JVL’s Secretary Glyn Secker suspended – for “antisemitism”!

Glyn Secker, JVL Secretary.



Updated 7th March 23.10







A JVL Statement

7th March 2018

In an extraordinary development, JVL Secretary Glyn Secker, longtime Jewish activist, Executive Committee member and Director of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and captain of the Jewish Boat to Gaza in 2010, has been suspended from membership of the Labour Party.

Here are the charges: “Allegations that you may have been involved in a breach of Labour Party rules have been brought to the attention of national officers of the Party. These allegations relate to comments made on social media that may be in (sic) anti Semitic and therefore in breach of Labour Party rules.” They can’t even get the grammar right!

No accuser is known, the charge is appallingly vague, no evidence produced. But so seriously does the Head of Disputes, Sam Mathews, take the matter that Glyn cannot attend any party meeting including Annual Conference (that’s in September, six months away – Mathews clearly doesn’t think this will be resolved in a hurry!). And he has the gall to say: “In view of the urgency to protect the Party’s reputation in the present situation…”

Nothing is doing more to bring the Party into disrepute than the shocking use of unsubstantiated allegations to punish active members of the left without  knowledge of charges, on the merest say-so of those who oppose their political stance, and in defiance of the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report which was adopted a year-and-a-half ago by the NEC – but on which no action has been taken towards its effective implementation.

This is an absurd, politically-motivated attack on our Secretary and our organisation. We call on our supporters to move motions of censure in their branches and CLPs. To use allegations of antisemitism in this way is an abuse of power, and a degrading of the seriousness of actual antisemitism and other forms of racism. While antisemitism is monstrous – and, like all forms of racism, should be vigorously dealt with – false accusations of antisemitism are monstrous too. We call for the immediate lifting of these charges.


Comments (38)

  • Nev Hawkins says:

    Wow! A prominent Jewish left wing activist being suspended for suspected ‘anti-Semitism’! You couldn’t make this up. It makes a mockery of the term ‘anti-Semitism’. The Zionist lobby have really shot themselves in the foot this time. When will this outrageous witch hunt end?

  • Maria Carroll says:

    I ask you all to set aside your personal political thinking or your thoughts of what this person may have done for one minute and ask yourself a few questions. Is it is acceptable to suspend someone and isolate them from their colleagues and the organisation they have given years of voluntary service to without telling them what they are accused of?
    In my opinion it is not.

  • Alan Maddison says:

    This politically motivated conflation between antisemitism and legitimate criticism of the Israeli Government’s daily violations of Palestinian human rights really has to stop.

    Why has there been no inquiry into the televised documentary “The Lobby” where subversion of our democracy was exposed, precisely by acts to bring down senior supporters of Palestine, including sitting MPs?

    So many good people are being intimidated, yet all this does is raise the voices of support and the determination not to be silenced. I know lots of Labour members who were never aware of this sort of underhand, despicable activity until they, or someone they new, was attacked.

    This is having the opposite effect to that planned, but that was predictable in a democracy where the freedom of speech that so many gave their lives to defend, is cherished.

  • Jon Grunewald says:

    The amateurish and inept approach of Labour’s “Disputes” department hasn’t improved since McNicol left, evidently. There needs to be a legal challenge and I am sure it could be crowdfunded.

    • Eddie Earl says:

      I think McNicol is still in his position until his successor is elected. So he is responsible…

  • Jon Grunewald says:

    I think we may have reached a point where if the CAA declare a person to be antisemitic, the press and the politicians automatically agree. We have a Witchfinder General and to dispute its findings is to prove oneself to be an antisemite. The CAA is a charity. Its trustees are anonymous. It is seemingly answerable to nobody.

  • Tony Booth says:

    It would be good to know precisely how this is being orchestrated within the NEC and what moves there are to remove from their positions Sam Matthews and others involved in creating this mayhem. If Sam Mathhews could keep his position after the death of Carl Sergeant then he must have powerful protection. Someone must have the whole story here.

  • Andy Burkitt says:

    I despair at the stupidity of this move – it is now part of a long-running battle over whether you are EVER allowed to criticise Israel without being accused by factions within the Labour Party – sheer factionalism.

