Jews supporting Labour

JVL Introduction

An interesting account in the Jewish Chronicle about a range of Jews who are supporting Labour and their reasons for so doing.

A pity the author had to end it with some vindictive posturing by Mike Katz of the JLM about “antisemitism raging in the party”…

This article was originally published by Jewish Chronicle on Fri 8 Nov 2019. Read the original here.

Some Jews are still voting for Corbyn’s Labour — they explain why

A recent JC poll found only 7 per cent of Jews would vote Labour. Ben Weich asks them why

The breakdown of Jews’ relationship with Labour, seen by many as their historic political home, is such that an October poll for the JC found only seven per cent of Jewish respondents would consider voting for its candidates.

But among that sliver of the community, there is a core of politically-engaged Jews who have remained loyal to Labour, despite their acknowledgement of antisemitism in the party’s ranks.

Opposition to Brexit and the politics of the Conservatives are commonly cited reasons for backing Jeremy Corbyn’s party, as is the affection many have for their MPs.

Jonty Leibowitz, a constituent in Finchley and Golders Green, where many left-leaning Jews are predicted to vote for Luciana Berger, told the JC he will nonetheless vote Labour due to his opposition to the Liberal Democrats.

Read the erest of the article here.


Comments (15)

  • Richard Hayward says:

    “…forced into choosing between their progressive beliefs and their anti-racist values”

    Uh? No choice. No force.

  • Stephen Mitchell says:

    If antisemitism is raging in my Labour Party why haven’t I seen any of it.?


    Just some fact-check points.
    The previous JC surveys have proven unreliable. Last year they predicted under 10% Jewish Labour voters too, but post election surveys gave an actual result of 23%. Hardly a “sliver” and it does raise questions of a representative JC sample.

    Secondly the claim of antisemitism “raging through the party” is a gross exaggeration, regularly made, so small wonder Jewish voters are hesitant. Over four years only 0.06% of Labour members have been taken through the disciplinary procedures. The cross party Home Affairs Select Commiittee reported no evidence of more antisemitism in Labour members than those of other parties.

    Thirdly, Jeremy Corbyn is not allowed to intervene in the disciplinary process which remains independent of the party leader. The anti-Corbyn Iain McNicol, who was responsible for deliberate delays in progressing dossiers, has been replaced and things are moving quickly now.

    Lastly, the Royal Society of Medicine estimates that Tory political austerity cuts to the NHS may be responsible for 30 000 avoidable deaths each year. So for every single Labour member hearing on antisemitism allegations, usually relating to social media comments , there have been 400 avoidable deaths.

    Of course antisemitic comments reported need to be sanctioned, and they are, but remember the 99.94% of Labour members, including ( according to John Bercow Jeremy Corbyn), who are not involved.

    When weighing up factors that influence such an important voting decision, that will affect the lives of millions, it is best to have all the facts.

  • Ruth Van Straten says:

    Rubbish from the Jewish Chronicle… Again

  • John Webster says:

    Why can’t Corbyn just repeat and repeat ‘Criticism of Israel is NOT antisemitic’. We all know that this is what the allegations are all about. When you talk to those who have swallowed this nonsense what is clear is that they have no idea at all of what is going on in Palestine – or that all Jews have the right of return to Israel and therefore have an obvious identity with it.

  • Allan Howard says:

    In the JC article it quotes Journalist Rivkah Brown, an editor of Vashti, as saying:

    “Yet my support for the Labour Party is not unequivocal. I’ve been deeply hurt by the presence of antisemitism in the Labour Party, and appalled at the abuse Jewish activists and MPs have faced.”

