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Rhea Wolfson replaces Ken Livingstone on left slate for Labour’s executive

CLGA Slate 2016 with slogan half width revisedMomentum, the  grassroots network that arose out of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign, has decided to support Rhea Wolfson’s bid for Labour’s national executive committee (NEC). Wolfson, Co-Chair of the Co-op Party Youth, joins Ann Black, Claudia Webbe, Darren Williams, Christine Shawcroft, and Pete Willsman on the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate, which supports Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Wolfson, who actively supported Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for Leader last summer, replaces former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on the slate. Due to Livingstone’s current suspension from the party, he is ineligible to stand. Welcoming Wolfson’s NEC bid, Jon Lansman, chair of Momentum’s steering committee, said:

Rhea Wolfson is a very impressive young woman, committed to fighting for a more democratic party and a credible democratic socialist agenda. As a young, Jewish Scot, she will provide important perspectives that will improve the running of the Labour Party.”

Wolfson is a GMB activist in Glasgow, a human rights activist focused on Israel and the Occupied Territories and a former member of the Jewish Leadership Council. Announcing her application for the NEC, Wolfson said:

Britain needs a Labour Party that can deliver a confident and credible democratic socialist agenda; an alternative to the inequality of conservatism and the inertia of nationalism – with fairness and equality at its heart.”

As a Scottish Labour activist, Wolfson is committed to restoring Labour’s fortunes in Scotland:

Labour must be the party that stands against austerity to improve the lives of working people across borders.”

Wolfson is committed to a united, member-led party:

Our party needs to be strong and united, with all levels of the party working in a transparent and tolerant manner. I will work to empower members, local parties, and activists; to fight for a more democratic party that can deliver change – and ultimately, deliver victory.”

Nominations close on Friday 24 June. Please do your best to ensure that you constituency party nominates all left candidates for Labour’s NEC by that date. At present, candidates promoted by Progress and Labour First are generally ahead of CLGA candidates in nominations with the exception of Ann Black who is in the lead.  Rhea is a member of Eastwood CLP, L1205274. Other candidate details may be found here (leaflet to be updated).


  1. Matty says:

    Sounds good. There is also info on her at

    Rhea is a member of Eastwood CLP, L1205274.

  2. martin hogan says:

    Is this the same CoOp that is refusing bank accunts to Palestinian charities in the UK? I hope the Labour Party can learn the difference between Isreali brutality and Jewish religion.

    1. Matty says:

      No, it’s not the same. The Co-op Party is very different to the Co-op Bank.

  3. Sacha Ismail says:

    What does Jewish religion have to do with it? Anti-semitism is not aimed at just religious people…

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Sacha: FYI, I am a Jewish atheist. I did write this piece. When did I mention religion? Antisemitism is aimed at Jewish people though, whether they are religious or not.

      1. Philip Smith says:

        Jon: As I understand it, Antisemitism is aimed at Zionists. I am an atheist and a humanist. I see neither religion or race. I just see how people are treated. It an’t about what we say. It’s about what we do

        1. David Pavett says:

          @Philip Smith. You are seriously mistaken. Anti-Semitism is aimed at Jews irrespective of any views they may hold. Anti-Zionism, insofar as the word makes good sense, is a particular view which is shared by some people who are not Jewish and which is not shared by all Jews. It it therefore essential not to confuse these two things.

      2. Sacha Ismail says:

        Hi Jon,

        No, it was a reply to the comment above:

        “Is this the same Coop that is refusing bank accunts to Palestinian charities in the UK? I hope the Labour Party can learn the difference between Isreali brutality and Jewish religion.”

        I was moved to reply to it because this kind of thing is common in the student movement, where everything is treated as a matter of religion. And one aspect of that is that if you say you respect the Jewish religion, then that is supposed to answer any question of anti-semitism…

        The counterposition of Israel vs Jewish religion is particularly annoying when left-wing people display photos of Jewish religious fundamentalist bigots waving anti-Zionist signs.

        Sorry, I clicked reply in the wrong place.

  4. Glaswegian says:

    Just a small thing..

    Eastwood is NOT Glasgow….. It is outside and distinctly different.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Yes comrade, we are aware of that but it is possible to live in Eastwood and also be Secretary of a Glasgow union branch.

  5. Debby Monkhouse says:

    Does it matter if CLGA candidates receive less nominations than Progress/Labour First so long as the CLGA candidates all have enough nominations to stand? Am I right in thinking each LP member will be able to vote for 6 candidates? Thank you.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      You only need 3 CLP nominations (including your own CLP) to be eligible. However, in some years (by a curious coincidence, often those in which the right does better in numbers of nominations) the party chooses to list nominations. It is therefore desirable to maximise the number. The right have been very well organised. However, you are right that it is a one-member one-vote ballot and that is what matters most.

  6. Jack says:

    How did Momentum come to this decision, was there a vote?

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Until now, it has been the CLGA that has agreed slates for the NEC and NPF and Momentum therefore liaised with the CLGA over this. We wanted a candidate from the north or Scotland to improve the geographical balance of the slate. The Steering Group was consulted and agreed to back Rhea without opposition.

      1. Not good enough. Momentum is meant to be a democratic organisation. This decision should have been bottom-up, not top-down. Lessons need to be learned.

        1. rod says:

          Early days, mate.

          Momentum has only just launched a membership scheme.

          Until democratic structures are established I’m happy to trust the steering committee to deal with decisions that cannot be postponed.

          1. Or alternatively the committee could have suggested branches discuss whether to jettison Livingstone at their May meetings and feedback? Really not hard.

            On top of this, it would be useful to know what we’re endorsing. Yes, we can each conduct independent research, but would it be so hard for Momentum to disseminate a spiel on each candidate?

            As I say, lessons to be learned. Bottom-up, not top-down. The mechanisms for this have been in place for a while now.

        2. Jack says:

          Agreed. Particularly as it now seems majority of Labour members are against Ken’s suspension. Real lack of accountability removing him from the slate unilaterally.

      2. In other words there was no election and the Steering Committee, itself unelected, was only ‘consulted’ whatever that means.

        I don’t know a great deal about Rhea Wilson but she is a Zionist and has been integrally involved in that. Perhaps a liberal supporter of Apartheid in South Africa would have been acceptable to.

        For Sacha Ismail’s benefit, Zionism has transformed the Jewish religion into a worship of state and land and made being Jewish a question of race and nationality rather than religion, hence why on an Israeli ID card you can be of no religion but Jewish by nationality.

        As Israeli politics move to the far-Right and a two state solution is only talked about now as a means of perpetuating the openly apartheid nature of the situation in the territories, we are dumping on someone who gave fulsome support to the Palestinians in favour of a ‘liberal’ Zionist whatever that means.

        I am opposed to her nomination

  7. Dr Paul says:

    Don’t be daft. Wolfson is ‘a human rights activist focused on Israel and the Occupied Territories…’.

    That, her support for Corbyn and her membership of Momentum, are sufficient for her to be a prime suspect for the Labour Right’s Thought Police. The Quote-Finder Generals are scouring the message-boards as I write. What’s the betting she’ll be up before the beak charged with anti-Semitism before the week’s up.

    1. Sacha Ismail says:

      But according to some on the left, those who support the Palestinians while also defending Israel’s right to exist *are* “Zionist”… This is another reason why Rhea’s nomination is a good thing, it surely challenges that.

