A Palestinian call to the Labour party

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Briefing special: Labour Party members challenge media distortions

1. Peter Willsman

Misquoted and misrepresented – NEC’s Pete Willsman
Source: Jewish Voice for Labour, 01.08.2018

2. Two accounts of Holocaust Memorial Day meeting , Portcullis House, 27 Jan 2010

I was staggered tonight to see Louise Ellman MP telling Newsnight how shocked she was by  earing that Jeremy Corbyn had hosted a meeting on Holocaust Memorial Day in 2010 where a speaker compared Israeli and Nazi policies — staggered because she was actually present throughout that meeting! I was there too, in that House of Commons committee room in 2010.
Nowhere tonight did Emily Maitlis or the Times reporter mention that the speaker, Hajo Meier, was a Holocaust survivor. The other speakers were survivors of Atlantic slavery, Native Americans, Bangladeshis, Roma and others who shared their experiences with the many Jewish survivors of genocide in the audience. (It was my own family’s experiences that drew me to the meeting). As it happened Jeremy Corbyn had to leave the meeting after introducing it, to attend a debate in the House. Louise Ellman, by contrast, was present throughout the meeting.

She sat calmly by when the room was invaded by five members of the small but fanatical Zionist Federation, who proceeded to shout until no one else could be heard. I particularly recall their shouts of ‘Boring!’ whenever any other survivors were speaking. As an MP Ms Ellman could have called the Hous eof Commons security to evict the disruptors but she did nothing. Ms Ellman’s attendance is a verifiable fact, and I have written before to Emily Maitlis calling attention to the biased way that this issue is being covered. The IHRA definition is not ‘internationally recognised’: it was dropped by the EU and has been bitterly criticised by the very lawyer who drafted it. The ‘examples’ outlaw terms which are commonly used by Israeli critics of their own government, such as comparisions with apartheid. One of the leading anti-apartheid campaigners, who is also Jewish, has said that the Israeli occupation-system is in some ways worse than apartheid. David Steel has also made the comparison with apartheid. Are all these people antisemites?

It is essential that a future Labour government should have an ethical foreign policy. The shouts of ‘antisemitism’ from self-appointed community leaders are deeply upsetting to many of us of Jewish descent who do not identify with them or Israel. Tonight you claimed to interview ‘the whole spectrum of the left’. Where were our voices?
Source: Amanda Sebestyen email to BBC Newsnight, 02.08.2018

3. PRESS STATEMENT from the INTERNATIONAL JEWISH ANTI-ZIONIST NETWORK UK

We want you to see this press statement from IJAN UK responding to the current attacks on Labour’s leadership.  The attacks have focussed on Jewish Auschwitz survivor Dr Hajo Meyer speaking on the “Never Again – for Anyone” tour in 2010.  Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP was also attacked for welcoming the launch of IJAN in 2008. He said that while he didn’t agree with everything in our charter, he “. . . was welcoming the creation of an organisation that represented an important strand of radical Jewish political campaigning”.

Share widely on social media, send to media contacts, and let us know if there are other ways you can help.  #NeverAgainForAnyone
Michael K

PRESS STATEMENT from the INTERNATIONAL JEWISH ANTI-ZIONIST NETWORK UK (IJAN UK)
For more information contact:
Michael Kalmanovitz email: UK@IJAN.org

IJAN is an international network of Jewish people opposed to imperialism, militarism, apartheid and genocide. We support the liberation of the Palestinian people, and the right of return for those driven from their homes and their land by Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing. IJAN has active chapters in Argentina, Canada, France, Spain, the UK and the US. In 2010, IJAN and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised the Never Again – For Anyone speaking tour with 85 year-old Jewish Auschwitz survivor Dr Hajo Meyer, this included the meeting in the House of Commons on Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January.

Dr Meyer spoke on “The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes”, and Dr Haidar Eid, who participated in the meeting from Gaza via speakerphone, on the situation in Palestine.  They compared the dehumanisation of Jewish people in Hitler’s Germany pre-1941 and the dehumanisation of Palestinian people in current day Israel and occupied Palestine.  Throughout the tour, Dr Meyer received standing ovations – many hearing for the first time important truths about Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

The meeting Never Again – For Anyone was a coming together of many communities which have faced dehumanisation, racism and genocide. Speakers were Armenian, Bangladeshi, Irish, Native American, Roma, Rwandan, Tamil, as well as people with disabilities, and a speaker on the Slave Trade from Africa to the Americas and the revolution which ended slavery in Haiti.

