‘Shallow’ pro-Israel JLM re-education being forced on Jewish members
Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) has made a series of submissions to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) about Labour’s racist and disproportionate targeting of left-wing Jews. In a new update sent to the EHRC, JVL warns the commission that Labour continues to escalate its war on Jewish members who support Palestinians and do not subscribe to the right-wing views of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), the group restructured to ’emerg[e] as a key organising focus within the Labour party’ after Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader.
JVL’s new update, which is has published on its crowdfunder site, warns that Labour’s purposeful misunderstanding and misapplication of antisemitism is resulting in increaingly disproportionate targeting of left-wing Jews, who are being forced to undergo right-wing re-education designed to impose conformity with a pro-Israeli viewpoint by ignoring inconvenient facts and opinions – and that the mistreatment of JVL’s leading members is intensifying:
We are expecting a response from EHRC to our lawyers following their letters and our submissions. We have therefore written to notify them of the latest developments.
It appears that the new Labour Party disciplinary process commences on January 20th. We are highlighting an increasingly dogmatic misunderstanding of antisemitism by a Party which includes, in its guidance, both the IHRA definition and the NEC code of conduct and Appendix 9 of the Rule Book. In this the Party appears to be overly influenced by certain partisan views rather than taking into account the diverse experience and deep knowledge of antisemitism among Jews.
Jews are being disproportionally targeted: the total number who have been sanctioned according to our records is now 43 and there have been 55 investigations of Jews with alleged antisemitism at the core, more investigations than individuals because several have been investigated serially e.g. Diana Neslen, three times. These are only the cases that Party members have brought to our attention, there may well be others.
There is a newer concern that well known JVL figures are being particularly harshly treated by the NEC Panels that determine the Party’s disciplinary actions.
Noticeable elements are the eight ‘auto exclusions’ of Jews arising mainly from retrospective application of the proscription of organisations with significant Jewish participation such as Labour against the Witchhunt. The term ‘support’ is being applied extraordinarily widely to include, for instance, merely expressing concern about the proscriptions. The intent appears clear – to eliminate anti Zionist and other legitimate points of view challenging influences from the Party.
One Jewish member has received an eighteen-month suspension from the Party. This penalty seems to rest solely on Appendix 9 of the rule book which includes the following text, which has been used by the Party to brand as antisemitic any questioning of its handling of allegations of antisemitism, even the correction of the facts or any explanation of Jewish identity which questions the Party’s assumptions.
“Any behaviour or use of language which targets or intimidates members of ethnic or religious communities, or incites racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia,or undermines Labour’s ability to campaign against any form of racism, is unacceptable conduct within the Labour Party.”
The first investigation was concluded with the Claimant having no knowledge of a right to defence under the NEC Code of Conduct; a request in 2021 to reopen that investigation was ignored.
This harsh sentence as a conclusion to the second investigation includes a component that effectively will exclude the claimant from the Labour Party: a new rule that requires compulsory training on antisemitism.
This training is given by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). JVL, some of whose members have attended the voluntary open sessions out of interest, has critiqued this training as lacking in depth (it is not ‘education’) and privileging a Zionist viewpoint. See the following article: JVL response to JLM antisemitism training.
The view of antisemitism promoted in these sessions is reductive in the extreme; to impose it on Jews who hold a different view of the world based on their own life experiences (in this case of more than eight decades) is surely concerned with humiliation rather than education.
Labour’s ‘action plan’ in response to the EHRC’s 2020 report has excluded left-wing Jews from any involvement in the party’s new disciplinary and consultative processes, with the ‘independent’ advisory and disciplinary bodies essentially hand-picked by Labour’s right-wing general secretary.
The EHRC had invited JVL to make representations on its concerns over this exclusion, but JVL has not yet received a substantive response.
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