Jews accused of antisemitism

 

Murray Glickman has extensive experience, as a trade-union activist and briefly a trade-union employee, of supporting members facing disciplinary action by their employers.

Here he draws on his experience as JVL’s Support Officer, to offer his personal reflections on the reality that a large number of Jews are being accused of antisemitism.

He struggles to make sense of it all.

So do we.

[posted 5th June; updated 11th June]

“Everyone should feel able to take part in discussion about our party, country and world.”

(Code of Conduct: Antisemitism and other forms of racism, Party Rulebook 2020, p.116)

The issue

A large number of Jewish Labour Party members have faced, or currently do face, formal investigation by the party on charges of antisemitism. JVL is aware of at least 25 such investigations: that is unlikely to be the full tally.

This number is far too high to be the result of chance or attributable to circumstances specific to individual cases. On the contrary, it suggests that Jewish party members are disproportionately exposed to being investigated for antisemitism.

No precedent

I am Jewish and reasonably well read in Jewish history. I am only too aware that my ancestors, near and remote, have been accused of all manner of hateful things over the centuries. But I don’t know of any precedent in which a group of Jews has been accused — institutionally accused — of antisemitism.

I know that I share a close Jewish identity with those accused so far. That makes me frankly fearful that it may be only a matter of time before my turn comes. In a sense it already has: I have now been the victim of slurs portraying me as antisemitic on several occasions, all pretty clear violations of the Party’s code of conduct on social media.

I am beginning to feel distinctly unwelcome as a Jew in the Labour Party.

Jewish emotional life and antisemitism

Just as much as members of other social groups, Jewish individuals vary enormously in outlook and mental attitudes.

In my experience, however, there is one constant: everyone raised in a Jewish family setting – hugely diverse though these are — grows up knowing what antisemitism is in the depth of their being. We all carry the fear of it with us through our lives. Knowing Jewishness from the inside as I do, I can honestly say that the idea of Jews being accused — virtually en masse — of antisemitism is something I cannot get my head around.

No reason to know

As JVL’s Support Officer, I have advised many distressed party members facing investigation. In the process I have looked in detail at a large number of individual NOIs [Notices of Investigation] issued by the party. Below I set out some observations on them that can, I believe, shine some light on why accusing Labour Jews of antisemitism has become so routine.

The Party does not go in for ethnic monitoring of members under investigation, and I am prepared to believe officials are actually unaware of the disproportionate number of Jewish members being investigated on the most implausible of grounds — antisemitism. This article is intended as a wake-up call. It is now time for the Party to act.

If we want to understand how this situation has crept up on the Party, we need to look at the methodology it uses in its investigations. I highlight three areas of concern:

  • the contested terrain of Jewish political history
  • uncontextualised fragments used as evidence
  • complainants’ identities and motivations, and the provenance of ‘evidence’

1. Jewish political history

Jewish political history is just as contested as, say, the British variety. There is, however, a key difference: whilst most party members will have some familiarity with the political history of our country, it has become clear to me that few have even a basic acquaintance with Jewish political history. Why should they?

NOIs typically come with lists of questions. I have seen a lot of them, and have given the questions a lot of thought. The conclusion I have come to is that, all too often, they have been drafted by people who have no background in the contested terrain of Jewish political history. Here is where I think we should start in order to understand why the Party has accused so many of its Jewish members of antisemitism,

As a Brit I am deeply interested in the history of my country. At the same time I am, as a socialist, no supporter of nationalistic narratives of British history. Some may call that ‘anti-British’, but I would never in a million years expect the Labour Party to agree. As a Jew, I am also deeply interested in the history of my ethnic group. But again, as a socialist, I am no supporter of nationalistic narratives of that history either. In no way does it make me ‘anti-Jewish’. But Jewish members like me stand accused of antisemitism by the Party for just this reason. It must stop.

2. Uncontextualised fragments

I have seen enough NOIs to be familiar with their format. This typically comprises ‘evidence’ in the form of one or more social media posts the member under investigation is alleged to have shared, coupled with a set of questions referring to them. These questions are predominantly brief and open-ended in the extreme — often no more than a demand for the member to ‘explain’ what he or she meant by a given post or their ‘reasons’ for sharing it.

