Muddying the water: LAW statement on Labour’s new Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct

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LAW Statement, July 9 2018:

Labour’s Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct

The Labour Party’s new Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct, issued last week, was clearly intended to put an end to the campaign of false allegations of anti-Semitism. Instead it has achieved the precise opposite. The Code has been the subject of a fierce attack by Zionist organisations and the mass media. It has also caused confusion amongst our allies, some of whom have welcomed it.

The campaign of false allegations is not driven by a failure to define anti-Semitism but is a politically motivated attack by the Right and supporters of Zionism. The Code will not prevent the weaponisation of anti-Semitism by those whose primary concern is defence of Israel, right or wrong. The expulsion of Tony Greenstein, Marc Wadsworth, Cyril Chilson and others was the product of a deliberate smear campaign aimed at the Corbyn leadership. Those who believe that the Code marks the end of the false anti-Semitism campaign against the Labour Party are sadly mistaken. Continue Reading “Muddying the water: LAW statement on Labour’s new Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct”

Privacy policy

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Labour Against the Witchhunt is committed to protecting your privacy. We keep your data secure and we do not use it for any other purposes. We will never share your data with third parties.This policy explains how we use any personal information we collect about you.

  • What information do we collect about you
  • How will we use the information about you?
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  • Changes to our privacy policy
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What information do we collect about you

You can visit our website without disclosing any personal information about yourself. There are times, however, when we may request information from you. We collect information you give to us by email, various forms on the website, over the telephone, face to face or by postal mail.

We collect information about you when you join, make a donation, become a supporter, place an order for our products, complete an online action, sign a petition, provide us with data about your campaigning interests or interact with our social media tools. Website usage information may be collected using cookies. 

How will we use the information about you?

We will send you campaigning information by email or SMS that we think may be of interest to you. We will continue to send you information by post where we have assessed there is a legitimate interest for us to do so.

LAW shares data with regional, area and local LAW groups, but only in order to fulfil the aims of LAW. This enables groups to publicise LAW events and information. All LAW groups follow data protection guidelines. If you would prefer to be excluded from the sharing of information with other LAW groups, please contact us so we can ensure your details are not shared.

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We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect 

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If you would like a copy of some or all of the personal information we hold about you, please email info@labouragainstthewitchhunt.org or write to us at Labour Against the Witchhunt, BCM Box 8932, London WC1N 3XX. We may make a reasonable charge for this service. (eg, for repeated requests).

We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information you think is inaccurate. We will retain some basic information to avoid sending you unwanted materials in the future and to ensure we do not duplicate information.  This is superseded by your right to erasure (“the right to be forgotten”).  Following this request all of your data will be removed from all LAW systems and any financial agreements, such a Direct Debit, will be ended. 

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Cookies are text files, used by your computer’s browser, that store visitor session data. Cookies, by themselves, do not identify the individual user. Cookies are commonly used on the Internet and do not harm your system. If you want to know more about cookies please go to www.allaboutcookies.orgwhich explains how cookies work and how you can manage their use.

We currently use cookies to collate general management data which is used to plan enhancements to our services. Some cookies are external managed e.g. GoogleAnalytics and are covered by their own privacy policies.

LAW never stores any personal information in cookies (on any computer that you may use) that can be used to identify you, such as your name, email address or account numbers.

If you do not want us to use cookies you may be able to configure your browser not to accept them. Please refer to your browser’s ‘help’ facility for further information. However, in a few cases some of our website features may not function as a result.

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Our website – www.labouragainstthewitchhunt.org– contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to our website so when you link to other websites you should read their own privacy policies. 

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The DPA and GDPR restrict the transfer of data outside of the EU and EEA. Our primary web server is located in the UK, however some of the suppliers and systems that we use can be based in other countries which are outside of the EU and EEA. This may occur, for example, by using online services with servers based in other countries or which route data via such systems. LAW will ensure that information which you provide is only transferred to other countries (which do not have data protection laws equal to the DPA and GDPR) provided that the organisations involved have certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield (for organisations based in the USA) or similar stringent certification to ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to protect your rights and your data. 

