The Jewish Labour Movement (“JLM”) is pleased to announce key successes in the recent nationwide elections to the Labour Party Regional Boards. Three members of JLM’s National Executive were elected to Regional Boards, including the Chair and National Secretary. Labour Party Regional Boards are a critical part of the Labour Party’s structures and are involved in taking key decisions within their areas.
JLM National Director Ella Rose commented: "Our membership is soaring and our members are keener than ever to make sure their voices heard. These results demonstrate that JLM is respected across the Labour Movement and will play a key role in contributing towards electing a future Labour Government."
Joe Goldberg and Jeremy Newmark were elected to London and East of England Regional Board respectively, both representing the Socialist Society section. Peter Mason, JLM's National Secretary was elected to the London Regional Board representing Constituency Labour Parties in the North West of London. (Peter was also recently elected to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee).
JLM National Director Ella Rose further commented: "It is heartening to see so many Jewish members of the Labour Party successfully being elected to take on leadership roles across our Party structures. Jewish engagement with the party remains incredibly important, and JLM sits at the heart of that engagement."
JLM NEC member, Cllr Joe Goldberg said "It is a real honour to be elected to the London Regional Board and to represent the Jewish Labour Movement. It not only continues our long tradition within the party - now more than ever we need to fight to ensure the Jewish community's role in London is recognised"
JLM also ran a successful fringe meeting on 'Combatting Antisemitism and Engaging Jewish Voters' at the East of England Conference. The Movement will be represented at other regional conferences over the coming months.
Cable Street 80
On Sunday 9 October 2016, over 50 Jewish Labour activists and many more allies from across the Party marched to remember the Battle of Cable Street with pride and purpose. There was chanting and singing, led by ex-youth movementniks, of Ose Shalom, Hatikvah and even a rendition of Adon Olam to the tune of the Red Flag! The activists, religious, secular, young and old, former UJS presidents, movement workers and community leaders, were there to remember a seminal moment in Jewish Left history and to express their present commitment to progressive politics.
Sarah Sackman, barrister, community campaigner and vice-chair of the Jewish Labour Movement - speech to the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street.Read more
The entire Jewish Labour Movement is deeply saddened by the passing of Shimon Peres. Peres, whose life of 93 years spanned the creation of the State of Israel, its constant battles, setbacks, progress and efforts to finds peace with its neighbours, embodied the brilliance and weaknesses of the nation. Over a lifetime spent constantly at the heart of Israel’s public life Peres could be a hawk, a dove, an idealist, a pragmatist. At times brilliant, at others flawed – Shimon Peres came to stand as Israel incarnate.
For JLM members of all ages, Peres was a political giant. JLM pays tribute not just to a founding father of Israel and a Nobel Peace Prize winner but a towering figure of our sister Israeli Labour Party. Peres became involved in politics at the age of 18 when he was elected secretary of the Labour Zionist movement, Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed. Since his election to the Knesset in 1959 representing the Mapai party, the forerunner of the modern Labour movement in Israel, to his term as President of Israel, Peres was a powerful example of the Labour movement’s pursuit of social justice and equality.
Although he once advocated Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Peres’ views evolved and he later became a leading activist for peace, speaking of the need for dialogue and compromise with the demands for land and sovereignty of the Palestinian people. He once said:
“The Palestinians are our closest neighbours, I believe they may become our closest friends”
Peres’ defining quality was his optimism. He had changed. And he believed that other people could change too. He believed that peace was possible and that every effort should be made to pursue it. There was nothing naïve about this. It was a belief based on experience and a moral imperative that brought him closer than almost anyone to realising the long hoped for two-state solution during his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords.
The fact that his funeral brought together not just world dignitaries, but old political rivals in Israel and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas is a testament to a person who was open to building bridges with others and who lived his life in echo of the words of Psalm 34: “Bakesh Shalom verofehu” – seek peace and pursue it.
We in JLM mourn his passing and express our gratitude for his immense contribution. In a turbulent world, we must take responsibility to follow Peres’ powerful example and draw on his insatiable optimism to work towards a better, more peaceful world.
Conference Floor standing to remember Shimon Peres
Reacting to the reportedly leaked publishing of the Royall report into allegations of antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club;
Aaron Simons, JLM member and former President of Oxford Jewish Society said,
“It is right that the Royall report has now been published in fuller form, and should never have been suppressed in the first place. It is clear from the report that antisemitic incidents did take place at Oxford.
