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Jewish Labour left hits out at ‘disgraceful’ treatment

Senior party figures hit out at the treatment of the members following report which was produced and published by Jewish Voice for Labour detailing incidents

LABOUR is facing fresh allegations over its treatment of left-wing Jewish members who say they have been unfairly accused of anti-semitism.

Senior party figures hit out at the “disgraceful treatment” of the members today following a report which was produced and published by Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) detailing incidents.

Labour MP and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the Star he was “appalled” by the contents of the report and “the evidence that demonstrates the grotesque way Jewish members are being treated.

“The Labour leadership needs to recognise the suffering this is causing many members who have devoted their lives to the party.”

The dossier, which has since been submitted to both the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Forde inquiry into Labour’s handling of anti-semitism complaints for investigation, gives evidence of the disproportionate targeting of Jewish socialist members by party probes into anti-semitism.

The group has now provided further documentation of the struggles facing many within the party.

The report claims seven new investigations of Jewish Party members had been launched by Labour in the first three weeks in August, with JVL claiming notices of new investigations and auto-exclusions were being delivered to members on a daily basis.

JVL said the scale of disciplinary action from Labour meant over four times more Jewish than non-Jewish Labour Party members have faced actioned complaints of anti-semitism.

Activists said the charges of anti-semitism facing Jewish members were deeply offensive and called for them to be withdrawn immediately.

JVL has said continued deterioration in the past month led to the supplementary paper being produced and sent to the EHRC and Forde inquiry.

In the submission, JVL said that Jewish members were now being targeted by Labour simply for voicing an understanding of anti-semitism that is a direct product of their Jewish political and personal heritage.

The group wrote that the actions of the Labour Party towards JVL and its supporters, including JVL’s own complaints of anti-semitism being ignored or rejected, and the refusal to include them in consultations, shows a “disdain for our status and roles as Jews.”

Jenny Manson, the JVL co-chair who is herself facing an investigation, said: “JVL members are increasingly experiencing our Jewishness being scoffed at and denied. There is nothing as grave for a Jew than to be themselves accused of anti-semitism.   

“By stepping up its attack on us, accusing more and more of us of anti-semitism, the Labour Party is becoming unsafe for Jews and many are leaving partly to avoid this feeling of persecution.  

“By charging us with undermining the party’s ability to campaign against racism the Labour Party is buying into the vicious allegation that we are ‘denying anti-semitism.’

“In my own case I explained on a Newsnight programme that the claims of anti-semitism have been exaggerated, not anti-semitism itself, of course, which can never be overstated.  

“This has been indicted as both anti-semitism and undermining the campaign against racism. This is ludicrous and deeply insulting to me as a Jew.

“Our hope is that the EHRC and Forde will take the evidence we have presented in both submissions very seriously.”

The EHRC previously told the Star it could not comment on the report.

Mr McDonnell said: “The latest JVL analysis deserves a serious investigation and action by the Labour leadership to address these concerns.

“It cannot be right that Jewish socialists are being excluded from our party and feel so desperately sad at the way they are being disrespected.”
     
The Labour Party was approached for comment.

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