    2. Oh I forgot to mention one of the major players spreading the BIG LIE about Labour having an anti-Semitism problem and in trying to stigmatise Jeremy Corbyn.

      1. Nestor says:

        “Oh I forgot to mention one of the major players spreading the BIG LIE about Labour having an anti-Semitism problem and in trying to stigmatise Jeremy Corbyn.”

        Rhea Wolfson? I don’t think so, chief. She’s an avid Corbyn fan. I think you’re the BIG LIAR, here.

        1. I meant the JLC But now you come to mention it……..Didn’t the JLC have a thing going ?

    3. No she won’t. Here is betting that if she gets on the NEC she will be on the side of the bookburners. Arguing that the word Zionist be ditched and that ” the cat sat on the mat” is anti-Semitic.

  8. A former member of the Jewish Leadership Council, the far right extension of the Israeli Embassy. The funders of the disastrous attempt to stitch up the UCU.

    The plot thickens.

    1. Jon you become more transparent by the day.

      1. Jim Denham says:

        … and so do you, Mr Bellamy

        1. Jim if I ever really want to know what you think I will ask Stephen Pollard

          1. even Pollard would be that stupid

    2. joan anthony says:

      She clearly does not hold those views. Maybe that is why she is a FORMER member.

      1. Well I thought of that. Maybe she should be asked ?

    3. Nestor says:

      The JLC is not “far right”, and has had many Labour MPs and members involved.

      Rhea Wolfson is a democratic socialist and a staunch supporter of the party leadership. She also happens to be Jewish, which it would seem is what’s causing you problems here.

      I suspect you’d call anything even vaguely associated with Israel “far right”, which would make you an anti-semite.

      1. Oh really. Wonder if the Univrsity and College Union would agree with you.

        At he time of the aforementioned stitch up its CEO was Jeremy Newmark who the Judge branded a ” manipulative, arrogant liar”. Newmark is now chair of the Jewish Labour Movement which is leading the attempt to put an end to freedom of expression in the LP. The same Newmark that Jon is having ” constructive” discussions with.

        Here is the reality of the JLC

        1. Nestor says:

          You’re a little charmer aren’t you?

          I have no idea whether or not the man is a “manipulative, arrogant liar”. It wouldn’t make him “far right”.

          I mean, you’re certainly [DELETED – Ed], but that doesn’t make you far right, does it?

          It’s your antisemitism that makes you far right, in your case.

          1. It’s your antisemitism

          2. Nestor says:

            My anitsemitism is making you far right?

            I see. What antisemitism would this be, and how is it turning you into a fascist?

        1. Nestor says:

          Hahaha. But I’m only trying to help!

          P.S. Top Tip: If you don’t want people to think you’re antisemitic, try not to have a nutso blog that reads like it should have “Copyright Pyotr Rachkovsky, from an original idea by Maurice Joly” written at the bottom.

          1. I don’t give a flying fuck who thinks I am anti-Semitic idiot. I just consider the source

          2. Nestor says:

            Yes, I think you are antisemitic idiot.

        2. Jim Denham says:

          Bellamy: “I don’t give a flying fuck who thinks I am anti-Semitic”

          Then you won’t object to me calling you anti-Semitic, will you, Mr Bellamy?

          1. Absolutely not. You are more than a source you are the Oracle of Delphi.

      2. The JLC led the opposition to the more liberal Vivian Wineman, when he was President of the Board of Deputies. Wineman had gently chided David Cameron for the tie up between the Tories and the European Conservative & Reform Group and in particular their chairman, the anti-Semitic Michal Kaminski and an even nice chap by the name of Robert Zile from Latvia’s LNNK. Zile has a habit of wandering along one day in March each year to join the veterans of the Latvian Waffen SS has they march through Riga.

        For those who know nothing of Riga it was where the first deportation trains of German Jews were sent. They were shot on arrival.

        The JLC and Pollard were ‘incandescent’ (according to the JC) that these good friends of Israel had been criticised.

        The JLC, led by Micky Davis ex Xtrata, are the big capitalists of the Jewish community. Clearly Rhea had a good education and should be given a wide berth by socialists

      3. The JLC led the opposition to the more liberal Vivian Wineman, when he was President of the Board of Deputies. Wineman had gently chided David Cameron for the tie up between the Tories and the European Conservative & Reform Group and in particular their chairman, the anti-Semitic Michal Kaminski and an even nice chap by the name of Robert Zile from Latvia’s LNNK. Zile has a habit of wandering along one day in March each year to join the veterans of the Latvian Waffen SS has they march through Riga.

        For those who know nothing of Riga it was where the first deportation trains of German Jews were sent. They were shot on arrival.

        The JLC, Pollard and co. were ‘incandescent’ (according to the JC) that these good friends of Israel had been criticised.

        The JLC, led by Micky Davis ex Xtrata, are the big capitalists of the Jewish community. Clearly Rhea had a good education and should be given a wide berth by socialists

  9. Chris says:

    Vote Livingstone

    1. Karl Stewart says:

      Expel Livingstone

      1. Chris says:

        Expel you

        1. John P Reid says:

          Has he backed a non labour candidate like Lufthur Rahman

          1. Charli says:

            We need a campaign to allow Lutfur Rahman to rejoin

        2. Karl Stewart says:

          Expel me? What for? Opposing Hitler?

          1. John P Reid says:

            If Only Mosley was still alive we could have him back too

  10. John P Reid says:

    As these people call themselves Centre left including Christine shawcroft and her support for lufthur, maybe livingstone could stand call himself Centre right?

  11. Chris says:

    Over the last few weeks I’ve been astonished and dismayed by the moral weakness of most of the Labour left. Faced with an obvious smear campaign aimed at destroying THEM and the leader they support, they and that leader have meekly surrendered.

    I put it to you that if you are on the left and you claim to take the antisemitism allegations seriously, you are a liar. No one believes Ken Livingstone did anything wrong, but they go along with the Tory/Progress agenda. Why? Because they are cowards.

    1. Nestor says:

      I believe that Ken Livingstone did something wrong.

      I believe that he did something deeply idiotic, and having given him the benefit of the doubt I’m inclined to believe he may well be antisemitic.

      I also believe, however that the Labour party is riddled with antisemitism, and the issue has been blown out of proportion beyond all reasonable levels.

      Claiming that Ken “didn’t do anything wrong” is farcical denialism, however.

      1. Nestor says:

        “that the Labour party ISN’T riddled with antisemitism”, that should read, before Nick Cohen latches onto it.

      2. What did Ken do wrong? Speak his mind? Tell the truth as he saw it which was pretty near the truth as it happens.

        If you doubt it then read Eli Wiesel’s review of Tom Segev’s book the 7th Million. Segev is a critical Zionist historian and Wiesel is a devoted, right-wing Zionist. But Wiesel, despite his slavish support of the Zionist establishment, is a survivor of the Hungarian holocaust and Auschwitz. He is all too aware of the Zionist betrayal and collaboration in Hungary. A despicable collaboration that saw Jews boarding the trains because they were misled by the Zionist organisations there. Wiesel writes

        “In the mid-1930s, after Hitler’s rise to power, while American Jewry fought to organize an economic boycott of Nazi Germany, the leaders of the Palestinian Yishuv entered into active, though unofficial, negotiations with Berlin regarding the transfer of German Jews and their wealth–some 30 million pound sterling–to the Holy Land.

        Surely, Jewish Palestine–at the time the two words were not contradictory–needed money to finance its development, but this brazen pragmatism went against the political philosophy of a majority of world Jewry. There developed a growing perception that instead of supporting and strengthening the boycott, Palestine was, in fact, sabotaging it.

