Analysis comment

Lansman supports RLB’s ‘no defensive response’ call on antisemitism. In 2012 he condemned BoD for complaint

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

(Emphasis added)

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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67 comments

  1. I have heard Jon Lansman say that “self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement” will be imposed on all Party members.

    1. Skwawkbox points out “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”.
      The Nazis favored sterilisation for so-called inferior ethnic groups. It’s worth noting that Forbes magazine was one of a number of news outlets revealing that Ethiopian Black-Jewish women
      “immigrating to Israel were subjected to mandatory contraceptive injections, effectively amounting to forced (if temporary) sterilization…the birth rate among Ethiopian-Israelis has declined by at least 20 percent.”
      A number of other news outlets including Israel’s own Haaretz and Times of Israel put the figure of suppressed Black Jewish reproduction at 50%.
      Should white ethnic complaints be apparently privileged over everyone else’s? If so kiss goodby to the votes of our Black citizens facing the reality of ‘Prevent’ & police shoot-to-kill policies.
      See link – https://www.forbes.com/sites/eliseknutsen/2013/01/28/israel-foribly-injected-african-immigrant-women-with-birth-control/

      1. Skwawkbox points out “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.”
        Yet UK Chief Rabbi Emphraim Mirvis supports the Tebbit test suggesting that Black Britons just supporting the West Indies cricket team have invalidated their Britishness. Surely mere sports allegiance is not as bad as supporting an Apartheid country much of which our Black citizens would be justifiably be fearful of walking its streets?
        See link – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/12189152/Minorities-must-pass-the-Norman-Tebbit-test-Chief-Rabbi.html

    2. I was surprised to see the word ‘religion’ here as this has nothing to do with religious belief; its Foreign Policy, geopolitical tussling with Israel keen to keep the UK from recognising Palestine. The AS charge is a ready made narrative some 80 years old now. To kowtow to these demands is a disastrous start for any new leader, indeed perhaps a fatal one. Presumably they hope to avoid a further argument and hope the issue will die down. They’ve been hoping that for over 3 years now! It won’t until the threat of a Labour government goes. What is Thornberry saying?? (I’m looking for a new candidate).

      1. Thornberry is a Friend of Israel,and a lawyer, duplicitous is in her very nature.

  2. Its Lansman, is anyone surprised. There is a reason why some of us are reluctant to vote for anyone beholden to Lansman.

      1. tomlondra – If that is the case then it is obvious that some are considerably more beholden than others. Lansman is RLB’s campaign manager.

  3. Obviously for the Labour Party “self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement ” must be guided by party intellectuals like . . . er, Jon Lansman.

    1. Ha, ha, ha.

      I said LP will get the leader they deserve… say I’m spiteful but so many hopes and opportunities to change the party into something that actually opposes the establishment lost, squandered and outright thrown away due to ??? when apparently members were up for a big push back.

      Now “get down on your knees and beg for forgiveness”.

    2. The establishment like her because she’s a middle class arsehole with no idea of what the poor need.

      “What? There’s homeless people begging on the streets? Send them some champagne!!”

      1. That she’s an arsehole is relevant. That she’s middle class isn’t – there’s no difference between arseholes of any class.

      2. I don’t support ET but I do think you are being a little unfair. She like many others has faced her fair share of trials and tribulations.

        When Thornberry was seven, her parents divorced and she had to leave their home with her mother and two brothers. After this, she relied on free school meals and food parcels, and their cats were euthanised to save money. Her mother later became a Labour councillor and mayor, and her father stood as the Labour candidate for Guildford in the 1966 general election.

        She failed the eleven-plus exam, so attended a secondary modern school. She left to live with her father when she was fifteen until he left without warning to work for the United Nations when she was seventeen. She worked as a cleaner and a barmaid in London alongside resitting her O-Levels and taking her A-Levels. She went on to study law at the University of Kent in Canterbury, graduating in 1982. She was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn and practised as a barrister specialising in human rights law from 1985 to 2005 under Michael Mansfield at Tooks Chambers.

      3. You mean Lady Nugee?

        Whilst it’s not my bag, her exposure of the patriotic/football supporter white van household spoke loudly.