    Does she mean like the 200 alleged cases of A/S that Margaret Hodge submitted to the Labour Party that in fact involved 111 individuals, only 20 of whom were LP members as it transpired (and I expect most of THOSE were just disagreeing with Hodge or being critical of her, and weren’t in any way anti-semitic!). There are only TWO possible explanations for this: 1. That Margaret Hodge submitted the 200 (alleged) cases of A/S to the LP knowing that the vast majority of them were NOT LP members, and did so because she knew it would get wide-spread media coverage (and lots of condemnation of Jeremy Corbyn), and that the same media would say nothing when it turned out that only 20 of the cases she submitted related to LP members, or 2. That the 91 people who turned out NOT to be members fraudulently used the LP symbol, or whatever, and for the obvious reason.

    If it was the latter, then WHO was doing it, and WHO was behind it, as it goes without saying that their agenda was to damage Jeremy and the left, or should I say ‘further’ damage. And if it was the former, then surely THAT is totally appalling, as the only explanation would be that Hodge was intent on damaging the LP and Jeremy’s prospects of winning a general election – ie deceiving millions of people (via the corporate media and the BBC) and, as such, subverting democracy.

    And as for what Rivkah says about Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker and Chris Williamson, has she never asked herself – given that racism/anti-semitism is a criminal offence – why it is that NONE of the individuals, like John Mann, for example, and Margaret Hodge etc, or the groups such as the JLM and the CAA and LAA, have ever reported any of them to the police.

    I wonder could it be because none of them said anything remotely anti-semitic!

  • Allan Howard says:

    The following are a couple of excerpts from Jonathan Cook’s latest post. It’s a lengthy article, but well worth reading (and please share as widely as possible):

    Anti-semitism band-wagon rolled out again

    That the anti-semitism claims are slurs has been demonstrated over and over again. But paradoxically the latest refutation came last week from the corporate elite’s house journal, the Economist – though, of course, it was not presented that way .

    The magazine published a new survey of British public opinion showing that an ideological group it labelled as “very left wing” – presumably the people who share Corbyn’s views – were among the least likely to hold anti-semitic opinions, even though they also had by far the most critical views of Israel (an outlook the Economist mischievously termed “highly anti-Israel”).

    In other words, those people on the left who firmly oppose Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians were unlikely also to harbour anti-Jewish views. The great majority could clearly distinguish between Israel and Jews, and did not hold Jews responsible for the crimes committed by the state of Israel.


    [Alastair] Campbell, a man whose anti-Muslim, anti-Arab prejudices permitted him to help lay waste to another country on an entirely bogus pretext, and whose reputation in the corporate media suffered not a whit as a result, decided to use the interview to try to revive the Corbyn anti-semitism smears and undermine Labour’s chances of winning the election. Like other Blairites, Campbell has been an outspoken critic of Corbyn, even going public with the fact that he has started voting for the Lib Dems.

    He asked his interviewee, John Bercow, the outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons and a Jewish member of the Conservative party, to comment on Corbyn and the anti-semitism allegations. Campbell’s transparent aim was to recruit Bercow to the smear campaign – both as a Jew and as someone who has come to be widely trusted since becoming House Speaker as an arbiter of an even-handed politics.

    Bercow’s response was not what Campbell hoped for. The former Speaker answered cautiously, but observed: “I myself have never experienced anti-semitism from a member of the Labour party … I do not myself believe Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semitic … I have known him for the 22 years I have been in parliament … and I have never detected so much as a whiff of anti-semitism from him.”

    Campbell’s face could barely conceal his disappointment.

  • Gerry Glyde says:

    Allan, I understand that Hodge asked her staff to do an internet search of something like ‘Labour’, ‘Corbyn’, ‘ Jews’, and then just sent the whole job lot into the party having neither witnessed incidents nor having any idea if the people were party members or indeed in the UK

    I wrote to her by email and asked her the names of the people and the date of the incident, and whether she personally witnessed any. Surprise, surprise I did not receive a response. I wrote again and am stiĺl waiting.