What is striking is that these posts are presented without context. (I call them ‘uncontextualised fragments’). The onus to provide context is placed entirely on the member under investigation.

To judge by this way of treating members, the Party does not seem to accept any responsibility for making inquiries of its own, prior to issuing an NOI, into the context of a post — for example, by studying the political situation within which it appeared or the thread from which it derives its meaning.

This approach is flawed also because, in cases when antisemitism is alleged, personal context is all-important. The test of guilt is ultimately and always whether or not the conduct complained of arose out of “prejudice, hostility or hatred towards Jews as Jews”. In other words, the key question is: what was the accused person’s motivation?  The party’s obvious indifference to the context of the accused member’s life, attitudes and activities in such cases is therefore fundamentally unfair.

When, moreover, it is Jewish members who are accused of antisemitism, the party’s indifference to  context combines with its deficient knowledge of the political terrain to produce a toxic mix.  It needs to understand that , for someone who is Jewish, antisemitism is not an option, it is a threat.

3. Complainants’ identities and motivations, and the provenance of ‘evidence’

When one individual accuses another before a tribunal with the power to impose sanctions, the intentions of the accuser as well as those of the accused must be liable to scrutiny. The integrity of the process depends on it.

There is no indication in any NOI I have seen that the Party takes steps to gather information on the identities and motivations of complainants, or on how they came by the ‘evidence’ they have submitted. Based on what I have seen however, I think I can safely say that the complainant is hardly ever a Jewish person who has been subjected to antisemitic abuse personally directed at him or her. (Precisely this happened to me recently in a local shop. I know what it feels like.)

The vast majority of items alleged to be antisemitic that I have seen in NOIs are posts which have been shared in small social-media bubbles and then quickly forgotten by all concerned. They only come to light, often years afterwards, because a systematic trawling operation has been undertaken to seek them out. We have also now had it officially confirmed (in the recently leaked party report), that a very small number of complainants is responsible for a large number of complaints.

If a formal disciplinary process is to be fair, it must start with a serious attempt by the Party to bring together all the relevant information t can, whether that strengthens or weakens the case against the member under investigation. The identities and motivations of complainants may often be of critical importance to the case, as may the provenance of material complained about. It is worrying that the Party seems perfectly content to operate in a state of ignorance on these matters. The responsible way forward would be for it to make sure from now on that it gathers this information in advance of issuing NOIs. It might then see complaints in a clearer perspective and sometimes take a different view on whether a formal investigation is actually warranted. At the very least, the process of drafting investigation questions would be significantly better informed.

All this could go a long way towards rescuing the Party from the absurd position it has put itself into — in which, as a non-Jewish organisation, it accuses Jews of antisemitism and then delivers judgement on them.

Conclusion

I understand the external pressures the Party is under to appear macho on antisemitism. But I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that bowing to these pressures has put the Party in the invidious position of effectively targeting Jewish members for being the Jews they are. I call for a comradely dialogue on how to stop all this.

Some of the most vicious episodes in the history of antisemitism have occurred when powerful non-Jewish institutions have seen fit to persecute individual Jews who have for one reason or another come to their notice. The most notorious example is the Dreyfus affair, but the mediaeval Barcelona Disputations also come to mind. The treatment of Shylock in the Merchant Of Venice depicts the same in dramatic form. I hear faint but painful echoes of these in the way the Party is behaving. As a Jewish member, I should not find myself writing this.

I assert my right as a party member to post this critical reflection on party affairs. This right is confirmed in the passage from the party rulebook quoted at the beginning of the article. It is worth noting that it forms part of the Code of Conduct on Antisemitism.

[posted 5th June; latest update 11th June]

Comments (38)

  • Pam Laurance says:

    A good strong illuminating piece, Murray

  • Miriam David says:

    What a powerful pained and passionate piece. I absolutely agree with you

  • dave says:

    I’m a bit surprised by this article as surely Murray must know that this is nothing to do with antisemitism. If you think it is, you just fall into an Alice in Wonderland world of trying to fight people who say the opposite of the truth.