Dr Meyer said:
‘My great lesson from Auschwitz is: whoever wants to dehumanise any other, must first be dehumanised himself. The oppressors are no longer really human whatever uniform they wear.’

The event attracted leading Zionist figures Louise Ellman MP [then and now, Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Israel], Jerry Lewis [then Vice President, Board of Deputies] and Jonathan Hoffman [then Co-Vice Chair of the Zionist Federation], and Christian Friends of Israel. Most of them had clearly not come to listen. They barracked both Dr Meyer and Dr Eid, and one of them, Martin Sugarman, had to be escorted out by the Commons security; on his way out he stunned everyone by giving the Nazi salute and shouting “Sieg Heil”.

Following the deaths of more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza in July 2014, a letter from survivors of the Nazi genocide and hundreds of their descendants, called for “a full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel”.  The letter reads:
“Genocide begins with the silence of the world . . . We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people.”
“Never again” must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!”  Dr Hajo Meyer was the first to sign on.  The letter was published in the New York Times on 24 August 2014, the morning after he died.

Following this year’s Israeli massacre of Palestinians during their Great March of Return, our members recently initiated and circulated a statement calling for an arms embargo, and an open letter to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, signed by over 100 Jewish people, many of them distinguished, including Prof Moshe Machover, Michael Rosen and Sir Stephen Sedley, condemning BoD’s support for the massacre and refuting its claim to speak for all Jewish people in Britain.

We welcome the letter from distinguished Palestinians defending their “inalienable rights” and refusing “attempts to silence public discussion” (Guardian 31 July), and the comment from Jewish former Appeal Judge, Rt. Hon. Sir Stephen Sedley (Guardian 27 July):
“. . . both Jews and non-Jews in the UK are entitled, without being stigmatised as antisemites, to contend that a state that by law denies Palestinians any right of self-determination is a racist state, or to ask whether there is some moral equivalence between shooting down defenceless Jews in eastern Europe and unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.”
For a more detailed report of the Never Again tour, see Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s statement here.

4. Desperate rightwingers have just one card left

The most odious spectacle in British left politics? Labour right wingers like Liz Kendall and Chris Leslie parading the media studios to tell any stooge-journalist who’ll indulge them about how hard done-by their co-schemers Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin have been over the anti-semitism issue. If any Labour-left MPs had behaved in the same abusive ways as Hodge and Austin, then Kendall, Leslie and their ilk would have been parading the same studios with sanctimonious calls for them to be hung, drawn and quartered for bringing the party into disrepute.

As Tom Lehrer once famously said, political fiction and satire truly must be dead. So, the rag-bag remnants of the ruthless neoliberal cabal who infiltrated and captured the Labour Party machine in the 1990s are finally having their last stand. And if their latest cynical attempt to undermine Jeremy Corbyn by despicably exploiting the highly sensitive anti-semitism issue fails, then as Calvin Tucker points out (The Limehouse Declaration, M Star July 27), to fulfil their historic task of keeping the Tories in power for a further decade, they’ll have just one card left: burn their bridges and mimic the 1981 Gang of Four in sloughing off into orchestrating a new Establishment-loving Tory-lite “centre party”.

The denouement of their capitalism-loving neoliberal project, then, is unfolding before our eyes, with the final twitching of the corpse. And if these people do play their centre-party card, we on the left must make sure that, this time, their attempt to scupper a progressive Labour government fails. The difference between now and 1981–3 is that in 1981, Labour had well under 300,000 members; whereas today we have a mass movement of double that number, a social media uncontrollable by the ruling class and no xenophobic Falklands War to contend with.

New Tory-lite centre party or not, bring on the next election.
Source: Dr RICHARD HOUSE Morning Star, 1 August 2018

5. Who will stand with Jeremy Corbyn? He has nothing to apologise for and nothing

On the fact that Tom Watson is funded inter alia by Sir Trevor Chinn (whose significant role as a pro-Israel lobbyist and mate of Blair, Kendal et al can be explored here, take a look at this twitter thread If you follow down the thread you’ll see a pretty compelling picture of Watson’s hatred for Corbyn.
06.08.2018

6. Einstein & others – Letter – Palestine, a State of Israel. .. 1948

 Albert Einstein Letter to The New York Times. December 4, 1948 New Palestine Party. Visit of Menachen Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed : Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook, et.al.