    Her friend Siobhan McDonagh MP wrote to me and admitted she has never witnessed any incidents in her London CLP over some 20 years, but is nonetheless convinced antisemitism is rife. A brief lòok at her voting record indicates she is definitely not supportive of Corbyn

  • Zac Caplin says:

    Supporting Labour —
    I am a staunch supporter of Social Democracy and the views and legacy of Robert Owen amongst other socialist thinkers.
    I concur with the view of many of the commentators on this website that it is John McDonnell who should be our leader and the best placed to enunciate our principles leading to a socialist/Marxist government.
    Jeremy I am afraid is out of his depth and comes across as a juvenile ditherer and fence sitter unable to sell our beliefs to the people of the UK.
    I love listening to John’s views and would be overjoyed to see him as the next PM on our journey to Utopia.

  • Sean Wilson says:

    I agree with Zac. Jeremy seems to change his views from day to day almost fawning to those interviewing him.
    I get the impression that he is uncomfortable with being the leader of OUR party. On the other hand, John McDonnell is a leader with gravitas

  • jim cohen says:

    Me too! Labour for me. As for Mike Katz, he has proved himself time and again to be a deeply untrustworthy person and an enemy of Jews like me.

  • Anon says:

    I’m not Jewish, but someone just mentioned this website in the Guardian comments. It’s a shame that this site not get any exposure on the BBC and other MSM.

    @ Allan Howard – I agree with your points [Re: people wrongly conflating criticism of the Israeli Government with prejudice against Jewish people]. I have never understood that argument, and it does seem like Tory propaganda to me.

    To use an analogy, it’s fair to say the Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country, but people can criticise the leaders of that country quite freely without it being construed as Islamophobic. Neither would British Muslims care about Saudi Arabia being criticised, because they have nothing to do with that country.

    In the same way, no-one associates British Jews with the actions of the Israeli Government – the two are completely unrelated. I keep trying to get my head around the allegations of anti-semitism in the Labour Party but the only references I have come across tend to relate to criticism of the Israeli Government; or support for Palestine, which is officially recognised as an independent state in international law, including by the UK [unfortunately not – web ed]; or just a generic “allegation of anti-semitism” without any reference to what was said. This has produced a cloud of suspicion that there must be something happening within the Labour Party, yet (to my knowledge) no-one has come forward with any concrete allegations to support this case.

    Conversely, when Tory members have been accused of Islamophobia or racism, the offending tweet or comment is usually exposed fairly quickly. I can’t say the same for the accusations against Labour. Why are we not seeing pages of these tweets or comments, if anti-semitism is alleged to be “rife”?

    My only conclusion is that the Labour Party is only believed to be anti-semitic because the right-wing press and the Tories say so. Or that the focus on this issue, has exposed people to racists within their communities and they blame Labour for “creating” this issue.

    It’s disgusting for the Tories to use what is a serious issue to foment racism for political gain. It’s this sort of rhetoric that gets the racists in our society believing that others share their views, and emboldens them to spread their own hate.

    Racism of all forms needs to be stamped out; we have seen a rise in racism under the Tories, and this is before the ultra right wing Tories (Johnson, Cummings et al. in connection with Trump and Farage) have had a chance to do serious damage. Giving them a majority is the most dangerous prospect facing our society. So many parallels with issues raised in the docufilm the Rise of the Nazis; the socialists were made out to be enemies of the people back then too. At its heart, left-wing ideology is anti-racist, but the hard right is usually the opposite. We can’t let it happen.

  • Anon says:

    @ Zac and Sean

    Jeremy is a decent person. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a politician appearing to “dither” on complicated issues, especially when the country is divided on those issues. It demonstrates that he does not suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect, unlike other politicians, and takes his job, of democratically representing the whole of the UK, very seriously.

  • Anon says:

    Please everyone share this with friends, family and followers!

  • Frank Sowerby says:

    The anti-Semitism claim is a Tory smear supported by Tory supporting Jews. I do hope that Jewish Voice For Labour will campaign aggressively to deny these claims and support Jeremy Corbyn. Neither John Bercow nor Noam Chomsky believe that Jeremy Corbyn or the Labour Party is anti-Semitic. But you must make yourselves heard!

Comments are now closed.