As Baroness Royall has recommended, those involved now need to be investigated by the party's disciplinary process. Jewish students subjected to antisemitism at Oxford are owed justice by the party. This represents a real test of the principles the Chakrabarti report called for.
Six months and two investigations later, the Jewish students who were on the receiving end of racial discrimination are owed a full report and update on where their complaints are now at.”
Liron Velleman, JLM NEC Youth & Students officer said;
“Both Baroness Royall and Shami Chakrabarti have now concluded that significant changes need to happen both to the rules and practices of the Party, in order that allegations of antisemitsm and racism are dealt with properly.
JLM alongside a number of local parties have proposed a rule change for Labour Party Conference that would make antisemitism, racism and other forms of discrimination a disciplinary offence. The NEC now needs to urgently clarify how it intends on implementing the recommendations from both reports, and to take a position on our proposals.”
The Labour Party must continue to welcome and engage Jewish activists both on campus and in the wider movement. JLM has been affiliated to the Labour Party for almost a century. We are not giving up on the Party, and we hope the Party will not give up on us.
As part of its continued development programme, JLM is pleased to announce the formation of a new North West Region. Following a successful meeting held in Manchester attended by approximately fifty members, the new region will be the hub of JLM’s work in the North West.
My Jewish identity is inseparable from my commitment to Labour and progressive politics. Here in the North West there are strong Jewish Labour traditions, which we will build on. These are difficult times, but we are up for the challenge.”
A longstanding Prestwich/Bury South Labour member, Jane came into politics through anti-racist campaigs, and was a co-founder of Shifra, a Jewish feminist magazine. A councillor since 2012, she chairs Prestwich Township Forum and Bury Planning Committee, and recently become a Deputy Cabinet Member for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Eddy Newman – Vice Chair
Active in the Labour party for 45 years, Eddy was a Manchester Central Euro MP for 15 years and is now a Manchester Labour councillor. A longstanding member of the Manchester Liberal Jewish Community and the JLM, he has campaigned against racism and community cohesion his entire political life.
Nathan Boroda – Secretary
An active member of Whitefield Labour Party in Bury South, Nathan is the newly appointed Head Boy at King David High School, where he founded and chaired their Political Society and edits a political blog. He emphasised his resilience against the curse of anti-semitism in a Guardian movie about it this year.
Jessica Goldstone – Youth Officer
Jess works as Campaigns Coordinator for the University of Salford Students' Union. She has previously sat on the NUS National Executive Council and currently sits on NUS Women's Campaign Steering Committee. She is a member of Prestwich Labour Party.
Michael Rubinstein - Treasurer
Michael is a delegate to and Secretary of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester. He has recently established and chairs their Human Rights, Racism and antisemitism Committee . He first joined the Labour Party in the early 1990's .
Richard Gold – Membership Officer
As well as being involved in Prestwich Labour in Bury South, Richard is closely involved in the group Engage which combats left antisemitism. He first became active in the Jewish community in his student days, when he was involved in UJS and his local Jewish Society.
Reacting to the publication of the Chakrabarti Inquiry report, the Jewish Labour Movement have released this statement:
"This is a sensible and firm platform which gives the Party an opportunity to get off the back foot and on to the front foot in setting a new standard for tacking racism and anti-Semitism.
The report has accurately diagnosed the nature of the problem. There will rightly be a debate and discussion about the specifics of the very detailed recommendations on rules, regulations and processes.
But all the talk about high standards will need to be borne out by implementation. This will require strong leadership.
One of the very first tests will be how the party deals with the ongoing disciplinary case against Ken Livingstone. There can be no future for a politician with his track record in a post Chakrabarti report labour party.
We at JLM will be meeting with the party leadership in next few days to begin discussions around implementation."
UPDATE: 6 July 2016
Read JLM National Chair, Jeremy Newmark on the Chakrabarti Report in The Jewish News - here.
Gordon Brown has released a short video message in which he expresses clear reasons for voting to remain in the EU in the national referendum on June 23rd.In the film, Brown praises Britain’s historic role in securing peace and advancing the cause of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe.