Letter warning about the nature of Begin  and his Party.  “It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future. ” Menachen Begin became President of Israel.
10.08.2018

7. Very important petition to the NEC on anti-Semitism

I hope you will all want to sign this petition to the NEC about the Code of Conduct on anti-Semitism. As you will see the response has been massive and it has signees from all over the country. I’m glad to say that the number of people signing is so large that at times the site is slow or not working. If this happens to you please remember to try again. When it works it is simple and fast. Also, please ask other members of your family to sign if they are LP members, or share this email.

13.08.2018

8. Call for an inquiry into foreign interference in UK politics and the Labour Party

We are members and supporters of the Labour Party. We have today sent the letter below calling on the General Secretary Jennie Formby to see that the revelations of last year’s Al-Jazeera documentary, The Lobby, and new information that has since emerged are investigated.  We hope that others will send this letter on to Jennie Formby so that the request comes from as many people as possible.  All are welcome to sign.  When you have written please let us know by BCCing us or sending us a copy.  Please circulate this widely.

Email Jennie Formby jennie_formby@labour.org.uk; CC Jeremy Corbyn leader@labour.org.uk, John McDonnell mcdonnellj@parliament.uk and Emily Thornberry thornberrye@parliament.uk.
Michael Kalmanovitz, Sara Callaway and Moshé Machover

Dear Jennie Formby,
We write as Labour Party members or supporters to ask what is happening with the investigation into interference by the State of Israel into UK politics.

In January 2017, Al-Jazeera broadcast a four-part documentary, The Lobby, into a senior political officer of the Israeli Embassy in London plotting to “take down” Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan and discredit the then chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Crispin Blunt for disagreeing with Israel’s policies towards the Palestinian people. The evidence recorded on video also exposed extensive interference by the Embassy into the Labour Party and the National Union of Students and its then president, a supporter of Palestinian rights. The main protagonist from the Israeli Embassy, Shai Masot, had set up a group called ‘The City Friends of Israel’ (in collaboration with AIPAC, an influential pro-Israel lobbying organisation in the US), and a youth wing of Conservative Friends of Israel.  He was then working to set up a youth wing of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). Masot was filmed bragging to Labour MP, Joan Ryan (chair, LFI), that he had more than £1million of Israeli government funding at his disposal for LFI MPs to take trips to Israel.  It also showed Ryan without justification trying to smear a Labour Party member.

Ella Rose, director of the pro-Israeli Jewish Labour Movement, said that she knew Masot “very well” and that she had worked with him when she was a public affairs officer at the Israeli embassy. There is evidence that Masot was working for the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, headed by Gilad Erdan.  The ministry, with a budget of some $45 million, is in charge of Israel’s covert efforts to counter the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement, internationally.

At the time, Jeremy Corbyn (ably supported by Emily Thornberry MP) commented that ‘such improper interference in this country’s democratic process is unacceptable’ and ‘a national security issue’.  Corbyn called for the government ‘to launch an immediate enquiry into the extent of improper interference’.  We think that this demand for an investigation into outside interference, or actual subversion, by a foreign power into the internal affairs of both the Labour and Tory parties was right and proper.
Despite Al Jazeera’s evidence of a network of organisations and political operatives working to undermine British democracy, the May government stated that this matter was closed.  And as far as we know, there has been no inquiry inside the Labour Party.

There is now an urgent need for such an inquiry.  We say this because:

1) Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party to carry out an ethical foreign policy based on respect for human rights, including  Palestinian rights, escalating accusations of antisemitism (hitherto always associated with the racist right) have been wielded against the left within the Labour Party, especially by organisations in the UK which strongly support the Israeli government and are attempting to stifle any political criticism of Israel by labelling it “political antisemitism”.

2) The three Jewish newspapers which collaborated to demand that Labour adopts the full IHRA definition with all examples relating to Israel, explicitly state that their aim is to destroy the movement that elected Jeremy Corbyn and hand the party back to the rightwing: “Had the full IHRA definition with examples relating to Israel been approved, hundreds, if not thousands, of Labour and Momentum members would need to be expelled.”

3) Since March 2018, the Israeli army has murdered at least 160 unarmed Palestinians and wounded over 16,000 others, including children, women, medical personnel and journalists (many of them deliberately maimed by illegal dumb-dumb bullets) during the Great March of Return which calls for the right of return for refugees of the Nakba, and for lifting the siege of Gaza which forces Palestinians to live in genocidal conditions.

