Tag Archives: Moshe Machover

Labour Against the Witchhunt

Labour Party Marxists proudly supports Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW), which was launched on October 21 2017 in response to the expulsion from Labour Party membership of emeritus professor Moshé Machover – one of a long line of socialists, Corbyn supporters and defenders of Palestinian rights expelled or suspended on bogus charges of anti-Semitism.

LAW’S KEY DEMANDS:

  1. We demand that the Labour Party ends the practice of automatic, instant, expulsion or suspension of Labour Party members without a hearing, with no right of appeal;
    • that all those summarily expelled or suspended from membership without due process be immediately reinstated;
    • that a member accused of a breach of rule be informed of who their accuser is;
    • that a member accused of a breach of rule be given all the evidence submitted against them by their accuser;
    • that a member accused of a breach of rules be regarded as innocent until proven guilty;
    • that membership rights must not be removed until disciplinary investigations and procedures have been completed;
    • that disciplinary procedures must include consultation with the accused member’s CLP and Branch;
  1. We demand that the Labour Party reject the International Holocaust Memorial Alliance (IHMA) definition of anti-Semitism, which conflates anti-Semitism with support for the rights of the Palestinian people and with criticism of the state of Israel and its racist and apartheid policies and practices. Instead, the Labour Party should adopt a simple, straightforward, definition of anti-Semitism, such as Brian Klug’s definition: “Anti-Semitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are”.
  1. We demand the immediate abolition of the Labour Party’s “compliance unit”. Disciplinary decisions should be taken only by elected bodies, not by paid officials.

Steering Committee: Peter Firmin, Tony Greenstein, Stan Keable, Jackie Walker.

Solidarity with Moshé Machover! The Labour movement speaks out

The expulsion of long-standing Israeli socialist Moshé Machover from the Labour Party (expulsion letter here) has caused shockwaves throughout the labour movement. We feature motions and statements in support of Moshé and against the ongoing witch hunt by the right in the party. 

On October 5, Moshe received a second explusion letter, which states that “These allegations [of anti-Semitism] are not subject to an investigation as you are not currently a member of the Labour Party.” They will probably be kept on file, should his expulsion based on his “clear support” for LPM be overturned. This is arbitrary, to say the least. This draft motion (in Word or PDF), taking both letters into account, is currently being discussed in a few branches and CLPs. Feel free to use and amend.

This open letter has been started by ‘Free Speech on Israel’ and has already been signed by more than 1,200 Labour Party member – add your name asap!

Labour Party branches and CLPs

Other organisations and individuals


Sheffield Hallam CLP

Motion overwhelmingly carried at Hallam CLP meeting, October 27 2017

Reinstate Moshe Machover

On Tuesday October 3, Professor Emeritus Dr. Moshe Machover was expelled from the Labour Party, based on allegations that he denies. Professor Machover is an Israeli Jew, the distinguished co-founder of the socialist organisation Matzpen, which from the early 1960s to the 1980s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine.

This CLP notes:

  1. The first expulsion letter from the head of disputes, Sam Matthews, on October 3, focuses on Professor Machover’s article ‘Anti-Zionism does not equal Anti-Semitism’, which is described as “apparentlyantisemitic” and that “it appears to meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism which has just been adopted by the Labour Party.”
  2. The letter of expulsion does not quote the definition but instead says: “Antisemitism of any form – whether direct attacks or pejorative language which may cause offence to Jewish people – is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the Labour Party. Language that may be perceived as provocative, insensitive or offensive falls short of the standards expected of us as party members and has no place in the party.” It appears to be referencing the parts of the IHRA definition that were not adopted by the Labour Party.
  3. The article in question is a scholarly criticism of Zionism as a political ideology.
  4. Professor Machover is accused “of involvement and support for both Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain (through your participation in CPGB events and regular contributions to the CPGB’s newspaper)”.
  5. Prof Machover has denied all allegations, but has not been given the opportunity to challenge them.
  6. That after many Labour Party members, branches and organisations have sent in protest statements, Professor Machover was sent a second expulsion letter on October 6, which states he has only been expelled for his “clear support” for LPM and CPGB. The allegations of anti-Semitism “are not subject to an investigation as you are not currently a member of the Labour Party.”

This CLP further notes:

  1. The Chakrabarti Report found the Labour Party’s “complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise” and “failed to observe the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases, including that of Professor Machover.
  2. This accusation of anti-Semitism will be held on file in the event that after 5 years Professor Machover was to reapply for membership.

This CLP believes:

  1. This action in expelling Professor Machover is arbitrary, lacking in basic justice and is bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.

This CLP agrees:

  1. To call for professor Machover’s expulsion to be rescinded and for his immediate reinstatement as a member of the Labour Party.
  2. To reject any McCarthyite-style move to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications. Jeremy Corbyn had his own column in the Morning Star for many years.
  3. To call on the NEC to investigate the procedures followed to ensure that principles of natural justice are upheld.

This CLP further agrees:

  1. To submit this this to the next higher unit of the Labour Party (e.g. Branch to CLP, CLP to DLP).
  2. To send the motion as passed to the following:

Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes

Chair of the NCC

Chair of the NEC

Party General Secretary

The Leader’s Office

Shami Chakrabarti


Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP

The Hackney South and Shoreditch Constituency Labour Party calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place and Prof. Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him; and calls for an urgent review of Party disciplinary procedures so that such injustice is not repeated.

 Motion to be sent to Sam Matthews
cc Party General Secretary Iain McNicol; the leader’s office; NEC members

The voting was 54 in favour, 1 against, and 7 abstentions.


Hexham CLP

Emergency Motion – concerning the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover

Background information
Professor Emeritus Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, has been summarily expelled from the Party.

Prof Machover is Jewish and Israeli, the distinguished co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which from the 60s to the 80s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine. He has been found guilty – by the Head of Disputes Sam Mathews, with no due process whatsoever – “of involvement and support for both Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain (through your participation in CPGB events and regular contributions to the CPGB’s newspaper).” Prof. Machover has never been a member of either organisation.

Sam Matthews also accused Prof Machover of writing an “apparently anti-semitic article”. The article in question is a scholarly criticism of Zionism as a political ideology. Prof. Machover denies the accusations, but he has been given no hearing to challenge the allegations and his expulsion.

This CLP notes that:
The Chakrabarti Report found the Labour Party’s complaints and disciplinary procedures “… lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise” and “failed to observe the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. It set out basic principles that the Party should follow in disciplinary cases in future.

This CLP believes that the principles recommended in the Chakrabarti Report must be applied in all disciplinary cases. They have clearly not been applied in the case of Moshe Machover. This expulsion is a worrying precedent in a party which is working to be more democratic, and accountable and to adopt disciplinary procedures based on natural justice.

This CLP therefore calls for the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, so that due process can take place and Prof. Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.


Hampstead & Kilburn CLP 

18 Oct 2017: passed overwhelmingly; 58 for, none against and 8 abstentions.
The motion to be sent to the leader of the Labour Party, the National Executive Committee (individually), the National Constitutional Committee (individually), the Head of Disputes and Professor Machover.
This CLP is outraged that:
  • Professor Emeritus Moshe Machover has been expelled from the Party.  Professor Machover is Jewish and Israeli, the distinguished co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which from the 60s to the 80s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine;
  • the Head of Disputes has accused Prof Machover of writing an “apparently antisemitic article” according to the new IHRA definition, and further accused him of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party”.
This CLP notes that:
  •  The Chakrabarti Inquiry found that the party’s “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and called for “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”.
  • The IHRA definition is being monitored by Camden Council to ensure that it is not used to stifle free expression and criticism of Israeli policies.
  •  Prof Machover who denies the accusations, has not been given the opportunity to challenge neither the accusation of antisemitism nor his alleged support for another party or organisation.
  • This expulsion is a frightening precedent in a party which is working to be more democratic and called for, in the words of its leader Jeremy Corbyn, ‘support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and the illegal settlement expansion’.
This CLP therefore calls for:
  •  Prof Machover’s expulsion to be immediately rescinded; the letter informing him of his expulsion to be immediately rescinded; and for any allegations against him to be investigated in accordance with due process to take place so that he is given the opportunity to challenge the claims of the Head of Disputes.
  • And further calls on the Labour party to protect the right of members to contribute to the political debate across numerous platforms, without expressing support for other political parties or views contrary to the values of the Labour party.

Stoke Newington Labour Party branch

Expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover

This branch notes:

  • Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, was expelled for writing an article entitled “Anti Zionism does not equal anti- Semitism” in the magazine Labour Party Marxist. Prof. Machover is Israeli and Jewish by origin, a long-time socialist and campaigner for Palestinian rights, and a highly respected academic.
  • The initial expulsion letter on 3 October described his article as “apparently antisemitic” and that it “appears to meet” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism adopted by the Labour Party. However, the letter appears to reference only the parts of the IHRA definition that were not adopted by the Labour Party.
  • The expulsion was also justified through guilt by association, on the grounds that Labour Party Marxist is a front publication for another political organization. Many other Labour Party members and MPs have written for comparable journals without sanction.
  • Prof. Machover was expelled, not suspended, without the right to defend himself at the disputes meeting, a violation of due process and democratic procedure.
  • After many Labour Party members and branches protested against his expulsion, Prof. Machover received a second expulsion letter on 6 October, which stated that he was only expelled for his “clear support” for Labour Party Marxist and the Communist Party of Great Britain. It said that the alleged (ie not proven) antisemitism was “not subject to an investigation as you are not currently a member of the Labour Party.”
  • Prof. Machover regards the allegation of antisemitism as malicious and totally unfounded. He denies that he is a member of either of the Marxist organisations cited in the accusations against him. His full response can be found here: http://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/wp- content/uploads/2017/10/MMresponseFin.pdf
  • The expulsion of Prof. Machover was rescinded in late October following growing protests against it in the Labour Party.

    This branch calls for:

  • Moshe Machover to receive a full and public apology for his summary expulsion, for tarnishing his reputation and for abusing his rights.
  • An urgent review of Party disciplinary procedures to ensure that such an injustice is not repeated.

    This motion should be sent to:
    Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes
    Chair of the NCC
    Chair of the NEC
    Party General Secretary
    The Leader’s Office
    Shami Chakrabarti
    Plus the Chair and Secretary of all other branches of this CLP


Otley & Yeadon branch / Leeds North West CLP

Motion passed nem con November 1 2017

This Otley & Yeadon branch / Leeds North West CLP welcomes the reinstatement as a member of the Labour Party of Professor Moshé Machover.

This Otley & Yeadon branch / Leeds North West CLP notes that:
• The Chakrabarti inquiry found that the party’s “… complaints and disciplinary procedures … lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise…” and called for “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”

• Professor Machover, who denies the accusations, has still not been given the opportunity to challenge the accusation of anti-Semitism, or his alleged support for another party or organisation.

It demands:
• That all the damaging insinuations of anti-Semitism must be publicly retracted.

• A full apology, as requested by Moshé Machover, must be published.

• That the whole system that allowed this travesty of justice, and which has brought the Party into disrepute, must be fully investigated by the NEC, and reformed, and those who instigated this damaging course of action held to account.

• That the Party establishes a clear and transparent disciplinary procedure based upon Trade Union best practice on discipline of members. Natural justice : not procedural unfairness based upon prejudice.

• That all the recent expulsions and suspensions be reviewed and must be revoked where there is no clear evidence of breach of rule.

This Branch/CLP further agrees:
To submit this motion to the next higher unit of the Labour Party (e.g. Branch to CLP).
To send the motion as passed to the following:
Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes
Chair of the NCC
Chair of the NEC
Party General Secretary
The Leader’s Office
Shami Chakrabarti
Plus the Chair and Secretary of all other branches of this CLP


 

Broomhill and Sharrow Labour Party branch (Sheffield Central CLP)

This branch calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place and Prof. Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.

Motion to be sent to Sam Matthews – legal_queries@labour.org.uk
cc Party General Secretary Iain McNichol – iain_mcnicol@labour.org.uk
The leader’s office – petersenn@parliament.uk
+ chair and secretary of Central, Manor Castle, Nether Edge, and Walkley branches

Supporting argument

As outlined in a statement from the Jewish Socialists’ Group, Moshe Machover – a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist, who has lived in Britain since 1968 – has been expelled from the Labour Party accused of writing “an apparently antisemitic article” and accused of “involvement and support for” two organisations, the Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain.

The accusation regarding the “antisemitic” article references the controversial, flawed definition of antisemitism, which the JSG and many others on the left have challenged.

The article by Moshe that has been cited is a critique of the political ideology of Zionism, not of Jews. Indeed the article exposes antisemitic ideas.

As the JSG further notes, the action against Professor Machover represents a McCarthyite-style attempt to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications.

According to the Chakrabarti Report, the Labour Party’s “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and failed to observe “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases, including Moshe Machover’s is a critique of the political ideology of Zionism, not of Jews. Indeed the article exposes antisemitic ideas.

As the JSG further notes, the action against Professor Machover represents a McCarthyite-style attempt to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications.

According to the Chakrabarti Report, the Labour Party’s “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and failed to observe “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases, including Moshe Machover’s.


 

Larkswood & Valley Labour Party Branch (Chingford and Woodford Green CLP)

 This branch calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place and Prof. Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.
Motion to be sent to Sam Matthews – legal_queries@labour.org.uk
 cc Party General Secretary Iain McNichol – iain_mcnicol@labour.org.uk
    The leader’s office – petersenn@parliament.uk
  chair and secretary of Larkswood & Valley Branch and of the CLP.
Supporting argument
 
As outlined in a statement from the Jewish Socialists’ GroupMoshe Machover – a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist, who has lived in Britain since 1968 – has been expelled from the Labour Party accused of writing “an apparently antisemitic article” and accused of “involvement and support for” two organisations, the Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain.
The accusation regarding the “antisemitic” article references the controversial, flawed definition of antisemitism, which the JSG and many others on the left have challenged
The article by Moshe Machover, that has been cited, is a critique of the political ideology of Zionism, not of Jews. Indeed the article exposes antisemitic ideas.
As the JSG further notes, the action against Professor Machover represents a McCarthyite-style attempt to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications.
According to the Chakrabarti Report, the Labour Party’s “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and failed to observe “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases, including Moshe Machover’s. 
 

Evidence presented in the expulsion letter sent to Prof Machover by Sam Matthews appears in the form of articles written for the CPGB paper Weekly Worker and a report of a discussion in which Prof. Machover participated.  


South West Central branch of Oxford East constituency Labour Party:

EMERGENCY RESOLUTION Moshe Machover

This branch notes that:

The 2016 Chakrabarti Report found the Labour Party’s “complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise” and “failed to observe the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”.

The report’s recommendations have been adopted by the NEC.
Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases

This branch therefore calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover immediately, so that due process can take place and he will have the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.

Emeritus Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, was expelled from the Labour Party on 3 October. Professor Machover, 81, is a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and and campaigner for social justice in Israel/Palestine, and a distinguished academic in the fields of Logic, Philosophy and Mathematics.

He was declared by the Labour Party Head of Disputes to have excluded himself from the party by “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party.”

Professor Machover denies that he is or ever has been a member of either of the organisations that have been cited [the ‘Communist Party of Great Britain’ and a group called ‘Labour Party Marxists’].

He has on occasion written for CPGB publications and spoken at their events, as have other non-members. The same principle could be used to expel prominent party members and trade unionists who have written for the Morning Star, in effect the paper of the Communist Party of Britain; or appeared on platforms and suppported events organised by Unite Against Fascism which was launched by the SWP.

His only right of appeal is to submit evidence to the same official who expelled him. He should instead be entitled to be treated according to the principles accepted by the NEC and still not brought into force.

We further call on the Labour party to protect the right of members to contribute to the political debate across numerous platforms, without expressing support for other political parties or views contrary to the values of the Labour party.


Mapesbury Branch (Brent Central CLP)

Motion passed unanimously 11th October

This branch calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place and Prof. Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.


 

St Michael’s Branch Labour Party

Last night, St Michael’s Branch Labour Party, the largest branch in Liverpool Riverside Constituency Labour Party, itself the second largest CLP in the country by membership, voted unanimously to call for the re-instatement of Prof Moshe Machover, the noted mathematician and anti-Zionist Israeli socialist.
The conclusion calls for “Prof. Machover’s immediate reinstatement; an apology for such tarnishing of his reputation; and an urgent review of Party disciplinary procedures so that such injustices are not repeated.”

Sherwood branch (Nottingham East CLP)

Emergency Motion for Sherwood Branch LP , passed unanimously on 10th October, to be forwarded as a motion to Nottingham East CLP

Sherwood Branch Labour Party condemns the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, before any hearing of evidence against him, from the Labour Party.

He has been accused of ‘membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims of the Labour Party’, based on him having articles published and participating in meetings.

This branch notes the expulsion has been justified though a process of guilt by association and was sparked by a totally unfounded allegation that Professor Machover, who is Israeli and Jewish by origin, wrote an antisemitic article. This allegation is based highly selective quoting from a long and closely argued article and by an extreme interpretation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association working definition of antisemitism that “pejorative language which may cause offence to Jewish people” is antisemitic.

This branch therefore demands from the Party: his immediate reinstatement; an apology for such tarnishing of his reputation; and an urgent review of Party disciplinary procedures so such an injustice is not repeated.

And to support Mark Wadsworth and all other members suspended over similar charges.


Wanstead  Branch (Leyton and Wanstead CLP)

motion on the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, passed unanimously, 9th October 2017

The Wanstead Branch of the Labour Party condemns the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, before any hearing of evidence against him, from the Labour Party.

This original letter of expulsion addressed two things. The branch notes that the expulsion has been justified through a process of guilt by association and was sparked by a totally unfounded allegation that Professor Machover, who is Israeli and Jewish by origin, wrote an antisemitic article. This allegation is based on highly selective quoting from a long and closely argued article and by an extreme interpretation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Association working definition of antisemitism that “pejorative language which may cause offence to Jewish people” is antisemtic.

The second issue cited in Professor Machover’s expulsion letter and in the updated letter of expulsion upon which his expulsion was based relates to his membership in, or support of, the Communist Party of Great Britain and Labour Party Marxist. Professor Machover denies this.

The fact that Professor Machover was unable to defend himself at the disputes meeting is a violation of due process and democratic procedure.

The branch therefore demands from the Party that the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place and Professor Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.

We also ask that an urgent review of Party disciplinary procedures is undertaken so that such an injustice is not repeated.

The motion should be sent to:

Chair of the Labour Party
Party General Secretary (iain_mcnicol@labour.org.uk)
Leader’s Office (petersenn@parliament.uk)
Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes  (legal_queries@labour.org.uk


Queen’s Park branch of the Labour Party (part of Hampstead & Kilburn CLP), which is the branch that comrade Machover used to belong to

This branch calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes to do the following:

1) Rescind immediately the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover;
2) Rescind immediately the letter informing Professor Machover of his expulsion.
These 2 actions should be taken because:
First, the allegations against Mr. Machover are unsubstantiated; and, second, the process through which the decision to expel him was taken seems to have him guilty until proved innocent, rather than presumed innocent until proved guilty. The letter to Professor Machover and the apparent lack of process seem both unworthy of the Labour Party and unjust.
We further call on the Labour party to protect the right of members to contribute to the political debate across numerous platforms, without expressing support for other political parties or views contrary to the values of the Labour party.

 

The Cam, Dursley and Berkeley branch of Stroud CLP notes that:

Emeritus Professor, Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, was expelled from the Labour Party on 3 October.Professor Machover, 81, is a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and and campaigner for social justice in Israel/Palestine, and a distinguished academic in the fields of Logic, Philosophy and Mathematics.

He is accused by the Labour Party Head of Disputes of writing an “apparently antisemitic article” and of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party.”

Professor Machover regards the allegation about the article as malicious and totally unfounded. He denies that he is a member of either of the organisations that have been cited.

The 2016 Chakrabarti Report found the Labour Party’s “complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise” and “failed to observe the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. The report’s recommendations have been adopted by the NEC. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases.

This branch calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes to rescind the expulsion of Professor Machover immediately, so that due process can take place and he will have the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him. 

Ecclesall Labour Party branch, Sheffield

Reinstate Moshe Machover

On Tuesday October 3, Professor Emeritus Dr. Moshe Machover was expelled from the Labour Party, based on allegations that he denies. Professor Machover is an Israeli Jew, the distinguished co-founder of the socialist organisation Matzpen, which from the early 1960s to the 1980s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine.

