Baroness Royall: Jewish Labour Movement should train Labour students

Baroness Royall Inquiry (executive summary and recommendations)

Quick summary:
Baroness Royall found there was no ‘institutional antisemitism’ in the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC), but that it must ensure a ‘safe space’ for all students. She has not recommended that where a person is excluded for antisemitism it should automatically be a life time ban. Royall recommends that the Labour Party ‘should consider whether adopting the MacPherson Principle that an antisemitic incident that may require investigation is any incident that is perceived to be antisemitic by the victim or any other person is appropriate.’ She was also ‘made aware there was at least one case of serious false allegations of antisemitism which was reported to the police.’

Baroness Royall recommends the Labour party demonstrate ‘in a practical and sustained way’ that it

promotes a just society, which judges its strength by the condition of the weak as much as the strong, provides security against fear, and justice at work; which nurtures families, promotes equality of opportunity, and delivers people from the tyranny of poverty, prejudice and the abuse of power.

Yet, she goes on to recommend that ‘training should be organised by Labour Students together with the Jewish Labour Movement for officers of all Labour Clubs in dealing with antisemitism’

As we have clearly set out, the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) officially supports the pro-apartheid, openly racist Israel Labour Party (‘Havoda’), which is trying to negotiate a unity deal with the Netanyahu government. JLM is affiliated to the World Zionist Organization – according to the UN, WZO pumps millions into building in the occupied West Bank through its settlement division: a violation of international humanitarian law. Herzog, leader of the Israeli Labour Party, said that his party shouldn’t give off the constant impression that they are ‘Arab lovers.’

Neve Gordon wrote in February of a plan newly adopted by the Israeli Labour Party:

The Labor Party, which is the only viable alternative to the current Likud government, and which is considered by many both in Israel and among international leaders to be a progressive substitute, has…unanimously supported a plan that would have  been applauded by Apartheid South Africa.

How will the Labour party demonstrate that it delivers people from prejudice and abuse of power, by delivering Labour students into the hands of a movement that supports prejudice and abuse of power in Israel, and is actively lobbying to censor criticism of Zionism?

There is no reference in the executive summary and recommendations to the far greater problem of Islamophobia, which is rampant in the Labour Party, and which it reasonable to assume that Labour Clubs are therefore not immune from.

Royall talks about safe spaces, but does not consider how the current witch hunt means there is no safe space for critics of Israel inside the Labour Party.

She does not challenge the discourse that puts antisemitism in the context of Israel rather than in the context of racism where it belongs

Regarding the Macpherson Report, as Antony Lerman has demonstrated,

Most of the recommendations…relate to reforming and improving police behaviour. And the definition of a racist incident was clearly meant as a very simple and very direct way of doing that: insisting that police must not only keep accurate records of racist incidents, but that they must record that an incident is racist if the victim says it is. At no point does the report move from that very specific and narrow point to a generalisation that racism is what the victim says it is. And I am certain that neither Macpherson nor his fellow inquiry members ever intended that readers of his report and recommendations should understand that this what what they meant.

UPDATE: Oxford University Labour club has released a statement:

In relation to Baroness Royall’s recommendations… We will move to affiliate to the Jewish Labour Movement as a gesture of our solidarity with Jewish people and vigorously support the 8-point plan to eradicate anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

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2 thoughts on “Baroness Royall: Jewish Labour Movement should train Labour students”

  1. But the very first question is – did Royall find any evidence of any antisemitism? This feels surreal. Making recommendations for tackling a problem without knowing whether it exists in the first place!

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