For This Writer, Jon Lansman has more credibility when it comes to anti-Semitism than most of the bureaucrats running the Labour Party’s administrative system.
Mr Lansman, a gentleman of Jewish heritage, defended me when the anti-Semitism accusations against me were brought up – shamefully under ‘Any Other Business’ – at a meeting of Labour’s NEC.
He is not, therefore, a man who is easily-led into making knee-jerk reactions to unsubstantiated, wild claims.
When he wrote the following in The Guardian –
Conflating legitimate criticism of Israel with antisemitism is dangerous and undermines the fight against antisemitism. Clear and detailed guidelines are essential to ensure that antisemitism isn’t tolerated, while protecting free speech on Israel’s conduct within a respectful and civil environment. This is what Labour’s code of conduct provides. We should be celebrating and replicating it.
– I believed him.
What a shame the Labour Party is already abusing the guidelines in its new code of conduct for investigating accusations of anti-Semitism.
This is why I need your help to fight these malicious, libellous, false claims. Please visit my JustGiving page to help.
For example, paragraph 12 of the new code of conduct states: “Article 1(2) of the 1948 UN Charter refers to “respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of peoples”. The Party is clear that the Jewish people have the same right to self-determination as any other people. To deny that right is to treat the Jewish people unequally and is therefore a form of antisemitism. That does not, of course, preclude considered debate and discourse about the nature or content of the right of peoples to self determination.”
That seems fairly self-explanatory – but it is perverted to an unacceptable degree on Labour’s charge sheet claiming that I have committed anti-Semitic behaviour.
It quotes me as having stated: “JLM [the Jewish Labour Movement] is not a movement that represents Jews; it represents Jewish Zionists.” “The Jewish Labour Movement does not represent Jews who are not Zionists. It persecutes them.”
Then it says: “To state that the Labour Party’s official Jewish affiliate does not represent Jews denies Jews the right to self-define. This conduct is abhorrent, antisemitic and falls way below the standards expected of party members. This is clearly prejudicial and/or grossly detrimental to the party.” And this would be true, if the Jewish Labour Movement could be demonstrated to be representative of Jews, regardless of their views about Zionism. It cannot.
As I stated in the article quoted on the charge sheet: “Look at the organisation’s own website. It states:
““The Jewish Labour Movement is also affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation of the UK, and organise within the World Zionist Organisation… Our objects: To maintain and promote Labour or Socialist Zionism as the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people within the state of Israel.”
““Zionist”… “Zionist”… “Zionism”… “within the state of Israel”.
“It seems clear that “Jewish Labour Movement” is a misnomer. It should be “Zionist Labour Movement”.”
What about Jews who aren’t Zionists, as the JLM defines them?
How do you think the members of Jewdas – attacked as the “wrong kind of Jew” after Jeremy Corbyn attended an event organised by the group – would describe the JLM?
Here’s how. Responding to attacks on Mr Corbyn for attending the event in late March, the Jewdas website stated: “What has happened over the last week is anything but an attempt to address antisemitism. It is the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative Party and the right wing of the Labour Party. It is a malicious ploy to remove the leader of the Opposition and put a stop to the possibility of a socialist government. The Board of Deputies, the (disgraced for corruption) Jewish Leadership Council and the (unelected, undemocratic) Jewish Labour Movement are playing a dangerous game with people’s lives.”
So these Jews consider the JLM to be unelected, undemocratic, and playing a dangerous game with people’s lives. Representative of Jews in general? No.
But I am under attack for making this point. Please visit my JustGiving site, if you haven’t already, and donate to my bid to take the liars to court.
What about Jewish Voice for Labour, which admits full membership only to Labour Party members who identify as Jewish – unlike the JLM, which allows full membership to non-Jews, and also to non-members of the Labour Party? This organisation has campaigned against what it sees as false accusations of anti-Semitism against notable figures like Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, and Marc Wadsworth (as has This Writer), and also campaigns against the persecution of Palestinian people by the state of Israel.
And JLM members hate it. Responding to Harrow East Labour Party’s decision to affiliate to JVL, JLM chair Ivor Caplin told the Jewish Chronicle it was a “stupid decision” to affiliate with an “obsessive group that is often far too generous to antisemites and Holocaust revisionists”. But at least members of JVL are all Jewish, which is more than can be said for the JLM.
So let’s go back to that claim on my charge sheet about it being “abhorrent, anti-Semitic” and “denying Jews the right to self-define” of me to say that the JLM does not represent Jews [and let’s also remind ourselves that I never actually stated that the JLM didn’t represent Jews; I just made it clear that JLM doesn’t represent all Labour-supporting Jews]. How’s that claim looking?
And the claim that I am denying Jews the right to self-define?
Bogus. It is the JLM that denies Jews the right to self-define – by siding with those who describe other Labour-supporting Jewish organisations as the “wrong kind of Jews”.
I don’t know who wrote the charge against me, but they have taken the terms of Labour’s code of conduct and turned them inside out – using them for a purpose opposite to that for which it was written.
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