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Lansman accuses SKWAWKBOX of “damaging interests of left” by reporting on his antisemitism articles

Momentum founder and Long-Bailey campaign manager makes comments in response to press enquiry

Jon Lansman

The SKWAWKBOX has been running a series of articles examining Jon Lansman’s support of Rebecca Long-Bailey’s decision to accept a list of ten demands by the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD) – and his own past articles that would be likely to fall foul of that list.

Momentum founder Lansman is managing Long-Bailey’s leadership election campaign.

The first in the series looked at Lansman’s tweeted approval of an article in which Long-Bailey said that a defensive response to accusations of racism was never acceptable, alongside Lansman’s defensiveness when asked about his condemnation of the BOD’s ‘shame’ when it complained about a newspaper cartoon it considered antisemitic.

The second revealed Lansman’s anger at being asked about an article in which he discussed ‘apartheid’ in Israel and comparisons of Israel’s policies with nazi Germany – and said that both had some ‘validity’.

The third looked at Lansman’s 2016 article denouncing the ‘witch-hunt’ and ‘lynch mob’ attacking black Jewish activist Jackie Walker, who was subsequently expelled from the Labour Party – and Lansman’s support this week for Long-Bailey’s endorsement of the BOD’s demand that Walker must never be re-admitted to the party.

Mr Lansman’s article would be likely to fall foul of the current pattern of antisemitism complaints in a number of ways:

  • former Labour MP Chris Williamson was suspended – and ultimately deselected as a Labour candidate – after being accused of antisemitism for arranging a showing of WitchHunt, a film about Jackie Walker
  • Labour members are frequently accused of antisemitism for supporting either Walker or Williamson
  • mention of ‘the Israel lobby’ similarly leads to accusations of antisemitism
  • descriptions of Labour’s accusers as selective or motivated by a desire to help the Conservative party routinely lead to accusations of antisemitism or ‘denialism’
  • descriptions of those making complaints as a ‘lynch mob’ or a ‘witch-hunt’ are treated as evidence of antisemitism

“Damaging the left”

Yet when the SKWAWKBOX contacted Jon Lansman to ask about these issues, Lansman did not live up to his endorsement of Long-Bailey’s prescribed non-defensive response.

Mr Lansman was asked:

The BOD specifically names Jackie Walker as someone who must never be allowed back into the Party. In 2016 you said suspending her was ‘the wrong call’, describing McNicol’s disciplinary process as ‘unfit’, condemning the ‘witch-hunt’ and selective ‘lynch mob’ and even attributing it to the Israel Advocacy Movement.

[Yet] you supported Becky’s support of the BOD pledges. Were you wrong in 2016 or are you wrong now?

In response, Lansman stated that he was wrong in 2016 – and that he would not be answering any more questions from a ‘cranky’ site that:

does nothing but damage the interests of the left.

‘Crank’ is a term often used by the so-called ‘blue-tick left’ to attack or mock working-class or pro-union left-wingers. In 2018, Jon Lansman condemned an article that used the term as “uncomradely and divisive”.


Jon Lansman’s past comments would lead to complaints if made by an ordinary Labour member under the BOD-demanded regime that he has endorsed this week.

Yet – in spite of his praise for Long-Bailey’s statement that a defensive response on such issues is never acceptable – he thinks that investigating the issues around antisemitism and asking him to clarify his position ‘does nothing but damage the interests of the left’.

And his use of ‘crank’ – which in 2018 he condemned – is a worrying reminder of the disconnect between the ‘blue-tick left’ and the working class Labour needs to reconnect with if it is to return to power.

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  1. Transparency is what the left should be all about. With only a few mistakes Squawk is contributing to this. Making those in power squeak is sometimes the first step to get those at the top off their high horses and attack their arrogance.

  2. If I’m reading this right, Lansman should be up in front of the Labour party beak,
    Now that would make us all smile
    Good Luck to the first member to raise this with all the candidates at the Hustings
    BoD10 is a crocodile infested swamp surrounded by sharks
    I hope it comes back to bite them

    1. One useful parting gift from Corbyn to us before he goes would be to expel the odious hypocrite Lansman from the party!

    2. Bye, bye Mr L, hoped you enjoyed your moment in the sun which achieved as a song goes “Absolutely nothing!”
      The Left now needs to find a way of choosing 9 left wing democtratic socialists for the Left NEC CLP slate before what’s left of bourgeois top down Momentum try to tell us the great and good of the left to vote for.
      The left deserves better.