    The truth is that this has always been about two things: Labour right vs Labour left, and of course those who support Israel as currently constituted and operated, against those who don’t (I think it’s helpful to mostly avoid using the term Zionism because as socialists we have more than enough arguments about human rights and equality on our side).

    And we have now reached an interesting point – even the Labour right recognise that their Israel project is in big trouble with the annexation plan. Suddenly – and I’ll use the word now because they do – their allegiance to Zionism looks awfully problematic.

    Nevertheless we are also at a stage were being called an anti-Zionist could well become a disqualification for being a Labour member.

    Given the reality of Israel, the Labour right would appear to be on a runaway train about to hit the buffers and a notion that there are brakes but applying them in full would expose their hypocrisy.

  • Alan Sloan says:

    ” ….. few (Party members) … have even a basic acquaintance with Jewish political history. Why should they?”

    Because the Party sustained a four year character assassination on the basis of a very partisan interpretation of Jewish history. It would be outrageous to let this go without correcting the record.

    I for one would like a model resolution to put to my local party for next Conference asking for a clear explanation by the leadertship why they have suppressed the Jewish-Left narrative.

  • RH says:

    Murray Glickman has highlighted the utter mess that is the Labour Party’s response to accusations of ‘antisemitism’. Whether it is the result of malice, incompetence, or a mixture of the two, the result is the same : a negation of semantic literacy, due process and, indeed, the very basis of what should be fundamental Labour Party principles.

    I am not a Jew. But the history of the Holocaust and its lessons have been burned into my consciousness ever since I gained sufficient awareness in my teenage years. In particular, the response of a handful of survivors to a university staged reading of ‘The Investigation’ by Peter Weiss has never left me.

    This is the basis of my anger and disgust at the shallow manipulation of that history for sectarian political ends.

    Murray’s delineation of the absurdity of the Party’s processes in terms of the ‘investigative’ process needs no elaboration. It is cruelly absurd. What he adds is personal knowledge of individuals suffering from that absurdity that others of us have gleaned from the handful of cases that have emerged into daylight.

    “It is now time for the Party to act”

    I fear the problem is that it has done – in being coerced into adopting that absurd basis of the Kafka absurdity : the IHRA ‘definition’. By leadership candidates bowing meekly to pressure from the Israel lobby and signing up to further absurdities, and by implementing the sort of summary ‘justice’ that is reminiscent of tin-pot dictatorships.

    What is needed is more thought and integrity before further action.

  • Jaap Bosma says:

    Indeed accusations can even be based on decontextualisation and inversion of the meaning.
    For instance Jo Bird associated ‘Jew’ with ‘fair’ when she said: ‘JVL is calling for disciplinary hearings to be paused until a due process has been established based on principles of natural justice. What I call Jew process.’
    Subsequently BICOM accused her of “spreading antisemitic discourse about the Labour Party practicing ‘Jew process’ not due process”, associating ‘Jew’ with ‘unfair’.
    What was unfair was that Jo Bird said something different.

    You can read these two quotes here http://archive.is/nXYtv and here http://fathomjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Institutionally-Antisemitic-Report-FINAL-5.pdf

  • Harriet Bradley (Prof) says:

    Thank you for this excellent and very moderate statement on a very worrying phenomenon. I should also like to point out, as one who has suffered from such an NOI, that the victim is immediately ‘punished’ by suspension from the party while the ‘investigation’ is underway. This assumption of ‘guilt’ before trial goes against natural justice.

