JVL statement in support of expelled Labour Party member Moshé Machover


5th October 2017


Jewish Voice for Labour is appalled at the summary expulsion of Moshe Machover from the Labour Party, and calls for his immediate reinstatement.

Moshe Machover is a highly respected Jewish historian and a life-long socialist, and was founder of the socialist party Matzpen in Israel in the early 1960s. The much-lauded new disciplinary Rule agreed at conference was, we are assured, designed to tackle racism and discrimination in the Party but is now being (mis)used as a McCarthyite tool. Our comrade has been accused, charged, prosecuted, judged and sentenced in one letter and without the necessity of a trial.

The letter informing Professor Machover of his expulsion refers to a complaint of antisemitism about an article he had written. The letter asserts that the content of the article fits the IHRA definition of antisemitism. As adopted by the Labour Party, this reads simply:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The Labour Party has not adopted the contentious set of ‘illustrations’ attached to the Definition, that attempt to spread the mantle of antisemitism over criticism of Israel.

We have studied the article published by Labour Party Marxists. It contains no attack on Jews; it is, rather, a scholarly analysis of Zionism, one that is well worth reading and debating. Zionism is an ideology (one also espoused by non-Jews) and as such must be open for study and debate.

This ill-founded accusation of antisemitism is not, however, the reason given for his summary expulsion. One must therefore seriously question why it was, quite improperly in our view, included in a formal letter of this type.

The grounds provided for his expulsion is of association with other organisations – Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain. We are not aware that Labour Party Marxists is a proscribed organisation. Further we cannot see how writing for a journal, or speaking at meetings, all that is alleged, can justify expulsion, let alone summary expulsion. If this were the case, we would lose the current leader of our Party. We have been able to confirm that Mr. Machover is not, and has never been, a member of either of the cited organisations.

Jewish Voice for Labour also wishes to protest in the strongest terms the lack of due process in this case. The recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report place strong emphasis on a requirement that all measures and processes shall be carried out “in accordance with the principles of natural justice and proportionality.”  We will stand by any Labour member who is treated in this way, even if we disagree with their politics. And we certainly stand with our Jewish comrade and longstanding campaigner for justice for all.

In the unlikely event that the Party persists in considering that Professor Machover has a case to answer, then the absolute minimum requirement is the application of due process, plus a full apology to Moshe Machover for its absence in the initiation of this case.


You can see the letter from the Labour Party, signed by Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes, expelling Moshé Machover  in our earleir posting here: Prof Moshé Machover’s summary expulsion



Comments (15)

  • David Roger says:

    I would think this whole charade needs testing in a court of law
    because you can’t have people being hounded by a kangaroo
    court without any proper procedure
    There are forces in Labour that are willing to sabotage their own party
    with very public smears of anti Semitism because their first allegiance
    is not to the Labour Party but to the Israeli Ministry of Information’s
    propaganda campaigns

  • Alfred Bouch says:

    If the Labour Party is going to represent the wishes of a small vociferous group and ignore the justice and fairness that attracts many people to join, then it will not be the party to represent my aspirations for a more equal and open society and I will have to resign my membership.

  • Catherine glynn-davies says:

    there is clearly some questions which need to be answered and a process which needs to be followed before any member is suspended from the party. if this member wants to appeal then he should be supported to do so by the community that is the Labour Party. Let us follow a true democratic process.

  • keith dunn says:

    Keith Dunn Tottenham CLP
    I just want to associate myself with the campaign to reinstate Moshe

  • Jean Fitzpatrick says:

    If a challenge in a court of law is What it takes then it sounds an excellent idea. Why does Labour keep scoring own goals? And why?

  • Alan Maddison says:

    Who in the Labour Party has the authority to suspend, subject to investigation, those responsible for the initial erroneous allegations of anti-Semitism and the subsequent erroneous accusations of disloyalty to the Labour Party and its values? This certainly needs to happen as their actions, including a total lack of “natural justice” recommended in the Chakrabarti report,to me bring the Labour Party into disrepute.

    Moshé Machover, a brilliant man, has spent his life selflessly and bravely fighting for human rights and justice for others, yet these Labour HQ members deprive him of both. Who will voters think better reflect Labour values?

    There is a big problem in the Labour Party, it is not related to those who support Palestinian human rights but to those that wish to eliminate them, and ultimately Corbyn, from the Party as exposed in the recent documentary “The Lobby”.

