inside and outside the party

    • Anne Tanner says:

      I have never heard anyone in my local party say that the world is run by Jewish bankers!!! Run by bankers definitely and some bankers are Jewish. Surely you realise that that fact is the result of the mediaeval Antisemitism of the Catholic church, which prevented Jews from owning the source of wealth at the time – land. This meant that they were forced to hold their wealth as money and many rich Jews became moneylenders.

      Like many others I saw the offending picture on Facebook and all I saw was a bunch of old men playing on a Manopoly board held up by what looked like black people. Like many I saw it as an attack on capitalism. Btw the symbols are from freemasonry which is not an organisation I’m particularly fond of.

      I guess we all saw what we want see in that picture. The artist intended it as anti-capitalist I believe.

  • For information, this statement has been posted on the Socialist Unity blog.

  • Andy Jenkinson says:

    Excuse my ignorance not being Jewish but is perhaps tha Board of Deputies mainly filled with Tory supporters?

  • Kenneth edwards says:

    The 172 PLPs that have been trying to get Jeremy Corbyn out are showing there true colours once again but this time they have gone to far they should be took to a non bias court one by one and subject them questions to find out who there ring leader is that is continuing to break the labour party up with there slanders. And until this happens they will always try to destroy the labour party

  • Hillel Fridman says:

    Unless the Jewish community reign in the Zionists they will reap the opposite of what they intend, a rise in anti-Semitism. If the perception grows, as it will, that the “Jews” are interfering in the labour party, undermining it’s popular leader, sabbotaging the chances of Labour winning the next election, there will be a backlash. The Zionists are playing with fire which is why Jeremy Corbyn should stand up to them instead of being defensive.

  • Cedric says:

    I know that Jeremy will learn from this mistake and it will not happen again so as Jesus said those who sinnett not cast the first stone and a lot of sinners are casting stones,this is a man who has fought against antisemitism, fascism, racism,xenophobia and hatred all his life so it not fair to judge him on this one thing we are labour party members we should be uniting and putting the fight to the Tory’s but instead we are fighting each other come on let stop this and come together and make the party what it should a party in waiting to govern we must get back to caring and loving each other is not everything we will all agree on but our principal objective is to get into government but we must also fight against all these ism’s but we must find ways of sorting out our difference without it being publicize and be used against this party lets love and care for each other and have each other back instead of fighting against each other lets unite,love and bless

  • SL says:

    The mission statement of JVL perpetuates the conflation of anti-Israel with anti-Semitic by putting ‘rights and justice for Jewish people’ in the same sentence as ‘wrongs and injustice for Palestinians’. This is a fundamental issue and this group is just fuelling the fire. Anti-semitism should NOT be a politically divided issue…it is a human issue. It needs calling out wherever it sits, whether far-right, far-left, centre. Anywhere. JVL and many of these comments are as to blame as other groups for using the debate for political gain.

  • steve says:

    For those who seem to be completely ignorant about the Board of deputies of British Jews, It is made up of representatives of all synagogues throughout the UK. That is Orthodox, Reform and Liberal. It also contains a number of representatives of the Union of Jewish Students , Members from Yachad . It also has deputies from the synagogue movements, United Synagogue, Movement for Reform Judaism, Liberal Judaism. The JLM and Jewish MPs are also deputies. There are also Deputies from from a number Jewish welfare charities. Each Deputy has to be elected by its own organisation to be a deputy. The executive are elected by the Deputies. Many of the statements about the board today by yourselves are completely ill informed about this democratic, cross political, cross religion organisation. Why not apply to join or are you frightened that your voice would be lost amongst the vast majority of Anglo Jewish opinions that are represented in this organisation ?

  • Howard Cohen says:

    An important and timely statement! A pity JVL refused to publish a public letter in defence of Palestine Live which set off this latest spate of accusations against Corbyn!!

  • People sometimes make comments about things they don’t fully understand because they don’t have the full facts. What adults do is to realise they made a mistake, explain, apologise and move on.

    Their friends and honest opponents accept that and also move on.

    Their enemies don’t.