  • RC says:

    Seumas Milne long ago voiced a concern that Jewish members were disproportionately being accused and convicted of antisemitism. His remarks were misquoted by the BBC’s John Ware programme alleging LP antisemitism (now recommended by BAFTA – our enemies extend very far indeed, not excluding Mike Pompeo): the result was to indict him for interfering with the GLU/NCC process. Of course when the Corbyn leadership allowed the wretched process to proceed, JC was attacked for doing nothing: heads they win, tails we lose.
    But it is not only Jewish socialists who have been targeted: according to the McTernan/Macdonagh doctrine, all socialists are eo ipso antisemites. This doctrine may be traced back to Catholic antisemitism (both ancient and modern), which identifies Jews and finance (‘unproductive’) capital. (See David Kerzer’s book on this topic). And this rightwing faction is well in the saddle, as can easily be seen in Liverpool Wavertree, where pointing out that Luciana Berger methodically and systematically opposed Corbyn is itself grounds for suspension – at, it seems, the behest of the allegedly socialist Paula Barker MP – clarification from her is urgently needed.
    But Murray is too charitable to Zionist Jews within the LP – it is not solely ignorance of Jewish history on the part of gentiles (are we allowed to use that word nowadays?) in the party. Zionism was formed in antagonism to and against the hopes of a large majority of diaspora Jews, and from Herzl and before took a friendly attitude (‘freer’ in Herzl’s words) to gentile antisemites such as Drumont. Zionists still do, especially re Hungary, Poland, Latvia, the USA’s Richard Spencer and Steve Bannon, not to mention Stephen Yaxley Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”). It is no accident that the occasionally loose-lipped Ken Livingstone and Tony Greenstein were amongst the prime targets for witch-hunting – yet who can refute Edwin Black’s account of the Ha’avara Exchange Agreement, or claim that Louise Ellman is not a keen defender of Israeli abuse of Palestinian children? It is precisely for alluding to these truths that they were driven out of the LP.
    However, we should look more critically at the sources of the pressure on the LP to be ‘macho’ (aka grovel to the drive of US imperialism and its Israei attack dog to dominate the Middle East) – look at the boastful so-called Campaign against Antisemitism and Labour Against Antisemitism (the sole source, it seems, of a sizeable plurality of ‘complaints’). Giving in to this pressure is not an excuse for the macho grovel, but a further indictment. Of course, the UK in particular has come under immense pressure to row back from the widespread hostility to W(ar) C(riminal) Blair’s part in destroying Iraqi society – but to ‘move on’ from this part of world geopolitics is to close our eyes. The state core of France and Germany (‘surrender monkeys’ ) too have given in to the nonsensical “antiZionism = antisemitism” narrative, first minted in the US as the world started to appreciate the depth of Israeli aggression and oppression. Zionism and antisemitism are not antipodes but twins. To Jewish Zionists, socialist Jews are traitors – worse even than Palestinians. But I trust that Murray’s archive can be a useful tool for s ‘traitorous’ exiles and potential exiles.

  • Graeme Atkinson says:

    Solidarity, brother!

  • Mira Bar-Hillel says:

    There is an elephant in the room of your post. You do not mention ISRAEL even once, yet the entirety of modern “antisemitism” is devoting to protecting ApartheidIsrael from criticism, especially by Jews. The worse its war-crimes, the more bitter the assaults on its critics. Without this, the current crisis – and the role of Israeli lobbies in it – cannot be understood.

  • Ruth Appleton says:

    Excellent. I note you left out the comparison with the McCarthy era in US. Too close for comfort I guess? Hopefully readers will draw their own conclusions.

  • C Critchley says:

    Solidarity. Before the present worldwide difficulties, attempts to have open discussions in formal Branch/CLP meetings about alleged, institutional, Labour antisemitism have been almost impossible to establish. After the recent leadership results, I think that will still be the case. Under the guise of ‘quelling factionalism’, the perpetrators will go largely about their business, unless we make it ours to see that they don’t.

  • Mrs L Gallagher says:

    Your article was very good. I’m not a labour member, I live in Ulster. This may be facile, however, I believe those complaining of “anti Semitism“ have been managed through conservative manipulation over the years to destroy Labour. Al Jazeera’s documentary, ‘The Lobby’ indicates the same. Labour destroyed itself from the inside out helped by The Young Conservatives. Losing Corbyn is the end of a party that really stood for socialism. Never give up!

  • Jaap Bosma says:

    What is not mentioned, but what we all know of course is that most antisemitism-accusations against Jewish LP-members are not about antisemitism, but about being too left-wing or too critical of Israel.

