Stop the Double Speak John McDonnell
Tell the Labour Representation Committee conference this weekend that by referring to antisemitism as smears, they are the problem. Or resign from the LRC.
Dear John McDonnell,
We write to you as Jewish and non-Jewish members, supporters and former supporters of the Labour Party – but supported by the wider Jewish community. This weekend you will be addressing the conference of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), which you are President.
Just this week you were clear that allegations of anti-Jewish racism in our party are real and not smears. The LRC believe that they have the right, without any input from the Jewish community to define antisemitism. For the conference this weekend the LRC National Executive have published a 48 point statement for debate and discussion, several points are dedicated to antisemitism and Jews. The language used mocks Jews who raise antisemitism and consistently claim that we are acting in bad faith. The amendments published that have been proposed by ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ in the name of expelled Labour member Tony Greenstein are even worse. LRC exists within and nurtures a culture of antisemitism.
LRC are affiliated with both ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ (JVL). Both organisations ridicule and minimise the real lived experiences of victims of antisemitism. Just this week also on LBC Radio, Naomi Wimborne-Iddrisi of JVL openly mocked our Parliamentary Chair Luciana Berger who has been a victim of death threats. Neither bodies nor individuals associated with these organisations should be given a platform and you should not be indulging these conspiracists.
The LRC completely reject the IHRA definition of antisemitism or any definition that the victims of antisemitism, the Jewish community, feel reflect the prejudice they experience. This approach is in no way consistent with any established conventions within anti-racism movements.
Such a culture feeds an environment whereby Jewish MPs such as Luciana Berger receive death threats, abuse and threats of violence. It feeds a culture whereby Jews across the party are targeted for deselection, sanction or intimidation. It feeds a culture of not believing Jews when they are on the receiving end of hate. It feeds the cancer of antisemitism in our party.
It is not consistent to be honestly robust in an LBC interview without being equally robust to your own supporters at the LRC.
We hope and expect that you will be clear to the LRC that you will say that ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ are corrosive to our values and that the LRC should not work with them or indeed anyone suspended or expelled from the Labour Party.
LRC are feeding the problem and unless they change their position of condoning and nurturing this racism in our party then you cannot and should not have anything further to do with them and they also should have no place in the Labour Party.
We look forward to hearing your comments this weekend.
Jewish Labour Movement National Executive Committee
and the following members, former members, supporters, former supporters and members of the Jewish community
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LISTEN: JVL co-founder Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi accuses Labour MP Luciana Berger of dishonesty, saying she has raised antisemitism concerns "to suit her anti-Corbyn agenda". pic.twitter.com/uDTMPq8Qv5— The Red Roar (@TheRedRoar) February 6, 2019
WATCH: @johnmcdonnellMP says confidence votes in Luciana Berger are not to do with antisemitism, but "because she's been associated with the rumours of a breakaway party...she should just reject this concept of a new party." pic.twitter.com/f242Hngj2t— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) February 8, 2019