This Branch/CLP notes:

  1. The first expulsion letter from the head of disputes, Sam Matthews, on October 3, focuses on Professor Machover’s article ‘Anti-Zionism does not equal Anti-Semitism’, which is described as “apparentlyantisemitic” and that “it appears to meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism which has just been adopted by the Labour Party.”
  1. The letter of expulsion does not quote the definition but instead says: “Antisemitism of any form – whether direct attacks or pejorative language which may cause offence to Jewish people – is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the Labour Party. Language that may be perceived as provocative, insensitive or offensive falls short of the standards expected of us as party members and has no place in the party.” It appears to be referencing the parts of the IHRA definition that were notadopted by the Labour Party.
  1. The article in question is a scholarly criticism of Zionism as a political ideology.
  1. Professor Machover is accused “of involvement and support for both Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain (through your participation in CPGB events and regular contributions to the CPGB’s newspaper)”.
  1. Prof Machover has denied all allegations, but has not been given the opportunity to challenge them.
  1. That after many Labour Party members, branches and organisations have sent in protest statements, Professor Machover was sent a second expulsion letter on October 6, which states he has only been expelled for his “clear support”for LPM and CPGB. The allegations of anti-Semitism “are not subject to an investigation as you are not currently a member of the Labour Party.”

This Branch/CLP further notes:

  1. The Chakrabarti Report found the Labour Party’s “complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise” and “failed to observe the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases, including that of Professor Machover.
  1. This accusation of anti-Semitism will be held on file in the event that after 5 years Professor Machover was to reapply for membership.

This Branch/CLP believes:

This action in expelling Professor Machover is arbitrary, lacking in basic justice and is bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.

This Branch/CLP agrees:

  1. To call for his expulsion to be rescinded and for his immediate reinstatement as a member of the Labour Party.
  1. To reject any McCarthyite-style move to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications. Jeremy Corbyn had his own column in the Morning Star for many years.
  1. To call on the NEC to investigate the procedures followed to ensure that principles of natural justice are upheld.

This Branch/CLP further agrees:

  1. To submit this this to the next higher unit of the Labour Party (e.g. Branch to CLP, CLP to DLP).
  1. To send the motion as passed to the following:

Sam Matthews, Head of Disputes
Chair of the NCC
Chair of the NEC
Party General Secretary
The Leader’s Office
Shami Chakrabarti
Plus the Chair and Secretary of all other branches of this CLP


The St Georges branch of Islington North CLP notes that:

Emeritus Professor, Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, was expelled from the Labour Party on 3 October. Professor Machover, 81, is a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and and campaigner for social justice in Israel/Palestine, and a distinguished academic in the fields of Logic, Philosophy and Mathematics.

He is accused by the Labour Party Head of Disputes of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party.”

Professor Machover regards the allegation as malicious and totally unfounded. He denies that he is a member of either of the organisations that have been cited.

This branch calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes to rescind the expulsion of Professor Machover immediately, so that due process can take place and he will have the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.

Haggerston and Hoxton West branches of Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP on Thursday October 5 2017

This branch calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place and Prof. Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.

Motion to be sent to Sam Matthews – legal_queries@labour.org.uk

cc Party General Secretary Iain McNichol – iain_mcnicol@labour.org.uk
The leader’s office – petersenn@parliament.uk
Hackney South and Shoreditch CLP Executive for consideration at October GC meeting

Supporting argument

As outlined in a statement from the Jewish Socialists’ Group, Moshe Machover – a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist, who has lived in Britain since 1968 – has been expelled from the Labour Party accused of writing “an apparently antisemitic article” and accused of “involvement and support for” two organisations, the Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain.

The accusation regarding the “antisemitic” article references the controversial, flawed definition of antisemitism, which the JSG and many others on the left have challenged.

The article by Moshe Machover, that has been cited, is a critique of the political ideology of Zionism, not of Jews. Indeed the article exposes antisemitic ideas.

As the JSG further notes, the action against Professor Machover represents a McCarthyite-style attempt to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications.

According to the Chakrabarti Report, the Labour Party’s “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and failed to observe “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases, including Moshe Machover’s.


 

East Dulwich Labour Party branch

On Thursday 5th October 2017 East Dulwich branch in Dulwich and West Norwood CLP passed the following resolution condemning the expulsion of Moshe Machover by 20 to 0 with one abstention.
This branch/CLP calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place and Prof. Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.

Herne Hill Labour Party branch

Emergency Motion. Herne Hill Labour Party Branch,  October 5 2017
Passed nem con

This Branch notes the NEC policy that auto-exclusions ceased following the party’s adoption of the recommendations of the Chkrabarti Report, that the Party’s policy is now to follow due process, based on natural justice, in relation to disciplinary procedures.

The proper application of this policy is pertinent to a very recent case where a long standing member of Hampstead and Kilburn Branch, MM, has been expelled without due process, having not been informed in advance of the action, not having been suspended pending investigation, and where the grounds for expulsion are not even that he is, or ever has been, a member of a proscribed organisation (he has, in fact, never been a member of the organisations cited).

The grounds are that he has attended their public meetings and has had articles published in their journals. In none of the articles cited as evidence did MM in any way advocate support for these organisations nor advocate opposition in any way whatsoever to the Labour Party.

The Chakrabarti Report, found the Labour Party’s  “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and “failed to observe the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”.

The summary expulsion this week of MM is a deeply disturbing repetition of this bad practice and heralds a serious curtailment of free speech within the Party. It sets a frightening precedent and flies in the face of a party which is working to be more democratic and accountable and to adopt procedures based on natural justice.

This Branch therefore calls for the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of MM, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place, and MM can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him in proper hearings.


 

Emergency Resolution Passed by the Bethnal Green Ward

Labour Party, 5 October 2017
Reinstate Moshe Machover
 The Israeli socialist and long-time campaigner for Palestinian rights, Moshe Machover, has been expelled from the Labour Party for writing an article entitled “Anti Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism”.

We note with great concern:

The expulsion letter from the head of disputes, Sam Matthews, describes the article as “apparently antisemitic” and that it “appears to meet” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism which has just been adopted by the Labour Party.

 The letter does not quote the definition but instead says: “Antisemitism in of any form – whether direct attacks or pejorative language which may cause offence to jewish people – is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the Labour Party. Language that may be perceived as provocative, insensitive or offensive falls short of the standards expected of us as party members and has no place in the party.” It appears to be referencing the parts of the IHRA definition that were not adopted at the conference.

Moshe has been expelled, not suspended, without the right to defend himself, on the grounds that the publication concerned, Labour Party Marxist, is regarded as a front publication for another political organization, even though there are many examples of Labour members and politicians writing for comparable journals.

We believe:

This action is arbitrary, lacking in basic justice and is bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.

Therefore we resolve:

1.         We fully support Moshe Machover and call for his expulsion to be rescinded and for his immediate reinstatement as a member of the Labour Party.

2.         We reject any McCarthyite-style move to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications.

3.         We call on the NEC to investigate the procedures followed to ensure that principles of natural justice are upheld.


West Branch Hastings and Rye Labour Party

On Tuesday 3rd October, Labour Party member Professor Emeritus Dr. Moshe Machover was summarily expelled from the Labour Party, based on allegations which he denies. Dr. Machover is Jewish and Israeli, the distinguished co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which from the early 1960s to the 1980s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine. Dr Machover has been an activist for decades and is an asset to the Labour Party. It is an act of self-harm to expel such a valuable member.

However, we would be demanding reinstatement for any member, regardless of their political perspective who has been treated like this because we are equally concerned that this action was taken without a clear and transparent process ‘in accordance with the principles of natural justice and proportionality”. These were within the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Review, which seem to have been largely ignored. These included looking at other penalties short of suspension and expulsion .

We demand the immediate reinstatement of Moshe Machover and a public apology. In addition we demand a clear and public assurance that no member of this Party will again be treated in such an appalling manner and that in future, any actions will be taken only following such a clear process, as outlined in the Chakrabarti Report.We are also very concerned at the apparent misuse of the IHRA definition of antisemitism to stifle free expression, including the right to non abusive criticism of the State of Israel as we had outlined in our own Rule change. We insist that the Party firmly commits to uphold the right to non abusive free speech in all its political discourse.

This motion to be sent to:

Chair of the Labour Party
Chair of the NCC
Chair of the NEC
Leader’s Office
Shami Chakrabarti


 

Kilburn Labour Party branch

This Branch/CLP is outraged that:

  • Professor Emeritus Moshe Machover has been expelled from the Party. Prof Machover is Jewish and Israeli, the distinguished co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which from the 60s to the 80s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine; 
  • the Head of Disputes has accused Prof Machover of writing an “apparently antisemitic article” according to the new IHRA definition, and further accused him of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party” on the basis of “participation in CPGB events and regular contributions to the CPGB’s newspaper, the Weekly Worker”.

This Branch/CLP notes that:

  • The Chakrabarti Inquiry found that the party’s “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and called for “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”.
  • The IHRA definition is being monitored by Camden Council to ensure that it is not used to stifle free expression and criticism of Israeli policies.
  • Prof Machover who denies the accusations, has not been given the opportunity to challenge either the accusation of antisemitism nor his alleged support for another party or organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party.
  • This expulsion is a frightening precedent in a party which is working to be more democratic and called for, in the words of its leader Jeremy Corbyn, ‘support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and the illegal settlement expansion’.

This Branch/CLP therefore calls for:

  • Prof Machover’s expulsion to be immediately rescinded and for due process to take place so Prof Machover is given the opportunity to challenge the claims of the Head of Disputes.

 


Holme Valley North Labour Party branch

Holme Valley North Labour Party calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes to immediately rescind Professor Moshe Machover’s expulsion, and for any allegations against him to be investigated in accordance with due process and natural justice, so that he is given the opportunity to challenge those allegations made against him.


Highams Park Labour Party Branch 

Motion passed on October 4 by Highams Park Labour Party Branch (Chingford and Woodford Green CLP)

This branch calls upon the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes immediately to rescind the expulsion of Professor Moshe Machover, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn CLP, so that due process can take place and Prof. Machover can be given the opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him.

Motion to be sent to Sam Matthews – legal_queries@labour.org.uk

cc Party General Secretary Iain McNichol – iain_mcnicol@labour.org.uk

The leader’s office – petersenn@parliament.uk

+ chair and secretary of the three other C&WG branches and of the CLP.

Supporting argument

As outlined in a statement from the Jewish Socialists’ Group, Moshe Machover – a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist, who has lived in Britain since 1968 – has been expelled from the Labour Party accused of writing “an apparently antisemitic article” and accused of “involvement and support for” two organisations, the Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain.

The accusation regarding the “antisemitic” article references the controversial, flawed definition of antisemitism, which the JSG and many others on the left have challenged.

The article by Moshe Machover, that has been cited, is a critique of the political ideology of Zionism, not of Jews. Indeed the article exposes antisemitic ideas.

As the JSG further notes, the action against Professor Machover represents a McCarthyite-style attempt to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications.

According to the Chakrabarti Report, the Labour Party’s “. . . complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise . . .” and failed to observe “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases, including Moshe Machover’s.


