Labour Representation Committee publishes appalling blog post attacking Luciana Berger, but Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell remains its President
The so-called Labour Representation Committee (LRC), a pro-Corbyn pressure group, has published an appalling blog post on their website attacking Jewish MP Luciana Berger, who quit the Labour Party over antisemitism, and the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) which she chaired. JLM, which has for almost 100 years been the collective body of Jewish Labour Party supporters, approved a motion on Sunday declaring that it has “no confidence” in Jeremy Corbyn and that he is “unfit to be Prime Minister.”
The LRC has a long history of belittling claims of antisemitism and publishing extremely disturbing articles. The Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, is its President.
In this latest blog post, entitled “JLM Stabs Labour in the Back”, the LRC’s Political Secretary, Mick Brooks, regurgitates conspiracy theories and claims that the antisemitism crisis in the Labour Party is a smear. Using the most loaded and offensive language, Mr Brooks wrote that: “They have declared war on Labour” and concluded that: “They are stabbing us in the back. That is insupportable. The JLM must be disaffiliated from Labour as soon as possible.” He then denied that Luciana Berger was forced out of the Party by antisemitism, declaring: “Let us be clear. Luciana Berger left the Party of her own accord.”
Mr Brooks also referred to an article alleging an Israeli conspiracy: “According to the Electronic Intifada the JLM was revived in 2015 specifically to combat Jeremy Corbyn, a longstanding supporter of the Palestinian cause. The article points the finger at Israeli intelligence in helping to refound the dormant JLM, an explanation confirmed by the Al Jazeera’s [sic] documentary The Lobby. It is not antisemitism in Britain, but opposition to policies carried out by the state of Israel that they see as the enemy. In response Asa Winstanley, the author of the article, has been suspended from the Labour Party.”
The International Definition of Antisemitism, states that “Manifestations [of antisemitism] might include the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for ‘why things go wrong’.”
JLM issued a statement in response to Mr Brooks’ shocking comments stating that: “This article makes it clear that they will blame Jews for any failure at the ballot box, further enabling racism towards Jews. The language of ‘betray’ and ‘backstabbing’ are dogwhistles to antisemitism that Jews have experienced too many times to monstrous effect.”
Mr McDonnell appears to be actively involved with the LRC and is a regular contributor to its website. His most recent article was posted on 4th April.
Were he serious about stamping out antisemitism and making the Labour Party a safe place for Jews, he would step down from and condemn the LRC immediately.
In recent months, eleven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has begun pre-enforcement proceedings against the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant. The pre-enforcement proceedings are a precursor to opening a full statutory investigation.
Almost 50,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”