  3. I recently applied to be an audience member of BBC’s ‘Question Time’ tonight, from Liverpool. I received a ‘friendly’ telephone call asking me about my background & political affiliations. The researcher asked if I would like to attend & which questions would I ask the panel. I replied that I wondered why it was anti-Semitic to describe the Board of Deputies as Tory backers & whether they should apologise for the IDF genocide of Palestinians on West Bank & Gaza? The line went dead.

    1. Steve, it’s been obvious for a long time that QT is rigged in the questions it allows and the audience it selects. I notice that the far right follower and audience producer Alison Pedley Fuller is still in post!

    2. Steve – Your experience is typical of the MSM’s fear of and/or complicity with the Israel Lobby. The chilling effect is reminiscent of propaganda control and media manipulation in the most egregious of totalitarian states.

      The Groan blocked me for raising the issue of ethnic cleansing (and ironically taking the piss out of it’s strap line that it’s reporting ‘changes the story’!) . So much for its ‘fearless’ reporting under Viner.

      The massive irony is that, apart from the minority of (mainly right-wing) genuinely antisemitic nutters, it is the controllers of this media and whom they represent who are actually closest to the philosophy of the protagonists for what they pretend to criticize.

      As I’ve posted elsewhere, Harvey Goldstein’s remark :

      ““All of this is part of a more general position that the ‘left’ should be taking which is to try and tell the truth – even where it may be uncomfortable.”

      For those who are unfamiliar, he is a notable academic statistician well versed in the assessment of evidence – and who consequently rubbishes the idea of the Party as inherently ‘antisemitic’.

  4. I am not at all surprised that Jon Lasman isn’t following his own advice. He is very much ” do as I say not as I do”.

    1. Remarkable man. He only fought for peace, against censorship, love thy neighbour and loyalty to ones comrades. We might not see his like yeay even until the next conference. Sir John I salute you.

  5. The elephant in the room is Zionism, i.e. support for the colonisation of Palestine which was carried out by using force, violence and terrorism.

    The Labour Party, if it was a true Socialist Party, should be anti-Zionist but many in the Party are absolutey terrified to discuss it or even use the term Zionism for fear that the nuclear weapon of anti-Semitism will be detonated in their face. Lansman is a shill for the JLM, the Zionist organisation within Labour which is determined to prevent a Socialist becoming Leader and when faced with the truth he does what they all do, they try to sidestep the issue and pull the argument off into the long grass of obfuscation and insults.

    Too many people have now woken up to what’s been happening within the Labour Party and the cat will not be put back into the bag, even when it is chucked lifeless on to the table.

    1. Are the JLM in the party or are they affiliated? Do the membership have a vote in internal affairs? I know nothing about this but I know they have influence. I find it hard to believe that they think as one. My mates can’t agree with each other on anything and analyse the most irrelevant ideas forensically. I just wonder about the spokespeople and how they were elevated to their posts as speakers for every single Jewish person. They would be wrong to include my comrades. This will never end. Good luck all.

      1. Oh yes, what about the Fabians? My COOP CARD IS IN THE BIN. Woops, unintended caps. Regards

      2. I think that it is more than a little perverse that you don’t have to be Jewish or a Labour Party member to be a member of JLM and yet JLM are affiliated to the party.

        You can find a full list of affiliated organisations here.

  6. The more you think about it, the less Jon Lansman and a desire to increase the wealth, health and happiness of the working class have in common.

  7. I sincerely hope that aware members will no longer be supporting the wind-vane in NEC elections. I’m prepared to think he is, to some extent, genuinely conflicted about his allegiance to the spoof Jewish establishment and the truth – but his confusions shouldn’t be inflicted on the Party.

  8. The question is would we get Rebecca or would we get Lansman. And what would Rebecca be like without the influence of Lansman.

    1. The real question is about what sort of leadership candidate would emply Lansman and also sign up to the BoD blackmail?

      … and would you vote for such?

      1. Remember every day we are distracted by AS we fail to talk about injustice for Palestinians.
        And be wary wary of the usual posters on here and their bait.

      2. Bazza – They are both very reasonable question to ask, questions that many in the party will be pondering over before they cast their votes.

      3. … and of course, they are two sides of the same coin. As to ‘usual posters’, aren’t you one yourself?

        ‘Bait’? Only for poor specimens of argument that need to be thrown back.

