Rebecca Long-Bailey’s campaign manager endorsed comments on Board of Deputies’ list of demands: “It is never OK to respond to allegations of racism by being defensive…. The only acceptable response to any accusation of racist prejudice is self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement”
Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum who is acting as Rebecca Long-Bailey’s leadership campaign manager, last night tweeted his approval of his candidate’s comments in an article on a list of ten demands the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) has called on all Labour leadership candidates to agree.
Specifically, Lansman endorsed Long-Bailey’s claim that:
It is never OK to respond to allegations of racism by being defensive…. The only acceptable response to any accusation of racist prejudice is self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement
However, in a 2012 article on his Left Futures website, Lansman responded to a BOD complaint of antisemitism by condemning the complaint as shameful.
The Sunday Times had published a cartoon depicting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu building a brick wall that incorporated dead bodies and used blood for cement. The BOD complained that the image:
depicts Benjamin Netanyahu bricking up Palestinians and using blood for mortar, which is shockingly reminiscent of the blood libel imagery more usually found in parts of the virulently antisemitic Arab press
The newspaper’s then-acting editor and its owner Rupert Murdoch subsequently apologised for the publication:
The Chief Rabbi condemned the cartoon, saying that:
the danger [is] that such images “reinforce a great slander of our time: that Jews, victims of the Holocaust, are now perpetrators of a similar crime”.
Comparisons of Israel with the nazis form one of the examples of expressions that may be antisemitic listed in the IHRA ‘working definition‘ of antisemitism, whose adoption by the Labour Party Jon Lansman supported:
However, Lansman’s 2012 response to the cartoon and the BOD’s complaint was to publish an article titled:
Lansman went on to elaborate that he considered the complaint to be driven by political motives:
false accusations, designed to silence critics of Israeli policy and damage the reputation of Palestinian supporters, [which] serve only to undermine criticism of genuine antisemitism…
Another of the IHRA examples of potentially antisemitic behaviour reads:
Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
Jon Lansman was contacted for comment about the contrast between his 2012 comments and his endorsement of Rebecca Long-Bailey’s article, as well as the potential issues between his 2012 article and some of the BOD’s ‘pledges’, but did not wish to respond on the record.
The Long-Bailey campaign was contacted but did not respond. The Board of Deputies declined to comment.
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