Jewish support for Chris Williamson

JVL Introduction

A letter in the Guardian, signed by Noam Chomsky MIT, Norman Finkelstein Lecturer and writer, Ed Asner Actor, Prof Richard Falk Princeton University, Leah Lavene and Jenny Manson Jewish Voice for Labour and more than 100 others calls on the Labour party to reinstate Chris Williamson and cease persecuting such members on false allegations of antisemitism.

This article was originally published by Guardian Letters on Mon 8 Jul 2019. Read the original here.

Jewish support for Chris Williamson

Prominent members of the Jewish community, in the UK and abroad, write to defend the Labour MP Chris Williamson amid allegations of antisemitism

We the undersigned, all Jews, are writing in support of Chris Williamson and to register our dismay at the recent letter organised by Tom Watson, and signed by parliamentary Labour party and House of Lords members, calling for his suspension (Anger over return of MP who said Labour was ‘too apologetic’ over antisemitism, 28 June).

Chris Williamson did not say that the party had been “too apologetic about antisemitism”, as has been widely misreported. He correctly stated that the Labour party has done more than any other party to combat the scourge of antisemitism and that, therefore, its stance should be less apologetic. Such attacks on Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters aim to undermine not only the Labour party’s leadership but also all pro-Palestinian members.

The mass media have ignored the huge support for Chris both within and beyond the Labour party. Support that includes many Jews. The party needs people like him, with the energy and determination to fight for social justice. As anti-racist Jews, we regard Chris as our ally: he stands as we do with the oppressed rather than the oppressor. It should also be noted that he has a longer record of campaigning against racism and fascism than most of his detractors.

The Chakrabarti report recommended that the party’s disciplinary procedures respect due process, favour education over expulsion and promote a culture of free speech, yet this has been abandoned in practice. We ask the Labour party to reinstate Chris Williamson and cease persecuting such members on false allegations of antisemitism.

Noam Chomsky MIT, Norman Finkelstein Lecturer and writer, Ed Asner Actor, Prof Richard Falk Princeton University, Leah Lavene and Jenny Manson Jewish Voice for Labour and more than 100 others. Full list at

Comments (13)

  • S H says:

    Where is the British media coverage about this and positive stories about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party? Haven’t heard a peep from the right wing nuts. The Bloody Biased Broadcasters have their minds in the gutter promoting and encouraging massive hatred bigotry and vile comments against good people on the left. The BBC should be bloody ashamed too

  • Liberty says:

    Many many thanks to the BRILLIANT people contributing to this letter including our marvellous JVL and standing up for the truth, justice and refuting the systematic lies and smears which the British press spreads and publishes as facts. Of course there is no reporting of this by the mainstream media and the tacky Murdoch, the Fail Mail and Express rags will never say anything nice about Jeremy Corbyn as their billionaire owners won’t allow it. The BBC is full of toady tory appointees who are doing their bidding and doing the normal hatchet on the Labour party when the horrendous racist buffon Johnson is allowed to be in line to be Prime Minister of our broken country without any proper scrutiny or investigations and his open racism and homophobia treated as a joke by the same media who harass peace loving Labour party members with disgusting daily slurs. When the orchestrated witch hunt is over we will all still be here supporting the anti racism campaigners and friends Jeremy, Chris, Ken and Jackie. Hopefully the backstabbing Hodge and Watson will be rightfully expelled from our party and forcefully publicly removed by the fed up members. That will be the greatest day.

  • Adam DC says:

    The Guardian has taken down the letter, awaiting “investigation”. This was gleefully pointed out to me by a Zionist NUJ member, who is now claiming from over 100 is now zero Jewish voices?

  • Pete Firmin says:

    My understanding is that there were 250 signatures, but Guardian – even originally – would only acknowledge 100.

  • Geoff Chandler says:

    Excellent. It is a welcome statement from right-thinking Jewish members of the Labour Party, especially the clarification of what Chris Williamson actually said.

  • Paul Smith says:

    What is there to be ‘investigated’?

  • Elizabeth Ramsden says:

    I’m speechless. The country that prides itself on free speech and democracy, has now a tight noose around the media.

  • Linda Edmondson says:

    Good question – what is there to be ‘investigated’? I assume the investigation will be of the letters dept at The Guardian, which will be cleansed of any personnel deemed to be favourable to Jeremy Corbyn. This is one of the most frightening developments in the so-called antisemitism scandal. Tomorrow we’ll be treated to Panorama’s ‘investigation’ of antisemitism in the Labour Party and who knows what will be in the news on Thursday? I’m assuming that Lord Triesman’s resignation of the Labour whip is linked – perhaps part of a coordinated attack designed to silence all but the bravest or most foolhardy.

  • Pete Winstanley says:

    So did the letter ever appear in print? [Yes, it was in the print edition – JVL web]

  • Mark Elf says:

    Some signatories noted their affiliations and BoD is inflating that to make out they were claiming to represent the group they were affiliated to. So a Hope not Hate activist signed as such, a JLM did same. It’s really much ado about nothing.

  • Stephen Williams says:

    I pity the Guardian editor who made the decision to allow publication; I suspect that he/she will soon lose his/her job for being anti-Semitic.

  • Susan Atkins says:

    So when does ‘The Guardian’ publish the result of the ‘investigation’?When do they explain to their readers the reason why they are investigating ? Where was the decision taken to ‘Remove’ the letter? Was this an Editorial decision ? Or if not what discussion was had with who and what objections were raised presumably by those who had agreed publication in the first place?
    Who controls the policy at Guardian Newspapers ?

    I’ve tried finding a way to post this on the Guardian Facebook page as well ~ but haven’t yet succeeded 🥴

  • Harry Chappell says:

    This country is sliding toward being a fascist only state where freedom of speech no longer seems to exist

Comments are now closed.