      4. Never! Such a move will lose us thousands. I feel a darkness descending over my town, my communitys’ dying and the seasonal work is getting less and less. I have no solutions but I can recognise stupidity such as this is intolerable. To consider a new leader with close ties to the Tapeworm in chief of offering better lives it really is maddening. I’ll keep up my subs but I don’t have a clue. I know, I’m a bit of a old duffer. I could get an allotment. Oh bugger is that a trope because can led to growing and making fruit. Yeah, that’s no7 or 2 out the window.

  9. It seems that Rachel Cousins from Swindon, has been cited as being anti-Semitic by Lisa Nandy & Jess Phillips. Guilt by adoption of IHRA definition? Freedom of Speech is under attack & not just by right wing Labour politicians, but also MSM, especially the BBC. In a healthy democracy, Voltaire’s assertion that ‘I may disagree with what you say, but will fight to the death for your right to say it’ is a fundamental freedom that must be defended; it appears ironic that journalists are not protecting this freedom & Julian Assange is still in Bellmarsh awaiting extradition to USA.

    1. There is more anti-Semitism in the Conservative Party.
      So why did the BoD not send a list of demands to the candidates in their recent leadership election?

      1. Well, because as far as the general public are concerned, practically all of the A/S is in the LP – ie on the left of the LP – and the BoD know THAT of course, as THEY have been part and parcel in creating that false reality. And needless to say, they don’t give a DAMN about actual anti-semitism.

  10. Just a thought that came to mind whilst I was considering the blithe and blanket acceptance of even the most ridiculous ‘antisemitism’ accusations. It arose from considering Lansman’s psychology and led to a consideration of what motivates much of the apparent paralysing fear that afflicts so many when the subject is broached – including all the leadership candidates (of course, I’m not including the motivations of the venal front organisations).

    Is there a sort of guilt here that betrays an underlying impulse of prejudice – resulting in a weird sort of over-compensation : ^ Me??? I’ll show you I’m not anti-semitic ot biased!!!!!”

    The irony, of course is that this sort of compensation becomes absurd, and instead of emphasizing the roots of *anti*-racism, betrays the opposite, with a notion that being Jewish is an automatic exclusion from the common human characteristic of being capable of evil intent. So accusations become facts.

    For those of us who have no such prejudice against the Jewish community, and are fully aware of the history of both the Holocaust and Palestine, the trembling fear is hard to comprehend. But I guess it’s another example of the way in which cowards are made by bullies.
    Actually, the history of the Holocaust is replete with examples of that sort of moral (and actual) betrayal. It depended on it.

    For myself, I can put up with a lot of name-calling, but not ‘anti-semite’, because I have too much awareness to use the term lightly or as a playground insult. Interesting that the Right and the Israel Lobby takes the idea and the history so lightly as to render it meaningless.

    I find that careless devaluation of meaning reprehensible. It goes back to a time when, as a pretty callow youth, I had the experience of performing in a reading of Peter Weiss’s ‘The Investigation’ at the Belgrade in Coventry. (The ‘play’ is actually verbatim extracts from the Auschwitz trials), and as a result meeting individuals who had actually been there. It was a formative and educational experience after which the casual exploitation of the event for political advantage becomes truly sickening. Using it to justify the treatment of Palestinians is worse.

    1. No RH, it has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘guilt’, and EVERYTHING to do with ‘blackmail’, as you said in a comment further up the page – ie sign up to our demands or else!

      1. Allan – You miss my distinction between the actively ‘venal’ and those genuinely conflicted about the real-world impact of their religious mythology.

  11. Go to Jewish News find Jess Phillip’s article, scroll down to comments and follow the thread
    We are in good company, inspiring, just when you think the Cockwombles are winning
    Puts our leadership candidates to shame

    1. I can’t find it. What was the date? I had no idea that it was a free paper and despatched it to a few counties. I read some clever stuff while researching. Jewish people have always been a part my political debating group. Humour, knowledge and self effacement. They are horrified by some people’s actions. As with the rest of us I am having difficulty preventing them from leaving, what we once grasped has turned to nothing. I think it was in ‘LEAR’, “Nothing will come from nothing”. A new start comrades before it is really too late.

  12. At the end of March last year three people were arrested by police investigating allegations of anti-Semitism, and then a fourth at the beginning of May, the day before the local council elections. I assumed that they had been charged, and as the months went by wondered why we had heard no more about it. Turns out I was wrong about them having been charged, as I just – by chance – came across a Guardian article from a week ago in which it says the following:

    It has also emerged that prosecutors are considering whether to bring charges against five people as part of an investigation into alleged antisemitism by members of the Labour party.

    Four people were arrested and two interviewed under caution last year as part of the inquiry. Investigators have sent five files of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service.


