Jon Lansman Replies to the Letter from Jewish Momentum Supporters

Jon Lansman Replies to the Letter from Jewish Momentum Supporters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Lansman describes his treachery as a ‘loss of
confidence’

Jon Lansman has made strenuous attempts to undermine Jackie Walker despite her overwhelming support from Momentum’s grassroots


Jon
Lansman, Chair of Momentum, replied earlier to the letter from 16 Jewish members of Momentum.  The letter and my reply are self-explanatory

Dear Jon,
Probably the only statement in your letter that
we can both agree on is where you say we are unlikely to agree. 
I do not lightly accuse anyone of betrayal but
in this case it is fully merited and I am not alone in making it.  You have been deluged with emails and
messages of support for Jackie Walker, up and down the country.  As you are fully aware, Momentum groups and
supporters have given Jackie Walker their full support.
People cannot understand that when the Jewish
Labour Movement, the British branch of the deeply racist Israeli Labour Party (whose
leader speaks of his ‘nightmare’
that Israel might one day have an Arab Prime Minister)  engages in a campaign that can only be
described as a political
lynching
, you as the unelected Chair of Momentum should give the green
light to Iain McNicol to suspend Jackie a second time.  –
Jackie Walker has been subject of a Zionist political lynching for months because of her opposition as a Black-Jewish woman, to Zionism.  She has been race baited by Zionists who deny a Black person can be Jewish.  Not once has the Jewish Labour Movement condemned this abuse by their supporters.
If Jackie had spoken of her ‘nightmare’ that Britain
might one day have a Jewish Prime Minister, then there would be grounds to
accuse her of anti-Semitism yet Jeremy Newmark has no criticism of the ILP.  You have repeatedly been quoted in the press
as being ‘at
the end of your tether
’ with Jackie. 
You have engaged in a deliberate process of leaking in order to create a
climate that enables the removal of Jackie as Vice Chair. 
You have gone out of
our way to undermine her position, for example with the article Jackie
Walker’s position is untenable, she should go
on the Left Future’s site
which you edit, by Andy Newman. 
What I find particularly outrageous is the Independent
article
which states that Jackie had been
secretly filmed at a Labour anti-Semitism event appearing to criticise
Holocaust Memorial Day for commemorating only Jewish victims’ 
You
went on to say that ‘ “I spoke to Jeremy
Newmark of the Jewish Labour Movement this morning, he’s very upset and I can
understand that – I work closely with Jeremy
, … I was very, very unhappy about… and I did comment on it, about it, what
she had previously said.
Jeremy Newmark – condemned as a perjurer by Employment Judge is described as ‘upset’ after having led a political lynching of Jackie Walker who he had secretly filmed
This is an organisation which is an emanation of
the Israeli state. Whose recently appointed Director, Ella Rose, came as a transfer
from the Israeli Embassy.  Jeremy Newmark
believes it is “ ‘rather
odd
” to suggest that the organization should have no contact with the
embassy.’  Most people consider that working with the Israeli
Embassy as being odd.
What is outrageous is the fact that participants
in a Labour Party approved JLM ‘training session’, should have been secretly filmed
with the film being leaked to the media. 
This is what is really outrageous yet you have nothing to say about it.
Chakrabarti (p.22) found that ‘it is not my view that narrow anti-racism
training programmes are what is required. There is a grave danger that such an
approach would seem patronising or otherwise insulting rather than truly
empowering and enriching.’  This ‘training’
session proves the point entirely.’
Newmark claims to be ‘upset’.  Do you seriously believe this of someone who
has race baited Jackie Walker for months? 
More likely delighted.  By your
own admission nothing Jackie said was remotely anti-Semitic.  On the question of HMD she was correct.  As we wrote in our letter to you, Zionist historians
and ideologues have long argued that the Nazi holocaust is a Jewish only event
and in practice HMD has excluded not only commemoration of the Gypsy and
Disabled holocausts but the mass genocide of Africans, in the slave trade and the
Belgian Congo.
Lansman in his earlier left-wing days with Tony Benn
Jackie’s comments about the security around Jewish
schools are equally valid.  I have also
expressed concerns about the deliberate hyping of fears of parents concerning anti-terrorism
in order to build a climate of insecurity that enables Israel to then step
forward as the ‘protector’.
