It is time for Labour to say Goodbye to Labour Friends of Israel
Update: People are still writing in saying they support this – so I am updating it continuously as many people feel strongly about allowing a lobby funded by another state to interfere in the internal workings of the Labour Party
I have just sent the following letter, from 112 members of the Labour Party/Momentum to Jeremy Corbyn MP. In the light of the four Al Jazeera programmes on the penetration and destabilisation of the Labour Party (including the National Union of Students) by the Israeli Embassy, with the use of large sums of money, we call on the Labour Party to make a clean break with the Labour Friends of Israel.
LFI are not a normal group of party members seeking to win people to their point of view but an extension of the Israeli state and its Embassy in London. It uses any manner of dirty tricks and black propaganda against its opponents in order to whitewash the Apartheid State of Israel. It is as unacceptable for the LFI to use the £1+ million to subvert the democratic processes of the Labour Party as it would have been for the Apartheid government of South Africa to have done so 20 years ago.
|Joan Ryan MP, Chair of Labour Friends of Israel makes a joke, delighted at having bagged over £1m in slush funds|
|Michael Rubin, LFI’s parliamentary officer boasting of his work with the Israeli Embassy|
Labour Party and Momentum.
series of programmes by Al Jazeera TV.
However the programmes also raise very serious questions for the Labour
Party, not least its relationship to Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish
Labour Movement. We understand Free Speech on Israel has already called
for a Labour Party Inquiry into the implications for the Labour Party. We endorse that call.
Shai Masot, the Israeli Embassy’s Political Officer, who was caught trying to
‘take down’ Government Ministers:
happened with the names that we put into the Embassy Shai? To which Masot replies ‘Just now we’ve got the money.
It’s more than £1m, it’s a lot of money... it’s
not physical, it’s an approval’ to which Ryan jocularly responds ‘ I didn’t think you had it in your bag!’.
boasting that he was trying to take-down the democratically elected President
of the National Union of Students, Malia Bouattia. Rubin claimed to work “with the ambassador and embassy quite a lot”.
the third Al Jazeera programme was seen to concoct a wholly false allegation of
anti-Semitism against a Labour Party conference delegate, Jean Fitzpatrick, who
had come to ask Ms Ryan what LFI’s support for a 2 State Solution meant in
practice and what they were doing to achieve it. Getting no answer, Jean said that LFI had a
lot of money, which is clearly true, a lot of prestige and that a friend of
hers had got a good job at Oxford University on the basis of having worked for
was remotely anti-Semitic yet Joan Ryan had no hesitation in transforming this
into getting a ‘big job in banking and
the City’ and an ‘anti-Semitic
attack’. On the basis of this Jean
was suspended from the Labour Party. Subsequently
the charge was dropped but this is an example of how false charges of
‘anti-Semitism’ have been concocted.
making false accusations of anti-Semitism, such as that against Ms Fitzpatrick,
is to deter criticism of Zionism and the Israeli state. Those who make these false claims of anti-Semitism
are deliberately jeopardising Labour’s chances of electoral victory.
to support a 2 State Solution it is clear, as Jean Fitzpatrick demonstrated,
that this is a smokescreen for its uncritical support for Israel’s military
occupation and settlement of the West Bank and Gaza. At no time has LFI ever condemned or
criticised the Occupation or the Settlements. LFI supports the 2SS knowing that it will never happen but also
knowing that it will make them appear as reasonable and even-handed rather than
an uncritical supporter of Israeli expansion and racism.
election as Leader of the Labour Party you had never addressed a meeting of the
LFI. At the 2016 Conference you
addressed the LFI fringe meeting for the second time. It is clear from the Al Jazeera revelations
that LFI operates as an emanation of the Israeli state within the Labour
Party. We saw this clearly when Shai
Masot introduced Al Jazeera’s reporter, Robin Harrow to people as the Chair of
Young LFI, a non-existent organisation.
at LFI meetings you will be taken to be endorsing a group which favours continued settlement
expansion and which opposes their dismantlement. You will also be
interpreted as lending support to
those who wage war on
Palestinians living inside Israel. Only
last week a Bedouin village in the Negev, Umm al-Hiran, which had been there
for 60 years, was demolished by bulldozers from the Jewish National Fund. One resident was killed by police
occupying only 2% of the Negev, the Israeli government and the Jewish National
Fund sought, as part of the programme of Judaisation, to demolish an Arab
village in order to make way for the Jewish town of Hiran. This is comparable to, if not worse than, the demolition in the 1970’s of Black
‘squatter’ camps in Soweto.
accuse supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Zionism of
‘anti-Semitism’ have anything to say about apartheid in Israel. Ha’aretz newspaper recently warned,
in an editorial ,that with the proposed annexation of Ma’aleh Adumim, ‘Israel will cease to exist as a Jewish and
democratic state, and officially become an apartheid one’.
the Israeli Labour Party ‘opposition’, of which the Jewish Labour Movement is
the British wing: ‘It is pointless mentioning the opposition at this stage, since the
dead cannot speak’.
cease giving any support to the Labour Friends of Israel and not to speak at
any future fringe meetings of theirs. Both
Tony Benn and Eric Heffer resigned from LFI in 1982 as a result of its support
for the invasion of Lebanon. Over the
past quarter of a century they have not changed.
Barry Ackerman Enfield
N. Ayton-Edwards Kenilworth
& Southam (Warwickshire) CLP
Baidoun Milton Keynes
Haim Bresheeth Hornsey
and Wood Green CLP
& Hove Momentum
Cavaliere CLP: Luton South
and CLP South Dorset
Davies Liverpool Riverside
Dunningham Central Suffolk
& North Ipswich CLP
Rebecca Eason East Surrey
& Kilburn CLP
South gate CLP
Fraser Rushcliffe CLP
Gannon Vice Chair
Membership, Colne Valley CLP
Keynes North CLP
James Hall South
Cambridgeshire Constituency Labour Party
and Sale East CLP
Hayeem Harrow East CLP
Dave Hill Brighton and
North and Stoke Newington CLP
West Cambridgeshire CLP/Momentum
CLP/Chair Leeds UNISON
and Yeadon CLP
and Kilburn CLP
CLP and Momentum
Moshe Machover Hampstead and
Alan Maddison Houghton
and Sunderland South CLP
Margolyes OBE Lambeth
Constituency Party & Vauxhall CLP
Massey Hove CLP
McCubbing East Reading CLP
and Battle CLP
Neda McLaughlin Gillingham and
Morgan N. Ireland
Worthing and Shoreham CLP
E Reed Islwyn
North West CLP
of Chester CLP
Lynda Sergeant Riverside CLP
and Romsey CLP
Member Labour Party
Palestine Media Digest
and Kilburn CLP
West CLP h
|This used to be called ‘verballing’ when the Police made up a confession