Labour’s assault on left-wing Jewish members has ‘dramatically’ intensified

JVL Introduction

As readers of this website will know, JVL recently made a supplementary submission to the EHRC and the Forde Enquiry.

We are delighted that Skwawkbox has written up an article based on the submission – see the text below.

This article was originally published by Skwawkbox on Tue 31 Aug 2021. Read the original here.

New JVL evidence to EHRC – left Jewish leaders over TWO HUNDRED times more likely to be targeted by Labour than other members

Even being a rank-and-file left-wing Jew means persecution by Starmer’s party

SKWAWKBOX (SW)Jewish Voice for Labour, the left-wing grouping of Jewish members of the Labour party, has sent a supplementary submission to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) – to add to its landmark dossier earlier this month – telling the EHRC that Labour’s assault on left-wing Jewish members has ‘dramatically’ intensified since JVL’s first document.

And that JVL’s leaders are more than 200 times more likely to be targeted by the party for investigation than other Labour members, while ordinary JVL members are more than thirty times more likely to face persecution by the Labour right regime:

This submission is an update to our submission dated 5th August 21 entitled How Labour’s Claim of Countering Antisemitism Has Resulted in a Purge of Jews.

In the three weeks since then our situation has continued to deteriorate. We have received many messages from Jewish Party members informing us how our documentation echoes their experience in the Party and how they increasingly feel unwelcome in a party to which they have given many years of commitment and effort. Others have told us that, because of the attitudes we have described, they have with heavy hearts quit the Party.

As at the 24th August we have become aware of seven new investigations of Jewish Party members. Notifications of new investigations and auto-exclusions are arriving on a daily basis.

This means it would appear that over four times more Jewish than non-Jewish Labour Party members have faced actioned complaints of antisemitism. The disproportion is even greater in relation to JVL Committee members and officers. The staggering numbers suggest that these Jews are nearly three hundred times more likely to be investigated than non- Jewish Labour Party members (see the note on Annex 7 below). In all these cases the charges of so-called antisemitism are deeply offensive and should be withdrawn immediately in accordance with the party’s own NEC Code of Conduct.

The document goes on to describe:

  • harsh treatment of Jewish members, with even requests for an extension to the party’s near-impossible deadline for responding to auto-exclusion notices because of serious ill-health either refused or ignored
  • evidence-free escalations of cases against left-wing Jewish members
  • demands to prove impossible negatives
  • negation of the heritage, politics and tradition of Jewish members – in most cases by non-Jewish investigators
  • complaints submitted by left-wing Jews about discrimination and racial abuse against them being either summarily dismissed or often simply completely ignored by the party machine
  • 65% of JVL committee members being targeted with antisemitism complaints – a rate more than 220 times higher than the estimated average level among other members
  • an admission by the party that the reason the whole JVL organisation has not been proscribed like several other left-wing (and substantially Jewish) groups is that the party fears it will be successfully sued for discrimination
  • briefing by the party to the media against left-wing Jewish members, while the names of their vexatious accusers are ‘carefully protected’
  • retrospective punishment applied by Labour to Jewish members

and more.

The new document also includes extended and new addenda detailing particular cases of discrimination against and persecution of left-wing Jewish members of the party – and it summarises the impact of the myriad and accelerating forms of racism faced by left-wing Jews:

JVL comes out of a rich, vibrant radical Jewish tradition, drawing significantly on the heritage of the Jewish Bund.. This inheritance is also embodied in such groups as the Jewish Socialists Group and Jews for Justice for the Palestinians. Our understanding of antisemitism, what it is, how to fight it, and how not to fight it, flows from this tradition. Yet dozens of Jewish members are now being targeted by Labour as antisemites, for voicing an understanding of antisemitism that is a direct product of our Jewish political and personal heritage.

The effect of rejecting or ignoring complaints made by JVL members of antisemitism; our experience of bullying and harassment; and the refusal to consult or involve JVL in, for instance, the EHRC required Action Plan; all show disdain for our status and roles as Jews.

We are not heard; in particular we rarely get a chance to voice our opinions in the print and broadcast media; when we do we are treated too often with hostility and aggression and Ofcom appears to refuse to hold broadcasters to account.

The party’s war on left-wing members is escalating. Its war on left-wing Jewish members is intensifying further and faster – the very definition of discrimination.

Comments (22)

  • Diana Neslen says:

    This seems to show that gentiles are targeting Jews for political gain. This has been a pattern used by Anti-Semites throughout history. The labour party is now,it would seem, in pretty bad company

  • SB says:

    The fact this is not all over the press shows just how much the Right Wing Establishment is only interested in antisemitism if it can be used to batter the Left.

