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Jackie Walker’s position is untenable, she should go.

jackie-walkerThe fact that there has been a rise in anti-Semitic incidents across Europe and elsewhere is simply not a fact which can credibly be disputed. To take just two egregious examples.

In January 2015, an Islamist terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly shot dead four Jewish men at a kosher supermarket in Paris before security forces stormed the building, killing him and freeing the remaining hostages. These men were murdered solely for being Jewish.

In March 2016, six ISIS terrorists were detained in Turkey, associated with a threat to target Jewish schools, nurseries and youth clubs in Europe.

It is entirely reasonable therefore for Jews to be apprehensive of their safety, and in particular for Jewish parents to be concerned about security of the schools where their children are educated.

This is the context by which we should judge recent comments by Jackie Walker, Vice chair of Momentum, and a Labour Party member.

The crassness of her comments at a fringe meeting at Labour Party conference questioning why one speaker had raised the issue of enhanced security at Jewish schools is staggering. It is certainly true that anti-Semitism is not the same thing as anti-Zionism; and that a critique of the political project of Zionism, as well as the specific actions of the Israeli state, is compatible with robust rejection of all forms of anti-Judaic prejudice. However, it is also true that the political and social roots of Zionism arise from the oppression, and persecution of Jews. Seemingly, the anti-Zionism of Jackie Walker has extended into seeking to belittle the experience of Jews facing hatred.

Her comments about the Holocaust were equally offensive. Speaking at the event discussing antisemitism at the Labour Party conference, Walker asked: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all peoples who’ve experienced Holocaust?

Now, as Joe Mulhall has written, factually Walker is ill-informed because Holocaust Memorial day already does just that:

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) commemorates the Holocaust, victims of Nazi persecution and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Even the most cursory of glance at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website would reveal this information on the home page.

But it was not only ignorant, but deeply offensive. Not dissimilar to bursting into a funeral and demanding that the grieving congregation should think about all dead people, not just their own recently departed friend or relative.

The genocide against the Jews was historically unique, as of course are all instances of genocide. There are times and places where it is appropriate to discuss the historical comparitors, there are times and places where it is not. The Holocaust by the Nazis against the Jews was of intense ferocity, and it both drew on the deep well of anti-Jewish sentiment in European Christian culture, but also merged this with the modern industrial ruthlessness of European colonialist attitudes to their non-European subject peoples.

Let us be clear, there is not a current and live danger of racist hate crimes against Armenians, Hutus, Herero people or Native Americans on the streets of Britain today. The distinguishing feature that the Nazi anti-Semitism exploited centuries of prejudice, some of it woven into the very cloth of our culture, means that anti-Judaic stereotypes still abound, even among those in left and progressive politics. The rise of anti-Semitism, and concern by Jews for their own safety are live and real issues.

Jackie Walker had already caused controversy over her claims about Jewish funding of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Many on the left defended her. However, her comments were at least ill advised, if we consider that the majority of the slave trade was funded by Christians, and particularly in the early period from the 1680 to 1750s it was often by Quakers.

In Madge Dresser’s excellent work “Slavery Obscured, the Slave Trade in Bristol”, she observes that the later involvement of Quakers in the abolitionist movement obscures “the significant involvement of Quakers in the slave trade and the wider slave economy. Eight of the 20 largest contributors to Bristol’s new Quaker Meeting House built in Quakers Friars in 1747, were by 1755 members of the newly formed Society of Merchants Trading to Africa” – slavers. Dresser lists a number of prominent Quaker slavers, and traders dependent upon the exploitation of slave labour. But in Bristol, the crucible of the slave trade, Jews there were none. Indeed, in 1784 when a Tory candidate was standing for election in Bristol on an abolitionist ticket, he was popularly mocked for his association with stock caricatures of Jews. Crude popular stereotypes that had been used earlier in the century in the political campaign against the naturalisation of Jews were resurrected, conflating circumcision with emasculation, and presenting it as a threat to national virility. These anti-Jewish sentiments were coming from the pro-slavery camp, not the abolitionists.

For Walker to disproportionately stress the involvement of Jews in the slave trade is highly unfortunate, as it intersects with stereotypes of Shylock type ruthlessness. It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that her discussion of the role of Jews in the slave trade was not related to the issue of the historical record, and was more related to her attitudes to contemporary Israel.

I don’t know whether Jackie Walker is anti-Semitic. But clearly she has shown lack of judgement in making statements that could legitimately be interpreted as anti-Semitic. What is more at a critical time for the Labour Party she should have had the self-awareness to be open to educating herself about what would and would not be offensive and could be open to interpretation as anti-Semitic.

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary of TSSA is correct. Walker’s position is untenable and she should go, and go now.

266 Comments

  1. terry sullivan says:

    majority of slave trade was NOT funded by Christians–it was mostly muslim arabs that funded this and continue to do so.

    what religion is jackie?

    1. Andy Newman says:

      Terry

      majority of slave trade was NOT funded by Christians

      If we are talking about the trans-Atlantic slave trade, specifically the triangle trade from Bristol, London, Liverpool and Glasgow throughout the 18th century, then clearly what you are saying is wrong.

      This trade was financed and conducted by Christians. And many who were not directly involved in the buying, selling and transportation of slaves, were involved in the manufacture and sale of trade goods used in the triangle trade, or the buying and sale of sugar, cotton and obacco made by slave labour.

    2. Imran Khan says:

      Don’t forget the complicity of the African rulers down the west coast of Africa who captured and sold their own people to the Europeans.

    3. Stephen Bellamy says:

      Now that is controversial.You said Arabs. Good job you didn’t say Jews because that would not be controversial and a matter for consideration and debate it would be racist. But you said Arabs so its ok.

      Otherwise you would be out of the LP and Momentum before you could….well you know. Facinating stuff.

      1. Stephen Bellamy says:

        Fascinating that Andy treats it as an empirical proposition worthy of engaging with but Jackie is dismissed as a racist.

        1. Stephen Bellamy says:

          I think what you guys don’t understand is that you are provoking a split in Momentum. If you think there is only an insignificant number of Momentum members/ supporters that back her you doubtless think there are fairies at the bottom of your garden. Let the games begin.

          And all in the service of The State of Israel, Sigh.

          1. Stephen Bellamy says:

            Just heard the LP have suspended Jackie. Where will the Momentum establishment stand ? I guess it will be the same old, same old. The establishment versus the people.

          2. Barry Hearth says:

            Well we now know that they’ve got her.
            Isn’t it clear that they will not desist until all those who are FOR democracy and FOR Corbyn, are gone.
            Here we are over 12 months on and still they fail to acknowledge that “they” lost. Decent people would retire, think their position through and if required come back with something more palatable. But they clearly have nothing new to offer so just attack those who try to carry the message.
            I’m beginning to sense that democracy is dying very quickly within the Labour party, and with it decency. Without both, the Labour Party is nothing.
            As a party we lost the trust of millions and clearly are a very long way from getting that trust back.
            By denying so many people the basic human right to a fair hearing we are condemning the electorate to many, many more years of HARD RIGHT Tory government.
            It’s not why I’m a member of the party, and if this witch hunting continues I will also look at my continued membership.
            I’m begging those who are doing their best to destroy Corbyn and his supporters to think, put the party first so that we can have a realistic chance of gaining power in the near future.

          3. Sir Robin Goodfellow says:

            ‘And all in the service of The State of Israel’

            Good golly gosh sir, do you mean to say that those scheming, rich, underhand, power grabbing Je…Zionists are behind all of this?

            How refreshing to read that most Momentum members back her. A positively comforting thought. I shall inform all my Jews friends that they can sleep safely in their beds.

      2. terry sullivan says:

        Hi

        i am not a labor party member

        1. Stephen Bellamy says:

          Golly gosh Sir. I mean to say what I said.

          1. Stephen Bellamy says:

            But to expand. JLM is a highly toxic organisation headed by three equally toxic individuals. One that has come straight from the Israeli Embassy. Another (Jeremy Newmark ) that perjured himself in an ill fated attempt to have a TRADE UNION falsely labelled antisemitic. In consequence the Judge saw fit to describe him as preposterous, and an arrogant liar with a worrying disregard for diversity and plurality.

            It is a one issue organisation and that issue is not antisemitism. Its one and only purpose is to constrain discourse on the subject of Israel, in the Labour Party, within as tight a box as possible. OK ?

    4. Rob Bab says:

      An excellent comments section. For reference purposes here’s Jackie Walker in her own words speaking in full and uncut at the “Free Speech on Israel” meeting 2016. It has to be said, Momentum is lucky to have her. Nice one Jackie;
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45__YZNSGE8

  2. Matty says:

    What do you mean by go? If by resigning as Vice-Chair of Momentum I’d agree because such a post carries its responsibilities and her comments are ill-advised at best.

  3. Andy Newman says:

    Matty

    If by resigning as Vice-Chair of Momentum I’d agree because such a post carries its responsibilities and her comments are ill-advised at best.

    Yes. If she additionally felt like resigning from the Labour Party that would do not harm in my view.

    1. John Penney says:

      An excellent article, Andy. Well said that man !

      Jackie Walker’s bizarre repeated insistance on playing some sort of sick competitive “top trumps” comparison between the WW2 anti Jewish Holocaust and the centuries long mass enslavement and holocaust of Africans, should be utterly unacceptable to socialists. Particularly when she repeats that utter historical lie, propagated mainly by the previously deeply , and openly, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam movement in the USA , that :

      “many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. ”

      “Chief Financiers ” of the slave trade ? This is an utter lie, with no historical basis whatsoever. It is an anti Semitic trope, playing into a long established seam of anti Semitism within the US, but also, UK Black communities.

      Add this to her more recent , extraordinary comments, which show a staggeringly cavalier disregard for the facts about Holocaust Memorial Day, and the conclusion must be clear – Jackie Walker’s membership of both the Labour Party and Momentum is utterly unacceptable.

      As a lifelong anti fascist and internationalist socialist, and a Momentum organiser in North Shropshire, I feel personally offended to be in the same organisations as this person – and deeply concerned that the Momentum Leadership ever allowed Ms Walker to remain in Momentum after her first extraordinary outburst.

      If Jackie Walker isn’t expelled from Momentum after her latest offensive intervention (which appears to me to be simply an example of some strange deliberately controversial attention seeking behaviour) I’m sure many of us will have to reconsider our membership of Momentum.

      1. Susan O'Neill says:

        ” Particularly when she repeats that utter historical lie, propagated mainly by the previously deeply , and openly, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam movement in the USA , that :”
        Try reading history across the world without your Islamaphobic lenses on.

        1. Ted says:

          Susan, the Nation of Islam has nothing to do with Islam the world religion. It’s a weird sect that teaches that white people were created by a mad scientist called Yakub. (It also assassinated former member Malcolm X) Pointing out that the NOI is anti-Semitic is definitely not “islamophobia”.

        2. C MacMackin says:

          Nation of Islam was a very different group than conventional Islam. It had some extremely unpalatable beliefs, such as opposing inter-racial marriage. My knowledge of it is fairly limited so I had not heard that it was anti-Semitic, but it comes as no surprise.

          1. Makhno says:

            “My knowledge of it is fairly limited so I had not heard that it was anti-Semitic”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_of_Islam_and_antisemitism

            Farrakhan: “Is the Federal Reserve owned by the government?”
            Audience: “No.”
            Farrakhan: “Who owns the federal reserve?”
            Audience: “Jews.”
            Farrakhan: “The same year they set up the IRS, they set up the FBI. And the same year they set up the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith…It could be a coincidence…[I want] to see Black intellectuals free…I want to see them not controlled by members of the Jewish community.

        3. Makhno says:

          It’s not “Islamophobic” to describe the Nation of Islam as anti-semitic, as they clearly are.

          It would potentially be “Islamophobic” to describe a racist cult such as the Nation of Islam as “Islamic”, though, as there is very little in the Quran about non-black people being created by an evil scientist called Yakub.

          I also fail to see how it’s “Islamophobic” to disagree with the anti-semitic trope that Jews were the chief financiers of the slave trade, unless you think it’s Islamophobic to defend Jewish people. In which case you need to have a word with yourself.

        4. Imran Khan says:

          Try reading “Islam’s Black Slaves” by Ronald Segal, ” Black Cargoes” by Mannix and Cowley and ” The Grand Slave Emporium” by William St Clair. But do so without your white guilt glasses on.

          Mainstream Islam does not regard The Nation of Islam as Muslim.

        5. John Penney says:

          You are simply revealing your total ignorance of the peculiar ideology of the Nation of Islam, Susan. Do some reading before coming out with nonsense.

          The belief system of Nation of Islam has NOTHING in meaningful content at all to do with the world religion of Islam, in any of its schisms, despite the name. As innumerable Muslim scholars have repeatedly pointed out . Until fairly recently quite open anti Semitism was a constituent element of its belief system, alongside a virulent anti white racism too. Which is why previous adherents of Nation of Islam like Muhammed Ali eventually converted to Islam proper, with its utterly non-racist belief system.

          When you throw your all too typical spurious “Islamophobia” nonsense about to cover for careless anti Semitic statements on the Left you need to at least understand what Islam is, and isn’t.

          1. Imran Khan says:

            There is no God but Allah and Muhammad was his prophet. He was the last and there have been no others. Therefore Louis Fard the founder of the NoI was not as his followers believe a prophet and to say such is blasphemy.

      2. Danny Nicol says:

        Well said, John Penney. I too would certainly have to reconsider my membership of Momentum if Jackie Walker stays.

        I was astonished and upset that she was allowed back in the Labour Party after her “chief financiers of the slave trade” outrage. At the time, several of us on this blog asked her for her evidence for that assertion – but were met with silence from Jackie for the obvious reason: no evidence.

        It was both disturbing and shameful that she was allowed to remain Vice Chair of Momentum after that. She now compounds that with her fresh outrage about Holocaust Memorial Day. She must go.

  4. Barry Hearth says:

    As I understand it Jackie Walker is Jewish. From the very little I know her father was black and her mother jewish, or it could be the other way round.
    I was told that at a training session to do with anti semitic issues she did make one or two rather startling statements that maybe needed challenging. I am also aware that she did indeed link the Holocaust to others who have suffered, citing amongst them the Gypsy people. As part Gypsy myself I am of course also aware that Gypsies continue to suffer both abuse and discrimination. We have all heard the term “Pykies” which by itself can be compared to words commonly used to describe those of the Jewish faith. None of it is right and just by merging all those who have been affected by racism, cannot detract from the pain people can feel if by design or by default this happens.
    Should Jackie Walker resign? Isn’t this akin to asking Corbyn to resign because he couldn’t win elections? Shouldn’t the Labour Party do things properly, and Momentum is a part of Labour, and have proper enquiry into what was said, done and when before leaping to hasty judgements?
    So let’s have common sense and decency and put an end to all this hatred and animosity that currently abounds within our party.
    I know this much if this sort of thing continues then the party will indeed be consigned to the history bin.

    1. Rob Bab says:

      Barry Hearth
      “As I understand it Jackie Walker is Jewish. From the very little I know her father was black and her mother jewish, or it could be the other way round.”

      Hi Barry, in this video from the meeting at 1:58mins Jackie explains her background;
      “My mother was of Jamaican decent, African and Sephardic Jew, Portuguese Jews. And Portuguese Jews had involvement in the Slave Trade. Yes I said that, OK, I said that and at some point for a certain period of time in certain places in the Caribbean they had a significant part to play in the Slave Trade and I am part of that heritage. But I’m also part of the heritage of my Ashkenazi Russian Jewish father who left Moscow in 1914 for the US.”
      Jackie continues speaking about her parents involvement in social struggles. The video is well worth listening to.

  5. Andy Newman says:

    Manuel Cortes:

    “I am asking Jackie that in the interests of unity she resigns at once from our Party and also as vice-chair if Momentum. If she doesn’t, both the Labour Party and Momentum need to act to get rid of her at once. Furthermore, TSSA will seriously reconsider our union’s support for Momentum if she is still in post by this time next week.”

    1. Susan O'Neill says:

      Er, isn’t that the judgement of the Union members, or does Mr. Cortes have what one usually describes as a dictatorship over the members?

      1. Imran Khan says:

        He asked her to resign. Can’t you read?

    2. Stephen Bellamy says:

      Turns out that Cortes has a close relationship with Mike Katz of the abominable Jewish Labour Movement

  6. Rachel Lever says:

    It is not Jackie Walker’s presence at the head of Momentum that is untenable. Her exclusion would be the end of Momentum as a movement that can inspire trust in its integrity.

    Momentum is seen as a “people’s answer” to corrupt and twisted, polished and triangulated but ideologically cowardly professional politics. The exclusion of a sincere and thoughtful activist for heresy is the antithesis of all that.

    Momentum was founded to support Jeremy Corbyn against right wing plotters who cooked up a well crafted antisemitism scare to bring him down. To buckle in the face of this nasty, bullying, abusive witch-hunt aimed to de-stabilise Corbyn’s leadership is the epitome of political self-harm.

    How to memorialise the Nazi holocaust has long seen a wide range of views among Jews. Unfortunately those at one end of this spectrum see fit to use intolerable pressure to maintain a monopoly on the discourse and to criminalise and banish those who challenge them.

    If Momentum banish Jackie Walker they will have crossed a line from democratic discussion to Stalinist thought control and intellectual and cultural censorship. As such, it would not deserve a future and Corbyn’s enemies will have won a major victory.

    1. Susan O'Neill says:

      Well said and I’m glad you noted the Stalinist doctrine comparison.

      1. Stephen Bellamy says:

        This is the so called ” definition” that the Jewish Labour Movement is calling a racist for questioning.

        http://wp.me/p5W2a1-Cw

        It is interesting that this action was taken just after the JLM had demanded from the LP conference platform for the purge to continue.

        JLM is a highly toxic organisation headed by three highly toxic individuals. It is time they were stood up to.

  7. Elly says:

    Jewish Labour activists in Defence of Jackie Walker

    We are Jewish Labour activists who were with Jackie Walker at the training session on antisemitism led by Mike Katz, vice chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) during the Labour Party conference in Liverpool on Monday September 26. Like her, some of us were heckled when we raised questions unpalatable to others in the audience who share the JLM’s bias towards Israel, its coupling of Jewish identity with Zionism and its insistence on the uniqueness of Jewish suffering.

    Jackie had every right to question the JLM’s definition of antisemitism and the tendency of mainstream Jewish organisations to focus entirely on the slaughter of Jews when they commemorate the Nazi Holocaust. We share her determination to build greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimised. Jackie responded appreciatively when one audience member described Holocaust memorial events involving Armenians and others. She has since issued a statement on this issue, reproduced below.

    We were shocked at the way the level of barracking rose as soon as Jackie began to speak. JLM supporters demonstrated contempt for her as a Jewish woman of African heritage who is a lifelong anti-racist advocate for the rights of minorities and a leading Labour Party activist in her Thanet constituency.

    We unreservedly condemn allegations of antisemitism made against Jackie Walker. Calls for her to be disowned by the Momentum movement of which she is vice-chair, and for her to be suspended for a second time from the Labour Party, are reprehensible instances of the witch hunt to which she and other Corbyn supporters have been subjected over recent months.

    The way Jackie has been treated demonstrates the unfitness of the JLM to deliver training on antisemitism. It is an organisation committed to one, contested strand of Jewish labour tradition to the exclusion of any other; it relies on a definition of antisemitism that conflates Jewish identity with Zionism; and it exploits its interactions with party members to set the limits of political discourse about the Middle East in accordance with its own partisan ideology.

    By promoting the witch hunt, the JLM has helped to relegate the vile prejudice of antisemitism to a tool in the armoury of pro-Israel advocates, backed by Corbyn’s enemies in the political and media establishment.

    Signed:

    Graham Bash, Hackney North CLP
    Rica Bird, Wirral South CLP
    Leah Levane, Hastings and Rye CLP
    Jonathan Rosenhead, Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP
    Glyn Secker, Dulwich and West Norwood CLP
    Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Chingford and Woodford Green CLP

    A statement from Jackie Walker

    “A number of people made comments in a private training session run by the Jewish Labour Movement. As we all know, training sessions are intended to be safe spaces where ideas and questions can be explored. A film of this session was leaked to the press unethically. I did not raise a question on security in Jewish schools. The trainer raised this issue and I asked for clarification, in particular as all London primary schools, to my knowledge, have security and I did not understand the particular point the trainer was making. Having been a victim of racism I would never play down the very real fears the Jewish community have, especially in light of recent attacks in France.