4) Defenders of the IHRA definition insist that it is antisemitic to refer to the State of Israel as a “racist endeavour”, even as Israel has just enshrined in its Basic Law the already existing apartheid system against Palestinians and anyone who is not Jewish;

5) This August evidence emerged of an app (Act.IL app) created and operated as part of an Israeli government propaganda campaign (a product of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs) to generate accusations of antisemitism against Corbyn.

6) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now intervened personally with demonstrably false accusations against Corbyn. As John McDonnell has said: “Having a politician like Netanyahu join the media feeding frenzy is a line in the sand. Enough is enough.

7) Ongoing investigations into whether or how much foreign governments and other external forces, via social media or by other means, influenced the last presidential election in the US and the Brexit referendum in the UK, show that this poses an existential threat to the democratic process.

We cannot be complacent.  In March 2018, a poll of Labour Party members found that 77% believe the charges of antisemitism in the Labour Party are ”being deliberately exaggerated to damage Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, or to stifle criticism of Israel”.  This is likely to have increased now that three pro-Israeli newspapers have warned that a Corbyn-led government would pose “an existential threat to Jewish life” in the UK.

Clearly the overwhelming majority of members would welcome an investigation into any attempts by the Israeli government, or any other foreign power, to determine who represents their party and therefore what their party’s policies are.  Labour Party members and the public at large have a right to know.  We ask that you pursue this matter by urging the government to investigate what seems strongly to indicate Israeli interference with the Parliamentary process in the UK, and that you initiate an investigation to determine whether and if so how much the Israeli government, or the government of any other foreign power, is interfering in the Labour Party.

We look forward to hearing from you.
14.08.2018

9. As BAME communities, we stand united against attempts to suppress our voices

As migrant and BAME groups in Britain, we reaffirm our fundamental right to the freedom of expression, and publicly to express our anxieties about the suppression of information on the history and lived experience of our communities.

Many of us arrived in the UK as migrants and as refugees, seeking safety from war and repression, and the effects of racism, persecution and colonialism both past and present. As a result, we know their oppressive impact on our communities, and can identify where many of the current experiences of injustices we face in Britain today are also based on racism and colonialism.
These problems are having a destructive impact on public discussions about race and immigration. It is therefore our responsibility – and also our right-  to relay our direct experiences of human rights abuses suffered here and abroad, as well as their structural and historical causes, to address them. This democratic obligation is recognised in Article 10 of the Human Rights Act, to “receive and impart information”, and provides the basis for a democracy to function. As the Institute for Race Relations recently confirmed, our communities: “have a right to be heard, to make…information public, while others have the right to hear them, and the arguments based on these facts”.

We are deeply worried about current attempts to silence a public discussion of what happened in Palestine and to the Palestinians in 1948, when the majority of its people were forcibly expelled. These facts are well established and accessible, are part of the British historical record, as well as the direct experience of the Palestinian people themselves. The Palestinian community in the UK has raised the disturbing absence of key information about these past and current injustices, and highlighted the racism it exposes then and now.

Public discussion of these facts, and a description of these injustices, would be prohibited under the IHRA’s guidelines, and therefore withholds vital knowledge from the public. This silencing has already begun. Today we can freely describe the racist policies experienced in the era of British and European colonialism in our countries of origin (indeed it is taught in British schools), but the colonial history of the Palestinians is continually erased. This is a dangerous breach of our own rights, and of the wider British public: we must all hear the full story of the Palestinians in order to make sense of the current discussions about racism and Israel.

We also know of the efforts by organisations – including UK-based fundamentalist groups aligned with the far-right in the US – to deny Palestinians’ basic humanity by suppressing their entire history and current plight. At the same time, hard-line conservative groups in the US, such as the Middle East Forum, are providing funding and support to anti-Muslim extremist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson), deliberately increasing hatred, fear, and confusion. These coordinated efforts by right-wing extremists are being actively encouraged by President Trump’s racism and fear-mongering, which is now aimed at dismantling UNRWA, the UN agency that protects Palestinian refugees.

Over this past year, several terrible events have demonstrated the dangers of silencing migrant and BAME communities. The fatal fire at Grenfell Tower and the shameful Windrush scandal have shown the active legacies of British colonialism, where racism forms an integral part of British policies, and renders our communities invisible. This denies our dignity and humanity, and our right to fair treatment under the rule of law: the bedrock of British society.