    It’s truly sinister that non-Jewish members of Labour, including astonishingly, an MP, can with impunity, advocate expelling a Left Wing Jewish affiliate. And that at the same time as it is perfectly acceptable for money to be accepted from donors who have funded other parties to stand against Labour and for MPs to be members of organisations such as the Henry Jackson Society.

    According to his R4 obituary, Austin Mitchell was once sacked as a Shadow Cabinet member for taking a post with Sky News. Kinnock declared that taking a job with a Murdoch company was “incompatible with the values of the Labour Party”. And yet now, writing columns for the gutter press or belonging to a hard Right lobbying group is more acceptable than talking to socialists.

  • Mary Davies says:

    Solidarity with the wonderful, courageous & resilient JVL.

  • Jennifer Joy-Matthews says:

    This is all so sad.

  • Letter to the Guardian?

  • Alan Maddison says:

    JVL has rightly opposed the cruel and illegal treatment of Palestinians by successive Israeli Govts.

    They have denounced the anti-left smear campaign that has grossly exaggerated Labour antisemitism, often to silence legitimate debate on Israel’s undeniable move to apartheid.

    This, in my view, is why they are persecuted. To unjustly stigmatise and demonise them, to silence their ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’.

    As Jewish members, their opinions carry more weight on such issues than those of the majority of other non Jewish Labour members.

    So one must conclude that the blatant disproportionate targeting is highly likely to be motivated by their very Jewish identity, not just their expressed opinions.

    This looks like genuine antisemitism, and that Starmer’s Labour is now knowingly complicit.

    It is also breath-taking that the PLP remain silent while such obscenities intensify, and most journalists simply look the other way.

    Time to fight back.

  • Guillaume Dohmen says:

    JVL is the real Labour Party. I don’t know whether it is just gentiles that are causing the trouble. The problem is that the Labour
    Parties in the whole of Western Europe have become too right wing in their policies in order to win elections. Therefore they always look as though they have abandoned the principles of socialism. JVL has always remained true to its socialist ideas.

  • Simon Lynn says:

    There is also all of us Jewish left wing members who have now left the Labour Party because of, in my view, how painful and impossible it has become to make a constructive contribution as a Jewish left wing, Israel critical/Palestinian supporting, activist/member.

  • Diana

    Superficially that might be so but although it is a clear case of indirect discrimination their being Jewish is not the actual reason per se that they are being singled out. Indirect discrimination occurs when (s.19 EA 2010):

    A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic of B’s but if applied to someone who doesn’t share that characteristic would put B at a particular disadvantage that cannot be justified.

    The PCP is clearly a requirement to be a Zionist. However there would seem to be clear grounds for legal action but the question is whether it would apply to what is a private club.

    Either way it confirms that the so-called Labour Antisemitism campaign was not about antisemitism and it was always about support for Israel as a key and integral part of a bipartisan foreign policy.

    It throws into stark relief Starmer’s pledge to ‘root out’ antisemitism in the Party. What he should have said was he was going to root out anti-Zionism and support for the Palestinians. PSC has effectively been proscribed even though it isn’t an anti-Zionist group.

  • Peter Johnson says:

    My Jewish Councillor for New Ferry & Brmborough never received consistent support from her colleagues when she strived to defend herself over the last 2 years. I tried to defend her – but was expelled in April this year for …err “anti Semitism” …

  • I have always said that JVL’s voice is never heard in the Labour party under Starmer
    And has never really been heard on the TV or in the press.

    And when they are invited to attend a tv or radio debate they are rudely interrupted by the presenter of that debate WHY ?

    It beggers believe when you have a very knowledgeable group like the JVL who are not even invited into discussions about antisemitism in the Labour party
    And then to be accused by the Labour party of antisemitism is just unbelievable.

    I never thought I would see the day when good and loyal members of the once proud broad church Labour party would suspend and expel so many members for doing the right thing and condemning the Israeli Government for carrying out such terrible attrocities against Palastinian men, women and children just as any caring compassionet human beings would do against anyone or any countries government who were committing such attrocities.

    Yet the silence on this from the Labour leadership and the party is a total disgrace to the values this party used to stand for.

    And now we hear that there is more JVL members being suspended or expelled for the very thing that the leader said he was going to root out and fix – the poison that is antisemitism in the party – by all means in his power. And make it a better party for Jewish members to feel safe in.

    I honestly think someone needs to tell him that the very people he wants to feel safe are the very people he is accussing of being antisemitic.
    And in doing so surely he his himself on the borderline of being antisemitic for targeting members of a certain group who are Jewish themselves and have done nothing more than having an opinion on attrocities that the Israeli government are carrying out against the Palastinian People which they know is not right and rightfully condemn them for it.