  • Greg Douglas says:

    An excellent article Murray.But I agree this issue cannot be dealt with without mentioning the determination of Zionists to make support for the Palestinians equivalent to an anti Semitic act. The adoption of the IHRA document accepts that. equivalence and the adoption of the BoD 10 pledges by LP leaders plunges them into a philosophy unacceptable to Socialists and especially Jewish Socialists.
    The dilemma is how we should fight this.I agree that the issue should be raised for Conference and a model resolution for a CLP discussion would be most useful. In particular it is important for our members to realise that Jewish members of the party are being targeted.

  • John Collins says:

    The people accused of anti-Semitism are all guilty of the same offence, the offence that was rolled out ad nauseam during the election campaign, of “being accused of anti-Semitism”. There is no defence against such charges, the fact that the allegations have been made is, of course, irrefutable. BBC Newspeak!

  • Jenny Mahimbo says:

    During this sorry state of affairs, I’ve been very concerned about the psychological/emotional damage caused by labeling a Jew as an antisemite on the basis of decontextualised screenshots. allegations and sujppositions, snippets and excessive delay in the process and with no attempt to investigate before suspension, made worse by the McCarthyite requirement not to share or seek support from one’s comrades at pain of further punishment.

    I’m not Jewish, and in an attempt to try to understand how deeply painful it is to one’s identity to be so accused I’ve tried to relate it to my own personal identity markers – as a socialist, a trade unionist, a feminist, an anti-racist, a woman, a social worker who campaigned against the sexual exploitation of young people – all important identifiers of who and how I see myself. What if I was then falsely accused of sexually exploiting young people, and wasn’t allowed a platform to defend myself against such allegations? It just doesn’t bear thinking about. A glib mention of the Samaritans (unqualified volunteers) or the CAB (does not provide psychological support) is an insult and lack of understanding of the sheer hurt and isolation that one must feel about such accusations .

    The LP disciplinary and grievance procedures are totally unfit for purpose and are a disgrace to the party. No self-respecting trade unionist would accept a disciplinary procedure such as this. The right wing of the party use this disgrace of a procedure with impunity with virtually no challenge because they are able to – they have been allowed to do it by the very state of the procedures. How many other disciplinary procedures have built-in protections for harassers and bullies? Until the procedures are overhauled and made respectable nothing will change.

  • Naomi Wayne says:

    Thanks for this Murray. I had spotted the remarkable number of Jewish accusees and, as a former equal opportunities legal specialist, have been focusing on the relationship between that number and the total number of accusees. It’s possible you are right and the Labour administration didnt realise how many Jewish members they were going after (encouraged, presumably by complainants who had an ‘angle’, but without making the connection). The only thing potentially going against your tentative proposition is that many are members of JVL – not sure in how many cases that fact was identified.

  • Steven b says:

    Murray and JVL in general seem far too keen to internalise and rationalise the indefensible malignant distortions of highly influential labour party bad actors and on occasion hysterical incompetents such as those very high in momentum. This is specifically true surrounding conspiracy theories directed at Jews which jvl seems to consider, whether proven unproven or merely speculations, so insensitive that they must condemn and divide with their natural allies who insist on speaking loudly on such sensitivities. “Zio” for example is a pejorative very clearly refering in its literal form to Zionists, not Jews per se. Any false equivalency and conflation of even visceral Antizionism with AS should be utterly ridiculed but instead jvl seem more concerned to distance themselves from such comments or indeed Ken’s than to distance from themselves clearly from those seeking to censor and exclude on the grounds of “offence”.

    It looks to me like incompetence In jvl driven by some degree of sycophancy towards the middle class London elite running labour and theur squeamish demands for sanitised dialogue.

    I’m an extremely justice minded individual some people characterise as an autist or as an aspy. This can be revealed as an intense revulsion for illogic in me. Jvl has appeared to me relentlessly and at almost every turn as a tone policing sanitising organisation attempting to make things more comfortable for people who are very clearly oversensitive, often hysterically so than to defeat and expose the clear malignancy at the heart of labour.

