JVL responds to Jeremy Corbyn’s statement

Steve Bell, after Cariavaggio, cartoon in the Guardian, 29 October 2020

Rescind all suspensions of members who supported Jeremy Corbyn

Supplementary statement: Things have moved swiftly since we issue the statement below. We would therefore add to it that:

We welcome the news that Jeremy Corbyn’ suspension has been lifted by the NEC three weeks after it was unjustifiably imposed by the General Secretary David Evans.

We strongly urge the Party to apologise to Jeremy Corbyn for the highhanded and public nature of his suspension and the consequent distress he has inevitably suffered as a result of media intrusion and the ongoing attacks that have continued following his reinstatement.

We reiterate the call we made earlier for the party to lift the suspensions and investigations into all those who have supported Jeremy and expressed solidarity with him.

This would demonstrate that  the NEC decision will pave the way to the development of the party unity to which Keir Starmer insists he is committed – and on which platform he was elected by the membership.  The people of this country and the world desperately need this to provide a coherent and united opposition to Boris Johnson’s callous and inept government.

JVL believes that Jeremy Corbyn’s statement on the EHRC report said nothing that should have led to his suspension.

His words were:

“One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media. That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated. My sincere hope is that relations with Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome.”

We deplore what has clearly been intolerable pressure put upon him to step back from this.  He has the right to defend his own record and those of the members who support him, however much the incumbent leadership might disagree. They have cynically exploited Jeremy’s loyalty to the party he has served for 50+ years; and which, as leader in difficult times, he made huge efforts to hold together.

It is undoubtedly true that many of Corbyn’s opponents, both inside and outside the party have exaggerated the numbers of cases of antisemitism. Jeremy has never said, as has been alleged, that the hurt any Jewish individuals have felt has been exaggerated. Such a misinterpretation is just the latest in a long line of distortions that have been used to attack him and those whose political ideals he articulated.

The EHRC report did not comment on the numbers of antisemitic incidents, so questioning their prevalence and the reporting of them was not, in any way, in contradiction to the report. Indeed, one of the peculiarities of the report is that it makes sweeping assertions about the scale of the problem facing the party without making any effort to estimate that scale.

JVL members are angry that many Jews have been frightened by allegations of Labour antisemitism while very few Jews have actually experienced any antisemitism themselves. Those who have deserve everyone’s fullest support and the aggressors should be sanctioned. Beyond those few; many more have been made anxious by misrepresentations and distortions and unfounded claims that a Corbyn-led government would be hostile to British Jews. His clear record of standing up for his Jewish constituents has been ignored. The responsibility for this unnecessary pain is with those who have lied about Corbyn’s alleged personal antisemitism and about the culture inside the party. The EHRC report, shamefully, did nothing to reduce that anxiety. JVL and others have published repeated and detailed rebuttals of the most frequently repeated false allegations: these rebuttals have been assiduously ignored by those who felt they had something to gain by promoting the allegations and overlooked by the EHRC.

This whole saga has revealed a distressing hostility to a culture of free debate within the party by the current Leader and General Secretary. The issues raised by concerns about antisemitism and its handling are of fundamental importance. They are not settled by the flawed EHRC report or by leadership dictats. Progress is made through free discussion and learning. This is why a repeated mantra of ‘accept the report and its findings in full’ is dangerous and counterproductive as it would be for any single report on a complex and emotive subject.

We call on the party to reinstate immediately those members suspended for trying to debate these issues and to challenge the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn. It has been an abuse of power for the leadership to put the circumstances of Corbyn’s suspension into the public domain where it can be debated in every location except where it is most pertinent – in Labour Party meetings.

We have previously commented on the claim that there is a singular ‘Jewish community’ that has to be accommodated, a claim that is used to give illicit moral force to partisan political stances. This claim is used to limit Jewish voices to those which support the views of bodies such as the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council or the Jewish Labour Movement. Each of these bodies has a constituency but there are many others. Like all communities, Britain’s Jews have diverse and often deeply conflicting views. Jews are Zionist and anti-Zionist; religious and secular; left-wing and right-wing; kosher and eaters of pork and shellfish. The Labour Party, like all other bodies, should engage with communities within and outside its own borders but such consultation must include as many elements of the diverse communities as possible, not just the convenient ones.

Our demand is that the party leadership lift the suspension of Jeremy and all those who have supported him – but this must never be at the price of suppressing debate. Argument and disagreement can be untidy and sometimes uncomfortable but it is the essential proof of a healthy, vibrant, thinking party.

