JLM Chair Warns Labour 'Antisemitism Denial' Risks Becoming Institutionalised

Following the reported decision earlier this week by Labour's NEC to reject recommendations for limited disciplinary actions against those accused of antisemitism and bulling at Oxford University Labour Club in early 2016, the Jewish Chronicle have published an op-ed from JLM National Chair Jeremy Newmark.  

The article warns that 'antisemitism denial' is at risk of becoming institutionalised with the Labour Party.

You can read the article here.

The statement JLM released on this matter earlier this week can be found here.

 

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NEC Decision on Oxford Students - JLM Statement

Responding to reports that Labour's NEC has voted to reject recommendations from an official investigation to take action against members of Oxford University Labour Club following allegations of antisemitism and bullying in early 2016, JLM Chair Jeremy Newmark commented: 


"This decision rides roughshod over the concerns and experiences of our student members.   They have confronted the impact of anti-Semitism at OULC first hand.  They do not feel comfortable attending meetings of their own Labour club. This has been looked at by three inquiries and one investigation. They complainants have not heard from the Party for nearly a year - even to inform them of this decision.  It is many months since Chakrabarti recommended an overhaul of the complaints and investigations process but seemingly nothing has changed. 

JLM is working with Labour Students and UJS to deliver training and education to prevent future incidents. However this problem can not be fixed without the backing of a disciplinary process that is fit for purpose.  This decision shows just how far we still have to go."

Jeremy Newmark - National Chair, JLM

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JLM Sessions at Limmud Conference 2016

Jewish Labour Movement Sessions at Limmud Conference 2016

Session Title

Presenter

Session

Time

Room

Who or what is the problem between the Labour Party and Jews: and can it be repaired?

Luke Akehurst, Andrew Gilbert, Maurice Glasman, Jon Lansman, Jeremy Newmark, Sarah Sackman

Who better to give the answers than a peer ennobled by Ed Miliband; the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement; the Jewish Labour Candidate for Finchley & Golders Green from the last general election; the director of We Believe in Israel who is also secretary of Labour First, and in his first visit to Limmud the Jewish founder and chair of Momentum.

Tuesday, 4.40pm

15 Orange

2016: the year of politics

Luciana Berger MP

The world of politics is ever changing, but 2016 has proved to be a year of political upheaval. From Brexit to the election of Donald Trump to the White House, join Luciana Berger MP, to discuss, debate and challenge the results of the past year, and where we go from here.

Tuesday, 8.10pm

23 Yellow

The frontline against anti-Semitism

Luciana Berger MP

As a prominent Jewish MP, Luciana Berger is no stranger to being in the public eye. Hear her story of the abhorrent antisemitic abuse she has faced, the multiple convictions she has fought for and won, and her thoughts on how we can combat antisemitism wherever we find it.

Wednesday, noon

15 Orange

Is Brexit good for the Jews?

Simon Gordon, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, Peter Mason, Jonathan Neumann, Ruvi Ziegler

Did you succumb to Project Fear or the lies of the Leavers? Or maybe you just made up your mind based on the facts. However you voted, Brexit means Brexit. But is it good for the Jews? From the economy to EU-Israel relations, and shechitah to terrorism, this panel will consider how Brexit might impact the Jewish communities of the UK and Europe.

Wednesday, 2.30pm

11 Orange

Doctor, Doctor, we need to work on our mental health services

Luciana Berger MP

As the former (first ever) Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, Luciana Berger MP has spent much of her Parliamentary career campaigning for those whose voices are not often heard. Mental ill health doesn't discriminate, affects 1 in 4 of us in any given year, and our services are not up to scratch. Come and discuss tackling the stigma and discrimination that still persists and what more needs to be done to ensure real equality for mental health.

Wednesday, 6.10pm

11 Orange

Strictly Limmud Dancing

Ella Rose

Experience the glitter, the glamour and excitement of the return of Strictly Limmud Dancing where six “celebrities” will be put through their paces by professionals to compete for the Nikki Millan trophy, and YOU decide who wins guided by four “experienced” judges.

Tuesday, 8.10pm

42 Marquee 3

 

Sessions that might be of interest to JLM members at Limmud Conference 2016

Session Title

Presenter

Session

Time

Room

Post-Brexit, what can Israel teach us about building a shared society?

