Hard Left bid to stop Labour antisemitism training in attack on Starmer’s authority
Jeremy Corbyn: Joan Ryan slams response to antisemitism
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The Sunday Express has seen a campaign email by the organisation Labour Against the Witch Hunt encouraging members not to take the course being laid on by the Jewish Labour Movement. The course, which has the backing of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and been pushed by new general secretary David Evans, has been recommended to members after the party became mired in an antisemitism scandal under Mr Corbyn’s leadership. Among its objections to the training is that it is being run by an organisation which was vehemently critical for the former Labour leader.
The email noted: “These sessions will be run exclusively by the Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Israel organisation that is affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation, whose stated mission is ‘settling the land’.
“JLM is the sister party of the racist Labor Party of Israel and was revived in 2015 – explicitly in order to battle Jeremy Corbyn. It has close links to the Israeli embassy.
“It has been doing everything in its power to weaponise false and exaggerated charges of anti–Semitism in order to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.”
They are also furious that JLM successfully persuaded the party to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism which recognises that attacks on Israel are often antisemitic.
The Sunday Express has also seen more than 300 whatsapp messages from hard left activists in Labour complaining about the antisemitism training.
Opening off the conversation, one member wrote: “I think it might be good to go and challenge any nonsense. What do you think?”
One member warned: “Depends, is it a safe space or will you feature in a covert video recording, get taped saying anything not liked then expelled?”
Another replied: “Nowhere is a safe space anymore.”
Another said: “It is a TRAP… ignore it.”
Several others cited the case of former Labour member Jackie Walker, who was expelled following comments she made during an antisemitism training session, in which she criticised Holocaust Memorial Day for only commemorating Jewish victims.
One member warned: “Don’t go. They will film you and ruin you like they did with Jackie Walker.”
Much of the anger was directed at the party leadership, with one member accusing Mr Evans of turning the party into a “hostile environment” with another accusing him of “bloody tyranny”.
Writing on the thread, one member complained that the leadership was treating CLP officers like “naughty children”.
One said he was holding onto his Labour membership to vote for Sir Keir Starmer’s successor “because the political grim reaper is already approaching”.
He added: “Anything from and/or delivered by JLM will not be worth attending but is likely to be toxic given the fact they are an Israeli embassy front.”
One member said she intended to write her letter of resignation this week.
“The LP have gone full on white supremacy,” she said.
Another said the training gave members the chance to “confront JLM” about “its role in smearing Corbyn, especially as the ERHC (sic) report found that the LP wasn’t institutionally antisemitic”.
He added: “The Red Tories have weaponised antisemitism at the behest of the Zionist lobby ie Board of Deputies and JLM whilst the media are either complicit or have been cowed by the Zionist lobby.”
Another wrote that Labour would be better served investigating the “weaponising of antisemitism by the centre right of the party”.
Antisemitism campaigners have called for a zero tolerance approach to the hard left members intent on attacking the training.
Euan Philipps, spokesman for Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS), said: “Many of the comments posted on social media were themselves highly antisemitic and require further investigation by the Labour Party – hopefully leading to member expulsions.
“That party members still feel emboldened to make racist comments in public shows there is a lot of work still to be done to embed a zero tolerance culture in Labour and make the party electorally acceptable again.
“Meeting the recommendations of the EHRC has begun to look like a box-ticking exercise and unless Keir Starmer enforces a zero tolerance position on antisemitism across the board, in actions not words, it will become meaningless.”
A Labour spokesman said: “We’re proud that JLM has agreed to deliver our training, in line with our EHRC action plan. It is one of our longest standing socialist societies and their trainers are fair and well informed.
“It is absurd and offensive to call for a boycott of training about antisemitism, the forms it takes, the hurt it causes and how we can all work together to tackle it.”
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