Comments (79)

  • Abdullah Ibrahim says:

    “eaters of pork and shellfish” your not a Jew than, simples.

  • Harry Law says:

    This article has missed the latest about turn from Corbyn which is in keeping with his whole approach, it is not about anti-Semitism. it is about HIM and his views on Israel ’Palestine’
    Now Corbyn issues clarification on his face book page…..
    The reason Corbyn was suspended was because he said ” but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party” now he says “To be clear, concerns about anti Semitism are neither “exaggerated” nor “overstated”. So the general public’s perception of anti Semitism in the Labour party being 34% as set out in the book ‘Bad news for Labour’ is not overstated, the true figure being 0.03%.
    Seems like Corbyn is agreeing with Starmer his suspension was justified. PATHETIC.
    Here is his latest statement

  • Steve T says:

    “… a healthy, vibrant, thinking party.” seems to be the last thing the current Labour leadership wants. Particularly the ‘thinking’ bit.

  • Wendy Patterson says:

    totally inaccurate headline – Jeremy has not made a apology for what he said, nor has he retracted what he said. He simply published the statement of clarification he made to the party on the day he was suspended. The clarification was that he had not claimed that ‘concerns’ about AS were overstated or exaggerated. Fact. He claimed that the extent of the problem had been. No contradiction, no apology – please correct your headline

    [Thanks – we have!]

  • Roy Davis says:

    This Jew says, Jeremy Corbyn is in no way racist.

  • Dr ALAN MADDISON says:

    It is perfectly true that concerns of a percieved 190 000 (34%) suspected antisemites in Labour would genuinely concern most British Jews.

    it is also true that this perception is the result of relentless exaggerations, the true published figure is 1201 (0.24%).

    But to indentify ‘exaggeration’ culprits, we need to ask who has gained from these lies.

    I would suggest,
    – The Tories twice elected.
    – The Labour Party anti-Corbyn brigade.
    – The anti-Palestinian rights groups and individuals (? BoD, JLM, CAA etc.)

  • Maxine Jackson says:

    Makes absolute sense, thanks for support of our Socialist Leader, here is hoping he and other innocent members are re-instated.

  • Carol Dent says:

    What has happened is a travesty l read nothing in his speech that was remotely antisemitic . To accuse a man who has spent a huge part of his life fighting for social justice for all this is outrageous . l fear for the labour party does it really have a future after this

  • goldbach says:

    True, the scale of the concerns was not exaggerated or overstated. There was very great concern. However, that concern was predicated on an exaggeration, in the media, of the actual incidence of antisemitic views amongst members of the party. Corbyn’s two statements are not incompatible. Mr. Law’s assessment is clearly based on a failure to read the two statements properly or a failure to understand that they are not contradictory. Please read them again and rethink.

  • Sharen Green says:

    Excellent, clear response . Thank you, JVL!

  • Noreen Scott says:

    An excellent article, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

  • Geoff Noble says:

    I fully support these views in fellowship with my Jewish comrades.

  • Kuhnberg says:

    The numbers game wholly avoids the real issue, which is not about percentages but about right and wrong.

    What proportion of the Labour membership agree with the UN and many Jewish supporters of Palestinian rights that Israel is an apartheid state?

    What is the public perception of those who hold such views?

    What does the BoD think of such views?

  • Harry Law says:

    If Corbyn thinks that ‘concerns’ about ant Semitism are neither “exaggerated” nor “overstated” it is incumbent on him to calm those concerns by quoting the ‘true scale’ of the problem, this is easily done by quoting the figures from Labour party sources i.e..03%. He will not do this because Starmer will call him a denialist.
    The CAA have already rejected his apologies and demand he be suspended again until all the complaints against him are dealt with.
    “By readmitting Mr Corbyn, the Labour Party has once again excused antisemitism and proved itself unwilling to address it. Mr Corbyn’s suspension should have remained in place until all of our complaints against him were investigated, but no investigation has been undertaken. Once again, we see the impact of Labour’s failure to implement an independent disciplinary process as demanded by the EHRC and Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership pledges that have now gone unfulfilled for almost a year.
    “The Jewish community has been conned. Mr Corbyn must be resuspended immediately pending investigation of our complaint against him under the new independent process mandated by the EHRC. Britain is watching.” https://antisemitism.org/corbyns-readmission-by-the-labour-party-shows-the-jewish-community-has-been-conned-and-he-must-be-resuspended-immediately-pending-a-real-investigation-into-our-complaint/
    Cannot help thinking the NEC reversed course on Corbyn because the General Secretary exceeded his authority Ultra vires Starmer also in breach of EHRC report.

