Letter to Labour leadership and deputy leadership candidates

Versions of the letter below, topped and tailed according to whether they have signed up to the Board of Deputies “10 Pledges” or not, were sent out earlier today to all leadership and deputy leadership candidates on behalf of JVL.

The version posted here is to those known to have endorsed the demands made on them.

An official JVL reaction to the “10 pledges” will be published tomorrow.

Labour leadership candidates

Dear

We understand from media reports that you have acceded to a request from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to make 10 commitments regarding the Labour Party’s handling of allegations of antisemitism against party members.

We would like to draw your attention to some implications of endorsing the BoD’s pledges. 

1.       Handing over crucial elements of implementation of party rules to outside bodies would undermine the independence of the party.

2.       Demands such as setting time limits for the completion of discipline procedures would depart from the principles of natural justice and due process ((an accused person is innocent until proven guilty, procedures which give an accused individual a fair hearing, fair representation and a right to appeal).

3.       The demands would compromise data protection obligations. As the general secretary has pointed out in a related context, the party has “very strict responsibilities under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 to safeguard members’ data and ensure it is processed only for clearly defined and lawful purposes.”

4.       The insistence on putting the Jewish Labour Movement in control of educational input deprives the party of agency in determining how and by whom its members are to be educated. Furthermore, this was an organisation that refused to campaign for the Labour Party in the 2019 election.

5.       The Board of Deputies is asking that you disregard the views of Jews with whom they disagree, singling out Jewish Voice for Labour even though it represents significant numbers of Jewish members of the Labour Party. We remind you that the Board does not represent all Jews. Most significantly it does not represent many thousands in the fast-growing Charedi community, most of whom do not believe that the Labour Party is riddled with antisemitism and have put on record their alarm at the suggestion that it is.  

Undertakings such as those called for by the BoD are not within the gift of an aspiring leader of a democratic party in which rules are made by the members through their conference (and National Executive Committee). Endorsing the BoD pledges will be interpreted by the bulk of members as contemptuous of the independence of the party and a threat to their right to a legitimate, legally defensible process in the event of being accused of breaching party rules.

They are also demands that, in the view of many respected commentators and activists, retard rather than advance the cause of combating antisemitism (prejudice and discrimination against Jewish people) as part of a broad anti-racist campaign.

We urge you carefully to review the implications of these pledges and take into consideration the range of views within the party, including the knowledge and experience of hundreds of Jews represented by our organisation, who campaigned actively for Labour in GE2019, regardless of the stance of the particular candidates standing in their constituencies.  

We would respectfully ask you to assure members that, as leader, you would abide by the party’s agreed policy with respect to rights for Palestinians, opposition to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and an end to the siege of Gaza, and that you will stand by the caveats recommended by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee in 2016 which protect free speech on these principles of human rights.

Signed:

Leah Levane and Jenny Manson
Co-chairs, Jewish Voice for Labour

 

Comments (86)

  • Paul Smith says:

    A spirited response. Thanks.

  • Gerry Glyde says:

    I have already written to Long Bailey earlier today, albeit a shorter letter than this. I think it important that members writing should attempt to vary letters from this standard form as it might have more affect (on the other hand given the eagerness of some to sign – possibly not)

    We have entered gloomy waters when something like this can happen. Perhaps one of these MPs so keen on this should table a Private Members bill to make it statutory for all political parties over a certain size, with variations, to introduce systems.!

  • Rita Craft says:

    Totally excellent letter. I am most alarmed at this 10 Pledge ploy by the unrepresentative Board of Deputies (of some British Jews.)

  • Jan Marsden says:

    Excellent! Would it be possible to share any responses received from the candidates? That would be most useful in deciding who to support.

  • Peter Cave says:

    This is a sensible letter and request – for how can an outside Jewish body that does not remotely represent the views of all Jews (both religious and non-religious) have the right to determine which Jewish individuals Labour should listen to and which not? It smacks of the unsavoury idea that there some people are the wrong sort of Jew.

  • Niall Murphy says:

    Thanks for that. I agree with all your points and I would like to know how the potential candidates responded.

  • Clive Morris says:

    It seems to have been a knee jerk reaction to accept these absurd and unworkable demands. I hope the leadership candidates reconsider in the light of the appalling potential consequences.

  • Michael Cook says:

    Much needed, I only hope those who this has been directed at sees sense

  • Peter Nelson says:

    Excellent response and defence of party democracy. This will be raised at conference.