    In the session, a number of Jewish people, including me, asked for definitions of antisemitism. This is a subject of much debate in the Jewish community. I support David Schneider’s definition and utterly condemn antisemitism.

    I would never play down the significance of the Shoah. Working with many Jewish comrades, I continue to seek to bring greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimised. If offence has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do and I apologise.”

    1. James Martin says:

      Statement from Norman Thomas, Chair Momentum Thanet:

      According to Channel Four News, the steering committee of national Momentum is considering removing Jackie Walker from her position as vice chair of Momentum.

      This is based on a highly biased and distorted report of a fringe event in Liverpool at which, it is alleged Jackie made anti-Semitic remarks.

      I was at that meeting and can testify she said nothing whatsoever anti-Semitic. Her remarks were taken out of context and the short fragment of film shown on TV was totally unrepresentative of the full discussion which took place.

      This is a blatant attempt to smear Jackie and so damage Jeremy Corbyn by association. It is utterly unfair and unjust.

      Anyone wishing to express support for Jackie should email emma.rees@peoplesmomentum.com stating if you are a member of the Labour Party, Momentum etc.

      Momentum is taking its decision on Monday so time is of the essence.

      1. Stephen Bellamy says:

        If you are purged are you a sorta kinda member of the Labour Party ?

    2. Jim Denham says:

      All six of ’em: what about the other 99.9% of Jewish people who think her comments are anti-Semitic? Do they not count?

      1. James Martin says:

        Wow, you have spoken to them all have you, or do you just assume that Jewish people all think the same way because they are Jewish, which of course would be… antisemitic.

        1. Stephen Bellamy says:

          Lay off Jim he knows stuff.

  8. Danny Dayus says:

    Jackie Walker acknowledged in her speech that the Holocaust Memorial Day was SUPPOSED to represent more than just the mass murder of Jews in WW2? She merely pointed out that in practice it doesn’t, and should do so. This is not antisemitism.

    Jackie Walker appealed against her earlier suspension – and won. The attempt to revisit it as a means of adding weight to accusations of antisemitism over her recent comments is wrong. Wrong logically, and wrong morally.

    It’s not antisemitic to make the point that powerful interests have stifled debate over the barbaric and racist actions of Israel and some of its supporters by hackneyed recourse to claims of antisemitism. The same people are working to sow discord amongst supporters of Corbyn, because he himself is against this barbarism.

    They hope to put antizionists in an impossibly unwinnable situation. Don’t fall into the trap!

    1. Imran Khan says:

      Holocaust Memorial Day was originally to remember the Shoah. Jewish communities have gradually brought in the victims of other holocausts but nothing seems to satisfy the anti semites within Labour.

      1. James says:

        Very true. I mean, literally the first thing on the website is a list of other genocides.

        The level of ignorance required to comment on this without even having looked at the official website is.. really.. it’s just amazing.

        http://hmd.org.uk/

      2. Danny Dayus says:

        What is the “nothing” that you say doesn’t seem to satisfy (those you define as) anti-semites in Labour? You can’t be suggesting that those involved with Holocaust Memorial Day only gave recognition to the millions of non-Jews murdered in similar crimes in order to appease anti-semites! Otherwise, “Imran Khan”, please explain your complaint, rationally and without slander or slur. Otherwise, people may assume that you are just a hypocrite stirring up hatred between people for your own ulterior purposes

        1. Imran Khan says:

          Mr Dayus. I am a loss to understand what your argument is unless you are just looking for an argument!

          It is now abundantly clear that there is a significant element in the Labour Party, some of it imported from the far left which has now either dissolved its own organisations and joined or holds dual membership, which has in my view and clearly that of others lurched from support of the Palestinians and criticism of the Israeli state to outright anti-semitism.

          It is without doubt, certainly in my view, that the holocaust against the Jews between 1933 and 1945 was the single most heinous act committed against a people because of their race and or religion.

          I have watched the mission creep over the past few years whereby various individuals have tried to equate other tragedies over the centuries to the Shoah and demanded equal footing and it is my understanding that organised Judaism has tried to accommodate that.

          The present furore has come about because of statements made at a meeting one of which was to the effect that Ms Walker could find no definition of what anti-semitism was. It must be clear that anti-semitism is hatred or at the very least an irrational antipathy towards Jewish people.

          For an explanation of proportionality please look at the post below by Southpawpunch who has examined in some detail the activities of various Holocaust Memorial day events around the UK in what I take to be an effort to prove that they are not inclusive.

          Do read your post again in the light of this and try to explain it.

          1. Danny Dayus says:

            Regarding Jackie Walker, she explicitly acknowledged in her speech that the HMD ostensibly commemorates the mass murder and displacement of millions of both Jews and non-Jews, in events both connected to and disconnected from WW2. Her speech in part drew attention to the fact that organisers of the commemoration in practice fail to give due recognition to these other events. There is nothing anti-semitic about doing so. The weasel comments that you originally made failed to account for this. Instead you merely repeated, without any supporting statement, the same old Daily Mail trope about “anti-semites in the LP”.

            On this point, if you examined the actions and words of any large group of people you will inevitably find individuals with all sorts of objectionable views. This is as true of the LP as it is of any other party. That being said, I haven’t found evidence of any significant level of racism of any kind amongst the half-million LP members.

            What I have found are repeated examples of individuals and groups, backed by (and at times seemingly in connivance with) an overwhelmingly right-wing mass media, who are prepared to twist any phrase, half-sentence, or out of context statement from Corbyn supporters, in order to make it appear that the left is composed of anti-semite thugs conspiring to take over the LP for nefarious purposes.

            For over a year now, such people have repeatedly made grossly offensive innuendo jibes, slurring and slandering good people without any reference to facts. They seem happy to destroy careers, and even undermine the Labour Party itself, so long as doing so serves their purposes. Your original comment fitted in very well to this model.

  9. No, a disservice is being done to Jackie Walker here.

    She is being criticised for stating 2 things at LP conference:
    1. “I was looking for information and I still haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with.”
    2. “In terms of Holocaust Day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all people who experienced Holocaust?”… “In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.”

    1. A silly remark – how about ‘bigotry towards Jews’ if she means she can’t find a definition of anti-Semitism but she may well mean (yet not state clearly) she disagrees with some people’s definitions of anti-Semitism which can, in extremis include ‘anti-Zionism is a form of Anti-Semitism’. If so, a fair point

    2. “In practice, (HMD is) not actually circulated and advertised as such,”

    Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) officially commemorates the Holocaust, victims of Nazi persecution and the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

    I Googled ‘holocaust memorial day council’ and lightly searched the website of councils displayed in the result, if nothing in first page.

    The key issue is category 2 – ‘victims of Nazi persecution’ e.g. some Christians, people with disabilities, other ‘races’ e.g. Slavs, other political views (including some conservatives and, of course, the great unmentionables – us communists or revolutionary socialists.)

    In order:

    1. Sheffield – no mention: “On HMD we share the memory of the millions who have been murdered in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur”
    2. Haringey – can’t see a list
    3. Birmingham – can’t see a list
    4. Newham does mention
    5. Merton has “and other genocides”
    6. Wellingborough does mention
    7. Chelmsford has “and other genocides”
    8. Southwark has “other genocides”
    9. Enfield – can’t see a list
    10. Brighton & Hove – does mention

    That’s proof that HMD everywhere does not specifically list all HMD is designed to commemorate.

    I wouldn’t suggest there’s anything deliberate about this at all and the sort of people who take the time to attend such events will doubtless be opposed to all genocides,

    It’s not a big deal but Jackie Walker is right about this detail.

    1. However, in Thanet, where Jackie lives, look how it’s advertised:
      “An annual Commemoration Service takes place in the Garden of Remembrance, Sandgate Road, Folkestone to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in memory of those who died in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.”

      And Hackney, where her partner lives:
      “pay their respects to those who died at the hands of the Nazi regime as well as to all those who have been murdered in genocides around the world since”

      You’d think an active anti-racist, as she always describes herself, would have paid a little bit of attention to her local HMD.

      But that’s beside the point really. The point is the one Andy made:
      “But it was not only ignorant, but deeply offensive. Not dissimilar to bursting into a funeral and demanding that the grieving congregation should think about all dead people, not just their own recently departed friend or relative.”

  10. Sue says:

    In my view a brilliant campaigner for equality and anti racism in all its forms is being bullied and victimised. I’m really depressed by the ongoing witch hunt. And for what it’s worth I didn’t have a clue that the Holocaust Memorial Day ever referred to other than what the Nazis did to the Jewish population. I certainly hope that Jackie does not leave the Labour Party.

    1. Imran Khan says:

      Tell us about the equality and anti racism. I hadn’t heard of her until all of .

  11. Danny Nicol says:

    As an anti capitalist member of Momentum, my view is that Jackie Walker cannot quit as Vice Chair too soon. She has deeply offended me both the first time over the sugar and slave trade and now once again. She is a liability to Jeremy Corbyn, a liability to Momentum and a liability to the Left.

    1. Imran Khan says:

      Danny. As opposed to the pro capitalist members that is?

      1. Danny Nicol says:

        Yes! Most Leftists aren’t socialists. They don’t feel strongly about nationalising the key corporations which dominate our economy, many settle for renationalising “utilities” at best, which would be merely a return to the capitalism of the Wilson-Callaghan status quo ante. As seen from the number of comments here, they get animated by the antics of Jackie Walker not by the private ownership of Tesco, Barclays and Berkeley Homes.

  12. Shan Morgain says:

    I have gathered together certain useful items about this.

    It is hard to comment on the issue about special protections for Jewish schoolchildren, as the writer of this article does not bother to quote what J. Walker actually said.
    However, it seems to me that if Jewish schools are entitled to special protection, Muslim schools are too. So are disability units. It quickly becomes a gross inequality. Surely it’s better to see that all schools have efficient protections – something they certainly don’t have at present.

    Mention the Holocaust to most people, and they understand a ghastly history of persecution and extermination of Jews. It’s not at all well known that the Nazi Holocaust included the Rom (Gypsies), gays, the disabled, and the dissident or disapproved.
    The Holocaust Memorial Day website does mention a list of genocides. But this is not promoted generally. It should be.

    Slavery in the sugar trade developed from old established systems going back to ancient times. Its managers were Christian, Muslim Arabs, and certain African tribes who traded other tribespeople.
    Of course many people prefer a much simpler story of white against black, white guilt, black suffering. It just wasn’t like that and we dishonour the victims if we wrench their lives ad deaths to fit an infantilised view.

    Finally J. Walker is half Jewish.
    A Jew can be anti-semitic, certainly. But it starts to look convoluted.
    We also need to remember that criticism of Israel and Zionism is not anti-semitic.

    Speaking as a member of the people targeted by anti-semitism, J. Walker points out that there is no clear definition of what that means.
    That doesn’t mean she said it doesn’t exist,nor that it isn’t important. Like the complexity of slavery, anti-semitism is compiicated.
    I would prefer that the goyim did not try to dominate the debate about it to build political hits. The chief voices who should be heard should be Jewish, though other voices have a secondary place. On this ground we would do better to listen to J. Walker and take her voice seriously.

    It seems quite right

  13. Susan O'Neill says:

    This bloggers words says what I think of this particular hate inspired article on WSWS today far better than I can:
    “Suddenly the attack on Jackie Walker makes a lot more sense. The “training session” at the Labour Party conference used a discredited definition of anti-Semitism that deliberately confused it with anti-Zionism.
    Is this why the definition used there was not mentioned in Jessica Elgot’s Guardian article on Wednesday (September 28)?
    So now we know Ms Walker certainly was justified in objecting to the definition of anti-Semitism put forward on the day. It has never been formally endorsed by the EU, but has been vigorously promoted by groups with an interest in confusing the state of Israel with Zionism and criticism of either with anti-Semitism.
    She was also attacked for suggesting that Holocaust Memorial Day referred disproportionately to the Shoah inflicted on the Jewish people by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis. While the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust does in fact commemorate other holocausts, they all happened after World War II. Ms Walker, it seems, was objecting to the fact that transatlantic slavery, which happened before the Shoah, is not mentioned. In a statement attacking Ms Walker, it is noteworthy that the Trust only mentions events subsequent to World War II – meaning she was correct.
    So the attack on Ms Walker was utterly unjustified, it seems.
    Unfortunately, this story has shown once again that a lie can go around the world while the facts are still getting their shoes on.
    Ms Walker has deactivated her Twitter account, claiming that she has been inundated with a torrent of anti-black racism and denial and questioning of her Jewishness.
    The whole episode leads This Writer to question the role of the Jewish Labour Movement, which organised the training session and would have known the definition of anti-Semitism it was putting forward was prejudicial.
    It seems the JLM also leaked a video of the incident involving Ms Walker to the right-wing media in a deliberate attempt to discredit her – and a deliberate flouting of Labour Party rules. Training sessions are intended to be ‘safe spaces’ where ideas and questions can be explored without prejudice against the individuals exploring them.
    There are plenty of other Jewish representative organisations but it seems the JLM gets the lion’s share of media attention.
    Perhaps, that should change, if this is what the JLM does with it.
    The vice chair of the Jeremy Corbyn support campaign Momentum has slammed as an “outrage” a training session at the Labour Party conference which conflated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
    Anti-racism activist Jackie Walker, who is Jewish and Black, attended the Jewish Labour Movement training session along with other individuals active in the Palestine solidarity movement, including boycott activist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and London School of Economics professor Jonathan Rosenhead.”

    1. Makhno says:

      The WSWS?

      Well, I’m sure we can always rely on the Putin fanboys at the International Committee of the Fourth International for sane and objective analysis.

      1. Shirley Knott says:

        You mean, as opposed to the Netanyahu “fanboys” to use your term, from the JLM, whose website harps on about the “centrality of Israel” to Judaism, and is part of the World Zionist Organisation.
        There is *only* one zionism in practice and it is ruthless in its quest for the annihilation of the last remnants of Palestine. Zionism is a political ideology, not a religion and there should be no qualms about being against it.

        1. Makhno says:

          No, I don’t mean “as opposed”, otherwise I would say “as opposed”.

          The general crappiness, red/brown querfrontism and laughable dishonesty of the ICFI can be criticised on its own terms, one doesn’t have to “point/counterpoint” with the JLM.

          But yeah, blahblahblah Zionism, because a monomoniacal obsession with it is SUCH a good look.

          That’s some playschool level whataboutery you’re handing out there.

      2. Imran Khan says:

        Nestor, enlighten us.

        1. Makhno says:

          As to what? Always happy to spread some of that old time enlightenment.

  14. Karl Stewart says:

    Andy, I’m not sure if I agree with you here. Not entirely convinced on this issue either way to be honest.

    I’d be interested in your views on this article – yes written by a controversial academic and also in a controversial publication.

    But the author identifies himself as a son of holocaust survivors who emigrated to the US, and he writes that, in his personal experience, until 1967, support for Israel within the Jewish community in the US was fairly marginal as an issue. He states that, before 1967, commemorations of the holocaust were less widespread and were largely organised by left-wing people within the Jewish community.

    And, according to his own analysis, it was only after that date that Israel became a staunch ally of the US.

    http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1124/explaining-the-holocaust-industry/

    1. Jim Denham says:

      Oh no! You’re not taking the preening self-publicist and professional provocateur (who thinks he can get away with it by continually reminding the world that his parent died in the holocaust) Finkelstein, seriously, are you, Karl? I thought that at least on the subject of antisemitiism you’d learnt some elementary socialist principles.

      Despite Finkelstein’s family, we have to ask, does he understand what the Holocaust was?

      When German publication Die Welt, said to Finkelstein:

      “You call the holocaust an ideology”

      He replied,

      “To be more precise, an ideological construction, that originally served the interests of the Jewish elite in America and has now degenerated into a money-making instrument. It has become a extortion racket.”

      Here there was no distinction between what Finkelstein sees as the manipulation of the Holocaust (“the Holocaust industry” sic.), and the Holocaust itself. Finkelstein commented further,

      The Holocaust is an ideological club, used to hold Germany in a vice like grip. This routine is just a cheap opportunity for us to escape our moral responsibility.

      The worrying thing is, Finkelstein speaks about the “ideology” of the Holocaust, and how dangerous that is, before actually discussing the facts of the Holocaust itself. And on the facts of the Holocaust, Finkelstein can even appear deferential to Holocaust deniers.

      He has written:

      “The hysterical allegation of Holocaust deniers lurking in every corner is apparently also contrived to justify the endless proliferation of Holo-trash. […] It is indeed easy for the non-expert to be tripped up on the details especially when on crucial matters like the gas chambers (a favorite target of the deniers), there exist, as historian Arno Mayer noted, “many contradictions, ambiguities, and errors in the existing sources,” none of which however “put in question the use of gas chambers in the mass murder.” On a personal note I myself vividly recall reading Arthur Butz’s Hoax of the Twentieth Century and not being able at the time to answer many of his simplest challenges.”

      If Norman Finkelstein finds it tricky to answer Arthur Butz’s simplest challenges, he is no expert on the Holocaust.

      There is also this:

      “Were it not for the fact that my late parents passed through the Nazi holocaust, I myself would probably would be a skeptic by now. Who can any longer believe a single word coming out of the Holocaust industry?”

      1. Stephen Bellamy says:

        The ” status” of the Shoah is not the issue here. We are not talking holocaust denial or even holocaust revisionism.We are talking about comments on the activities of an organisation and an annual event they largely organise.

        The Holocaust Educational Trust and Holocaust Memorial Day are not the Holocaust. Why can’t the organisation and the event be critiqued ?

      2. Karl Stewart says:

        To be honest Jim, it’s the first piece by him that I’ve read. I’d heard his name before, but not come across any of his work.

        I wouldn’t say I agreed with his analysis, but I’m more saying that a discussion among Jewish people about this subject, with personal experience as well, is a lot different from, say, the crass and crude (actually quite offensive and bordering on revisionist) comments made by Ken Livingstone a couple of months ago for example.

        Jim, have a read of the WW article I’ve linked to.

        1. Jim Denham says:

          I have done: it’s crap.

          1. James Martin says:

            Well blow me, the Alliance for Workers Liberty supporter is supporting a witch hunt against other left activists and denigrating Jews who are not Zionists. The world revolves, but nothing really changes at AWL central does it!

      3. Jim Denham says:

        The AWL taking anti-Semitism seriously and calling out “left” anti-Semitism (aka the Socialism Of Fools) will never change, until we’ve driven all anti-Semites out of our movement, I can assure you.

        1. James Martin says:

          Yes, driving socialists ‘out of the movement’ is bread and butter for your sect and has been for a very long time. I remember well in Liverpool in the 1980s when your Socialist Organiser reporter Stan (‘Dale Street’) when he wasn’t being ever so friendly with the DLP right wing and witch-hunters (I never once saw him at a Broad Left meeting, even when they were at one stage a thousand strong of local rank and file Labour Party members and shop stewards) was busily promoting the ‘Black Caucus’ and people like Micheal Showers in bullying and witch hunting black socialist Sam Bond and when he was shouting down comrades like Eric Heffer at rallies (if anyone is interested in how sincere Shower’s was in his ‘politics’ just do an internet search of his name with drug baron next to it). So what you and your little group gets up to in backing the most reactionary forces in order to drive socialists ‘out of the movement’ is nothing new to me Jim, I’ve seen it all before unfortunately.

  15. Susan O'Neill says:

    Glad to see a good few comments not slavishly(no pun intended) adhering to the usual “silence any dissent from voices who do not conform to our rigid,confined doctrines” processes whereby questioning or exploration of intellectual thought is to be discouraged, regardless of any merit the exchange of debate might offer.

    1. Imran Khan says:

      As far as I know nobody is trying to silence dissent except possibly the far left.

  16. Chris says:

    All accusations of antisemitism against anyone on the left are complete lies.

    Newman has disgraced himself and is now a Tory in my book.

