Supplementary Submission by JVL to the EHRC and the Forde Inquiry

JVL has made a further submission to the EHRC and the Forde Enquiry. The text is published below

Executive summary

This submission is an update to our submission dated 5 August 21 entitled How Labour’s Claim of Countering Antisemitism Has Resulted in a Purge of Jews.

In the three weeks since then our situation has continued to deteriorate. We have received many messages from Jewish Party members informing us how our documentation echoes their experience in the Party and how they increasingly feel unwelcome in a party to which they have given many years of commitment and effort. Others have told us that, because of the attitudes we have described, they have with heavy hearts quit the Party.

As at the 24 August we have become aware of seven new investigations of Jewish Party members. Notifications of new investigations and auto-exclusions are arriving on a daily basis.

This means it would appear that over four times more Jewish than non-Jewish Labour Party members have faced actioned complaints of antisemitism.  The disproportion is even greater in relation to JVL Committee members and officers. The staggering numbers suggest that these Jews are nearly three hundred times more likely to be investigated than non- Jewish Labour Party members (see the note on Annex 7 below). In all these cases the charges of so-called antisemitism are deeply offensive and should be withdrawn immediately in accordance with the party’s own NEC Code of Conduct.

There has been significant further evidence of our being treated harshly as Jews.

Stephen Marks, (see Annex 2 in our original submission), twice contacted the Party, on 22 and 25 July asking for an extension. His wife followed up on 27 July detailing personal aspects of why this extension was required, relating to his medical condition; such requests have normally been readily and speedily granted. Neither of them received any reply or even acknowledgment of their emails. Another prominent Jewish JVL member was refused the extension she wanted despite her family duties over the August holiday period. We show why this is oppressive, with a case study, as a new Annex 10.

Two Jewish JVL members have had the cases against them escalated from a standard investigation into the more severe, fast-track, Party action. No further ‘evidence’ was cited against them to justify the escalation.

JVL comes out of a rich, vibrant radical Jewish tradition, drawing significantly on the heritage of the Jewish Bund.. This inheritance is also embodied in such groups as the Jewish Socialists Group and Jews for Justice for the Palestinians. Our understanding of antisemitism, what it is, how to fight it, and how not to fight it, flows from this tradition. Yet dozens of Jewish members are now being targeted by Labour as antisemites, for voicing an understanding of antisemitism that is a direct product of our Jewish political and personal heritage.

The effect of rejecting or ignoring complaints made by JVL members of antisemitism; our experience of bullying and harassment; and the refusal to consult or involve JVL in, for instance, the EHRC required Action Plan; all show disdain for our status and roles as Jews.  We are not heard; in particular we rarely get a chance to voice our opinions in the print and broadcast media; when we do we are treated too often with hostility and aggression and Ofcom appears to refuse to hold broadcasters to account.

The new evidence is briefly set out below, referring to the Annexes in our previous submission. Revised versions of the Annexes and a new Annex 10 are attached to this summary.

Annex 4 addendum: Further comment on proscription by the Labour Party and consequent ‘auto exclusions’

This now includes a reference to a Jewish Chronicle article pointing out that proscription of JVL by the Party could amount to discrimination and could be challenged in the courts.

There is also substantial new material relating to five Jewish JVL members whose imminent auto-exclusions are for their support for, not membership of, a group with several prominent Jewish members and patrons Labour Against the Witch-Hunt. Two of those threatened with auto-exclusion are JVL officers.

Annex 6: Complaints by JVL members that have been ignored   

This is an addendum which details a further case; that of a Jew, the child of Holocaust survivors making seven complaints of antisemitism they have suffered; one of these has been summarily rejected and there has been no discernible action in response to the others.

Annex 7:  The disproportionate targeting of left-wing Jewish Party members

This Annex has been rewritten to reflect even more clearly the targeting of JVL Jews.  Two of these cases appear in the revised Annex 4.   The situation now is that the two co-chairs of JVL are under investigation. 65% of JVL Officers and Committee members have faced or are facing actioned complaints of antisemitism.

NEW Annex 10: Harsh treatment of Jewish members: refusal to respond to reasonable requests for extensions

A review of cases of harassment by the Party by setting unreasonable deadlines for responses to allegations and failing to respond to reasonable requests for extensions

 

You can download the full submission  here

 

 

 

Comments (18)

  • S johnson says:

    While JVL continue this fight against oppression I will remain in the Labour Party to support people targeted with antisemitism accusations due to their political views.

  • Dave Emmett says:

    I’m not sure what is going on here. Are JVL being accused of not supporting Jewish members who are claiming evidence of anti-semitism? Anybody can sling mud at groups they are against but to do this against what is clearly a group with the interests of Jewish people at the heart of their concerns seems to me to be a bit strange. Are they really saying that the Left wing position regarding anti-semitism , i.e opposition to any form of anti-semitism , is anathema to them? What kind of anti-semitism do they support? Some kind of Tory version where the interests of the ‘few’ are protected, as against ‘the many’?

  • Paul Smith says:

    Reading this, ‘institutional harassment’ springs to mind.

  • Lorraine Murphy says:

    So sad that you JVL are being targeted in this way. I do hope EHRC will listen and act in a positive way. Solidarity

  • Margaret West says:

    Good luck with this – as for Dave Emmets puzzlement – I doubt
    those responsible for the harassment could provide any rational
    response. Either you accept what they say – or you are antisemitic.

  • David Pinto says:

    Please keep on fighting. Everyone owes so much to you and your tradition

  • Margaret West says:

    Thinking about it – the targeting of JVL members for auto-exclusion
    is a notable feature of the current cabal in charge of the Labour Party.

    What we have is nothing less than a sequence of show trials ..

  • Hazel Davies says:

    Absolutely shocking to read all this!

  • Michael Bennett says:

    Sorry but I need some kind of clarification regarding all this. What exactely is being antisemetic if you are Jewish?

  • Allan Howard says:

    Slightly off topic:

    I assume JVL has STILL heard nothing from the Charity Commission in respect of their complaint about the so-call Campaign Against Antisemitism, which would now make it sixteen months (since the complaint was submitted).

    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/statement/the-charity-commission-and-the-campaign-against-antisemitism-caa/

  • The absurdity of Labour’s war on phony ‘antisemitism’ would be laughable were it not also tragic, for it concerns decent people whose sometimes lifelong work and commitment is being spat upon and dismissed by a gang of ignorant and arrogant upstarts.

  • Voirrey Faragher says:

    Thank you for your continued struggle against this oppression. Sending you good wishes and hoping you are successful.

  • Ian Kemp says:

    as a former member of LP I got out before I was suspended. I guess I am a coward but I could not in all honesty stand the way the LP was going under Starmer. The McCarthyite purges that are going on are a disgrace to to the memory of many socialists like Tony Benn . He was far greater than anybody in Starmers shadow Cabinet.

  • keith russell says:

    Bloody disgraceful actions how dare they treat comrades in this fashion anything but admit there wrong wrong wrong socialists principles sadly lacking

  • Thanks JVL, I can only agree with Dave Pinto. We are the many and they are the few and it’s so important that you’re not silenced. Solidarity, and all strength to you.

  • Pam Laurance says:

    Many thanks to everyone who has worked on this.

  • Kathy McCubbing says:

    Well done JVL. It must be exhausting, but so necessary, to keep holding the Labour Party to account for its abominable behaviour. You are highly respected by very many people, both within the Party and out of it. Keep on keeping on please!

  • Lesley (Leah) Levane says:

    in answer to Allan Howard – you are right; we contacted the Charity Commission in March 2020 and, other than a case number and name of an officer (as I recall) we have heard nothing…

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