West Hampstead and Fortune Green Labour Party branch

The following resolution was adopted nem con on 4 October 2017 by the West Hampstead and Fortune Green branch of the Labour Party, which is part of the Hampstead and Kilburn Constituency LP

This West Hampstead and Fortune Green branch / Hampstead and Kilburn CLP is outraged that:

  • Professor Emeritus Moshe Machover has been expelled from the Party. Professor Machover is Jewish and Israeli, the distinguished co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which from the 60s to the 80s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine.
  • The Head of Disputes has accused Professor Machover of writing an “apparently anti-Semiitic article” according to the new IHRA definition, and further accused him of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party.”

This West Hampstead and Fortune Green branch / Hampstead and Kilburn CLP notes that:

  • The Chakrabarti inequiry found that the party’s “… complaints and disciplinary procedures … lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise…” and called for “the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”
  • The IHRA definition is being monitored by Camden Council to ensure that it is not used to stifle free expression and criticism of Israeli policies.
  • Professor Machover who denies the accusations, has not been given the opportunity to challenge either the accusation of anti-Semitism nor his alleged support for another party or organisation.
  • This expulsion is a frightening precedent in a party which is working to be more democratic and called for, in the words of its leader Jeremy Corbyn, ‘support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and the illegal settlement expansion’.

This West Hampstead and Fortune Green branch / Hampstead and Kilburn CLP therefore calls for:

  • Professor Machover’s expulsion to be immediately rescinded and for any allegations against him to be investigated in accordance with due process so that he is given the opportunity to challenge the claims of the Head of Disputes

Momentum Sheffield

At its October 25 general meeting, Momentum Sheffield unanimously agreed the following resolution:

Momentum Sheffield condemns the expulsion of Moshe Machover from the Labour Party and calls for his immediate reinstatement. We oppose all McCarthyite auto-exclusions on political grounds, which have chiefly been used to get rid of Corbyn supporters from the Labour Party.


 

Swansea Bay Momentum

The meeting on October 17 unanimously agreed the following motion.

  1. THIS MEETING NOTES THAT:

1:1 On Tuesday October 3, Professor Emeritus Dr. Moshe Machover was expelled from the Labour Party, based on allegations that he denies. Professor Machover is an Israeli Jew, the distinguished co-founder of the socialist organisation Matzpen that, from the early 1960s to the 1980s, brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine.

1:2 This expulsion was initially based on two charges.

1:3 Professor Machover was also accused “of involvement and support for both Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain (through participation in CPGB events and regular contributions of the CPGB’s newspaper the Weekly Worker).” Comrades Machover denies membership of both groups.

  1. THIS MEETING FURTHER NOTES:

2:1 The letter of expulsion does not quote the IHRA definition but instead states: “Anti- Semitism of any form – whether direct attacks or pejorative language which may cause offence to Jewish people – is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the Labour Party. Language that may be perceived as provocative, insensitive or offensive falls short of the standards expected of us as party members and has no place in the party.” This appears to be referencing the parts of the IHRA definition that were not actually adopted by the Labour Party.

2:2 Many Labour Party members, branches and organisations have sent protest statements. The response of the Compliance Unit was to send Professor Machover a second expulsion letter (October 6). This now stated he had only been expelled for his “clear support” for LPM and the CPGB. The letter stated that the allegations of anti-Semitism “are not subject to an investigation as you are not currently a member of the Labour Party.” (His membership having been summarily ended in part because he was accused of anti- Semitism.)

2:3 The content of the Chakrabarti Report that states that the Labour Party’s “complaints and disciplinary procedures . . . lacked sufficient transparency, uniformity and expertise” and “failed to observe the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality”. Members deserve to see these principles applied in all disciplinary cases, including that of Professor Machover.

  1. THIS MEETING:

1:3 That comrade Machover wrote an article entitled ‘Anti Zionism does not equal anti- Semitism’. According to a letter from the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes, Sam Matthews, this article was “apparently anti-Semitic” and “appears to meet” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism which has just been adopted by the Labour Party. The article in question is a scholarly criticism of Zionism as a political ideology.

3:1 Regards the expulsion pf Professor Machover as arbitrary, lacking natural justice and is bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.

3:2 Rejects any McCarthyite-style moves to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” left groups based simply on them contributing articles to their journals or attending/accepting invitations to speak at their meetings. It is common practice for Labour members at all levels of the party to speak at and participate in events of other organisations, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications. Eg, Jeremy Corbyn had his own column in the Morning Star for many years.

3:3 Calls on the NEC to investigate the procedures followed in this case to ensure that principles of natural justice are upheld.

3:4 Demands that Professor Machover’s expulsion is immediately rescinded and he is immediately reinstatement as a member of the LP.

3:5 Agrees to send the motion as passed to the following:

  • Sam Mathews, Head of Disputes
  • Chair of the NCC
  • Chair of the NEC
  • LP General Secretary
  • Shami Chakrabarti
  • Secretaries of Swansea CLPs

Camden Momentum – motion 1

Motion Calling for Reinstatement to the Labour Party of Professor Machover

Passed with only one abstention at MM Camden’s meeting 9 October 2017

Momentum Camden Notes that:

  1. Professor Emeritus Moshe Machover is the first person accused of antisemitism to be expelled following the newly implemented Labour Party rule change, and following the Labour Party’s partial acceptance of the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Prof Machover is Jewish and Israeli, the distinguished co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organisation which from the 60s to the 80s brought together Arab and Jewish opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine. His expulsion without any due process was as a result of an accusation which remains anonymous.
  2. The Head of Disputes has accused Prof Machover of writing an “apparently antisemitic article” according to the new IHRA definition, and further accused him of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party”. In a second letter the Head of Disputes, under attack for his accusations of racism, denies that antisemitism was involved, saying that it was only Professor Machover’s membership in or support for another party. In professor Machover’s own words, “I am not, and never have been, a member of the organisations cited in the expulsion letter.”

Therefore Momentum Camden:

  • Calls on Momentum’s National Coordinating Group (NCG) to demand the immediate reinstatement of Professor Machover’s Labour Party membership and for due process and natural justice to be implemented in accordance with the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Inquiry, affording Professor Machover the opportunity to refute the charges.
  • Calls on Momentum members to pass resolutions in whatever CLPs they belong to, demanding reinstatement and due process for Professor Machover.

Camden Momentum – motion 2

Motion demanding a more democratic consultative process inside Momentum

Passed overwhelmingly by Momentum Camden on 9 October 2017

Momentum Camden Notes that:

  1. Momentum’s National Coordinating Group (NCG) unilaterally decided to support a rule change at the Labour Party conference initiated by the right wing Jewish Labour Movement and modified by the NEC on “Conduct Prejudicial to the Party” with particular reference to protected groups. Like the NEC, the NCG made the decision without consultation with those same protected groups inside Momentum and without consultation with Momentum’s local groups.
  2. Immediately following that newly-implemented rule change actively supported by Momentum, Professor Emeritus Moshe Machover, a Jewish Israeli, was expelled from the Labour Party with the letter of expulsion noting that he had written an “apparently antisemitic article” according to the new IHRA definition, and further accusing him of “membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party”. The source of the accusation of antisemitism remains anonymous. In professor Machover’s own words, “I am not, and never have been, a member of the organisations cited in the expulsion letter.”
  3. Momentum’s NCG was elected by barely a third of the membership of Momentum at the time, and less than one quarter of the present membership. Once elected the NCG chose as their chair a person who has never stood for, nor been elected to, the NCG by the membership of Momentum. He is a member of the NCG based on his appointment by “Left Futures”.
  4. Momentum has been at the forefront of the fight for a more democratic Labour Party that respects and reflects the will of the vast majority of its members.

Therefore Momentum Camden:

  • Calls on the NCG to institute immediately a consultative process with the more than 170 local groups and 30,000 members, and with those sectors named in the Labour Party rule book as facing particular discrimination, before making any more sweeping policy decisions.
  • Calls on Momentum groups to support Momentum Camden’s call for a more democratic, consultative process within our own organisation by making their views known to the NCG.

Merseyside Pensioners Association

The motion below was passed unanimously at a well attended (45+) Merseyside Pensioners Association meeting today, 11 October:

Re: the expulsion of Moshe Machover from the Labour Party

“We, the member of The Merseyside Pensioners Association wish to protest strongly against the expulsion of Professor (Emeritus) Moshe Machover from the Labour Party on the grounds that he allegedly made anti-semitic remarks in an article in a publication of a Marxist group, of which he is not a member. We understand that Moshe is a lifelong Marxist and socialist and, therefore, would reject all forms of racism. We understand that he wrote articles critical of the actions of the Zionist settler-colon state of Israel, of which he is a citizen. We believe that such criticisms cannot be construed as anti-Semitism, which can be properly defined as dislike and/or mistreatment of Jewish people simply because they are Jews.

We believe such treatment of Moshe Machover brings the Labour Party into disrepute. He is a distinguished, world-famous mathematical logician, and has contributed, with an Israeli comrade, to the development of deeper understanding of Marxian economic theory by applying ideas from physics. This has created a new branch of Marxian economics, ‘Econophysics’, which has many followers, especially in Germany and other parts of Europe.  We also believe that he and his Israeli comrade also helped to found the Arab-Jewish socialist party in Israel, called Matzpan.

We, therefore, believe that being a Marxist and writing articles critical of Zionism are no grounds whatsoever to expel anybody from the Labour Party. We therefore demand that comrade Machover is immediately reinstated in the Labour Party and an appropriate apology given to him for his treatment.”


 

Jewish Socialists’ Group statement in support of Dr Moshe Machover

Dr Moshe Machover – a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist, who has lived in Britain since 1968 – has been expelled from the Labour Party.

Dr Moshe Machover – a lifelong Israeli socialist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist, who has lived in Britain since 1968 – has been expelled from the Labour Party accused of writing “an apparently antisemitic article” and accused of “involvement and support for” two organisations, the Labour Party Marxists and the Communist Party of Great Britain.The accusation regarding the “antisemitic” article references the controversial, flawed definition of antisemitism, which the JSG and many others on the left have challenged: http://www.jewishsocialist.org.uk/news/item/fight-antisemitism-and-defend-free-speech

Moshe Machover has been a friend of the Jewish Socialists’ Group for more than 30 years. He has spoken at JSG meetings, written for Jewish Socialist magazine, and participated in campaigns for social justice with us. We know him as an outstanding and sophisticated thinker and analyst, a fighter for human rights and social justice, and a consistent opponent of all reactionary ideologies and actions.