        We all know someone like this…

        SteveH it was via the Ashcroft polling. I’ve posted many times, the post count is going up, but they are not appearing…

      4. NVLA – So you think she should be condemned for marrying the person she fell in love with. Her title comes from being married to The Honourable Mr Justice Nugee, who is a judge of the High Court of England and Wales and who’s title came with the job.
        By all means attack her on policy but the rather silly reverse snobbery besides not being very constructive is not a good look.

      5. She has very clearly forgotten her past. And so what if she comes from a humble background. And it’s her title…

        The sad fact is she has far more in common with the establishment than she does with you or me. She has backed American propaganda over the leader of a genuine socialist Republic (Venezuela).

        I have very, very little faith in Thornberry, she is one of the architects of Corbyns election hand

      6. “And it’s her title…”No it isn’t
        Her husband became a QC, then a High Court Judge, when he was knighted this is when Thornberry became entitled to be styled Lady Nugee, although she does not use the title.

        I’m with Corbyn on this – Attack the policies not the individual.

      7. White van man represents those who see brexit as a patriotic act of defiance
        The bull dog breed who will conquer the world and bring back the British empire
        Fuck em
        As for football, why do the best players cheat,
        The beautiful game is sick and needs to be brought back to its roots, money corrupts
        Our man Ashley had it right ‘I’m only an ordinary billionaire I cannot compete with countries’
        ET like any of the others could win easily by addressing head on issues of concern to members
        Disloyalty of PLP
        Capitulation on AS
        Corrupt MSM and toilet papers
        Not a fag paper between any of them at moment, nor an original thought

  4. This of course makes the MASSIVE ASSUMPTIONS that the accusations are in fact true honest and NOT as they have been over the last 4 yrs SMEARS being used to undermine people for political gain !!!
    I deeply resent some Tory Trojan horse like the BOD who’s members are TORIES imposing anything on us innocent Labour party members, they can go fuck themselves, as Tories .If they were non political and independent then I might just listen…they are not , they are connected to the Tories and they they are as sure as hell out to stop any future Labour Govt that might ever so slightly stand up for Palestine..
    How would they feel if we in Labour demanded that they obey 1o pledges forcing then to recgonise the right’s of Palestinian people ….. yehh ARGO FY.

  5. The Board of Deputies’ list of demands are heavily suspect: the IHRA ‘working definition‘ is very obviously more about silencing criticism of Israel than anything to do with antisemitism.

    Of course Netanyahu claims that the cartoon “reinforces a great slander of our time: that Jews, victims of the Holocaust, are now perpetrators of a similar crime” – but even that is twisting the facts. The so-called slander has never been against Jews, it’s been against Israel. As ever, the Zionists conflate politics with antisemitism, and now are forcing Labour to dance to their tune. Plus of course Netanyahu chooses to ignore the evidence all around Israel’s persecution of Palestine and Palestinians: The Ghetto is undeniable; punishing innocents in revenge for attacks on the military to give just two well known (and extensively documented) examples.

    Disclaimer: Just as I can distinguish between political criticism of Israel and antisemitism, I can also distinguish between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Just because many antisemites are also critical of Israel and Zionism, does NOT mean that every critic of Israel and/or Zionism is also antisemitic. That’s twisted “anti-goy” logic.

    This whole sad episode throws interesting light on Lansman: back in 2012 he spoke sense. Since then, he has either lost his marbles, or is no longer trying to hide his real agenda. I’d like to know which.

    Either way, we can generally assume that whatever Lansman wants is not good for Labour. You heard it here first. (Not really!).

    Demand #8 is an appalling demand, forcing Labour to ignore other Jewish voices and allow the JLM (which is neither Labour not democratic) to wield power over the party.

    Finally, it is obscene that the Board of Deputies is continuing to attack Labour, while ignoring antisemitism in the tory party. Sadly, I’m not even surprised. This isn’t just about antisemitism, it’s about settling old scores and promoting Israel. Zionism: red in tooth and claw. And until they adopt an even-handed approach, they cannot deny it.

    1. Praise where praise is due : I thoroughly endorse the points that you have made.

      The disgusting fact is that Netan -Yahoo and his ilk have persistently traduced the memory of the victims of the Holocaust in exploiting it to hide their racism and indulgence in crimes against humanity.