  • Robert Parsonson says:

    I am a Labour member and it is important to me that the politicians I support can, and must be critical of the current state of Israel. This position has nothing to do with Judaism, and everything to do with flouted human rights, flouted United Nations conventions, and everything to do with state barbarism and harassment inflicted on civilians including women and children, in the occupied territories by the Israeli government.

  • igi moon says:

    Thankyou- I am at a loss with how to reconcile my feelings of utter horror at the BoD with my strong belief in social justice for all communities. This letter helps.

  • Richard de Cordova says:

    Thank you
    Alles klar
    ShalomSalem

  • Jenny Kassman says:

    Thank you for writing this excellent letter to the leadership candidates. I will be very interested to read the candidates’ responses.

  • John Butler says:

    Thank you for writing this letter. So sad that you had to.

  • Vera Lustig says:

    Well put. I particularly applaud your pointing out that the Jewish Labour Movement refused to campaign for Labour in last month’s GE. This makes it even more absurd that we should be coerced into consulting them, while sidelining “fringe” organisations such as JVL. I should like to know what evidence the BoD can provide to support their assertion that they, and the JLM, speak on behalf of the majority of British Jews.

    All that said, my first reaction was that the prospective party Leaders should just sign the pledge to get the BoD off our backs, so that we can carry on with our work of holding Boris Johnson’s deeply undemocratic government to account. I feel worn down by the amount of damage these accusations of A-S have already done to the Party, and by extension the country.

    But, on reflection, I realise that this was a counsel of despair, and it wouldn’t even work: the BoD would monitor our every utterance to ensure compliance to their unfair, undemocratic and borderline unlawful demands.

    So I now think all the Leadership and Deputy-Leadership candidates should agree to stand firm against the BoD. I opposed the Party’s signing up to the examples in the IHRA guidelines in 2018, because I believe in freedom of speech, except in cases of incitement to violence. I object strongly to the conflation of anti-Zionism, or criticisms of Israel with anti-Semitism.

    I’ll try to raise the issue at the Fabian Conference in London this Saturday, 18th January. I know Keir will be one of the speakers.

  • Geoff Clegg says:

    As a Labour party supporter & Member fully agree with your comments & hoe that other Members will be of the same view – Thank You

  • Alan Rosenbach says:

    You don’t speak for community either and have smaller constituency than other Jewish based organisations. I like many Jews who are members know there is a problem with anti Semitic behaviour in the party and want this to be sorted. We need a leadership that deals with this and starts the long process of making Labour a party that can be a government.

  • Geoff Melvin says:

    Absolutely agree with content and tone. The Party must NOT accede to these demands.

  • Edward Hill says:

    And the next stage: the Telegraph, Times, Mail and Sun state what the Labour Party needs to do to gain THEIR approval; all the candidates accept.

  • Max Cottle says:

    Please do not sell out like this

  • C Chiverton says:

    Voices from the past .

    To sign up to the demands from an organisation (bod) that will in effect kill democracy within our party is akin to failing to learn from the failings of the politicsl elites in posr war 1 in German.

    I cant not nor will i agree to the demands from any organisation that is neither democratic or affiliated to our party.

    It seeks to distroy democracy not enhance it. It represents only an hard right fashion who do not support our party , they are self appointed and not accountable. In fact it would be erong to call the organisation a far right manifestation.

    I employ the new leader not to adopt this demands which will in effect not pass at conference in its present form .

  • Penny McGhie says:

    Thank you for this. I am fearful that in order to get elected candidates will agree to comply with these pledges or risk being seen as anti Semitic and if it’s voted down at Conference the whole thing will start up again. It feels like we are in an era of McCarthyism. Part of me wants leave but that is not the answer. We need your voice out there in the MSM.

  • I am a founding member of the Bassetlaw Social Forum, who are a group of people who came together in our aim to support Jeremy Corbyn against open hostility from our MP. We are affiliated to both the JVL and the PSC and I am proud of these links.
    Losing the election to the Tories left us in a state that can only be described as a bereavement – although it wasn’t unexpected in our constituency.
    Tony Benn declared that Socialists have two flames burning in our hearts, one of hope and one of anger that spurs us on with our fight for justice and fairness. The fact that the potential candidates, with the exception of Clive Lewis (who has now dropped out of the race) has acceded to the request from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to THEIR commitments regarding the Labour Party handling of allegations of antisemitism against party members, makes me question whether any of them are suitable candidates to represent us. Thank you for writing your strongly worded excellent response to them, but it is desperately sad, for all true Socialists, that it has been necessary for you to do so.