    1. Imran Khan says:

      Andy Newman is many things. An opportunist certainly. He has gone from the SWP/Respect to a Labour candidate for somewhere in Wiltshire where he came in behind the BNP. His website is a joke but he certainly isn’t a Tory.

      1. Karl Stewart says:

        I’ve got a lot of respect for Andy and I usually agree with the positions he takes on issues – he’s most certainly not “an opportunist” in my opinion.

        However, as I posted earlier, I’m not sure I agree with him on this occaision.

        It’s absolutely right to take a strong stance against anti-semitism, and also particularly against revisionism as well. I also think the state of Israel, within its pre-67 borders, is fully legitimate and completely justified.

        What concerns me here is what seems to me to be stopping, or trying to stop, debate on this issue within the Jewish community. I’m not saying I agree with Ms Walker, or with the author of the article I linked to in my previous post, but it should be recognised that these are opinions from people within the Jewish community.

    2. Makhno says:

      “All” accusations?

      Well that’s bollocks, for starters.

      Proudhon, who invented the whole “property = theft” thing, was a massive anti-semite, even going so far to call for extermination. Many of the anti-Dreyfussards were at least nominally on the left, and there are many examples throughout history and up to the present day. It’s simply nonsense to claim we’re all inoculated to it as soon as we start waving a red flag around.

      1. John Penney says:

        All of the supporting posts for Jackie Walker are quite extraordinary for their sophistry and wilful ignoring of what Ms Walker has actually said, and the deep toxic historical/ideological context for her positions.

        If a member of the BNP or EDL was to have come out with the utter lie that “Jews were the chief financiers of the Slave Trade” , the right of such a person to spread this disgraceful lie at public meetings would be “No Platformed” by most of the posters without a second thought. And Rightly so. But because it’s a well-known, well connected, Left-wing Black woman saying this nonsense – wrapped in a dodgy critique of “Zionism” and Israel, the spreading of this filth is perfectly OK !

        Get a grip, you are not only damaging the Left generally, but are alienating the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community from the Left specifically, by “proving” all the crap the Jewish establishment and press have ben throwing at us all year.

        Unless Momentum expels this purveyor of anti Semitic lies from Momentum pronto I certainly wont stay in its ranks.

        1. Karl Stewart says:

          You say: ‘If a BNP or EDL member made these comments…etc…’ and I’d say, yes it does, for me, make an enormous difference who is saying something.

          If a white person uses the ‘N’ word, it’s completely unacceptable in every cricumstance, but on some instances when a black person uses the expression, the meaning is different.

          One can also use the example of words considered derogatory towards gay people, when used by heterosexuals or by gay people.

          So yes, there is a huge difference between someone outside the Jewish community and someone from within the Jewish community in terms of discussion about attitudes towards the holocaust, and towards questions of ‘zionism’ etc.

          1. John Penney says:

            Karl, get real. Spare me the liberalism. Whoever promotes the utterly false anti Semitic lie that “Jewish Financiers were the CHIEF financiers of the African slave Trade” is spreading pernicious racist lies. Their colour is irrelevant. Their religion is irrelevant. They should have no platform or support.

            Many pathetic Lefties in the 80’s didn’t want to block the horrendous anti Semite, then Leader of the Nation of Islam , Louis Farrakan, from visiting the UK to spread his divisive, racist poison, “because he was Black”. Fortunately most on the Left saw sense then. It is time that the Left today recognises that the Blackness, the Leftness, the femaleness, even the part Jewish background , and the insider Left status, of Jackie Walker, does not give her any sort of “free pass” to propagate well recognised, well known and refuted, anti Semitic historical lies, using a Left platform.

          2. Karl Stewart says:

            With respect JohnP, to compare a Jewish person making comments about how the holocaust is commemorated with a black leader making anti-semitic remarks is not comparing like with like.

            A more accurate comparator would be with a black leader making comments about how the legacy of the slave trade is portrayed perhaps.

            I don’t think it’s ‘liberalism’ or ‘granting a free pass’ to argue that, in each instance, it does make a significant difference who is making the comments.

          3. Rob Bab says:

            @John Penney
            “Many pathetic Lefties in the 80’s didn’t want to block the horrendous anti Semite, then Leader of the Nation of Islam , Louis Farrakan,…”
            I’m not sure I’d say Farrakhan is an anti-Semite, as this video shows but rather anti-Jewish. More specifically and by inference, the non semitic, in his words “the Jonny come lately… european Ashkenazi ‘True’ Jews” living in Israel and the settlements.

  17. Hazel Malcolm-Walker says:

    Nice to see so many people kicking somebody when they are down – I call it bullying and cowardice.
    This also has all thehall marks of some ody trying to deflect attention away from a lamentally poor performance at conference, failing in the politicing necessary to defeat some pretty nastry rule changes.
    Jon Lansman this means you!

    1. Stephen Bellamy says:

      Jon Lansman and Jamie Schneider totally refuse to answer when asked who are on the momentum steering committee and how they got there no matter how many people ask. We want names please.

      1. Rob Bab says:

        Would Jackie Walker know?

        1. Stephen Bellamy says:

          There has been a bit of a leak. So we know more. Its like trying to get blood out of Iain McNicol

          1. Rob Bab says:

            Sounds intriguing…

          2. Stephen Bellamy says:

            Against Jackie Walker

            Marshajane Thompson

            Sam Wheeler

            Michael Chessum

            Jill Mountford

            Christine Shawcroft

            Sam Tarry

            For Jackie Walker

            Matt Wrack

            Darren Williams

            Cecile Wright

          3. Rob Bab says:

            @SB
            Christine Shawcroft is against Jackie Walker?? From reading her 2016 May 15th piece;
            http://www.leftfutures.org/2016/05/labour-would-have-done-better-without-a-campaign-to-undermine-jeremy/comment-page-1/#comment-243993

            when she said;
            “One wonders what the results might have been like if Jeremy had not been subject to a barrage of abuse from commentators, news media and David Cameron every week. Some of these attacks were described by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey as a “cynical attempt to manipulate anti-semitism for political aims.”

            I thought she was clear about who and what was the biggest threat to Corbyn.

            Christine Shawcroft, if it is true, will you please explain your reasons for siding with the zionists and turning against Jackie Walker. Thanks.

          4. Stephen Bellamy says:

            Thats who voted how

    2. Danny Nicol says:

      I think Momentum would benefit from a change of head honcho too, but that’s no reason to retain Jackie Walker. With what she keeps coming out with about Jews, she’s positively frightening.

    3. Imran Khan says:

      I can imagine that Jon Lansman put up a lamentably poor performance at conference but you seem to be saying that the whole row over the remarks made is a put up job to distract attention from that. Could we have some details?

  18. vildechaye says:

    It’s so interesting to see the convolutions some people here go to excuse anti-semitism, whereas if the same sort of remarks were made in relation to Muslims or blacks, the person couldn’t be expelled fast enough, no explanations necessary.

    She said Jewish schools don’t need special protection, when recent events clearly indicate they do.

    She said the slave trade was chiefly financed by Jews, when the historical record clearly shows that not to be true.

    The hypocrisy and double-standards are breathtaking, but unfortunately, not at all surprising.

  19. Dr Paul says:

    The more I think about it, the more I feel that Ms Walker was invited to speak at this event precisely because she seems to have a habit of putting her foot right in it. And look at how well it’s worked out for the Labour right: Momentum under pressure from within and without to deal with Ms Walker, more ‘evidence’ that the left is ‘anti-Semitic’. What more could they want? Win-win all round for the Labour right and their pals.

    1. Imran Khan says:

      Conspiracy theories anyone?

      1. Dr Paul says:

        If I, an uninvolved observer, can think up the possibility of such a set-up, I’m sure that the experienced political operators of the Labour right could have done so. Even if my hunch is incorrect and it was all purely accidental, you must admit that it has worked out a treat for the Labour right.

        1. Jim Denham says:

          Are you *seriously* arguing that it was a put-up job by the Labour right and/or the JLM, Doc? And in the highly unlikely event that your conspiracy theory were correct, what difference does it make? Ms Walker said what she said. What do you think should now be done about it?

          1. Shirley Knott says:

            Curious then that Ms Walker is excoriated above and below the line for something she *previously* said and previously served an expulsion for!

  20. Bazza says:

    Oh dear, I can only think of music – perhaps Scott Walkers ‘Jackie’ or perhaps more approriately Britany Spears, “Oops I’ve done it again.”
    Last time I gave feedback on her comments as if I was her HE tutor and she would have had to resubmit.
    But this is once again in my opinion lazy thinking and failing to do basic research before commenting.
    And why for God’s sake did Jackie choose to go to the JLM movement meeting?
    Perhaps Momentum needs a VC with a bit more political nous.
    It took me 5 minutes to Google on Wikipredia etc. to see that that International Holocaust Memorial Day was set up by the UN on the 50th anniversary of the Holocaust and it was to remember 2WW and onwards atrocities although perhaps could be broader.
    I further looked on the International Holocaust Memorial Day website and it covers the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution, Rawanda, Bosnia, Darfur.
    In the Nazi Persecution section it does refer to others such as Gypsies (Romani), black people living in Germany, Slavic people, Disabled people, gay people, and religious groups and political opponents including communists, social democrats (it should also say socialists). It doesn’t mention people with learning disabilities and mental health issues and does need updating.
    But I would argue there is a legitimate argument to cover earlier history so we learn more to fight to stop this ever happening again and could include the slave trade plus pogroms against Jewish people in 18thC (and earlier) and 19thC Europe and Russia – and few counties in the World can hold their heads up high because of our ancestors.
    I am afraid in my humble view once again Jackie would have to resubmit again but this time take account of feedback or it is perhaps 3 strikes and you are out.
    It would be interesting though if members of all political parties were held to such high rigourous academic standards.
    I don’t want to give people a way out but in my humble opinion what’s really going on is a minority of the left have come up with peaceful and democratic solution in this area of the Middle East -one state- where Jewish human beings and Muslim human beings (and those of other religions and of none) live together and give each other the respect and space to practice their beliefs and share the land.
    This peaceful idea is perhaps so dangerous to the Right Wing Israeli Govt (and Right Wing Hamas) who would both be surplus to requirements that some suggest the Right Wing Israeli Govt has even brought over its spin doctor to the UK as its ambassador.
    This is just my theory, possibly niave, possibly wrong, left wing democartic socialist but driven at least by human love and equality.
    International peace, love & solidarity!

    1. Imran Khan says:

      Great contribution until you got to the one state bit. The charters of Hamas and Hezbollah both call for the destruction of the state of Israel.

    2. John Penney says:

      Get Real, Bazza. “Peace and love” eh, but you think this can be achieved by the demand for the utter destruction of the entire state of Israel ?

      The “One state” proposal is a Far Left fantasy – seguing effortlessly into the real agenda of fundamentalist, clerico-fascist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah , and Daesh, to utterly destroy not only the Israeli Jewish national state (with its supportive large Druze and Arab Christian minorities) , through conquest.

      I think we can see from the murderous treatment of religious minorities and different sects of Islam by each other, during the last 10 years of the current Middle East disaster, just how ludicrously utopian that Far Left gameplan is.

      A viable “Two states” settlement, within defensible borders, though currently VERY unlikely, is at least possible, which is why the UN, most nation states, and the PLO, and the Labour Party, supports such a route.

      1. Bazza says:

        Or perhaps the Right Wing Israeli Govt and Right wing Hamas and Hezzbolla worry about a Jeremy Corbyn Labour Govt which would seriously work with others for peace in this region?

        1. John Penney says:

          Bazza, Jeremy Corbyn is now an adherent of the mainstream “Two State Settlement” position. Which of course for the fringes of the ultraleft makes him a ” Left Zionist” and “social imperialist” !

          And yes the Israeli government is terrified of a Corbyn Left Labour Government with a sympathetic position to the legitimate Palestinian demand for an economically viable state. But to cite the obvious Right wing Israeli government , and supportive UK Jewish leadership organisation’s, directly related hostility to Jeremy Corbyn as in some way writing off the toxic anti Semitism masquerading as “anti Zionism” on the fringes of the Left, as “merely a smear” would be a tragic mistake.

          The Left , and the Labour Left have an ideological problem in this area, and the unacceptable statements of Ken Livingston, and Jackie Walker, and his and her many Left apologists, shows this quite clearly.

      2. R.B.Stewart says:

        After years of (from thousands of miles away) supporting a 2 state solution (and I did get to go to an international adult education conference in Tunisia and met Arafat) but in recent years I began to feel something wasn’t quite right and there has been no progress in fact things are worse.
        I also heard an elderly Palestinian man say “We need to learn to live together” and read the late, great Palestinian writer Edward Said came to a one state conclusion in later life so it is perhaps a legitimate option to explore.
        But according to some on here anyone who supports this is on the far left, hmmm – some may have more in common with the accused than they realise?
        Some of us are left wing democratic socialists and everyone should define themselves.
        When I was a bit fed up with Labour (Pre-Corbyn) I looked on the Left Unity website for a while and one of their writers shared their great socialist vision and believe me it was timid – the big idea was more factories (you know them things where people do monotonous, soul destroying work as appendices of machines which many of us don’t have to do).
        I thought perhaps if we have factories then perhaps people in them should work shorter weeks (ideally 20 hours) with good pay with unions negotiating variety in work for those who wish it.
        Some on here perhaps use confrontational language when discussing ideas with colleagues or potential colleagues which is a bit surprising.
        Perhaps some could reflect more deeply and use more imagination to offer a richer vision.
        And perhaps some seem too certain and could also perhaps benefit by also reflecting upon this.
        Yours Comradely.

      3. Stephen Bellamy says:

        One state isn’t a fantasy. Its a present reality, a reality that isn’t going to change. You requiring support for something you know isn’t going to happen, which means maintenance of the racist status quo makes you a bit of a racist. In think.

        1. Jim Denham says:

          One state: the non-solution favoured by the Israeli right and those who want to drive Jews into the sea. It ain’t gonna happen, and that’s a good thing too. Two states, whatever the difficulties, is the only fair, just and achievable way forward.

          1. Stephen Bellamy says:

            Jimmy it has happened.

  21. June says:

    Jackie Walker as everyone knows is both of black and jewish descent. So who is it who can and cannot speak about what is acceptable and not acceptable regarding Jews, history and politics around it. YES! a lot funded and invested in slavery that is a fact, YES Jews funded both sides of wars. It is not a conspiracy, it is a fact. But then you find countries selling things to the very country they are at war with. Business goes on, not anti semitic to quote facts.

    Jackie Walker is a very good woman and amazing speaker and ethical strong person.

    Are the only ones who are allowed to speak on any issue white, middle class, degree educated and guardian reading. In other words the least likely to be in any kind of prejudice ever.

  22. Sue says:

    I found this which I found helpful.

    “It’s important that when issues like this rise to the surface, that we investigate them thoroughly. Particularly as it involves a prominent official in Momentum. This is something that should be done both individually and collectively.

    Like many, I first became aware of this issue through the article in the Huffington Post. So I read the piece and watched the film.

    What initially struck me was that the article starts off with a lie, ‘Fury at Anti-Semitism Event…..’ There is no fury, not even anger. Just disagreement. And not even particularly vocal disagreement.

    It then adds another lie into the mix when it talks of ‘secret filming’ – for although the workshop was closed, the person was obviously filming in clear view of anyone who cared to pay attention. And that person was Adam Langleben, an officer in the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). An important fact omitted by the journalist. The piece is then tailed with a damning response to the alleged ‘crimes’ of Jackie Walker, by the JLM Chair, Jeremy Newmark.

    Taking into account who filmed the piece, and who provided the principle criticisms, what this would strongly suggest is that the ‘story’ was both constructed, edited and released by the JLM for their own ends.

    A brief investigation of their politics and affiliations would seem to point at an attempt to elevate their chair and group, whilst diminishing Momentum, by attempting to tar them, and Jackie Walker, with the brush of racism.

    A brief aside – for those who don’t know the JLM, they were formed in 2004 and are the British section of the pro-apartheid Israeli Labour Party. They are also affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation (WZO) who, according to the UN, pour millions into building in the occupied West Bank through its settlement division.

    Back to Jackie – the content of her remarks, in what was a closed space to discuss anti-semitism and how to tackle it, are unremarkable. Perhaps the element which provokes most ‘ire’ from the casual onlooker is her assertion that ‘she hasn’t found a working model of anti-semitism she can work with’.

    It was what caught my attention. I thought it would be a simple definition. But I was wrong. Because criticizing the Israeli state can also be construed anti-semitic – check out anti-Semitism.uk (who are a pro-Israeli organization) for a definition.

    A good journalist would have included the definition of anti-semitism the group was working with. A good journalist would. But an arresting ‘story’ and ‘truth’ do not necessarily walk hand in hand. One can, and often does, exist without the other.

    When Jackie makes this comment, what is omitted, due to editing, is the fact the workshop leader had brought the subject up. Again this is all about constructing a narrative that attempts to give truth to lies.

    The comment on the Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), where Jackie says it should be open to all victims of genocides – and is then corrected by the group – which prompts her to amend this to, perception of what it is about, is again not uncontroversial – having been involved in a HMD, one question which did get raised was why it couldn’t be called Genocide Memorial Day because ‘The Holocaust’ is specifically rooted in the butchery of Nazi Germany. And although it wasn’t until 1946 that the term was recognized by the UN, its roots are in the Armenian Genocide of 1915 – 1918, by the Ottoman Empire, which claimed 1.3 – 1.9million lives.

    Far from being an anti-semitic incident – what a simple investigation into the episode throws up is a narrative constructed to meet particular ends. Making the JLM relevant through casting aspersions about the nature of Momentum – if it’s leadership can be shown to be racist/anti-semitic the group must also be.

    The JLM want to become a mover and shaker within the Labour party – something that can only be achieved if there is a widespread belief that Labour is hamstrung by anti-semitism.

    Whilst all parties will have elements of racism / anti-semitism – which should be eradicated. This is an attempt to construct a ‘truth’ based upon the ‘facts’ the JLM present. Facts stripped of context. And therefore veracity.

    It is like the tale in which a man walks into a room, to find two men. One is on the floor and has a knife in his chest, the other, a doctor, has his hand on the knife, whilst trying to save him. But the man who walks in, cries out that he has caught a murderer in the act. The same facts. Different stories. One based in truth, the other lies.

    As I said, we should always investigate important issues – but instead of using ignorance and conjecture as our guides, truth should be the objective. Because what even a cursory investigation reveals here is that we have a neo-McCarthy witch hunt.”

    1. John Penney says:

      This is disgraceful, disingenuous, sophistry-laden, conspiracy-theory-laden, stuff , Sue, as have been ALL your posts. You are repeatedly, and highly selectively, simply “muddying the water” , to distract attention from the nub of Jackie Walker’s repeated outrageously offensive, assertions , which clearly feed off and reinforce a long established set of anti Semitic smears – derived largely from the anti-Semitic narrative of the Nation of Islam cult in the US.

      Nobody who either themselves propagates the total anti Semitic lie that “Jewish financiers played a CHIEF role in the African Slave Trade”, should have any place in our Labour Party, or Momentum, or any serious Left organisation, and nor should anyone who provides support and excuses for the dissemination of this pernicious racist filth in our movement.

      Sympathy and support for the Palestinian national cause and perfectly legitimate criticism of Israeli state actions and policy is no excuse whatsoever for the descent into the crude anti Semitic lie spreading , masquerading as “anti Zionism”, all too prevalent amongst tiny sections of the Far Left – and which lies behind the , often astonishingly ignorant, Jackie Walker-supporting posts on this thread.

      I certainly have no wish to be in any common organisation with any of you. You are not my comrades. It is still very clearly the case today, as it was in the early 20th century that “anti Semitism is the socialism of fools”.

      1. Danny Nicol says:

        “Nobody who either themselves propagates the total anti Semitic lie that “Jewish financiers played a CHIEF role in the African Slave Trade”, should have any place in our Labour Party, or Momentum, or any serious Left organisation, and nor should anyone who provides support and excuses for the dissemination of this pernicious racist filth in our movement.”

        I entirely agree. Well put, John.

      2. Stephen Bellamy says:

        The best bit of that John is ” you are not my comrade.”

        Thank God for small mercies.

