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JVL Introduction

As we have reported before, JVL has made a submission to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) regarding the disproportionate targeting of Jewish Labour Party members with allegations of antisemitism and the subsequent disciplinary action taken.  Often the allegations come for, frankly, inexplicable reasons, such as quoting the highly respected Jewish blogger Robert Cohen and, most recently, attending a meeting of one of the organisations that was later proscribed.  This is being investigated and we are appealing for funds to help us cover legal fees.    We would appreciate you reading the information and donating via this link JVL Submission to EHRC on Labour’s Action Plan (crowdjustice.com) if you are able to.  The response so far has been impressive and genuinely heartwarming. We welcome the solidarity expressed by the generous donations and the supportive and encouraging comments.

This article was originally published by Crowdjustice for JVL on Tue 11 Jan 2022. Read the original here.

JVL Submission to EHRC on Labour’s Action Plan

JVL submitted a letter of complaint to the EHRC via our solicitors – Bindmans LLP – making it clear that the Labour Party Action Plan in response to the EHRC report has failed to consider or reflect the views of the breadth of ‘Jewish stakeholders’ and Party policy “would appear to be having the opposite effect to that which was intended; namely the exacerbation as opposed to elimination of the mistreatment of Jewish members by the Party”.

We pointed out that “the Party is disproportionately targeting and disciplining Jewish members that question the Party’s interpretation of antisemitism, as compared with non-Jewish members”.

The EHRC have responded: “As you are aware, the Action Plan requires the Labour Party to take steps to implement the recommendations set out in our Report and they are required by law to comply with the Action Plan. We are actively monitoring the implementation and progress of the Action Plan. … In the meantime, we would welcome any further submissions from your client in respect of the matters within the Action Plan”.

We are now making this further submission (link below).  JVL points out that there have, up to now, at least  41 Jewish members investigated for antisemitism with 49  investigations (some Jews have faced more than one investigation ) and 5 auto-exclusions As far as we can ascertain, as a population share, over five times more Jewish than non-Jewish Party members have been investigated in relation to allegations of antisemitism.

There is a particular concentration on visible JVL activists as ten of the current eleven JVL Executive officers have now been accused of ‘antisemitism’ and 38 of the 41 Jewish members investigated are members of JVL.  

This has resulted in a level of persecution proportionately many times higher for JVL officers and  for rank-and-file members of JVL than for non-Jewish party member.

JVL considers that the disproportionate targeting of Jews, with the spurious and offensive charges of ‘antisemitism’ arise from the Party’s recognition that our questioning of the Party’s interpretation carries some weight.   There is some indication that this is a planned policy of purging dissenting Jewish voices.

The Party’s deliberate attempts to exclude JVL from its ongoing engagement with Jewish communities is deeply unfair and amounts to discrimination of a subset of Jews on the basis, for instance, of their philosophical and political beliefs regarding Israel and Palestine and their concerns about the Party’s interpretation of antisemitism. Such potential discrimination, arising after the EHRC investigation and Report, is indicative of the Party’s increased hostility towards certain Jewish Party members, which is directly contrary to the intended outcome of the Report.

An additional form of this targeting of Jews is the quoting or sharing of articles by Jews as evidence of antisemitism in members’ charges.   (Link: Why on earth is citing me antisemitic? – asks Jewish blogger Robert A.H. Cohen)

JVL has made it clear in our document on antisemitic misconduct (LinkWhat is – and what is not – antisemitic misconduct) that conduct is antisemitic only if it manifests ‘prejudice, hostility or hatred against Jews as Jews’.

The Party has ignored this document and instead currently has three guidance note on antisemitisms – the Code in Appendix 9 Code of Conduct: Antisemitism and Other Forms of Racism the NEC Code of Conduct on antisemitism and the IHRA. These last two documents run consecutively in the Complaints Handling Handbook with no explanation of how these forms of guidance can be applied. The Party has also ignored the important Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, supported by over 200 scholars in the fields of Holocaust history, Jewish studies, and Middle East studies, which simply and effecively states:Antisemitism is discrimination, prejudice, hostility or violence against Jews as Jews (or Jewish institutions as Jewish).”

The Party is applying a ‘blanket’ charge that is legally weak if not unprovable: “Undermines the Party’s ability to campaign against AS”.  This applies where the only ‘offence’ is questioning the public perception of the scale of complaints of antisemitism against LP members. But more widely this is applied to any criticism or questioning of the Party’s so called campaign. It is frequently accompanied by other charges and often the correspondence is aggressive in tone from the start.

We intend to draw the EHRC’s attention to the Party’s disproportionate targeting of Jewish members in relation to the Action Plan and request the EHRC take action on this harsh treatment of so many Jewish members.

Engaging legal advisors to put forward our submission is costly but we think the principles are worth fighting for.

We are aware that there are many demands on our supporters’ pockets. But we ask that you donate to this action if you can and share the link to this page widely with all your relevant networks.

Thank you.

Link to relevant articles on JVL website:  

JVL Intro and link to full submission (within article)https://www.<wbr>jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/<wbr>statement/jvl-third-<wbr>submission-to-the-ehrc/

2021.https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/statement/how-labours-claim-of-countering-antisemitism-has-resulted-in-a-purge-of-jews/

https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/statement/supplementary-submission-by-jvl-to-the-ehrc-and-the-forde-inquiry/

Comments (8)

  • George Wilmers says:

    Owing to miswording the text above needs correcting. It is simply not true that

    “over five times more Jewish than non-Jewish Party members have been investigated in relation to allegations of antisemitism”.

    What has happened is that the words “as a population share” which occur unintelligibly in the sentence which precedes the obove , should instead have been inserted at the beginning of the above sentence.

  • Kuhnberg says:

    The chances of getting the EHRC to find against Starmer’s purge are roughly as great as expecting the Conservative Party to outlaw offshore tax avoidance or get rid of private education. Nonetheless the issue is of prime importance and I will be contributing.

  • Joseph Hannigan says:

    When the purge has been reversed and sense restored the following should be acted upon promptly.
    All LP members who have been wrongly expelled, have resigned or not renewed LP membership should be given the opportunity to rejoin LP with their original number and time as member restored.

  • Margaret West says:

    What gets me is that the 4 proscribed organisations
    were chosen by a secret Cabal for reasons never explained to us. All we heard was that they were heinous and riddled with antisemites and the Cabal recommended
    their proscription.

    Now if I as an academic came across this sort of claim
    in a submission of any kind (student or otherwise) I
    would fail it on account of lack of evidence of any
    kind.

    Further – the recommendations of the
    secret Cabal were presented to the Labour NEC
    at the end of a 9 hour meeting. There was no
    sort of written report – or even a summary of
    one – just some spoken explanation.***

    Amazingly the “submission” of the Cabal was accepted by the NEC where presumably(?) no one challenged it
    for lack of evidence. Are the NEC so cowed they are
    frightened to question something so lacking even an attempt at rigour ? Answers on a post card please!

    ***This is what some academics refer to as
    “arm waving” ..

  • Leah Levane says:

    Thank you to those who have pointed out that the link to donate was rather buried. It is now in the introduction.

  • John Bowley says:

    I have again contributed to the JVL legal fund to combat the crazy repression of its members by the Labour Party.

Comments are now closed.