ROYALL REPORT REACTION: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jewish-led group asks – Where are the safe spaces for supporters of Palestine?
- Royall condones thought crime as a Labour Party disciplinary offence
- Report recommends partisan Zionist group should re-educate student Labour Clubs
- “Safe spaces” will exclude supporters of Palestine.
May 18 – Baroness Royall’s inquiry into allegations of antisemitism against Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) has found no institutional antisemitism and “at least one case of serious false allegations of antisemitism which was reported to the police”.
And yet it prescribes training for officers of all Labour Clubs by one of the Zionist organisations responsible for the false allegations – the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) – which has been orchestrating a campaign to brand Labour Party members and institutions as antisemitic. The JLM are campaigning to introduce thought crime into the Labour Party rules by explicitly making unexpressed opinions a disciplinary offence. The OULC has announced that it will affiliate to the JLM in the mistaken belief that it represents “the Jewish people.”
“Her reports recommend that Labour Clubs provide ‘a safe space in order to discuss and debate without discrimination,’ but this will only apply to supporters of Israel,” said Richard Kuper, a founder member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. “Supporters of campaigns for justice for Palestine will be open to constant challenge and effectively, censorship.”
Baroness Royall does not pretend to be impartial in this matter. Immediately after release of her executive summary she wrote a fulsome defence of the JLM’s partisan position on its own website.
Her report summary – which holds back the factual information behind its main conclusions – recommends that the Labour Party should consider adopting a distorted version of a principle set out in the Macpherson Report so that, in line with JLM thinking that any “incident perceived as antisemitic by the victim or any other person” could lead to the suspension of the alleged perpetrator.
Since the JLM insists that antisemitic behaviour includes expressing hostility to Zionism, which they define controversially as the “basic expression of the national identity of the Jewish people”, no one criticising the ideological basis of the Israeli state will be safe from disciplinary action.
“The Royall report compounds a disturbing pattern that places antisemitism in the context of attitudes to Israel – not where it belongs in the context of racism and in particular fails to see antisemitism as linked to the far greater current danger of Islamophobia,” said Free Speech on Israel spokesman Mike Cushman. “It is shameful that the Oxford University Labour Club has been bullied into an alliance with the JLM, a highly partisan organisation, which is working to undermine freedom of political thought in the Labour Party.”
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
Free Speech on Israel is a network of labour, green and trade union activists in the UK, mainly Jewish, who came together in April 2016 to counter attempts by pro-Israel right wingers to brand as antisemitic the campaign for justice for Palestinians.
The JLM proposed rule change adds “except in instances involving antisemitism, Islamophobia or racism” after “The NCC [the Labour Party Disciplinary committee] shall not have regard to the mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions”