Why the Steering Committee are proposing that Socialist Fight [SF] should be excluded from Labour Against the Witch-hunt

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UPDATE (January 7 2018): The overwhelming majority of attendees at our January 6 meeting voted for the steering committee’s motion to exclude Socialist Fight. 

Statement from Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein

At the last meeting of LAW, the Steering Committee [SC] motion excluding SF from the campaign was narrowly defeated.  Also defeated was a motion from SF and a third motion by John Bridge.  Subsequently the SC decided to renew its call for the exclusion of SF.

  1. The reason that the SC is moving a resolution calling for the exclusion of SF is because the campaign cannot develop as long as SF, which advocates anti-Semitic politics, is allowed to remain. It really is that simple.  None of the 3 people whom the Right are intending to expel next – Tony Greenstein [TG], Jackie Walker [JW] or Marc Wadsworth [MW] – want anything to do with SF.  Nor will any Jewish anti-Zionist group will have anything to do with LAW if SF remain a part of it.
  2. The Right is waging a witchhunt which is primarily based around the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. We are falsely being accused of anti-Semitism because we are anti-Zionists. It makes no sense whatsoever for us to therefore include a political group in LAW which is anti-Semitic. This is playing into the hands of the Zionists and undermines the position of those who are facing expulsion.
  3. The only question to be decided is whether SF is anti-Semitic. By that we don’t mean that Gerry Downing [GD] or Ian Donovan [ID] are personally anti-Semitic but whether their politics are anti-Semitic.
  4. ID writes that ‘Today, he [Greenstein] and his bed mate Jack Conrad are in a bloc with the same Iain McNichol who is framing him up for anti-Semitism. This is class treachery at its most pathetic.’  If ID really believes that TG and presumably JW and MW, all of whom agree about SF, are in a bloc with Iain McNicol, what the hell is he doing in LAW in the first place?
  5. Yes we have moderated their lengthy contributions on the FB page, not because we wished to censor them but because the group is there to fight the witchhunt.

Why Socialist Fight is espousing anti-Semitic politics

  1. It is a standard tactic of Zionism to accuse anti-Zionists of anti-Semitism. In 99% of cases this is false but occasionally they are right. Making a connection between the number of Jewish billionaires in the United States or who is Jewish amongst the richest sections of society and imperialist support for Israel is anti-Semitic.
  2. Anti-Zionists have taken great care to make the distinction between Zionism and being Jewish crystal clear. SF make no such distinction. US support for Israel and Zionism has nothing to do with the ethnic composition of the US ruling class and everything to do with their own perceived interests. There is no evidence of a clash between Jewish and non-Jewish members of the ruling class over this.
  3. ID states that ‘It is factually demonstrable that there exists a Jewish component within the ruling classes of Western countries… and that this part of the ruling class is overwhelmingly loyal to Israel. This does not determine the bare existence of a Western alliance with Israel.
  4. What it does, however, is play an important role in transforming what would otherwise be a ‘normal’ relationship… into a servile relationship
  5. The idea that the United States is ‘servile’ to Israel is anti-Semitic. What lies behind this is the notion of an all-powerful Jewish conspiracy.
  6. ID is the main theoretician of SF and he is a critical supporter of Gilad Atzmon. Atzmon is deeply anti-Semitic. He believes that the Jews control the world and that it is irrelevant if the Protocols of Zion are a forgery because they are true anyway.  He doubts whether Auschwitz was an extermination camp.  In his essay ‘On anti-Semitism’ he wrote ‘we must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously.’  See A Guide to the Sayings of Gilad Atzmon, for more examples of Atzmon’s anti-Semitism.  
  7. In March 2012 twenty leading Palestinians including Ali Abunimah, Joseph Massad and Omar Barghouti penned a call to exclude Atzmon from the Palestine solidarity movement Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon yet in Third-Camp Stalinoids bring Witchhunt into ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ ID describes Atzmon as an ‘Israeli dissident’ and denies that he is anti-Semitic.
  8. ID in Defend Marxism and Labour Movement democracy against capitulators to Zionism describes the campaign of Jews Against Zionism and J-Big to get the SWP to cut their links with Atzmon, as an attempt ‘to witchhunt the Socialist Workers Party’. ID subscribes to many of Atzmon’s pet themes, especially his hatred of Jewish anti-Zionist groups whom he says subscribe to notions of ‘Jewish moral superiority’.
  9. ID accuses, without an iota of evidence, Jewish anti-Zionist groups of operating as a 5th column inside Palestine solidarity groups, whose ‘opposition to Israeli crimes is suspected to be anti-Semitic unless validated by a special Jewish endorsement.’ Indeed ID goes further. ‘These groups are indirectly a transmission belt for Zionist influence into the left, despite their subjective intentions as anti-Zionists.’ ID accepts Atzmon’s racist lie that it is impossible to be a Jewish anti-Zionist because to be a Jew politically is to be a Zionist!
  10. Jewish anti-Zionist groups are welcomed by Palestinians because they give the lie to the argument that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. Jewish groups play the same role in respect to Palestine that White Anti-Apartheid groups played in South Africa. Our role as Jews is one of solidarity.  Donovan’s calumnies come from the pen of Atzmon.
  11. ID’s whole language is becoming anti-Semitic. He talks of ‘the indulgence of Jewish sensibilities’.  There is no collective Jew except in the minds of Zionism and anti-Semites.  The whole concept of Jews having become an ‘oppressor people’ is also anti-Semitic as well as anti-Marxist.
  12. Finally there is the appeal to liberalism, by asking how an anti-witch hunt group can exclude SF. In the same way that we exclude the Zionist AWL.  We are a campaign not a party.  If SF’s presence hinders our work, as it does, then we have the right to tell them to go their own way.

Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker

Please Contribute to the Legal Appeal to Help Iain McNicol understand the meaning of Natural Justice

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The Right and the Zionists are determined to expel me and others from the Labour Party on trumped-up charges of ‘anti-Semitism’.  Natural Justice Goes Out the Door as Labour’s Expulsion Circus Rolls On.  Examples of their contempt for the most basic rights of the accused include the following:

i.  I am not allowed to know who my accusers are

ii. I am not allowed to know who the Panel judging me are

iii.  After being suspended for 20 months I am given 4 weeks to respond to a 189 page bundle including over 50 charges.  I was in hospital on November 2nd when I was informed of the decision to bring charges. Continue Reading “Please Contribute to the Legal Appeal to Help Iain McNicol understand the meaning of Natural Justice”

A Jewish Voices for Labour statement on the Tony Greenstein case

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Antisemitism allegations against Tony Greenstein

Statement by Jewish Voice for Labour, 26 November 2017

Jewish Voice for Labour is committed both to challenging any antisemitic incidents or statements we encounter in the Labour Party or elsewhere, and to contesting unwarranted allegations of antisemitism.

We agree with Brian Klug who wrote in The Jewish Chronicle last year: “While antisemitism is monstrous – and, like all forms of racism, should be vigorously dealt with – false accusations of antisemitism are monstrous too.” To be labelled an antisemite is both painful and severely damaging to a person’s reputation and it is not an allegation to be made without clear prima facia evidence. False allegations also risk making correct allegations less credible and place Jews at greater risk.

We have reviewed the bulky dossier of material presented as evidence against Tony Greenstein by the Governance and Legal Unit of the Labour Party. To those of us who have known him for many years as a Jewish socialist and an implacable opponent of racism and antisemitism in any form, it is no surprise to find that the dossier does not offer any remotely persuasive substantiation of claims of antisemitism.

There is undoubtedly evidence of language which we would not want to be associated with. But as Shami Chakrabarti stated in her report, even offensive language on its own is only antisemitic if it is coupled with antisemitic intent. Such intent cannot be demonstrated in Tony Greenstein’s case because it is absent.

There are many critical comments we could make about this disciplinary process. We will limit ourselves to one, the issue of representation. Party members with sufficient financial resources are entitled to instruct a lawyer to represent them. Those who cannot afford one are only allowed to have a ‘silent friend’. This clearly discriminates against less affluent party members and in particular against less affluent and less articulate party members who are denied the support of a knowledgeable friend or colleague to speak on their behalf.

The party should either provide legal representation to all summoned to a disciplinary hearing or allow representation and advocacy from a non-legally qualified acquaintance.

FREE SPEECH ON ISRAEL – Concerns about the process of handling the complaint against Tony Greenstein

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Free Speech on Israel
The following letter was sent from the Free Speech on Israel group to Iain McNicol. It makes extensive reference to the Chakrabarti Report which has now disappeared from the Labour Party’s web site.

The only reason for this is that its recommendations are an embarrassment to Iain McNicol, the Compliance Unit and Labour’s Witch-hunters.

In the interests of freedom of speech and accountability I have posted it here:

Dear Iain McNicol

Free Speech on Israel is a Jewish led group of mainly Labour Party members formed to contest restrictions on debate about Palestinian rights and Israeli Government actions and to contest antisemitic speech and actions as well as false allegations of antisemitism.

