Jewish Labour left hits out at ‘disgraceful’ treatment

Keir Starmer Official Portrait. Source: Wikipedia

JVL Introduction

The Morning Star reports on  Jewish Voice for Labour’s complaints about unfair treatment by the Labour Party, with scores of Jewish members suffering allegations against them of anti-semitism and undermining the Party’s ability to fight racism.

Labour MP and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell is cited as saying that he was “appalled” by the contents of the JVL submission to the EHRC and the Forde Enquiry and by “the evidence that demonstrates the grotesque way Jewish members are being treated”.

Jenny Manson, co-chair of JVL is also cited, saying that “By stepping up its attack on us, accusing more and more of us of anti-semitism, the Labour Party is becoming unsafe for Jews and many are leaving partly to avoid this feeling of persecution”.


This article was originally published by the Morning Star on Fri 3 Sep 2021. Read the original here.

Jewish Labour left hits out at ‘disgraceful’ treatment

Senior party figures hit out at the treatment of the members following report which was produced and published by Jewish Voice for Labour detailing incidents.

LABOUR is facing fresh allegations over its treatment of left-wing Jewish members who say they have been unfairly accused of anti-semitism.

Senior party figures hit out at the “disgraceful treatment” of the members today following a report which was produced and published by Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) detailing incidents.

Labour MP and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the Star he was “appalled” by the contents of the report and “the evidence that demonstrates the grotesque way Jewish members are being treated.

“The Labour leadership needs to recognise the suffering this is causing many members who have devoted their lives to the party.”

The dossier, which has since been submitted to both the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Forde inquiry into Labour’s handling of anti-semitism complaints for investigation, gives evidence of the disproportionate targeting of Jewish socialist members by party probes into anti-semitism.

The group has now provided further documentation of the struggles facing many within the party.

The report claims seven new investigations of Jewish Party members had been launched by Labour in the first three weeks in August, with JVL claiming notices of new investigations and auto-exclusions were being delivered to members on a daily basis.

JVL said the scale of disciplinary action from Labour meant over four times more Jewish than non-Jewish Labour Party members have faced actioned complaints of anti-semitism.

Activists said the charges of anti-semitism facing Jewish members were deeply offensive and called for them to be withdrawn immediately.

JVL has said continued deterioration in the past month led to the supplementary paper being produced and sent to the EHRC and Forde inquiry.

In the submission, JVL said that Jewish members were now being targeted by Labour simply for voicing an understanding of anti-semitism that is a direct product of their Jewish political and personal heritage.

The group wrote that the actions of the Labour Party towards JVL and its supporters, including JVL’s own complaints of anti-semitism being ignored or rejected, and the refusal to include them in consultations, shows a “disdain for our status and roles as Jews.”

Jenny Manson, the JVL co-chair who is herself facing an investigation, said: “JVL members are increasingly experiencing our Jewishness being scoffed at and denied. There is nothing as grave for a Jew than to be themselves accused of anti-semitism.

“By stepping up its attack on us, accusing more and more of us of anti-semitism, the Labour Party is becoming unsafe for Jews and many are leaving partly to avoid this feeling of persecution.

“By charging us with undermining the party’s ability to campaign against racism the Labour Party is buying into the vicious allegation that we are ‘denying anti-semitism.’

“In my own case I explained on a Newsnight programme that the claims of anti-semitism have been exaggerated, not anti-semitism itself, of course, which can never be overstated.

“This has been indicted as both anti-semitism and undermining the campaign against racism. This is ludicrous and deeply insulting to me as a Jew.

“Our hope is that the EHRC and Forde will take the evidence we have presented in both submissions very seriously.”

The EHRC previously told the Star it could not comment on the report.

Mr McDonnell said: “The latest JVL analysis deserves a serious investigation and action by the Labour leadership to address these concerns.

“It cannot be right that Jewish socialists are being excluded from our party and feel so desperately sad at the way they are being disrespected.”

The Labour Party was approached for comment.

Comments (15)

  • Tony says:

    Only considerations of cost are likely to put a stop to this sort of thing.

    Many of Corbyn’s greatest critics are now on the front bench. That means that they have much more to lose. If Labour does not win an election, then they will not get into government.

    Threatening to destroy their careers is, sadly, the only approach that is likely to work.

  • Chris Proffitt says:

    I don’t think they care. It seems to me they don’t want to get into government as was succinctly explained in a previous article. All they want is to destroy socialism.

  • John McLaughlin says:

    Starmer is a total embarrassment as a labour party leader, and should step down, and make way for a socialist leader.

  • Steve McKenzie says:

    It is becoming increasingly clear who the real anti semites are

  • Nick Elvidge says:

    we are at a tipping point – socialism is the only way out (for the many – the few can bunker down in new zealand) – so they cant give an inch because we will take a planet…

  • Mary Davies says:

    I am truly disgusted with this bullying & persecution of Jewish Socialists, who are people of the highest integrity, compassion & empathy.

  • Jack T says:

    The irony is that left wing i.e. Socialist Jews are in the Labour Party to support it and its Socialist ideals. Whereas right wing Jews are in the Party to destroy it unless it supports racist Israel.

  • Helen Murrell says:

    I totally agree with what you are saying and am shocked at the total disregard to plurality in the labour party. I also wish to say whilst not diminishing the discussion of antisemitism that this is weakening the oppositions ablity to stop the current governments destruction of all Labour have worked for. Of course it is not only this issue which is splitting the labour party; The GRA polarisation too. Maybe the LP should remember Martin Niemöller’s poem;
    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • Zohar says:

    I am devastated by the terrible policies of Keir Starmer. Why target left wing Jews and leave the terrible Tory party unopposed? We are left with one travesty after another being unopposed in the name of protecting the right kind of Jews, i.e. the right wing kind. Please explain Keir! Thanks

  • Stephen Richards says:

    Sadly, the major reason for any Jew to feel unsafe is to conflate Jews with Israel & its responsibility for the genocide in Gaza & the West Bank.

  • Judith Kelman says:

    I think that, as non-Jews, socialist members of Labour should all join JVL in support of all wrongly investigated. I am being investigated for antisemitism myself, although not a Jew and am in complete agreement with John McDonnell in this appalling debacle. To be critical of Keir Starmer or Israeli apartheid is not antisemitic and this has to stop. Democracy and free speech is at stake here.

  • Dave Hansell says:

    Unfortunately Tony the corruption of values endemic to this approach, it’s form of behaviour and accompanying mindset will ensure that those you identify will be looked after. Some will end up in the House of Lords, like Austin, working officially for the status quo, others will be offered lucrative revolving door posts by the lobbyist firms they are grifting for – like our former MP Angela Smith.

  • Stephen Flaherty says:

    Tony, as others have noted, it seems likely that the current leadership of the Labour party have decided that they’re willing to “take the hit” i.e. lose the next election (and maybe the one after), as long as they can further their aim of eradicating all socialist influence from the party (or as much of it as possible).

    The real tragedy, of course, is that it’s not them who’ll “take the hit” – it’s us who will suffer when Johnson’s Tories get in again, as is looking increasingly more likely. But they don’t care about that.

  • Martyn Meacham says:

    Starmer and his whole front bench,and cronies are a total disgrace.They should all be kicked out of the labour party,and the zionist lobbyists,including the BoD should be proscribed!

  • Margaret West says:

    About the current Labour leadership – I doubt there is any logic
    in what they are doing. Starmer may have been a good lawyer
    but he is a useless politician .. or maybe just stupid?

    That anyone could work in Northern Ireland in connection
    with Human Rights and NOT be aware that the split in the Christian Community there has implications on other communities – is beyond belief.

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