  • Philip Ward says:

    Reply to Alan Maddison: I think 1201 is an exaggeration. Surely this includes antizionists accused by the CAA, JLM etc? And were all these people “found guilty”? If you have more details on this issue, please give them. One of the most difficult problems in this whole episode is that apparent difficulty in obtaining concrete data.

    Reply to Abdullah Ibrahim: by tradition, “Jewishness” is passed down through the female line. If a person’s mother is Jewish then they are as well, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

    The Nazis adopted a complex set of “rules” for who they considered Jewish, but central to them was heritage, not religious matters.

    Israel allows anyone who has one Jewish grandparent, or who is married to a Jew, the right to Israeli citizenship.

    Obviously, in both cases converts to Judaism are also considered to be Jews. That is presumably the only situation in which the person would have to be religious to “qualify”.

  • Ruth Sharratt says:

    Ironic – the cartoon at the top of article by Steve Bell apparently produced a lot of complaints. It was accused of being anti-semitic. The Guardian in its usual manner, after much discussion agreed that it probably was. It doesn’t look as if it is now available on the Guardian web site.
    See https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/12/cartoon-reader-complaints-steve-bell-former-labour-leader-head-plate
    Corbyn has shown contrition – but I wonder what the punishment will be.
    It was wrong to suspend him and although I understand why, I personally regret that Corbyn did apologise. Like the Committee for Un-American Activities, the disciplinary system of the LP has to be challenged, its very legitimacy has to be questioned as well as the criteria it uses to determine what is an offence. “Are you or have you ever been ….” is a question not to be answered but to be rejected as unacceptable. The sin is not anti-semitism but is standing up for socialism and justice. The tragedy is that meanwhile real racism and antisemitism is quietly ignored.

    Apologies – a correction. The cartoon can be found from a link in the editorial about the complaint. I couldn’t find it in the the ‘cartoons section’ on the site.

  • Ikhlaq says:

    I applaud JVL for their stand against suspension of Jeremy Corbyn and now their stance for the others members that have been suspended because they chose to criticise the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn.
    Please keep up the struggle for fair treatment of members.
    Once again many thanks to JVL

  • Les Hartop says:

    “To be clear, concerns about “antisemitism are neither “exaggerated” nor “overstated”. ”

    Deeply disappointed by this statement.

    Whatever the nuances are or aren’t the MSM and the right wing and the BoD will interpret this statement in the way that they want to, and throw this back at us and beat other members with the stick Jeremy Corbyn of all people has just given them.

    So we can just get back to the fight, against the Tories ? What about all the others who really were expelled, and the others who are still to follow ?

    Corbyn has been reinstated thanks to support he received for stating the simple solid truth … and now.. now I’m afraid the integrity is spoilt.

  • Laurie Horam says:

    As a 79 year years old member of the Labour Party, I can honestly say that, despite the fact that I make no secret of my being Jewish, I have never personally experienced anti-semitism! I find it hard to believe the degree to which it is said to exist within the Labour Party. I have experienced many things in my life, lived in many parts of England, and worked in many occupations. From my point of view I see anti-semitism as being confused with anti-Israel sentiments. In the early 1960s I chaired a youth Zionist Society and watched and supported the development of Israel. I now regret that in some way I have contributed to the development of an Israel that engenders such opinions. Someone somewhere within the Labour Party needs to look at the whole of this issue in the context of who we aspire to be, rather than the labels we put on each other! That way, we might find that some us can disapprove of Israeli Government actions and still be good people first as well as good Jews!

  • Mat Anderson says:

    Thank you for unwavering and unambiguous support for Jeremy Corbyn and all those of us (myslf included) who share his veiws on this matter.

  • Alan Marsden says:

    Why does the BBC constantly quote and consult the BOD and JLM and not the JVL?

  • Pete says:

    I was appalled by Newsnight tonight ..it was shameful .Kirsty Wark was so biased and so rude . I would like to say to the lady from your organisation that I admire how you coped with the whole sorry episode .

  • Rosemary Brocklehurst says:

    These attacks on Jeremy and Jewish members who supported him are pure anti-socialism. Jenny Manson v. good on Newsnight tonight. Louise Ellman not.

  • Stephen Nicholson says:

    This needed to be said. Thank you for your continuing work seeking justice.

  • Terence Mandrell says:

    As usual an excellent statement in support of Jeremy and those Labour Party
    members who have has the courage to demand the reinstatement of JC.
    We need to campaign now for their reinstatement

  • John Noble says:

    Jeremy Corbyn must be validated using his record, to interpret his speech as anti-Semitic would be laughable but for the impact some people are making at the expense of race relations, this is where we should be looking, who gains by these accusations.