      We need no lectures from such a moral contortionist and supporter of ethnic cleansing … and I would defend the Jewish people from his attempts to imply their complicity.

      1. Perhaps RLB thinks you can’t win and perhaps this may be the case with the current dominance of identity politics – the BOD speak for all Jewish people and if you disagree with anything they say then you are AS?
        But then if you apply a class analysis you see the (not too sure they are democratically elected) Leaders of BOD are basically a right wing probably Tory unrepresentative elite who claim they speak for all Jewish citizens whilst ignoring Jewish diversity.
        But some of us w class don’t take any crap so when we put ourselves at risk with our fellow trade unionists facing the Far Right Barbarians on the streets where are those who claim to fight AS but are all fecking gob and no trousers, do they think because the Far Right are going for Muslims now everyone else is safe?
        We can all learn from history and particularly the diverse working class heroes of Cable Street.
        The BOD told Jewish people then to keep away, the Leadership of Labour and the Communist Party told members not to take part but the grassroots of both with the diverse working class fought and won and the best moment was was when working class Irish women poured the contents of chamber pots on the Fascists!
        This I believe this is nothing to do with AS but all about making Labour passive so the Right Wing Israeli Govt can do what it wants as Palestinians are crushed on a daily basis.
        I believe in one Democratic State in Palestine (as per the UN 1947 minority report) in a country which respects all the religious and democratic rights of its diverse citizens.
        Unlike the Right Wing critics inside and outside Labour some of us have stood on the front line putting ourselves at risk by confronting the Far Right Barbarians on the streets, we have earned the right to call for equality for Palestinians and peace for all diverse citizens in this region and for Diverse Working People of the World to Unite!
        Class trumps middle class liberalism every time.

    2. The only anti semitism it’s what’s coming from the self fulfilling prophecy.

      Keep telling lies and eventually it’ll catch up with you.

      My genuine fears are for the everyday folks that _will_ be sacrificed during the process. It’s happened before in history, and it’ll happen again.

      All that matters is the prize…

    3. It’s quite interesting what has happened since this moral panic started. Reference to ‘Israel Apartheid’ cited by Nobel Peace Prize winners Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu, President Jimmy Carter, the leadership of the ANC and every expert legal & social affairs team that South Africa has commissioned to examine the situation has been censored from mention by the corporate media.
      White colonial racist offences against humanity which were condemned when manifested in the example of white minority ruled Rhodesia & Apartheid South Africa have suddenly been spun as acceptable in the form of Israel.
      Fundamentally the racism of white Catholics and protestants is suddenly spun as supposedly ok when practiced by the Israel lobby – and the Israel lobby is a precise term. Anti-racist Jews like ‘Jewish Voices for Peace’ have not been demanding this exemption from scrutiny on the issue of racism.
      Against all the logic of the structural definintion of racism, in the context of this moral panic we’ve even had the abomination of Black people – Mac Wadsworth, Jackie Walker – being accused of racism against whites.

  6. “It is never OK to respond to allegations of racism by being defensive”

    Actually, the wind-vane hypocrite is right on this : we need to go on the *attack* when the allegations are fictional and used as political weapons that betray the real victims of the Holocaust.

    I accuse the BoD and supporters of ant-black racism against Marc Wadsworth and Jackie Walker. I accuse them also of cultural prejudice against ‘the wrong type of Jew’ – the Charedi and groups such as JVL. I also accuse supporters of Zionism and, specifically the Israeli government of racially prejudiced attitudes as well as ideas of cultural exceptionalism . These attitudes have led to the physical and cultural oppression of the native population of Palestine and are a crime against humanity.

    So, Lansman, let’s see some thoughtful “self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement”. These are far more substantive allegations than the crude fictions targetting the Labour Party and the vast bulk of its members.

