145 Labour Party members say ‘I am Jackie Walker’

Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party

We can’t add more names as the letter has been submitted to Corbyn, but do indicate your support in a comment

We may not be Kirk Douglas but we do say 'I am Jackie Walker'
We may not be Kirk Douglas but we do say ‘I am Jackie Walker’

Dear Jeremy,

We are writing to you as members of the Labour Party. We are a predominantly Jewish group and are writing to ask you to review your behaviour on the question of Israel/Palestine. We understand that amongst reasons given by the Labour Party for claiming that Jackie Walker, the ex-Deputy Chair of Momentum, is antisemitic, the following are included:

  1. Regularly posting on Israel
  2. Describing Israel as a racist state
  3. A pattern of behaviour that causes offence to some members
  4. Claiming that there is an antisemitism witch-hunt
  5. Claiming that there is Israeli involvement in British politics
  6. Saying the Right of the party is using this witch-hunt for political purposes
  7. Saying adoption of IHRA definition of antisemitism is an attempt to outlaw criticism of Israel and to silence pro-Palestinian voices

We would therefore like to let you know that we are too are ‘guilty’ of such charges, not because we are antisemitic but because we believe these to be reasonable statements, accurately describing Israel’s policies and actions. Examples of our activities include:

  1. We have regularly posted on Israel and Palestine (and many other issues of political concern, including British and international politics) on various social media
  1. We have described Israel as a racist state (and indeed as an apartheid state) because it is one. Its legislation defines and differentiates between people on the basis of religion and/or ethnicity, including as you must be aware: laws on ownership of land; who can become a citizen; and the outrageous category of ‘present absentees’, which make it impossible for Palestinians to return to their home, while enabling Israel to confiscate it. Palestinian citizens of Israel are third class citizens, tolerated at best, and the four million Palestinians under occupation enjoy no rights at all. Such views as ours are commonly held by those leading Israeli journalists and intellectuals intent on adhering to international law and the legal force of UN resolutions. Indeed, a small representative selection from recent articles (in the last month alone) in Israeli publications should be enough to demonstrate this point. It is clear that any such views would immediately lead to an inquiry by the UK Labour Party, were they voiced by one of its members.

Press links

  1. We regret that some people may find our statements offensive, but one cannot engage in politics without being offended from time to time. We find many of the statements and actions of Israel and its supporters deeply offensive to us as Jewish, and other Socialist, members of the Party and human rights activists. Despite our unease, we do nothing to try and silence such views. We believe in free speech.
  1. The reason we have claimed there is an ‘antisemitism witch-hunt’ in the Labour Party, is that we do not know how else one could describe the singling out of Palestine rights’ supporters and Anti-Zionists in the Labour Party. We believe that the party has a far worse problem with Islamophobia and anti-black racism, but has shamefully not pursued such cases with any noticeable energy. We acknowledge there may be incidents of antisemitism in the party, as there are of all discriminatory behaviour, but they are infrequent and not systematic; and we have rarely, if ever, witnessed any. Any such incidents that are identified should result in appropriate, transparent and swift action. The cases of Walker, Greenstein, Livingstone and Wadsworth are clearly not amongst them.
  1. We have claimed there is covert and overt Israeli involvement in British politics as conclusively demonstrated in Al Jazeera’s ‘The Lobby’ series of programmes, and by numerous other media/social media reports. To claim otherwise is to ignore the evidence or to cave in to this very lobby.
  1. We have claimed that opponents of the Leader of the Party have used the campaign of antisemitism allegations to destabilise the leadership and have greatly damaged the party as consequence. They have done this with impunity. We believe this to true and clearly demonstrated.
  1. The letter from Jo Johnson to Universities UK using the IHRA definition of antisemitism is one of the examples of the way this racist and demonising ‘definition’ of antisemitism is employed to censor necessary, and proper, political and moral debate. We have spoken to many students and staff who have felt intimidated, and prevented from expressing deeply held (and not in any way antisemitic) views on the brutal daily realities in Palestine/Israel. These are members who are acting against Israel’s illegal actions, moved by the need to achieve a just peace in the region. We believe that the IHRA definition is directed not at antisemitism which is currently showing its ugly face in Europe and, in particular, in Trump’s USA, but instead at the critics of Israeli crimes, many of them being Socialist and Jewish members of the Labour Party. For more details see the legal opinion of Hugh Tomlinson QC: http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/ihra-opinion/

We have taken such positions because we are socialists, and humanists. We believe in the rights of Palestinians to live free from the oppression, national and individual, that they currently experience. We also recollect similar sentiments expressed by yourself in the past.