        There were justifications. Yes, the country was poor and needed financial input and yes, this course of action provided a chance to save German Jews who might otherwise have decided to “wait and see” and let the last possible opportunity of salvation go by.

        But Segev goes on to show, supported by devastating evidence, that later, even as Germany carried out its Final Solution–liquidating one ghetto after another, one community after another–the Jewish leaders of Palestine never made the rescue of European Jews into an overwhelming national priority. We know that Zionist leader Itzhak Gruenbaum, a future Minister of the Interior in David ben Gurion’s first cabinet, considered creating new settlements more urgent than saving Jews from being sent to Treblinka and Birkenau.

        Read Segev’s heartbreaking conclusion:

        “There had been about nine million Jews in Europe on the eve of the war; about six million were killed, leaving three million alive. Most of them were saved by Germany’s defeat in the war. Some were spared thanks to the help they received from various governments and organizations such as the Joint Distribution Committee and from thousands of good-hearted people in almost every country–the “righteous Gentiles.” There were dramatic rescue operations such as the flight across the Pyrenees from France to Spain and the convoys of Jews that sailed from Denmark to Sweden. Only a few survivors owed their lives to the efforts of the Zionist movement.”

        The facts are clear though the Denhams of this world would prefer to distort it. Livingstone was essentially right that the Nazis consistently singled out the Zionists as their favoured Jews. Of course it did no good in the end. Collaborators are often betrayed and the collaboration mainly occured with the dealings of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem. But the fact that the Jewish Agency, Ben Gurion collaborated cannot be denied and therefore Livingstone has nothing to apologise for, even though the pale pink socialists of Momentum’s leadership ran for cover.

        And no the LP is not riddle with anti-Semitism. This is an attack on the LP by those who would destabilise it. That some people are incapable of working this out and seeing why the Daily Mail and co. are so hot under the collar about ‘anti-Semitism’ even whilst they made anti-semitic attacks on Ed Miliband suggests quite bluntly that some people lack all class and socialist politics.

    2. Its not just cowardice its the naïve assumption that if ” something is done about it “, that will be the end of it. It will just be the beginning. The appeasers on the left are digging themselves into a great big hole it will be impossible to climb out of.

    3. Karl Stewart says:

      I think Livingstone did indeed do something wrong and I also think a lot of other people also think he did something wrong.

      He’s quoted as having said that, after Hitler was first “elected” and before he “went mad,” that he wanted to assist Jews in establishing a Jewish nation state.

      He’s also quoted as having defended those comments by claiming that some German Jews “had a relationship” with Hitler.

      I think that’s very, very wrong. And a lot of other people do as well.

      1. prianikoff says:

        Sorry Karl, but you’re not making any sense.

        Livingstone may have got his dates mixed up, but I don’t see how he was saying Hitler was ‘OK before he went mad’ .

        If anything his comments imply that Jews have the right to live wherever they want.
        Something Hitler was denying them, since he used exit visas as a form of blackmail.

        The historian Michael Burleigh, writing in the Jewish Chronicle on May 5th suggests:

        “Neither Brenner nor Livingstone can point to a single contact between Hitler and Zionists of any stripe”
        Which, to be charitable, is economical with the truth.

        The German Zionist Federation, which was tolerated when other parties were banned,
        tried to do a deal with the Nazi regime over emigration.

        Leopold von Mildenstein, an SS officer, Eichmann’s predecessor and one of Hitler’s personal bodyguards, visited Mandatory Palestine in 1934.
        He travelled there with Kurt Tuchler of the German Zionist Federation.
        The purpose of their visit was to explore Jewish emigration to Palestine.

        This contact was controversial at the time, to say the least.

        Many Jews argued for an anti-Nazi boycott of German goods in response to the Nazi ’s anti-Jewish racial laws and its barring Jews from public employment after 1933.

        This is quite well-known in Israel;
        In 2011, Arnon Goldfinger, the grandson of Tuchler’s wife, made a film about it called Ha-Dira (“The Flat”). It was widely distributed there and received favourable reviews.

        Godlfinger made it after discovering of old copies of the Nazi paper“Der Angriff” in his Grandmother’s flat, documenting the trip, in which she also took part.
        This episode also was the subject of an exhibition at Berlin’s Jewish Museum in 2012.

        This doesn’t prove that “German Jews supported the Nazis”, or that “all Zionists are Nazis”.
        It proves that the Nazi regime was prepared to exploit Zionist aims its own interests.
        This continued until the need for Arab oil caused them to shift away from endorsing a Jewish state.
        If the Nazis had won, the Jews in Palestine wouldn’t have been safe.

        Racism and fascism can only be defeated by the international action of the working class.

        1. Karl Stewart says:

          ‘Zionism’ is defined as the aim of creating a jewish nation state.

          Whether that view is the right view of the wrong view is not relevant to what Livingstone said.

          Livingstone said Hitler was “supporting Zionism” when he first came to power.

          This is factually wrong. Hitler never supported the aim of creating a jewish nation state. Hitler always had the aim of exterminating the world’s jews.

          Therefore, Hitler never supported ‘zionism’. Hitler always had the aim of exterminating the world’s jews.

          Livingstone said that Hitler moved away from this position after “he went mad”.

          This is factually wrong. Hitler always had the aim of exterminating the world’s jews.

          1. prianikoff says:

            May 5th interview with Lenni Brenner by Stanley Heller.

            Brenner deals with Ken Livingstone’s minor historical errors (which he ought to publicly acknowledge) in the first five minutes.


            Article on the anti-Nazi boycott of German goods by Heller:-


          2. Hitler personally never supported the Zionist movement, at least he didn’t say he did. But when there was a debate in the Nazi Party between supporters of Ha’vara, the trade agreement and the opponents in the Foreign Office came down decisively on the side of the SS.

            There is no doubt though that the SS and the Nazi state did indeed single out the Zionists for special treatment and you can read it in Lucy Dawidowicz’s War Against the Jews p.118.

            On 28th January 1935 Reinhardt Heydrich, the “real engineer of the final solution” issued a directive stating:

            ‘the activity of the Zionist-oriented youth organizations that are engaged in the occupational restructuring of the Jews for agriculture and manual trades prior to their emigration to Palestine lies in the interest of the National Socialist state’s leadership.’ These organisations therefore ‘are not to be treated with that strictness that it is necessary to apply to the members of the so-called German-Jewish organizations (assimilationists)’.

            In May 1935 Schwarze Korps, paper of the SS, wrote in a similar vein that
            ‘the Zionists adhere to a strict racial position and by emigrating to Palestine they are helping to build their own Jewish state…. The assimilation-minded Jews deny their race and insist on their loyalty to Germany or claim to be Christians because they have been baptised in order to subvert National Socialist principles.’

            This is confirmed in Randolf Braham’s the Politics of Genocide.

            Karl Stewart understands precisely nothing about the evolving nature of the Nazi attitude to the Jews. Hitler didn’t always have the attitude of exterminating the Jews. That came about because of the development of the Nazi’s policy of stripping the Jews of their position, status and wealth and in a war time situation moving from expulsion to extermination. Extermination was a function of the Nazis’ bureaucratic approach and represented the logic of their position as it developed.

            The final solution started in June 1941 not January 1933. Karl Stewart has a toy town, boys own understanding of the Nazis in other words he understands nothing that the Daily Mail doesn’t tell him

      1. Matty says:

        What is “amazing?” You seem to be losing the plot here.