    1. I agree with your point, but I would like to refine that Likud has little to do with Zionism and lots to do with fascism.
      Just because Likud wish to self define itself as a Zionist party, it is not reason for the rest to agree. Zionism it is Jew nationalism and in the same way that the Palestinians have the right to self-determination, so do the Jews but within legally recognised borders. Calling the occupied territories ” territories under dispute” is not something that the international community agrees with.
      So perhaps the BoD and Lasman should exercise self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement and realise that the are doing a disservice to Zionism by equating Zionism to fascism that is what the present government of Israel is, a fascist government insisting in calling occupied territories ” under dispute”. Therefore, we have every right to engage in BDS against the present Israeli government.
      Hence, perhaps the BoD would do better with their time sending some points for Likud to agree, rather than to Labour Party candidates:
      >To stop building settlements in the occupied territories.
      > To educate Israelis citizens that Likud is an existential threat to Jewish live us the actions of Likud could have the effect of increasing antisemitism among gentiles.
      > To explain to Israelis that voting for Likud isn’t Zionism but actually they are supporting a fascist party.
      Lasman having engaging with his own advice perhaps could ask to all Labour hopefuls to give a commitment to support:
      > The right to self determination of the Palestinian people
      > To endorse and implement the motion on Palestine passed at Labour Conference in 2018.

      1. Gorria – “the same way that the Palestinians have the right to self-determination, so do the Jews”

        I’m sure you’re well-intentioned, but there is a world of difference between the situation of Israeli settlers and immigrants to Israel.

        One group of people is claiming entitlement to their ancestral (in the real, verifiable sense) homeland – but claiming no ethnic or cultural exclusivity (remember – Palestinians were historically always a mixture of Islamists, Jews and Christians).

        The other group are colonists laying claim to territory on a basis of cultural/religious exclusivity and dominance that denies the inigenous populationtheir rights. Worse, it has involved an active policy of ethnic cleansing and the establishment of military tyranny.The principles are no different from that of the claimed Islamic State that we abhor. In what sane world would there be a recognition of any group to light upon a given territory and claim it as an act of ‘self-determination’?

        Of course, resolving the existing situation will require a recognition of the existence of a population of Israelis. But that is different from recognising a colonial right of ‘self determination’ immigration by foreign settlers that takes precedence over the actual people of the area. A non-negotiable condition has to be the abandonment of the unacceptable notion of an exclusionary ‘Jewish state’, created by this process of ethnic cleansing, and the recognition of multi-cultural equality.

        (P.S. Forget any idea of a compromise ‘two state solution’ – the Israelis have killed the possiblity and need to face the consequences of that.)

      2. “a world of difference between the situation of Israeli settlers and immigrants to Israel.”

        Just noticed that this doesn’t make sense! Should read :

        “a world of difference between the situation of Israeli settlers and the indigenous population of Israel”

    2. “It is never OK to respond to allegations of racism by being defensive”.

      No, you should just roll over. Guilty because accused.

      This list is pure blackmail. When/if my membership card arrives, I shall expect it to have a star of David on it. If not I will be complaining in the most sarcastic manner possible. I mean, what’s the point in a guilt-ridden white liberal gentile joining the party now if you can’t virtue-signal?

  7. I think we need to raise questions around this issue in any hustings. We do not want a mass sell-out of principles re challenging oppression, genocide, war mongering, fraudulent criminal behaviour and such like by whoever perpetrates that. We have to stand up for all those who are kept voiceless. Furthermore the more division within the party and society appears to be their aim. It is also in my view a means to ‘gag people and prevent them from speaking out on important issues issue that arise or have already arisen. Our party should stand up for those who are vulnerable, for those not able to speak up, for those prosecuted and oppressed and challenge those who perpetrate all these atrocities regardless of who they are! And maybe those who present candidates wi5th their shopping list of demands need to self-reflect, self-scrutinize etc their own statements and actions. Quite honestly it is my view that we do not need tories within the labour party.

    1. Indeed, Sabine. The equivalent would be the Party condemning Nelson Mandela and supporting apartheid in South Africa. I find the cowardice of the current batch of Labour candidates thoroughly despicable – it makes me want to puke.

      No doubt if Lansman gets sussed, and gets booted off the NEC, he’ll bellyache about ‘antisemitism’. Such is the nature of wind-vane fakes.

      I suppose that, at least we now know that RLB is – at best – a knee-jerk non-entity. Better sooner than later.

  8. Why don’t any of the candidates acknowledge the criticisms that are coming from the Left of the party? Surely they know about them? Surely they read this blog?