We shall NOT give up on our right to free speech to criticise Israel, or for that matter, any other country which behaves illegally and immorally. We consider this to be our right and duty as progressive socialists.   The current bogus ‘antisemitism’ attack by the Israel Lobby is intended to deny us this right; will negate our human rights; and suppress free speech and free political debate.

If this stance is unacceptable to the current leadership of the Labour Party, we invite you to take action against us. If, as we believe, you share our views, please stand up with us and say so openly.

History will judge those who stifle debate and silence criticism.

Signed (in alphabetical order)

Barry Ackerman, Enfield CLP

Jax Agnesson, Taunton Deane CLP

Poppy Altmann, Richmond Park CLP

Peter Angell, Castle Point CLP

Valerie Ruth Appleton, Holborn St Pancras CLP

Raymond Atkins, Braintree CLP

Judy Atkinson, Brentford & Isleworth CLP

Claude Baesens, Warwick & Leamington Spa CLP

Georgina Baidoun, Milton Keynes CLP

Chris Bailey, Cambridge CLP

Avril Baker, Hornsey and Wood Green CLP

Angus Barclay, Calder Branch CLP

Graham Bash, South Thanet CLP

Isobel Baxter, Sheffield Central CLP

Mary Beaman, Wimbledon CLP

Stella Beston, Streatham CLP

Karen Bett, Eastwood CLP

Chris Billing, Totnes CLP

Susan Blackwell, South Suffolk CLP

Charles Blake, Milton Keynes CLP

Haim Bresheeth, Hornsey and Wood Green CLP

Tarin Brokenshire, Cambridge City CLP

Andrea Burford, Leicester East CLP

Martin Burke, Hitchin and harpenden CLP

John Cagan, Dulwich and West Norwood CLP

Neil Cameron, Sheffield Central CLP

Caroline Carney, Brentford and Isleworth CLP

David Carrier, Wimbledon CLP

Marina Carter, Tottenham CLP

Ches Chesney, Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP

Sahail Chohan, Heeley CLP

Carl Clarke, Richmond CLP

Edward Clarke, Ashley CLP

Ted Clement-Evans, Riverside CLP

Ruth Conlock, Manchester Withington CLP

Andy Coombes, Stroud CLP CLP

Paul Crofts, Wellingborough CLP

Mike Cushman, Streatham CLP

Deborah Darnes, Congleton CLP

Hyder Dastagir, Croydon North CLP

Nina Davies, Labour International CLP

Helen Dickson, Liverpool, Wavertree. CLP

Josephine Doorley, Leyton Wanstead CLP

Paul Doran, Cambridge CLP

Clare Dove, South Thanet  CLP

Roisin Elder, Norwich South CLP

Michael Ellman, Islington North CLP

Dave Evans, Kidderminster CLP

Ismail Farooki, East Cambridge CLP

Kenny Fryde, Cambridge CLP

Terry Gallogly, York Central  CLP

Sam Louis Gisagara, St Pancras and Holborn CLP

Bernard Grant, Wells Somerset CLP

Sue Grant, Exeter CLP

Janet Green, Holborn and St Pancras CLP

Peter Green, Hackney North CLP

Tony Greenstein, Brighton Kemptown CLP

James Hall, S. Cambridgeshire CLP

Jenny Hardacre, South Cambs CLP

Clare Hariri, South Cambs CLP

David Hawkins, International (registered to vote in Lewisham Deptford) CLP

Abe Hayeem, Harrow East CLP CLP

Rosamine Hayeem, Harrow East CLP

Frankie Hewett, Canterbury and Whitstable CLP

John Hodkinson, West Derby (Liverpool) CLP

Owen Holland, Holborn and St. Pancras CLP

Douglas Holton, Hackney North CLP

Bob Jackson, Carmarthen East CLP

Steve Jansky, NW Cambs CLP

Lara Johnson, Bracknell  CLP

Kevin Johnstone, Northampton CLP

Cliff Jones, Sefton CLP

Langdon Jones, Bracknell CLP CLP

Anita Kanani, Brent North CLP

Jenny Kassman, Islington North CLP

Dave Kellaway, South East Cambs CLP

Mike Kennard, Chatham & Aylesford CLP

