Sadly, I understand why many people, including some I know who have devoted decades of their lives to the Labour party, have felt they have no choice but to leave. I have not yet left. After Corbyn’s second leadership win, I vowed to focus on the positive and be constructive. I intend to stay and fight, until either all hope, or all poisonous ideology, is gone.
That is why I have written this message to Momentum, on Facebook. I expect no constructive reply, I expect to have to deal with a barrage of abuse, if anything, in fact, but you have to stand up and say what you think, sometimes, don’t you? Or what else, stand by and do nothing? Walk away in mute defeat?
This is what I wrote, and asked:
Your vice-chair, Jackie Walker has recently made the following claims.
1. More ‘gypsies’ (sic) than Jews were killed, proportionally, in the holocaust. This is a lie. 67% of Europe’s Jews were murdered; 25% of Europe’s Roma.
2. She also claimed that Jews were the chief financiers of the slave-trade – an easily refuted lie from a publication, by the Nation of Islam, referred to by Henry Gates, head of the department of Afro-American studies at Harvard University, as “the bible of new anti-Semitism”
3. She recently attacked Holocaust Memorial Day for not commemorating victims other than Jews and other genocides. HMD does both those things. It commemorates all the victims of the Holocaust and of genocides since then. To attack it is a display of ignorance, and an ignorance that seems, in the context of all the above – which is a selection from numerous other instances – to be motivated by a hatred of Jews.
None of the above is legitimate criticism of Israel. It is purely anti-Semitic propaganda and lies aimed at the Jewish people, with the sole aim of delegitimising and scornfully belittling their history and suffering.
Her claims: some of my best friends are Jews! a familiar retort of the racist; I can’t be anti-Semitic because I am Jewish! But this is nonsense; every misogynist has a mother – for one simple example of why this logic fails. If you repeatedly spread anti-Semitic lies, you are an anti-Semite. A claim of cultural immunity means nothing in the light of your repeated words and actions, surely?
That is how we avoid being racist. We judge people not on the colour of their skin, but on the substance of their words and actions.
I’m anti-racist! She says. But it is not enough to fight against racism for everyone, except for one group, that is – in fact – what racism is.
The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, recently stated:
“Let me be absolutely clear: anti-Semitism is an evil. It led to the worst crimes of the 20th century, every one of us has a responsibility to ensure that it is never allowed to fester in our society again.
“This party always has and always will fight against prejudice and hatred of Jewish people with every breath in our body.”
My question to you is what are you doing to embody the leader of our party’s words?
What actions are you taking?
How you can call your movement truly one of inclusivity and fighting against prejudice when you harbour so high up in your organisation someone who is repeatedly anti-Semitic?