  • Margaret West says:

    Well said JVL and posters who commented ..

    If people really think that one in three Labour Party members
    are antisemitic then that is akin to them believing “We live in
    a Nazi state and we are in danger from Labour Party members ..”
    Of course there really were Jewish people who lived in fear and
    that is terrible.

    This fear was unnecessary and was the fault of lies told by the
    Tory press (and some non Tory) and that was what Corbyn meant.

    His critics need a lesson on probability and risk

  • Allan Howard says:

    goldbach, Harry Law has been doing the rounds today (well yesterday now), and has posted his above comment – word for word, copied and pasted – on two threads on here, and ALSO on skwawkbox (and quite possibly on other left-wing blogs). Seems to me he has an agenda, consisting of first conflating Jeremy’s two statements – ie the one on FB on Tuesday morning, and the one three weeks ago that led to his (fraudulent) suspension.

    The two are entirely different of course, and saying that the >concern< about anti-semitism in the LP has not been overstated and exaggerated is NOT tantamount to saying that the A/S problem has not been massively overstated, which if it somehow WAS – which it isn't of course unless you try to fraudulently conflate the two – would of course appear as a massive cave-in by Jeremy so that he can be reinstated, AND, his integrity would take a massive hit as such in the eyes of many on the left if they believed that to be the case.

    Could THAT be Harry Law's agenda?!

  • Allan Howard says:

    Harry Law’s claim that Jeremy made an ‘about turn’ is a falsehood, and what he has done is deliberately conflate what Jeremy said shortly after the EHRC published its report, with what he said in his FB statement yesterday morning, and he does so so as to lead readers of this blog to believe that Jeremy ISN’T the man of integrity that just about ALL of us on the left have always thought him to be AND, that his principles disappear out the window when it’s expedient and advantageous to him, in this instance to get himself reinstated.

    But Harry Law doesn’t stop THERE, Oh NO!, and he THEN goes on to say – having FIRST said that ‘This article has missed the latest about turn from Corbyn – ‘…which is in keeping with his whole approach’. In other words, HL reinforces his initial falsehood with a secondry falsehood, which is a standard black propaganda stratagem. And what he says NEXT is designed to conceal from readers the fact that he is attempting to decieve us, by then saying that ‘ it is not about anti-Semitism. it is about HIM and his views on Israel ’Palestine’’, thus giving us the impression that he is one of us.

    And ALL in one carefully crafted sentence!

    PS As I said in a recent post, it often takes a hundred times longer to dismantle a falsehood than it does to dissemble the falsehood!! And I have no doubt whatsoever that this was all a set-up by Starmer and Evans and Co, who I can only assume contacted Jeremy and said something along the lines of: ‘If you could publicly clarify that you weren’t implying in your response to the EHRC report that you thought that the concern about anti-semitism in the LP has been massively overstated, we can probably resolve the problem of your suspension’. And the shills – as soon as he’d done so – were ready and waiting to pile in on left-wing blogs such as this one and Skwawkbox, and do their damage to his reputation of being a man of integrity and high principles in the eyes of left-wingers, by misleading them to believe that Jeremy had just done a massive volte face and was NOW saying the opposite of what he said three weeks before! Phew!!

  • Erica Flegg says:

    I suspect that Starmer realised his suspension of Corbyn fell foul of the EHRC report on two grounds: interference by the leadership on matters of internal discipline, and freedom of speech on the issue of whether claims of AS had been exaggerated. Having over-confidently overplayed his hand with the suspension, Starmer was vulnerable to Labour being defeated in court if Corbyn were to sue as Williamson did. Both Corbyn and Starmer being very anxious to avoid court for different reasons – Corbyn being motivated by Party loyalty – a formula had to be found for Starmer to climb down without loss of face. This is the formula. Unfortunately the quibble over wording about concerns and exaggeration is confusing for most people despite your analysis being correct, no doubt, as well as elegant and principled. This confusion, nastiness and demoralisation of members will go on and on until a debate is opened in the Labour Party about its position on Palestine, which it is a pity Corbyn did not do when he had the chance.