Jennifer King, Dover and Deal CLP

Steve Kinneavy, Sheffield Crookes & Crosspool CLP

David Kirby, North Hackney CLP

Beverley Krell, Cheadle CLP

David Lancaster, York Central CLP

Jeremy Landor, Hackney South CLP

Diane Langford, Canterbury and Whitstable CLP

Barbara Kay Lawrence, Torfaen CLP

Geoffrey Lee, Holborn and St Pancras CLP

Denise Leggett, Taunton Deane CLP

Leah Levane, Hastings and Rye CLP

Susanne Levin, City and Westminster CLP

Ian Lowery, South West Beds CLP

David Lowton, St Helens South & Whiston CLP

Paul Lythgoe, Cambridge CLP

Moshé Machover, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP

Dr. Alan Maddison, Houghton and Sunderland South CLP

Wade Mansell, Thanet North CLP

Jenny Manson, Finchley and Golders Green CLP

Lawrence McCambridge Audini, Hounslow Heath CLP

Wes McLachlan, Canterbury CLP

Sam Mézec, Labour International CLP

Angie Mindel, Nottingham East CLP

Beverley Molineaux, Keighley CLP

Elizabeth Morley, Ceredigion CLP

Mica Nava, Islington North CLP

Diana Neslen, Ilford South  CLP

Oisin O’Brien, Northern Ireland CLP

Steve O’Neal, Devizes CLP

Sinead O’Reilly, Hampstead and Kilburn CLP

Allan Pearson, South Ribble CLP

Miranda Pennell, Hackney South CLP

Nicola Pratt, Coventry South CLP

Yasmin Rasheed, Rainham and Gillingham CLP

Antony Rawlinson, Walthamstow CLP

Dorothy Rimmer, Eccles CLP

Lee Rock, Hallam CLP

Sean Rowell, Scarborough and Whitby CLP

Joan Rudderham, Coventry North West CLP

Ian Saville, Brent Central CLP

Rose Seabury, North Durham CLP

Richard Seaford, Exeter CLP

Amanda Sebestyen, Holborn & St Pancras CLP

Sue Shaw, Henley CLP

Thomas Spencer, Northern Ireland CLP

Katie Stibbon, Waveney CLP

Gerry Stonestreet, International CLP

Laura Stuart, Barnet CLP

Joe Sucksmith, Cheltenham CLP

Max Tasker, Clwyd West CLP

Josephine Taylor, South West Surrey CLP

Jean Thirtle, North Norfolk CLP

Andy Thomas, Vauxhall CLP

Christine Tongue, Thanet south CLP

Julian Townsend, Camberwell and Peckham CLP

Brian Twist, Leigh CLP

John Tymon, Hampstead & Kilburn  CLP

Steve Voros, Portsmouth North CLP

Dale Wakefield, Bristol South CLP

Hugh Wallis, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP

Gary Whiting, Batley and Spen CLP

Paula Clare Williams, Daventry  CLP

Graham Wilson, Edinburgh Eastern CLP

Naomi Wimborne Idrissi, Chingford and Woodford Green CLP

Susan Wood, Waltham Forest CLP

Monica Wusteman, York Central CLP

Charley Young, Ceredigion CLP

Sue Young, Ceredigion CLP

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29 thoughts on “145 Labour Party members say ‘I am Jackie Walker’”

    1. Please add my name I have said the same thing in multiple emails to labour party mps not got one reply back. Please add my name Darren Sharrocks , Bury, Greater Manchester, Bury south constituency ivan lewis is my MP

      1. i am a labour party member well til the GE and if corbyn is defeated i am out of the party

  1. No longer a Labour Party member – left when Blair became leader, but totally agree with lsupporting Jackie. She recently gave an excellent speech to our Palestine supper.

  2. I am not a member and this witch hunt is one of the reasons I am not. I fully support the signatories to this letter.

  3. I totally agree. If a comment when applied to a race is not racist then it is not antisemitic when applied to Jews – and ESPECIALLY not when applied to the Israeli Government.

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