We urgently remind politicians and public bodies of their responsibilities to uphold the principles of the Human Rights Act for every British citizen and resident in the UK equally, especially the direct victims of colonialism, racism, and discrimination. As migrant and BAME communities we stand as one, united against all attempts to suppress our voices and our calls for justice, freedom and equality.
List of Signatories – 84 BAME Organisations, 17.08.2018

10. How much lower will Jeremy Corbyn’s enemies sink in the race to the gutter of British politics?

The Labour leader’s opponents don’t care about anti-Semitism. They’ll just do anything to remove Corbyn – smearing, libelling, intimidating. Every day you log on, you ask yourself how much dirtier the campaign to unseat Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is going to get, how much lower his enemies are going to sink. And each day they surpass themselves in the race to the gutter of British politics. Last week, Britain’s three Jewish newspapers, who usually feud with each other, joined forces to post a joint editorial declaring that a Corbyn-led government would pose “an existential threat” to British Jews.

The campaign’s real purpose
On Saturday, the Daily Mail claimed that Corbyn had laid a wreath at the grave of two Palestinians who had allegedly organised the Munich Olympic massacre. Today the mass circulation tabloid, The Sun, ran two pieces in the same edition. One was a “letter’s special” declaring that Boris Johnson was “bang on” when he said that women who wear burqas resemble letter boxes or bank robbers: “Boris must be allowed to speak honestly, he has nothing to apologise for.” Just imagine what would have happened if Corbyn had mocked the Kippah, overtly and brazenly, in a national newspaper. The other was an editorial saying that Corbyn was unfit to be Labour leader and “cannot be allowed near government”.  At least – at last- we are arriving at the purpose of this campaign. It is clear now it has nothing to do with the actual and verifiable state of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, or Corbyn turning up at cemeteries in Tunis in 2014 for Palestinian refugees. It is crystal clear that its purpose is to take out the leader of the opposition by using the tactics of fascists – smearing, libelling, intimidating. Unable to put up a candidate capable of defeating him by democratic means, at the ballot box, unable to attack him on his polices for which there is majority support in the country, Corbyn’s detractors have methodically and consistently set about the task of character assassination.
And, of course, it works.

Feeding the crocodile
Corbyn is facing the biggest threat to his leadership since the “coup” organised by his parliamentary party. He is also increasingly isolated among his own supporters. John McDonnell, Corbyn’s closest ally, who shuns foreign policy, thinks this is not Labour’s fight. Emily Thornberry, his shadow foreign secretary, has not said a word. Ed Milliband, the former Labour leader under whose tenure anti-Semitism was historically greater than during Corbyn’s reign, has offered little support. Union leaders are pealing away. Muslim groups do not want to know. Corbyn is alone. And the result is that Corbyn feels he is left with no option but to back down, apologise, accept the contentious “working examples” of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-semitism one by one, in a slow, painful retreat. People wear flag of Israel glasses and hold up placards as they gather for a demonstration organised by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism outside the head office of the British opposition Labour Party in central London on 8 April, 2018 (AFP) This is a disastrous miscalculation. Corbyn’s “apologies” for crimes of which he is innocent, only feed the crocodile. As the Georgians say: “Once you run out of chickens to throw the crocodile, it will have your arm.” Whether Corbyn survives this onslaught or not, everyone who is taking part, either wittingly or unwittingly, in this campaign should beware of getting what they want. Whatever happens to Corbyn, there are three victims of this dirty episode.