      3. Shirley Knott says:

        Did she spout off about that particular subject at the meeting, or was she previously punished for that?
        Perhaps you believe in repeated punishment for the same old unrepeated offence?

        1. John Penney says:

          A poor debating tactic, Shirley. Despite being challenged to do so by sundry socialists, as well as sundry non-socialists, ever since she voiced the well known anti Semitic historical lie, promoted by the Nation of Islam, cult that “Jews were the Chief financiers of the African Slave Trade” she has never withdrawn her vile lie, or tried in any way to provide any credible historical evidence for its truth.

          So , until she does so, her promotion of this vile anti Semitic lie will stand, forever, and will always be simply added to her more recent , careless, inaccurate, insensitive statements in this subject area.

          It is Jackie Walker herself who voluntarily keeps digging herself (and by association the Left) a bigger, and bigger, hole on this issue – not the hostile pro Israeli , anti socialist, UK Jewish Establishment, or indeed the Labour Right. They are just effortlessly exploiting a real discrediting problem (tiny but obsessively noisy) sections of the ultraleft constantly present to them as an easy propaganda win.

      4. Rob Bab says:

        @John Penney
        “This is disgraceful, disingenuous, sophistry-laden, conspiracy-theory-laden, stuff , Sue, as have been ALL your posts. You are repeatedly, and highly selectively, simply “muddying the water” , to distract attention from the nub of Jackie Walker’s repeated outrageously offensive, assertions blah de blah…”
        Calm down John for Christ’s sake! You’re getting way too personal. There’s nowt wrong with Sue’s posts. If there was, the moderating would deal it. If you can’t tolerate others having opinions that differ from your own, then maybe a discussion forum isn’t the place for you.

        “…often astonishingly ignorant, Jackie Walker-supporting posts on this thread.”
        Thou doth try too hard! 🙂

  23. Dave G says:

    What is a group like the JLM, which I understand supports the ongoing illegal Israeli settlement-building program, doing in the Labour party? Why is the party allowing cheerleaders of illegal actions to remain in the party?

    Walker is allowed to disagree with someone’s definition of anti-Semitism. Walker is allowed to disagree with anyone about the inclusiveness of Holocaust Memorial Day, and that inclusiveness may vary from one part of the country to another.

    1. Rob Bab says:

      Agree

  24. James Martin says:

    I have to say I was shocked to see that Left Futures was a part of the witch hunt against Jackie Walker, I was also shocked at the comments in the national press yesterday by Jon Lansman indicating that Momentum may be considering her position (I assume that means he, the unelected and so far unaccountable head of an organisation that has yet to discover its own democratic mandate, will be). I was less shocked that the author of this article is Andy Newman however, after all the GS of TSSA has spoken and despite his outburst against Jackie seemingly being based on what he had read in the right-wing media, I presume Andy instinctively reverted to his default position of when in doubt back a union bureaucrat.

    The disgraceful crumbling of elements of the Labour left and Momentum in particular against coordinated attacks and smears by the likes of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) has been sickening to watch, as has the very deliberate and very nasty political lynching of Jackie Walker. There is it appears an underlying racism element to all of this that is not just contained in the rantings of the Daily Mail, racism that implies that Jackie can’t possibly be a ‘proper’ Jew as aside from not supporting the Zionist project she is also the ‘wrong’ colour.

    Everything I know about Jackie and her partner Graham tells me in no uncertain terms that these two comrades are lifelong anti-racist and anti-fascist supporters with proud histories in the movement of fighting racism and fascism toe to toe, unlike many in the JLM who are attacking them. In fact it is telling that JLM PLP chair Luciana Berger despite suffering years of vile, nasty and very real antisemitic abuse by a number of known far-right fascists (some of who have been prosecuted and jailed for it) the JLM (and Berger) chooses not to use this as a rallying cry against the far-right who are responsible, just as it was a fascist that murdered Jo Cox,, but as a weapon against political opponents on the left in the Labour Party.

    Nothing Jackie Walker, a Black Jewish woman, has said is antisemitic, either her comments that related to her own family history research that showed her that she was partly descended both from black slaves and Jewish slave owners, or her comments at a JLM training event at Labour conference. Indeed, her question that “I was looking for information and I still haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with” is one that a great many of us have been asking since this invented coup-plotter antisemitism storm was created, but with as yet no answer given that we are not going to accept, as the JLM wishes, the discredited EUMC’s ‘working definition’ of antisemitism that included gems like “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” when it is quite hard to argue that a self-proclaimed ‘Jewish state’ that allows the ‘right of return’ to any Jew around the world that has never before lived there but not to Arabs in the refugee camps who where previously forced or terrorised from their own land, and bans Palestinian Israeli citizens from either marrying a Jew or even from converting to Judaism (e.g., see Jerusalum Post 4/1/16), is anything other than a ‘racist endeavor’.

    But rather than pushing the JLM back, stuffed as it is with non-Jewish members of Progress, Momentum retreats. Rather than exposing the crimes of the World Zionist Organisation (to which the JLM is affiliated) such as the proven role in the theft of Palestinian land for the illegal settlements on behalf of the Israeli government, or countering the lies of the media about the ‘heckling’ of JLM speaker Mike Katz at Conference and stating that the ‘hecklers’ were Jewish Labour Party members objecting to Katz claiming on behalf of the JLM that he spoke for them, we get silence and retreat. Well as a Momentum supporter and Labour Party member for 30-odd years I am saying enough is enough and the retreat stops here – stop the witch hunt against Jackie Walker!

    1. John Penney says:

      Umpteen socialists and umpteen non socialists have challenged Jackie Walker since making her outrageous statement that “Many Jews were the Chief financiers of the Sugar and Slave Trade”, to bring forward credible academically verified evidence for this anti-Semitic lie. She never has, because outside of entirely bogus, and utterly discredited, cod academic claims on this theme originating from the Nation of Islam Cult in the USA, there is no evidence whatsoever for this poisonous lie.

      Her use of this widely disseminated racist lie was intended solely to belittle the reality of the WW2 Jewish Shoah – and counterpose it in the most disgraceful way to the centuries long mass murder ( ” the African holocaust” if you will) and enslavement of Africans. Since the Slave Trade actually has very little to do with even a significant number of “Jewish Financiers” (and NOTHING at all to do with the six million ordinary European Jews murdered in the Shoah), it was necessary for Ms Walker to call in support the entirely bogus claim of “Jewish financiers being Chief funders of the Slave Trade”, in order to provide some bizarre debating ploy way to therefore dismiss the genocidal reality of the Shoah because in some direct causal way, by implication, “the Jews killed all those Africans – so who are they to call to their ideological support for the creation of the State of Israel the fact that 6 million of them where murdered by Europeans during WW2 “.

      Her more recent simply factually incorrect slur about the historical breadth and purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day , and her complete non sequitur sneer at the totally justified special protection being provided to Jewish schools and religious sites in Europe following Islamic Fundamentalist outrages recently, are all components of the mindset of a small number of Left wingers who have allowed their sympathy and support for the Palestinian Cause and hostility to the Israeli State’s actions, draw them well beyond principled “anti-Zionism” – into adopting the careless rhetoric being fed into Left politics from the Islamic fundamentalist Right, that ends up as crude anti-Semitism. As per her baseless statement of the “Jews as Chief Financiers of the SlaveTrade” garbage.

      You, James Martin, and your tiny group of obsessive “Jackie Walker is completely innocent – it’s all a Zionist plot” apologists on this thread, and every other one on anti Semitism, have completely lost the plot, and should have no place in a socialist organisation.

      1. James Martin says:

        So you will be driving out comrades that happens to be Jewish socialists who support Jackie Walker against this political lynching too will you John, as I assume your witch-hunting tendencies must be based on equality? So, for example, are you saying that Jewish comrades like Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi also ‘have no place in a socialist organisation’ (I’ve attached her statement below as it is better than what I could write myself)? Or perhaps you think of her as not a ‘proper’ Jew (is that how you view Jackie too perhaps)? At least in the fight against the right-wing an episode like this has let everyone know who we can, and more importantly can’t, rely on when solidarity and comradeship in the truest sense is what we need right now:

        I am writing to you as a Jewish member of both the Labour Party (Chingford and Woodford Green CLP) and of Momentum. I have opposed racism and supported human rights and social justice for half a century – since my teens. Therefore, naturally, I have been a fervent supporter of Jeremy’s leadership of the party from the first.

        I am also a long-standing supporter of the campaign for justice for Palestine – a position I regard as entirely consistent with the Jewish values I grew up with. It is axiomatic in my family that the mass slaughter inflicted on Jews in Europe should never be inflicted on any other people, anywhere.

        This past year we have seen Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist project attacked by a powerful combination of forces. Pro-Israel lobbyists, well practised at alleging that critics are motivated solely by hostility to Jews, have handed the perfect weapon to the political and media establishment ranged against him. They assert that criticism of the state of Israel or of Zionism is an assault on Jewish identity and therefore a kind of hate speech. But as you know, many Jews are not Zionists, while plenty of non-Jews are.

        I chaired a meeting in Liverpool last Sunday where Jackie Walker shared the platform with a British Palestinian lawyer and a leading Jewish pro-Palestinian activist. Her contribution to our understanding of the anti-Corbyn campaign was hugely appreciated by the Momentum supporters who packed into the hall to hear her speak.

        Jackie’s unique perspective, with her combined Jewish and African-Caribbean heritage and her history of anti-racist, left-wing activism, makes her a hate figure for Corbyn’s opponents. It would be shameful for Momentum to capitulate to the witch hunt which has seen newspapers, broadcasters and social media pundits uncritically reporting every allegation against Jackie and other Labour or Momentum members – of antisemitism, misogyny, bullying and support for terrorism. There is, actually, a nasty whiff of racism and misogyny in their targeting of Jackie. Her Jewish heritage is often deliberately passed over.

        She has been a victim of distortions and deliberate falsehoods, such as those exposed by investigative journalist Asa Winstanley and still repeated with such frequency that they have become received wisdom, lightly tossed into the conversation in Radio 4 comedy shows. Everybody now “knows” that Jews are not safe in Corbyn’s Labour Party and Jackie Walker is an antisemite.

        As someone whose mother had been called a Christ-killer when she was a little girl at school, I think I am pretty sensitive to prejudice and stereotyping directed at Jews. I do not tolerate it – nor any other form of racism – in the Labour Party, the Palestine solidarity movement or any other setting. Though I personally I have not encountered it, I acknowledge that antisemitism exists in the party, as in the rest of society. There are recommendations in the Chakrabarti Report that would – if implemented – strengthen the party as a bulwark against all forms of racism, which is absolutely essential in the post-Brexit world. Jackie will be a great asset in building our anti-racist movement.

        I have been alarmed at the reluctance of our side to fight back. Jeremy has been incredibly conciliatory, restricting himself to pleading his own impeccable anti-racist credentials and swearing to stamp out the antisemitism that is alleged but not proven, thereby giving credence to the idea that Labour does indeed “have a problem with Jews”. Jeremy Newmark of the Jewish Labour Movement, in a debate at The World Transformed on September 25, used the fact that Jeremy had set up the Chakrabarti Inquiry, to explore antisemitism and other forms of racism, as proof that antisemitism was the huge problem the JLM alleges! We are in a Kafkaesque, looking-glass world where querying the veracity of an antisemitism allegation is taken as proof of antisemitism. Let’s throw in Catch 22 and a dollop of McCarthyism for good measure. Sacrificing Jackie will not do anything to keep the circling sharks at bay.

        Please respect the voices of the vast number of Momentum supporters who value Jackie’s contribution and will feel disillusioned and betrayed if she is forced out.

        Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi
        Labour Party and Momentum member

        1. John Penney says:

          Try actually taking up the serious issue of Jackie Walker’s actual statements, Naomi, rather than all your evasive generalities, circumlocutions, and special pleading.

          Do you support as accurate the entirely historically bogus lie propagated by Ms Walker that:

          “many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. ” ?

          Ms Walker has never substantiated this nonsense, apologised for it, or withdrawn it. It is a racist , anti-Semitic slur. Do you think a person who propagates this lie should be vice Chair of Momentum ? How does your claim of Ms Walker’s “impeccable anti racist credentials” fit with this actual claim by her, and her more recent offensive statements ?

          Until Ms Walker’s apologists actually confront the reality of her deeply offensive comments , no-one outside of your small clique will be reconciled to the presence of this person as a senior figure in Momentum. You delude yourself that there are “vast numbers of Momentum supporters who value her contribution”. Not now they don’t. That is the delusion of a tiny group of people inside a hermetic ideological bubble.

          1. James Martin says:

            Don’t worry John, I think the issues here are incredibly serious, not least because they show a clear pattern of behavior, although not the one you clearly think.

            Other Jewish comrades have defended Jackie’s comments so I’ll be very brief. Essentially she appears to be being hounded for three things. The previous comment relating to Jewish financing of the slave trade which was in the context of her own family. It was open to misinterpretation and was factually incorrect for slavery overall (although in some areas of the slave trade it was actually correct), but it had context in Jackie’s own family history research, and in any case it has already been dealt with both by the Party and Momentum and it was accepted that it was not an example of antisemitism on her part. The other two issues have both come from the recent JLM training event. In relation to her question about a definition of antisemitism she was entirely correct, so no problem there (except for the JLM Zionists who are happy to have any criticism of Israel as being seen as ‘antisemitic’), which leaves the issue of Holocaust Memorial Day. When I was still teaching history many years ago I worked with the HET and some local Jewish Holocaust survivors on education issues and was (and am) proud to do so, but Jackie had a valid point about HMD in my opinion, yes it was a point that you can disagree about and argue against but the point itself was not ‘antisemitic’ although listening to some people you’d almost believe it was an example of Holocaust denial.

            So in terms of the three things that are being used to batter and bully Jackie I see nothing there myself to justify the attacks. But I mentioned a pattern of behavior, although not one that applies to Jackie but to how these antisemitism slurs and smears are created and used.

            We have had the allegations (subsequently discredited) against the Oxford Labour Club that originated with Alex Chalmers, who had in July 2015 spent a month working as an intern at BICOM (Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre). We had the public lynching of Momentum supporter Vicki Kirby over alleged racist comments about Jews (the ‘big noses’ stuff) where the allegations were started by the slime Guido Fawkes, however Guido had doctored the screen shots, something that Vicki was later able to prove by getting access to the Twitter archive that showed that she was talking about the film she had just watched written by Jewish writer David Baddiel (something that Baddiel himself confirmed), but the damage to the Party and the destruction of Vicki’s reputation was complete. We have had Naz Shah’s lynching for reposting an allegedly antisemitic cartoon that turned out to from the Jewish writer Norman Finkelstein (who had lost most of his extended family in the gas chambers), and linked to that the attacks on Livingstone whose comments while not sensibly put, timed or contextualised were essentially historically accurate. What links all of these allegations of antisemitism to what is being done against Jackie Walker is a nasty combination and alliance based on politics and not religion, of zionists in the JLM, BICOM, Progress and the right-wing media and it is an attack on the Labour left as a whole.

            Now some people on here clearly think that when a comrade is under attack they either look the other way, or worse join in. I wasn’t brought up to do that, and as a lifelong trade unionist I won’t do that, particularly when in Jackie’s case the whiff of misogyny and racism in the attacks against her are becoming very strong indeed.

          2. John Penney says:

            Your apologia for Jackie Walker is simply tragic, James. And if you seriously think the bizarre , politically dodgy, avid self publicist, Norman Finkelstein, is someone who should be cited as evidence for your case, then you need to research this very dodgy character a bit more.

            You are keen to dismiss Ms Walker’s repetition of the old hoary Nation of Islam sourced lie about “Jewish Financiers and a “Chief Role” in the Slave Trade, as some sort of minor contextual or presentational error. But strangely she herself has made no attempt to , clarify, withdraw or apologise for this, or her more recent offensive statements – which of course are well understood components of a wider “narrative” to downplay historical and current Jewish suffering , so as to in some bizarre way, “undercut” the Israeli State’s own “existence justification narrative”.

            Providing a constant stream of excuses for Ms Walker’s repeated insensitive statements on this issue, that have caused such offense across the Jewish community, and provided the Labour Right and the UK Jewish establishment with such an easy weapon to beat the Left with, simply demonstrates that Jackie Walker isn’t up to the high profile role of Vice Chair of Momentum.

          3. Ted says:

            “Ms Walker has never substantiated this nonsense, apologised for it, or withdrawn it.”

            Yes she has, John, on the Jews for Justice for Palestinians website. Link here: http://jfjfp.com/?p=86378

            Have you not seen that?

            I do think we should be having this discussion in a far more comradely fashion, given that those who know Jackie are clear that she is absolutely not an anti-Semite or racist.

            If people have an honest misunderstanding or differences on the issues, we should be making the political arguments, not indulging in the sort of sectarian warfare and misrepresentation (on both sides) that has helped wreck the left as a serious political force for so long.

            Personally I think Jackie should probably stand down in the interests on unity, but either way this is a complicated issue and let’s not reduce it to the usual point-scoring.

      2. Jim Denham says:

        Walker (in June, at the time of her first suspension) could have cleared up matters there and then, by explaining that she *didn’t* believe that Jews “were the chief financiers of the slave trade” – she noticeably failed to do so. Everything she’s said since has simply conformed her anti-Semitism, dishonesty and self-promoted image as some sort of “victim”.

        1. Ted says:

          Jim, she has actually done that, on the Jews for Justice for Palestinians website. Link here: http://jfjfp.com/?p=86378

          Have you not seen that? It may not be perfect but it goes a long way towards what you are demanding.

          I do think we should be having this discussion in a far more comradely fashion, given that those who know Jackie are clear that she has absolutely no anti-Semitic or racist intentions in what she says, however careless and irresponsible it may have been.

          The left currently has its best chance in more than a generation to actually achieve something constructive. Carrying on with the sectarian business as usual of the “go fourth” groups seems like pretty much a guarantee of throwing that chance away and pissing off new activists who are already demoralised by the Labour bureaucracy. All sides are guilty of this and all sides should stop it now and argue the issues in a calm and comradely way.

          1. Danny Nicol says:

            I am a bit hazy on how we ended up with Jackie Walker in the first place; but let’s face it, she’s a walking disaster. I imagine the Labour Right can’t believe their luck, for them she must be the gift that keeps on giving.

            We need to have the election of Momentum’s officers by Momentum members, complete with detailed hustings which should be recorded and made available online. That way, members can interrogate candidates on their attitude to the Jews as well as on everything else, and we can minimise the chances of repeating the catastrophe for the Left that is Jackie Walker.

          2. Jim Denham says:

            Do you mean this evasive drivel:
            ***

            Yes, I wrote “many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”. These words, taken out of context in the way the media did, of course do not reflect my position. I was writing to someone who knew the context of my comments. Had he felt the need to pick me up on what I had written I would have rephrased – perhaps to “Jews (my ancestors too) were among those who financed the sugar and slave trade and at the particular time/in the particular area I’m talking about they played an important part.” The Facebook post taken by itself doesn’t, and can’t possibly reflect the complexity of Jewish history, of the history of Africa, the history of people of the African diaspora and the hundreds of years of the slave trade. The truth is while many peoples were involved in this pernicious trade it was the rulers of Christian Spain and Portugal that ordered the massacre and expulsion of thousands of Jews from the Iberian Peninsular who forced Jewish communities to seek refuge in the New World and the Caribbean. It was European and American Christian empires that overwhelmingly profited from the kidnap, enslavement and death of millions of Africans and I’m happy to make explicit and correct here any different impression my Facebook post gave. The shame is, at a time when antisemitism has been weaponised and used against certain sections of the Labour Party, nobody asked me before rushing to pin the racist and antisemitic label on me.”
            And further:

            “If my historical understanding is shown to be wrong by future research I will of course adapt and change my views as necessary. For the record, my claim, as opposed to those made for me by the Jewish Chronicle, has never been that Jews played a disproportionate role in the Atlantic Slave Trade, merely that, as historians such as Arnold Wiznitzer noted, at a certain economic point, in specific regions where my ancestors lived, Jews played a dominant role “as financiers of the sugar industry, as brokers and exporters of sugar, and as suppliers of Negro slaves on credit, accepting payment of capital and interest in sugar.” [1][2]
            ***
            Evasion, waffle and dishonest bollocks, I’m afraid. She’s an anti-Semite. Face it

    2. Stephen Bellamy says:

      Yes time to go on the offensive. Starting with a demand for transparency and accountability. When this ” steering committee ” require Jackie to step known we need to demand to know just who the people that did so are. You know, names and how they aquired such authority.