FSOI wishes to express its grave disquiet about the current operation of the Party’s disciplinary machinery and in particular in relation to the mishandling of the case against Tony Greenstein who has a long record of both challenging antisemitism and racism and campaigning for human rights. The dossier presented to Tony Greenstein contains many robust statements and vociferous criticism of Israel’s actions but nothing that can remotely be judged as being antisemitic or uttered with antisemitic intent.

Continue Reading “FREE SPEECH ON ISRAEL – Concerns about the process of handling the complaint against Tony Greenstein”

Background to our petition to Labour’s National Executive Committee

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Stop the Expulsion of Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker & Marc Wadsworth

‘most of the people who have been suspended from the Labour Party seem to be Jewish’ Alexei Sayle Sky TV interview

Please sign our petition.  The Right, led by Iain McNicol, Labour’s detested General Secretary, the Compliance Unit and Sam Matthews aided by Anne Black Chair of the Disputes Committee, are determined to restart the False Anti-Semitism Witch-hunt.

Why is it false and faked?  Because you only have to look at who supports it.  

If the Labour Party were overrun by anti-Semitism does anyone seriously think that the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Tory tabloids would be concerned?  Why is it that the most racist newspapers in Britain are ‘concerned’ about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party?  How is it that the Daily Mail and the Express, which supported Hitler in the 1930’s, which campaigned against the admission of Jewish refugees from Nazism are now so concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’?  Why is it that those papers that vilify asylum seekers and refugees, which employ columnists like Katie Hopkins and Richard Littlejohn, are concerned about anti-Semitism? Continue Reading “Background to our petition to Labour’s National Executive Committee”

Moshe Machover gains international support over his expulsion

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Celebrity international backing for academic expelled, then readmitted to Labour Party
Demand for full apology and inquiry
Statement delivered to Corbyn and Party Secretary McNicol
In an extraordinary development, an international array of talent has rallied to the support of a retired professor expelled from the British Labour Party. They join the growing ranks of Party members and trade unionists demanding an apology to Professor Moshé Machover for alleging that an article of his was antisemitic; and for an inquiry into the processes that resulted in his expulsion. As a result of UK protests Professor Machover’s expulsion has already been rescinded.
Professor Machover is an eminent mathematical logician, a noted Israeli dissident and advocate for the rights of Palestinians, based in London since 1968.


Sir Michael Atiyah OM FRS (1966)  Former President, Royal Society & Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
David Mumford (1974)  Professor Emeritus, Mathematics, Brown University
Stephen Smale (Fields Medallist, 1966)  Professor Emeritus (Retired), Mathematics, Univ. of California
Other notable mathematicians, philosophers and scientists include Ahmed Abbes, Noam Chomsky, Chandler Davis, Freeman Dyson, Ivar Ekeland, David Epstein FRS, Emmanuel Farjoun, Catherine Goldstein, Mary Gray, Michael Harris, David Klein, Neal Koblitz, Malcolm Levitt FRS, Colette Moeglin, Richard Miller, Joseph Oesterlé, Hilary Rose, Steven Rose, Tim Shallice FRS and more!
Tariq Ali (writer), Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC (University College London), Stephen Cragg QC (Barrister, London), John Dugard (former U.N. Special Rapporteur), Brian Eno (musician), Richard Falk (Professor Emeritus, International Law, Princeton), Ronnie Kasrils (ex-Minister, South Africa), Ken Loach(film-maker), Michael Mansfield QC (President of the Haldane Society), Ilan Pappé (Professor of History, Exeter), Shlomo Sand (Professor Emeritus, History, Tel Aviv University), Raji Sourani (Director, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights) and many more!
This unprecedented support and demand for redress indicates serious misjudgement by the Labour Party’s much criticised disciplinary apparatus. On behalf of the petition’s organizers, Professor Jonathan Rosenhead said, “Moshé Machover is a splendid and courageous anti-racist campaigner over decades. The crass attempt to brand him an antisemite, part of an unprincipled campaign to suppress criticism of Israel, has clearly backfired in a big way. The Labour Party needs a root-and-branch reform of how its Disputes Panel and Compliance Unit have been operating.”

This is What We Stand For

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These are the Principles of Labour Against the Witchhunt as agreed at our inaugural meeting on October 17 2017:

i. No auto-exclusions or expulsions. Everyone has the right to a fair hearing.

ii. We agreed on a simple definition of anti-Semitism to counterpose to the Zionist and ruling class IHRA definition adopted by Theresa May. It is from Prof. Brian Klug’s ‘Shattered Glass’ Lecture at the Berlin Jewish Museum in 2014 on the anniversary of Kristallnact. It is a 21 word definition, not the 450 word IHRA definition whose sole purpose is to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

‘antisemitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are.’

iii. The Compliance Unit should be abolished. All disciplinary action against members should be undertaken by elected bodies not full time staff.