Jewish Labour Movement’s ultimatum is a sure sign it should be expelled from Labour

“Solidarity cuts both ways,” the Jewish Labour Movement has stated in an ultimatum to the Labour Party that it won’t campaign in elections unless the party agrees to force its MPs to undergo a rating system on how they deal with allegations of anti-Semitism.

The claim is absolutely right. However, as Labour has bent over backwards to accommodate this organisation of around 150 far-right, pro-Israeli, pro-Zionist extremists (I note that The Guardian reckons it has 2,000 members and wonder where the other 1,850 were during the AGM on Sunday), it seems that this is not the time for further concessions. It is time the JLM made a gesture of support to the Labour Party.

In any case, if the JLM refuses to support Labour, its public image is such that the choice cannot be interpreted as anything other than opposition to the party and its policies – and that is not permitted under Labour rules; you can’t be a party member who campaigns against it.

Labour believes in the right to self-determination for all peoples and this provides an opportunity for the JLM to show its loyalty. Over in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening to annexe Palestinian land in the West Bank, and is demanding that Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights (which is part of Syria) be legitimised. Where is the JLM’s condemnation of these statements that deny Palestinians the right to self-determination?*

Labour MP Ruth Smeeth – a JLM member who has been caught lying about anti-Semitism allegations in the past, several times – reportedly said, “We have made clear that we want to stay affiliated to the Labour party – but on our own terms.” That is not how the party works, and as an MP, she knows it.

Membership of Labour – and affiliation to it – is on the Labour Party’s terms. If the JLM and its members don’t like those terms, they can ship out.

There is a perfectly workable – and far more decent – prospective Jewish affiliate in Jewish Voice for Labour, an organisation of equal size that doesn’t allow non-Jews to join, and doesn’t allow non-Labour-supporters in either, as the JLM does. Who knows which parties are supported by these non-Labour JLM members? And what is their motive?

The proposal of a scorecard is an insult and Labour MPs should reject it out-of-hand.

As they should reject the Jewish Labour Movement and all of its shrill demands.

*UPDATE: It turns out that the JLM did, in fact, pass a motion condemning Mr Netanyahu’s plans. How nice. But we should judge others by their actions, not just their words. Jeremy Corbyn has been at the centre of yet another huge row about anti-Semitism, partly as a result of the JLM’s behaviour. I had heard nothing about the motion against Netanyahu until I was informed about it on Twitter. What has the JLM done to support this (rather weakly-worded) protest?


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9 Thoughts to “Jewish Labour Movement’s ultimatum is a sure sign it should be expelled from Labour”

  1. Florence

    I thought JVL has a membership category for non Jews to affiliate and support (but not take part in the workings of the JVL).

    JVL also encourages CLPs to affiliate for £25 per year. The more CLPs that affiliate the sooner JVL will gain its rightful place in the affiliates section.

    1. Mike Sivier

      JVL does have such a category. Anyone can be a full member of JLM.

  2. Tony

    Criticism was directed against Momentum a while ago that its members were not required to be Labour Party members. As a result, that organisation changed its rules.

    So how come JLM is not required to have a similar rule?

    I think your headline really hits home.

  3. chris B

    This ultimatum is a bit like the tail wagging the dog. Just why should an organisation of 2000 (perhaps) think to dictate to 500,000 aprox.

  4. Gary Bowman

    Swearing alert, if I formed the Conservative Christian Book Club and was neither Christian or a Conservative Party member and I called for a vote of no confidence in the Conservative Leader, wouldn’t I be told, in no uncertain terms, to fuck off? It’s purely a hypothetical question of course, and we don’t answer hypothetical questions. Am I missing something or is this the ridiculous situation we are facing? I have genuine respect for Jewish people and the Jewish community. Although, to be fair, I don’t personally know any Jewish people I do though know persecution, not on any type of scale of anti-Semitism but it’s this low level of persecution that JFoL risk the continuation of towards myself and many other sick and disabled people and those in poverty, working or not. So from a personal perspective, these people could do me a lot of harm, on the other hand, if the Labour party is shown to be an anti-Semitic organisation I’m out. I will not leave on rumour and speculation but on hard evidence that a, the accusations are proven and b, the Labour party are not addressing the issue. My scepticism may be fuelled by my self interest but this situation needs resolution and that will only happen, as with Brexit, we all come together and work in a spirit of mutual respect with the aim of making the Country a decent place for ALL of us! I apologise if my opening lines appear flippant but I am struggling to know what or who to believe anymore.

  5. Colin Clarke

    This battle between the JLM and Jeremy Corbyn now seems to be a Trojan horse. We are entering a critical time and, to use a time old cliche, we need all members to come to the aid of the party. If these right wing pro Tories cannot get behind our party and our leader, then they are simply working for the Tories or the Liberals. Imagine an army going to war and saying to their commanders, “Either you do what we say or we will back the other side!” Then, bright and early the next morning, we will hear thr pleasant sounds of the Firing Squads at dawn. Unless they realign to the party, they must be eliminated from the party!

  6. Let us write to our MP’s demanding these right wingers answer the questions put in this article or our MP [s] demand they be excluded from Labour. I am going to.

  7. foggy

    Fair do’s. Every Labour MP that is a member of JLM that supports this card rating method should therefore have a card rating system via their CLP to rate how they supportive they are publicly AND in actions, of a Corbyn led Labour Government. In the name of equality and inclusivity.What’s good for the goose 🙂

  8. Zippi

    Why should we have a rating system for anti-Semitism? I have never heard anything more divisive! What next? An rating for racism, the incidents of which outnumber those of anti-Semitism by 70% but we hear nothing about? A rating for sexism? Ageism? Anti-gay/ trans etc.? Anti-Muslim? Anti-Catholic? I could be here all year! This is ridiculous and the very idea must be stamped out, now. If there is anti-Semitism, let it be dealt with, like everything else is dealt with. By over-emphasising anti-Semitism, Jews are being put front and centre, when they have no more place there than anybody else. One might add that there are far more deserving causes, such as the homeless, vulnerable children and victims of domestic violence. Those who are making so much noise, in the Jewish £abour Movement need to get some perspective. What they are doing is selfish and harmful. We are supposed to be creating a cohesive society, not trying to tear it apart. The days of one people being top dog have no place in a modern democracy. I’m sorry to have to say this but if they don’t like the way that things work, they should go elsewhere. We have seen, in Parliament, recently, what happens when everybody struggles for supremacy. We have seen elsewhere, around the world, how bad things can get, if this path is followed to its logical conclusion. Stop with the division. It is hurtful to all of us.

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