  25. Demonisation of Jacqueline Walker highlights Israel’s fear of antiracist struggles:
    In 1970 Huey Newton and the Black Panthers received a torrent of abuse for his communiqué ‘On the Middle East’ (published in his collection ‘To Die for the People.’)
    The Panthers produced a rebuttal of the accusations that were levelled against them of anti-Semitism in which they explained that they took issue with the colonial settler state of Israel, not with individual Jewish people.On November 10, 1975, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3370 was passed by 72 votes to 35, with 32 abstentions. The resolution determined that ‘zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.’ Israel unleashed a huge propaganda campaign but failed to convince countries in the General Assembly who knew from their own experience of racism and colonialism exactly what Israel was doing to the Palestinian people. In 2001 a World Conference Against Racism was held in Durban. The USA and Israel walked out when violence against the occupied Palestinian people was deemed to be racist. The recent announcement by Black Lives Matter that they stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against occupation, siege and apartheid, has led to apologists for Israel withdrawing their support for BLM.The demonisation that we are witnessing today of a Black Jewish woman, Jacqueline Walker, is the latest addition to this (incomplete) timeline of furious racism and incandescent denial on the part of Israel and its apologists. Fear of growing solidarity between Indigenous peoples, People of Colour and their allies has led to greater efforts by Israel to stifle discussion of its war crimes and colonial occupation. Solidarity with Jacqueline Walker!

  26. David Pavett says:

    What exactly is the case that Andy Newman makes against Jackie Walker? He says “It is entirely reasonable therefore for Jews to be apprehensive of their safety, and in particular for Jewish parents to be concerned about security of the schools where their children are educated”. This seems to imply that Jackie Walker has a different view even though there is clear evidence to the contrary.

    We are told of the “The crassness of her comments at a fringe meeting at Labour Party conference questioning why one speaker had raised the issue of enhanced security at Jewish schools is staggering”. She didn’t ask why the issue had been raised. She asked for clarification. Some Jewish Labour activists who were at the meeting where Jackie W spoke have said

    Jackie had every right to question the JLM’s definition of antisemitism and the tendency of mainstream Jewish organisations to focus entirely on the slaughter of Jews when they commemorate the Nazi Holocaust.

    In this context it should be said that the level of physical assaults and even murder/manslaughter of BAME people is far higher than that experienced by Jews even on a per capita basis (compare this and this). One therefore is entitled to regard the comment that “there is not a current and live danger of racist hate crimes against Armenians, Hutus, Herero people or Native Americans on the streets of Britain today” as both ignorant and insensitive. Ethnic minorities are being assaulted and murdered on our streets an in our institutions with an alarming frequency.

    Even at the level historical accuracy Andy Newman is on weak ground. He says “… the political and social roots of Zionism arise from the oppression, and persecution of Jews” but fails to mention that they also arose from European colonial attitudes to the people of the rest of the world – as has been well documented even by Zionist authors such as Benny Morris (e.g. in his book Righteous Victims).

    Andy N even seems confused about what exactly he is denouncing. He says that it was offensive to say at the meeting that Holocaust Day should be open to all peoples who have experienced Holocaust AND that Holocaust Day does exactly that AND that making the suggestion was like gate crashing a funeral and asking the mourners to think of other dead people. This is not coherent.

    I could go on to consider similarly misleading points in the article but that should do.

    Andy N’s article first appeared on the Socialist Unity website (at 12:18 on Sept 30th) and then a little later on Left Futures. What I find most disturbing is the strident style of denunciation. Previously Jackie Walker had been considered competent enough to appoint as Vice-Chair of Momentum. Now she has become someone whose “staggering” “crassness” requires her removal. This sounds uncomfortably like the denunciations of former comrades that was the stock-in-trade of the Soviet Union and its satellite regimes. Why do we need all the denunciatory rhetoric for someone previously considered good enough to be Vice Chair of Momentum (“staggering crassness”, “belittle the experience of Jews facing hatred”, “offensive”, “ignorant”, “deeply offensive”, “to disproportionately stress the involvement of Jews in the slave trade … intersects with stereotypes of Shylock type ruthlessness”, “making statements that could legitimately be interpreted as anti-Semitic”).

    My view is that Jackie Walker has said some pretty daft things and that while that is acceptable (up to a point) from rank and file activists it is far less so from people in positions of political responsibility. Thus her remark about the disproportionate role of Jews in the slave trade were at variance with informed opinion on the subject. Jews played a role in the slave trade and here and there formed a particular concentration (e.g. in Suriname and Brazil) but overall they do not stand out from the crowd. The real point, however, is this: what would it matter if Jews in centuries past had been disproportionately involved in or opposed to that trade? There are a host of circumstances which could have lead to either situation. This is no doubt interesting for historical research but what bearing does it have on today’s politics? I think it should have none at all. Only someone not free from racist assumptions could believe that it is politically relevant one way or the other. All people’s which have been around for long historical periods can find the good, the bad, and the ugly in their background.

    My ancestors may have done all sorts of wonderful/terrible/inconsequential things. Provided I am open all those possibilities and do not insist on any of them as a matter of honour/shame or principle then none of it should be a basis for judgement about me or my views. This is true of everyone whatever group they may come from.

    When therefore Jackie Walker, or anyone else, says something historically inaccurate it would be better to react by saying that it is historically accurate rather than switching to shock-horror, how dare she/he denunciation mode.

    It may be that Jackie Walker doesn’t have the sense of political judgement needed to be a leader of a movement created to support the new Labour Leadership. However that is probably equally true of others in that position. Who are they? What do we know about them? No information is available on the Momentum website. Momentum has been criticised in these columns for a number of significant failings and I am sure that is not all down to Jackie Walker.

    P.S. Andy Newman is not alone in feeling the need to turn on denunciatory rhetoric in order to express disagreement. We see quite a lot of it in these columns. This is hardly an expression of a “kinder form of politics”. One only has to ask how people who resort to this would behave if they were in power to realise its alarming implications.

  27. Jim Denham says:

    David Pavett: “In this context it should be said that the level of physical assaults and even murder/manslaughter of BAME people is far higher than that experienced by Jews even on a per capita basis”

    So that means Jews have nothing to worry about, eh?

    Bloody hell: you *are* dodgy, aren’t you, Mr Pavett?

    1. David Pavett says:

      So that means Jews have nothing to worry about, eh?

      I suggested no such thing. Working on the assumption that the person you engage with is a fool is not likely to be productive.

      1. Jim Denham says:

        In your case, Mr Pavett, the suggestion that you’re a fool is charitable.

        1. David Pavett says:

          Well done.

  28. Karl Stewart says:

    It worries me to hear gentiles telling Jewish people that they are not allowed to discuss matters relating to their own cultural heritage.

    1. Danny Nicol says:

      I’m no gentile, and I’ll certainly be leaving Momentum unless Momentum discards Jackie.

      I have no objection to gentiles defending me against racism.

      1. Rob Bab says:

        @Karl Stewart
        It’s also concerning that SOME Jews try to forbid gentiles from discussing matters relating to Jewish cultural heritage.

        @Danny Nicol
        What’s with the childish ultimatum? Why not stay and talk it out.

        “I have no objection to gentiles defending me against racism.”
        But you do have a problem with a proven anti-racist Black Jew investigating their own personal History and then sharing the findings? Hmmm what’s it to you? Jackie has said nothing wrong. She is a strong, intelligent woman with integrity, if she’s wrong ie, that no Jews participated in the East or West slave trade then I’m sure she will be the first to stand corrected.

        1. Robert Green says:

          That some Jews helped to finance the slave trade through loans and such to the slavers is a non-controversial fact of history. That some Blacks and Arabs were involved is also well known and that Christian Europe engaged in the slave trade on an industrial scale is incontrovertible.

          Jackie Stewart has been witch hunted. Witch hunts are conducted not on the basis of facts or truth but slur, slander, mis-representation and power. She is a victim of the Labour Right Wing/Zionist lash up intended to wreck the Corbyn insurgency and the leaders of Momentum are collaborating with it. Nobody should be surprised by that.

          1. Rob Bab says:

            I agree, Jackie ‘Walker’ has been witch hunted 🙂

  29. Jim Denham says:

    This seems relevant at the present moment:

    Review of ‘The Left’s Jewish Problem – Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism’

    Biteback Publishing, 2016, pp. 320.

    By Dale Street (this review also appears on the Workers Liberty website)

    Dave Rich’s The Left’s Jewish Problem – Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-semitism is not quite what its subtitle suggests it is. But that does not make the book, published a fortnight ago, any the less worth reading.

    The focus of the book is not Corbyn. At its core is an attempt to provide an explanation of “how and why antisemitism appears on the left, and an appeal to the left to understand, identify and expel antisemitism from its politics.”

    The antisemitism in question is not the ‘traditional’ racist version. It is an antisemitism which is rooted in “ways of thinking about Jews, Zionism and Israel”, albeit one which frequently incorporates anti-semitic stereotypes and tropes. The paradoxical result is that its proponents “believe anti-semitic stereotypes about Jews, while not feeling any visceral hostility towards them and while thinking of themselves as anti-racists.”

    The historical starting point of Rich’s explanation is the emergence of the New Left in the 1950s and 1960s. The New Left, argues Rich, turned away from traditional class politics and focused instead on identity politics and anti-colonial struggles in the Third World. In its most extreme form, this involved writing off the working class as the decisive agent of social change. Instead, “Third World struggles were the new focus of world revolution”, and armed conflict was the highest form of those struggles.

    Especially in the aftermath of Israel’s victory in the Six Day War, this way of looking at the world increasingly identified Israel as a bastion of imperialist oppression. The Palestinians, on the other hand, were allocated a place in the front ranks of the anti-imperialist forces. Two other factors reinforced this overly simplistic and ultimately anti-semitic conceptualisation of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

    Firstly, the Soviet Union relaunched a massive state-run “anti-Zionist” campaign based on thinly disguised — and sometimes not even that — antisemitism. Traditional anti-semitic themes — rich, powerful, cruel, manipulative Jews — were recast in the language of “anti-Zionism”. The Soviet campaign portrayed Israel itself as an outpost and bridgehead of US imperialism in the Middle East. It was ultra- aggressive, ultra-expansionist and committed to the military conquest of the surrounding Arab states.

    Secondly, British Young Liberals, trying to replicate the success of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, recast Israel as an apartheid state in which the indigenous Arab population suffered the same levels of discrimination as Blacks in South Africa. Rich writes: “The Young Liberals established an enduring template for left-wing anti-Zionism in Britain. … It is common to blame Trotskyists and other Marxists for the spread of anti-Zionism on the left. In reality, this movement was kick-started by Young Liberals and Arab nationalist activists, funded by Arab governments.”

    Peter Hain, a future Labour MP but then a leading figure in the Young Liberals, played a particularly prominent role in the creation of this “anti-Zionist” template: “The world cannot allow its shame over its historic persecution of Jews to rationalise the present persecution of the Palestinians. The case for the replacement of Israel by a democratic secular state of Palestine must be put uncompromisingly.”

    “They (Israeli Jews) can recognise now that the tide of history is against their brand of greedy oppression, or they can dig in and invite a bloodbath. … [Israel keeps Palestinians] in far more oppressive conditions in fact than many black South Africans live.”

    By the mid-1970s the main elements of what now — and long since — passes for “anti-Zionism” on sections of the British left were already in place. Zionism was not just another nationalism. It was a uniquely evil ideology, inherently racist, and necessarily genocidal. Israel was an “illegitimate” apartheid state, a colonial enterprise equated to the dispossession of the Palestinians, and incapable of reform.

    Rich goes on to provide examples of how such themes were amplified and built upon in subsequent years. If Israel was, as claimed, an apartheid state, then it was a “legitimate” target for a comprehensive programme of boycott, disinvestment and sanctions. This has now “climaxed” in the decision of some British union to boycott the Histadrut, the Israeli trade union federation. If Zionism was, as claimed, a form of racism, then it was “legitimate” for Student Unions to refuse to fund Jewish Societies which failed to disavow Zionism.

    The mid-1970s and the mid-1980s saw repeated attempts to ban Jewish societies on this basis. If Zionism was, as claimed, inherently genocidal, then it was “legitimate” to equate it with Nazism — an equation which became increasingly common in sections of the left press and on placards on pro-Palestine demonstrations. And if Israel and Zionism were guilty as claimed, then a common “anti-imperialism” made it “legitimate” to ally with forces hostile to the most basic values of the left. This found expression in the SWP-Muslim Association of Britain alliance in the Stop the War Coalition.

    As the ultimate example of this “way of thinking about Jews, Zionism and Israel” Rich quotes from a letter published by the Morning Star, written by a veteran reader and Communist Party member: “Israel, and all that Israel has done and is doing, is an affront to all those millions who fought and died fighting fascism before, during and after the war against fascism. … A few years ago [an Italian partisan who survived Dachau] committed suicide. He left a note saying that the good Jews were all killed in the concentration camps.”

    As Rich points out, such “ways of thinking about Jews, Zionism and Israel” bring those sections of the left which espouse them into conflict with most Jews in Britain (and the world): “Israel’s existence is an important part of what it means to be Jewish today. The idea that Israel shouldn’t exist or that Zionism was a racist, colonial endeavour rather than a legitimate expression of Jewish nationhood, cuts to the heart of British Jews’ sense of identity of who they are.”

    Rich concludes: “There has been a breakdown in trust and understanding between British Jews, the Labour Party, and the broader left. There are parts of the left where most Jews feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. … It’s not too late to bring this relationship back to health.”

    Despite the book’s subtitle, Corbyn himself appears only spasmodically in the book. Rich rightly criticises Corbyn for various statements on Israel which he has made over the years and for his patronage of campaigns which have served as incubators for left antisemitism. Corbyn’s inability to understand left antisemitism is also highlighted by Rich. Corbyn seems to hold the view that left antisemitism is an oxymoron – only the far right can be anti-semitic – and that accusations of antisemitism are raised in bad faith to undermine criticism of Israel.

    More open to challenge is Rich’s description of Corbyn as being “ambiguous” on Israel’s right to exist. It is certainly true that the Labour Movement Campaign for Palestine which Corbyn supported in the early 1980s was rabidly hostile to Israel’s existence. (The campaign was set up by Tony Greenstein.) But Corbyn’s overall record has been one of backing a “two states solution”.

    But Rich is not overly concerned with Corbyn’s own views on Israel and antisemitism. For Rich, Corbyn’s election as Labour Party leader “symbolises” — and Rich uses the word on more than one occasion — something more profound. Corbyn’s “political home” was the New Left which spawned left antisemitism. His election as party leader means that “what was once on the fringes of the left” is now centre-stage. Corbyn’s election was “the ultimate New Left triumph rather than a return to Old Labour.”

    This is true in the sense that some people around Corbyn, including ones in senior positions, espouse the left antisemitism which began to emerge in the years of the New Left and then spread like a cancer in subsequent years. But it is also very wrong, in the sense that the primary factor which galvanised support for Corbyn’s leadership bid was the fact that he was seen as, and presented himself as, the pre-Blairite Old-Labour anti-austerity leadership contender.

    In an isolated moment of clutching at straws to back up an argument, Rich even cites preposterous claims by arch-Stalinist Andrew Murray and his fellow traveller Lindsey German that the Stop the War Coalition — now little more than a rump and a website — was the decisive factor in Corbyn’s
    victory.

    Such secondary criticisms apart, Rich’s book is a valuable summary of the historical development of left antisemitism in Britain: not just a timely reminder of older arguments but also a source of new insights into its emergence. And no-one should be put off reading Rich’s book by the fulsome praise which Nick Cohen has heaped upon it, albeit at the expense of ignoring and misrepresenting what Rich has actually written: “How a party that was once proud of its anti-fascist traditions became the natural home for creeps, cranks and conspiracists is the subject of Dave Rich’s authoritative history of left antisemitism. … Representatives of the darkest left factions control Labour and much of the trade union movement, and dominate the intelligentsia.”

    Cohen once wrote a serious critique of sections of the far left at a certain stage of their degeneration. But now he just bumbles along as a political court jester and professional Mr. Angry. Rich, by contrast, is trying to open up a political argument.

    1. Stephen Bellamy says:

      Jim neglects to mention that Rich is an official of the scam operation we know and love as CST. CST, the spawn of the mega fraudster, Gerald Ronson, is the brand leader in the highly lucrative antisemitism industry. It has two purposes. First to generate mega bucks for the guys running it. Second to raise perceptions of antisemitism way above the objective reality. This is because the reality is hopelessly inadequate for the political purpose.

      This book is just a rolling series of poems. As poetry its not too bad, but personally, I prefer Robert Frost.

    2. James Martin says:

      Ah yes, AWL’s ‘Dale Street’, from a racist witch hunt against black socialist Sam Bond in Liverpool in the 80s to a racist witch hunt against black socialist Jackie Walker today. Nothing changes I see.

  30. Robert Green says:

    Now we know why Momentum and Corbyn did nothing in the face of the Zionist and Labour Right witch hunt of Palestinian-supporting members. They were part of it.

    Jackie Walker has been hung out to dry by these degenerates. The fact that Andy Newman is on board and the pea-brained Zionist Denham should surprise nobody.

    Momentum has stalled. It is in fact in full retreat. Its fate as a progressive movement is sealed. Corbyn’s fate as a progressive leader is in the balance as he adds silence on Jackie’s mistreatment to a string of other betrayals from over-turning forty years of Left Labour opposition to the EU and its predecessors to backsliding on Trident and making a point of declaring his regard for the vile state of Israel every where he goes.

    1. Stephen Bellamy says:

      I don’t quibble with what Jon Lansman did given the position he found himself in. The issue is how dumb it was to get himself in that position

      1. Jim Denham says:

        Poor ol’ John was forced into that uncomfortable position by the anti-Semitism of Jackie Walker and others.

        1. Stephen Bellamy says:

          No he got into that position by thinking that if he fed the uber Zionists they would be satisfied and leave him in peace. He totally failed to understand that what ever he fed them would be Danegeld. He doesn’t seem to have yet learned. Until he does there will always be trouble ahead for him.

          I mean he seems to think he can ” work closely with the likes of Jeremy Newmark and there could be a happy outcome.

          1. Jim Denham says:

            No, Stephen, it’s because he now understands that anti-Semitism (masquerading as “anti-Zionism”) is a serious problem on the left and within Momentum, and it has to be dealt with. The anti-Semite Walker is merely the most prominent example.

        2. Robert Green says:

          You know what is a serious problem on the left? Proto-fascists posing as pseudo socialists whilst backing Zionism. The AWL are on a journey to the right that will land them in a very strange place indeed.

  31. Jim Denham says:

    Now that Momentum’s Steering Committee has (quite rightly) removed Jackie Walker as Vice Chair, I think there is a problem that a lot of the anti-Zionist cranks currently peddling sub-Protocol nonsense on social media self-identify as being on the left, and are in or around Momentum and the Labour Party.

    I also think that the problem is now even worse than before. Unable and unwilling to understand the concept of left antisemitism, a lot of the ‘soft’ ‘conventional’ left now instinctively rejects allegations of antisemitism as a right-wing plot to undermine Corbyn and Walker.

    Walker has triggered far more threads and comments on the Momentum closed Facebook page than anything else ever. But a lot of what’s been posted reads like a textbook of left antisemitism. Today it even reached the point that Norman Finkelstein and his “The Holocaust Industry” were being quoted in defence of Walker.

    The latest post on the Facebook page is this “Morning Star” editorial. The AWL is traduced (on the basis of evidence provided by the absolute “anti-Zionist” loon Tony Greenstein) at the end of it:

    Morning Star editorial

    REMOVING Jackie Walker from her position as Momentum vice-chair, as the group’s steering committee has done, is an act of political cowardice and confusion.

    It was pushed through by seven votes to three in response to allegations by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) that this black Jewish woman made anti-semitic comments that have already seen her suspended by the Labour Party.

    If Walker had indeed been guilty of anti-semitism, she should have been ditched by both Momentum and Labour and any other labour movement organisation.