  • J Speare says:

    I am shocked,again by this latest smear. What exactly is being accused here? These kind of vague accusations have no place in our party. Be specific or be quiet. All else is bullying and intimidation.

  • David Roget says:

    I thought this may be ending but it seems as awful as ever
    I dont understand his somebody can be expelled without evidence or right of reply
    Corbyn seems crushed by the pro Israel lobby
    They all focus on Saudia Arabia .. quite right .. but on Palestine are pathetic

  • Chris Khamis says:

    This is utterly shocking and brings the Labour Party into disrepute. To suspend a fantastic, principled anti-racist activist who has stood up against huge pressure from Zionists and said no, I will not stay silent and do nothing about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is more than collusion and acquiescence in Israel’s attacks on its critics. It is, in my view, collaboration with Israel’s repression. As a British Palestinian I am full of admiration and gratitude for Glyn and JVP. And I think you are absolutely right to say proudly that you are Jewish.
    We need the same response to Glyn’s suspension as was given to the attempted expulsion of Moshe Machover. And we must demand that the Chakrabarti report’s recommendations are implemented as well as investigating the unaccountable officers of the Labour Party’s Compliance Unit.

  • Claire Weiss says:

    This is outrageous and indefensible, both on natural justice terms and on the substantive case. I will be submitting a motion to my local LP branch.

  • Brenda Addison says:

    Thank you JVL for the work that you do. Your organisation is important as a counterbalance to JLM which currently has primacy within the party.
    I’m sure most people have noticed that this anti semitism witch hunt started in the Labour Party at the same time as Jeremy Corbyn’s successful leadership bid. We must not forget that because it helps us to realise what is actually going on.
    Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and of the Palestinians must stand firm.
    At the moment it seems there is no one within the Labour Party administration who has the moral or political power to put a stop to this witch hunt, but surely that must end with pressure from members and support for the JVL.

  • John says:

    This is becoming an absolute joke. I am disgusted that this type of made up accusation is allowed to continue. We all know this is the usual diatribe used by the Israeli lobby to quite people who criticize Israel. Shocking abuse. I think I will have to withdraw my membership. I am so sick to death of this rubbish.

    • Kathy Coutanche says:

      Please don’t leave. That is exactly what the people doing this want. I understand how you feel and have felt the same myself when friends and comrades have been attacked in this manner. We need everyone who is disgusted with these actions to stay and fight or we will lose everything we have already fought so hard for.

      As a result of the NEC meeting on Tuesday, I am also suspended, but it has just served to stoke a bigger fire in my belly. I have spent time yesterday persuading friends not to quit because quitting just does their dirty work for them.

      Please stay. x

  • Naomi Wayne says:

    I am writing as a non Labour Party member and a former Executive member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians which, itself is a non party organisation with members coming across the political spectrum. But Glyn is ‘one of our own’ – he is a longstanding member of the JJP Executive, and on behalf of JJP, captained the internationally crewed Jewish Boat to Gaza. Like all of us, he is human and has faults – but antisemitism most certainly isn’t one of them! Hard work and commitment are at the centre of his politics. It is a travesty that the Labour Party is still suspending people for unspecific wrongdoings, where ‘some comments on social media may be antisemitic.’ As an urgent first step in opposing this development, JJP has posted the JVL statement on its Facebook page – please visit and share with as many people as possible.

  • Kathy says:

    It can’t be right to suspend someone without specifying what it is he’s done, and who is bringing the complaint.

  • Alan Collins says:

    When I was at school there was only a country called Palestine and a country called Tibet on the world map and then suddenly without any agreement from the citizens of those countries or their political representatives and without any public dialogue between the those who purchase educational material those names were changed from Palestine and Tibet into Israel and China. In context, when Germany invaded France the British government recognised and supported the formation of a French Resistance movement alonside De Gaulle’s government in exile. Isn’t it hypocrisy on the part of any political party not to do the same, by supporting the leadership of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the Tibetan leadership in exile? A revolutionary leader in China once said “Power comes out of the barrel of a gun”. If our politicians support this maxim with thought word and action, then truth has no place in their ranks.