Filmed in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral for a new pro-European People’s IN campaign, the former Prime Minister describes how we now live in “a Europe where decisions are made by dialogue, discussion and debate. A Europe where the only battle is a battle of ideas. A Europe where we fight with arguments and not with armaments. A Europe that is at peace because of what Britain did to establish freedom across the whole of the continent.”He goes on to state: Our troops walked into Bergen Belsen, exposed the horrors of the Holocaust and said we would fight, fight and fight again to end the evil of anti-Semitism across the world.
Mr Brown argues: “smaller nations look to us for leadership. What message would we send to the rest of the world if we the British people – the most internationally minded of all – were to walk away from our nearest neighbours?”
He concludes: ”We should be leading in Europe, and not leaving it.”The video is being shared on social media by the Jewish Labour Movement.Facebook: facebook.com/JewishLabourTwitter: @JewishLabourYoutube: https://youtu.be/WLgwtfWYdTs
Luciana Berger MP to become JLM Parliamentary Chair
We are pleased to announce that Shadow Mental Health Minister Luciana Berger has been elected as Parliamentary Chair of JLM. This new post was created following the governance review carried out earlier this year. As Parliamentary Chair, Luciana will chair our new Parliamentary and Political Council. This is the main vehicle through which Labour parliamentarians will engage with our work.
Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree, Luciana was elected to Parliament in 2010. She was appointed Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, and then Shadow Minister for Public Health, campaigning for the NHS. At the general election in 2015 Luciana was re-elected with 70 per cent of the total number of votes in the constituency on the highest ever General Election turnout. In September 2015 she was appointed the first-ever Shadow Minister for Mental Health to serve at Shadow Cabinet level.
Luciana is a popular figure in the UK Jewish Community with a reputation for longstanding involvement in fighting racism and antisemitism.
Luciana said: "I am excited to be joining JLM's leadership team as the movement is preparing to mark its centenary of affiliation to the Labour Party. JLM has a key role to play in strengthening what should be a natural alliance between the Labour Party and the Jewish community. I look forward to helping nurture that relationship."
JLM National Chair Jeremy Newmark said: "It is fantastic to have a parliamentarian of Luciana's calibre as our new Parliamentary Chair. Her inspiring leadership will be another important building block in our work to enhance the role of JLM within the Labour Party."
Luciana recently joined JLM members to campaign for Sadiq Khan at one of our phone banks
Ivor Caplin to Chair JLM South East Region
After JLM’s successful re-launch earlier this year, we are now moving on to the next stage of changing the way we organise locally. These groups will be aligned with the regional structure of the Labour Party and work closely with regional boards and local CLPs in each region. We are pleased to announce that Ivor Caplin will be the first Chair of our new South East Region. Ivor was MP for Hove between 1997-2005. During this time he served in the Labour Goverment as a PPS, FCO whip and Minister for veterans at the Ministry of Defence. He was also the first Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on English Language Teaching. Ivor is actively involved in Brighton & Hove Jewish community where he currently serves as chair of their 250th anniversary celebrations.
Ivor Caplin, former MoD Minister & new JLM SE Regional Chair
Commenting on the release of parts of Baroness Royall's report, JLM Chair Jeremy Newmark said:
“Baroness Royall conducted a fair, balanced and rigorous process. She gained the trust and confidence of everybody she engaged with.
Her report is an incredibly important first step in addressing the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party. It found a culture in the Oxford Labour Club that made many Jews feel unwelcome. It found that there had been a series of antisemitic incidents which are well evidenced. The report makes eleven key recommendations to the party covering areas which include training; incident reporting; and documentation. We look forward to working with the Party to ensure their swift implementation.
The Royall report also refers six wider and incredibly serious issues to the recently formed Chakrabarti Inquiry.
However, in deciding not to publish the entire report, the NEC risk contributing to the existing problem of denial of antisemitism in the party. I am deeply frustrated that the full report has not been published. I know that Baroness Royall is equally frustrated.
Nevertheless the NEC have today adopted a set of meaningful and important recommendations that begin to deal with the problem. The Chakrabarti Inquiry must now work to deliver a more complete solution.” ENDS
Note: JLM submitted a statement to the NEC that was read before the report was debated. In this statement we called upon the NEC to adopt and publish the report.
Baroness Royall has also blogged on her report exclusively for JLM here.
Daily Telegraph report here.