    Momentum insists that she remains a member of its steering committee and maintains that nothing she said was anti-semitic, while calling her comments “ill-informed, ill-judged and offensive.”

    The group also asked Labour not to expel her, but the ill-fated recent decision by the party’s national executive committee to ask the JLM, known until 2004 as Poale Zion, to “train” party leaders on what constitutes anti-semitism does not augur well.

    The JLM is not the sole voice of Jewish members of the Labour Party.
    It supports Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinian people, Tel Aviv’s wars against its neighbours and rejects the worldwide boycott, disinvestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign to persuade Israel to end its illegal occupation of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem.

    It is effectively an arm of Israel’s Labour Party inside Labour. Many British Jews, including Labour members, reject that stance and oppose this zionist group having pride of place to put forward unchallenged its view of what constitutes anti-semitism.

    It must be remembered that Walker’s comments were made during participation in a JLM “training session” fringe event at Labour’s conference in Liverpool where she engaged in discussion.

    Her comments were recorded without her knowledge and forwarded to the media alongside a tidal wave of feigned shock and outrage designed to produce maximum impact.

    She is reported to have suggested that Holocaust Memorial Day should commemorate other holocausts, questioned enhanced security levels at Jewish schools and observed that no standard definition of anti-semitism exists.

    Momentum’s steering committee majority may view her comments as “ill-informed, ill-judged and offensive” and they are entitled to that opinion.

    What she said cannot, however, be read as anti-semitic, which ought to be the main point at issue. If Labour expels Walker on these trumped-up charges, where does this leave Momentum?

    The organisation says that it “exists to build on the energy and enthusiasm from the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader campaign to increase participatory democracy, solidarity and grassroots power and help Labour become the transformative governing party of the 21st century.”

    Socialists, both inside and outside Labour, have long recognised that the wave of largely spurious allegations of anti-semitism being rampant in the party — which prompted Shami Chakrabarti’s inquiry — were intended to undermine Corbyn’s leadership.

    If Momentum refuses to ditch Walker while the Labour apparatus plumps for expulsion, will we hear a chorus of claims that “Corbyn’s fan club” harbours an anti-semite?

    Vanquished challenger Owen Smith paraded his political ignorance during the election campaign by accusing the Alliance for Workers Liberty, which has renounced its status as a political party in order to facilitate its relocation into Labour, of “left anti-semitism” — an absurd formulation comparable with left racism or left Islamophobia.

    In reality, this supposed ex-party confirmed its well-attested pro-zionist credentials by providing four of the seven votes to remove Walker, thereby weakening resistance to the Labour bureaucracy’s “anti-semitic” witch-hunt.

    Meeting a witch-hunt halfway is unprincipled and doomed to failure.

    There should be no credence given in the labour movement to JLM-inspired smears spread to damage Corbyn.

    1. Ted says:

      I’d not be so quick to condemn Norman Finkelstein out of hand. Whatever you think of his personality, he shares a strong two-states position with the AWL and his general thesis about the use of the holocaust by the Israeli right carries weight and is far from being his view alone. Gush Shalom don’t have a problem with Finkelstein, as far as I’m aware.

      1. Karl Stewart says:

        Reading JimD’s long post there one slightly disturbing thing to emerge is that he seems to be saying that the AWL movement appears to hold a voting majority on the Momentum national standing committee.

        How did that happen?

        1. James Martin says:

          Yes Karl, the AWL witch hunters do indeed seem to have a majority on the unelected Momentum Ltd steering committee don’t they although Lansman plc seems very happy to keep it that way 😉

          1. Stephen Bellamy says:

            It was interesting that the press statement on JW was an echo of the language used by Jon in his interview with The Independent two days earlier.

        2. Ted says:

          He was quoting the “Morning Star” who have needless to say got it about as wrong as Owen Smith did. Michael Chessum and Christine Shawcroft are not AWL members, despite rumours to that effect. Jill Mountford is; there may be one other – Jim can advise.

          Amazing as it seems to some, there are plenty of other left activists who don’t want someone who makes unfortunate comments about Jews and the Holocaust as a national spokesperson. The steering committee was elected at a delegate meeting on 6 February, by the way:

          http://www.workersliberty.org/node/26259

          1. Karl Stewart says:

            Well if the AWL movement is calling the shots in Momentum, then its days are probably numbered.

        3. Jim Denham says:

          No Karl: most of my post is the Morning Star editorial of 05/10/16, which states (wrongly) that the AWL “provided four of the seven votes” against Walker. Five of the seven votes against Walker were from people who are *not” associated with the AWL in any way – but are presumably concerned about Momentum’s reputation and Walker’s record on anti-Semitism. The weakness of the statement is to state that JW is *not* guilty of anti-Semitism.

          1. Karl Stewart says:

            I see, well if the AWL movement in general is as obsessed as you seem to be with purging Jewish people who have, in your view, the ‘wrong’ opinions about their own cultural history, then the AWL is not a movement that genuine socialists should spend time with, in my opinion.

            I find your repeated, aggressive verbal attacks on non-zionist Jewish socialists quite disturbing.

            I’m not someone who considers myself an ‘anti-zionist’, but I am someone who believes that a considered and thoughtful ‘anti-zionist’ viewpoint is a valid one that should be listened to.

          2. Karl Stewart says:

            (Just a brief addition to my previous post at 7.01am please?)

            …, particularly if that considered and thoughtful ‘anti-zionist’ viewpoint is expressed from within the Jewish community.

          3. Jim Denham says:

            Karl: I am not “obsessed” about anything in this debate, except exposing anti-Semitism, including “left” anti-Semitism masquerading as “ant-Zionism”, etc.

            The fact that someone (eg Atzmon, Finkelstein, Greenstein and they’re not all exactly the same, btw) is Jewish (or of Jewish heritage) doesn’t place them above criticism. At most, it means that we should appreciate their own personal experience / issues of identity, etc in a way we might not when dealing with a non-Jewish person holding similar views. That’s why. for instance, back in June I was prepared to give Jackie Walker the benefit of the doubt over her dodgy comments about Jews and the slave trade. Her repeated comments about “Zionist” conspiracies (eg against Shami Chakrabati), her refusal when given the opportunity to clarify her “slave trade” comment, and her most recent remarks about security at Jewish schools, there being no definition of anti-Semitism she can “work with” and -especially- her repeated attempts to initiated some sort of victimhood competition between the Holocaust and the history of black slavery, have convinced me that she’s not just ignorant: she’s an anti-Semite. The fact that she’s of Jewish heritage is largely irrelevant to that.

          4. Karl Stewart says:

            (Response to JimD’s post at 8.29pm)

            Jim, this is a link to a letter written to the Guardian newspaper from 28 different people, who introduce themselves as all being Jewish members and supporters of the Momentum movement.

            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/04/jackie-walker-ruling-betrays-momentum-members

            Would you and your AWL movement want to “purge” all 28 of these Jewish socialists?

          5. Rob Bab says:

            Good comment Karl. When you said;
            “I’m not someone who considers myself an ‘anti-zionist’, but I am someone who believes that a considered and thoughtful ‘anti-zionist’ viewpoint is a valid one that should be listened to.”
            Respect.

            “I find your repeated, aggressive verbal attacks on non-zionist Jewish socialists quite disturbing.”
            Yes indeed, bordering on a supremacist mind set. As you say, it’s quite disturbing, like this clip of Zionist men verbally and aggressively attacking women and children;

          6. Jim Denham says:

            Not for the first time, Karl, you seem to completely misunderstand the point. First of all, neither I personally, nor the AWL, advocates a “purge” even of “left” anti-Semites. We advocate debate and education. We supported (albeit critically) JW when she was suspended in June. No-one has voted to kick her out of Momentum (or the LP), only to remove her as Vice Chair.

            As for the 28 signatories to the Guardian letter you’ve linked to: what point are you trying to male? That we must defer to them because they’re Jewish? If so, what abolut the vastly greater number of Jewish people in Britain and internationally who (all the evidence shows) disagree with them? Are their opinions of no consequence? It reminds me of a letter sent by (as I recall) the Jewish Socialist Group to the Guardian earlier this year (possibly at the time of JW’s first suspension) saying something like “Labour muist listen to its Jewish members” – as though the JSG alone spoke for Jews in the LP!

            Sure, serious “anti-Zionist” Jews and (ie *not* provocateurs and obsessives like Greenstein and Finkelstein) should be listened to with politeness and at least a degree of understanding: but that does not oblige socialists to agree with them. And we’re certainly not (or should not be) in the business of demanding deference towards some Jewish people – but not others – simply because we agree with them or because they claim to be the true voice of socialists or “anti-Zionists” amongst the Jewish “community” within the LP, in Britain or internationally.

          7. Karl Stewart says:

            (Response to JimD at 2.02pm)

            Jim, with regard to your call for a general ‘purge’, earlier on this thread, you’ve referred to people supporting Ms Walker as “apologists” who “have no place in the socialist movement”.

            So I’m glad you’ve now calmed down from that position.

            You are right to say that some people use the term “anti-Zionist” to cover underlying anti-Semitism. And also it’s true that some people talk of a “Zionist conspiracy” to cover some revolting views about Jews.

            But (from what I’ve read about what she actually wrote and said) I don’t think any of this applies to people like Ms Walker, or to any of the signatories of the letter to which I linked.

            Of course, being Jewish does not grant deference, but it does mean that we need to take a different view than we would towards a gentile saying the same things on this subject, I think.

            For what it’s worth, I disagree with Ms Walker on the issue of World Holocaust Day. I personally think it should be a day when the world specifically commemorates the 20th-century Nazi genocide against Jewish people.

            But I don’t think it’s necessarily offensive for someone to make an argument for the day to be broadened to encompass other genocides, providing it’s put forward in a respectful and sensitive manner. I just disagree with them.

            Similarly, if someone researches their own family history and then refers to what they have discovered about what their own ancestors did in past centuries in a discussion with some friends, I don’t see that as necessarily offensive either.

          8. Jim Denham says:

            Karl:

            *“have no place in the socialist movement” is not the same as “have no place ion the LP”. But I accept it could have been more precisely phrased

            * “You are right to say that some people use the term “anti-Zionist” to cover underlying anti-Semitism. And also it’s true that some people talk of a “Zionist conspiracy” to cover some revolting views about Jews.”: JW is guilty of both (re “Zionist conspiracies” see her facebook posy of 22 July about criticism of Shami Chakrabati).

            “Of course, being Jewish does not grant deference, but it does mean that we need to take a different view than we would towards a gentile saying the same things on this subject, I think”: you need to be more specific about what you really mean by this: JW and many of her most vociferous defenders are very sharp and outspoken polemicists and I have no hesitation in replying in kind. Finkelstein and Pappe are some of the rudest, most factionally aggressive people you’ll ever come across. I see no reason to be especially gentle with them in debate (if that’s what you mean – I’m still not clear).

            On Holocaust Day, JW continued to insist it was “advertised and came across” as only about the Nazi Holocaust even when it was pointed out to her that this simply isn’t true.

            On her “explanation” of her comment about Jews and the slave trade: it didn’t read as being simply about her own family: it stated that “Jews” were the “chief financiers” of the lave trade – an anti-Semitic slander put about by (amongst others) Louis Farakan and the NOI. If this was not what she meant, she’s had ample opportunity to clarify matters, and notably failed/refused to do so.

            As someone has commented elsewhere, this amounts to a pattern of behaviour:

            “Taken individually, Donald Trump quotes only seem idiotic. To really appreciate the hatred, you need to see them together.”

  32. Robert Green says:

    Momentum have prescribed the limits of the Corbyn insurgency and it does not include opposition to colonialist racism, land grabbing, annexation and imperialist backed genocide. But whilst this is by no means the end of anti-Zionism which can only go from strength to strength it is most definitely the end of Momentum the self-appointed grassroots business.

  33. Danny Nicol says:

    I’m pleased that Jackie Walker is no longer vice chair of Momentum but very displeased that she remains on the steering committee and in Momentum.

    Be that as it may, her sacking is the best thing to have happened to the Left since Corbyn’s re-election. Jackie was too reactionary on the subject of anti-Jewish racism to stay as vice-chair. Let us now get rid of all anti-Jewish racists – and all racists generally – from Momentum and from the Labour Party.

    We also need to democratise Momentum to reduce the chances of any more Jackie Walkers. ANNUAL contested elections for all posts and for the steering committee should be the order of the day, with hustings published online.

    I hope that those comrades who stood firm against Jackie Walker will, if geographically convenient, enjoy the Cable Street 80th Anniversary celebrations at the weekend. As for some of Jackie Walker’s chums, some of them are so right wing that perhaps they’d be happier turning up at Sir Oswald Mosley’s grave and shedding a bitter tear for their sacked heroine.

    1. Karl Stewart says:

      Come on Danny, a bit over the top there

    2. Rob Bab says:

      @Danny Nicol
      Seriously, I’ve tried to see your point of view Danny but the evidence is very scant. It’s as if there’s something disingenuous going on with your attacks and I’m more inclined to see you as engaging in a form of political envy rather than valid critique. Here’s Jackie laying it down for you and yours, take note, she ain’t no fool.

    3. Ted says:

      If my Facebook feed is anything to go by, Jackie Walker would easily win an election for the vice-chair post and probably be able to oust Lansmann if she chose. Most people just see yet another activist targeted by the right on a spurious pretext. Going so over the top in denouncing her doesn’t help, in my view.

    4. David Pavett says:

      I agree that Jackie Walker was not a suitable person as an officer of Momentum but I don’t like the witch-hunting methods that have been used to remove her (Andy Newman’s article for instance). Where the left-wing critics of the move see conspiracy I see cock-up. How was she put in the position in the first place? Momentum has shown more than one sign of being something of a headless chicken from the outset (I am a member) and the Walker episode is just another example of that. The left is great at bigging up personalities and then pulling them down again when something goes wrong. It is not so good at analysing current problems and developing solutions to solve them (beyond back of an envelope stuff). It is all very depressing.

  34. Stephen Bellamy says:

    It was interesting that the press statement on JW was an echo of the language used by Jon in his interview with The Independent two days earlier.

  35. Jim Denham says:

    Bad news for Jackie Walker and her supporters/apologists:

    In her apology that was not really an apology she said that she favoured David Schneider’s definition of anti-semitism.

    Commenting on the Momentum statement re. Walker, David Schneider has tweeted:

    ‘”Taken individually’ feels disingenuous. Taken together, drip by drip, they betrayed, for me, anti-semitic prejudice.”

    Someone has commented beneath his tweet:

    “Taken individually, Donald Trump quotes only seem idiotic. To really appreciate the hatred, you need to see them together.”

  36. Robert Green says:

    It is time to boycott Momentum, its meetings, its publications, the lot until a more appropriate umbrella for those who wish to support the emergence of a radical Labour Party.

    Momentum was never a genuine grass roots movement but was set up by professional activists, Zionists, racists and Islamaphobes as a business the aim of which was to prescribe in advance the limits beyond which the Corbyn insurgency may not go. This police outfit, this mini-Me bureaucracy needs not dismantling but ignoring. The target was anti-Zionism and support for the Palestinians but all they have done is terminate themselves. The struggle against Israeli-apartheid and genocide will continue whatever these petty bureaucrats do.

  37. Robert Green says:

    Not at all surprised by the actions of the wannabe bureaucrat and greasy poll climbing chisler Michael Chessum, friend of the Blairite Remain campaign, or that Andy Newman, a weird mixture of neo-Stalinism and Fabianism, and the peanut brained Zionist Jim Denham have finally found a reactionary cause they can agree on but Christine Shawcroft is a major disappointment. Surely, and this is not to excuse her, she voted the way she did out of fear that if she did not she would be next?

    1. Stephen Bellamy says:

      And buddy of the JLV’s Mike Katz who called from the platform of the LP conference for the purge to be continued.

  38. Sussexlabourleft says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/04/jackie-walker-ruling-betrays-momentum-members

    Letter to the Editor of the Guardian 4.10.2016

    As Jewish members and supporters of Momentum, we do not believe that what Jackie Walker said during a training event at Labour party conference was antisemitic (Walker stripped of Momentum role, 4 October). You report Jackie as saying that “she had not found a definition of antisemitism she could work with”. This is not surprising – there isn’t one. The Jewish Labour Movement, which ran the event, states that the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism’s working definition on antisemitism is the standard definition, despite the fact that its successor body, the Fundamental Rights Agency, has junked this definition, which equates criticism of the Israeli state with antisemitism. Jackie also stated that Holocaust Memorial Day should be more inclusive of other acts of genocide. Why is this antisemitic? It has always been a principle of the Zionist movement that the Nazi Holocaust was exclusive to the Jews. Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, has argued that “the Nazis only attempted to annihilate one people, the Jews”. According to Bauer, “the Holocaust is very much a unique case”.

    Jackie’s arguments were made in good faith. They may be right or they may be wrong. What they are not is antisemitic. The decision of Momentum’s steering committee and its chair Jon Lansman to remove Jackie Walker as vice-chair is a betrayal of the trust of thousands of Momentum members. Momentum’s grassroots members overwhelmingly support Jackie.

    Tony Greenstein, Professor Haim Bresheeth, Professor Emeritus Jonathan Rosenhead, Leon Rosselson, Ruth Appleton, Rica Bird, Mike Cushman, Dr Merav Devere, Mark Elf, Sylvia Finzi, Ken Fryde, Leah Levane, Claire Glasman, Selma James, Michael Kalmanovitz, Helen Marks, Elizabeth Morley, Diana Neslen, Ilan Pappe, Martin Parnell, Roland Rance, Dr Brian Robinson, Amanda Sebestyen, Glynn Secker, David Selzer, Sam Semoff, Sam Weinstein, Naomi Wimborne-Iddrissi

    • Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

    1. David Pavett says:

      There may have been reasons to remove Jackie W from the role of vice chair of Momentum but they did not include anti-Semitism, as this letter points out. But few can hear such simple and reasonable points above the din of furious axe grinding.

  39. Jim Denham says:

    AWL statement:

    On 3 October, the Steering Committee of the Labour left group Momentum voted by a majority (which included Solidarity supporter Jill Mountford) to remove Jackie Walker as the group’s vice-chair.

    The grounds were her “ill-informed, ill-judged, and offensive” statements at a Jewish Labour Movement fringe event at Labour conference, and her “irresponsible” behaviour in continuing to promote herself and the content of those statements to the media.

    Walker said Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January, which principally commemorates the Nazis’ planned, industrialised mass murder of Europe’s Jews, should also refer to other genocides. In fact, it does; and, anyway, as someone pointed out, the objection is like going to a funeral for a murdered family and complaining that the ceremony does not give equal attention to all other murder victims. Or like responding to “Black Lives Matter” by saying it should be “All lives matter”.

    Walker also questioned people being concerned about Jewish schools having to organise extra security, saying that all schools have security. After such events as the murders at a Toulouse school in 2012, by a killer who said he did it just because the children were Jewish, this was at the very least obtuse.

    Violent antisemitic incidents in Europe ran at about 150 a year in the 1970s and 80s; since the 1990s they have risen to between 500 and 1,000 a year. In France, for example, 51% of all the racist acts recorded in 2014 targeted that country’s 0.8% minority of Jews.

    Walker’s response, and that of many of her supporters, has been to say that the issue of antisemitism is being “exaggerated for political purposes”.

    The response shows an underlying problem. When other victims of prejudice complain about racism, anti-Muslim behaviour, sexism, homophobia, the first reaction is to examine the cause of complaint.
    Too often, and including on the left, the first reaction to complaints of antisemitism — unless they are about gross neo-Nazi-type acts — is to impugn the motives of the complainers. They are assumed to be powerful people with no real grievance, using the complaint to deflect criticisms of Israeli government actions.

    Supporters of Walker picketed the Momentum committee meeting with placards saying “Free speech on Israel”. Momentum was doing nothing to limit her free speech (she remains on the committee, and the committee opposed her being expelled from the Labour Party); only deselecting her from the vice-chair post it elected her to some months ago. And none of Walker’s complained-about statements mentioned Israel.

    The Facebook post for which Walker was suspended from the Labour Party in May this year (then quickly reinstated) did not mention Israel either: it complained about insufficient attention to African suffering through the slave trade, and said: “Many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean”.

