JVL welcome for the NEC statement on antisemitism

Jewish Voice for Labour welcomes the Labour Party National Executive Committee’s  Code of Conduct: Antisemitism, and the care and consideration which has evidently gone into its production. We believe it offers a constructive framework for moving forward in this difficult area. It provides a much needed operationally effective way of dealing with the issue of antisemitism in the Labour Party and by extension in society at large; but at the same time it allows – indeed encourages – free speech on issues to do with Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians, and with Zionism. Its concern with the “civility of language” is one we particularly endorse.

Of course, much will depend on how this code of conduct is applied in practice, particularly in disciplinary cases. We are cautiously optimistic that these guidelines will ensure there will in future be greater clarity about what antisemitism is and what it is not, enabling the Party to deal appropriately with hate speech while avoiding the suppression or chilling of legitimate critical discussion.

One point that JVL wishes to stress is that the role of education and training in dealing with antisemitism in general needs to be taken more seriously. As the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report state “Now is a time to reassess broad-based education and training within the Labour Movement, and rather than attempting to “re-invent the wheel“, to work in partnership with the Trade Unions, Higher Education institutions, Festivals and others.”

Comments (2)

  • I have posted a lengthy blog article on my reaction, which I think is the consensus view within Labour Against Witchhunt.

    People may be interested in reading it

    http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2018/07/labours-anti-semitism-code-of-conduct.html

    In essence the problem is two fold:
    Firstly the Antisemitism Code of Conduct is based on the IHRA definition The fact that it is a modified version is neither her nor there. The whole definition is seriously flawed, as you are aware of from the Opinion of Hugh Tomlinson and Stephen Sedley.

    Secondly the anti-semitism witch hunt does not derive from the lack of an antisemitism definition.

    I suspect that this Code of Conduct will have no effect on existing cases such as Jackie Walker, still less result in the reinstatement of Marc wadsworth or myself. If that is the case then the code is all but useless.

  • Jim Denham says:

    A good and thoughtful comment from Sarah AB at the Harry’s Place blog here

    [This post has been edited – the original quoted extensively from the article by Sarah AB, which is now linked to instead – website ed.]

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