Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) has issued a statement condemning the expulsion by the Labour party of elected NEC member Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi on a pretext, which Skwawkbox reported last week.
The group has also published an open letter that it is asking supporters to sign:
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, articulate anti-racist, labour movement activist and fearless supporter of Palestinian rights, has been expelled from the Labour Party – not despite these qualities but because of them. Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is proud to have Naomi as one of its founding members, and as its tireless media officer.
In suspending and then expelling Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi the party has disenfranchised the thousands of members who elected her to the National Executive Committee. They have been deprived of her voice as one of the nine directly elected constituency party representatives. This disregard for democracy is an attack not just on Naomi but on the rights of all members.
Naomi’s expulsion follows a pattern in which the those who disagree with the leadership’s policies are met not with counter-arguments but with silencing. Many honourable and principled socialists have had their memberships terminated. This is McCarthyism that will stand as one of the most shameful episodes in the party’s history. A party led by a senior lawyer has made breaking its own rules as well as denial of natural justice its signature modus operandi.
Disproportionately those who have been processed through Labour’s disciplinary sausage-machine have been Jews. Many of these have been disciplined for their statements on Palestine or on antisemitism. This is not accidental: many Jews are acutely conscious of the injustices done to and still being perpetrated against Palestinians by an Israeli state built on their subjugation. There is a fundamental difference between criticism of Israel and hostility to Jews. But now such criticism has become a disciplinary offence.
Naomi’s qualities are well understood among Party members. Her election was a vindication of the values that she exemplifies. She will be appealing against her expulsion, contesting the flimsy grounds on which it is based and challenging the factional bias evident in the timing of the action against her and the leaking of information about it to hostile media.
JVL will continue to insist on the right to speak up unambiguously for the rights of Palestinians, and to call out the misuse of charges of antisemitism for factional purposes. We stand by all those who have been, and continue to be, hounded out of the party by a leadership which cannot tolerate any diversion from its neo-liberal, pro-imperialist political direction.
Please sign and share the statement below.
Those wishing to sign the letter can do so here.
Keir Starmer’s regime has relentlessly hounded left-wing Jews, targeting them in massively disproportionate numbers.
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