    I say to Moshé Machover that so many of us are so very sorry, and indeed ashamed of what some in our Labour Party have done to him and thousands of others. I say to Jewish people that I am sorry that their genuine fight against anti-Semitism seems to have been manipulated for political gain, and seriously undermined too. I say to Jeremy Corbyn enough is enough, this is all getting way out of hand, and causing immense damage to our Party, damage that can only benefit the Tories.

  • John C says:

    I deplore this expulsion. I do not think there were grounds for it, applying the IHRA rules with regard to antisemitism, or, separately, for writing some opinion pieces published in these outlets. Apart from that, however, the absence of due process in this decision, is perhaps the more serious failing. I was under the strong and distinct impression that the Chakrabarti report was based on the principles and traditions of due process and that the adoption of her recommendations must therefore embody the principle and tradition of due process implicitly, if not expressly. It is therefore deeply disheartening for there to be this flagrant disregard for due process in a decision following so soon after the settled acceptance of the Chakrabarti Report by the Labour Party and following so closely on the heels of the uplifting Brighton Conference.

  • James N says:

    He was expelled for crimes against the party, not anti-Semitism – the anti-Semitism was simply the final straw (as it bloody well should be).

    ‘Your involvement and support for both LPM and the Communist Party of GB is documented… Membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party, is incompatible with Labour Party membership. You are therefore ineligible to remain a member of the Labour Party and have been removed from the national membership system’.

    Read the dismissal letter, take off your tin hats, stop scapegoating your comrades and grow up.

    • Mike Cushman says:

      It would be better if you read one of the many detailed demolitions of the case against Moshe rather than simply re-iterating the discredited stance of the Labour party officials and their use of Guilt by Association; see the posts on this site or look at http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/machover

  • Paul King says:

    Something stinks here. Like many of the respondents where is due process or natural justice. Surely something must be done about this if it is as bad as stated. I’m appalled.

  • Phil Rose says:

    This is getting rediculous. It now seems that Keith Dunn who signed above has been suspended from Facebook for sharing this statement. As a Jew I know what anti semitism is from first hand experience and know this isnt it. I am fed up with non jews explaining to me what I should or shouldnt say about my own religion. I believe that by making false claims of anyti semitism you only stoke up more anti semitismn. All bigotry breathes on ignorance and this expolsion is based upon the deepest ignorance of whatr anti semitism really is.

  • Annie Weatherly-Barton says:

    Completely & utterly disgusted at this expulsion. It seems to me that those responsible for expulsions & suspensions are interpreting the rules to suit their own agendas. I asked Mr Iain McNicol on Twitter why Mr Mandelson had not been suspended for his diatribe of getting up every morning to find ways to get rid of Corbyn. Mr McNicol told me that this was just Mr Mandelson’s “opinion!” So I then asked why it was necessary to suspend two 80yo terminally ill women with no reason given. After months now with no answer.

    Labour Party needs legal professionals to both assemble a coherent & workable set of rules decided by a panel of professional people with legal minds. The farce of interpreting laws to suit ones own political agenda has to be stopped.

    Questions we need to ask ourselves: Who is being suspended or expelled and why; Who is NOT being suspended or expelled and why. At the moment it seems to me that the tail is wagging the dog in so many of these cases. I personally do not agree with Zionist politics & its destruction of people & their homes. Nor do I think policies which do not uphold Human Rights of any human being is just. The idea that Zionist policies is religious is seriously undermined by subjugation of a Palestinians.

    Why is it that Zionists hold Labour by the throat? Are allowed to go around social networks copying people’s tweets in order to threaten them? How is this tolerated. Reuvan Moskovitz is a Holocaust Survivor & Israeli Jew who risked his life to break the blockage. “What happened to me in the Holocaust wakes me up every night & I hope we don’t to the same thing to our neighbours!” We ought to take note of his wisdom.

  • Pam Laurance says:

    I agree with the JVL statement.

  • John Spannyard Indaworks says:

    Alfred Bouche – don’t resign. All members of the Labour Party quite rightly apalled at this ludicrous Stalinesque expulsion now need to take the fight to the apparatchiks, including the chief instigator, one Ian McNicholl. This is about the dying flailing about of the rump of Blairites within the NEC, sulking about a triumphant conference for Jeremy Corbyn. The position at present is an 18:18 balance between the Blairite cheerleaders and JC supporting members. There are three CLP nominations coming up for grabs and doubtless Momentum whatever ones views on them and Jon Lansman will be on that. In addition we have the forthcoming election for leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and an NEC seat, a straight run off between a Blairite and a JC supporting candidate – Richard Leonard. There is all to play for! Up and at ’em!!!

  • Main concern is lack od due process Sets a worrying precedent for going down a sippery slope-ending where?

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