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review and will place any updates on this webpage. This privacy policy was reviewed and updated in May 2018. 

 

 

LAW statement: Corbyn was wrong to pressurise Ken Livingstone into leaving the Labour Party

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It is clear from reports such as John Rentoul in The Independent that Ken Livingstone’s resignation was not voluntary but the result of pressure exerted by Jeremy Corbyn and his close associates. We refer in particular to Shami Chakrabarti’s disgraceful attack on Livingstone on BBC’s Sunday Politics (May 13),when she threatened she would quit the Labour front bench if Livingstone was not expelled. Chakrabarti has not only ignored her own recommendations on natural justice and due process but she has also destroyed her own reputation, as a former Director of Liberty, for a belief in freedom of expression.

Nothing Livingstone was alleged to have done could in any way be described as anti-Semitic.  His remark that “Hitler supported Zionism” is confirmed by a host of Holocaust historians.  If he gave offence to supporters of Israel and Zionism it is because of the appalling record historically of Zionism when it comes to fighting real anti-Semites. Continue Reading “LAW statement: Corbyn was wrong to pressurise Ken Livingstone into leaving the Labour Party”

LAW statement on the expulsion of Marc Wadsworth

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“Victim of a politically motivated campaign against Jeremy Corbyn”

Labour Against the Witchhunt strongly condemns the outrageous decision to expel Marc Wadsworth after a two-day hearing in front of three right-wing members of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee.

Marc is the latest victim of the politically motivated witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. Marc Wadsworth, a lifelong campaigner against racism, has been smeared and his reputation tarnished, first by the vile and false allegations against him and now, to top it off, by this deeply unjust verdict. Following 22 months of trial-by-media, our comrade had very little chance of receiving a fair hearing – and he did not get one. Continue Reading “LAW statement on the expulsion of Marc Wadsworth”

LAW welcomes Jon Lansman’s decision to withdraw

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March 11 2018

Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW) welcomes Jon Lansman’s decision to finally listen to his party comrades, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, and withdraw as a candidate for the General Secretary post.

We are mystified as to why Lansman, who purports to back the greater representation of women at all levels of the Labour Party, ran against Unite’s Jennie Formby in the first place. LAW critically supports Formby for the job. We are concerned about her record on Labour’s NEC  where it appears she has, as recently as last week, failed to oppose the witch hunting of Jeremy Corbyn supporters by right-wingers who have weaponised false claims of anti-semitism despite Formby herself being the target of such smears. Nobody in the Labour Party can truly be a socialist if they support the purge and that includes the future general secretary.

Lansman, given his record in abolishing all democratic structures within Momentum and imposing a new constitution, is unfit to be Labour General Secretary.

He got rid of the right of Momentum’s “liberation strands”, such as Momentum Black Connexions/Caucus, to have direct representation on the leading national bodies of Momentum.  More recently, he closed down Momentum’s youth group. This demonstrates his serious lack of commitment to the self-organisation of oppressed and disadvantaged groups in the Labour Party.

Labour Against the Witchhunt believes that Lansman lacks the democratic credentials necessary to become general secretary of the Labour Party, especially in view of previous General Secretary Iain McNicol’s purge of thousands of pro-Jeremy Corbyn Labour Party members and the particularly those as a result of false accusations of anti-semitism and others based on members’ alleged “support for other organisations” using rule 2.1.4.B.

The Labour Party now needs a General Secretary who will put a decisive stop to the witch-hunt who will make sure that all disciplinary charges are dealt with fairly, swiftly, transparently and with the presumption of “innocent until proven guilty”.

Jackie Walker was suspended from Labour membership on trumped-up charges of anti-semitism, following Lansman’s pre-emptive action in removing her as Momentum’s vice-chair, and, at the time, making plain his sympathies with the Zionist Jewish Labour Movement who have championed the witchhunt in order to purge the party of Corbyn-supporting anti-Zionists.