  • Michelle Sinnott says:

    Stop the persecution of Socialists and Palestinian sympathisers within the party. Lessen the influence of LFI

  • Stephen Williams says:

    I note that Labour Party Muslims are demanding equal treatment with others when it comes to combatting bigotry. One of the examples of racism that has been submitted is denying the right of Palestinians to self-determination, a denial that is central to Zionist ideology. David Evans has , allegedly, agreed to all that the Muslims want, including that crucial issue.
    This has led to a formal complaint being made against a prominent (and vociferous) supporter of Israel who has just been elected to the the NEC.
    It will be interesting to see how the leadership squirms its way out of this, for that is exactly what it will do.
    As for Jeremy, I am no longer as concerned for him as I am for the ordinary members of the party who are abused, threatened, suspended and expelled for supporting human and national rights for Palestinians. It seems a long time since Jeremy himself spoke on this subject but perhaps I’ve missed something.
    We should be grateful to our Palestinian comrades who display such conspicuous courage when facing the guns of the occupiers; very few of us ever come close to emulating it in our dealings with UK Zionists in or outside the party.

  • John Mclaughlin says:

    Jeremy Corbyn is the greatest mp of our time’s, his suspension was a travesty of justice and shows how out of touch with the membership starmer is, everyone who was unjustly suspended should be reinstated.

  • Jo Peers says:

    Excellent analysis and comment from jvl

  • Barbara Sturrock says:

    Thanks for your sanity JVL.

  • Robert Kingsley Howarth says:

    I am not Jewish . The Labour Party’s treatment of Jeremy Corbyn has caused me to consider resignation from a party I was pleased rejoin when Jeremy became leader .
    I am heartened to read this welcome statement by JVL .
    I believe that it is well within bounds to criticise Israel ‘s actions against the Palestinians and Netanyahu’s foreign policy . To call this “anti Semitic “ is nonsense and silences normal critique.
    I speak as a retired teacher from Salford who has many diverse Jewish friends and countless Jewish “ heroes“ from Mendelssohn to Einstein to Bob Dylan .
    I taught at Etz Chaim Boy’s School , Manchester for a year on Supply towards the end of my career and received a glowing testimonial from the Headteacher , Rabbi Kornhauser.
    I am sure that members of the Labour Party are the very people the Jewish community could rely on for support if they ever came again under mortal threat .
    Your sincerely Robert Howarth

  • Malcolm Ede says:

    As a, “solidarity member” of the Jewish Voice for Labour, (I’m speaking in a personal capacity) I fully support the article as published by JVL.
    I feel that this whole bushiness is being promulgated by the very active lobby which works in favour of the Israeli government to deflect away any criticism of their actions against Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular.

  • Kai wilson-krause says:

    Absolutely spot on. So angry with being used in that way to further a political cause that would then toss me aside when convenient. Shenanigans. Jeremy Corbyn has NEVER done shenanigans. I am Jewish and not at all impressed by the way in which I have been used to engineer even more attacks on J. Corbyn.

  • RC says:

    In view of Starmer’s obdurate continuation to continue withholding the whip from JC. (i,e. he is and would remain ineligible to stand as a Labour candidate in 2024 ), I hope members of Islington N CLP will make quite clear their willingness to result JC next time round – which will include refusing to vote for anyone who proposes to stand against him.
    PS I hope members will easily recognise “Abdullah Ibrahim ” comment number one above, as a troll. “breaks kashrut, so no Jew” is a view that seems to come ill from a professed gentile (regardless of whether profession is itself a trolling trick designed to prepare the ground for squads of ‘regardless of my name, I am in fact a street Orthodox Jew’).

  • Ian Kemp says:

    yes it is clear that Corbyns statement was not in anyway A/S . Maybe he should waited before he made any sort of statement re the report. Than make a more considered statement. The media the right wing of Lp will grab any opportunity to monster a descent man. James Obrien is at it again this morning . This man says he is objective honest Journalist. He clearly on this matter is not. The man is ignorant. Why I ask does he go out of his way to monster a man as descent man.
    My view is Corbyn should have been much more forceful in confronting this nonsense a long time ago. Trying to appease the likes of Hodge who should have been suspended and others was wrong those people cannot be appeased. They are ideologs with a particular agenda. Freedland Cohan along with O’Brian and others could never be satisfied.

  • Dennis O'Malley says:

    Excellent statement. Thankyou JVL for remaining a beacon of light amid all the political darkness that currently surrounds us.

  • Eileen Whitehorn says:

    I joined the Labour party when Mr Corbyn was leader I’m no long a member now. We have a blue leader of the party now. I will no long vote for the party which I have voted for for over fifty years. What is the point of letting Mr Corbyn back into the party without a vote?

  • Faith Logan says:

    I am shocked at Keir Starmer’s recent, what seems to me, high handed decision about excluding Jeremy Corbyn from taking up his seat in the Commons and I think I must now consider whether I want to remain in the Labour Party.