    Walker explains this as a meditation on her personal background. It is hardly just that. In any case, it is not about Israel.

    But when Jews complain about antisemitism, they get the reply: “You are just trying to stop criticism of Israel”.

    That reaction is not exactly racist, but it is antisemitic. It often comes from people who reject any notion of Jews having “racial” traits. It sometimes comes from Jews angry with Israel. Nevertheless, its gist is an attitude to Jews worldwide which tells them any complaint or sensitivity on their part is automatically suspect as “Zionist”; and “Zionism” is seen not as a more-or-less instinctive identification with Israel, but as racism.

    Thus a widely-publicised leaflet from the “Jewish Anti-Zionist Network” at the Momentum event run parallel to Labour Party conference called for the expulsion of the “Jewish Labour Movement” group (formerly Poale Zion) from the Labour Party. The JAN is also campaigning to stop an upcoming Jewish Film Festival in Britain, on the grounds that it gets funding from Israel.

    The problem of antisemitism on the left is not at all new, or created by the Corbyn surge, as some right-wingers claim. The current strand of left antisemitism was first promoted, from the late 1940s, by the Stalinist parties. For decades they published reams demonising Israel as uniquely imperialist and racist and illegitimate, equating Zionism with Nazism, and so on.

    From the late 1960s those attitudes also infected the anti-Stalinist left. In the 1980s Jewish student societies were banned on some university campuses on the grounds that, by refusing to condemn Israel totally, they were “Zionist” and therefore racist.

    It is good that this demonisation of Zionism and this automatic deflection of complaints of antisemitism are now being challenged.

    It remains true, as we wrote when Walker was first suspended by Labour — she has now been suspended again — that: “The Labour Party now has a regime of capricious and arbitrary instant exclusions. This paper and its predecessor Socialist Organiser have argued that anti-semitism in the labour movement needs to be rooted out. But this Red-Queen-in-Alice-in-Wonderland off-with-their-heads regime is not the way to do it… It is the sort of response in mirror image that the hysterical left in student unions have sometimes employed against those Jews they deem not hostile enough to Israel and thus Zionist and racist.

    “The Palestinians are oppressed by Israel and therefore are entitled to the support of honest socialists and consistent democrats. Is heated support for the Palestinians from now on to be incompatible with Labour Party membership? Is indignant, or exaggerated, or hysterical denunciation of specific Israeli acts to be branded racist, incompatible with membership in the new Labour Party?”

    A regime of instant off-with-their-heads, even if it were less capricious than that of the Labour machine’s “Compliance Unit”, will muddy rather than clarify the necessary discussion. Jill Mountford, at the Momentum Steering Committee, tried unsucessfully to strengthen the committee’s stance into opposition to Walker being suspended from Labour (as well as being expelled).

    Bureaucratism on the left hinders proper discussion, too. Members of Momentum’s Steering Committee heard that their committee was to meet first from the mass media, along with a threat from the TSSA union to expel Momentum from its office space in the union’s premises if the committee did not instantly remove Walker from her post. They received an email from the chair of Momentum suggesting that he had already removed Walker, though only the committee has the right to do that.

    The cause of cleansing the left is best served by discussion and education, in which, to be sure, stubborn prejudice and insensitivity must bring discredit.

  40. Well I took Andy Newman at his word and went to the HMD web site. Sure enough, under Holocaust it says ‘Between 1941 and 1945, the Nazis attempted to annihilate all of Europe’s Jews. This systematic and planned attempt to murder European Jewry is known as the Holocaust (The Shoah in Hebrew).’

    Nothing there about the extermination of the Disabled from 1939-1941 which led on to the subsequent final solution of Jews and Gypsies. Nothing about the Gypsies either. In practice disabled and Gypsies are also-rans. An after thought.

    Of course no prior holocausts or genocides, such as the Armenian once, are remembered and the Zionist movement, people like Elie Wiesel, were adamant that there was no such holocaust. As for Africans, they don’t get a look in despite 10 million dying Belgian Congo itself.

    The terrorist attacks in France prove nothing. British Jews are not under attack and it is arguable that the present of enhanced security around Jewish schools in the UK is merely heightening fears of terrorism and anti-Semitism. Either way what happened in France is evidence of nothing other than that the West should stop creating enemies that then attack the West in blow back.

    Andy does not seem to comprehend that a ‘training event’ run by the JLM, contrary to the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report, was in reality a honey trap. Secret recordings of particicpants handed over the media. What kind of training event is that?

    The JLM has persistently tried to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Its Rule Change amendment to the LP has included the ‘use of Zionism as a term of abuse’ with anti-Semitism and it has also deliberately twisted and distorted the meaning of the MacPherson principles in order to fool people that MacPherson recommended that a ‘victim’ of a racist attack could in effect determine a conviction of the assailant. MacPherson advocated only, in terms of the Police only, that where someone claimed to be the victim of a racist attack, then the Police should record that and treat it seriously. MacPherson did not say that in the investigation period and during any court process, the word of a victim was to be taken as persuasive regardless of what the defence may be.

    Jackie questioned the lie that Michael Katz told at the ‘training event’ that the standard definition of anti-Semitism was the EUMC Working Definition. This was a lie because the European Union’s Working Definition was junked by the EUMC’s successor organisation the Fundamental Rights Agency, in 2013.

    Why was the WD junked? Because it conflated criticism of Israel with anti-semitism and any comparison between Israeli practices and Nazi Germany was held to be anti-Semitic. A nonsense since Israelis regularly do just that.

    Andy says that ‘Let us be clear, there is not a current and live danger of racist hate crimes against Armenians, Hutus, Herero people or Native Americans on the streets of Britain today. The distinguishing feature that the Nazi anti-Semitism exploited centuries of prejudice,’

    There isn’t a wave of racist hate crimes against Jews on the streets otherwise. I don’t feel under attack and nor do most if not all Jews. State racism against Jews does not exist in Britain. It isn’t synagogues which r torched but mosques. Anti-semitism is a marginal prejudice in Britain.

    Andy demonstrates that he understands nothing of anti-Semitism historically either. He says that
    ‘The genocide against the Jews was historically unique, as of course are all instances of genocide.’
    In which the holocaust was not unique! The extermination of people in gas chambers was indeed unique, but the first to be gassed were the disabled, up to 3/4 million of them. At Auschwitz, t he first people to be gassed were Russian prisoners of war. Gypsies and others were also put to death by gassing.

    Of course Jews were exterminated in their millions but the lessons we draw are that racism and fascism must be fought.

    What is happening today is that the holocaust is being fashioned by the Zionist movement and the Western establishment and media, into an ideological weapon against the oppressed. Israel uses holocaust ideology in order to reinforce racism and nationalism, not to oppose it.

    Andy says that ‘There are times and places where it is appropriate to discuss the historical comparitors, there are times and places where it is not.’

    Wrong. history is about comparison or it is nothing. We only make sense of the holocaust by use of comparisons and we only make sense of Israel’s apartheid state by the use of comparison.

    Yes Zionism came from Jewish experience of anti-Semitism but it also accepted as natural and indeed right that ant-Semitism existed.

    Andy talks about the Nazis holocaust drawing on ‘the deep well of anti-Jewish sentiment in European Christian culture, but also merged this with the modern industrial ruthlessness of European colonialist attitudes to their non-European subject peoples.’ Precisely why we should compare what the Nazis did with imperialist atrocities.

    It is also incorrect to say that what the Nazis did was an extension of Christian or feudal anti-Semitism. In many ways it was a break from it, hence the concept of the Christian Jews, a term that would be absurd in Catholic Europe.

    Andy says he doesn’t know whether Jackie is anti-Semitic. I do know. Unlike Andy she has been a longstanding fighter against racism and fascism. She is not a well paid trade union bureaucrat. She is a fighter and it is scandalous that Andy Newman should attack her so. If h e had any concept of what shame is he would go and repent in some appropriate manner. I believe the rendering of clothes used to be in fashion.

    This is a scurrilous little article and it is no surprise that Jon Lansman has commissioned it.

    1. Rob Bab says:

      @TG
      You make some good points in your post Tony. Just to add-
      When you said;
      “As for Africans, they don’t get a look in despite 10 million dying in Belgian Congo itself.” and the fact that Zionist Jews/Jews are part of the Congo’s History;

      “Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 the Congo was home to numerous Zionist organizations, led by the Association Sioniste du Congo Belge. After the independence of Congo from Belgium in 1960 the majority of Congolese Jews left the country, with most of them settling in Israel or South Africa.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo

      “Because it conflated criticism of Israel with anti-semitism and any comparison between Israeli practices and Nazi Germany was held to be anti-Semitic. A nonsense since Israelis regularly do just that.” and have been doing so for 8x longer than Nazis did it!

      “There isn’t a wave of racist hate crimes against Jews on the streets otherwise. I don’t feel under attack…”
      Yes it appears the only people perpetuating racist and anti-Semitic attacks on Jews ie Jackie Walker, yourself etc are other Jews, namely Zionist Jews and their Zionist non-Jewish allies. It makes yer think!
      So, it appears support or opposition to the State of Israel plays a pivotal role in the workings of the Labour Party, who stays and who goes. The major hiccups on JC’s leadership path have invariably involved Zionist meddling. It’s getting to the point now where all the major players in the great Labour Anti- Semite Nazi Witch Hunt are all Jewish people, who’d have thunk?
      It’s as though there’s some kind of collective psychosis going on. Some of the insults being thrown around at each are appalling. I thought Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, Momentum etc was about fairness and respect to one another NOT endless spurious accusations of hatred of Jews, for Christ’s sake, even you Tony have now been accused of it.
      You are correct, Jackie Walker is NOT a hater of Jews neither is she a racist. Anyone who seriously accuses her of such is up to mischief which is damaging to the LP. The longer this nonsense carries on the longer the Tories are in power, so with respect, never mind disabled people dying in Germany 75 years ago, they’re dying here along with people with mental health problems, suiciding themselves in the thousands as a result of the Tory Austerity Plan… 🙁
      To change that we need labour in power with Jeremy Corbyn at the helm. The Labour Party was not created to do Apartheid Israel’s bidding.

      “Of course Jews were exterminated in their millions but the lessons we draw are that racism and fascism must be fought.”
      The extermination of Jews in WW2 didn’t learn me the lessons about racism. What happened to millions of Africans in the slave trade and their treatment afterwards educated me about racism. Remember, as Jackie proves, Judaism is a religion.

      “What is happening today is that the holocaust is being fashioned by the Zionist movement and the Western establishment and media, into an ideological weapon against the oppressed.”
      The Zionist movement is proving to be a weapon against everyone except Zionists. It’s hubris will be it’s downfall.

      “Israel uses holocaust ideology in order to reinforce racism and nationalism, not to oppose it.”
      Will you expand on this Tony, cheers.

      1. what I meant is that Israeli schoolchildren in their thousands are taken to Auschwitz each year, not to teach them about the iniquities of racism and fascism but to teach them that they too need a strong, racist, militarist state in order that Jews don’t die again. In fact anti-Semitism has been eradicated without the need 4 an Jewish state.

        In fact the major cause of anti-Semitism today is Israel. It carries out its crimes against the Palestinians and people naturally react to this. Because it calls itself a Jewish state, a State of the Jews literally that acts on behalf of all, not just Israeli Jews, some people wrongly associate all Jews with Israel’s actions. This is compounded by Zionist organisations openly saying that all Jews support Israel’s actions.

        The Holocaust is therefore depoliticised – its not about racism or what produced racist societies but about Jewish militarism. That to me is akin to another form of fascism.

        1. Jim Denham says:

          Greenstein’s comments (above) should be circulated on the left as widely as possible: as proof of just how poisonous he is.

          1. Ted says:

            Tony Greenstein is far from alone in his analysis of holocaust studies in Israel, Jim. There is a serious debate within Israel about this:

            http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.718360?=&ts=_1475840180498

            http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/04/23/the-crisis-in-israels-holocaust-education/

            and from the former director of education at Vad Yashem:

            http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.699749

            His notion that Israel is the prime cause of contemporary anti-Semitism is a bit shortsighted though. Maybe it holds true in Brighton and in Muslim communities, but I’ve seen the most horrendous anti-Semitism coming out of Eastern Europe, which has very little to do with Israel, and encountered it in the US and UK outside of any Israeli context.

          2. So Jim Denham has no comment of substance re my remarks other than that they are ‘poisonous’. Yes I am probably poisonous to racists and Zionists. And long may that continue. But I repeat that attacking AWL isn’t anti-Semitic. For one thing AWL is not a Jewish group and it is not a Jewish individual either. Nor for that matter is Jim Denham!

          3. Sue says:

            Yes please let’s circulate them! jon Lansman should be the first to read Tony’s comments because I am at a total loss as to why he should think Jackie is anti Semitic.

          4. sorry I should have made it clearer. I was speaking about anti-Semitism in this country.

            Anti-semitism in France, though I’m not convinced it is that, has different roots going back to the Pied Noir and Algeria. I agree about Eastern Europe. It is largely an anti-Semitism without Jews. In Poland under the present pro-Zionist (avidly so) government there is a toleration and worse of anti-Semitism including the burning recently of an effigy of a Chasidic Jew by a mob consisting of members of the ruling Law and Justice Party. A party that Zionists have gone out of their way to defend, including Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle

  41. stockwellpete says:

    Just one small correction, Tony. The HMD website does mention the Armenian holocaust.

    If you click on the “Genocides” tab at the top you will come through to this text . . .

    Atrocities against the Armenians

    Between 1915 and 1918, the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire were systematically persecuted, deported from their homes and murdered. Following the Balkan War and start of the First World War, Armenian men, women and children were expelled and exterminated in an attempt to destroy their very existence. The campaign was waged against Armenians following a period of deterioration in relations between ethnic groups in the Empire and a number of political and financial upheavals.

    It is unknown exactly how many Armenians were murdered in this period but estimates range from 1.3 million to 1.9 million. In 1933, the Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin, was so motivated by the lack of recognition and awareness of the crimes in Armenia which occurred only a few years before, that he presented a paper to the League of Nations. The paper outlined a way in which the International Community could condemn the crimes and atrocities in the Ottoman Empire, and provide a basis to prosecute the perpetrators behind such crimes. It wasn’t until 1946 that the UN recognised the term genocide and affirmed the cause that Lemkin had dedicated his life to. To date, the 1946 convention is still used to recognise the actions of a state-sponsored attempt to destroy a particular group of its people.

    If you would like to find out more about the atrocities in Armenia we recommend a number of books on our bibliography and you may find the Fergal Keane documentary in our film reviews of interest. As part of a film for HMD 2011, we recorded the Untold Story of Astrid Aghajanian whose mother saved her from murder in Armenia by hiding beneath the bodies of those who had already been killed.

    – See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/page/holocaust-genocides#sthash.89THjtlh.dpuf

    I did try to post this on the Socialist Unity site but I think Cde Newman has blocked me! lol

    1. thanks Pete,

      yes the Armenian holocaust is under genocides, not holocaust which is indeed reserved just for Jews. More importantly the Nazi holocaust is a Jewish preserve. Others were killed but not victims of a genocide or holocaust ie gypsies, disabled etc.

  42. Robert Green says:

    There is a reason why the AWL consists of about four people and their Mossad handlers and whilst you might think you have struck a mighty blow against the anti-Zionist, pro-Palestine movement all you have done is destroy Momentum which will literally be those same four people and their Mossad handlers in about a year’s time. You cannot kill the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor. It will always rebound. Momentum needed boycotting anyway. A bunch of self-appointed professional activists trying to impose its limitations on a grass roots movement and the Corbyn insurgency. Just hope Corbyn’s brand hasn’t been too damaged by this whole sordid witch hunt organised from within his so-called camp.

    1. Jim Denham says:

      An anti-Semite writes:

      ” the AWL consists of about four people and their Mossad handlers…”

      1. sorry I don’t see why the comment is anti-Semitic. People must get out of the habit of deeming all comments they disagree with as anti-Semitic. You see anti-Semitism Jim where there is none and don’t see it when it is obvious.

        The statement is clearly ludicrous and conspiratorial. I believe that AWL’s position on Zionism and Israel is a result of its overall concessions to imperialism and chauvinism rather than contacts with Mossad, however I don’t see any anti-Semitism in it. It doesnt even mention Jews let alone make any derogatory comments about them.

        1. Ted says:

          Mossad are mostly Jewish, aren’t they? Or are they an equal opps employer now?

          Isn’t the whole notion of Jews controlling political groups of the right and left for nefarious purposes just a tiny bit anti-Semitic?

          1. Using this crackpot logic then since Israeli soldiers are nearly all Jewish, then to oppose what they do is anti-Semitic. That is the Zionist lie. We oppose the actions of Israeli state organisations because of what they do, not who they consist of. And no of course Mossad isn’t an equal opportunities employer. It is a racist Zionist group. Undoubtedly u fit the bill too. Seeing the hand of Mossad behind a particular phenomenon is not anti-Semitic. It might be right or wrong but has nothing to do with anti-Semitism unless the comment is linked with Jewish control of something.

            Try taking a quick course in logic b4 u next respond!

          2. Rob Bab says:

            @Ted
            “Isn’t the whole notion of Jews controlling political groups of the right and left for nefarious purposes just a tiny bit anti-Semitic?”
            You would have thought so Ted, but sadly there are Jewish political groups on the Left and Right getting up to nefarious activities. The JLM, for example, mentioned near the top of this comment section is one.
            The Jewish Labour Movement’s number 1 allegiance is not to the Labour Party, as one may naively assume, but to Israel. I think maybe it would be more honest if they just called themselves The Jewish Zionist Movement, or the Workers Zionist Movement(Poale Zion) as they used to be known;
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Labour_Movement
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poale_Zion

            So rather than being “a tiny bit anti-Semitic” it could be argued it was rather illuminating and educational.

          3. It would be more honest if the JLM called themselves the Jewish Zionist movement but not completely honest since they have a considerable number of non-Jewish right-wingers and Progress people like a no. of Brighton right-wing councillors like Warren Morgan and Emma Daniels and the Chair of Young Labour locally. So the best name would Zionist Labour Movement except that is a contradiction in terms because the Zionists are alien to any genuine labour movement. Zionist Labour would be the best name since historically the Zionist ‘trade union’ (which was also the 2nd biggest employer until they all went bankrupt) excluded Arabs from membership and when they were allowed in were corralled in a separate Arab section (controlled by a Jew!).

          4. Jim Denham says:

            You got it one, Ted: the fact that Mr Greenstein chooses not to understand this elementary fact speaks volumes.

          5. Jim Denham says:

            “Isn’t the whole notion of Jews controlling political groups of the right and left for nefarious purposes just a tiny bit anti-Semitic?” Precisely: strange that Mr Greenstein just doesn’t seem to understand…or chooses not to.

          6. Rob Bab says:

            @Jim
            I think Tony understands what nefarious activities Zionist “Jews controlling political groups of the right and left” get up to.
            Here’s what the Board of Deputies of British Jews (Zionists) has to say about Jackie Walker;

            “Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl has welcomed the removal of Jackie Walker as Vice Chair of Momentum as well as her suspension from the Labour Party.
            She said: This is a clear acknowledgement that her comments about Holocaust Memorial Day and antisemitism were crass, ignorant and wholly unacceptable. Antisemitism is a real, substantial problem in UK politics. Any suggestion that it is somehow an exaggerated or “weaponised” issue is therefore deeply offensive. We call on the Labour Party to expel her once and for all.”
            https://www.bod.org.uk/board-of-deputies-reacts-to-removal-of-jackie-walker-as-vice-chair-of-momentum/
            Yet one of BoD’s Presidents was suspected prolific child rapist Lord Greville Janner. Regardless of that fact here’s the tributes from his Zionist friends;
            “A Board statement said:  “Following the passing of Lord Janner after a long illness, our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Janner family.”
            Sir Mick Davis, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “The passing of Greville Janner marks the end of an era for the Jewish community.
            “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Janner family at this most difficult time.”
             Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis tweeted the following message: “Condolences to the Janner family on the passing of Lord Janner today. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
            Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “In 1988 Greville Janner had the foresight to know we as a nation needed to know about and remember the Holocaust and so established the Holocaust Educational Trust. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
            Lord Mendelsohn, President Commonwealth Jewish Council said: “Greville’s contribution to Commonwealth Jewry will be long remembered. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family”.
            The Israeli Embassy in London tweeted they were “saddened to hear about the death of Lord Greville Janner. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
            http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/lord-janner-death/
            Go figure Jim!