Lansman’s constitution for Momentum bars from membership all those expelled by the Labour Party’s compliance unit. This rule that has been used exclusively against left-wingers. Lansman has since come out in support of keeping the rule (2.1.4.B) in Labour’s constitution.

He has also opposed our demands for the abolition of the Compliance Unit. We believe that all disciplinary matters should be dealt with by elected representatives.

Labour’s next general secretary should ensure the NEC immediately implements the recommendations on the party’s disciplinary procedure made by the Shami Chakrabarti Report of June 30 2016.

We believe that Unite’s Jennie Formby would be the best choice for general secretary. As a supporter of the rights of the Palestinians people we think her election would send a powerful political signal. We hope that her tenure would mark the beginning of the end of the witch-hunt.

Steering Committee
Labour Against the Witchhunt

 

Why we cannot support Jon Lansman’s Labour Party general secretary bid

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Some of us are members of Momentum, some have never joined – and some of us left the organisation after January 2017, when its leader Jon Lansman abolished all democratic structures and imposed a new constitution, riding roughshod over the organisation’s members.

It should be noted that, as part of this coup, Lansman abolished the right of Momentum’s “liberation strands” to have direct representation on the leading national bodies of the organisation. Among the consequences of this was the breaking up of Momentum Black Connexions/Caucus. More recently, he closed down Momentum’s youth group. This demonstrates his serious lack of commitment to the self-organisation, self-determination and autonomy of disadvantaged groups in society.

Wes Stressing MP: new friend of Jon Lansman’s

As a consequence of Lansman’s behaviour, Labour Against the Witchhunt believes he lacks the democratic credentials to become the kind of general secretary that the Labour Party now needs in order to heal the wounds inflicted by Iain McNicol’s divisiveness. As general secretary, McNicol was directly in charge of the discredited compliance unit and thereby responsible for the purge of thousands of pro-Jeremy Corbyn Labour Party members. The automatic and instant expulsions and suspensions overseen by McNicol – especially those based on alleged anti-semitism and those based on members’ alleged “support for other organisations” using rule 2.1.4.B – have brought the party into disrepute. They have prevented and discouraged new members from getting involved in party life, while valuable resources have been wasted in persecuting some of the most energetic and effective campaigners for social change. Continue Reading “Why we cannot support Jon Lansman’s Labour Party general secretary bid”

Statement on the February 18 expulsion of Tony Greenstein from the Labour Party

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“Labour Against the Witchhunt deplores the politically motivated expulsion from the Labour Party of Tony Greenstein (LAW’s vice-chair). It is a blatant example of how the right-wing who oppose Jeremy Corbyn, the democratically elected Labour leader, have cynically weaponised anti-Semitism to attack his supporters.

Veteran Black, Jewish and other party members have been targeted as part of this witch-hunt. Greenstein is a Jewish anti-racist who has campaigned ceaselessly against the Zionist Israeli government’s appalling treatment of Palestinians and has played a leading role in exposing how children, like jailed Ahed Tamini, have been caught up in this cycle of oppression. He is not Anti-semitic. It is shameful that anti-Semitism has been cynically weaponised by the right-wing to purge Labour of Corbyn supporters, while much more prevalent anti-black racism and, until Jeremy Corbyn spoke out against it, Islamophobia, have been ignored by the party.

We call on the Labour leadership to use its left-wing majority on the party’s ruling National Executive Committee to reinstate Greenstein and stop the witch-hunt; it is an expression of the ongoing civil war in the party that serves no other purpose than to damage the party’s chances of winning the next general election.

The NEC must, without further delay, implement the recommendations of the party’s own Chakrabarti Report recommendations on disciplinary procedure based on natural justice and due process. It is astonishing that almost two years have gone by without these vital changes being brought in so that party members are treated fairly rather than made victims of the purge.”

