Labour’s cancel culture – Jews are being harmed in this process

JVL introduction

The latest directive to Labour Party members from general secretary David Evans says any motions touching on the treatment of Jeremy Corbyn must be ruled out of order because they are “providing a flashpoint for the expression of views that undermine the Labour Party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members, in particular our Jewish members.”

As Jewish Voice for Labour told Skwawkbox when Evans shocking missive first began to circulate:

“The latest edict from party HQ, suggesting that Jewish members require a wholesale ban on discussion of anything that touches on the treatment of Jeremy Corbyn in order to feel safe and welcome in the party, is grossly insulting and inflammatory.

“Using such a justification to invoke the delegated powers of the General Secretary to act against members who stand up for their right to free expression seems calculated to provoke revolt within the branches and CLPs, once again weaponising the fears and concerns of Jewish people to further Keir Starmer’s campaign against supporters of his predecessor as leader.”

In the Double Down News video below, JVL’s Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi explains the damage such weaponisation is causing to Jews and to the fight against antisemitism.

For an incisive example of the revolt from below that Starmer’s cancel culture is invoking, read this blogpost from Jon Rogers, Chair of Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party.

 

Comments (26)

  • Stephen Beadle says:

    Good evening all. I am not Jewish, but I’d just like to say “Shabbat Shalom”, if that is correct, and not considered offensive from a non-Jew.

    I have been considering whether to continue my membership of the Labour Party. I must admit, I have been torn and dismayed by recent developments, particularly since my family’s relationship with the Labour Party and Trade Unionism goes back over a century to the very earliest days.

    However, I have just watched Ms Wimborne-Idrissi’s piece on DDN and been thoroughly struck by her good sense, plain decency and steely determination to stand “with the oppressed”, come what may.

    If the Labour Party still contains such people, it is clearly still worth fighting for.

    My respect and solidarity to you all.

  • Gilda Holzman says:

    Please, will someone make KS and DE, etc al, explain why the sensibilities of Some Jews deserve special attention ( and the banning of free speech) but those of Moslems and Christian who complain about cartoons showing Muhammed and The Life of Brian are condemned. I consider the letter from DE and KS’s statements to be antisemitic, because they echo the trope that Jews have all the power and deserve special attention.

  • Gregory Douglas says:

    Naomi’s interview was first class and I would hope to speak as clearly.
    I have not been told to my face that I am a self-hating Jew ,but it has clearly been implied in correspondence. It is such a tragedy that the Jews who have been persecuted for centuries should find a number of them in power who themselves are persecuting others in the same manner.They have forgotten or never knew Rabbi Hillel’s advice about the meaning of the Torah when asked by a student.He said it was easy to understand: “Do unto others that which you would wish them to do unto you.” I was brought up on this principle and it shames me that some Jews persecute others as if in my name. It is imperative that we fight for our fellow human beings and defend the poor and outcast and downtrodden.i joined the Labour Party because it was for the Many and saw in Jeremy Corbyn a leader proposing Socialist policies. His record in supporting Jewish groups over a long period and his record against racism is first class and I am in despair when I see the new Labour leadership cast him as some kind of devil.

    Clearly we have to demand the restoration of his rights as a party member and we must make it clear to the new General Secretary that all issues must be open for discussion and must not be prevented on some alleged desire to protect Jews from antisemitic comments. As a Jew ,who doesn’t belong to the imagined Jewish Community of the Board of Deputies or the JLM, I regard Evans’ description of Jewish discomfort as an antisemitic comment against me. I demand the right to discuss political issues in my CLP whoever might dislike it and I am pleased that my own CLP has decided to ignore Evans directives and we shall discuss both Jeremy Corbyn’s Whip and David Evans attitudes at our AGM next week with appropriate motions being proposed. In the mean-time I am sharing Naomi’s brilliant interview with whoever I can. Thank you so much Naomi for your forthrightness;Solidarity and Love.

  • Mary Davies says:

    Thank you Naomi. You were brilliant.