    One has to wonder how much of this sanitisation is an attempt to remain in the broad church no matter how clearly corrupt that church is.

    It didn’t surprise me therefore to see jvl merge to form a part of DLO.

    “Don’t leave” arguments are often very thin and driven by complacency nostalgia defeatism and sycophancy.

    More than anything else the sunk costs fallacy. (Credit to kat s)

  • Mike Cushman says:

    Murray

    I think it goes further than decontextualised fragments. A person might have posted a thousand tweets and Facebook items and written tens of thousands of words on blogs and in magazines but they are being accused on a few dozen words – which may indeed have been written loosely. ON he basis of a few words their whole identity is challenged and they are held, not just to have written something, that in a hostile light might be held to have some possible antisemitic overtones, but to be an antisemite. They are not being defined by the whole scope of their writing and social and political activity but on some casual typing.

    I talk about a hostile light because this stands in contrast to an important critical principle of charitable interpretation or charitable reading. Josh Neff usefully describes the need for as:

    “Having spent years on web forums where people got in the pissiest, snarkiest arguments I’ve ever seen (and sometimes been a part of), I’ve picked up on one thing that I think is crucial for any kind of internet discussion: charitable reading. Read what I’ve written assuming that I mean the best possible thing, not the worst. ”

    When I looked on Wikipedia I discovered something interesting about this. It starts with a good definition:

    “In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity or charitable interpretation requires interpreting a speaker’s statements in the most rational way possible and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation. In its narrowest sense, the goal of this methodological principle is to avoid attributing irrationality, logical fallacies, or falsehoods to the others’ statements, when a coherent, rational interpretation of the statements is available. According to Simon Blackburn “it constrains the interpreter to maximize the truth or rationality in the subject’s sayings.”

    Intriguingly it goes on to say:

    “The first to state this hermeneutic principle was Rabbi Meir, a tanna of the fourth generation (139–163), who declared, in Arachin 5b: ‘A person does not say things without reason'”

    Meir was a greatly renowned Talmudic scholar.

    We must insist both for Jewish and non-Jewish members who come to the attention of he Governance and Legal Unit that the GLU staff examine, if not the whole corpus of a member’s writing, at least a substantial section of it to judge whether the possibly offending words are to be seen as typical of the member’s attitudes or an aberration.

    Shalom

    Mike

  • I agree with most, but not all, of Murray’s article but it is too kind by far!!

    I am also aware, from the number of those contacting me as the founder of Labour Against Witchhunt that there are a disproportionate number of Jews. I don’t believe the witchhunters are ignorant of this. It is clear that the JLM and others are providing a hit list of prominent Jews.

    I don’t think it is any secret that the JLM detests JVL and anti-Zionist Jews. To the Zionists anti-Zionist Jews are the worst reprobates and ‘traitors’. The same was true in South Africa where White opponents of Apartheid were likewise detested.

    I think we can therefore say that the current witchhunt is deliberately aimed at anti-racist Jews and that the Labour Party has, ironically become institutionally antisemitic as a result of these false allegations.

    Just 2 points. I have also seen many letters of suspension. Their accusations are open ended. In essence what they are doing when they ask ‘how do you explain this’ is asking you to prove your innocence as opposed to them proving you are guilty. My advice is for people to respond with the question ‘why do you think A or B is anti-Semitic’ or whatever the actual allegation is.

    The second thing is the imposition of confidentiality, which is rich coming from the GLU which has made a practice of leaking information to the press. In my case I first learnt why I was suspended from The Times and Telegraph. As people have pointed out this would prevent someone seeking legal advice.

    This stipulation has no basis in any LP rules and is contrary to natural justice and fairness. It is designed to cripple any defence or campaign, i.e. it operates solely in favour of the witchhunters. My advice is that people ignore it and explain why they are ignoring it.