  9. I think the key word here is “allegations” and I accept that being defensive is not a good response to allegations of antisemitism ( or anything else for that matter) . However until allegations are fully and objectively investigated and substantiated by evidence it is wrong in my opinion to make any comment whatsoever as this may prejudice the outcome of the complaints process .
    Additionally until the allegations have been found to have a sound base I consider self scrutiny self criticism and self improvement unnecessary and totally inappropriate as they indicate a presumption of guilt .
    It is essential that natural justice prevails in complaints of antisemitism or any other complaints of similar obnoxious behaviour e.g. homophobia, sexism etc ‘ In all cases there must be a presumption of innocence until it is shown otherwise on the balance of probabilities – the yardstick for proof in civil cases.
    Furthermore in most if not all civil cases the onus is on the complainant to make their case. I do not see why antisemitism or other complaints to the party should be treated differently.
    To accept without proper scrutiny that complaints are justified and made in good faith is a threat to the rights of the accused and in my opinion puts us on a slippery slope. Look at the harm done to totally innocent people because of Tom Watsons automatic and unquestioning acceptance of the sex crimes allegations of “Nick” who turned out to be a fantasist and a liar.
    Fairness to all involved must be our priority and this does not allow for any assumptions or presumptions either way

    1. To put it bluntly, Smartboy – any dishonest and devious wanker can make ‘accusations’. So we’re supposed to fall on our knees when they do?

      Well – let’s start accusing the Israel Lobby and BoD a bit more forcefully and see if they stick to the formula.

      (Dream On)

      1. If allegations are false, made in bad faith and not kept confidential by the complainant e.g. if the complainant issues a press statement then we have a duty to the accused person or group to make our findings public,

  10. When right antisemitism and the BUF were rampant in the 30s it was Bundists and anti-zionist jews, many of them members of the Communist Party, who were foremost in facing them down and driving them off the streets. The BoD were embarrassed by such militancy and kept very quiet. Nowadays they deem that antisemitism is coming from the left, they are much less quiet, deafeningly so. The BoD have long since been a part of the bourgeoisie, albeit a sectarian one. I would refer comrades to the Ian Pappe video I posted a few days ago. “Every minute that we don’t talk about Palestine but we answer the stupid allegation of antisemitism is a wasted minute of our time…” Lansman is a disgrace and it look like like RLB is quite happy to play along with his games. The conclusion I have reached is that the only important thing for socialists now is to make sure that Burgon is elected deputy to counterbalance whatever the next idiocy that comes from whoever the new leader is.

    “They’ll stop chasing you, if you stop running.” Mick McGahey

    1. I plan to abstain and only vote for Richard Burgon as Deputy and Dawn as a back up, providing that she doesn’t sign up to the BoD demands. It is important that we teach RLB and the left in the PLP a lesson difficult for them to forget in future.
      “We are not going to vote for a candidate just because she/he is the most left, unless he/she keeps to the principles of solidarity for the oppressed and giving voice to the most vulnerable”
      Good luck to RLB getting the votes of the right of the Party (it isn’t going to happen) RLB made her bed, so now she has to lie on it.
      Despite all the nominations AR has received, most of the PLP and the right wing of the Party is going to favour RAK for Deputy leader. The left, the Corbynistas and the soft left are going to back either RB or DB.
      My guess is that neither RLB no AS are going to last long in the Shadow Cabinet, first re-shuffle and both will be gone to the back benches.

  11. Sorry to see that Clive Lewis has bowed to the inevitable useless time-serving nature of the PLP.

    I could reconcile myself to him not winning – that’s life and the Party. But the actual choice that remains is such a mark of constipated lack of inspiration.

    There is no real choice – the response to the BoD shows all in the business of selling their own grandmothers rather than tackle the real issues… and I can tell the difference between that and necessary compromise and pragmatism.

  12. Self scrutiny – BOD, do we speak for all diverse Jewish citizens?
    Self criticism – are our leaders a right wing elite?
    Can we be more representative?
    Self improvement 1 – OMOV for BOD committee and chair?
    2. Along with JLM and CAS stand with socialists in Labour and trade unionists when they put themselves at risk confronting fascists on the streets?
    Meanwhile USA billionaires fund far right groups and ondividuals around the World and here and it is Labour and unions on the front line as the far right try to set diverse working people against each other (thus helping the rich and powerful).
    Diverse working people of the World Unite!
    Only good thing to come out of this sorry tale – Jewish Voice for Labour.