    A few years ago I was continuingly getting people sharing stuff with me about stringent penalties for dog fighting, better treatment for pensioners on facebook, which when you looked at it carefully it was from Britain First.

    I never ended up unfriending any of those doing it because every single one of them had been sent it by someone else that the trusted and simply didn’t check the provenance of the original post.

    I know it’s not an exact analogy with the mural that’s (rightly) caused all the offence, but I feel it’s not far off.

  • Emma Brown says:

    I was unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn’s response to the painting over the mural, and his explanation / excuse (depending on your agenda) for his response. I am absolutely confident that he is neither racist nor anti-semitic. I think he tries to eliminate anti-Semitism within the party. I also think that he strives to balance his strong stance on freedom of speech with sensitivity to issues where it is too easy to offend, or inflame, or anger.
    I am apprehensive myself that my words may cause offence, or appear to diminish the very real pain suffered by Jews in being victims of any form of bigotry. But I am sceptical about the relentless campaign against Corbyn. And I wonder if this is a further distraction. (Please understand that I am not diminishing the hurt caused) .
    I hope that all victims of hate, injustice, poverty, bigotry, marginalisation will be served by a government who will work tirelessly to improve the lives of those people. I don’t think that government is people who are in the pockets of corporations, who are removed from the lives of the majority, who act in self-interest. I hope that people of all faiths and none, honest people make up our Councils and government.

  • Phil Wagstaff says:

    The JVL spokes people have not had a good day on TV. They need to hone their message and make it stronger.

  • Dave Clinch says:

    From Dave Clinch, Torrington, North Devon
    ANTISEMITISM ACCUSATIONS – an attempt to smear anti-Zionists into silence

    I think Michael Rosen’s article in Socialist worker from September from 2006 is very helpful in explaining the issue.

    Michael Rosen takes issue with a new report that labels anti-Zionism as antisemitic.

    ‘We have to go on opposing hatred and violence towards Jews while insisting that we have the right to oppose the hatred and violence meted out by Israel on the Palestinians.’

    Here’s the full piece.

    ‘Last week saw the publication of a report by a group of MPs called the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry Into Antisemitism. It is an important document to confront, because it is part of a Europe-wide attempt to widen the definition of antisemitism to include root and branch criticism of Israel.

    So, even as it highlights a form of racism that is on the increase in Britain, it prepares the way for what could be legal action against people who are opposed to the racism of Israel.

    We need to be clear about what we’re talking about, so here are some definitions and distinctions:

    Judaism is a religion observed in varying ways all over the world. All people who observe Judaism are Jews, but not all Jews observe Judaism. Those who don’t are usually called “secular Jews”.
    Zionism is a political creed that created the nation state of Israel, which Zionists describe as the “Jewish homeland”. Plenty of non-Jews are Zionists (such as most members of Western governments) in the sense that they are in favour of Israel being this Jewish homeland.
    What’s more, it is quite clear that there is a real material difference between those Jews who take the creed at face value and go and live in Israel and those Jews who support Israel while preferring to live elsewhere.

    Anti-Zionism is the political creed opposed to those who created and now run the state of Israel.
    Jews, as a worldwide phenomenon, are neither purely a religion, nor a political movement. This is because many people who describe themselves as Jews either do not practise the religion, nor are they active Zionists.
    This leaves a proportion of people who are Jews either because they describe themselves as that, or because an outside authority claims that they are.

    The reasons usually given are that either or both of their parents are Jews, and this in turn may well be wrapped up with an idea of “Jewishness” which may include speaking Jewish languages and slang, having a taste for Jewish food or music, following Jewish festivals and the like.

    Antisemitism is racism towards Jews – verbal or physical abuse, discrimination or prejudice. As with all racisms, antisemitism has appeared in many different places at different times in history and reached its most terrible form in the planned, industrialised and scientific genocide of Jews carried out by Hitler’s Nazis.
    The parliamentary report uses all these terms. But in one key area it has blurred the distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Here it is:

    “Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel taking into account the overall context could include… denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour.”

    So if I should write that the Jews have every right to self-determination, but not if it is at the expense of others (as is the case with Israel), it would seem that now I, a Jew who is utterly opposed to antisemitism, am guilty of antisemitism.