The JSG is not affiliated to the Labour Party but we have strongly criticised the right wing-led campaign to smear left wing activists as antisemites http://www.jewishsocialist.org.uk/news/item/statement-on-labours-problem-with-antisemitism-from-the-jewish-socialists-g

The Labour Party has a duty to take action against genuine examples of antisemitism and other forms of racism and bigotry. In line with the Chakrabarti Inquiry, however, we:

  • favour education rather than heavy-handed disciplinary measures
  • expect transparent, fair and just process with regard to complaints against members
  • support Shami Chakrabarti’s desire to encourage respectful free speech within the Party.The JSG chooses to support individuals suspended or expelled from the party on a case by case basis.

In this case we fully support Moshe Machover and call for his expulsion to be rescinded and for his immediate reinstatement as a member of the Labour Party.

The JSG recognises the article by Moshe Machover, that has been cited, as a critique of the political ideology of Zionism, not of Jews. Indeed the article exposes antisemitic ideas. The JSG rejects any McCarthyite-style attempt to expel members for alleged “involvement and support for” other left groups on the basis of writing articles and attending and participating in meetings. It is common practice for Labour members of all levels to speak and participate in events of other groups, and have articles published, representing their individual viewpoints, in a range of publications.

Solidarity with Moshe Machover!


 

Brighton and Hove UNISON Local Government Branch

The following resolution was passed unanimously.It will go to UNISON regionally and nationally as well as to Brighton & Hove Trades Council.

Motion on the Expulsion of Moshe Machover from the Labour Party

 

“This branch deplores the decision to expel Emeritus Professor and distinguished mathematician Moshe Machover from the Labour Party for alleged ‘anti-semitism’.

 

Moshe is an Israeli citizen of Jewish heritage who has been a life-long critic of Zionism and of Israel which he has defined as a ‘settler/colon state’.

 

He is a life-long socialist and committed opponent of all forms of racism.

 

We consider this expulsion to be an example of attempts to re-define anti-semitism so as to include all critics of Zionism and of Israel.

 

We call on UNISON to support the demand for Moshe’s expulsion to be rescinded.”

 

We further call for an end to all suspensions and expulsions from the Labour Party on the basis of people’s political views or membership of political groups.

 

No expulsions should take place without an investigation and hearing before the National Constitutional Committee.

 

We call for the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report concerning natural justice and transparency to be implemented immediately.

 

 

Kevin Ovenden: Everyone should stand up for Moshe Machover

The nasty witch-hunters nested in Labour’s national apparatus ought to have bitten off more than they can chew with the outrageous expulsion of Moshe Machover.

Anti-racists, supporters of Palestine and longstanding socialists in Britain will know him mainly through his lifelong socialist commitment and opposition to the apartheid structure of the Israeli state, forged out of his experiences being born and growing up there.He was a founder of Matzpen, the revolutionary internationalist socialist group in Israel.His publications and writings on Israel-Palestine, often with Akiva Orr and Jabra Nicola, remain seminal.

“The Class Nature of Israeli Society” is a must read for anyone trying to understand the Palestinian struggle and zionism from an internationalist and anti-imperialist standpoint – or at all, I would say.

But perhaps less well known on the left is that Professor Machover is a highly distinguished mathematician and logical philosopher.I don’t know the undergraduate curriculum these days, but his primer (with Bell) “A Course in Mathematical Logic” was a set text (excuse the pun) on the Mathematics and Philosophy course in Oxford 30 years ago.

He has made major advances in set theoretic logic. As Professor of Mathematics at the University of London he contributed enormously to the development of the department at King’s College and other campuses.

There is a far wider body of opinion than even the considerable pro-Palestinian sentiment in Britain and its labour movement who will be nothing short of incensed at this expulsion. That his son Daniel is also a well regarded human rights lawyer expands the field further.Mathematicians and logicians are not often the most political of people. But they are usually rather good at distinguishing bogus arguments from truth and sound reasoning.

I am confident that the campaign to overturn this decision will reflect the breadth of opposition to it

.From Aberdeen to Bristol it ought to be taken not just to left political layers, but into every department of mathematics, philosophy and logic. Indeed, beyond Britain.And with a clear message back to the Labour leadership regarding the Blair-era bureaucrats who are disfiguring Labour: The Philistines are upon you. Reason in revolt now thunders.


Free speech on Israel: Article by Mike Cushman

Professor Moshé Machover has been expelled from the Labour Party without a hearing because he spoke on the wrong platform and wrote for the wrong newspaper. What was the Labour bating paper he wrote for and incurred the wrath of Party apparatchiks? Was it the Daily Mail, trailing its history of love-in with fascists, no. Was it one of Rupert Murdoch’s papers with their tradition of lies and distortions of the Party, no. It was, according to the letter Moshé received on 3 October, an on-line paper you have likely not heard of, the Weekly Worker, a paper so powerful and so toxic that, like poison ivy, any brush with it is fatal. Moshé also had the effrontery to speak at the 2016 Communist University . Since the mainstream press and think tank symposiums are generally closed to radical thinkers and writers we must all find whatever outlets we can to try to spread our ideas and educate our colleagues. It is the content of what we say and write that should be judged, not its venue. The complaint against Moshé states

Your involvement and support for both LPM [Labour Party Marxists, claimed to be a front for the Communist Party of Great Britain in the letter] and the Communist Party of Great Britain (through your participation in CPGB events and regular contributions to the CPGB’s newspaper, the Weekly Worker) is documented in Section 3 of the attached evidence. Membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party, is incompatible with Labour Party membership.

Chapter 2.I.4.B of the Labour Party’s rules states:

“A member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour Group or unit of the Party or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member, subject to the provisions of part 6.I.2 of the disciplinary rules”.

You are therefore ineligible to remain a member of the Labour Party and have been removed from the national membership system. You are no longer entitled to attend local Labour Party meetings.

Return to Cold War thinking

The Labour Party’s International Department used to be almost entirely populated by cold-war warriors in times gone by. It seems that such predilections remain alive in Southside with its talk of Communist Front organisations. While the rest of us read le Carré for relaxation, some in the Labour Party seem to read him for instruction.

Even worse that the talk of Fronts are the lessons taken from the US House Un-American Activities Committee of the forties and fifties, where Richard Nixon made his name, with its pattern of Guilt by Association. Can we expect Professor Machover to next be granted absolution by naming names in front of the NCC, the Labour Party body responsible for discipline, to give them a cast-list for the next act of their expulsion drama?

We are even more disturbed when we examine the incident that prompted this forensic acuity by the Party: an article written by Moshé, ‘Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-semitism’ in the newspaper of the Labour Party Marxists. The letter does not state what part of this closely argued examination of the historical record was alarming but they state:

These allegations relate to an apparently antisemitic article published in your name, by the organisation known as Labour Party Marxists (LPM). The content of these articles appears to meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, which has been adopted by the Labour Party. Evidence relating to these allegations can be found in Section 1, overleaf.

Antisemitism of any form – whether direct attacks or pejorative language which may cause offence to Jewish people – is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in the Labour Party. Language that may be perceived as provocative, insensitive or offensive falls short of the standards expected of us as Party members and has no place in our party.

Manufacturing Antisemitism

These paragraphs follow a familiar pattern of Party allegations: they refer to an article, or a tweet or a Facebook post, but they do not explain how the text is, in their view, antisemitic. It would appear from attacks on this article elsewhere by Zionist attack dogs that the section that attracted their ire was the relationship of parts of the Zionist establishment to the Nazis in the thirties. According to Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust:

Simultaneously, another Jewish anti-Zionist, Moshe Machover, was also putting the boot in: this time a Nazi jackboot belonging to Reinhard Heydrich, one of the primary architects of the Final Solution. Machover wrote a special “Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism” article for Labour Party Marxists to distribute at the Conference, which quoted Heydrich making “a friendly mention of Zionism”. This, despite the notorious Nazi’s quote beginning with the words “National socialism has no intention of attacking the Jewish people in any way”. This is the depths that some Jewish anti-Zionists will reach, just to savage their Zionist co-religionists.

Words ripped out of context, as even a cursory reading of the ‘offending’ article will show. The passage in full reads:

Heydrich himself wrote the following in an article for the SS house journal Das Schwarze Korps in September 1935:

National socialism has no intention of attacking the Jewish people in any way. On the contrary, the recognition of Jewry as a racial community based on blood, and not as a religious one, leads the German government to guarantee the racial separateness of this community without any limitations. The government finds itself in complete agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself, so-called Zionism, with its recognition of the solidarity of Jewry throughout the world and the rejection of all assimilationist ideas. On this basis, Germany undertakes measures that will surely play a significant role in the future in the handling of the Jewish problem around the world.

In other words, a friendly mention of Zionism, indicating an area of basic agreement it shared with Nazism.

Of course, looking back at all this, it seems all the more sinister, since we know that the story ended with the gas chambers a few years later. This overlap is an indictment of Zionism, but the actual collaboration between the two was not such an exceptional thing, when you accept that the Zionists were faced with the reality of an anti-Semitic regime.

Moshé has written elsewhere that for any historian the facts must come first and the moral judgement after. The Zionists appear only to want convenient facts made available, and the facts are allowed or disallowed on the basis of the a priori moralism. We may observe this is an approach to history also shared by Michael Gove. Gove was excoriated by a brigade of reputable historians where he tried to see this as a basis for the school history curriculum. We would expect Labour Party employees to have a more reliable moral and intellectual compass than Gove. Sadly, reasonable expectations evaporate when you come within sight of Southside.

More Misuse of the IHRA Definition

Our catalogue of alarm has at least one further item. The Party thought-police have extended their interpretation of the IHRA (mis)definition of Antisemitism beyond our worst nightmares. According to the letter “pejorative language which may cause offence to Jewish people” is antisemitic. Well I find the pejorative language that the Party has used about Professor Machover to be deeply offensive to me as human being but also as a Jew and consequently I demand that all those involved in drawing up and agreeing this letter to expel themselves from the Labour Party forthwith. This demand may have little evidential basis but it has no more and no less than their letter of excommunication.

The implications of such an interpretation are horrendous. It is true that many British Jews find criticism of Israel’s record offensive. This is their right no matter how distorted we perceive the worldview that affords such a reaction. How far we should indulge a view that excuses the suppression of Palestinian rights is a political judgement that Labour Party officials have got very, very wrong. The Party’s responsibility, as a Party that places a high value on Human Rights in Britain and internationally, is to engage with those who jump to offence mode to help them find a more justice-based reaction to words and events.

Add your voice against Moshe Machover’s expulsion

Many local Labour Parties are adopting resolutions condemning Moshé’s expulsion, many more should do so. We have allowed too many messengers to be shot. We must not allow Moshé to be one more. Free Speech on Israel  will be part of that fight.