  • Adrian Stern says:

    If we leave who/what will be left?

  • The instruction by David Evans that discussion on Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension should be ruled out of order because of fears that it would threaten the safety of Jewish members or provide a hostile environment for them (there are some ‘hostile environments which are to be condemned) is itself antisemitic.

    Not only does it suggest that Jews aren’t as robust as non-Jews but it clearly implies that Jewish members of the LP all support Corbyn’s suspension. An obvious lie.

    It is blindingly obvious that Jews are being used as a pretext for outlawing the discussion of motions not to Sturmer and Evan’s liking. Treating Jewish members of the Labour Party as vulnerable and objects of pity is itself an antisemitic stereotype. It assumes that Jews can’t withstand rigorous debate.

    Apart from anything else it displays an abysmal understanding or knowledge of history and how Jews played a prominent part in the socialist and revolutionary movements. Instead of saying that he wanted to close down discussion because Sturmer’s suspension of Corbyn was indefensible he uses Jews as the pretext.

    And of course he ignores all Jews other than Zionist Jews.

  • Janet Crosley says:

    May I just agree with Stephen Beadle, and thank you for your unstinting honesty and hard work in trying to counteract the awful press that any one who supports Jeremy Corbyn gets especially your membership and supporters

  • Fran Heron says:

    People baying for Corbyn’s eradication from a Labour Party he has served all his life and his fight against oppressed people everywhere and now unbelievably call for yet another apology might like to contemplate the following.
    Rather than a lack of empathy and acceptance of the IHRC report Corbyn fully endorsed its contents and called for swift progress in putting all their recommendations in place.
    His clear statement about the quantum of antiSemitism being significantly exaggerated I believe should be viewed not as deliberately diminishing concerns in Jewish people, particularly older Jews with experience of and/or memories of the heinous holocaust and extermination camps, should rather have helped reassure them. Those Jews traumatised by wildly exaggerated writings and statements that they should take comfort that levels of perception re AS in Labour was far greater (35% rather than true figure of 0.3%) and that they could be reassured that complaints of AS have been and will be investigated and action taken against perpetrators.

    I am not Jewish but am an affiliate member of @JVoiceLabour and fully support their aims and objectives, appreciate their dedication and clarity of their arguments.
    Their voice is that of reason and I think it is nothing short of scandalous that they are not consulted as one of other strong Jewish groups.
    Sorry. Bit of a rant but am so angered by what has happened. The injustice to Jeremy Corbyn and left wingers supporting him have been subjected to vile abuse as have dissenting Jewish voices.

  • William Johnston says:

    I joined the Labour Party fairly recently – in the wake of the 2019 election.

    I had certainly not felt frightened, as a Jew, of the idea of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister; neither have I felt in the least bit frightened, as a Jew, within the ranks of the Labour Party. All I have experienced is a sense of being welcomed – up until now.

    Now I am frightened: frightened of those, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who label me as the “wrong sort of Jew” and who want to silence my dissenting voice. This is the first time in my life that I have actually experienced anti-Semitism.

  • Miranda Tunnicliffe says:

    Fantastic piece. Love her humanity, intelligence and wit. Left the Labour Party and denoted my subscription to MAP (medical aid for Palestinians) because of the unjust purge. Thinking of returning if this wonderful woman can remain.

  • John Noble says:

    Thank you Naomi.

  • Leonore Santamera says:

    I feel very reassured by Naomi’s response to the spurious and wilfully lying statements from both the shady Starmer and even more shady Evans. All the emails/correspondence exchanged between the LOTO and the NEC must be published and be investigated. Then, and only then will we know just how much both these charlatans want rid of all socialists, including Jeremy Corbyn, from our beloved Labour Party. Please Don’t leave our Labour Party. That’s what they want. #FightNotFlight. ⚘⚘⚘

  • DJ says:

    Well said Naomi. The JVL slogan” Always with oppressed, never with the oppressor”is very apt. As socialists we do not believe in”cherry picking”which oppressed groups to support. The struggle against antisemitism and for Palestinian justice is the way forward. It unites the oppressed. The demonisation of Palestinians, JVL and the left by the pro Israeli lobby in the UK is sickening. The bullying and harassment of Jewish supporters of Palestinian justice is shameful. It’s about time the leadership of the Labour Party called this out for what it is. There should be “zero tolerance” shown towards such behaviour.