    Worryingly, this is part of a working definition of antisemitism proposed by the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. The writers of this parliamentary report recommend that this definition is “adopted and promoted by the government and law enforcement agencies”.

    The message is clear – anti-Zionists beware. Criticism of Israeli government policies will be permitted, but if you attack the core creed of Zionism, then we’ll call in the law.

    The excuse for such a drastic change in the approach to antisemitism is the claim that people are using criticism of Israel as a cover for their hatred of Jews. The two main groups who come under suspicion for this are ­liberal or left wing groupings and some Muslims.

    What is curious here is that, in my experience, if people both hate Jews and the state of Israel then they say so. One of the classic forms of antisemitism is to say that “the Jews” are in a “conspiracy” to take over the world, or that they are running the world.

    Sometimes, they may say there’s a “Zionist” conspiracy to run the world – but that’s hardly a cunning disguise for a hatred of Jews.

    Within this bit of conspiracy theory is the antisemitic idea that “the Jews” or “Israel” or “Zionists” run the US. Again, the people who believe this say so.

    It’s a nonsense because the people who run US capitalism and the people who defend what it calls “America’s strategic interests” (often just a euphemism for “raw materials and markets we want to get our hands on”) are simply US capitalists, their officials, allies and armies.

    This report highlights the fact that this kind of antisemitism has increased, but it confuses the matter by suggesting that it is hidden within criticism of Israel, rather than being nakedly obvious.

    The effect of this is to put pressure on those who criticise Israeli policies – such as the butchery going on in Gaza – and give them cause to wonder if they have been caught up in what the report calls “antisemitic discourse”.

    Meanwhile, the report has collated the most up to date statistics on hostility and violence directed towards Jews simply and only because they are Jews. It shows that this is on the increase.

    But how much of this is old European style antisemitism (the kind with the bloodiest record) and how much comes out of the Middle East is not clear. We have to fight the merging of these very different kinds of racism.

    For many of us, our experience has been that when we’ve marched against those who would desecrate Jewish cemeteries, we haven’t been supported by the Jewish establishment, but when we’ve spoken out against Israel, we’ve been vilified and in some cases threatened.

    Even so, we have to go on opposing hatred and violence towards Jews while insisting that we have the right to oppose the hatred and violence meted out by Israel on the Palestinians.’

  • Roux Renard says:

    Zionism is the greatest enemy of the Jewish people. Jeremy Corbyn is one of the Jewish people’s greatest friends.

  • Philiph35 says:

    I appreciate Dave Clinch is quoting someone else’s article but can anyone expand on the sentence “Anti-Zionism is the political creed opposed to those who created and now run the state of Israel.”

    First of all, those who created the state of Israel must be mainly deceased and, even in 2006, a different party ruled it. And what does “opposed” mean here? Normally one opposes policies or ideas. Opposition to persons as such seems more ominous.

  • In response to Emma, my view is that Jeremy had to apologise over the mural, but he did not need to link it to another general apology for or admittance of anti semitism in the Labour Party.

    It wasn’t worded in such a way to be general, but that is what it’s been portrayed as. Because the media don’t want specifics as far as this issue is concerned, they want vague generalities because the evidence is so flimsy.

    The story with the mural is simple. He was commenting about what he believed to be a piece of street art. He thought on that basis that it should be saved. When he was made aware of its content he felt differently.

    Whatever the nuances and details of comrades’ beliefs (and I use the word comrade in the wider sense as I am not a member of the Labour Party but of the CP, but I believe strongly that on many issues and particularly this one that Communists are very much part of the discussion because of the linked history of the CP and working class Jewish communities ), when talking to the media, it has to be kept simple.

    Because for example if you say something very well worded that puts the words Nazis and Jews in the same sentence, if they can they will publish or broadcast it in such a way as to show that you belittled the Holocaust, thought “the Jews” were responsible for it etc etc.

    And this is not because of an eternal Jewish conspiracy against the eternal enemies of Jewish world domination, it’s because of a ruling class conspiracy against their enemies, which include us- those of all nations, races and faiths who want to build a better society.