        1. If that is so I can surely be forgiven. It is getting rather thick is it not.

          1. Dan Judelson says:

            No, you cannot be forgiven for your miserable and repeated attempts to claim that all Jews, no matter what their political persuasion, are engaged in a conspiracy to take over. This is because you are a simple racist and almost certainly not a member of the Labour Party.

          2. Ok Dan since Jon won’t let me say what I ordinarily say when accused by Zionists of being a racist ( quite reasonably I am not whining), let me try it another way.

            I have no recollection of saying ” all Jews” do anything.

            What say you spend this summer in the Jordan Valley, slaving under a scorching sun, 10 hours a day, seven days a week, making mud bricks to help rebuild Bedouin structures demolished by the IOF. Then come back and we can have a little chat about racism.

          3. Dan Judelson says:

            Oooh gosh, Jewsplaining.

            1) It’s not just Zionists calling you racist. That’s because you are one.

            2) Been there, done that.

          4. Dan do try not to type stuff on the internet you wouldn’t say to their face.

            “……….because you are one”. Who told you this Mark Gardner ? Will you be helping Mark run his Re-Education courses in the Gulags? You know, I bet you will.

            ” ……..been there done that.” Yeah. And its just about all you and your useless organisation have ever done.

            Please get out of the way. There is work to be done.

          5. Do you think it would be possible to Re-Educate me ? I may need it you know.

          6. Dan Judelson says:

            If I ever had the misfortune to meet you face to face you would hear me say exactly what I typed above.

            No one told me. My assessment of your blatant racism is based entirely on your own drivel.

            I’m getting in the way of your “work?” Excellent. I stand with the brave, like Tess Asplund, against dreck like you.

          7. Ha drek. You are getting to sound more and more like the Zionist sans culottes every time you hit the keyboard.

            A mate of Simon Cobbs are you ?


            Very deffo of the EDL consorting erstwhile Vice Chair of the Zionist Fed Jonny Hoffman: video.

        2. David Pavett says:

          I followed the link. All I could find was that Rhea Wolfson was once secretary of the Oxford university JSoc. You seem to think that it is “amazing” that anyone could therefore support her for the NEC. I find your reaction offensive.

          Another of your references which I followed was to a website where the border between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism seems to me to be clearly crossed.

          1. David that you can’t see what is amazing about that article is not my fault.

          2. oops sorry wrong place. Meant for Dan

          3. Maybe you would like to back that up with an example John ?

    4. Jon Lansman says:

      Personally, I do not regard what Ken said as antisemitic – but it was totally wrong historically, grossly offensive and extremely unhelpful to both the Labour Party and to Jeremy Corbyn.

      1. Jon you mean summoen was likely to be offended? Are you saying that suspension is appropriate whenever someone offends someone ?

        Maybe we should compile a list of those who can be offended and those that cannot be ? None of this implies that gratuitous offence is desirable or should not be criticised.

      2. While certainly ill-judged, it absolutely was NOT “totally wrong historically”. To quote Finkelstein: “[Livingstone] was “more or less accurate… or, as accurate as might be expected from a politician speaking off the cuff.”

        I really wish Jon and other Momentum higher-ups would stop being disingenuous on this point.

        1. Karl Stewart says:

          Livingstone was absolutely wrong.

          Livingstone said Hitler was “supporting zionism” when he first came to power.

          ‘Zionism’ is defined as the aim of creating a jewish nation state.

          Hitler had the aim of exterminating all jews worldwide.

          Hitler never supported ‘zionism’.

          Livingstone was absolutely wrong.

          1. Your argument’s a semantic one, nothing more. It’s clear what Ken meant.

          2. Karl Stewart says:

            Reply to Joe Sucksmith 12.25pm:

            The link you’ve posted goes to someone whose only argument in defence of Livingstone is to try to claim that, when Livingstone said Hitler “was supporting Zionism” Livingstone did not actually mean that Hitler “supported Zionism”.

            About as convincing as that American guy who once said “…it depends what your definition of ‘is’ is…”

        2. Jim Denham says:

          “To quote Finkelstein” … The Fink is a self-promoting shyster whose credibility on historical matters is even more discredited than that of Brenner.

          1. As I pointed out to you previously Jim, if Fink was into self promotion he would still have academic tenure.

      3. Rob Bab says:

        “Personally, I do not regard what Ken said as antisemitic”
        Hi Jon, yes I agree, what Ken said was not antisemitic, but more to the point do you think he is an antisemite? It is not clear what you believe.

        “but it was totally wrong historically,”
        He merely repeated what Netanyahu said ‘historically’ back in 2015 as posted by on Utube for all to see at 25secs.

        “(it was) …grossly offensive…”
        Please explain why you found it offensive let alone “grossly” offensive. This is a very important point. What Ken said was anti-Zionist NOT anti-Jewish. If one is a Zionist then one will find his statement offensive.

        “and extremely unhelpful to both the Labour Party and to Jeremy Corbyn.”
        So, do we need the approval of the Zionists/Israelis to have an affective Labour party? It appears that without their approval or more to the point without the Party accepting the Zionist position, it is doomed to failure.
        Please answer my questions. I regard you as a man of integrity and like Ken, a man who does not compromise on truth.

        1. Jon Lansman says:

          You want more… I’d recommend the excellent piece by Robert Cohen (which I hadn’t read when I wrote my own piece Why the Left must stop talking about ‘Zionism’
          or I might just have re-posted his) reposted at Jews for Justice for Palestinians entitled “A letter to the anti-Zionist left” in which he says:

          Never mention Hitler and Israel in the same sentence. Ditto Zionism and Nazism.

          Just don’t go there. There really is little to be gained and much to lose. And ask yourself why are you trying to make such comparisons anyway? Who is it going to help? Who will it upset for no great benefit? Does it convince more Jewish supporters of Israel that you are right and they are wrong? Does talking about Hitler ever bring liberation for the Palestinian people an inch closer?

          Factually, Ken Livingstone’s comments this week that the Nazis were talking to Zionists in the 1930s about getting Jews out of Germany is not in dispute. It’s true that Hitler would have agreed with Zionism’s assessment that there was no place for the Jews on European soil.

          But Ken, that didn’t make Hitler a Zionist.

          Hitler’s views on Jews did not originate from the same political place or personal experience as the 19th and early 20th century Zionists thinkers. For Hitler the Jews were sub-human carriers of disease and corruption. That hardly sounds like Zionism. And what ever the encounters between German Zionists and Nazis in the early 1930s it certainly didn’t save any card-carrying Zionist Jews in Europe from being murdered by the Nazis a few years later.

          If you start trying to link Zionism and Nazism as political allies (as Ken Livingston did this week) you are taking the whole debate down a hopelessly unhelpful road. You may score a debating point against your hard core pro-Israel opponents but everyone else out there who’s trying to get their head around why the Palestinians are having a hard time will switch off or dismiss you as a fool.

          And they’d be right to.

          Of course, supporters of Israel are more than happy to mention Hitler and Israel, Nazism and Zionism in the same breath. For them, the existence of the first will always justify the importance of the second. And if you support boycotts against Israel (as I do) it will not take long before you are accused of being “just like Hitler”. But never play tit for tat with the Holocaust. The fact that Israel supporters will sometimes play the ‘Holocaust card’ to close down your arguments is not a reason to enter into a competition about who is really the biggest Nazi.

