NEC lobby: no to IHRA, yes to freedom of speech!

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Labour Against the Witchhunt has been lobbying Labour’s NEC meetings since February, for its three basic aims – rejection of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism (because it conflates anti-Zionismm with anti-Semitism), abolition of Rule 2.1.4.B (which allows party apparatchiks to expel members without due process, and is arbitrarily used against the left), and abolition off the hated Compliance Unit (which implements arbitrary instant suspensions and expulsions). Today, September 4, the lobby of the NEC’s special meeting to deal with the so called anti-Semitism crisis in the party, was much enhanced as the lobby was also called by Jewish Voice for Labour, Free Speech on Israel, Camden Momentum, Labour Representation Committee and the recently formed ‘Back the NEC Code’ – launched in frustration at Momentum’s total failure to defend Corbyn from the rightwing anti-Semitism smear campaign.

The 200-strong lobby was joined by comrades from a range of Labour left groups, as well as Palestinian solidarity campaigners and a group of anti-Zionist orthodox Jews, with non-stop speeches demanding rejection by the NEC of the IHRA [Israeli/Zionist] definition of anti-Semitism, including from Chris Williamson MP. The handful of pro-Zionists (who have nothing to do with the Labour Party) tried to drown him out by screaming over him, which is when the pro-Palestinian crowd started to sing ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’. Pete Willsman also got a massive cheer as he went in. The well known far right Zionists campaigners shouted slogans such as “Corbyn is a racist”, “Labour is a fascist party” and “We love John Mann”.
LAW’s displayed its new “Defend Free Speech” banner, its placards saying “Anti-Semitism does not equal anti-Zionism” and “Oppose IHRA: Freedom of speech on Palestine”. Hundreds of copies of LAW’s leaflet were distributed to lobbyers as well as passers by and NEC members entering the Southside, which not only carries our trenchant arguments against the IHRA definition, but also criticises the NEC’s Code of Conduct on anti-Semitism, which itself adopts the IHRA definition and most of the 11 examples.
Stan Keable
LAW Secretary

Here is the leaflet we are handing out.