28 January 2017

Letter from 112 Labour Party members to Jeremy Corbyn

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 LFI, wants to know where the loot is
Shai Masot, the Israeli Embassy agent has over £1m to disperse for dirty tricks, propaganda and of course MP visits to the land of Apartheid
The slush fund has been approved but is not yet in the bag as it were

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
Tony Greenstein

Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party
House of Commons
London SW1 1AA

Dear Jeremy,

We write as Jewish and non-Jewish members/ supporters of the Labour Party and Momentum.
We welcome the fact that you have called for a Government  inquiry into the revelations in the recent 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.

In the second programme Joan Ryan MP, LFI Chairperson asks Shai Masot, the Israeli Embassy’s Political Officer, who was caught trying to ‘take down’ Government Ministers:

‘What 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!’.
The LFI’s Parliamentary Officer, Michael Rubin was filmed 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”.

Joan Ryan in 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 LFI. 

None of this 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.

The reason for 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. 

Although LFI purports 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.

Prior to your 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.

If you continue to speak 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 gunfire. 

Despite Palestinians 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.

Neither LFI nor the JLM, which are always eager to 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’.

Ha’aretz also referred, in the same editorial, to 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’.

We would urge you to 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.

Yours sincerely,

        Barry Ackerman                       Enfield CLP                                                  
Jane Airs                                    Riverside CLP Liverpool
John Airs                                    Riverside CLP Liverpool
Peter Angell                                Castle Point CLP      
Ben Armstrong                           Brighton Momentum/Hove CLP
Clare N. Ayton-Edwards            Kenilworth & Southam (Warwickshire) CLP     
Georgina Baidoun                      Milton Keynes CLP 
Hilary Barker                              Penrith CLP             
Abdul Basīr                                Brighton Pavilion CLP   
Peter Bloomer                            Selly Oak CLP
Haim Bresheeth                          Hornsey and Wood Green CLP           
Tarin Brokenshire                       Cambridge CLP       
Andrea Burford                          Leicester East CLP   
Jackie Cairns                              Preston Labour Party      
Neil Cameron                             Sheffield Central CLP    
Valerie Gene Cane                     Brighton & Hove Momentum    
Marilù Cavaliere                         CLP: Luton South    
Ches Chesney                             Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP         
Brian Chinnery                           Enfield Southgate    
Mollie Collins                             Momentum and CLP South Dorset         
Andy Coombes                          Stroud CLP              
Graham Coupe                           South Norwood CLP
Patrick Darnes                            Congleton CLP        
Deborah Darnes                         Congleton CLP        
John Davies                                Liverpool Riverside CLP          
Helen Dickson                               Liverpool Riverside CLP
Theresa Dunningham                 Central Suffolk & North Ipswich CLP   
Sally Rebecca Eason                  East Surrey CLP       
Simon Milner-Edwards               Withington CLP       
Pete Firmin                                 Hampstead & Kilburn CLP        
Jenifer Flintoft                            Meon Valley CLP/Portsmouth Momentum
Philip Foxe                                 Enfield South gate CLP  
Christopher Fraser                      Rushcliffe CLP        
Craig Fraser                                Cheltenham CLP      
Suzanne Gannon                        Vice Chair Membership, Colne Valley CLP       
Daphne Gilbert                           Hexham CLP/Momentum          
Lynda Gilbert                             Milton Keynes North CLP          
Tony Goss                                  Torbay CLP             
Val Graham                                Chesterfield CLP     
Judy Granville                            Hove CLP                
Tony Greenstein                         Brighton Kemptown CLP
Jenny Hardacre                          South Cambridgeshire CLP
Dr. James Hall                            South Cambridgeshire Constituency Labour Party
Martin Hall                                 Wythenshawe and Sale East CLP           