Moshé Machover: My response to my expulsion

Communication from Moshé Machover to the legal queries unit

Comrade Machover’s excellent letter is also available in PDF format here.

16 October 2017

I refer to your letters of 3 and 6 October 2017, excluding me from the Labour Party on allegations that I am in breach of Rule 2.1.4.B.

In the alternative you appear to suggest that if I were not expelled I would face investigation for breach of Rule 2.1.8 for alleged antisemitism. I profoundly disagree that I am in breach of either rule.

I have taken legal advice before writing this letter and should make clear at the outset that I reserve all my legal rights in connection with the false statements that have been made against me and which have been repeated in your correspondence to me, the fairness of the procedure you have adopted and my right to freedom of political speech.

Introduction

  1. First, I must say that I find the lack of precision in the words you use in making such serious allegations to be unhelpful and confusing. In your letter of 3 October you refer to an “apparently antisemitic article” (suggesting you have come to a decision about the content of the article in question) but in your letter of 6 October you refer to an “allegedly antisemitic article” (suggesting no decision has been made about the content).
  2. Furthermore, in your letter of 3 October, after referring to “an apparently antisemitic article “(i.e. a single article) you go on to state “these articles” (i.e. more than a single article) are antisemitic. Which is it? You are making the gravest of allegations against me, yet you are not precise in what is being alleged against me and do not identify with clarity whether it is a single article or an array of articles upon which I am being accused and judged. The copy articles (plural) referred to in your letter of 3 October in Section 1 are dated 15 December 2016 and 21 September 2017. You do not identify the precise words you say are antisemitic. Please do so.
  3. Indeed, it seems you have been selective in what you have chosen to disclose to me, as the article of 15 December 2016 has “p7” in the bottom right hand corner and the article of 21 September 2017 has “p3” in the bottom right hand corner. I assume you have had at least 7 pages of documents passed to you by my anonymous accuser. I refer below to my right to know my accuser and the case I am facing.

Personal background

  1. I am an Israeli citizen and a naturalised British citizen.
  2. I have long been an Israeli dissident, holding internationalist socialist views, and hence am an opponent of the Zionist project and ideology.
  3. Since my arrival in Britain, in 1968, I have continued my political activity, which has mainly taken the form of giving talks and writing articles advocating my views on Zionism, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the wider region of the Middle East. I have been happy to appear at numerous meetings organised by a variety of organisations – such as student socialist societies and Palestine Solidarity groups – and to be interviewed by and publish articles in various publications. My only condition is that I am allowed to speak freely and that my articles are not censored.
  4. In 2007 I came across a leftist group calling itself the Communist Party of Great Britain (‘CPGB’), of whose existence I had not been previously aware. They soon invited me to publish articles in their weekly journal, theWeekly Worker (‘WW’). I was pleased to discover that the WW has a very liberal publishing policy and provides space for a variety of radical left views, without insisting that they agree with the CPGB political line, or subjecting them to political censorship. I was therefore happy to continue publishing articles in the WW and am of course grateful to the CPGB for its kind hospitality. Likewise, I was happy to speak at various meetings organised by them, just as I have been happy to speak at meetings organised by various other groups and organisations.

Your allegations in relation to CPGB and LPM

  1. I have never joined the CPGB as a member, as I do not wish to subject myself to their organisational discipline, and have several political differences with them.
  2. I am not, and have never been, a member of the organisation known as Labour Party Marxists. I have never written any article for their publications. In September 2017 they contacted me and asked my permission to reprint an article (in fact a edited version of a talk) by me, originally published in May 2016 in the WW http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1107/dont-apologise-attack/. They told me that they intended to distribute or sell a publication containing the reprint in the fringe of the Labour Party conference that took place in Brighton during that month. I willingly gave them my permission – as I would do, and have often done, to any publication that is prepared to disseminate my views. I am grateful to the LPM for distributing my article.
  3. The evidence provided for my alleged “support” for the CPGB or LPM does not indicate such support, as further addressed below.
  4. In any event, I am not aware that, even if I were a supporter of either organisation, this would be a breach of the rules – given that no evidence has been provided to me that these are organisations proscribed by the Party under the rules.
  5. I challenge the purported evidence that you appear to rely on that I am a supporter of those organisations. I challenge its validity in the strongest possible terms, as all I have done is exercise my freedom of speech under their aegis and for these reasons:

(i) Section 1 in your letter of 3 October is an article published by LPM last month, but I did not write this article for LPM. See 6 above.(ii) Section 3 shows that I spoke at a session of the Communist University 2016, co-sponsored by CPGB and LPM, but the evidence cited notably does not claim that I am a supporter (or member) of either organisation and, on the contrary, includes a disclaimer that ‘the views in these videos do not necessarily represent the views of either organisation’.

The fact I spoke at that educational meeting on an issue within my expertise is in principle, as far as Party rules are concerned, no different from David Lammy speaking at the Conservative Party’s fringe event on justice issues together with the current Tory Justice Minister https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/political- parties/conservative-party/theresa-may/opinion/politicshome/89397/tory- conference (scroll down); and does not make me a supporter of those organisations any more than speaking at the above event makes David Lammy a supporter of the Conservative Party.

It is in fact quite common practice for Party members, including senior ones, to speak at meetings of other parties, including rival ones. As two out of innumerable examples, I cite the above and the recent appearance by Lisa Nandy (Labour MP) with Caroline Lucas at a Compass fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference, talking about a Progressive Alliance:https://www.compassonline.org.uk/events/alliance-building-for-a- progressive-future-what-next/The evidence goes on to display an obituary by me that was published in WW (December 2016); and a comment published in WW that refers to what I said at a meeting that I attended (March 2016).

The fact that I attended such a meeting does not make me a supporter of the CPGB, nor does anything the article says about me give any such indication. This applies also to the fact that the author of the comment in question refers to me as ‘a friend of the CPGB’. Calling someone who shares a platform with you a “friend” is an accepted form of normal courtesy, such as when Jeremy Corbyn referred to a representative of Hamas as a “friend”, or when a barrister refers in court to another barrister – who may indeed be her opponent – as “my learned friend”.

  1. It is clear that the purported evidence you have presented is nugatory; and cannot possibly support the arbitrary step you have taken against me: expulsion without a hearing or proper enquiry.
  2. On the contrary, presenting such material as “evidence” for my alleged guilt is evidence for something quite different: an extremely dangerous and reprehensible attempt to restrict my freedom of speech, as well as that of other members who hold legitimate critical views on Israel and Zionism, views that are now gaining wide support in the Labour Party, as shown by events at the recent Party conference.
  3. I am led to this conclusion by the fact that in your letter of 3 October you have mentioned prominently, and without expressing any reservation, despicable and utterly false insinuations of “antisemitism” made against me by anonymous persons. Your letter quite wrongly implies there is some merit in the complaints you have received, by referring to my above-mentioned article reprinted by LPM as being ‘apparently antisemitic’. There is no antisemitic content in that article and I am deeply offended and disturbed that you have made this false and scurrilous allegation against me. My article is in fact a serious discussion, extremely critical of Zionism. These insinuations were quite irrelevant to the purpose of your first letter of 3 October, as you admitted, and reiterated in your second letter of 6 October, that they were not a cause of my (unjustified) expulsion. The fact that you included that smear against me in your letter leads me to doubt seriously your good faith.
  4. I demand a proper apology for that smear you have unnecessarily included in your letter of 3 October, and an immediate rescinding of my expulsion.

Knowing my accuser and disclosure of the evidence against me – Fairness

  1. I have been advised that, pursuant to the contractual agreement that I as a member of the Labour Party (‘the Party’) have with the Party, any consideration by you as Head of Disputes of allegations made against me must be fair. Further, I understand that the fairness of the procedure the Party must adopt is protected under common law and under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (hereafter “ECHR”). Commensurate with ECHR principles and natural justice, the right to be heard and meaningfully respond requires full disclosure of the evidence given by those accusing me.
  2. The requirement to disclose the full details of the case against me is also reflected in the Report published by Baroness Chakrabarti in 2016. When commenting on the Party’s complaints procedure she wrote:“It is also important that the procedures explain that those in respect of whom allegations have been made are clearly informed of the allegation(s) made against them, their factual basis and the identity of the complainant – unless there are good reasons not to do so (e.g. to protect the identity of the complainant).Baroness Chakrabarti also recommended that the Party:“‘…should seek to uphold the strongest principles of natural justice’”I ask for the immediate full disclosure of the documents and complaints made against me that have led to the decision to exclude me from the Party. As stated above, you appear to have only disclosed pages 3 and 7 of a complaint. Such partial disclosure in such an important matter is grossly unfair. You have made the very serious decision to exclude me from the Party without giving me any opportunity to know the identity of my accuser and to respond to the accusations.
  1. Please provide me with full disclosure of all the evidence that has been given to the Party accusing me of antisemitism and please let me know the identity of my accuser/s.

Right to my freedom of speech

  1. I am advised that your investigation and consideration of the allegations against me must comply with the Human Rights Act 1998. In particular, the Party cannot unlawfully interfere with my rights to freedom of speech under Article 10 of the ECHR, which provides:

ARTICLE 10 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
  2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

21. In the context of freedom of expression, the Party will be only too aware that political speech is afforded the highest level of protection in a democratic society, with the margin of appreciation given to national states in Article 10(2) construed narrowly in the context of such political expression.

22. I note that in your letter of 3 October 2017 you state that “…language which may cause offence to Jewish people is not acceptable…” and that “language that may be perceived as provocative, insensitive or offensive …has no place in our party”. I again emphasise that the allegation that I am an antisemite is utterly false and absurd. I have no common cause with anyone who holds racist opinions. I abhor racism. I am very concerned that the language you have used in your letter of 3 October utterly fails to protect my rights to hold and receive opinions that may not be accepted by all members in the Party. I am an anti-Zionist, which is quite different from being an antisemite.

23. Importantly, in the context of free expression, the Courts recognise that some views may “shock, offend or disturb” but still retain and attract protection under Article 10. I do not in anyway suggest that anything I have said is shocking, offending or disturbing, but as the European Court of Human Rights held in Handyside v. the United Kingdom [1976] ECHR 5, at paragraph 49:

“Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of [a democratic] society, one of the basic conditions for its progress and for the development of every man. Subject to paragraph 2 of Article 10 (art. 10-2), it is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population. Such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no ‘democratic society’.”

