Harrow East Labour Party voted last night to affiliate to the Jewish Voice for Labour, a fringe organisation which seeks to downplay antisemitism in the Labour Party.
Jewish Voice for Labour was launched at last year’s Labour Party conference with the support of Unite the union and ASLEF, and is seen as a challenge to the Jewish Labour Movement as the official organisation of Jews in the Labour Party. While most Jewish organisations have expressed concerns about antisemitism in the Labour Party, JVL organised a counter demonstration against the ‘Enough is Enough’ protest outside Parliament in April.
Jenny Manson, Chair of the JVL, came under criticism in April when she said she only “began to identify as a Jew in order to argue against the state of Israel.”
Jenny Manson here admits she decided to identify as a Jew as part of her campaign in the Isr/Pal conflict.
So, people donning Jewishness as a cloak of convenience are running interference for Corbyn's office with his direct knowledge.
— Nathan Comiskey (@ComiskeyNathan) March 30, 2018
Owen Jones has previously called the group “a front for Tony Greenstein”, the co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign who was recently expelled from labour for abuse of jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman and repeated use of the racist epithet “zio.”
The Jewish Labour Movement issued the below statement their Chair, Ivor Caplin, in response to Harrow East’s affiliation:
“The people who lose out from this stupid decision made democratically by the Harrow East CLP are the majority of Jews in the constituency. The choice they have at present is between a Tory MP who is somewhat to the right of Genghis Khan and a Labour Party that seeks to convince itself that antisemitism is a made up smear.”
“Former Labour MP Tony McNulty, and candidates Uma Kumaran and Navin Shah AM had always been excellent friends of the local Jewish community and made sincere efforts to build long lasting relationships.We expect the new parliamentary candidate to distance herself from this idiotic decision and make it clear that she chooses to work with and represent Jewish residents in the constituency rather than this obsessive group that is often far too generous to antisemites and Holocaust revisionists.”
“Harrow East is so marginal that votes of our community really do matter and may well make the difference. Like all Labour members, we want to rid Harrow East of Bob Blackman but this will not happen whilst the Labour Party indulges in fantasy politics that ignores, and in fact ridicules our local communities.”
Adam Langleben, a Jewish former-Labour councillor who lost his Barnet seat in May’s local elections, has called the JVL “a narrow obsessive fringe sect who are playing out a war against the jewish community from the inside of Labour.”
4. Members in Harrow East who voted for it tonight decided that a narrow radical obsessive fringe sect who are playing out a war against the Jewish community from the inside of Labour are more important than the thousands of Jewish constituents in Harrow East. Labour in 2018.
— Adam Langleben 🇪🇺 (@adamlangleben) June 25, 2018
Harrow East has one of the largest Jewish populations in Britain, representing around 8% of the constituency. It is the latest of several CLPs to affiliate to the JVL.