  • Felix Bellaby says:

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission report states that:

    “Article 10 will protect Labour Party members who, for example, make legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government, or express their opinions on internal Party matters, such as the scale of antisemitism within the Party, based on their own experience and within the law. It does not protect criticism of Israel that is antisemitic.” (PAGE 27)

    On this basis, it would appear that the decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn, and later withdraw the whip from him, might be a violation of his legal rights under the European Convention of Human Rights.

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission report’s legal conclusions in Appendix 1 state that:

    “The Labour Party’s practice or policy of Political Interference (as  defined in Chapter 5 of the Report) in antisemitism complaints  amounted to unlawful indirect discrimination against its Jewish  members, contrary to section 101(2)(a) and / or (d) of the Equality  Act 2010.” (PAGE 102)

    On this basis, the decision by Keir Starmer to withdraw the whip from Jeremy Corbyn might be interpreted as political Interference in an antisemitism complaint and amount to illegal indirect discrimination against Jewish members of the LP.

    It might be worth appealing to the EHRC on behalf of Jeremy Corbyn for his treatment by the LP.

  • rc says:

    Re 0433 above (AH I think). What or who is Harry Law? He actually appears on TV very soon after C’s comment on the EHRC report, and was inciting KS to expel him. I think this is conclusive proof that he is a troll. Having said this, if he is, he is a very clever one; I find myself agreeing with a good deal of what he says. Perhaps he is so clever that he is unwillingly helloing us! Wheels within wheels within wheels….

  • Harry Law says:

    Corbyns first statement was based on facts gleaned from Labour party statistics and the book written by academics ‘Bad news for labour’ he was suspended for telling the unvarnished truth a thing which seems now to be incompatible with Labour party membership. Will Corbyn repeat the statistics i.e. .03% and that this figure is correct and that “the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents” which is also true, he will not because he knows he will be re suspended, so much for free speech. Here is what the latest report from EHRC said… The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) recent report on the British Labour party said “Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights ECHR] will protect Labour Party members who, for example, make legitimate criticisms of the Israeli government, or express their opinions on internal party matters, such as the scale of anti Semitism within the party.”
    Alan Howard called me a liar, I am not, I believe in free speech as long as it is within the Law, free speech is being muzzled within the Labour party. Then he infers that I am trying to be “one of us” he is correct there, I do not engage in foul mouthed rants and personal vendettas as he does on Skwarkbox.
    As far as my Views on Israel /’Palestine go, I have had well over 2000 comments published on the Mondoweiss site over the past 10 years all comments have been published..I have personally been to court twice [magistrates court] attempting to stop products entering the UK from occupied territories [AHAVA and GOLAN HEIGHTS WINERY] on labelling, using the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 section 6[1] as a litigant in person. I do not need your advice Allan Howard.

  • Sarah T says:

    I can’t say in words, how much as a non-Jewish person, I appreciate all your work for justice and fairness here with Labour and for Palestinians. And I know I speak for others too. I wish there’d be a nod of appreciation from Jeremy Corbyn himself at the very least. He mustn’t let the price of his gain be the loss of rights for others – especially pro-Palestine/pro-free speech members.
    Starmer’s awful run as leader keeps putting me in mind of ’Four Wheels On My Wagon’ – think the third one is about to fall off …

  • Andy Ashenhurst says:

    I don’t believe Jeremy Corbyn is anti semitic

  • Doug says:

    All contacts with MSM and toilet papers should open with ‘its your fraud you sort it’
    You dont talk to the Jewish Community, you dont care about anti semitism and you are a threat to democracy
    Until we frame the debate nowt will change

  • Judy Steele says:

    An excellent response

  • Stan Knafler says:

    So JVL will rather accept JC’s so-called apology rather than the EHR’ s report! Ye who have ears that will not listen. You, the hard-left, will continue to make the Labour party unelectable.

  • Frank Land says:

    I agree with all your comments about the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn, but am afraid it is just whistling in the wind. The reality is epitomised by yesterdays (Tuesday 17th November) broadcast of BBC Newsnight, presided over by Kirsty Wark. Newsnight made the lifting of Corbyn’s suspension its lead story. It comprised a report from their political analyst Nick Watts, followed by a question and answer session by Kirsty Wark asking the questions addressing them to Jenny Manson of JVL and Louise Ellman, MP, who resigned from the Labour Party in response to its alleged anti Semitism.