LAW’s steering committee includes Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth, both of whom remain suspended on trumped-up charges of anti-Semitism. Please support Marc’s crowdfunding appeal – he is next in the firing-line. His hearing has been set for April 25 in London – LAW will be supporting him with a protest outside backed by members of Grassroots Black Left, the Indian Workers’ Association and Jewish Voice for Labour.

Order LAW’s new leaflet

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Download front page and back page in PDF format or download in A4 format (both pages side by side)

You can now order copies of this leaflet for distribution in your local area: 

20 leaflets for £2
50 leaflets for £3
100 leaflets for £5
200 leaflets for £8
1k leaflets for £30

You can pay via Paypal below or transfer the amount directly into our account (please also send an email telling us that this is for leaflets): Labour Against the Witchhunt, Sort code 30-94-73, Account No 21409868




Minutes: LAW Organising Meeting Sat Jan 6 2018

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Notes and Decisions

Venue: (Cost £50) Union Tavern, 22 Lloyd Baker Street WC1X. The original venue, Calthorpe Arms, had cancelled our booking after spurious warnings of trouble between rival groups promoted by Guido Fawkes, The Independent and The Times.

Attendance: roughly 60 people, including comrades who had travelled from all parts of England and Wales.

A proposal from Graham Durham of no confidence in Tony Greenstein as chair was defeated overwhelmingly.

LAW Vice-chair Tony Greenstein chaired the debate on the Steering Committee motion for the exclusion of anti-Semites from LAW, including Socialist Fight. LAW Chair Jackie Walker chaired the rest of the meeting.

Steering Committee motion CARRIED by approximately 34 votes to 16.

Gerry Downing motion LOST overwhelmingly, by a similar vote.

Gerry Downing motion: “This meeting rejects the motion to expel Socialist Fight from LAW and rejects the accusations of anti-Semitism against them.”

(Tony Greenstein’s report of the debate and the meeting as a whole is available here)

After the votes on the two motions, a few Socialist Fight supporters left the meeting, respecting the decision of the meeting that they were excluded from LAW. Some of those who had voted against the exclusion of SF stayed in the meeting, and remain in the campaign. The meeting moved on to plan the development of the campaign.

Steering Committee report: LAW Secretary Stan Keable reported progress so far, and forthcoming events.

Decisions:

  • Mobilise for pickets of disciplinary hearings
  • Compile a list of those suspended or expelled from Labour without due procedure.
  • Write to Labour NEC: Is Chakrabarti being implemented with respect to current disciplinary cases? What is the basis of these hearings?
  • Provide model motions for CLPs, Labour Party branches, TU branches, etc.
  • Write to every Labour NEC member: why we are picketing the NEC meeting ( Jan 23), “Drop the charges”.
  • Actions to “embarrass” NEC members and the Labour leaders, and Momentum.LAW individual membership: £10 waged, £5 concessions.
  • Produce a LAW leaflet for use at events, eg Jackie’s The Lynching.
  • Add immediate implementation of Chakrabarti to the LAW submission to Labour’s Democracy Review.
  • Organise a telephone tree and a Whatsapp group for urgent mobilisations.
  • Moshé Machover is LAW Honorary President. Other prominent names to be invited to be Sponsors or Hon Vice Presidents. Eg, Miriam Margoyles, Alexei Sayle, Kate Osamor, etc.
  • To circulate a Moshé Machover letter: “Join LAW, affiliate to LAW”.
  • Sally Eason elected to Steering Committee.
  • LAW Bank Account needs more than one signatory, to ensure funds are not lost if one signatory disappears.
  • Next members meeting: Saturday March 3, 1pm to 4pm, Union Tavern.
  • A collection of £146.60 was taken.

AOB:

* Support petition for suspended LP member Dave Watson, Walthamstow.

* Grassroots Black Left launch meeting, 6:30pm, February 7, House of Commons.

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