          1. David Pavett says:

            I agree with the Robert Cohen’s advice re debates just as I agreed with Jon’s argument that we should try to avoid the word “Zionism” more generally (I had proposed the same thing earlier).

            But I do not agree that “Hitler’s views on Jews did not originate from the same political place or personal experience as the 19th and early 20th century Zionists thinkers.”

            Anyone who studies the development of nationalist thought recognises the same roots in the romantic reaction to the enlightenment with its elevation of “community” and the “folk” over abstract reasoning. I don’t see how anyone who knows anything about the develooment of nationalism can read Theodor Herzl’s The Jewush State and not be struck by the commonalities in the discourse, the idea that Jews could never fit into gentile society, that nations should self-define in terms of ethnicity. As Eric Hobsbawm put it in his Nations and Nationalism since 1780

            … a Jewish nationalism was invented at the very end of the nineteenth century by analogy with the newfangled wester nationalism.

            We do not have to believe that there are no commonalities between the founding texts of Zionism and Nazi doctrines in order to fight anti-Semitism and to ask people to avoid using “Zionist” as if it had a coomonly accepted meaning. Whether there are such commonalities or not is a matter of historical judgement and not one that can be resolved by moral outrage,

          2. Rob Bab says:

            Hi Jon, I’ve replied to you on the other thread at the bottom of the page, cheers

  12. Bazza says:

    I will vote for the 6 but it still feels the old methods with the ‘great and good’ of the left chosen somewhere above when we should be about genuine grassroots power.
    Perhaps next year Momentum etc. could ask all those interested to send 100-200 words then we all choose the top 6.
    This may mean some having to give up their seat at the top table but could make way for new people with a drive for grassroots transformation and highly skilled in organisation.
    I will vote for the 6 but personally would feel uncomfortable selected and elected that way.
    What have left candidates to fear – ideas?
    Just some food for thought for the future.

    1. Matty says:

      I’m not sure how realistic that is at the moment Bazza. You would need to have a verifed one member one vote online ballot. Who would organise it? How much would it cost? The left NEC candidates are chosen by reps of grassroots organisations like CLPD. Certainly, this gets discussed by the CLPD Exec. Rhea is a special case because of the need for speed.

    2. Peter Willsman says:

      Bazza,the Slate is decided by negs.between reps.from several orgs.How each org.decides the names it puts into the hat is up to that org.M’tum could have a ballot of all it’s members to decide 6 names.But all those 6 may not emerge from the negs.

      1. David Pavett says:

        I agree with Bazza. This is all far too opaque. What are the “several organisations”? Who are the “reps” and how are they chosen? Can we have the details please?

        Most, if not all, of us who voted for Jeremy Corbyn and who have joined Momentum, did so to make the LP more open and democratic. To be told that the people we are asked to vote for were “decided by negotiations between representatives from several organisations” with no details provided is hardly consistent with the ideals of openness and democracy.

        Like Bazza I will vote for the slate this time on the basis that everything has happened too fast to sort out proper procedures. Things will need to be very different next time. We cannot go on like this.

        Bazza made a good suggestion. It needs to be considered rather than dismissed as unworkable in relation to the “several organisations”. At the very least we need full details of the process with an indication of how we can all participate/contribute at the earliest stages. We cannot fight for democracy by such shadowy means.

        1. John Walsh says:

          Sorry to appear to be rocking the boat (not mob-handed this time, though), but is an opportunity being missed here? Many of us new members have the skills and the wherewithal to be part of organising and implementing a genuine grassroots process. We also have the skills to challenge the current Progress/ Labour First involvement (Matty, thanks for the link to the David White’s suspension story (on the Jackie Walker post) – how clear does it have to be that Progress work hand-in-hand with Compliance?). Anyway, we’re all here waiting to be called upon if the great and good allow us to be involved.

        2. Matty says:

          although some details here may now be outdated

          1. John Walsh says:

            … yes, I’ve seen that before – in linking to it, do you mean ‘here is the problem’ or ‘here is the solution’? For me, it’s the former – what might have seemed like a good label in 1998 now looks to me to be hopelessly outdated and ill-equipped to be part of what could be a grassroots movement now.

            Having said that, I do fully realise that if the topic here is differing conceptions of membership (which, for me is exactly what the issue is) then we’re not going to get very far in blog post comments, and so respect to the Alliance.

  13. Matty says:

    Hi John
    Yes, the CLGA may seem a little outdated but I was surprised by your comment “we’re all here waiting to be called upon if the great and good allow us to be involved.”
    A group like CLPD has always seemed to me to be very keen to welcome people who can make a contribution and I imagine the same is true of Momentum. I’m not sure what the barrier is here.

    1. John Walsh says:

      (with the proviso that I’m new here and willing to learn) I think the barrier is differing conceptions of what counts as useful political activity, what constitutes membership. My local Momentum group is an example. The inaugural meeting was attended by many new members enthused by the Corbyn promise of a grassroots movement. What we got was a succession of speeches by old-hand activists. Now we have two old-hand activists as the National Committee reps. Their idea of activism seems to me to be largely about demos and door-knocking. Meetings are about speakers and Chairs. It all feels very traditional and contrast with new member ideas. It is difficult to get across here but the common feeling is that we have to do what the old-hand people want, that input isn’t welcome, that until we’ve performed the standard activist rituals (e.g. standing in the rain for hours somewhere) we aren’t full members.

      I’m sorry if this isn’t coming across well but it is the case that there are many, many new members who would be involved in new ways if the Party opened up to them. Many new members are, for want of a better phrase, ‘consumer’ members – they joined last year as part of the excitement about Corbyn in the media. Many of these members might never do door-knocking, or go to meetings. But they can be involved in new ways – harnessing that is for me the crux of the issue (I don’t want to criticise and it’s just my impression but at the CLPD AGM, when the Exec were asked to stand up so we could see who we were ‘voting’ for it didn’t feel like we were witnessing a cutting edge democratic process – I’m nervous about include that bit but I mean to say it constructively).

  14. Peter Rowlands says:

    Bazza and David are quite right, there is no reason why the selection of candidates for the NEC elections should not be extended to all members, even if that means that those finally chosen by negotiation are not necessarily the choice of any particular organisation, the point made by Peter Willsman. In practice though there is little attempt to consult the membership. I am a member of two of the organisations that participate in the CGLA and have never been consulted about NEC candidates.In practice the slate is chosen by a small number of people, and this is just not on.It is ‘smoke filled rooms’. The left must practise what it preaches.If we want a more democratic party then we should ensure that our own procedures are consistent with that aim.

    1. David Pavett says:

      Entirely agree. Point well made.

      I look forward to a response from someone currently involved in his process explaining how things will be different next time.

      1. PETER WILLSMAN says:

        I can only speak for CLPD, but our 6 suggestions to the CLGA are put forward by our 62 strong EC.Our ECs are open to all members, and if any member wants to be involved, if they ask me I tell them the date of the appropriate EC.For the first time ever the Right slate is getting more noms.than us.It’s good to hear from the new members and I hope they are out and about getting noms.and not just sounding off.

        1. Bazza says:

          So why didn’t the full CLPD vote for the 6?
          The EC decided – sounds a bit top down.
          I love you all but perhaps we can do things better.
          Interested candidates say from CLPD could be asked for a statement which are circulated and and members could be asked if they want to vote by post, on-line or at a meeting. Similar for Momentum etc.
          I am just trying constructivey offer ideas – organisation and ideas for next year.
          We just need the will and imagination.
          But for now yes let’s beat the Right whilst learning.
          Exciting times!
          Yours comradely.

