Statement in support of Cllr Jo Bird

Cllr Jo Bird. Photo: Wirral Globe

JVL Statement

6th March 2019

Jewish Voice for Labour condemns the suspension of our member and Bromborough councillor Jo Bird.  Jo is Jewish and  a courageous campaigner for justice and in the relatively short time that she has been a councillor has proved herself to be dedicated to the community that she represents.  Her suspension seems to be based on a bizarre interpretation of a light-hearted comment, not at all antisemitic, that she made in a speech last year in Manchester.

We support Jennie Formby in her commitment to implement fair procedures and proportionate sanctions where they are found to be necessary, however, we are extremely concerned at what seems to be a return to automatic suspensions.  Cllr Bird was speaking on behalf of JVL in support of Marc Wadsworth’s fight to clear his name.

We are Jews who are entirely comfortable in the Labour Party. But we are far from comfortable seeing the terrible history of the Jewish people exploited by those intent upon scuppering the best hope in decades for ordinary and vulnerable members of our society.

Shutting down comrades like Jo Bird and Chris Williamson weakens our capacity to fight the Tories and their cruel austerity agenda and their pernicious hostile environment. The hypocrisy of people like Theresa May and Amber Rudd calling our Party antisemitic beggars belief. We need to be attacking the Tories. Instead we are harassing people who are an asset to our movement

The message that the Labour Party is antisemitic is cruelly leading to genuine fear for some Jewish people at the same time as trying to silence the best allies against oppression, discrimination and hatred.  We are extremely concerned that while those who oppose the Corbyn project are once again ratcheting up the allegations of antisemitism, individuals are being picked off for daring to publicly reject the assertion that Labour is rife with antisemitism. This was shown to be false when General Secretary Jennie Formby provided clear information indicating extremely low levels of antisemitism in the Labour Party. But those who are determined to bring down Corbyn are relentlessly pursuing their agenda with the support of the mainstream media and the Establishment.  Like Jo Bird and Chris Williamson, we stand against the abuse of media and establishment power. It is this we oppose, not the necessary steps the party is taking to deal fairly with the small amount of antisemitism that does exist among Labour members and supporters.


Comments (5)

  • George Wilmers says:

    An excellent statement, but it contains one unintended euphemism. The statement mentions “a return to automatic suspensions”. However it is clear that suspensions are applied “automatically” in a highly discriminatory manner. To judge by the evidence, suspension is only automatic when an allegation of antisemitism is made against the accused by someone who is a political opponent of Corbyn.

  • Tony Rabin says:

    Having read a number of books, JVL posts, Haaretz, Mondoweiss. Spoken with Jackie Walker, attended the preview of Witch Hunt and been to a number of meetings chaired by academics in this field. I am quite convinced this business is an orchestrated attempt to undermine Corbyn. Part of the issue concerns the way the state of Israel treats its Palestinian “citizens”. Not only hard core Zionists but others seem to have joined the feeding frenzy. I think a defining moment for me was when Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt was not selected by the N.E.C for Thanet South ( having been overwhelmingly selected by the constituency party) on the basis of an alleged as. remark. You may well know we are taking legal action over this. No appeal was allowed. So much for a democratic party.

  • David King says:

    It would be very helpful if articles would include the words spoken in a different typeface and in speech marks that were the cause of the suspension No matter how often I read this article I can’t find what she said – Other commenters have implied they have seen her words.

  • Richard Hayward says:

    “The message that the Labour Party is antisemitic is cruelly leading to genuine fear for some Jewish people ”

    I think that this disgraceful aspect of the scam is underplayed. The BoD/Right nexus has been totally unscrupulous in promoting fear amongst the gullible.

    Now – What does that remind you of?

  • John says:

    Richard Hayward:
    The tactics deployed by BoD and extremist zionists makes complete sense from the perspective of promoting aliyah – does it not?
    I also believe that individuals like the former Chief Rabbi Sachs have also been heavily promoting the movement of British Jews to migrate permanently to Israel.
    The more fear they create here, the more inward migration there will be to Israel – they hope.

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