  • Joy Rowell says:

    Thanks for clarity of analysis and wisdom in opposing this further attempt to overthrow democracy both nationally and within the Labour Party. Shocked and saddened that the candidates so readily signed up to this.

  • Michael prentice says:

    I am not Jewish. I don’t follow any religion but I believe that all people shod be free to follow their spiritual beliefs as long as it does not harm others or prevent them from following their own. Antisemitism is abhorrent and those causing out or promoting it or any other hate crime should be held accountable. As the letter above states in Point 2.
    I have some issues with the full definition of antisemitism as I understand it includes any criticism of Israel being antisemitism and if this definition is included it will allow the continued abuses by both the Israeli government and the Palestinian resistance and will prevent a peaceful solution being found for all the peoples of that region regardless of religious beliefs. Just as the bod does not speak for all Jews my understanding is that Israel does not either. I support all who seek peace and abhore violence and hate directed and any and all humans. I hope the Labour party can address both the real and perceived issues to rid itself of the stain of antisemitism and become the party of tolerance and inclusion it needs to be to defeat the resurgent right that is sowing the seeds of hate. All oppression is connected.

  • Mick o rua says:

    I feel that your views will fall on deaf ears. In 2018/19 my partner who is an advocate for Palestinian rights and a 2-state solution was hounded off social media by gnasherjew and a whole host of disgusting trolls who constantly told her she was not a real Jew, not the right type of Jew because she dared tweet that Netanyahu and the IDF were committing War crimes. And she could take no more of the disgusting tweets from them or on Facebook where they trolled her and her family. She Complained to Labour as several of her abusers were labour members (or so they claimed) and nothing was done. I took up were she left off and within a day I was also called antisemitic for saying Netanyahu is a War Criminal and even Riley and Collier retweeted disgusting tweets aimed at me and my partner. Good luck with getting these 5 to reverse this most undemocratic BoD 10 commitments.

  • Paddy O'Keeffe says:

    Your letter brings a refreshing note of calm and sanity to a topic which has caused such paranoid reaction from our potential leaders who ought to know better. Well done!

  • Solly Jacquesson says:

    I will not be voting for any of the candidates who have pledged their endorsement to an undemocratic and an unrepresentative organisation as the Jewish Board of Deputies.It should be noted this body is out to destroy the unity and democratic foundations of the Labour Party.

  • Janet Ash says:

    As a non Jew I used to understand that support for Palestine and criticism of Israeli aggressive action in Palestine was NOT anti- Semitism. However, it seems that on order to take control and win the debate, anyone who supports Palestine’s rights is now deemed to be anti- Semitic and this allegation is perpetuated( without analysis) by the press and the BBC. Thus they could accuse Jeremy Corbyn and many many Labour members (including me). I don’t believe myself to be anti-Semitic but I am appalled by what is happening to Palestinians and this conflict in definition needs to be explained more loudly and more clearly.

  • Mark Francis says:

    I will be expecting a call from the Shin Beth anytime soon then.

  • Bang on, racism in all forms, regardless of who it’s against is wrong.
    BOD is hell bent on a punishing guilt trip on only one party

  • Pamela Sloan says:

    Respect! Brilliant. Well done, JVL. This needs saying loud and clear. I know you are only a small group and you have had loaded upon you the obligation to represent all those other Jewish people who the BoD does not represent; a big ask but all the more essential because of it. Keep up the good work, we all appreciate your efforts.

  • Roger Hopkinson says:

    Please do not sign The Board of Deputies 10 Pledges. Outside interference and pressure from third parties is totally wrong and cannot form any part of the Labour Party principles. These pledges will only make things worse and segregate too many Labour voters from trusting a Party they want to believe in.

  • greg wilkinson says:

    Very clear, fair and useful. Thanks

  • THOMAS GEORGE says:

    Have to Support this, cannot understand the actions taken by Candidates to supporting a Tory Group. When we consider members were Suspended/Expelled for tweet about Foo Fighters by I. McNicol should this not be considered more Serious?

  • Dorothy Cleminson says:

    I am disgusted by this and appeal to Jeremy Corbyn to advise us.

  • mike fowler says:

    Sincere thanks to the Jewish voice for Labour for this letter of support.
    No Labour body has the right to take away our freedom of speech yet alone hand governance to an outside body with right wing tendencies.
    Failure to listen to the JVL could well lead to mass resignations from our party.
    We the membership are the party, sell us short at your peril.