          1. PETER WILLSMAN says:

            Thanks Baz.,it’s always worked well,but of course, you could put a motion to our AGM and our comrades will decide.The AGM lays the line down on everything.Yours in comradeship,PW.

        2. Verity says:

          So it seems that it is probably only Momentum that is opaque. The Steering Committee is an unknown mystery to the ordinary member outside of formed groups with contacts with the committee.

          I must admit that I had thought that the limited time until 2020 and the urgency in the Right Wing fight back would have activated this group to form a more democratic organisation earlier. It took 6+ months to even get a membership scheme and thereafter, nothing. Even the top down e – mails have diminished to zero and its web page has become stationary. It really does take time to bring about change. doesn’t it? The drift at grass roots level from those originally (remotely) attached to this organisation is considerable. I had hoped that the impetus could have been build upon well before its first birthday, but it is looking increasing like a lost opportunity.

          It is possible of course that I misunderstood its role and that it is thought that we did not need another actively democratic organisation attached to Labour and that it is only a Corbyn fan club that could perhaps be aroused at very desperate times only.

      2. Things can only be different next time if we are given a full account of how it was this time.

  15. Bazza says:

    Yes with better organisation it can be done.
    I don’t want to vote for someone because I am told “they are a good left wing egg” I want to vote for fellow socialists on their ideas.
    To be actioned next year, now back to my Paulo Freire -Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Cultural Action for Freedom.

    1. Bazza says:

      Yes and perhaps we should all join CLPD.
      I have just sent off my cheque (thinks outloud to himself): Is this good news?

  16. Richard Tiffin says:

    I wonder if you can clear a couple of things up for me Mr Lansman.

    A few days ago in the midst of the now absent “anti Semitic Labour” furore you castigated the left for the use of the term Zionist. (Absent now as there is no election in which to undermine Corbyn I suspect, but that’s for another post).

    I agreed with you to some extent, though I was unwilling to go as far as you suggested. My agreement was on the grounds, why antagonise or offend, IF an alternative concept was just as applicable then use it. My caveat was if the use of the concept Zionist was unambiguously appropriate then use it, a position you appeared to be moving away from.

    The fear I expressed in the comments section of your article then was that you were bowing down to the pressure that was coming from the lobby in defence or promotion of Israel. Members of this lobby were clearly behind SOME of the unfounded, exaggerated or manufactured accusations of anti Semitism, it was clear, Corbyn had made some very powerful enemies.

    Politically I get a retreat in the face of this lobby. The lobby for Israel is powerful in terms of political connections (LFI & CFI), rich and therefore powerful lobbyists, rich and effective lobbying organisations and so on. So why take them on if you can avoid it? However, this move, if true, leaves behind the group who most of us on the left believe to largely be the victims in the conflict, the Palestinians, and smacks of political expediency over principle.

    Now we discover Livingstone is removed from the left slate of NEC candidates because of his current suspension. Rather than expediting the process to discover whether Livingstone is guilty as charged he is effectively pre judged at a crucial juncture, found guilty until proven innocent, removed from the slate and replaced.

    This process may well be out of your control, but I would have at least expected to have read some criticism of the process, a request to expedite it and some defence of Livingstone in the way that you have come to the defence of Jackie Walker. The lack of this defence means that you have also decided his guilt, unless there are political reasons for your omission, which I would hope there wouldn’t be.

    Then I read that Rhea Wolfson is to replace Livingstone on the slate. I read positive things about her ‘socialism’ and early support for Cobyn during the leadership election campaign. So I felt dissappointed about the way Livingstone is being treated but positive, a like for like candidate, less well known, but ‘one of us’.

    Being the inquisitive type I tried to find out about her. I don’t expect to address questions about her on the doorstep, but I am being asked to vote for this slate, so I need to know who I am voting for. I found this article, which, to be fair, was published during the leadership campaign when members of the pro Israel community, in the case of this article predominantly members of the Jewish community, were concerned that Corbyn might win. Concerned because of Corbyn’s position vis a vis the Palastinian/Israeli conflict and fair because the article was examining, with some surprise, why any pro Israel, Zionist member of the Jewish community supported Corbyn at all, as Wolfsen clearly did.

    In my investigation I discovered that Wolfsen is an “ex-chair of the Zionist Youth Council”. How can that be, we are no longer allowed to call people ‘Zionists’, but they are allowed to identify themselves as such? Would you explain that please mr Lansman.

    But that is not all I’d like to know. What is your position on BDS Mr Lansman? Ms Wolfsen is in no doubt, she disagree’s with Mr Corbyn on this issue (see linked article). How can we have an individual on the left slate who is in disagreement with the leadership on such a fundamental issue? We brought Aparthied to an end in one state through effective boycotting, how else would you propose ending the Aparthied in Israel other than through economic boycott? A rhetorical question, Mr Lannsman, for I will provide the answer, there is no other way. I can understand why we are accommodating the Blairites, the ‘moderates’ and so forth in the PLP and shadow cabinet, but why are we accommodating somebody so oppossed to the agenda of the left on our NEC slate?

    There is more. “She [Wolfsen] added: “I think beyond simply opposing all forms of racism, it would be a good idea for him once Labour leader to develop a policy that specifically outlines how to address antisemitism.” Correct me if I am wrong but I cannot for the life of me see a Muslim on the left NEC slate, there to specifically address what is patently a far more widespread and concerning issue, Islamaphobia and its use as a proxy in a racist attacks (verbal and physical) on the Pakastani community.

    Interesting that an individual with such a view should arrive on the left slate at just this juncture, Mr Lansman, particularly given your current attack of the use of the word Zionist and what I and others believe is a retreat in the Lefts opposition to the state of Israel.

    I have said enough but I would ask one more question, would you ask Ms Wolfsen if she is aware that the website for the Zionist Youth Council has mysteriously vanished and if she is does she know when this happened? There are links to the site on various websites, so it was there until recently, but it has gone. What was on the site Ms Wolfsen? Should we pro Palestinians of the left be concerned about the company you have kept, just as you expressed concern of the company that Mr Corbyn kept? The people should be told.

    1. David Pavett says:

      Jon can obviously answer for himself but here is my response to your points.

      (1) Jon’s suggestion call for a moratorium on the word “Zionist” was aimed at its use as a catch-all term to describe anyone with a stance towards Israel which is felt to be insufficiently critical. In this use it has become a term of abuse rather than a political concept. I am sure that Jon was not suggesting that, for example, the World Zionist Federation should not be referred to as such. Where its use is both unambiguously appropriate and where it is reasonable to assume that this is generally understood then use it but, given its overuse and its use by anti-Semites, avoid it where the same point can be made without it.

      (2) There is nothing in what Jon proposed to indicate that he was “bowing down to the pressure that was coming from the lobby in defence or promotion of Israel”.

      (3) There is nothing in what Jon proposed which in anyway suggested that we should leave “behind the group who most of us on the left believe to largely be the victims in the conflict, the Palestinians”.

      (4) On Livingstone my view, and I know that I am not alone in this, always was that it was an error of judgement to ever have put him on the slate in the first place. His exaggerated sense of the worth of his own views on whatever he cares to speak about, his lack of moderation and his inability to admit mistakes make him an unsuitable representative of the left at a time when great judgement and a strong sense of collective effort are required. I am sure that he is personally no anti-Semite but his Hitler remarks were stupid (and he has form on this). If there were a rule against making stupidly provocative statements he would fall foul of it. I am glad he is not on the slate (even though as a Londoner I thank Ken every time I use London’s efficient bus system).