The victims
The first is the truth: Almost every time you take a specific allegation and examine it, the evidence crumbles like sand in your hands. Let’s take the latest: that Corbyn laid a wreath at the graves of two Palestinian terrorists. It turns out he didn’t lay a wreath at that grave, which was 15 yards away, but was present when a wreath was laid. The wreath was for everyone at the cemetery: Palestinians who died under bombardment, those who were assassinated, and those who had simply died in exile. Corbyn honoured the Palestinian dead 22 years after Oslo. Is that a crime? And who were these two terrorists, anyway? Both were PLO men, the Palestinian faction that went on to negotiate Oslo and recognise Israel. One was Salah Khalaf, who met with the US ambassador in Tunis as part of the dialogue with the PLO authorised by the then US Secretary of State James Baker. Does this make Baker guilty of the same crime Corbyn has just committed? Khalaf was identified by the Americans as a pragmatist who was shifting PLO policy. The second one was Atef Bseiso, the PLO’s liaison officer with the CIA. Israel accused him of involvement in the Munich massacre, although it is a matter of historical dispute as to how many of those assassinated were directly linked to Munich. French intelligence traced his assassination in Paris to Abu Nidal, and the PLO accused the Mossad. Khalaf, also known as Abu Iyad, was head of intelligence for the PLO and Arafat’s right hand man. Jack Straw laid a wreath at Arafat’s grave. Should Straw be now outed for doing so? Bseiso and Khalaf hail from the days in the early 1970’s of Black September. So how far do you want to go back in history? Israel had two prime ministers who were former terrorists from the bombings they helped organise in 1944. Menachim Begin was a leader of Irgun, an underground Zionist paramilitary group whose aim was to force the British to leave Palestine. Irgun staged a series of bombings in 1944 against British targets, the Immigration Department, the tax offices, a series of police stations. His face appears on a wanted poster issued by the Palestine Police Force. Yitzak Shamir was a member of Lehi, or the notorious Stern Gang, who assassinated Lord Moyne, the British resident minister in the Middle East. Both Begin and Shamir are celebrated as freedom fighters in Israel.

McCarthyism at work
The second victim of this campaign are the Palestinians.The aim is to terrify all Labour politicians from any contact with Palestinian organisations either in the present or the past. The IHRA’s anti-Semitism definition, which is not legally binding, will be used as a retro-active weapon. If this sounds like the tactics US Senator Joseph McCarthy used in the early 1950s against suspected communists – “reds under the bed” – at the height of the cold war, it is because it is. From now on, any past contact, any event, any platform shared with Palestinian groups, supporters, activists, and photograph that emerges from the bowels of Israel’s psych-ops servers could be used to destroy a British politician’s reputation as effectively as Corbyn’s has. It is every British party’s policy to back – the now moribund – two state solution. That means to set up a viable Palestinian State. This campaign effectively paralyses any communication between Palestinian activists and British politicians. I am addressing this point specifically to Corbyn’s enemies on the right of the party and to the Parliamentary Party. Do you seriously want the same tactics you have used, or colluded with, against Corbyn, to be used against you? Do you really think British democracy is the winner as a result? If anyone seriously thinks that having taken out Corbyn this campaign will stop there, they are deluding themselves.

Everyone’s fight
The third victim of this campaign is anyone, be they Palestinian or Israeli, Muslim, Christian, or Jewish, who is identified by Israel as a dissenter. Let’s just record what happened to Jewish American journalist Peter Beinart at Ben Gurion Airport. Beinart, who has publicly expressed his support for boycotting products manufactured in the settlements in the occupied West Bank, was interrogated for an hour about his political writings and activities. “The session ended when my interrogator asked me, point blank, if I was planning to attend another protest,” Beinart wrote. “I answered truthfully: No. With that I was sent back to the holding room.” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu immediately rowed back and claimed Beinart’s interrogation had been an “administrative mistake”. For US Jews and indeed British ones, this is a real canary in the coal mine. This is the path on which Israel is headed, and Israel is dragging the Jewish diaspora along. Speak up now and resist it before it is too late. Corbyn’s fight for his own integrity, reputation and honesty is everyone’s fight.

If you don’t, if you stand aside, if you stay silent, if you grin knowingly and do nothing, you will be next.
Source: David Hearst, Middle East Eye

David Hearst is editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He was chief foreign leader writer of The Guardian, former Associate Foreign Editor, European Editor, Moscow Bureau Chief, European Correspondent, and Ireland Correspondent. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

11. Email the NEC to show your backing for the NEC Code of Conduct on anti-Semitism

For Labour Party members – can you send emails to NEC as soon as possible?  Sample text is given.
For All – Can you forward to any Labour friends?
The website gives very clear information about the issue https://www.backtheneccode.co.uk/

12. A Call to British, Labour Jews

Please pass to your Jewish colleagues
URGENT: Counter the allegations of antisemitism – give your testimony

13. NEC Mass lobby and Petition v IHRA

More and more Labour members and supporters are horrified at rumours that the NEC may accept the IHRA examples that have been used to attack Corbyn and our movement, thus giving a free hand to the enemies of Palestine and pro-Palestinian campaigners.

EMERGENCY MOMENTUM MEETING CALLS FOR MASS LOBBY OF NEC AND MEMBERSHIP VOTE ON IHRA EXAMPLES

On 20 August, over 110 people turned up for an emergency meeting called by Camden Momentum and attended by 16 other Momentum groups from London and the South East. They were responding to the latest attacks on the Labour Party leadership and the movement it has called forth which has made Labour the biggest party in Europe.