  • RH says:

    I would endorse other respondents’ call for a publication *or non-response* of the candidates so addressed.

  • Jillian Beresford says:

    Very well put. To my mind the signing up to these demands shows very poor judgment by all the candidates. They either don’t know or don’t care about the feelings of the ordinary party members who are fed up with being called antisemitic when we are anything but. We need leaders who will stand up to the bullying of the BOD.

  • Chris Price says:

    I am shocked a deeply saddened by the events over the weekend. Thank you for speaking up for justice and free speech.

  • Ann Johns says:

    The above points are what I tweeted to them all yesterday, but will have heft coming from you. Many tweets from furious Labour members including Jewish members saying that they would leave Labour. I frantically tried to persuade them to stay & fight. This will bring them hope.

  • Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Thank goodness someone isn’t afraid to stand up for Democracy and human rights. Thank you.

  • Irene says:

    Is it bcas of JC u are now pronouncing urself

  • Ian Rosen says:

    1. Quite the opposite. Ensures rules are fairly and properly complied with – not bent or disregarded according to circumstances
    2. Blatant anti Semitic behaviour/tweets don’t take months/years to investigate.
    Suspend unless perpetrator offers rebuttal evidence promptly. Then fixed time before expulsion.
    4. Well qualified to judge.
    Didn’t campaign for Labour in 12/12/19 for very good reason.

    Independent complaints processing & rule implementation is the only way.
    Labour has already proved time & time again it can’t be trusted to act fairly & without bias on such issues.

  • Wendy says:

    I am Labour, I trust Labour to deal with this and NOT to sign up for a document that will take away the freedom to support Palestine

  • RH says:

    In reply to Ian Rosen :

    All detailed and respectable research into the issue demonstrates the massive fraud that has been perpetrated to create this brew-ha-ha.

    “Labour has already proved time & time again it can’t be trusted to act fairly & without bias on such issues.

    The biased unfairness has consistently been in victimizing solid anti-racists such as Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth who have pointed out the hypocrisy of the Israel Lobby and Tory supporters such as the BoD (effectively) the JLM.

  • Catherine Cottle says:

    I am a Labour member and am at odds with myself over whether to leave the party now the candidates have bowed down to this. Thank you for writing this.

  • Richard Turner says:

    It seems now as if there is no-one left in the leadership race for the Labour Party who has the principles to stand up against Zionist, to stand up for the Palestinians and to reject the smear campaign while still fairly carrying out enquiries into claims of antisemitism. I want Jeremy Corbyn back.

  • Nicholas and wife Jovita Poulcherios says:

    mazzlidan and shalom dear brothers and sisters, not mazzzleing our free speech is important to be hand in hand with civility and respect of persons.

  • Michael Blakeston says:

    After the sickening,(if not wholly unexpected), General Election result I was beginning to feel re-energised by the determination of Labour members to continue the fight. This has de-motivated and demoralised me and like many others am tempted to resign my party membership. I will stay because a mass membership is crucial but I honestly don’t think I can vote for any candidate who is prepared to allow an anti-Labour fringe group to determine party policy. Pathetic capitulation.

  • Ann M Hardcastle says:

    By signing this you will lose voters and also members. Both of which can be ill afforded.
    It gives power to a group that members have not been allowed to vote on. This is not democracy.

  • Keith Lloyd says:

    Thank you JVL. You represent the beating heart of the Labour Party.

  • Well said.

    I will NOT submit to any Labour Party process that involves parties outside of the Labour Party.

    I do not consent to any of my details being shared outside of the Labour Party other than to assist the police in any investigation.

  • Norman Marsh says:

    It is unacceptable for the Labour Party to be dictated to by any outside body and most especially a right-wing Conservative-supporting one like the Board of Deputies. The criticisms of individual demands made in this letter have my full support.

  • Sylvia says:

    Excellent letter. Thanks

  • Terry Barry says:

    An excellent letter – let’s see what the responses are.

  • Linda Edmondson says:

    Thank you, once again, JVL. The intervention by the BoD, no doubt planned as all its interventions have been to cause as much havoc as possible, has made it easy for me to decide which of the five candidates to support for leader. None of them! Weighing up whether Starmer or Long Bailey would be preferable and would build on the work of the Corbyn team over the past four years was a little tricky, but as both have capitulated to the outrageous demands of the BoD, I have no hesitation in deciding not to vote. If this witch hunt continues, I expect everyone applying to join the Labour Party to be asked whether they are or have ever been an antisemite. I’m old enough to remember the effects of the McCarthy witch hunt on British politics and am appalled that the same tactics are being used here and now against anyone criticising Israel. And an Israel with the most right-wing government in its history.