      (5) Rhea Wolfson is an active Corbyn supporter. She is actively opposed to the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. What else do we need to know on that front? She does the right thing. I don’t care if she was once a member of the “Zionist Youth Council” and I don’t know what is meant by describing her as “pro-Israel”. If she she defends the people who need to be defended and condemns the policies that cause their oppression then that is good enough for me.

      (5) I don’t accept for a moment that BDS is a “fundamental issue”. One can doubt its wisdom and its efficacy (a Lebanese friend recently pointed out Israeli goods in a middle eastern food shop labelled to hide their origin) without being a traitor to the cause. There is room for disagreement. It is not a litmus test.

      (6) I agree with you that there is no good reason to single out anti-Jewish racism for priviliged treatment as against all other and, as you say, more active forms of racism. Racism must be dealt with starting from its general nature (about which I think there is considerable confusion in the Labour Party). Privileging specific forms of it without that general context risks perpetuating the problems it seeks to solve. I disagree with Rhea Wolfson about that but she represents a widespread approach in the Labour Party, including on the left.

      (7) I am not clear why you think that the website of the Zionist Youth Council matters but for information it has not “mysteriously vanished”. I just had a look at it.

      (8) Should “we pro Palestinians of the left be concerned about the company you [Rhea W] have kept”. No, we should not. We had enough of that nonsense with Jeremy Corbyn. Let’s judge people by what they say and do and not by trawling through the records of everyone the have ever shared a platform with.

      1. John Penney says:

        Well said, David.

        1. Except that Rhea is inviting our votes. Is it suggested that we should not be entitled to some idea of what we are voting for?

          I personally would like to know where she stands on freedom of expression in the Labour Party. Is this unreasonable?

          Are you suggesting that ” vote for me and maybe you will find out ” is an appropriate response to a candidate being asked where they stand on this or that ?

          1. David Pavett says:

            It is perfectly reasonable to want to know the views of people asking for your vote. On that Rhea Wolfson has set out her stall in the same way as the others on the slate. (Although it is unfortunate that the CLPD website still has the old leaflet featuring Ken Livingstone. Go to the Grass Roots website for the updated version.) In fact she has done more than some if them in terms of articles. I really have no idea where most of them stand on a range of important issues. Even when they claim to have been active on specific issues I have no idea about their views on that. But then I question the laying on of hands process by which those on the list were selected. This was questioned by several people in this thread. I think that Peter Wilsman’s response fell a long way short of addressing the concerns raised. I guess (hope) that he is aware of that and that he will return at some point with a more considered reply.

            I will vote for the slate this year but will be less inclined to do so next year if the process remains in its current shadowy state. As Peter Rowlands says above, the left needs to practice what it preaches when it comes to democracy.

            Should you be able to put questions to the people in the slate? Of course you should. I propose that Left Futures organises this in the next couple of weeks. We should be invited to send in our question which can then be organised to enable the people on the slate to give their consudered responses. Let’s do it!

          2. I have not discovered where Rhea outlines her attitude to freedom of expression in the Labour Party David. Perhaps you can point me in the direction ?

          3. David Pavett says:

            I don’t know where she or any of the other contenders have stated that. I am pretty sure however that they would all give the same answer to that question: “I think that the party must conduct open and informed discussion in which all currents of opinion can be expressed while respecting the general norms of debate and the party rules”. What else can they say?

            I my opinion a much more apposite question is “How do you think open and informed debate within the party should be organised?” Given that the LP has no tradition of debate this would be quite a poser.

        2. Richard Tiffin says:

          1) Elements of the right clearly use the term Zionist in an offensive, anti Semitic way, though of late many groups of the right are supportive of Israel on the grounds that my enemies, enemy is my friend. So whilst the more productive fight for them is against Muslims, they co opt Israel. This is not, I contest, the way those on the left use the term, it was a non issue, so why have the battle? The independent Newspaper is very clear about what Jon Lansman called for. I know this is a papers interpretation but I am yet to read that Jon rebutted the story, make of that what you will.

          2) There is plenty to indicate the Jon is attempting to change the position of the left in relation to Israel. As evidence I include the timing of his intervention in the middle of the politically contrived “anti Semitic Labour” furore. It should have been treated for what it was, an obvious attempt to undermine Corbyn by causing damage to Labour at the polls and thus ‘prove’ the ‘unelectable Corbyn’ thesis. Why did Jon at that very moment chose to go on the offensive against the left instead? Weird doesn’t cover it, if he isn’t bowing down to pressure then what is happening?

          3) In any conflict, such as the Israel – Palestinian conflict, one is forced to side for they cannot both win, though of course, an unhappy compromise can be found. My argument is that the move being currently made by Jon is going in favour of the state of Israel, and the selection of Wolfsen is, for me and others, an indication of this, along with his poorly timed intervention. By definition this is leaving the other side behind.

          4) Your view of Livingstone is irrelevant, he was removed whilst he is suspended for what you agree he did not do, behave in an anti Semetic manner. He was the candidate and has been unfairly removed without intervention to speed up the process in order that natural justice could be served. That was my point, perhaps you might deal with it.

          5) I don’t care either who Wolfsen was once a leader of though, like you, I care about what she states now. To state one actively ‘condemns’ oppression is great, for you and Wolfsen, but is far from sufficient. We can all be ‘against’ something and do precisely nothing, Tories do it all the time. Therefore, if you mean something by what you say the obvious question to follow is, what should be done about it? Wolfsen is against any boycott of Israel and stated this after Corbyn and the other leadership contenders debated at the Jewish Chronicle organized event, where Corbyn outlined his support for a boycott of produce from occupied land. If, as I argued, the only way to have an impact and bring about change is via economic pressure (boycott), just as against Aparthied in South Africa, then what is Wolfsen’s proposal? Or yours for that matter? Perhaps a completely ineffective demonstration once a week until activists leave out of boredom? Petitions? You know, in effect do precisely nothing, just as the TUC did after that huge demonstration at the beginning of the ConDem government. This is why the BDS was born and is growing. We know how successful boycott was against Aparthied, and the Aparthied regime in Israel should feel the same wrath to force them to the negotiating table. The US are legislating against BDS, this would hardly be necessary if itthe campaign was not likely to have an impact, in fact it is already having an impact, and the UK government are bringing forward similar legislation. To start from the position that a boycott is unacceptable means that you are opposed to what most believe are the only effective means to pressurise governments of Israel. Great, the Labour Party is a broad church and Wolfsen is entitled to her views, but my question wasn’t about membership of the Labour Party, my question was, why should we have these views on on the left slate? This might be good enough for you, but not me, nor, I would I hazard a guess, would it be OK to the left in general were her position widely known.

          6) The BDS itself is not a fundamental issue, a litmus test, I never stated it was, but boycott I believe is, as far as the left is concerned at least. Corbyn was clear about this during his campaign, you remember, the campaign we were all so enthused about not so long ago. Having said that, BDS are clearly the most successful international campaign in terms of organizing economic pressure against Israel and they are also sensible and moderate in their approach, so what is there not to support? To make the argument you did in relation to the response of Israel to the campaign simply echo’s Thatcher in the last battle against an Apartheid state, I’ll allow others to make of that what they will.