  13. Very strange for an activist like Lansman to reverse his position on such a subject in my experience.
    Occasionally I’ve wondered if it might be because he or family members are being threatened or blackmailed by Netanyahu/Likud through the Israeli embassy, Shai Masot or his successor.

    I used to admire almost to the point of worship Mossad’s and Israel’s citizen army’s effectiveness in the 60’s and 70’s when little Israel was either under attack or under threat of it, and celebrated each time the underdog prevailed.
    Today I no longer see Israel as a brave, surrounded, small island of civilisation – it’s become the bully of the region.
    I’d have hoped, in common with some Jewish intellectuals, that the Israelis on becoming the dominant regional power would exercise that power with greater moderation, tolerance and sympathy than other nations, given Jewish history.

    Now apparently Israel would demand I be condemned for an antisemite for expressing such a thought.

    1. However, David – perhaps that image of Israel was always advertising – not reality.

      At the time of the 7-Days’ War, I had a number of jewish friends, and none who were Palestinian. I noted the excitement of the former – but, to be honest – it was all about a kerfuffle in a far-away land, even though I, like you, had absorbed the ahistorical publicity about the brave desert pioneers. I guess were not alone in that.

      To sum up – I knew f. all.

      It was when I went to Israel, Jordan and Egypt a while later that the extreme oddness of Israel as a country struck me. The wierdness started with the machine pistols and two-man interrogation before getting on a ‘plane to Tel Aviv – just a start to a series of experiences that screamed ‘disconnection’.

      I laterdeveloped a strong feeling that it was the Bedouin who were the more civilsed and open part of the population, whilst the dominant Europeans were like an ill-fitting garment dumped on the country. It was a gut feeling of a place at odds with itself and its geography.

      I don’t think I thought too much more about it – it was just a gut feeling of an irreconciled weirdness, and it wasn’t until later that I caught up with the detail of the historical background and saw how it related to those observations and the gut feeling about the country’s artificiality and lack of roots in the landscape.

      Of course, history can’t be undone, and there is now a nation of colonial settlers and descendents who see Palestine as home. That has to be recognized.

      But the mythology of Zionism cannot be given an indulgent precedence over the indigenous population of milennia of residence. The ‘Right of Return’ should apply to exiled Palestinians with a concrete historical connection to the land, and the idea of a ‘Jewish State’ treated as as much of a nonsense as that of an ‘Aryan State’, an ‘Islamic State’, a ‘Christian State’ or a ‘White State’. These are racist concepts. And we all know where racism can lead.

      Basically – Zionism is nonsense except in terms of pure symbolism, and needs to be called out as such.

    2. In the 1960’s and 1970’s true Zionist were in charge. Nowadays it is a bunch of far right and fascist taking on the mantel of Zionism. Likud has little to do with Zionism and lots with fascism.

  14. Pantomime Dame Margaret Hodge made 200 vexatious claims of anti semitism against party, members and supporters
    Your a fucking anti semite and a racist
    On what planet is she not sacked on the spot
    Will be my question at hustings in Durham

    1. Margaret also likened the threat of disciplinary action by our party for her outrageous behaviour to how Jews felt in the Nazi era. She talked about her father telling her always to keep a suitcase by the door.
      These were a totally disgusting comments in the context of a disciplinary process as they cheapened and trivialised the horrors that Jewish people endured under Hitler.
      She shamelessly exploited of the memory of the Jewish victims of the murderous Nazis to get off the hook for her disgraceful public assault on Jeremy Corbyn.
      Her behaviour was vile and in my opinion she should have been investigated for both antisemitism and bringing the party into disrepute.

      1. She scared the party off taking any action against by instructing some high profile libel lawyers. I have no idea who was paying the lawyer’s fees.

      2. Yes she did that too which was her right – I see nothing wrong with her trying to defend herself through legal channels – it was her completely disrespectful and in my opinion antisemitic references to the horrific experiences of Jews in Nazi Germany in the context of a disciplinary case which disgusted me and which I found utterly contemptible.

  15. What an interesting flood of comments; a nerve has been hit? The message is clear I think, any new leader who wants to be fully trusted has to take on this issue, not necessarily by frontal confrontation but certainly not by immediately conceding what is the most important argument faced! It can never be conceded because it’s simply untrue.