  1. I am advised that the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights has been adopted by the domestic Courts. For example, the Divisional Court has highlighted the wide margin given to free speech in this jurisdiction, as per Sedley LJ in Redmond-Bate v Director of Public Prosecutions [1999] EWHC Admin 73, at paragraph 20:“Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.”
  2. I am sure that you will agree that debate concerning the contentious issues surrounding the condition of the Palestinian people and the political situation in the Middle East quite obviously attract the protection of Article 10, as political speech. I cannot see how you consider my primary right of free speech on such matters can be interfered with lawfully within a democratic society on the basis of the material you have adduced.

Conclusion

I absolutely challenge the finding you present and the evidence that you rely upon that I am in breach of rule 2.1.4.B.

I absolutely reject all and any allegations that I am in breach of rule 2.1.8.

Please disclose all the evidence against me, including the identity of my accuser/s.

I reserve all my legal rights against the Party in respect of the decisions that have been taken to exclude me from the Party and to find anything I have written or said to be ‘apparently antisemitic’.

I look forward to your full response within the next 14 days.

Yours sincerely

Moshé Machover

 

Hands Off the People of Iran protests against the expulsion of one of Hopi’s founding members

Defend Moshé Machover

Of course, professor Machover’s in-depth knowledge of Middle Eastern history, as well as his expertise on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has played an important role in strengthening Hopi’s principled positions in opposition to this type of reactionary nationalism – which is alive both within the Iranian opposition and sections of the Islamic Republic regime – at a time when our focus remains one of campaigning against the threat of war and military intervention in Iran. As an independent member of Hopi’s coordinating committee (one not associated with any particular political organisation), he often plays an important role bringing together various opinions within the committee.

Moshé Machover is despised by Zionists because he has spoken on a number of occasions (including at Hopi public meetings) about Israel’s nuclear capabilities and in particular the Dimona nuclear plant. This is a very important issue, given the continuing discussions on Iran’s nuclear capabilities and the threat of a new conflict in the region. We can only assume that it is such comments that have led him to face the ridiculous accusations, equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, levelled against him by the Labour Party head of disputes. It is as if Hopi was accused of being anti-Iranian or Islamophobic because of its opposition to the particular form of religious government that is currently in power in Iran.

The first letter professor Machover received from the Labour Party disputes committee accused him of anti-Semitism for the ‘crime’ of putting the record straight on historical links between some German Zionists and the Nazis. Hopi has often mentioned the historic connection between Reza Shah Pahlavi, the shah of Iran from 1925 to 1941, and Nazi Germany. This an historical fact, which some nationalist Iranians, especially royalists, do not like being reminded of. That does not make Hopi a supporter of Nazism: recalling such historical associations does not make us anti-Iranian.

Let us be very clear: this debate is not about anti-Semitism. In fact it is not solely about anti-Zionism. The reality is that the right wing of the Labour Party wants to toe the imperialist line of the US state department and the British foreign office. The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn accepts Nato membership and the renewal of Trident and anyone dissenting from such policies is regarded as unwelcome by the Labour right, who will do what they can to expel such individuals.

Hopi has benefited from the support of prominent Labour MPs, as well as individual Labour Party members. These were mainly those opposed to war, those who stood up against the Blairite policy of tailing the US line in the Middle East. We had hoped that a Corbyn leadership would see increased cooperation between Constituency Labour Parties and Hopi at a time when Donald Trump seems intent on the ‘decertification’ of the nuclear deal with Iran. That is why we are so disappointed by the speech made by shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry. at the Labour Party conference.

Hopi is fully committed to the defence of professor Machover’s anti-Zionist stance. In expressing our continued opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran, we do not forget that there is another religious-based country in the region – one that already has nuclear weapons and whose actions have been a constant threat to peace in the region: ie, the state of Israel. That is why we will not tolerate soft Zionists within our ranks, whether they are members of the Labour Party or any other organisation

 

Moshe Machover: the strange case of Labour’s ‘flexible’ rules

If being a supporter of LPM is incompatible with Labour’s ‘aims and principles’, asks Carla Roberts, where does that leave all the other political organisations inside the party?

Our Labour Party Marxists front-page article by Moshé Machover, ‘Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism’, captured the mood of conference and, no doubt, helped inspire many to speak out against the witch-hunting right. We gave out 3,000 copies, with countless delegates and visitors commenting on the relevance and quality of the article.

The right was becoming increasingly furious throughout the week. We occasionally got low-level abuse from supporters of Labour First, Progress and the Jewish Labour Movement. JLM chair Jeremy Newmark was spotted creeping around our stall a few times, snapping pictures of LPM supporters and hissing “racists” under his breath. Typically with witch-hunters, challenged to defend his remarks, he skedaddled off.

On September 26, we received an email from Lucy Fisher of The Times:

I wanted to ask you if you wish to comment on a call by Labour MPs and the chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Trust for Labour to investigate the Labour Party Marxists and expel any of your supporters who are party members. They accuse the LPM of producing anti-Semitic literature.

Comrade Machover dealt with these baseless accusations in an interview in last week’s issue of the Weekly Worker. On September 27, when the call for our expulsion appeared in The Times (along with a large cohort of the bourgeois media generally), the right was clearly emboldened. This was a chance to vent their frustration with the fact that they had made no impact at all at conference. Encouraged by the press provocations, a few groups of mainly young, suited ‘n’ booted conference attendees snatched some copies of LPM from our stall and ripped them up. Others shouted abuse at us from a distance. A few half-heartedly tried to provoke physical confrontations. No takers on our side, thank you.

The net result was to actually draw more delegates and conference visitors to our stall. They were eager to show their solidarity by taking our literature – not quite the result our rightwing provocateurs were hoping for, we imagine.

They may have lost conference, but our Labour right wing still has the media and the Labour apparatus on its side, of course. Moshé Machover was informed of his expulsion on October 3, just seven days after the publication of The Times article. Moshé’s ejection was swiftly followed by the expulsion of a handful of LPM sympathisers.

In what is possibly a first of its kind, comrade Machover actually received not one, but two, expulsion letters. The October 2 version makes it clear that he was being excluded for an

apparently anti-Semitic article published in your name by the organisation known as Labour Party Marxists (LPM). The content of these articles appears to meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which has been adopted by the Labour Party.

This initial letter clearly focuses on the charge of anti-Semitism – although hedged around with the qualifications of “apparently” and “appears to meet”. Only in its second section does it raise as a problem the comrade’s

involvement and support for both LPM and the Communist Party of Great Britain (through your participation in CPGB events and regular contributions to the CPGB’s newspaper, the Weekly Worker) … Membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party, is incompatible with Labour Party membership.

Civil war

So, clearly, comrade Machover was reported to the compliance unit because of his “apparently anti-Semitic article”. But this alone would have only led to his suspension (as with Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and Ken Livingstone – comrades who have all been suspended for well over a year). But then the eager-beaver bureaucrats in the compliance unit decided to add LPM and the Weekly Worker to their unpublished list of proscribed organisations (officially abolished in the 1970s). Et voila! Comrade Machover could be expelled. Naturally, this charge saved the compliance unit a great deal of bother in terms of trying actually prove that comrade Machover’s article was indeed anti-Semitic.

Or so they thought.

Within days, dozens of Labour Party members, branches and organisations had sent statements and letters of protest to the NEC, Labour general secretary Iain McNicol and his letter-writer, Sam Matthews (“head of disputes”). The clearly arbitrary nature of the accusations was challenged, particularly the charge that his article was anti-Semitic. Many of these protests (and comrade Machover’s expulsion letters) can be found on our website.

Clearly, this pressure made an impact. On October 5, comrade Machover received expulsion letter number two. “Following our letter dated October 3 2017, representations have been made to the Labour Party on your behalf,” it states. No doubt slightly rattled by these “representations”, McNicol and co backtracked with a ‘qualification’:

For the avoidance of any doubt, you are not ineligible for membership as a result of complaints received by the party that you have breached rule 2.I.8 regarding language which may be prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the party in an allegedly anti-Semitic article published in your name. These allegations are not subject to an investigation, as you are not currently a member of the Labour Party.

Well, yes, you’ve just expelled him, haven’t you, Iain?

Comrade Machover was told: “You have been automatically excluded under rule 2.I.4.B due to your clear support of at least one organisation which is incompatible with membership of the Labour Party, namely Labour Party Marxists, as well as the Communist Party of Great Britain.” The charge of having produced anti-Semitic material will handily be kept on file and re-examined should comrade Machover chose to reapply for membership after the standard five years following an expulsion.

Comrade Machover, in reminding the labour movement of the communist witch-hunts of the McCarthy area in the US, has publicly stated: “I am not and nor have I ever been a member of LPM or the CPGB.” We can fully confirm he has never been an LPM member (though we doubt the compliance unit takes much notice of our assurances).

His “clear support” consisted of writing articles for the Weekly Worker and attending some events organised by the CPGB. However, if the same rule were applied to the front bench of the Labour Party, there would be very few MPs left.

Whose rules?

Clearly, this expulsion goes right to the heart of the civil war in the Labour Party. The more naive Labour members might believe the nonsense about the whole party now ‘standing united behind Jeremy Corbyn’. The opposite is the case. The more branch and CLP executives go over to the left, the more pro-Corbyn councillors and MPs are selected, the more leftwing delegates are chosen to go to conference, the more desperately the right is trying to retain their hold over the bureaucracy.

The expulsion of comrade Machover, together with LPM supporters, shows how much arbitrary power the right still wields. One member was expelled for the crime of sharing six LPM posts on Facebook – the only evidence presented in his letter of expulsion.

Let’s look at the main charge being levelled. The rule quoted by Matthews, is 2.1.4.B and concerns “Exclusions from party membership”:

A member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member …

For decades, nobody had been expelled for simply belonging to another organisation and the only criterion applied when it came to the (very rare) expulsions was the bit about supporting “any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate”. But after Corbyn’s election the right started to use every method at its disposal to defeat the left. Supporters of Socialist Appeal, many of whom had been loyal and pretty harmless members of the Labour Party for decades, were now targeted. Then, thanks to Tom Watson’s ‘reds under the bed’ dossier, it was the turn of Alliance for Workers’ Liberty members.

But if members face automatic expulsion for joining or supporting any “political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party”, that begs the question why members and supporters of Labour First, Progress, Jewish Labour Movement or Labour Friends of Israel are not turfed out.

McNicol was recently asked exactly this question by comrades from Weaver Vale CLP. Incredibly, he answered – at length. We quote his email of February 13 2017, because it is highly instructive when it comes to how rules are being bent and twisted in today’s Labour Party:

As our head of internal governance advised you, independent groups are not required to conform with Labour Party rules on affiliations and none of the organisations you describe are affiliated to the Labour Party. However, all individual members of the Labour Party are obliged to comply with Labour Party rules. These organisations are their own legal entities with their own funds, membership and rules. If they wish to affiliate to the Labour Party they must demonstrate that they support Labour’s aims and values and provide the party with audited accounts and their rulebook to ensure that these do not conflict with Labour’s own rules and values [our emphasis].