    I also think that the current situation, whereby ALL antisemitism cases are being fast-tracked and not referred to the NCC is not only unconstitutional but is contrary to the assurances given to the last LP conference that only ‘egregious’ cases would be dealt with in this way. I suggest that this practice is wide open to legal action in the form of an injunction or interlocutory relief as it is an abuse of process and contrary to both the LP’s declared policy, its adoption of the Chakrabarti Report and natural justice and fairness, which are inherent in the contract between members and the party.

  • Stephen Williams says:

    It is interesting that some complaints- specifically about Jewish and , it must be remembered, Black members- are conscientiously investigated by the Labour Party. Others are ignored. For example, I have submitted nine formal complaints concerning the proforma since the Al Jazeera expose; only the first received a response, promising a full investigation, for which I still wait. The other eight have been ignored, with not even an acknowledgement that they have been received.

  • Sarah T says:

    I am astounded that the Labour Party should be treating an important constituency in this way and I appreciate the article that’s been posted here, thank you. However, I also agree with Dave on this. The JC and The G both cover the criticisms of the role of BofJD in feigning neutrality in the actions of Israel but having no compunction in malignly interfering in the democratic process here in the UK. An interference which has resulted in a witch-hunt or inquisition against dissenting party members who want free speech on Israel. The Labour Party now back on the lead of the BofJD, appears, to outsiders, to be now more actively muzzling ”the reservoir” as it was termed of so called antisemitism but is in fact nothing more than standing up for those who have had the knee of the Israeli extremist right on their necks for too many years. The annexation plans are a ”the knee will stay ’til the Palestinian dream chokes” move that has now become unpalatable for even Hodge and Berger but not my MP, or Mann, or Watson or Starmer it seems. Shame on them.

  • Teresa Steele says:

    Thank you for the article Mr Glickman. Very informative and I agree with all you’ve written. I believe the Labour party has become a scary place to be if you happen to be left wing, that’s the situation we appear to be in.

  • Phil Chadwick says:

    Is there any dialogue between JVL and Kier Starmer’s office on this issue? If there isn’t this needs to be addressed. What on earth is going on when articles of the nature have to be written?

  • Mary Davies says:

    Excellent article.

  • Gerry Miller says:

    I have become virulently anti-Israel in its current reality but in no way anti-Jewish. Why is that not possible?

    I am Jewish. I am not a self-hating Jew.

  • Dr ALAN MADDISON says:

    Interesting to note that Jewish Labour members are thought to represent around 0.5% of the total, and yet Murray reckons at least 2% of antisemitism allegations.
    That means that the research for abuse is biased.
    The only alternative explanation is that antisemitism is 4x more prevalent in Jewish, compared with non-Jewish Labour members .

  • RC says:

    Mrs L Gallagher mentions her residence in Ulster as relevant to her nonmembership of the LP. But after a long struggle which started in 1977, residents of Northern Ireland (I take it she does not live in Donegal, Cavan or Monaghan) were granted the right to join the LP – and later, to form a CLP with some 2000 members, which covers the whole six counties. At present they are not allowed to put up candidates for public office – the NEC claimed that they were not competent to do so – they are Irish after all….The result has been that the protestant community has been gifted to the DUP, since they cannot be expected to vote en masse for the communalist parties of the catholic community. They therefore have no chance of voting for or effectively against parties of government of the UK. Does this not remind you of the situation of Palestinian citizens of Israel? All socialists and progressives in the UK are surely welcome in JVL, whether in full or solitary capacity. There is plenty to do, even as WC Blair who copper-fastened constitutional communalism on the people of NI, praises the ‘game-changer’ Israeli-Saudi alliance as ruling out any Palestinian state, however impotent and diminutive.

  • rob gardiner says:

    I m not Jewish but am a member of the Palestinian Solidarity campaign., but would now wish to express solidarity for JVL and those Jewish members who have received these threatening and intimidating NOIs. As a former shop steward and thus supported Union members when they have been suspended and/or accused of offences I have some understanding of the extreme stresses this process can induce in the person involved. How do we resist this effort to silence and intimidate? Should a fighting fund be established and a list of competent Solicitors both be looked at as responses? I am angered at the sheer injustice and palpable amorality of these unjust processes.

