Left antisemitism

The Board of Deputies' proposals are not the way to fight antisemitism

Published on: Fri, 17/01/2020 - 18:11
Author

Sacha Ismail

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has asked candidates for the Labour leadership and deputy leadership to sign up to ten proposals for tackling antisemitism.

For sure the party needs a new, much more aggressive approach on fighting antisemitism. But the Board of Deputies’ proposals are both inadequate and, in many respects, wrong and harmful.

Labour needs:

• Serious political education and discussion about antisemitism and fighting it, as part of but distinct within wider antiracist education, throughout the party. This must include discussing antisemitic reactionary anticapitalism, and

Poor choices for Labour leader

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 12:11
Author

Sacha Ismail

Labour’s National Executive Committee has set a short timetable for the leadership election. MPs and MEPs have one week to nominate candidates (7-13 January).

Constituency Labour Party [CLPs] and affiliates have one month (15 January-14 February). Voting will run a month and a bit (21 February-4 April).

New members can vote if they join by 20 January. There will be a registered supporters system, in addition to affiliate supporters (eg people registered through their unions).

To get on the ballot, candidates need 10% of Labour MPs and MEPs (22), and then either 5% of constituency parties (33)

LRC shame

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:48

Over recent times, and recent weeks especially, the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), once a relatively lively and open group of the Labour left, has descended into little more than a Jackie Walker fan club, a cult dedicated to the denial of antisemitism.

Over the weekend 4-5 January, it has crossed the line. Its Facebook account, having previously posted conspiratorial crap and posts about violent, right-wing Jew-hate being the only “real” antisemitism, shared content by Laura Stuart, a far-right activist who has circulated racist material including from David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan.

W

Left antisemitism is a form of racism

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:05
Author

Angela Driver

Left antisemitism has long used tropes popularised by Stalinist “anti-Zionist” campaigns against the Jews, where “Zionist” was a proxy for “Jewish”.

This commonly includes tropes about Jews being manipulative, powerful, and wealthy, saying Jewish people tend to be imperialist capitalists, and to associate and collaborate with Nazis and the far right. This language, these tropes, group Jewish people together as a group to be hated in the same way that other forms of racism do.

In our press we have examined whether the proposal for “one state” as a solution to the conflict between Israel and

Sanders, Corbyn and anti-Semitism

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 13:13
Author

Eric Lee

Bernie Sanders has a proud record both of supporting Israel and of being critical of its government. He summed up his views in a recent article for the magazine Jewish Currents, in which he wrote;

“I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.”

The choice of the phrase “in particular for progressives” is deliberate. Because people on the Left, in recent years, have not acknowledged that the creation of Israel was,

Mélenchon’s conspiracy theory

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 12:34
Author

Ben Tausz

Jean-Luc Mélenchon [a prominent left politician in France] has taken to social media to blame Labour’s defeat on “les divers réseaux d’influence du Likoud” (“the various networks of influence of Likud”) and Corbyn’s decision to apologise for antisemitism, which he called “weakness”.

Netanyahu is doubtless hostile to Corbyn — and we as socialists are hostile to Netanyahu. But to allege that shady networks of nefarious Israeli Zionists are so all-powerful that they can account for a political event of this magnitude? That’s utterly disconnected from reality — an antisemitic conspiracy theory

EHRC to report early 2020

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 12:27
Author

Ann Field

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party is expected to publish its report early in 2020.

The remit of the EHRC investigation covers: whether unlawful acts have been committed by the Labour Party; whether it has implemented recommendations about tackling antisemitism and taken overall effective action; and whether its processes are fit-for-purpose.

Organisations which have submitted statements to the investigation include the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). Both statements are available on

Labour leadership: neither “LOTO continuity” nor “back to Blair”!

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:58
Author

Sacha Ismail

Labour Party general secretary Jennie Formby has written to the National Executive Committee proposing the process of electing a new leader and deputy leader should begin on 7 January and conclude by the end of March.

Under new rules agreed since the last leadership election, to get on the ballot paper candidates need nominations from 10% of MPs (21) plus either 5% of constituency parties (33) or 5% of affiliated organisations by conference voting strength, two of which must be trade unions.

Since the Parliamentary Labour Party is still much more right-wing than the party membership, that may

Five arguments about why Labour lost

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 11:48
Author

Sacha Ismail

“Labour has lost the working class”

Over the years, but particularly in the Brexit era, older people have swung to the right and younger people to the left.

In 1983 18-24 year olds backed Thatcher over Labour by 9 points, while over-65s backed Labour by 6. This time 18-24s backed Labour 57-19, while over-65s backed the Tories 62-18! Among women voters aged 18-24, only 15% went Tory.

Older people are more and more over-represented in areas where Labour lost the bulk of its seats, and young people more and more under-represented. And older people are much more likely to turn out and vote.

What

The Morning Star's Mirvis mystery

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:15
Author

Jim Denham

Chief Rabbi Ephraim is certainly a small-c conservative on both political and theological matters. He congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming Prime Minister (though in fact religious leaders routinely offer congratulations and promises of prayer to all incoming prime ministers).

Whether or not Mirvis is a Tory is not the issue. His attack on Labour over antisemitism addressed a real problem.

Even the Morning Star, in a rambling and not entirely coherent editorial (27 November) noted that a 2018 poll conducted for the Jewish Chronicle “said more than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy

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