Who we are
Founded in 2004 as the successor to Poale Zion, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to Poale Zion’s long-standing ideals in a manner appropriate for the twenty-first century. We view Zionism as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people and work to promote a secure, progressive, just and succssful State of Israel. The JLM is an affiliate of the World Labour Zionist Movement.
The JLM is the only Jewish entity affiliated to the Labour Party, both nationally and locally, and we constantly press the Party, both inside and outside government, to campaign vigorously against racism and especially the BNP, as well as promoting a viable peace plan to end the Israel-Palestine conflict.
At the same time we uphold the rights of the Palestinian people to live at peace with their neighbours on the basis of a ‘two state solution’ to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. To this end we seek dialogue with all people who wish to pursue this goal in a democratic and peaceful manner, whatever their origin or religious persuasion.
As an affiliate of the British Labour Party, we are represented within constituency organisations and the policy-making process of the Party, and engage in dialogue with other interests and groups. As such, we represent an opportunity for Jewish members and supporters to lobby within the Party in order to ensure that our voice is incorporated within wider debates. Our delegates to party conferences have often spoken in defence of Israel against hostile resolutions.
We abhor any discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender and religion, and work with others in the wider community to create a united front against racism and anti-semitism, both in Britain and internationally. We are represented on the Board of Deputies and work closely with them, and other likeminded organisations, in campaigns.
In July 2004 our launch at the House of Commons was a highly successful event, with the Israeli Ambassador and the Foreign Office Minister responsible for Middle East matters among our guest speakers.
What we do
Our most recent event was a rally held on Wednesday 22nd April 2009, in collaboration with Labour Friends of Searchlight, entitled ‘Hope not Hate’ which focused on the BNP threat at the elections to the European Parliament on June 4th. Speakers included the Rt Hon. Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Frank Dobson MP, Chair, Labour Friends of Searchlight, Jon Cruddas MP, Nick Lowles, Editor of Searchlight and Louise Ellman MP. This follows a very successful discussion at our Annual General Meeting in February 2009 on a similar theme, which was addressed by Robert Evans MEP, Murad Qureshi AM and Jon Cruddas MP.
In February 2008 the Israeli Ambassador addressed our Annual General Meeting who outlined new political and security challenges in Israel and debated a wide range of issues. We also discussed the London Mayoral and Assembly elections with two (successful) candidates, Nicky Gavron AM and Navin Shah AM.
We marked the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel in June 2008 with a distinguished panel discussion on how far the reality of Israel in 2008 lives up to its founding vision. Main speakers here were Professor Naomi Chazan, former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Mike Gapes MP, Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Professor Colin Shindler, SOAS, Roger Lyons, Trade Union Friends of Israel and Sir Jeremy Beecham.
Fringe meetings at recent Labour Party Conferences have reflected both our main foci of interest – Combatting Racism and the BNP and the Israel-Palestine Peace Process. Speakers have included Bill Rammell, as Minister of State for Higher Education who spoke about British Government policy on a possible academic boycott, Husam Zomlot, Deputy Chief of Palestine General Delegation to the UK, Talia Lador Fresher, Deputy Ambassador Israel Embassy.
Other events have marked contributions by outstanding individuals. For example, we hoisted a memorial lecture Yitshak Rabin delivered by Professor Sir Martin Gilbert and an appreciation of the life and work of the Rt. Hon Reg Freeson, MP. Reg had been a longstanding JLM/PZ activist who had also served as a distinguished Minister of Housing in the Wilson/Callaghan governments.
We hope that you will find this an interesting snapshot and will join us to promote similar activities in the future.