  • M Finlay says:

    If only there were more clearheaded, fair minded people of integrity throughout the Labour Party as those in Jewish Voice for Labour like Leah Levane and Jenny Manson, I might never have voted for Scottish Independence. I’m not overly impressed by any of those presently standing for leadership. None come near Jeremy Corbyn in what I’d like to see in a leader.

  • Ruth Muller says:

    Well done for sending the letter! I have sent my own to the candidate that I planned to vote for. Looks like leaving the LP is the only thing to do now: the not-so-very-radical ‘experiment’ led by Corbyn and supported by so many thousands of us is clearly over. At least we tried.

  • Rusere Shoniwa says:

    Thank you JVL. You are a lone voice in the wilderness. Don’t give up.

  • Peter Crack says:

    Thank you for raising these issues in such a clear and concise letter. Brilliant work

  • Concession to these demands is a betrayal of the British Labour Party’s fundamental principals and an empowerment of those who would like to see Socialism purged from British politics. It is also an absolute betrayal of all the brave Jewish voices which have defended the party in all of this. The Candidates should have refused and stated this was a matter for Labour members and conference.

  • Robert says:

    I am a Labour member and I am not Jewish. Jewish people I know have not experienced antisemitism within the Labour Party. I find the Board of Deputies conditions very worrying. I fear for democracy as I listen to each candidate for the Labour leadership say they accept them. As right minded people I believe these candidates must be conflicted about expressing anything except partial acceptance.

  • Daniel Vulliamy says:

    Big big thanks for this.

  • Michael Aldridge says:

    Any Labour leadership candidate who signs up for this nonsense will not get my vote …. If it becomes Labour Policy my 60 year relationship with the party will sadly come to an end

  • Tippu S says:

    Great letter – let’s hope sense prevails!

  • Nik Allday says:

    I agree with this letter as a provisional response.

    There is a lot more that is wrong with this quite stunning interference and peculiar presumption of influence and authority. What are Labour going to do when the Pope demands ten conditions, or the Muslim Council of Britain issue demands? Do the various Labour Leader Candidates not realise that the ONLY leverage the BoD have is that they will resume their illegitimate slanderous campaign of false accusations against Labour again. This is an overt threat aimed deliberately at one Party which suggests an admission of the illegitimacy of their previous actions.

    I foolishly thought these Leadership candidates had some intellectual acumen and integrity. They seem to be compulsively agreeing to a bully’s demands for fear of something worse. The whole affair stinks to high heavens. Figures suggest that, in spite of all the guess work, it was the Zionist Lobby which tainted Corbyn as antisemitic which lost Labour the General Election. Are the “new Leader candidates” going to oppose this hideous interference in British politics or kowtow to it?

    There is also the very worrying possibility that collusion with this kind of overt interference and leverage by a self proclaimed “Jewish representative body” on behalf of “British Jews” will actually ignite genuine distrust and animosity against the Jewish communities. Many learned individuals warned of the likelihood of this kind of abuse of antisemitism giving rise to genuine anti-Jew feelings. It’s so dangerous I cannot understand the leader candidates almost tripping over themselves to sign up to it.

    This does appear all part of the age of anti-intellectualism.

  • Mark Sharkey says:

    Bringing to you attention this excellent letter from Palestinian civil society organisations: http://www.eccpalestine.org/palestinian-civil-society-to-austrian-parliament-oppose-resolution-to-criminalize-peaceful-activism-for-palestinian-human-rights/ written to Austrian parliamentarians. Could you not get them also to look at the 10 points and then write on there own behalf to all the candidates?

  • Linda Laurie says:

    I strongly agree with this statement as I support the Palestinian people and their rights. I oppose the murder of Palestinians by the Israeli state and I will not be silenced by the Board
    Of Deputies.

  • Eileen Hall says:

    I agree with the above. I do not support anti-semitism but neither do I support Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. I do not agree that Labour candidates should be coerced into signing the document from the British Board of Jews. If they interpret supporting the Palestinians as anti-semitic then that is their problem no one else’s and we shouldn’t condone it.

  • Hugh McLean says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful and courageous response, as a Labour member, I fully support the points you have made. I would also like to add that adopting the BOD’s ten commitments would also imply that Labour regards anti-Semitism as a more significant and important form of racism than racism against any other group. Labour must be committed to fighting all forms of racism and prejudice, equally.

