Jewish Labour Movement

Antisemitism: Taking a Stand

The final planary of the Jewish Labour Movement 2017 conference, Richard Angell is in conversation with John Mann MP on taking a stand against antisemitism within the Labour party.

More about the JLM conference here.

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Actions speak louder than words

First published on Progressonline

The home affairs select committee released a seminal report yesterday. It is the culmination of work that started on 12 April 2016. The incidents with Naz Shah, Ken Livingstone and Jacqui Walker all came to light or took place after the inquiry was announced. Unless the committee had some great insight that the former mayor of London was due another controversy involving Britain’s Jewish community, it is hard to suggest – as some have done – that this is part of some establishment plot to undermine Jeremy Corbyn. 

The report is thorough, thoughtful and is the unanimous view of the committee. This should give everyone – particularly the Labour party and the National Union of Students – cause for reflection. A sober analysis is required, not a hot-headed response.  (more…)

Eight tests for the Chakrabarti report

First published on ProgressOnline

Tomorrow Shami Chakrabarti’s review into antisemitism and how it should be tackled is to be presented. I am told everyone is seeing the report tomorrow for the first time – obviously we the party members, and the Jewish community, but the leader’s office, the general secretary and the National Executive Committee too. It should be a seminal moment for Labour. The opportunity is welcome to draw a line under Ken Livingstone’s ugly statements and the career that went before that has been littered with offensive remarks to Jews. But it should do much more. It should chart a way for Labour to move from the bottom of the pack on these issues to somewhere in the premier league. (more…)

Concrete action needed

Time for the hedging on antisemitism in Labour to end

2016-03-14-merkel-antisemmitismuskonferenz

First published in Progress magazine

Following the 2012 presidential election in the United States, I attended an event on the result. Impressive speakers talked about their experiences of the campaigns and what would come next. Only one comment sticks in my mind. It was in response to a question about a ‘rape apologist’ Republican Senate candidate. The panellist replied saying: ‘What has the country I love come to when someone asks about the “rape apologist” candidate and you have to ask “Which one?”’ It describes much of what I feel like about the party I love and the issue of antisemitism. There is now a suite of people who have been suspended from the party, and at least one expelled, for antisemitism. We have a senior member of the House of Lords investigating the behaviour of Oxford University Labour club. Watching a particularly vile Gerry Downing talk about ‘the Jewish problem’ on the Daily Politics with a byline saying he was a member of my party was shameful. (more…)