Leaflet: Why the JLM does not represent Labour’s Jewish members

You can download this leaflet here to hand out at CLP, TU, etc, meetings

Baroness Royall’s inquiry into charges of antisemitism against Oxford University Labour Club has concluded that there was no institutional antisemitism. But the inquiry recommends that all Labour student clubs receive training in antisemitism from the Jewish Labour Movement. This idea was first put forward in April by the Progress think tank: there is a strong overlap between Progress and the lobby group Labour Friends of Israel. Progress called for all Labour’s National Executive Committee members to be “properly trained on modern antisemitism by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) or its nominee.”

We deplore the proposal to task Jewish Labour Movement with training Labour Party branches and organisations. JLM is an affiliate both of the Israeli Labour Party which in office has promoted the building of settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories and the World Zionist Organization, which has channelled funds to the illegal settlements.

JLM has proposed a change to the Labour Party Membership rules that gives “due regard to the Macpherson definition of a racist incident which places particular value upon the perception of the victim/victim group.” This deliberately distorts the Macpherson report recommendation that a victim’s perception had to be taken into account in a case of hate crime; it was not intended to empower an alleged victim to determine when a hate crime was being committed without reference to any other criteria. It allows pro-Palestinian, pro-boycott or anti-Israel statements to be labelled antisemitic, thus shutting down debate on Israel.

Some Labour Party members are being persuaded to join the JLM in the mistaken belief that this is a way of showing solidarity with “the Jewish community.”

The Free Speech on Israel network strongly objects to the Labour Party’s cooperation with the Jewish Labour Movement on combatting racism, given the latter’s record:

  • The Jewish Labour Movement, founded in 2004, is the successor organisation to Poale Zion. Earlier this year, the Israeli Labour Party to which it is affiliated, unanimously supported a plan that Israeli professor Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University said “would have been applauded by Apartheid South Africa.”
  • Israeli Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog has stated that “we wish to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible….we’ll erect a big wall between us. That is the kind of co-existence that is possible right now.” In  April, Herzog said the Labour Party shouldn’t give the impression of being “Arab lovers.”
  • Since Poale Zion officially affiliated to the British Labour party in 1920, it has been able to retain an influence at the highest levels of the Labour Party, despite growing evidence of the existence, resistance and suffering of Palestinians, and the increasingly nationalist and colonialist character of the militarised Israeli state.
  • Over the decades many Labour figures have remained supportive of Israel despite the devastating consequences of Israel’s occupation for the Palestinians, and the role of the Israeli Labour Party in segregationist and illegal policies.

Free Speech on Israel: Jews and friends who say antizionism is NOT antisemitism


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