What is particularly outrageous in your letter
is the suggestion that Jackie should answer to a charge she has already been
acquitted of, viz. her private Facebook discussion on slavery and her Jewish ancestors’
involvement.  Have you never heard of the
legal principle of double jeopardy?
Jackie’s private discussion was broken into by
the Israeli Advocacy Movement, a group funded by the Israeli state.  It was a conversation with a Jewish (& Zionist)
friend and the context of her comment lay in particular aspects of the slave
trade.  Seymour Drescher, who is one of
the world’s foremost academics on the slave trade held that at its height 17%
of the Dutch slave trade was financed by Jews. 
You can find this in the Jewish
Journal
not the Nation of Islam.  Or
is the truth anti-Semitic?
What caused offence were not Jackie’s comments
but the deliberate distortion of them and the wide publicity given to these
distortions by people like Jeremy Newmark, a man who has previously falsely
accused the University Colleges Union of ‘anti-Semitism’ and then lied on
oath
to an employment tribunal.  A
man whose evidence was described by Judge Snelson as ‘preposterous’ and extraordinarily
arrogant but also disturbing’.
  This is the man whom you trust more than your
own Vice Chair.
Lansman has now given his support to the snake Tom Watson
I find it extraordinary that you say that the party would want to investigate the matter’ as if this is some neutral judicial investigation.  Iain McNicol, the party General Secretary has
suspended thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters to prevent them voting yet you
are quoted as supporting him remaining in post in today’s Observer and now apparently you believe the disciplinary process is
fair and honest.  You are also quoted as
supporting Tom Watson.
You speak of a ‘a
loss of confidence’ in Jackie by her colleagues on the Momentum Steering
Committee.  I can assure you that this is
as nothing compared to the loss of confidence that there will be in you if Jackie
Walker is removed as Vice-Chair.  Jackie
Walker has the full confidence of Momentum’s membership.
You say that ‘none of the issues of concern above relate in
any way to Israel, Zionism or the Palestinians’
.  The
sole purpose  of the JLM is to defend Israel
and Zionism and their method in so doing is 
by attacking their opponents as anti-Semitic.  Despite their claims, the JLM have never once
criticised the Israeli government, its apartheid  policies or the military occupation of Palestinian
territories.
I find your response and your behaviour truly
shocking.  I only hope that, even at this
late hour, you reconsider your decision to throw Jackie to the wolves.
In solidarity
Tony Greenstein
The virulent racism of the Israeli Labour Party and its leader Isaac Herzog has never once been condemned by the Zionist ‘Jewish’ Labour Movement or its Chair Jeremy Newmark
Dear Tony
I accept on previous
experience that we are unlikely to agree, as your language of betrayal and
accusations of throwing people to the wolves makes clear but shall nevertheless
respond. However, I do not intend to get into a lcorrespondence.
I note your concern
about the allegations which have led to her suspension by the Labour Party. So
far as I know, the reasons for the suspension have not been made public. Having
read reports of what Jackie Walker is alleged to have said and having listened
to the leaked video, I do not regard any of the comments she appears to have
made, taken individually, to be antisemitic though I do regard her comments on
Holocaust Memorial Day and on the security of Jewish schools to be
ill-informed, ill-judged and very likely to cause offence. 
I imagine however
that the party is likely to take into account her earlier comments about Jews
and Slavery which included the comment “many Jews (my ancestors included)
were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade
”. I do regard this
comment as much more problematic since it is extremely similar to a widely
repeated antisemitic trope associated with the publication “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and
Jews” 
published
by the Nation of Islam. 
Although
I personally accept Jackie’s personal explanation for this comment – being in
the context of a seemingly private discussion (albeit on Facebook) about her
own ancestors’ involvement in slavery as both victims and perpetrators – I do
not find it surprising that it caused many others great offence and was widely
regarded as being antisemitic. In such circumstances I think that Jackie
should have been very careful about further statements on this and related
subjects whatever her record as an anti-racist. 
I think it is
inevitable that the party would want to investigate the matter following on a