    1. Bazza
      Lesson from Cable Street was fascists could not fight there way out of a paper bag,
      Police were brought in to protect them, the battle was with mounted police and it was the womens contribution 😄that won it
      Me nana was from the Isle of Dogs

  16. Joseph – As far as I’m aware there is only one other religious based affiliate to the Labour party (a small Christian organisation). I find it profoundly undemocratic that 2 religions have a disproportionate and unjustifiable influence on the Labour party. By all means consult with religious organisations but this should be done with all religions equally. The very idea that just 2 unrepresentative factions from only 2 religions have more influence than all the other religions and all their various sects put together should be a complete anathema to a democratic socialist party.

    It would be difficult to claim that the attempt to mix religion with politics has proved to be a successful union for any of the parties (particularly those excluded from this cosy arrangement) so I think the simplest solution is to be completely fair and just disaffiliate all religious organisations from the Labour Party

    1. Steve H I agree and certainly the position the French take is an example of not recognising religion or race is a good example,despite some flaws .nothing is perfect,I have always believed in the exclusion of Religion in the state despite my own personal beliefs which are Catholic.We learn from the past and the Labour party is in many ways looking backward.If we do not stop the lying and deceit to the massive membership we will inevitably start a leak that will drain the membership and destroy the only way for real change that was the Labour party. The Labour party have no right to foist any religion in preference to the membership and give them special rights or sanctions……And we might like to copy the French again in how to inform the goverment on what we think of the privatization plans and welfare…..pensions etc.

    2. Thinking about it, I don’t think that religion per se is the issue. Since the inception of the Labour Party, Christian Socialism has been a thread that hasn’t caused much of a problem, and I can remember debates about whether we should hold meetings in the Labour Club, where alcohol was sold – in order to not offend some Moslems. It was debated in a civilized manner and resolved, if not entirely to the satisfaction of those proposing the change.

      The ‘antisemitism scam’ is of a different order, with an outside body, visibly in league with the Tory Party attempting to dictate to Labour, whilst falsely claiming to represent the whole of a particular sub-culture.

      The power comes from the disgusting exploitation of memories of the Holocaust for political ends. It has also been aided by an internal Trojan Horse, in the form of the JLM that, by any objective criterion, has excluded itself from affiliation to the Party.

      I write as someone with no religious beliefs or affiliations – but I haven’t seen any other problems arising from religious belief per se. The problem here is the antagonistic politics trumping the religion and using the notion of racial prejudice for devious ends..

    3. Completely agree SteveH, but I’d extend the same sound principle to unions. There’s little more justification for the leader of a union to have influence over the party than there is for the Pope to speak for Catholic members or the BoD to speak for Jewish members on party political issues.
      It’s clearly undemocratic to allow union or especially religious members influence above that of ordinary Labour members.

      By no means consult with religious organisations 🙂
      Those poor unfortunates haunted by delusions of ghosts, devils and all-powerful deities would be protected in padded environments and freed from the stress of voting until fully recovered in any truly evolved society.

    4. RH, the issue I have with religion is the willingness of believers to dedicate their whole lives to the laughable idea of an all-powerful yet invisible being who creates a universe out of nothingness, pisses about making dinosaurs only to throw an asteroid at them, creates people and demands they worship it by obeying its priestly representatives on Earth.
      A scam fairy story made up by a cave dweller too lazy to hunt or gather and still they fall for it.

      Unlike religion, politics is too important to be left to tellers of tall tales and the gullible who can’t tell a scam from a kick up the arse.
      Of course I accept that gullibility is not exclusive to religious believers.
      It would be easy enough to test for it, but first we’d have to decide that making intelligent decisions in politics would be a ‘good thing’.
      The Tories would shit themselves.

  17. It’s astonishing that the two front runners for the leadership should appear to have capitulated without argument! I for one couldn’t vote for anybody prepared to accept orders from a hostile foreign State.

  18. RH you have a point on religion and like you say its never been a problem.But we both know that religion and politics attract some fairly nasty characters,and like now can be used against anyone not on message..We cannot allow any group to use either to forge a special place inside the heart of the Labour party as it is now..And if you mix the two together you have a rampant ideology of a group of elites untouchable by the media and feared by the Labour party.

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