Intimidation forces cancellation of WitchHunt film in Parliament 

JVL Introduction

Below is a media notice just issued by WITCHHUNTFILM.ORG about the cancellation of a screening of the film in parliament


 

MEDIA NOTICE FROM WITCHHUNTFILM.ORG

27 February, for immediate release


Intimidation forces cancellation of WitchHunt film in Parliament

A documentary film exploring the background to accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party, due to be screened in the House of Commons on Monday March 4, has been cancelled after an outcry from people who have not seen it.

Within hours of an invitation being sent to Labour MPs and journalists, the Jewish News  reported calls for expulsion from the Labour Party of Chris Williamson MP whose office had booked the room to show the 62-minute documentary, titled WitchHunt. Williamson had no other role in organising the event.

Neve Gordon, Professor of international law at Queen Mary University of London, who was due to take part in a panel discussion after the screening next Monday, said: “This is outrageous. It certainly confirms the significance of the movie.”

The documentary has been acclaimed by leading filmmakers Mike Leigh and Peter Kosminsky, both of whom are Jewish, and by Israeli historian Professor Avi Shlaim (Oxford University). His statement, which topped the invitation, says: Anyone who speaks or writes in the public domain about antisemitism and the current state of the Labour Party has a duty to see this film and address the issues it raises.

The film is due for release online on March 17th following a tour with director Jon Pullman to a number of cities including Nottingham, Brighton, Edinburgh and Derry.

Pullman said: “We hope that people concerned with the struggle against racism and antisemitism take the time to see the film, and then make their own mind up. To have it publicly denounced as ‘offensive’ by people who have not seen it raises question about what is happening to democracy in this country.”

For further information see the witchhuntfilm press kit.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

This is the text of the invitation sent earlier this week to members of the PLP and to journalists.


Anyone who speaks or writes in the public domain about antisemitism and the current state of the Labour Party has a duty to see this film and address the issues it raises.
Prof. Avi Shlaim (historian)

6.30 – 8.30 pm Monday March 4
Committee Room 12

WitchHunt, a documentary film
Director Jon Pullman, 2019, 62 minutes, UK

You are invited to the screening of a timely and hard-hitting film that turns the current news agenda on its head.

WitchHunt goes behind the headlines to take a close look at the nature of the allegations of antisemitism levelled against the Labour Party and leading antiracist activists, in particular the high-profile case of Jackie Walker. The documentary combines extensive archive material with authoritative new interviews, featuring experts in media, Jewish, black and labour history, racism and the politics of the Middle East.  The film raises urgent questions about racism, democracy and the responsibilities of the media.

A trailer and more details are available on the website.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director of the film and other experts and  contributors.

Admission will be by invitation only.
RSVP to [email protected]

Testimonials about WitchHunt

 [WitchHunt] packs a powerful punch, telling a story we just aren’t hearing at the moment.
Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, The Promise)

This impeccably-executed film exposes with chilling accuracy the terrifying threat that now confronts democracy, and the depressing intractability of the Israel-Palestine situation.
Mike Leigh (Peterloo, Mr Turner)

The case of Jackie Walker is important. This film asks whether her lengthy suspension from the Labour Party and attempts to expel her are fair, or an injustice which should be challenged. She is not the only one in this position. See the film and make up your own mind.
Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake)

 

Comments (7)

  • Dr Brian Robinson says:

    With comments like this one from Stella Creasy MP (and there are many such from many others), “Those who perpetuate [toxic culture of antisemitism in Labour] or minimise it bring the party into disrepute. No ifs, no buts”, I can’t help wondering how long it might be before someone starts calling for members and supporters of JVL to be suspended or expelled.

    I used to admire Tom Watson and voted for him in the deputy leadership contest, 2015. I still find it hard to believe that such an intelligent, well-informed politician can really believe what he claims he believes in relation to this issue. I certainly wouldn’t vote for him today. I’ve tried writing to him many times with the known facts, but it’s no use. I’m reluctantly forced to the conclusion that he, like so many others, is using the malevolent hyperbole as part of the plan to destabilise the LP leadership and bring about regime change.

    I once even thought Watson would be a good LP leader. No more.

    Malleus maleficarum, Labour Party 2019 edition.

    — Member, Milton Keynes South CLP

  • Stephen lubell says:

    Please let me know of any public viewings of this film in London

  • Richard Hayward says:

    Who’s afraid of the disinfectant of debate and enlightenment?

    I think we have proof positive of the malignity behind the apparent righteousness. How terrible if Jackie Walker turned out to be the victim and not a perpetrator – the very issue she has highlighted.

  • David Stretton says:

    Chris Williamson has just been suspended in part because of his association with this film.

  • Allan Howard says:

    Richard: I’m searching my memory banks for a word that desribes the technique that the media/Establishment use when they conduct an attack on an innocent victim, as they did with Ken and Jackie and Kelvin Hopkins, for example, and many others of course, and I just can’t think of what it is. They did it with the Salisbury poisoning episode in relation to Russia as well. Any ideas? Or anyone else for that matter. (I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I was trying to think of the word that was used to describe the way the Nazis would invade a country, but I can’t remember what it is/was).

  • Nik Allday says:

    In reply to Allan Howard: I experience the same problem more frequently nowadays. Sometimes I think it is senility and then I realise we don’t have the language to adequately describe these rapidly evolving and highly convoluted tactics and mechanisms.

  • Brendan Morgan says:

    When the establishment want to censor debate and discussion on any issue you can be sure that there are powerful vested interests involved and that issue at hand is one which exposes an unjust position which is difficult to defend in public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.