reported complaint by a left-wing trade union general secretary. Like Jeremy
Corbyn, I take allegations of antisemitism very seriously. However, I certainly
hope that the party will apply the principles laid down in the Chakrabarti
report in doing so and would argue that if there are any indications that it is
not doing so. 
As far as Momentum is
concerned, I am afraid that the consequence of Jackie’s actions has been a loss
of confidence in Jackie’s judgement by a number of her colleagues on the
Steering Group which elected her as Vice Chair. We are convening a meeting of
the Steering Group tomorrow to enable Jackie to respond to concerns and to
consider what action to take on which subject I note your views.
I would add that none
of the issues of concern above relate in any way to Israel, Zionism or the
Palestinians, and we have just had a conference in which Jeremy has been
congratulated for his interventions on antisemitism in his speech and at
meetings with Jewish organisations.
In solidarity
Jon
Lansman
Chair of Momentum
On 30 Sep 2016, at
22:23, Tony Greenstein <tonygreenstein111@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear James Schneider and Jon Lansman,
We are Jewish members of the Labour Party. 
We are writing to you concerning reports in the press, which you have not
denied, that Momentum’s Executive Committee is preparing to throw Jackie Walker
to the wolves at its meeting next Monday.  The reason for this is because
of the wholly false anti-Semitism accusations that have been leveled against
her.  
We urge you not to remove Jackie as Vice-Chair
of Momentum.  When a comrade is under attack then you defend them and
extend the hand of solidarity.  An injury to one is an injury to
all.  Betraying a comrade in order to ease the pressure on you is contrary
to all Labour movement traditions of solidarity.   The Jewish Labour
Movement [JLM] will not stop at Jackie Walker.  They will look for new
targets for their ‘anti-Semitism’ witch hunt.
The JLM is not an ordinary affiliated socialist
society.  It has a close relationship with Israeli state agencies, for
example its newly appointed Director, Ella Rose, came directly from the Israeli
Embassy.  The ‘anti-Semitism witchhunt’ over the last year has been a
carefully orchestrated and co-ordinated affair alongside papers like the Daily
Mail
.  Jackie is but the latest target for those who are using
‘anti-Semitism’ as a means of attacking Jeremy Corbyn. 
The JLM invited to Labour Party Conference
representatives of Ha Avodah, the Israeli Labour Party.  This is a party
that presided over the forcible expulsion of ¾ million Palestinian refugees and
placed Israel’s Arabs under military rule until 1966.  The ILP initiated
the settlements in the West Bank.  Earlier this year, its leader Isaac
Herzog stated that the
ILP mustn’t be identified as an ‘Arab lovers’ party.  If Jackie Walker had
talked about ‘Jew lovers’ then the charges of anti-Semitism against her would
be justified.  Herzog later described his ‘nightmare’ of waking up to find
that Israel had an Arab Prime Minister.  If Jackie had spoken of her fears
that Britain might one day have a Jewish Prime Minister then she would rightly
be called an anti-Semite.  If anyone should be called out for racism it is
the JLM.
Jews who are not Zionists cannot join the JLM
because of its affiliation to the World Zionist Organisation and its Jerusalem Programme, which speaks of ‘the
centrality of the State of Israel … in the life of the (Jewish)
nation’.  The ‘Jewish nation’ means Jews in Israel or the
Diaspora.  This includes ourselves and Jon Lansman.  The idea
that we are Jewish not British nationals and Israel is the centre of our lives
is a deeply anti-Semitic one.
The Jerusalem programme also speaks of ‘Settling
the country as an expression of practical Zionism
.’ Settlement means
occupying the West Bank and Golan Heights as well as Judaising Israel. 
That is why Israel is a racist settler colonial state.
Last Monday the JLM held an ‘anti-racism
training’ session at Labour’s conference.  The session was filmed without
the agreement of participants and contrary to all ethical considerations. 
It was then leaked to the media in order to wage a vicious racist attack on
Jackie Walker and other Jewish dissidents present. 
Even before the ‘training session’ the JLM had
been conducting a political lynching of Jackie.  It had refused to
accept that the false accusations made against Jackie, that she had alleged
that Jews were the main financiers of the slave trade, were untrue, despite her
being acquitted of these allegations last May. 
In the Jewish Chronicle of 24th September
Jeremy Newmark, Chair of JLM was quoted as saying of John McDonnell’s
appearance on a platform with Jackie that