  • Trish O'Hara says:

    This is a fantastic balanced, reasonable letter that should be taken as intended. The BoD has no business playing god in our party. Thank you JVL for your insightful response

  • Caroline Raine says:

    Thank you. This is very well put. I think adopting the BoD pledges would have dangerous implications for the Party in terms of democracy and again signals exceptionalism which distracts from the frightening growsth of racism in all its forms in our society.

  • Ron Taylor says:

    Excellent letter. I am shocked, perhaps I shouldn’t be, that these people have capitulated so readily to the BoD’s demands. I will find it difficult to vote any of them in these circumstances and may well have to leave the Party.

  • John Bowley says:

    Thank you very much, Jewish Voice for Labour, for writing to the would-be Labour Party Leadership candidates to remind them of a few basic facts.

    Sadly, my interpretation of the candidates’ naive and impetuous or cunning and duplictous move is that they have shown themselves unfit for leadership.

  • Janet Elizabeth Stains says:

    Dear JVL- thank you so much yet again for helping me keep my sanity! What
    a disaster, after the sadness the GE defeat brought on us; I mourned for all those millions of our citizens who will never benefit from the transformative
    programme envisioned by a Corbyn-led Labour government. Every member
    of my family would benefit from properly funded health, education, armed
    services, civil service, police service, welfare support. Like so many others here I also cannot vote for any of the candidates now. Surely the Labour Party
    should not permit this interference in its processes? I hope we will be informed of the response, if any, to your excellent letter , JVL. {I wonder what the present Leader’s thoughts are….Oh Jeremy Corbyn, PLEASE can we have back!?}

  • Mustafa says:

    Labour should propagate impartiality,standing for justice and fair play in all cases.
    Man made international definitions are usually installed by ruing powers,not dependant on justice,and should not sway labour in their principles

  • John Booth says:

    An excellent, positive response to this craven action by our would-be leaders. Thank you.
    The party must break out of the thuggish, intimidatory bind the Israel lobby seeks to impose on us.
    This is an important step in that necessary process if we are to reclaim Labour and the UK for freedom of speech, association and expression.

  • Tony Free says:

    Sad that all these candidates have bowed to the excessive demands of the Right. In every occasion that the insult “Antisemite” is thrown a request should be made for specific details of the allegation. The term is often hurled as a generalisation and it sticks. Israel is in breach of international law with it’s treatment of Palestinians and we must criticise and lobby firms and individuals to boycott all Israeli trading activities until they succumb to international law. We did it with South Africa and we can do it with Israel

  • Susan Myatt says:

    I am appalled that an outside agency should be allowed to dictate how a democratic Labour party deals with issues that are decided upon by the NEC and conference. All potential leaders should wait for the outcome of the enquiry currently being undertaken.

  • Allan Ryan says:

    I am in total agreement with the points raised. As someone who has criticised the actions of the Israeli government regarding their treatment of Palestinians I would be horrified if my criticism were to lead to accusations of antisemitism and that I would be subject to trial by the Board of Deputies.

  • Fran Heron says:

    As ever, JVL has responded calmly and reasonably to the ludicrous demands made by the BoD who are not even elected as deputies. Recommend joining the JVL group as a full Jewish member or associate. Great debates but only full members vote on policy.
    I also believe that ALL religions should be separate from Government and not be able to influence secular politics.
    Thank you, JVL, for your voice of reason

  • Judith Youngman says:

    Thank you for your letter. I sincerely apologise for any mistake I have made. I do, and always have, supported the Labour party. Thank you for pointing out my mistake.

  • Rupert Smith says:

    I am appalled at your hatred of and obsession with Israel.
    But I gain comfort in the knowledge that your organisation is small and insignificant on the world stage and mainly comprised of geriatrics.

  • John Byng says:

    Thank you for doing this. We can not allow this take over by a body that seeks to undermine the Party. All racism should be condemned and those guilty of it should be dealt with but anybody accused should have the right to a fair trial.

  • Tim Llewellyn says:

    The JVL’s assessment is entirely valid. The policies accepted by the Labour Party leadership contenders mean party policy on Israel/ Palestine, and the individual stands of Party members, are subject to the diktat of supporters of present Israel actions and policies and of Zionism. Further, it effectively means that at present many of us are unable in conscience to vote for any of these leadership candidates, given our rejection of their surrendering of control over party policy on Palestinian human, civil, political and religious rights and Israel’s violation of international law.

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