    So in the FIRST place it took six months and seven months respectively for the Met police to conclude that these four people should be arrested AND investigated, and NOW we learn – more than ten months later – that their cases haven’t even been dealt with yet AND ‘that prosecutors are considering whether to bring charges’ against them (and one other person).

    What a complete and utter joke! The above excerpt is just before the end of the article:

    1. In the following Daily Mail article re the three people being arrested, it says the reason they were arrested is for ‘publishing or distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred’. It DOESN’T say whether the three of them were connected and all distributing the same material as such (which I assume was obviously a leaflet), but it seems MOST unlikely to ME that anyone would put a leaflet together for the purpose of distributing it (either handing it out in the street/local shopping center, or putting it through peoples doors) which contained anything anti-semitic, and I think the most likely explanation is that they were distributing leaflets they’d put together that exposed the A/S smears for what they are, and if THAT’s the case, then I think it’s highly unlikely that they will be charged in the end, and the whole thing is just being deliberately dragged out as long as possible, and has probably been cited, in passing, numerous times in the anti-Corbyn press and elsewhere, just as in the Guardian article above.

      The joke of it is that in the DM article it says the following:

      LBC’s documents [they were actually passed on to LBC by the CAA AND in turn passed on to the Met Commissioner when she did a stint on LBC] included details of 45 cases of alleged anti-Semitism, including one which read: ‘We shall rid the Jews who are a cancer on us all.’

      Others included a threat to throw two MPs off the top of a building and one that said a ‘Zionist extremist MP who hates civilised people’ was going to ‘get a good kicking’.

      So there’s one that said/read ‘ ‘We shall rid the Jews who are a cancer on us all’, which is obviously and blatantly anti-semitic, and then it says that ‘others’ included a threat to throw two MPs off the top of a building, and I assume – but can’t be absolutely certain of course – that the two MPs referred to were Jewish Labour MPs, BUT whatever the case, it’s a threat of violence as much as anything and, as such, should surely have resulted in being charged (and I assume it was just the one person who made the threat more than once as it seems HIGHLY improbable that TWO people would have said exactly the same thing), as with the third one cited re the ‘get a good kicking’.

      It is inconceivable that any of the above was in the leaflets that the three people arrested were distributing, and surely anyone posting such comments on social media (which is where I assume they were found) would be charged for whatever in a matter of days, and weeks at the very most, and yet we’ve heard nothing more about it/them OR that they were even arrested. Why not?! It doesn’t make sense!

      And in the first of three sub-headlines the DM says that: ‘Two men and a woman detained in past three weeks for ‘stirring up racial hatred’, and yet no-where in the following article does it say who they are quoting regards the ‘stirring up racial hatred’, and I think we can safely assume that the DM threw that in for good measure.

      1. .. and by implication, Allan, you make a vitally important general point:

        Whenever one tries to pin down these individual, vaguely worded stories about antisemitism, it is almost impossible to establish (a) what the offence actually is in detail and (b) the connection with the Labour Party (and, by implication, the proportion of genuine incidents to the membership).

        Contrariwise – where one *does* have detail about the high profile cases, one finds , as in the cases of Jackie Walker, Chris Williamson, Marc Wadsworth, Ken Livingstone, Moshe Machover etc. – that there is no antisemitism at all in any sense of the word that has other than a propagandized meaning.

        .. and one also finds those notorious examples of certain MPs who have failed in their constituency role an attempt to brand those who call them out as ‘antisemitic’. Think also of Ruth Smeeth and Alicia Berger fictionally needing ‘protection’, whilst actual instances of anti-Palestinian terrorist threats go virtually unreported, let alone unpunished at successive Party conferences.

    2. Interesting grovelling by Thornberry :

      “And we then need to get down on our hands and knees to the Jewish community and ask them for forgiveness and a fresh start.”

      … which a should make it easy to exclude her from consideration in the leadership role. (As well as the confession that she backed the forseen consequences of the IHRA ‘definition’.)

      1. She said what??!! When? If this is the future direction of travel, whoever becomes leader, the ”Kosher Labour” party needs winding up pronto.

        Then we must start again with a new name. And yes, lead by Corbyn…

  13. Wish Palestinians would give us 10 pledges for our Leader/Deputy/Party to support to help them achieve justice.

    1. We are seeing the end of the Labour Party. I will wait for the msm to tell me what to do next.

  14. Crank and cranky are terms that have their roots in mental illness and as such are ablist. ironic that self-proclaimed anti-racism warriors use it with impunity

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