          7. the tributes paid to this disgusting paedophile, who was by all accounts an extremely cruel man, were disgusting. They were done by leading members of the jewish community and the Jewish Chronicle

  43. Karl Stewart says:

    So, having read this thread, it seems that a group of Jewish Labour Party members are organised into the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and are formally affiliated to the Labour Party on that basis and held a fringe event at conference.

    And some other Jewish Labour Party members, who don’t belong to or support JLM, went along to this fringe event and asked questions and put forward some opinions.

    I’m struggling to understand why the existence and affiliation of JLM to Labour should be a problem for anyone?

    And I’m also struggling to understand why non-JLM-supporting Jewish Labour Party members asking questions and expressing opinions at a JLM event should be a problem for anyone?

    Perhaps a serious debate and discussion about the actual political differences raised might be more useful than this endless denunciation followed by counter-denunciation?

    1. You ask
      I’m struggling to understand why the existence and affiliation of JLM to Labour should be a problem for anyone?

      And I’m also struggling to understand why non-JLM-supporting Jewish Labour Party members asking questions and expressing opinions at a JLM event should be a problem for anyone?

      The reason is because JLM is an affiliate of the World Zionist Organisation which funds the Apartheid settlements on Israel’s West Bank and perpetuates discrimination within Israel as a colonist organisation. Because the JLM is also the British branch of the racist Israeli Labour Party. Why should Zionist organisations be affiliated to the LP.

      The WZO has a Jerusalem Programme which effectively says that the loyalty of Jews in this country is to Israel not Britain which is an anti-Semitic position. Apart from their anti Palestinian racism what better reason for disaffilialting them.

      Not all Jews are racist and anti-racist Jews went along to make that clear

    2. Rob Bab says:

      @Karl
      “I’m struggling to understand why the existence and affiliation of JLM to Labour should be a problem for anyone?”
      Yes Karl, with a cursory glance what could possibly be a problem? The prefix “Jewish” could only mean good positive things. All Jewish people, as we all know, are decent upstanding warriors for social justice. Just the idea that a Jewish person would in anyway be involved in any activity that would cause injury or harm to the oppressed is, well, clearly anti-Semitic!!!
      So naturally Movement of Jewish Socialists wouldn’t be seen dead supporting a regime that quite happily and unapologetically kills 500 children in just one onslaught, one of many in recent years, now would it?
      Just 2 months ago Israel launched 50 air and tank strikes on Gaza. Yes, Gaza that little bit of coastal scrub land where Israel test out their latest weapons on unarmed impoverished men women and children, killing thousands and injuring 10’s of thousands.
      Just for a moment Karl, try and imagine what living through what that does emotionally, psychologically and physically to the innocents of Gaza.
      The JLM supports this shit. Supporting a European, racist, militaristic, occupying State in the Middle East is not acceptable for a Socialist Labour Party.
      Even yourself Karl feels a little uneasy with Jim Denham’s nastiness and tourettic anti-Semitic outbursts.

      1. Ted says:

        Might be worth noting here that JLM/Poale Zion have been affiliated to the Labour Party since before Israel existed, let alone before much of the left decided it was A Bad Thing.

        1. Rob Bab says:

          @Ted
          Cheers for that, it’s heartening to know that “much of the left decided” Israel “was A Bad Thing.”

          “JLM/Poale Zion have been affiliated to the Labour Party since before Israel existed,”

          Indeed the Zionists have been working their jiggery pokery for many a year, ingratiating themselves where ever they saw advantage. Extreme Left or Right makes no odds to them.
          You do remember the Zionist EDL and Kahanist dalliances?
          “Roberta Moore, 39, a petite woman in a colorful outfit, speaks in a rolling Brazilian accent and works for a commercial firm. A Jew born in Rio de Janeiro, she once lived in Israel and now resides in north London. She is not exactly the stereotypical EDL member the media likes to depict, but Moore is one of the most prominent activists in the group’s so-called Jewish division. In her heart she is an unrestrained Kahanist – at least according to fans on her Facebook page.
          read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/what-are-israeli-flags-and-jewish-activists-doing-at-demonstrations-sponsored-by-the-english-defence-league-1.307803”

          1. Ted says:

            There’s some great stuff in this video from some of your ‘anti-zionist’ fellow travellers. The comments below it are pretty interesting too.

          2. I’m not into watching Zionist propaganda movies, if you have anything to say say it. If not keep quiet.

          3. Ted says:

            “Zionist propaganda movie” is not the first description that springs mind…

          4. Rob Bab says:

            @Ted
            “…from some of your ‘anti-zionist’ fellow travellers.”
            I do not know the uploader of the video. I travel alone. After investigation it appears Free Media Productions put up the clip. Here’s their site if you wish to contact them;
            http://www.freemediaproductions.info/
            https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHjOSJ2HBRJ8jMR_eCe7D2g

            “The comments below it are pretty interesting too:”
            I didn’t find them interesting Ted, rather unsavoury and antagonistic, more akin to one or two of the commenters on this article.
            Thanks for trying to be nice x

          5. Ted says:

            “>>the Zionists have been working their jiggery pokery for many a year, ingratiating themselves where ever they saw advantage. <<"

            Statements like this, quite apart from sounding uncannily like the 'world jewish conspiracy' theories so popular in certain circles, involve an entirely ahistorical reading backwards from the present situation, as if Zionism had worked to a single masterplan from the start. In fact the movement included a massive range of opinion, from Martin Buber at one end to Jabotinsky at the other and did not even necessarily conceive of the Jewish homeland as a nation state. No doubt many of the early Zionists would be horrified by the present behaviour of the Israeli government and the attitudes of many Israeli Jews at the current time.

            But the key thing to remember is that Zionism was a refugee project, a flight from the most horrific prejudice and oppression, and not a colonial enterprise in the way it is characterised now. A whole lot of this has to do with Israel's strategic alliance with the USA. I would be willing to bet serious money that if they had decided to make their alliance with the USSR instead, many of the ardent 'anti-zionists' of the left would be supporting Israel for all they were worth against the 'imperialist stooges of the arab world'.

          6. What total and utter rubbish. Really this just goes to show that the Alliance 4 Workers Liberty is a chauvinist, pro-imperialist western political group that fools itself that it has something to do with Marxism.

            Marx made it clear in the Communist Manifesto that a nation that oppresses another nation will not itself be free whereas the AWL justifies the oppression of the Israeli Jewish settler group by reference to the anti-Semitism in Europe. As if the Palestinians, being only a third world people, should be grateful to pay the price for European anti-Semitism.

            Saying the Zionists ‘have been working their jiggery pokery for many a year, ingratiating themselves where ever they saw advantage’ is just another way of saying that the Zionists promised their British imperial sponsors and now the USA that they would be useful to them. Only if you see Zionist and Jew as interchangeable would you think this could sound like the ‘world Jewish conspiracy’. And if you think Zionist and Jews are interchangeable then you are indeed an anti-Semite.

            It should be noted that AWL would not be the first Zionists to be anti-Semitic. Much of the far-Right in this country and in Europe combine anti-Semitism and Zionism e.g. the BNP/EDL/French FN/Polish L&J Party etc. If you don’t like Jews in your country then supporting Zionism is a given.

            Ted says this suggests that it is implied that ‘Zionism worked to a single masterplan from the start.’

            Well Zionism did have a masterplan. Not an all encompassing plan but its plan was to secure an alliance between itself and a major imperialist power. That is secured with the Balfour Declaration with Britain in 1917.

            However our knowledgeable ignoramus, Ted, informs us that Zionism was a movement which ‘included a massive range of opinion, from Martin Buber at one end to Jabotinsky at the other and did not even necessarily conceive of the Jewish homeland as a nation state.’

            This is proof of the old saying that a little knowledge can be dangerous. There was no ‘massive range of opinion’. All shades of opinion agreed on the need for a Jewish state with the possible exception of the tiny Cultural Zionists epitomised by Ahad Ha’am (Asher Ginzburg) who conceived of Palestine as a cultural jewish centre. however he built no movement and represented himself.

            The major differences between Labour Zionism led by David Ben Gurion and the Revisionists led by Vladimir Jabotinsky were not about a Jewish state or the exclusion from that state of the vast majority of Arabs, there was agreement on the aims. The main disagreements were tactical. Jabotinsky wanted everything all at once. He favoured breaking the alliance with the British whereas Ben Gurion understood that the Zionists had to build up their strength first before taking on the British. In just the same way as the Boers took Britain and later the Nationalists kicked them out.

            There is often great dissension about tactics within a settler group as in South Africa between Dr Malan and Herzog representing the Nationalists and Jan Smuts representing the British wing of white supremacy.

            I doubt if many indeed of the early Zionists would be horrified at all. They pursued a policy of Jewish labour – boycotting and picketing Jewish employers who employed Arabs. Their policy of Jewish land meant that land bought from largely absentee landlords was forever removed from Arab use and the peasants were evicted from it. Jewish produce meant simply that jews should not buy from Arabs. In other words a self-contained apartheid economy.

            ‘Transfer’ i.e. expulsion or ethnic cleansing of the Arabs was discussed internally in the Zionist movement very early on.

            The attitudes of Israeli Jews at the current time, which are becoming more and more overtly racist, pogroms, death to Arabs chants at marches, increased killings even of Israeli Arabs, is testimony to what a Jewish state means in practice.

            Ted says that ‘the key thing to remember is that Zionism was a refugee project’

            Again he shows his and AWL’s ignorance. It was nothing of the kind. 98% of Jews fleeing the pogroms between the mid 19th century and 1914 fled to the USA or Britain, not Palestine. During and before WW2 the Zionists strained every sinew to close down avenues of escape that did not involve Palestine. As David Ben Gurion said in 1938, just after Krystalnacht and at the time of the Kindertranspor, when 10,000 Jewish children were brought to Britain:

            If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel

            That can be found in the official biography of Ben Gurion, The Burning Ground p.855. Read the whole chapter ‘Disaster Means Strength’ because Zionism saw the rise of the Nazis as an opportunity not a disaster as the chapter title states.

            As for Zionism not being a colonial enterprise this is just laughable. From the start the Zionists boasted it was a colonial enterprise. There was a Jewish Colonial Bank. Everyone referred to the settlers as colonists. Herzl even wrote to Cecil Rhodes the following (p.1194 Diaries of T Herzl)

            ‘ ‘How, then, do I happen to turn to you since this is an out-of-the-way matter for you? How indeed? Because it is something colonial.’

            Ted says that he ‘would be willing to bet serious money that if they had decided to make their alliance with the USSR instead, many of the ardent ‘anti-zionists’ of the left would be supporting Israel for all they were worth against the ‘imperialist stooges of the arab world’.’

            Not so. We don’t have the flexibly racist politics of the AWL, so how much do you owe me?

          7. Rob Bab says:

            @Ted
            Re. ingratiating jiggery pokery…
            “Statements like this, quite apart from sounding uncannily like the ‘world jewish conspiracy’ theories so popular in certain circles,”
            Well you would say that wouldn’t you? 🙂

            When Tony states;
            “That can be found in the official biography of Ben Gurion, The Burning Ground p.855. Read the whole chapter ‘Disaster Means Strength’ because Zionism saw the rise of the Nazis as an opportunity not a disaster as the chapter title states.”

            Even the self proclaimed voice of world Jewry, Netanyahu, said the Zionists were in talks with Hitler to strike a deal to bring the Zionist Promised Land a step closer.

            Netanyahu even ludicrously blames the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem for putting an idea of killing all the Jews in Germany in Hitlers mind.

          8. Oh it was worse than that. The split off from the Irgun, the Stern Gang offered – twice – a military pact to Nazi Germany. One of its 3 leaders later became Prime Minister of Israel – Yitzhak Shamir.

            I mentioned the appalling quote in Shabtai Teveth’s official biography of Ben Gurion, a quote that can also be found in many other sources such as Yoav Gelber’s Zionist Policy & the fate of European Jewry 1939-42 in Yad Vashem Studies Vol. 12 (Gelber was a holocaust historian at Yad Vashem)

            but Teveth’s conclusoin is devastating throughout the chapter of the holocaust e.g.

            ‘He [BG] maintained a puzzling silence about what was taking place in Europe and Riegner’s telegram’. p. 842

            Teveth p.848.
            ‘In spite of the certainty that genocide was being carried out, the Jewish Agency Executive did not deviate appreciably from its routine and Ben Gurion the chairman, left all its rescue efforts completely in the hands of Gruenbaum, Sharett and Kaplan, not even taking part in the Rescue Committee. Two facts can be definitely state: Ben-Gurion did not put the rescue effort above Zionist politics and he did not regard it as a principal task demanding his personal leadership; he never saw fit to explain why, then or later. Instead he devoted his effort to rallying the Yishuv and Zionism around the Biltmore Program and to the preparations for its implementation.

            And ‘For nearly 2 years… Ben-Gurion was more concerned for the fate of the Yishuv than for that of European Jewry. Ben-Gurion repeatedly stresed that the importance of the Yishuv went far beyond the individual Jews of Palestine.’ Why?

            Because ‘the Yishuv was a “great and invaluable security, a security for the hope of the Jewish people.’ [849] In other words the achievement of this bastard racial state was more important than individual Jews themselves.

            And the reason was that the holocaust was seen as a means of levering into being the Jewish state. No matter that millions of Jews would have died by then. ‘ “distress” could also serve as “political leverage” [850]. He [Ben-Gurion] told the JAE, “The harsher the affliction, the greater the strength of Zionism.”

            What other conclusion can be draw than Teveth’s following statement?

            ‘If there was a line in Ben-Gurion’s mind between the beneficial disaster and an all-destroying catastrophe, it must have been a very fine one.’ [851] ‘The war and the Holocaust were not in his power to control, but he aain resolved to extract the greatest possible benefit from the catastrophe.’

            This is called by the Zionists ‘anti-Semitism’ but the truth is that the Jewish Agency Executive (the Zionist govt. in waiting) saw the holocaust as an opportunity to lever into existence the Israeli state. This is not incidentally just Teveth’s view but that of a wide spectrum of Zionist historians.

  44. Terry McCarthy says:

    I agree totally with the morning star’s editorial criticising momentum for suspending Jackie Walker. Momentum led the campaign against suspensions from the Labour Party . The steering group concluded as did the recent Labour Party enquiry their Jackie was not anti-Semitic nor a racist, We all know where these false accusations of anti-Semitism come from it is part and parcel of the campaign to get rid of team Corbyn .
    So it’s accepted that Jackie is not an anti-Semite her suspension was because she has not been careful with her wording, Jackie speaks the length of the country her every word is recorded secretly or otherwise as in the recent case is there anyone whose entire utterances are without linguistic errors .
    She was secretly recorded by the Daily Telegraph giving a seminar, eg discussion group . Do we really want the situation where we will be looking over our shoulder every time we speak . And if anyone thinks the suspension of Jackie. Will stop the media attacks you don’t know your history ,
    Simply ask yourself the question Why do you think the media is gone out of its way to attack Jackie

    1. Ted says:

      Momentum haven’t suspended Jackie Walker.

      1. Jim Denham says:

        “Momentum haven’t suspended Jackie Walker”: sadly, Ted, straight facts like this don’t seem to bother the Morning Star or Mr Greenstein and his friends.

  45. Jim Denham says:

    The day after the Momentum steering committee voted to remove Jackie Walker as vice-chair, the Morning Star , a newspaper closely linked with the Communist Party of Britain, published an editorial condemning the decision as part of the Labour “witch-hunt” and accusing the steering committee of “political cowardice and confusion”. The editorial contained a number of factual inaccuracies (for instance, claiming that four of the seven votes to remove Walker were from the AWL – a claim now removed from the online version), but more seriously, seemed to deny the possibility of antisemitism existing on the left – a reality that an earlier, more thoughtful M Star editorial had recognised.

    Yesterday’s M Star published a response from Momentum chair Jon Lansman, which can be read here. It also published a letter from a leading and long-standing Communist Party member, Mary Davis. As letters do not appear on the M Star‘s website, we publish it below:

    I am writing to express my concern and dismay at both the tone and the content of the editorial in the paper (M Star October 5). On Sunday we will be marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street. A rare victory made possible by the mobilisation of the East End Jewish community together with the inestimable role of the Communist Party.

    In 1936 the party did not have a problem in understanding the nature of antisemitism and the need to fight against it. The Labour Party today is clearly making a similar effort. Hence it established the Chakrabati inquiry and seems determined to tackle the issue.

    Given this background, I would have expected our paper with its full support for Jeremy Corbyn, to have welcomed Momentum’s decision to suspend its vice-chair, Jackie Walker. Instead it has taken precisely the opposite position.

    It may be that Walker has not found an acceptable definition of anti-Semitism, but that should not, given our history, preclude us from having one and acting on it.

    Walker had been suspended (although re-admitted) to the Labour Party for her comment that Jews were the “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade.” Other of her comments on the Holocaust and the misuse of security at Jewish schools have been criticised by Momentum as being “ill-informed, ill-judged and offensive.”

    The comments in the Star’s editorial writing off the Jewish Labour Movement (because they attacked Walker) as a zionist organisation would correctly incur criticism from Chackarbarti, who in her section on “zionism and zionists” makes the following observation: “Crucially, I have heard testimony [about] … the way in which the word ‘zionist’ has been used personally, abusively or as a euphemism for Jew.

    “My advice to critics of the Israeli state and/or government is the use the term ‘zionist’ advisedly, carefully and never euphemistically or as part of personal abuse.”

    Manual Cortes, the general secretary of the TSSA and a strong backer of Corbyn, called on Walker to resign from the Labour Party immediately. I concur with this view and counsel our paper to support the left Labour position on anti-semitism.

    MARY DAVIS, London N$

  46. What utter rubbish from Denham

    In 1936 the Zionists and the Board of Deputies OPPOSED the mobilisation against the fascists. Jewish communists and socialists led the way. The bourgeois Zionists who did not believe in fighting anti-Semitism warned, in a box in the Jewish Chronicle of 2.10.36 the Jews to stay indoors.

    The difference was that Zionism had little base in the Jewish labour movement in the East End. They were the people who had backed the anti-immigrant British Brothers League in the early 1900s and the Tory anti-Alienists.

    The attack on Jackie Walker is a racist political lynching. Zionists who defend Israel’s every racist action turn on anti-racists. ANy socialist who doesn’t vote to purge these racists from the Labour Party will live to rue the day.

    Unfortunately the AWL has form. It supported the British and American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

  47. Terry McCarthy says:

    I think it’s obvious when I said suspended I meant from her post.
    There is no end to the methods that the right and their allies will use. When Tony Greenstein launched his book fighting fascism in Brighton and the south-east the police intervened warning the Friends Meeting House Brighton that there might be trouble.FM.H promptly cancelled the meeting as organiser I have to find a venue in double quick time luckily the Brighthelm Centre despite several phone calls form the police had the bottle to let us use their facilities. Somebody had alerted the fascists to the book launch and they were there in numbers, luckily there is a large antifascist group in Brighton. The book launch went ahead despite the racist abuse from outside people attending at to run the gauntlet of abuse. We were then set up in Worthing where we went to attend a meeting where the doors were locked but the fascists were waiting for us, all this can be verified by looking at the Brighton Argus archive. The reason that I mentioned this we must always be aware that prominent anti-fascists will be attacked from all sides, Michael foot regretted to his dying day the way that he betrayed Peter Tatchell, the PR Department of Walworth Road said people like Peter would discredit the Labour Party, and took words out of context about peaceful protest. I would recommend everyone to read Tony’s book so you can learn from history and don’t make the same mistakes.

    1. Ted says:

      She’s been removed from the post of vice-chair but is still on the steering committee. It’s not exactly burning at the stake.

      1. it’s a completely unnecessary concession which led directly to the suspension of Jackie and her possible expulsion. That to me is the political equivalent of burning at the stake.

  48. Ted says:

    I’m not in the AWL.

    1. as near as makes no difference

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