  • John Webster says:

    This happened to me. It is par for the course. The pro-Israel lobby supports the right wing in the LP and the LP bureaucracy go along with it. Disgusting. These people have to be dealt with. A massive, massive lack of natural justice and basic democracy. One of the aims is to make people so angry that they leave the Labour Party.

  • Gill Brown says:

    Stalin would be so proud of the way the Labour Party conducts disciplinary issues.

  • judie roberts says:

    Rubbish I dont suppose for a moment that he has criticised the Jewish people. Just the Political system of the Zionist Regime in Israel. I criticise the Conservative Party every day. It is the same. I am not against the British People or Christians. What is the difference please.?

  • Howard Cohen says:

    These McCarthyist witch hunts by the British Labour’s Israel Lobby against those Labour members who speak out vocally against Israel’s crimes must stop. The Israel Lobby has come to see this as a way to prevent prominent and/or vocal Jewish anti-zionist figures speaking out within Labour. By labelling them as anti-semites they serve to effectively discredit and silence them and thus prevent any cracks in the fabricated myth that anti-zionism is a form of anti-semitism. Such a myth would obviously be broken if British Jews were able to speak out against Zionism with impunity! The list of Jewish anti-zionist victims thus grows on an almost daily basis. Jackelyn Walker, Moshe Machover, Tony Greenstein, now Glyn Secker to name but a few (not to mention the numerous non-Jews who have also fallen victim to the same charges for criticising Israel policy, Ken Livingstone being the most prominent). This cannot go on! Corbyn is most definitely at fault for allowing these ignominious tactics by the Israel Lobby to persist with a free reign. This will not end unless we fight back! British Labour anti-zionist Jews need to get together on mass and directly meet up with Corbyn and demand that he intervene to arrest these base McCarthyist activities. They exist to instil fear among the ranks to prevent criticism of Israel at all costs. Criticism will be met with the labelling as an anti-semite, automatic suspension from the party, and endless months of waiting before a tribunal will take place for the victim to even be able to defend herself. The Israel Lobby have a nice, convenient weapon at their disposal that can be brandished about willy nilly to instil fear, and it is being used both widely and effectively. Corbyn must be pressured to act now to put a stop to this disgraceful state of affairs!

  • Hilary Povey says:

    Agree with all the sentiments above. An outline motion to adapt as appropriate would be helpful

  • Diane Miles says:

    The members of the Labour Party need to know how this policy, so lacking in justice and transparency, is still happening even though Ian McNicol is now gone. What can ordinary members do against this hijacking?

  • Kathy Coutanche says:

    I too received a similar letter today. Solidarity.

  • Stephen Bellamy says:

    This is McNichol scuttling the ship as he steps onto the harbour wall. He is like a fox in a chicken coup. But don’t fret when Lansman is GS it will get worse

  • Jennifer Down says:

    All of the above. It’s actually ridiculous.

  • Jennifer Down says:

    I think this is very sad and unjust. The accuser should be named and the charge known. It’s getting ridiculous not least because the majority of people suspended are Jewish.T the truth is that they have supported Palestinian Human rights, so bingo they’re guilty. Stop the witch hunt.

  • Joe Phillips says:

    As I see it, by not telling us what he is he has have written, we members don’t know it is we mustn’t say, leaving us all very vulnerable.
    As I don’t doubt for one moment what he wrote is not antisemitism, I’d like to agree with him.
    I belong to Newark constituency, they’ll give my details and you can suspend me.?

  • Hanna Khamis says:

    This is outrageous. Imagine the furore if UKIP declared a campaign to drive racism out of the Party and then a high percentage of those suspended turned out to be black? Yet the Labour Party tubs on ‘antisemitism’ and many of those picked on are Socialists who just
    happen to be Jews! We know the truth – the pro-Israel faction in the LP is being backed by the Right in the Party because the anti-Zionist faction is mainly on the Left of the Party. And neither of these pragmatic allies cares that the accusation of antisemitism damages the Party: the last thing either wants is Jetemy in Number 10!