Adam Ognall

As the UK struggles with a spike in racism and xenophobia, what can we learn from Israel’s groundbreaking efforts to tackle these dangerous phenomena, create a shared vision for the future, and work towards a more equal society?

Sunday, 8.10pm

22 Yellow

Jews and Muslims. This is not a dialogue - this is not interfaith

Alex Fenton, Laura Janner-Klausner

Laura Janner-Klausner and Alex Fenton have been working particularly in Bradford to change Muslim perceptions of Jews and Israel and Jewish perceptions of Muslims and Islam. Come and discuss this not-interfaith-dialogue and how it will impact on Britain for the future.

Monday, 4.40pm

21 Yellow

Yachad youth: reflections from the West Bank

Amos Schonfield

Last September, 20 Jewish students and community leaders spent five days exploring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Learn about their experiences meeting Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, the IDF, and Israeli settlers, and hear their thoughts on how Zionists in the Diaspora can support Israelis and Palestinians striving for peace.

Monday, 9.40pm

12 Orange

Why Jews should support Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party

Andrew Gilbert, Jon Lansman, Anna Lawton, Barnaby Raine, Daniel Randall

Some Jewish Labour Party members do support Jeremy Corbyn. On this panel four major figures give a perspective. Rhea Wolfson, once of RSY and JLC, is now on Labour's NEC; Jon Lansman set up Momentum and ran Tony Benn's 1988 campaign; Barnaby Raine is a Bundist non-Zionist; Daniel Randall is active in the RMT and the Alliance for Workers' Liberty.

Tuesday, 1.15pm

15 Orange

The Syrian refugee crisis: A personal story

Aisha & Nadia, Richard Verber

Aisha and Nadia (not their real names) were forced to flee her home in Syria before being selected by the UK government to move to Britain as two of the 20,000 Syrian refugees to be given sanctuary here by 2020. As part of Limmud's Refugee Day, meet them both, hear their stories, and ask them questions about the crisis.

Tuesday, 4.40pm

11 Orange

Why is the Labour Party in such a mess over Israel, Jews and antisemitism?

Luke Akehurst

Luke Akehurst uses his unique insider knowledge as a former Labour National Executive member and expert on the forces behind anti-Zionism to explain how and why the Labour Party has got into such a dire predicament regarding Israel, Jews and antisemitism.

Tuesday, 8.10pm

05 Red

Israeli security, 50 years on

Ethan Schwartz

Israel has controlled the West Bank and its civilian population since June 1967, yet leading former security officials say that Israel’s long-term security needs require a withdrawal from the West Bank and a political agreement with the Palestinian people. Join Yachad as we discuss how to ensure Israeli security after 50 years of occupation.

Tuesday, 8.10pm

14 Orange

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JLM 100% election success rate at regional conferences

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.

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Cable Street 80

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. 

cable_street.jpg


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JLM Vice Chair Sarah Sackman's speech to the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street

Sarah Sackman, barrister, community campaigner and vice-chair of the Jewish Labour Movement - speech to the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street.

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Remembering Shimon Peres

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.

peres_memorial.JPG Conference Floor standing to remember Shimon Peres 

 

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Responding to the full release of the Royall Report

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.

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JLM Launches North West Region

IMG_3703.JPG

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.

The meeting was addressed by JLM National Secretary Peter Mason.  The Region elected an initial Executive Committee comprising a blend of seasoned Labour Party activists, local Government leaders, communal leaders and younger representatives.
Commenting on her election and the launch of the branch, new Chair Cllr Jane Black said:
"I am so proud to have been elected Chair of our new JLM Region. The new committee is a mix of youth and experience, and we will reach out to all.

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.”
 
JLM National Chair Jeremy Newmark added:
“This is an important development.  Following the recent launch of our Southern Region JLM continues to build and develop a national footprint around the UK.  I am pleased that the new NW Executive comprises such a strong blend of local government experience, communal activism and critical involvement from our youth and student section.  We look forward to supporting their activities."

Members of the new Regional Executive all have strong family, work and political roots in the North West, and, between them, many years of Labour party, Jewish and wider campaigning activity. Further details as follow:
Jane Black – Chair

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. 
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Jewish Labour Movement Reaction to Chakrabarti Inquiry Report

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."

ENDS

UPDATE: 6 July 2016

Read JLM National Chair, Jeremy Newmark on the Chakrabarti Report in The Jewish News - here.

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