    Watt’s first reported that far from welcoming the lifting of the suspension many Labour MPs were shocked that as a result of a statement he made by Corbyn that included no apologies for his earlier statement.. Many Labour MPS were urging Keir Starmer not to restore the whip to Corbyn and Watt had heard on good authority that Starmer would act quickly on that suggestion.
    This was followed by the session with Manson and Ellman. Wark’s questioning of JVL’s Manson was from the start antagonistic. She interrupted Manson continuously, implied throughout that JLM were the true representatives of the Jewish community. Ellman, on the other hand was given almost free reign to express her take on the extent of anti-semitism in the Labour Party.

    In the discussion the expected resignation of Margaret Hodge from the Labour Party was noted. The whole episode suggested that Corbyn was guilty of bringing the Labour Party into disrepute and had to be punished.
    This morning’s Guardian (18th November) told a similar story full of elisions and misrepresentations. One notable elision was the failure to mention the use of the phrase ‘existential threat’ to the UK’s Jewish population by a Corbyn led Government made by Margaret Hodge and the late Chief Rabbi, Lord Sachs. Using these words in the context of today’s UK society insults those who faced the real threat and were murdered in the Holocaust. It is Margaret Hodge, and those who echo her words, who need to apologise.

  • Dr Marie Dickie OBE says:

    Thanks for being rational in the face of provocation.

  • Allan Howard says:

    Thanks for your report on the Newsnight program etc Frank. Yes, all the players in the production – the ongoing series ‘Get Corbyn’ – act their parts out convincingly and with passion, and the majority of the general public haven’t got a clue that it’s all fiction.

  • Umut Gezer says:

    The biggest threat to this country is NOT Boris but a Labour government under Starmer. Ultra neo-liberal, ultra liberal-fascist and an ultra-Zionist Labour will unleash the war at all fronts against Socialists.
    Corbyn has brought this on himself by cosying up with these traitors. He could not sack Hodge when she called him an anti-Semite, he did nothing against those who undermined the possibility of a Socialist Labour government.
    I left the membership, and will not vote for Labour, neither my family members and other Socialist friends in the Turkish/Kurdish community.
    We will not for Khan for the mayor’s office because he was also working against Corbyn.

  • Freddie says:

    What a great read and it goes to show that JC was targeted and I truly hope this backfired on those who have tried to destroy a man who cares for all not just the few

  • Gary Moss says:

    I resigned my membership of Labour 5 minutes after Starmer’s speech at the Labour Conference.

    Organisations like JVL are the only thing stopping me from disengaging with politics for good, sick to the back teeth of the right wing bile. Thank you so much for speaking up and recognising the truth.

  • John Wood says:

    The McCarthyite persecution of a lifelong anti-racist is the real antisemitism. By claiming that the Zionist fascists speak for all Jewish people, implicating them by association in Israel’s crimes the campaign against Corbyn has simply driven up potential hostility and hatred of Jews and attempted to make Jewish people afraid. It’s what Zionism has always done – get folk to move to Israel and colonise more of Palestine. Except that Israel is not exactly the promised safe haven from racism! The real heart of Zionism is among extreme rightwing US ‘Evangelical Christians’. At least in the US, there’s a rapidly growing Jewish anti-Zionist movement (eg Jewish Voice for Peace). It’s time to say to Starmer, ‘not in my name’. Starmer was once supposedly a human rights lawyer. He should be struck off.

  • Judith Clegg says:

    Well said totally agree

  • Margaret West says:

    Stan Knafler – what Corbyn said does not disagree with the Report . So far as I
    know it made no reference to numbers and was about individuals ..

    On the contrary – Corbyn re-stated a statistic which was not in the Report and was (I think?) outside its Terms of Reference .

    He made this clear in his clarification – that the effect of any antisemitism on individuals could never – by definition – be exaggerated or overstated.

    There is a deal of difference between the above paragraph and what has been reported by some in the MSM – including Laura K’s BBC report –
    “Not the end of the affair for Labour” which stated:

    “… When the report came out, Mr Corbyn suggested it had all been exaggerated, so got booted out of the Labour Party and told that he could not sit as a Labour MP….”

    – an absolutely disgraceful display of sloppy lazy reporting.

  • Phil Illsley says:

    Well said, I’ll be quoting you.

  • Liz Gardiner says:

    As if the Tory smearing of Corbyn wasn’t enough the right wing of the Labour party, encouraged by its leader, Keir Starmer, were determined to add insult to injury by their actions.
    I’ve tramped the streets for Labour. I’ve been active in my CLP and held two positions in the CLP Executive.
    By 30 October I’d had enough. Not only did I find that my CLP had nominated Akehurst and his cabal to the NEC (at a meeting I was unable to attend) but an email I wrote to Welsh Labour to try to get clarification of what was happening in the PLP was met with a response containing a thinly-veiled threat. I resigned my membership.
    Starmer and his team seem to be hell-bent on serving his funders and not the overall membership.
    To hell with the lot of them!