“The Shadow Chancellor … must explain his
defence of Walker which is inconsistent with his call for zero tolerance (of
antisemitism). This raises serious questions. Our members expect him to explain
himself.’
What
happened at the session was all too predictable.  Having the JLM hold
an anti-racist training course was like the General Medical Council asking
Harold Shipman to organise a course on medical ethics.  This was why
the Chakrabarti Report stated that:
‘having gauged the range of feelings within the
Party, it is not my view that narrow anti-racism training programmes are what
is required. There is a grave danger that such an approach would seem
patronising or otherwise insulting rather than truly empowering and enriching
for those taking part.’
Instead of stabbing Jackie in the back and
running scared of the media’s faked concern for ‘antisemitism’ you would be
better spending your time finding out why the JLM was allowed to undertake an
‘anti-racist training session’ in the first place.
What Jackie Walker said may have enraged the
Zionists, for whom the holocaust serves primarily as an ideological
justification for Israel’s crimes, but it was not
anti-Semitic.    
It is a fact that Holocaust Memorial Day has
focused almost exclusively on the Nazi holocaust and has ignored the
extermination of the Disabled and the Gypsies.  The doyen of Zionist
holocaust historians, Professor Yehuda Bauer argued, in a debate with the late
Dr Sybil Milton, Senior Historian at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum that ‘the
Nazis only attempted to annihilate one people, the Jews: Roma were not Jews,
therefore there was no need to murder all of them.’
 According to
Bauer, ‘the Holocaust is very much a unique case.’ [“Gypsies and the Holocaust”
Yehuda Bauer; Sybil Milton The History Teacher, Vol. 25, (Aug.,
1992)].  As the late Elie Wiesel put it, to compare the sufferings of
others with Jews was a “betrayal of Jewish history”. [Elie Wiesel,
Against Silence, v. iii, 146.]  The truth may be uncomfortable but it is
not anti-Semitic. 
Jackie Walker was also right to question the
JLM’s assertion that the EUMC’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism was the
standard definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism.  This is
simply dishonest.  In 2013, this definition was scrapped by the EU’s
Fundamental Rights Agency, as the Times of Israel reported ‘’The
European Union’s agency for combating racism dropped its definition for
anti-Semitism… We are not aware of any official definition [of anti-Semitism],”
Blanca Tapia of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency told JTA on Tuesday
.’
We are seriously disturbed by the report in the
Guardian Momentum likely to oust
Jackie Walker over Holocaust remarks
 and a similar report in
the Independent that ‘Senior members of Momentum are “fuming” at
her remarks’.
It is your duty not to betray comrades. 
The JLM voted 92-4% in favour of Owen
Smith.  Anti-Semitism is a weapon to attack the left.  Any betrayal
of Jackie Walker will be unacceptable to grassroots Momentum supporters who are
sick to the back teeth of the cynical use of anti-Semitism to ward off criticism
of Israel.
We also understand that Jackie Walker has not
even been invited to the meeting which it is intended will dismiss her. 
What kind of democracy is this?  Because of the racist abuse she has
received from the JLM’s supporters Jackie has had to suspend her Twitter
account.  Of, not being an  MP, this kind of abuse will not make
the headlines.  Jackie is suffering extreme abuse which the JLM has given
a green light to.  Abuse which openly states that Black people can’t be
Jewish.  If you attack Jackie you will be a party to this abuse.
We are writing to you to demand that you stand
up to the JLM when it demands the head of a well respected Black and Jewish
anti-racist.  You will not be forgiven if you betray her.
Yours sincerely,
Graham
Bash                Hackney North CLP
Haim
Bresheeth             Hornsey
and Wood Green CLP
Mark
Elf                        Barking CLP
Tansy Feltis                
Brian
Chinnery               Enfield Southgate
CLP
Helen
Marks                  Riverside CLP
Kenny
Fryde                 Cambridge
CLP
Lynda
Gilbert                Milton Keynes North
Tony
Greenstein            Brighton & Hove
District Labour Party
Abe
Hayeem                 Harrow East CLP
Elizabeth
Morley            Ceredigion CLP
Diana
Neslen                 Ilford South
Constituency Labour Party
Dr
Brian Robinson         Milton Keynes South
CLP
Leon
Rosselson                        Brent Momentum
David
Selzer                 City of Chester CLP
Sam
Semoff                 Riverside CLP

 

 

 

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