          7) Thank you for your agreement to the point I made here, though it changes nothing if she is accepted to the slate and is on the NEC. Without intending to minimise anti Semitism, the burning issue of our day is racism disguised as Islamaphobia.

          8) The ZYC at this address is down though there are numerous links to it around the web. I have my suspicions why, though evidence to the contrary will obviously be considered and if there is a new address, then I would of course withdraw my remark. However, if I am correct, it would hardly be appropriate for Wolfsen to be critical of the company Corbyn keeps only to discover that she has been associating with apologists or actors in some of the more egregious acts of the state of Israel after taking such a position would it? This is mere conjecture I know, I have no idea nor care who Wolfsen has associated with during her time as a Zionist activist, but it was odd to say the least.

          9) As I just stated, personally I am not concerned who Wolfsen associated with, though I am judging her position regarding boycott and her inclusion on the left slate. However, it was Wolfsen who was full of ‘nonsense’ as you delightfully put it and raised association as a concern in relation to Corbyn, so it is her you need to criticise. What is more, should she not be judged by the standards she sets? However, you knew this is what I meant as I made it abundantly clear in my previous post.

          1. David Pavett says:

            1) You agree that some people use the term “Zionist” in an anti-Semitic way. That is why there is a need for great caution in using the word. I don’t know what problem you have with the Independent article you reference,

            2) Jon went on no “offensive against the left” but recommended caution as in point (1).

            3) There is a win-win solution possible for both israelis and Palestinians which is a two-state solution with a viable Palestinian state. It would obviously not be a win for Israel’s expansionist policies,

            4) I don’t favour the way people got onto this list nor the way they come off it. Still, I don’t regret the departure of Ken Livingstone.

            5) I don’t agree that boycott is the only effective action. I am not even convinced that it is effective. All the other things you mention have their place and should not be dismissed. We also need a greater availability of good quality information. Rhea W is, according to the above article, active in opposing the treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

            6) I don’t agree that boycott is fundamental. There is room for different opinions about this on the left.

            7) I agree that racism disguised as hatred of Islam is currently the most potent form of racism, although I reserve the right to makes reasoned criticisms of any religion including Islam.

            8) I searched on “Zionist Youth Council” and I got to their website.

            9) If Rhea W joined in the baiting chorus of “look who Corbyn shared a platform with” then she was wrong (which is not to say the he has always shown due caution). We all make mistakes. I hope she now regards that as unhelpful.

        3. Haaaa within the rules. So Human rights are not universal ? And within the rules. And those rules are shortly to change. Are they not ?

          Like Like I don’t like what you have to say so I am going to get the rules changed so you can’t say it.

          Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

          1. Like this morning I said to my daughter.

            ” You can say whatever you like but within the rules. I make the rules around here and the first rule is you keep your mouth shut”

            So ok lets rephrase the question to Rhea. Rhea what do you think the rules should be pertaining to freedom of expression in the Labour Party ?

          2. David Pavett says:

            You don’t wants any rules and norms for debate! I tried to engage seriously with your points but this has ended silly stuff. I’m done.

          3. No David I don’t want any rules for debate except that contributions be lawful and do not amount to incitement. So you are one of life’s temperamental bookburners and you are done.

            C’est la guerre said the old folks. it goes to show you never can tell.

          4. peter willsman says:

            David,I am very pleased to learn that you have wrestled with the issues and resolved to vote for the Left Slate(rather than abstaining or voting for Rightists-although you suggest you may be led by your intellect to vote this way next time)All of your questions/quanderies would be answered if you joined up with CLPD.Don’t worry about the PR business,you won’t be the only eccentric Leftie in CLPD supporting PR.

    2. I don’t think Jon has declared war on the left. What I do think is this…

      Jon has a genuine sympathy for the Zionist project even in it’s present hideous form.

      But that is not the active ingredient.

      Jon like the rest of us, is excited by the Labour Party having a socialist leadership, for the first time since whenever. He thinks the New Antisemism ( I prefer to call it Bullshit Antisemitism ) that the Party is supposed to be riddled with is a serious threat to that. That it is undermining Jeremy Corbyn and needs to be put a stop to.

      His theory is that if the Hasbarafia is given enough that will do the trick. He wants to give them as much as possible on the assumption that it will put an end to it.

      This assumption is based on the further assumption that people like Arkush, Johnson, Gardner, Rich, Pollard and ( manipulative arrogant liar ) Newmark and others are honest people that one can have an honest engagement with.

      Unfortunately this is not the case. They are amoral manipulators in the service of the State of Israel and are playing a zero sum game.

      Whatever is conceded at the end of the enquiry/suspension season, will not be the end but the beginning. It will be Danegeld. They will never be satisfied.

      The Party machinery will get nothing done except deal with expulsion demands. There will be legal actions against the Party.

      It will be mayhem.

      You read it here first.

      1. Karl Stewart says:

        The only expulsion being called for by the left is to expel the revisionist Livingstone.

        The left needs to then press for the expulsion of gobshite Jess Phillips for the death threat she made against Corbyn.

        1. Jess is a case isn’t she? She wants to be Home Secretary didn’t you know.

        2. But you make a good point. What Jon doesn’t understand is what a multi edged sword this is and that this this witch hunt game can be played by anyone.

          Let the games begin.

          1. Karl Stewart says:

            It’s not a game. Phillips made a public death threat and should be expelled.

            The left appears feeble and wimpish when it fails to fight back against outrages like that.

            (She should also be arrested and questioned, but that’s beyond the Labour Party’s jurisdiction.)

  17. Danny Nicol says:

    As a Jew (and an atheist and no lover of Israel) I find that some of the comments in this blog are making me feel more and more unwelcome in the Labour Party and in Momentum.

    1. Karl Stewart says:

      Having read the article this woman wrote and from what I’ve heard and read about her, I think Rhea Wolfson would be an excellent new member of Labour’s NEC and I hope she gets elected.

    2. David Pavett says:

      I don’t like some of the comments but the dubious ones are clearly outweighed by the majority. You know that a tiny minority holds views in which support for the Palestinians shades into anti-Semitism. We all know that tiny minority exists. What is unclear to me is why a couple of people articulating those views and then being duly challenged by others should make you feel “more unwelcome in the Labour Party and in Momentum”.

    3. Jim Denham says:

      I can understand how you feel, Danny: but hang on in there: the battle against anti-Semitism in the party, on the left more generally and in society as a whole, is being won. The horrible events of recent weeks, paradoxically, have brought the issue to the fore and the process of ideological cleansing of our movement (which shouldn’t involve expulsions, except in the case of Livingstone) has begun. Don’t give up the fight, comrade!

      1. I had no idea you were an ideological cleanser Jim, otherwise I wouldn’t have been so polite to you.

  18. Heres an interesting one

    ( manipulative arrogant liar ) Newmark tells us that the Baroness Royale enquiry into the O

    1. oops sorry Here’s full version

      Here’s an interesting one

      ( manipulative arrogant liar ) Jeremy Newmark tells us that Baroness Royale’s enquiry into the Oxford Labour club business is ” progressing impressively” . He knows this how ? How come he knows more than me ?

      Obviously he is being kept informed on a daily basis. Equally obviously Newmark is not overly interested in temporal progress. It is clear that he has been assured that the eventual outcome will be to his liking. So he just moves on. Done that so now lets deal with the other enquiry. Jezuz the guy is just so freaking transparent.

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