    And as a non Jew I want to express my admiration for the courage of those Jewish comrades who stand up in times like this for what’s right, because generally you become the targets.

    And finally, let’s remember that some of those who pursue the narrative about anti semitism in the Labour Party are the same people responsible for taking the piss out of Ed Miliband for the way he ate a bacon butty. A vile anti semitic dog whistle.

  • John Bajina says:

    As a non Jew I too express my admiration for the courage of those Jewish comrades who stand up in times like this for what’s right, because generally you become the targets.
    But you have never worried at being targets, I admire that too.

  • David Stretton says:

    Well done JVL for supporting Jezza.

  • Bill Geddes says:

    Not Jewish but with you. The finest fighters for Socialism I have met in my life came from a Jewish (or Scottish and Irish) background. I hope that does not seem patronising as that is not intended. I weep to see this shit about Corbyn in the media.It will pass commrades & they will find some other fiolth to throw his way. I, you & HIM must be strong.

  • GVW LEWIS says:

    “The spiritual home of anti-Semitism, as with any form of racism, is on the right, not on the left”
    Deborah Lipstadt, Eminent Historian on the Denial of the Holocaust

    The only thing that needs to be said about all the smears [not just the anti-semitism one]:

    Local Elections are due in May. Enough said!

  • Richard Sanders says:

    Breath of fresh air. Been so depressing to see so little push back in the last few days. Keep up the good work.

  • Debbie Friedman says:

    Has anybody else come across a rather nasty Twitter group called JVL Watch? Not sure if it was common knowledge so I’m flagging it up here. They write some deeply unpleasant things about this group. I would go so
    far as to say they are anti-semitic and certainly cannot cope with a view other than the mainstream one.

  • Philmo says:

    I’m at a loss to understand why neither BoD nor JLC can hear you, unless, of course, their vested interests cause selective hearing. Your message, together with a plethora of supporting voices is very clearly peaceable, promotes no hatred, nor criticism of the faith, is neutral, and indeed promotes social democracy which can only be considered constructive for all mankind. What’s not to like? They choose not to listen, for reasons of their own making, not JVL’s nor LP’s.
    They make their own bed but expect others to run around tucking them in.
    People who lay down pre-conditions before meeting are not interested in an equal meeting of minds to rationalise and settle a difficulty, they’re interested only in self and winning! It’s a generic Tory trait, hence the vested interest.

  • Kevin Jones says:

    I did a bit of research on the mural that sparked all this, rather than take people’s opinions as fact.

    According to the artist, it was about class, not race, and the figures represented amongst others the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Morgans, and the Warburgs. Well I figured he might be blowing smoke, so I had a look, bearing in mind that these were caricatures. The figure on the extreme right of the table appears to be J P Morgan. I think I’ve identified J D Rockefeller Sr and Andrew Mellon (an industrialist and former Secretary of the US Treasury). Two of them were Episcopalians, and one a Protestant of unknown denomination. Trouble is, none of them are familiar figures in the modern world, being early to mid 20th century characters. 🙁

    The All Seeing Eye motif is, BTW, the Eye of Providence that’s found on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, and on the dollar bill. It is a design that was submitted by a Frenchman in 1776, and accepted 14 years before the Freemasons even had a comparable motif. It’s nothing to do with the Freemasons or the Illuminati, except in the minds of conspiracy theorists.

  • Richard MacKinnon says:

    Cyril Chilson, Oxford
    26 March 2018 at 11:45 ·
    Keep on saying it.

  • karl forman says:

    While Jeremy Corbyn correctly continues the fight against antisemitism, it is precisely the increasing apartheid-like policy of the present and some if not all of the previous Israeli governments that is firing up some of the antisemitic posts. Some of the posts I will call so-called because there are those who are trying to socially engineer by changing the definition of antisemitism. Unfortunately the israeli people for whatever reasons have not as yet been able to avoid electing such leaders as Netanyahu. it is surprising to me that that so many of those that supported the struggle in South Africa seem to be turning a blind eye to activities such as the occupation of west bank and shooting in Gaza and the building of walls. as a jew, i would say that we should take no lessons about antisemitism or racism from purveyors or supporters of colonialism

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