Mounting pressure from the pro-Israel lobby, including right wing Labour MPs, backed by the corporate media and the BBC urges Jeremy Corbyn to agree that the party adopts the IHRA examples equating criticism of Israel with antisemitism. People were outraged that the implications for Palestinians are hardly considered when it is their lives, their land, their whole society which are in the balance.  People also felt strongly that decisions about the future direction of the party and of Momentum were being negotiated over the heads of the members.

The meeting agreed overwhelmingly that:
“The members elected Jeremy Corbyn. The IHRA definition would return the party to the right which we voted down by a large majority – twice. Therefore, the members, not the NEC, nor the PLP, must decide whether or not to adopt the IHRA examples. We demand that the decision be put to a vote of all Labour Party members.” (Full statement below)
The meeting also decided to call A MASS LOBBY OF THE NEC on 4th September when it is expected to vote on this issue.
For more information:

Facebook: Camden Momentum
Petition: IHRA: WE THE MEMBERS MUST DECIDE NOT ISRAEL LOBBY
Event: Mass Lobby of NEC: No to IHRA examples

IHRA: WE THE MEMBERS MUST DECIDE NOT THE ISRAEL LOBBY
The following statement demanding that the whole Labour Party membership should vote on whether to adopt the IHRA definition examples was passed overwhelmingly on 20 August 2018 at an emergency meeting called by Camden Momentum and attended by over 110 members from 16 Momentum groups.

We, members of the LP, elected Jeremy Corbyn leader because he is a socialist, an antiracist and stands for an ethical foreign policy based on human rights, including the rights of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid. Corbyn has been under mounting pressure from right-wing Labour MPs, Zionist organisations and the mainstream media determined to remove our elected leader, to adopt all the examples in the IHRA definition. The heads of Momentum and some unions, without consulting their members, have also accepted this.  Palestinians, other people of colour and other antiracists, including Jewish people who oppose Israeli apartheid, have said that the IHRA examples would censor Palestinians’ right to self-determination, criminalise the BDS movement and pose an existential threat to free speech on Israel.

In March 2018, a poll of Labour Party members found that 77% believe the charges of antisemitism in the Labour Party are ‘being deliberately exaggerated to damage Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, or to stifle criticism of Israel’.

Three pro-Israel newspapers, The Jewish Chronicle, the Jewish Telegraph and Jewish News, accuse Labour under Corbyn of ‘political antisemitism’ because it criticises Israel, the Jewish State. The three papers say, ‘Had the full IHRA definition with examples relating to Israel been approved, hundreds, if not thousands, of Labour and Momentum members would need to be expelled.’ This presumes that the LP must be purged of its Palestinian and pro-Palestinian members, including Jewish ones, and that the IHRA definition is a means to this end. Many Corbyn supporters have already been expelled, suspended or blocked from standing for office, and some have resigned.

The extreme right is on the ascendant in the Tory party, in Trump’s US, in Netanyahu’s Israel with the recent killing and maiming of unarmed Palestinian protesters and a new law institutionalising apartheid, and in Europe with a number of anti-immigrant, Islamophobic and antisemitic governments. Only a socialist Corbyn government and the movement it represents can stop the extreme right in the UK.

DEMAND
The members elected Jeremy Corbyn. The IHRA definition would return the party to the right which we voted down by a large majority – twice. Therefore, the members, not the NEC, nor the PLP, must decide whether or not to adopt the IHRA examples. We demand that the decision be put to a vote of all LP members.
Sign here

13. Holocaust survivors in Israel

Tens of thousands of Israeli Holocaust survivors are living in abject poverty
Source: Raf Sanchez, Ramat Gan Telegraph, 27.01.2016

Posted in Articles, News, Newsletter, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Briefing special: Labour Party members challenge media distortions

Briefing HJfP May + June 2018

180411_HJFP Briefing 13

180524_HJFP Briefing 14

180614_HJFP Briefing 15

180622_HJFP Briefing 16

180625_HJFP Briefing 17

180722_HJFP Briefing 18

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Briefing HJfP April 2018 / Comment on recent events

HJFP Briefing 12

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Briefing HJfP March 2018

HJFP Briefing 09

Posted in News, Newsletter | Comments Off on Briefing HJfP March 2018