  • Alan Miller says:

    Once again
    an excellent response from Jewish voice for Labour
    We in the Labour Party who share there honesty and well held views must as a matter of urgency give them are full and collective support

  • ruby lescott says:

    Following Rob Gardiner’s point, can we not crowd fund a barrister to challenge these decisions in court, as a class action or as an individual case? Surely we can do something? I would cheerfully contribute to that. Am tired of wringing my hands and helplessly saying “we must DO something”!

  • Eva Turner says:

    Thank you Murray, This analysis feels true and is true for me and many of us. YES it is your right to write this and my right to fully support you. You words are measured, but any hole anyone can find in them can easily be filled. It is all there. Eva

  • Roshan Pedder says:

    Yes, yes, yes! Enough hand wringing. I am with Rob Gardiner, Ruby Lescott and anyone else who thinks we need to challenge this in a court of law. I too would be happy to contribute.

  • Tony Muscat says:

    How can this witchunt be stopped? Next will be anyone who criticises Israel? Then maybe just anyone who is a left winger?

  • RC says:

    The proposal that all the defendant’s posts etc should be inspected is a foolish one, since it reinforces the McCarthyite charge that what is at issue is whether the defendant ‘is an antisemite’, rather than whether a specific offence (?’offence’?) has been committed. (“a pattern of behaviour” which deliberately subverts the principle of ‘innocent unless proven guilty’). The trawl is precisely how the witch finders force the defendant to justify an indefinite number of previous expressions, which at the best wears the defendant down – and of course defendants are prohibited from asking for help from friends and comrades (itself surely a breach of natural justice). The relevant context is that of the specific act (including speech) which will overwhelmingly be by other people than the defendant.
    Eg: somebody called LE states or implies in public “the IDF shoots or detains only those Palestinian children who threaten their lives”.
    TG: “LE supports Israeli child abuse”. Even the Judges Jeffreys we have in the GLU or NCC would pause for thought before convicting in the light of such a context (??).
    One of the few points that Hegel and J.S.Mill agreed on is that one’s opponent’s case must be studied at its strongest.

    ACTION PROPOSAL:
    But mention of judges reminds me that I have it on extremely – and I mean extremely – strong evidence that those close to the NCC and the Starmer clique are getting very worried about the possibility of legal challenges to the kangaroo court proceedings of the NEC in regard to alleged AS – a change introduced in a stampede at last year’s conference. These entail a risk of sizeable expenses (perhaps damages) to the LP. The main reason is that the removal or bypassing of the NCC procedure, which was at least purportedly quasi-judicial, restores the admittedly unsatisfactory position pre 1986, when the NEC was prosecutor, jury and executioner; the NCC had to be created in order to save the LP’s blushes – and funds….A class action of some sort; LAW and MG surely have a large number of names to be put to such an action – as well as for creating a socialist organisation. Even a strong mention of this possibility should slow down or stop the current wave of persecutions.

  • Trish O'Hara says:

    Great article. Just a few points;
    To suggest people on the left are not knowledgeable in Jewish history is off the mark. I am not Jewish. But I have spent 6 months in Israel in 80s and visited Auschwitz in 1994. Israel is where my politics became more sophisticated. I would also like to point out that people of Jewish descent/or not, who may have been to Tel Aviv for a party weekend seem to think they can decide who amongst us is antisemitic. I am furious that we have people in the PLP with funding from Israel who think they can attack Jewish members and tolerate language like ‘jewdas’ and ‘wrong kind of jew’ and ‘self hating jew’. How the hell have we let this happen. If someone called me the wrong kind of Irish – I would report it as Hate crime. I do link all tweets of this nature to met police. I am so saddened that the right has decided to use Jewish people to undermine socialism. The real fear here is that socialists may end up blaming Jews. Real antisemitism is at play and sadly some of that is being orchestrated by Jewish people on the right inside and outside of the party.

  • igi moon says:

    It is unbelievable- totally crazy. And dangerous. Starmer is terrifying the members and using jewish people to frighten other Jews. What is going on?

Comments are now closed.