Antisemitic Slurs: Time to Fight Back
The confected row about alleged antisemitism within Labour is in danger of halting the Party’s forward march. It is high time to fight back.
The unelected Jewish Leadership Council and the unrepresentative Board of Deputies of British Jews are prepared to meet Jeremy Corbyn about these allegations. How generous of them! But before they meet him Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies, demands that he expel Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker. Jonathan Arkush also wants action taken against Unite’s General Secretary Len McCluskey and Chris Williamson MP.
How dare they!
They are demanding that Jeremy grovel to them. Corbyn is not a dictator. He has no power to unilaterally expel people from the Labour Party. The very idea that outside bodies can demand expulsions from the Party without evidence or even the semblance of a fair trial is outrageous.
Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for any antisemitic behaviour within the Labour Party. As Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi commented on BBC’s World at One, “The trouble with Jeremy is that he apologises too much.” Anti Semitism in the Labour Party must be stamped out but it is a lie and a smear to suggest the whole Party and Corbyn in particular is racist.
Can anyone doubt that this is a political onslaught? Ducking away will only encourage the enemy. The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council are playing party politics. They are trying to hijack the entire Jewish community into becoming an adjunct of the Tory Party. Fortunately groups like Jewish Voice for Labour will do their utmost to stop them.
A comment on a mural in 2012 that nobody noticed at the time is a hot news item in 2018. What a coincidence that the story emerges a month before elections when it is widely believed that the Tories face wipe-out!
The two principal targets of the Tory Jewish lobby are Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker. Jackie Walker is our comrade. Ken and Jackie have been suspended for a lengthy period with no clear evidence cited against them. They have not been subject to the rules of natural justice. Labour’s disciplinary procedure is murky and arbitrary. Until recently it has been in the hands of witchhunting General Secretary Iain McNicol.
Chris Williamson‘s crime’ was saying that the Labour right was “weaponising antisemitism”. Bang on, Chris. Can this be the beginning of a new attempted coup against Corbyn by the right wing? Don’t let them get away with it.
John Mann has been feeding the Daily Mail with stories to boost today’s headline “Antisemitic Labour: the stench grows.” The Daily Mail’s 1934 headline was “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”. The Board of Deputies’ response to the marauding fascists beating up Jews in London’s east end was to tell Jewish people to stay away from Cable Street. Fortunately they ignored the instruction and turned up en masse to turn the fascist blackshirts back.
Victory over the fascists at Cable Street in 1936 was won by a united labour movement. We can win again this time as long as we don’t let them divide us.