  • Voirrey Faragher says:

    very well said Naomi

  • Ann Miller says:

    This is a very thoughtful and helpful video. I have much sympathy with the views of comrades who say that the commitment of Naomi and other JVL members (like that of the impressive and courageous Young Labour) encourages them to stay in the party and fight. I left, incensed that Starmer was rewarding so many MPs who’d talked down and worked against a Labour victory. But I have to admit to another motive. Having tweeted in support of Chris Williamson and Marc Wadsworrh
    (however ill-timed the intervention of the latter it was in so way anti-Semitic) I think it highly likely that I would sooner or later have been picked up by an algorithm and disciplined for antisemitism. As a non-Jew, that’s an accusation that I would find intolerable. So I’ve left.

  • Wonnie says:

    Naomi is a brilliant beacon of light in these very dark times. Thank you!

  • Jenny Hickinbottom says:

    Absolutely brilliant the behaviour of Keir Starmer using antisemitism as a weapon to destroy socialism is outrageous I particularly loved the slogan ” Jews are free when Palestine is free”.

  • Mohamed Pirani says:

    It is so good to hear Jews recognising the treatment of the Palestinians and relate it to the awful holocaust. Jews were at the forefront in the fight against apartheid.
    Do we want a proto tory party just to get to power. May as well fight for justice for all in opposition.

  • Kate Byrne says:

    Thank you so much, Naomi. You very clearly and calmly explained the shocking situation we find ourselves in.

  • Stephen Wyatt says:

    Thank you, Naomi, for such a calm, incisive explanation of what is going on. It seems that officials in the Labour Party want to prevent any criticism of the Israeli government by branding it as antisemitic. There is also nothing antisemitic about explaining with data the amount of anti semitic cases in the Labour Party. This attempt to censor discussion is shameful in a party that stands for the rights of minorities.

  • Liz Gifford says:

    So grateful to all the ‘wrong Jews’ for their comments and support. Why are none of them ever published in the MSM?
    Well we know money talks and they aren’t the ones providing the big bucks to influential people.

  • Roshan Pedder says:

    Thank you Naomi for this articulate, heartfelt and truly inspiring message. The Palestinians have no truer friends than brave Jews like yourself and everyone else at JVL willing to be vilified by their own people for standing up for truth and justice.

  • Andrew Dinkenor says:

    On the day the EHRC report was released my local MP sent an e-mail circular to all constituency party members which called among other things for JVL to become a proscribed organisation in the Labour Party. My CLP has very few Jewish members, so making it difficult to speak out on certain Human Rights issues without getting myself into trouble.
    And this with a Human Rights barrister for our leader. Shame on Starmer!

  • Rosemary Brocklehurst says:

    Brave, determined, heroic Naomi. You a Jew have been oppressed, vilified, threatened with death for speaking up. David Evans is a very stupid man and his actions says to me that he agrees with your oppressors. His actions will backfire.

  • Elizabeth Lewis says:

    I am not an antisemite, (not just because my grandfather wrote for the Jewish Chronicle!) but I am completely against the treatment of Palestinians by Israel. Being against Israel’s policies does not make me an antisemite. I supported Jeremy Corbyn, still do, but the Labour Party is trying to equate anti-Israel with antisemitism and this is so wrong and it is now telling Jews that if they support Corbyn, they are antisemites! How crazy is that!

  • John Osborne says:

    I agree completely, and in fact there is a very real danger that these rediculous purges and attacks on anybody that disagrees with Starmer and co, are causing an increase in any anti -semetic feelings, as they are purely a weaponised nonsense, being brought about by the pro-zionists to interfere in the party

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