  • Sabine Ebert-Forbes says:

    Intimidation, threats, unjustifiably suspension, lies, and others work for despots, but not in a democracy. A party dismissive of its members and the people it maintains it is representing, has lost its way and purpose. How can Starmer and co sleep at night????? Apart from that he has shown himself, in my view, to be a vindictive person.

  • David says:

    Criticism of Israel is not a crime I support Jeremy he has been stitched up

  • John Noble says:

    So much for being a good honest caring citezen poor old Jeremy really does not deserve to be hounded, one can only suppose that someone somewhere has a lot to fear should a socialist caring government get in , so terrified of that prospect are they that even now the agenda is bully JC. The reporters know exactly who they work for, they must love those jobs intently to sell their souls so cheaply. Thanks to the supportive types on here, it is like a shimmer of light in the distance.

  • John D says:

    Oh my! A man dedicating his adult life to fair anti rascists is expelled from his party, re -instated, and then has the Whip removed.
    How very democratic, Heil Starmer!

  • John Sweeney says:

    Time to take this to court where Starmer will lose and lose all credibility.

  • Monica Shannon says:

    Excellent post! I totally agree. This is not about antisemitism, it is about being on the left. This is a whichhunt.

    The voices of the JVL deserve and should be listened, they should have a space on television, radio and newspapers!!

  • Ryan Marx says:

    Brilliant statement. Wish the media would share these Jewish views rather than always those that fit their narrative.

  • Ian Ferrie says:

    I completely agree with your statement . Especially you given the lie the to the often repeated statement speaking for the “Jewish community” as you have reasoned their is no such thing it suits the right wing agenda of Starmer who along with the MSM have given th BOD and the JLM the monopoly charterto speak for all Jewish people.

  • Daniel Eisenhandler says:

    Agree, agree, agree! I am one half Jewish and door-stepped for Jeremy during the election. I don’t think we should be categorised, particularly as we are a community based on race rather than necessarily religion or culture on which we have many opposing views. Now I want to rescind my Labour membership, as I feel very uneasy about Keir Starmer’s knee-jerk purging of the party, also Rebecca Long-Bailey’s sacking.

  • Meister Hans Peter says:

    Thanks a lot for these Statement.

  • Derek Wheaton says:

    I am so pleased that our Jewish community has given such voice to the obvious miscarriage of justice that is currently occurring.

  • Adrian Thomas says:

    This seems a very reasonable point of view. I hope that the Labour Party concurs.

  • Doug says:

    Apparently Temporary Embarrassment asked for a ‘Cowboy Outfit’ for his birthday
    So they gave him the EHRC, BOD, CAA, LFI and JLM
    One for each day of the week

  • DJ says:

    Another balanced and considered article from JVL. If debate is stifled then democracy is dead.

  • Malcolm Bradstock says:

    The JLM are the ones who exaggerated the amount of Anti-Semitism in the Labour party as they claimed, in their fateful refusal to help Labour to victory in 2017,that the L.P. was institutionally anti-Semitic. The EHRC found that this was not true ie exaggerated. Corbyn’s reference to this fact was specifically supported by EHRC. Nick Brown needs to apologise to Corbyn on both these points instead of his absurd demand for one from Corbyn.

  • Dominic Ho ( C of E ) says:

    John Wood’s reference to Zionism as fascist is ignorant, dogmatic and biased.
    Conflating Zionism with fascism is an insult to those slaughtered in the Holocaust.
    Shame on JVL for publishing this hurtful comment unless their followers hold similar views to John who cannot see the Wood for the trees.

  • Mohammad Nafissi says:

    Thank you. This and everything else I have seen from you resonates so much more when mainstream politics and media have given me my first full experience of what “liberal totalitarianism” means (with apologies to Mill and others for using/abusing their creed here; it’s part of mine too) in the way they have approached antisemitism in Labour. What a shame that Corbyn and co and all of us committed to fighting antisemitism and fighting for truth, human rights and social justice could not summon the wherewithal during his leadership to address the issue effectively by facing the onslaught openly, consistently, educationally and politically. Still the fight is not over and your voice is evidently indispensable, especially for those of us who don’t want to give up our Labour party membership or see it ethically and/or politically destroyed.

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