    My full support and solidarity goes to Glyn and other brave comrades like him. Suspend the traitors, not the true socialists and anti-racists.
    Hanna Khamis, Warwick & Leamington LP

  • d.spencer says:

    Beyond anything else, to act against a person without showing evidence, is not just. It reveals desperation, insecurity, fear of the truth.
    Our party must transcend all the vested interests in keeping us shackled to the rights backward agenda.
    Transparent clean clear fair justice.
    There can be no place in a Socialist Party for those who cannot bear such.
    The stables still need cleaning.

  • George Wilmers says:

    In 2013 the Israel lobby suffered a serious defeat in the case Fraser vs. UCU when an employment tribunal comprehensively dismissed a case of harrassment brought against UCU and based on a conflation of anti-semitism with anti-zionism. The tribunal issued an utterly scathing condemnation of the evidence provided by some key witnesses from the Israel lobby, including in particular the Labour MPs Denis MacShane and John Mann, together with a certain Jeremy Newmark. See


    However in the last two years the Israel lobby and their largely opportunist collaborators on the right of the LP have again become considerably emboldened in their false and scurrilous accusations of anti-semitism, boosted no doubt by indications of legal funding from Israeli government sources, should any of these outrageous claims be subjected to legal challenge. Zionist front organisaotions now dispense accusations of anti-semitism to all and sundry like poisoned sweets for the slightest criticism of Israel, especially if the critic happens to be Jewish. One unpleasant recent example, which might well have caused considerable distress, is a completely gratuitous and nonsensical attack on the late Michele Hanson by the infamous CAA, which can still be found on their website:


    It seems to me that what is needed now, as Jon Grunewald suggests above, is a concerted attack, in the form of a serious crowdfunded legal challenge to be mounted in some carefully chosen high profile case against the Israel lobby, in order to fully expose the mendacity of the claims. It does not matter too much whether the attack is formally mounted against the Labour party, a media company, the JLM or the CAA: what is important is only that the case be very strong and that it generate publicity exposing the mendacious slanderers for what they are.

  • Jane Henriques says:

    As a fellow member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and a member of the Labour Party, I am appalled by the attack on Glyn Secker. It is impossible to justify Israel’s behaviour in the Occupied Palestinian Territories or the support of its illegal occupation and despicable and cruel activities. If the Israeli government’s treatment of holocaust survivors were widely publicised, hiding behind the holocaust and using it as an excuse for the occupation would be shown for what it is – colonialism of the most blatant kind.

    Anti semitism is racism against people of the Jewish race. Anti zionism is opposition to the misuse of biblical texts to justify the political motives of those in power in Israel, and Jews who support them, to do what they like to the Palestinian people who have occupied their lands, coveted by the zionists, for centuries or millennia. I call on Jewish people who are capable of compassion to reject this slur against Jewish opposers of so-called zionism.

  • Brian Eno says:

    If there’s one person committed to a peaceful and lasting solution in Israel/Palestine it’s Glen Secker. If there’s one person the Labour Party should be listening to and supporting to develop its own policies in that area, it’s Glen Secker.

    Why then did the Labour Party ditch him? It seems awfully like cowardice: they don’t really think Secker is anti-semitic but they’re worried that the press might…

    Possibly Corbyn’s greatest triumph so far has been to prove that there are a lot of people in the UK who don’t give a toss about what The Daily Mail says, and politicians don’t have to kiss Rothermere and Murdoch’s backsides any more. It’s a shame that the example he set hasn’t passed down the ranks.

    Brian Eno

  • sue shaw says:

    Henley CLP affiliated with JVL yesterday and passed this motion: Henley CLP deplores the suspension of JVL Secretary, Glyn Secker, from membership of the Labour Party, for alleged anti-semitism. There is an appalling lack of process in the way he has been dealt with. The process should be fair, open and transparent in line with the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report. We believe this decision brings the Party into disrepute with its shocking use of unsubstantiated allegations and call on the Party to rescind the suspension

  • Jenny Weinstein says:

    I am a Labour Party member and supporter of justice for Palestinians. When I suggested that we should have a discussion in the branch about these issue I was told it was “too sensitive” People have no u understanding of the real meaning of anti semitic and cannot differentiate we it from politics of and Palestine. Until these discussions are had ignorance will cause these right d vicious suspensions.

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