Jackie Walker (center right) at a meeting of Momentum in Brighton and Hove, in June [Image: The Electronic Intifada].

Jackie Walker (center right) at a meeting of Momentum in Brighton and Hove, in June [Image: The Electronic Intifada].

Suddenly the attack on Jackie Walker makes a lot more sense. The “training session” at the Labour Party conference used a discredited definition of anti-Semitism that deliberately confused it with anti-Zionism.

Is this why the definition used there was not mentioned in Jessica Elgot’s Guardian article on Wednesday (September 28)?

So now we know Ms Walker certainly was justified in objecting to the definition of anti-Semitism put forward on the day. It has never been formally endorsed by the EU, but has been vigorously promoted by groups with an interest in confusing the state of Israel with Zionism and criticism of either with anti-Semitism.

She was also attacked for suggesting that Holocaust Memorial Day referred disproportionately to the Shoah inflicted on the Jewish people by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis. While the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust does in fact commemorate other holocausts, they all happened after World War II. Ms Walker, it seems, was objecting to the fact that transatlantic slavery, which happened before the Shoah, is not mentioned. In a statement attacking Ms Walker, it is noteworthy that the Trust only mentions events subsequent to World War II – meaning she was correct.

So the attack on Ms Walker was utterly unjustified, it seems.

Unfortunately, this story has shown once again that a lie can go around the world while the facts are still getting their shoes on.

Ms Walker has deactivated her Twitter account, claiming that she has been inundated with a torrent of anti-black racism and denial and questioning of her Jewishness.

The whole episode leads This Writer to question the role of the Jewish Labour Movement, which organised the training session and would have known the definition of anti-Semitism it was putting forward was prejudicial.

It seems the JLM also leaked a video of the incident involving Ms Walker to the right-wing media in a deliberate attempt to discredit her – and a deliberate flouting of Labour Party rules. Training sessions are intended to be ‘safe spaces’ where ideas and questions can be explored without prejudice against the individuals exploring them.

There are plenty of other Jewish representative organisations but it seems the JLM gets the lion’s share of media attention.

Perhaps, that should change, if this is what the JLM does with it.

The vice chair of the Jeremy Corbyn support campaign Momentum has slammed as an “outrage” a training session at the Labour Party conference which conflated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

Anti-racism activist Jackie Walker, who is Jewish and Black, attended the Jewish Labour Movement training session along with other individuals active in the Palestine solidarity movement, including boycott activist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and London School of Economics professor Jonathan Rosenhead.

Rosenhead told The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday that the group, all of whom were Jewish, were “concerned to understand how the Jewish Labour Movement thought training on anti-Semitism should be carried out, but became aware of serious defects.”

Jewish Labour Movement vice chair Mike Katz ran the session. At one point, he claimed that the “standard” definition of anti-Semitism was the “EUMC definition.”

Many in the room immediately objected.

In fact, the 2005 European Union Monitoring Center’s discussion paper on anti-Semitism, which Katz was clearly referring to, has always been controversial.

Critics of the EUMC paper have always said it was not suitable because it conflated anti-Semitism with criticism of Zionism.

Source: Jewish activists criticize Labour anti-Semitism training | The Electronic Intifada


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