Abe Hayeem                              Harrow East CLP     
Jeremy Hawthorn                       Liverpool Riverside CLP
Rosamine Hayeem                     Harrow East CLP     
Professor Dave Hill                    Brighton and Hove Momentum
Simon Hinds                               Islington North         
Doug Holton                               Hackney North and Stoke Newington CLP        
Carole Hope                               Tewkesbury CLP     
Anna Hubbard                            Southport CLP          
      Steve Jansky                               North West Cambridgeshire CLP/Momentum    
Helen Jenner                              Otley and Yeadon CLP/Chair Leeds UNISON
Peter Jenner                                Otley and Yeadon CLP  
Helena Kearns                            Northern Ireland Labour Party
Chris Knight                               Streatham Momentum Group,
Kay Lawrence                            Torfaen CLP            
Marie Lynam                               Hamsptead and Kilburn CLP    
Doug Macari                               Canterbury CLP and Momentum           
Professor Moshe Machover        Hampstead and Kilburn CLP
Dr Alan Maddison                      Houghton and Sunderland South CLP
Miriam Margolyes OBE              Lambeth Constituency Party & Vauxhall CLP   
Helen Marks                               Riverside CLP          
Becky Massey                            Hove CLP
Patricia McCarthy                      Milton Keynes CLP
Kathy McCubbing                           East Reading CLP
Steve Mckenzie                          Bexhill and Battle CLP   
Tricia Neda McLaughlin             Gillingham and Rainham CLP    
Ellen McNay                              Sunderland Central CLP 
John Metson                               Durham City CLP    
Anne Mitchell                             Hove CLP                
Brian Mogford                            Gower CLP              
Brendan Morgan                         N. Ireland CLP         
Wendy Morgan                           Aberconwy CLP      
Elizabeth Morley                        Ceredigion CLP/Momentum       
Suresh Nesaratnam                      Milton Keynes         
Dr Joseph O' Neill,                      Cheshire West CLP
James O’Sullivan                        East Worthing and Shoreham CLP         
Gill Page                                     Richmond (Yorkshire) CLP
Pam Page                                    Brighton Kemptown CLP
Frankie Patterson                        Gosport CLP            
Allan Pearson                             South Ribble CLP     a
Nicola Pratt                                 Coventry South CLP
Claire Pyper                                South Birmingham Momentum  
Daniel Read                                Portsmouth CLP       
Janine E Reed                             Islwyn CLP              
Joan Rudderham                        Coventry North West CLP         
Professor Richard Seaford          Exeter CLP              
David Selzer                               City of Chester CLP 
Sam Semoff                                Riverside CLP
Lynda Sergeant                           Riverside CLP          
Mehrnaz Shahabi                        Bristol West CLP     
Paul Stygal                                  Rochford & Southend East CLP
Jean Sullivan                              Warrington South CLP   
Anne Tanner                              Cardiff West CLP    
Max Tasker                                Clwyd West CLP     
Andrew Thompson                     Birmingham Ladywood CLP/Momentum/LRC  
Julian Townsend                        Camberwell and Peckham CLP  
Gareth Walker                            Tottenham CLP         tr
Jackie Walker                             Thanet CLP
Clive Walder                              Birmingham Northfield Momentum       
Adam Waterhouse                      Southampton and Romsey CLP 
Daniel Waterman                        International Member Labour Party       
David Watson                             Walthamstow CLP   
Ian Watson                                 Edinburgh Pentlands CLP          
Sarah Wilkinson                          Ludlow CLP           
Eric Willoughby                         Editor, Palestine Media Digest    
Sara Wood                                  Hampstead and Kilburn CLP     
Ken Willingale                            Southend West CLP  h
Charley Young                           Ceredigion CLP       
Sue Young.                                 Ceredigion CLP        

Saying that LFI have lot of money is an anti-Semitic 'trope' - even though it's true!
This used to be called 'verballing' when the Police made up a confession

Inventing an anti-Semitism allegation - they call them 'tropes' probably because they think the victims are dopes
Jean Fitzpatrick, the LP delegate accused of anti-Semitism never even mentioned the City of London but in the hands of these racist frauds she didn't stand a chance

If you oppose Zionism and Israeli racism, it is a 'trope' - their favourite word

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