Wimbledon CLP backs Code of Conduct after Langleben no-show

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Wimbledon CLP (constituency Labour party) last night voted to support Labour’s Code of Conduct and to reject attempts to adopt wholesale the examples in the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) ‘working definition’ of antisemitism.

The vote – by twenty-five to nineteen with a single abstention – by delegates from branches and affiliates came after a presentation by visiting speaker Glyn Secker of JVL (Jewish Voice for Labour) in favour of the code.

The Jewish Labour Movement’s Adam Langleben was scheduled to speak for the full adoption of the IHRA examples, but delegates were told only at the start of the meeting that he had cancelled his attendance because he had refused to share a platform with a JVL representative. Locals say that two CLP members were forced to fill in and argue the opposing side of the debate before the vote.

Langleben has been vocal in alleging an antisemitism issue in the Labour Party and blamed the party after he lost of his seat on Barnet council in May’s local elections, in spite of a 2.7% increase Labour vote-share in the borough.

Secker told the SKWAWKBOX:

In the end, I had to almost present both sides of the argument because of the absence of a speaker in favour of the IHRA motion – I did my best to give a very fair presentation of the definition and how it spoke to my situation as a Jew who lost family in the Holocaust. Then I went through the reasons it doesn’t work, presenting the comments of Sedley and Tomlinson.

At that point, one of the members said she wanted to speak and in the final sum-up she spoke again, so there were essentially three speakers for the IHRA, but in the end the delegates were clear in what they wanted and it was reflected in the vote.

The Labour Party has adopted the full IHRA working definition, but has amended or clarified some of the examples where these would result in a lack of legal clarity, create a risk of suppressed free speech on the policies and actions of the Israeli government, or compromise the ability of Palestinians to speak about their situation.

The SKWAWKBOX was unable to find contact details for Adam Langleben to invite him to comment.

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21 responses to “Wimbledon CLP backs Code of Conduct after Langleben no-show

  1. Glyn Secker, captain of the Jewish boat to Gaza and a long time supporter of Palestinian rights, from the section of the Jewish community to which the BBC and MSM give minuscule air time – if any.

  2. The IHRA definition would not stand up to a legal challenge because it cannot supplant Art 10 ECHR

    “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers”

  3. Great work and decision by Wimbledon CLP.

    “…but delegates were told only at the start of the meeting that he had cancelled his attendance because he had refused to share a platform with a JVL representative.”

    This corruption of debate between opposing views in public being conflated with ‘sharing a platform’ is ridiculous in the extreme. It is stifling real debate and chance for people to hear opposing views debated or expressed in public. Some now dodge debate or voicing of opposing views under cover of ‘sharing a platform’; and then often carp from the side lines or in MSM. This is not healthy in a democracy.

    • Maria, you have it precisely. There is an elephant in the room – the legitimacy of Zionism.

      Zionists, the MSM and particularly the BBC do not, under any circumstances, want it to be debated publicly because they want, in the public’s eyes, Zionism to be equated to Judaism so that the charge of ‘antisemitism’ can be flung at anyone who is critical of Zionism.

      Two nights ago, Katie Razzall from ‘Newsnight’ did a piece on antisemitism and went to talk to members of the Jewish community in Manchester. She spoke to Jews who were Labour supporters critical of Jeremy Corbyn. Then, to try and fool viewers into thinking the report was balanced, she spoke to Labour supporting members of the Muslim community who supported JC . Not once was she shown speaking to Jews who SUPPORTED Jeremy Corbyn and who do not place Zionism at the centre of their religion. Why? – because she knew it would demolish her hatchet job.

      Labour should not have entertained the IHRA definition at all and stuck to the dictionary definition which is clear concise and unambiguous and supported by many Jewish groups throughout the world.

    • Don’t we love to air our views from a megaphone in the one-sided media bandwagon where there is no right to reply, but slink away when there is a two way conversation.

  4. ‘Tonight I shed a tear with you.
    A Jew refused to share a platform with a Jew.’
    But what is missing from this whole debate is humour.
    I went on the Jewdas left wing website and they are hilarious- in all their press releases they use the name ‘Geoffrey Cohen’.
    I am sure I bought a DVD from one of their bookstalls.
    It was one of my favourite films ‘Sparticus’ and I love the bit when Tony Curtis stands up and says: “I am Geoffrey Cohen!”.

  5. What is the meaning of clps backing the définition amended? Can it help the situation?

  6. Well done Wimbledon CLP.
    Labour’s policy has to be able to stand up in a court of law. If the party was to adopt the full IHRA examples and the party used those examples to get a member chucked out of the party for criticising Israel, the member might well take the case to judicial review.
    If that court decided that penalising someone for legitimately criticising Israel was a breach of their rights, then the party would have to change their anti-Semitism policy. And the IHRA examples have already been used by the Tory government to stop criticism of Israel in British universities, so it’s not scaremongering by the left.

    • Good point Dave (about the court case scenario).

      And as Bazza pointed out recently, more than four/fifths of countries around the world HAVN’T adopted the IHRA definition, and some forty Jewish groups are opposed to the definition.

      And a number of academics have pointed out it’s short-falls.