    We are supposed to be living in a Democratic Country were free speech is allowed and were people can voice an opinion without getting vilified for it like with the measures the labour party are going to in order to rid the party of those members who voice their opinion and who are good Jewish socialists within the labour party .

    You honestly just could not make it up what the worst leader the labour has had And as leader would sooner spend his time suspending good And loyal Labour members instead of doing what he is supposed to do like attacking the tories at every chance he gets in order to get them out.

  • Brian Burden says:

    Far more anti-Semitism now – under the guise of fighting anti-Semitism – than when Corbyn was leader. And they’re getting away with it. Goebbels would be envious!

  • Sabine Ebert-Forbes says:

    Shameful and really distressing to see Starmer and Co condoning and permitting and thus engaging in anti-semitism against our jewish socialist members. The weaponising of Antisemitism is simply disgusting.

  • Caroline Raine says:

    The people doing the expelling clearly never stop to ask themselves how it can be that Jews can be so disproportionately “antisemitic”. It shows a complete failure to grasp that there is no single Jewish ideology. To assume there is, or that all Jews who don’t follow it are antisemites, or to decide that it is somehow unacceptable for Jews to be left wing, this demonstrates a deep rooted antisemitism in the Party. But that is an antisemitism that seems not to concern the leadership at all.

  • Richard Hobson says:

    In reply to Diana Neslen, isn’t it gentiles supported and urged on by right wing Jews who are targeting other Jews? Furthermore, don’t the excesses of the Israeli state and the support they get from this same group lead to some anti Jewish feeling from those who don’t understand that being Jewish doesn’t necessarily mean you support the atrocities perpetrated by Israel? Our media fail to tell us this, it is biased very heavily in favour of the pro Israel view.
    write this as a non Jew, who, as a result of discovering JVL and through them many other Jewish groups, found that I had previously developed some anti Jewish sentiments. Ignorance is the basis of a lot of racism!

  • Malcolm Thwaite says:

    If anything provides proof positive that the current Labour Party leadership is operating a transparent but unacknowledged conflation of Antisemitism and Antizionism and discriminating against Jewish members critical of or disavowing the Apartheid Zionist Israeli regime.

  • Mr Bill Ledger says:

    I am 85 years old, a member of the Labour Party since 1965. I am Socialist Internationlist.
    The treatment by the Starmer Regime against our Jewish Comrades is totally hideous.
    Not only Jews suffer. Before we moved to Scotland, the Crawley CLP, debated a motion, to abandon the Trident Nuclear Submarine. To my delighted amazement , we lost by just one vote.
    Early the next day, a received a phone call from the Regional Organiser. He said the ‘Enforcement Officer, would be be in touch, and that my membership was in jeopardy. I made a jocular remark about a ‘Labour Gestapo’ and put the phone down.
    We moved quietly to Scotland and we are both still Party Members, 17 years later.
    So Blair and Starmer, (Pinky & Perky) are not Leaders, but Dictators.
    So to our Jewish family, follow your forebears. Never yield or give up.

  • Julia says:

    Dreadful antisemitism from Starmer’s Labour party. Solidarity with JVL and all those being targeted

  • Kuhnberg says:

    JVL consistently reaffirms my faith in the Jewish intellectual tradition to expose the lies and faulty logic of Zionist self-justification in relation to the abuses of the Israeli state.

    The motivations of Keir Starmer are something of a puzzle, as he must know by now that his actions in purging the left of socialist Jews is proving wholly counter-productive, leading to a personal poll rating of -39. Why does he continue with a strategy that seems designed to ensure that he will never become PM and that his period at the helm of Labour will probably see its destruction as a political force? I can only assume that he has been given assurances that he will be well taken care of once his mission is complete. Lord Starmer has a nice ring to it, particularly when it seems certain that traditional media will blame his failure squarely on his predecessor and his supporters.

  • John Bowley says:

    Starmer and the rest of the vile bunch of right-wingers are cowardly bullies and also election losers. Our Labour Party is now becoming a right-of-centre, backward, policy-light and conforming with the establishment Pointless Party.

  • steve mitchell says:

    The Labour Party are contributing to a rise in antisemitism. The extreme Right are having a field day. People like Tommy Robinson can reiterate the power of the Jewish lobby . If they can get rid of a Labour Party leader who has an impeccable record on opposing racism in all its forms as well as Jewish members who support him then what is claimed about the Jewish lobby must be true.

  • And will Keir Starmer not hold discussions?

Comments are now closed.