11 August 2018

Support the JC8 for Labour's NEC - Why I Cannot Support Jon Lansman

A Vote for Jon Lansman is a Vote for the Right

The time has come to remove this man to prevent him doing more damage to Corbyn and the Left

Although I do not have a vote in Labour’s NEC elections, as a well known blogger I have been asked numerous times who I would recommend that people should vote for in the elections for Labour’s NEC. My response has always been that people should vote for the full JC9 slate, Lansman included.
My doubts over the wisdom of such advice grew when Lansman, without any consultation or democratic vote, even on Momentum’s National Co-ordinating Group, removed Pete Willsman from the agreed left slate after false accusations of anti-Semitism.  Willman’s ‘offence’ had been to ask for evidence of Labour ‘anti-Semitism’.
The ‘Officers Group’ of Momentum’s NCG voted 4-3 to dump Willsman. Only the ex-left Owen Jones has publicly backed Lansman. The time has come when Momentum’s dictator needs to be confronted. As Matt Wrack put it Lansman has ‘bottled it’.
Jeremy Corbyn has come under massive attack recently with Margaret Hodge’s attack on Corbyn as a fucking anti-Semite and racist.’  Marc Wadsworth and me were expelled from Labour for ‘abuse’ yet Hodge is given immunity. When steps were taken to bring disciplinary proceedings against the Blessed Margaret, not only did the Right of the Labour Party protest but so did Lansman. ‘Mistake’ to discipline MP in Corbyn racism row, says Momentum founder
I don’t recall Lansman opposing disciplinary proceedings against Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth or me. On the contrary he played a large part in Jackie’s suspension, attacked Marc and followed up my expulsion with expulsion from Momentum too courtesy of a panel consisting of Sam Tarry and Caroline Turner.
Nonetheless I advised people that a vote for Lansman was preferable to seeing a creature like Luke Akehurst, who openly supported the massacre of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza, back on the NEC.
In recent days there has been an upsurge in the false antisemitism attacks on Corbyn. People like Jackie Walker, Marc and me were always collateral damage. The real target was always Corbyn even if he and McDonnell didn’t always realise it. Journalists and no doubt their researchers in the Israeli Embassy groups have been doing their best to unearth ‘evidence’ of Corbyn and McDonnell’s previous support for the Palestinians. The Jewish Chronicle and the Tory press have focussed on McDonnell’s description of Israel’s attack on Gaza as genocidal and on ‘exposing’ the link between him and the LRC in the wake of Pete Willsman’s attack on Zionist support for Trump.
Lansman has no shame about appearing on the platform of a group that has supported every Israeli war on the Palestinians and which works closely with the Israeli Embassy
The pretext for the attack on Corbyn has been Labour’s definition of anti-Semitism. It is very easy to define anti-Semitism, it takes 6 words in the Oxford English Dictionary: ‘hostility to or prejudice against Jews.’ However if you want to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism then this is obviously not sufficient. Hence why the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism  is so important to the Zionists. It is 500+ words and of its 11 ‘illustrations’ of anti-Semitism, no less than 7 concern Israel.
Jennie Formby, Labour’s General Secretary drew up an Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct which contained 9 of the 11 illustrations of the IHRA. which incidentally are not part of the actual 38 word definition. The Zionists have objected vigorously because this Code of Conduct doesn’t contain all the illustrations.
The Zionists are not even trying to hide their intentions. In the words of Stephen Pollard, Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, the problem is that ‘Labour has excised the parts which relate to Israel and how criticism of Israel can be antisemitic.’
What was Lansman’s reaction? Initially in the Guardian of 12th July, Lansman defended Labour’s Anti-Semitism Code of Conduct. Labour’s antisemitism code is the gold standard for political parties.  Lansman argued that the illustration of ‘anti-Semitism’ which stated that ‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.’ would prevent Palestinians’ right to criticise Israel’s racism. Lansman even criticised the Zionist organisations themselves recalling that when it came to fighting genuine anti-Semitism in the 1930’s they were absent.  He wrote:
It cannot possibly be antisemitic to point out that some of the key policies of the Israeli state, observed since its founding days, have an effect that discriminates on the basis of race and ethnicity.
Lansman argued that Labour’s code was ‘essential to ensuring that people are able to make legitimate criticisms of Israel, while prohibiting comments that discriminate against Jewish people...’
Lansman went on to say that
‘If legitimate criticism of Israel were to be curbed, that would infringe on the rights of other oppressed groups, who have suffered at the hands of discriminatory Israeli state policies. The Palestinians have experienced decades of occupation, gross human rights violations, and war crimes. The Bedouins have had their homes destroyed, the latest example being the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar. And ethnic minorities within Israel have been treated appallingly, such as the Sudanese and Eritrean refugees who have been detained and deported, and questions over the treatment of Ethiopian women, including allegations they were given birth control without their consent.
I’ve just been in Israel… Those I met, Jewish as well as Palestinian citizens of Israel, spoke about racist state policies, not just in relation to the occupation and settlements, but also within Israel itself – the segregation of housing, education, employment, and systematic economic disadvantage. The Palestinian minority within Israel is as entitled as Jews in Britain to define the discrimination they have experienced as racism. Such criticisms cannot, and must not, be silenced.
Lansman concluded that:
It cannot be right that one vaguely worded subset of one IHRA example can deny other oppressed groups their right to speak about their own oppression…..

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