  7. Perhaps the solution is to adopt all 11 examples in full along with a 12th clause which specifically accommodates the criticism of Israel that is within the scope of the ECHR.
    It would be difficult for the likes of the JLM to mount a credible argument against this as the only reasons for opposing it would be if the objectors wished to either subvert tho IHRA for cynical political advantage or to suppress legitimate criticism of the Isreali state and/or Zionism.

    • I suspect even adopting the IHRA with all its examples wouldn’t make a jot of difference. Then, no doubt, demands to expel LP members (even perhaps Corbyn himself) would begin and LP would be mired in floods of claims that valid comments critical of the Israeli regime are anti-Semitic and the verbal assaults on and misrepresentations of Corbyn would continue with increased hysteria .
      The conflation of anti-Semitism with Zionism and criticism of the apartheid Israeli state is only in part about protecting the far right Israeli regime from criticism and entrenching its ability to commit ongoing heinous crimes against Palestinians, flout international laws, defy UN resolutions etc. with impunity.
      This is also about the British establishment structures protecting a military, subversive and spying geostrategic asset which is a vital actor in modern western led neoliberal Capitalist manipulation, subversion and exploitation of Middle East and further afield to serve its purposes.
      It is also about stopping domestic push back to the neoliberal ‘privatise the world for profit of the few’ agenda and entrenching banking corporate hegemony and inequality while also further neutering ability of working class to push back on many levels.

      Socialism has always been the biggest threat to the egregious class based Capitalist neo-colonial system we live under.

      • WOW, you’re probably right but in my defense I was just looking for a way to end the impasse. I do find it odd though that everyone presumes that any new rules could be applied retrospectively.

      • SteveH,
        No need for defence, I was just saying how I see it, it wasn’t meant as an attack or to dismiss your idea out of hand. I should have worded my comment better to make that clear.

        “. I do find it odd though that everyone presumes that any new rules could be applied retrospectively.”

        This is a good point. The thing is, where would any changes to rules already adopted end? I don’t believe it would be enough, they want rid of Corbyn and all he stands for, that is my point.

  8. Perhaps everyone here has already read Adam Langleben’s justification, on his Twitter thread, of not debating with JvL at Wimbledon CLP. But if you haven’t you should. He says (among other thiings):

    “Jewish Voice for Labour at best entertain other Antisemites and Holocaust deniers & are at worst themselves guilty. Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear that there is a problem with antisemitism within the Labour Party but these people deny it. They are part of the problem… their aim is to manipulate and provide an environment whereby predominantly non-Jewish people can pick and mix what kind of Jews they like rather than the realities of British Jewry.

    “JvL represent no more than a few hundreds British Jews out of 280k. JLM represent 2000+ but also represent the wider views of hundreds of thousands of British Jews… I won’t engage in Jew on Jew blood sport fighting on antisemitism which sanitises further antisemitism amongst the crank left in the Labour Party… I won’t allow my identity to be used, mocked and abused by the hard left.”

    Sorry that what follows is quite liong.

    I don’t know how to reply to such stuff. It’s worth noticing how he uses every turn of recent debates to his advantage. I agreed totally with Jeremy Corbyn’s statement on anti-semitism but was a but worried about how some people might misuse it: and here is someone doing it, and a Jew using it to attack other Jews. And of course he’s smartly picked up on Jade Azim’s characterisation of ‘cranks’. Modern political networks can build up effectively on social media, and that’s clearly happening here.

    I’ve been to some lively party meetings in my time but I’ve never seen a debate with speakers turn into a blood sport. What kind of meetings do they have in Adam Langleben’s CLP?

    But tthe worst of this is the mindset behind what he says. Warning: I’m a liberal Christian so some people here may find this difficult.

    The first problem is his numbers game. JvL are “no more than a few hundreds” but JLM “represent 2000+ but also.represent the wider views of hundreds of thousands of British Jews”. I’m chary of quoting Evelyn Waugh – he’s been accused of anti-semitism himself – but in things of faith he puts the perfect reply to this into the mouth of Mr. Crouchback in ‘Sword of Honour’: “Quantitative judgments don’t apply”. It’s truth, not numbers, which count. Jews were a small people who believed and believe they were the chosen messengers of God. Christians – even ones like me – agree with that. And we know we too started as a small people with a unique message. By using this numbers argument, Adam Langleben denies his own religious and cultural history.

    The second is his clearly passionate sincerity,. His identity is so totally bound up in what he is saying. And yet that involves hatred – of other Jews, and many people outside Judaism. All I can do is point to a parallel, one of many alas, in another contemporary religion, mine. The Church of England is nowadays infested with deeply bigoted, sexist and intensely homophobic, Neo-Evangelicals. They speak to God every morning, or think they do. They know they are right. They have a baleful influence not just on debates about sexuality but wider ones about the nature of belief. And they are, some of them, passionately sincere. Sincerity is not a religious talisman. It does not guarantee truth. How do we say, gently but absolutely firmly, that Adam Langleben’s views are wrong, and Labour should have no time for them?

  9. Oi, ellman?

    Remind us what you said again – somethin’ about referring to constituents, weren’t it? Well, your own constituents have given you the middle finger on this one, and they’re obviously not the only ones to do so, are they?

    When’s Wavertree’s turn? And what’s berger’s ‘pearl of wisdom’ gonna be when they go the same way?

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