As previously advised, the Labour Party should be the home of lively debate, of new ideas and of campaigns to change society. For a fair debate to take place, people must be able to air their views. This includes for all members and groups the right to make clear their opposition to a party’s policy position or leadership, and the right to campaign for a position or direction they believe the party should follow. We are a democratic organisation and through our conference we settle our direction through the will of all sections of the party. But we do not seek to censor those who disagree.

In your correspondence … you refer to chapter 2, clause 1, section 4.B. However, you have only quoted half of the relevant sentence. The full clause copied below specifically relates to joining or supporting a political organisation that stands or publicly declares an intention to stand a candidate against an official Labour candidate. None of the organisations you describe have stood or have declared an intent to stand a candidate against an official Labour candidate [our emphasis].

So how does all this relate to comrade Machover and Labour Party Marxists – which has never stood or declared “an intention to stand” against Labour?

Incompatible?

Note that McNicol stresses members’ and groups’ “right to make clear their opposition to a party’s policy position or leadership, and the right to campaign for a position or direction they believe the party should follow”. According to his email, only when a group wants to “affiliate to the party” does it have to “demonstrate that they support Labour’s aims and values”.

This is clearly not the case when it comes to the left of the party. In their expulsion letters, LPM supporters have been told:

This organisation’s expressed aims and principles are incompatible with those of the Labour Party, as set out in clause IV of the Labour Party constitutional rules. Membership or support for another political party, or a political organisation with incompatible aims to the Labour Party, is incompatible with Labour Party membership.

Needless to say, LPM has not applied for affiliation. And, all of a sudden, Labour is not that “home of lively debate, of new ideas and of campaigns to change society”.

In reality of course, it all depends on what kind of change your organisation wants to see. We make no secret of our belief that clause four needs to be dramatically reworded to feature a clear commitment to socialism and working class power. While we fight for the radical transformation of the Labour Party, Labour First, Progress, JLM and Labour Friends of Israel clearly want to return to the good old days of Blairite neoliberalism and collaboration with big business.

Speaking of Tony Blair, he certainly was one Labour Party member whose “expressed aims and principles” were “incompatible with those of the Labour Party”, as set out in clause four. After all, he campaigned against the old clause four and managed to force through a total rewrite!

Hugh Gaitskell, another Labour leader, also showed his “incompatibility”. After losing the 1959 general election, he was convinced that public opposition to nationalisation had led to the party’s poor performance. He proposed to amend clause four. The left fought back, however, and defeated moves for change: symbolically, in fact, it was agreed that the clause was to be included on party membership cards.1)www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/09/clause-iv-of-labour-party-constitution-what-is-all-the-fuss-about-reinstating-it

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy has set up a working group to discuss how clause four should be changed. Does that make the CLPD “incompatible” with the Labour Party?

In our view, the people and organisations “incompatible” with the aims and values of the Labour Party are those who vote with the Tories on austerity, those who wage war on migrants and the poorest section of society and those who scream ‘anti-Semites!’ in response to criticism of the state of Israel.

While rules can protect us from the worst excesses of arbitrary abuse, they can be interpreted, bent and twisted ad absurdum by those in charge. It all depends on the balance of forces in the party.

Notes

1..

2.www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/09/clause-iv-of-labour-party-constitution-what-is-all-the-fuss-about-reinstating-it.

In defence of history: Interview with Moshé Machover

updated on October 5

Labour Party Marxists attracted much praise and support from delegates at the Labour Party conference, in particular because of the excellent ‘Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism’ article written by Moshé Machover  LPM no 17. Since then the right has taken its revenge. Around the country anyone who has expressed a liking for the LPM online or forwarded an article could well be on the receiving end of an expulsion letter. One of them is Moshé Machover. LPM’s Reg Kingston spoke to him

LPM: What do you make of the charges leveled against you?

As far as I can see, they have not twisted what I said. What is twisted is their sly, toxic ‘definition of anti-Semitism’. In relation to the second charge all I have to say is this: I am not, nor ever have been, a member of the organisations cited: CPGB and LPM (to quote the old McCarthyite formula). However, I can’t deny or confirm being ‘associated’ with them, because I do not know what this is supposed to mean.

Moreover, I suspect that at least part of the ‘evidence’ that these are “political organisation[s] with incompatible aims to the Labour Party” is the fact that you published my articles and invited me to give talks …

LPM: Frankly, I enjoyed your article but I didn’t anticipate it would cause so much fuss! How do you explain the vehemence of the attacks on your contribution? Why is this happening?

MM: It’s the result of a conjunction of two things. I follow the Israeli press very closely and the wider political discussions in Israel in general. Quite some time ago – and I’m talking about before anyone imagined that Corbyn would be Labour Party leader (least of all himself!) – there was a feeling in Israeli establishment circles that they were losing the propaganda war. They responded with the Hasbara campaign.1)Hasbara is a Hebrew word for the public relations efforts of the Israeli state to disseminate abroad positive propaganda about itself and its actions.

This was part of a decision was made to go onto the offensive: in a sense, it’s the last ditch attempt to rescue the international reputation of this state. They are losing credibility on the arena of what could be called international opinion, but – more importantly – they are losing the Jewish public outside Israel, especially those under 30. There is a clear generational shift in opinion. These people are becoming very critical of Israel and its colonisation project.

You could see a sign of this at the Labour conference on September 27, in Corbyn’s leader speech to close the event. His call for Israel to stop the oppression of the Palestinians and to end the savage oppression of these people won loud applause.2)“…let’s give real support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and illegal settlement expansion and move to a genuine two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict” (https://www.totalpolitics.com/articles/news/jeremy-corbyn%E2%80%99s-2017-labour-conference-speech-full-transcript) This was a sign of the times. It’s an indicator of what the general public has come to feel – including a large percentage of Jewish people, especially the youth.

Remember, the Israeli establishment identified this quite some time before Corbyn’s breakthrough was on the agenda. They had already decided to go on the attack internationally, using this ‘dirty bomb’ tactic of labelling any criticism of Zionism and its colonisation project as anti-Semitic.

In the UK, they found useful fools in the form of the Labour right wing. The Israeli state’s propaganda tactic of smearing all criticism of itself as anti-Jewish coincided with the Labour’s right’s need to discredit Corbyn and the left of the party.

Now Corbyn has plenty of enemies – both inside and outside the party! So this smear tactic was eagerly seized upon – including by people who care absolutely nothing about the issues of Israel-Palestine, the Jews, Zionism and all these important questions. They are totally cynical in their use of these issues. As Chris Williamson’s phrase goes, the Labour right “weaponised” the sensitive and complex issue of anti-Semitism for the sake of narrow, factional advantage against a left in the Labour Party that was growing and threatening to overwhelm them.

It’s a dirty war.

LPM: Mike Katz of the Jewish Labour Movement 3)Mike Katz is a leading member of the Jewish Labour Movement. A fuller biography of the man can be read here – http://www.mikekatz.org/about-me/ dubbed you an “amoral historian” in conversation with one of our supporters at the Brighton Labour conference. He couldn’t really elaborate on this category when challenged to do so. He didn’t directly contest the veracity of anything you said: he simply seemed to be implying that bringing up the issue of the limited collaboration between Zionist organisations as the Nazi regime at all is outside the boundaries of social/political acceptability. But, as I say, that’s a guess! What do you think he’s talking about?

MM: Well, I’m not quite sure. I have made my views about history and morality quite clear in the past. They can be found in a book I published in 2012 and in public lectures I gave in London in 2006.4)Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and resolution, Haymarket Books, Chicago 2012. Also see lecture http://www.israeli-occupation.org/2006-11-30/moshe-machover-israelis-and-palestinians-conflict-and-resolution/

In these, I make it crystal clear that moral judgements of historical events are very important. But first, you need the facts. You mustn’t start with a moral, value-laden attitude to past events. In the first instance, establish what happened. The moral judgements must come later.

Everyone is entitled to their own moral assessments of the historical actions of individuals, groups, parties or social classes. We can disagree. But people are not entitled to ‘alternative facts’. The factual record I refer to in my article is there, it is available to access, the basic record of the events I write about is uncontested. (As you say, Mike Katz didn’t contest them either!) So, accept that these events took place, they are part of history and must be explained. Then let’s talk about morality!

LPM: The JLM seem to approach historical truth and investigation with parameters that set by what is sayable – what is permitted to be spoken of, regardless of whether it is an actual historical fact.

MM: Here are some historical facts, then. We are closing in on the century of the Balfour declaration.5)The Balfour Declaration was a public statement in the form of a letter to Lord Rothschild, issued by the British government during WWI announcing support for the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. The area was then an Ottoman region with an Arab population and a tiny Jewish minority. It’s interesting to read what the Board of Deputies of British Jews said about it at the time. During the discussions around the declaration, spokespeople of the BDBJ expressed consistent and fundamental objections to the general plan for the Zionist colonisation of Palestine and specifically to the idea that the Jews in Britain were a separate race or nationality.

They insisted that Jewishness is a religion. Take Lucien Wolf,6)Lucien Wolf was a British-Jewish journalist and historian of Anglo-Jewry. He was a campaigner for Jewish civil rights and an outspoken opponent of political Zionism. a leading light in the BDBJ. In a famous letter to Lord Rothschild while the negotiations that resulted in the Balfour Declaration were taking place, he took great exception to the Zionist idea that it was “self-delusional for any Jew to believe him or herself to be English by nationality and Jewish by faith”. This is how Wolf responded:

I have spent most of my life in combating these very doctrines when presented to me in the form of anti-Semitism and I can only regard them as the more dangerous when they come to me in the guise of Zionism. They constitute a capitulation to our enemies which have absolutely no justification in history, ethnology or the facts of everyday life…

In fact, the Zionists of that time – who, it must be remembered, were a minority amongst British Jews and minorities in all western European countries – would have regarded Wolf’s stance as abominable.

Later, we have the Montefiore brothers – Alexander and Claude, who were, respectively, the presidents of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and of the Anglo-Jewish Association. These two penned a letter to The Times, published on May 24, 1917. In it, they express a similar sentiment:

“Establishment of a Jewish nationality in Palestine founded on the theory of Jewish homelessness would have the effect throughout the world of stamping the Jews as strangers in their native lands, undermining their hard-won position as citizens and nationals of those lands.”

So, what they are saying is that our nationality is British; we are Jewish by religion. In fact, they go on to reject the idea of:

a secular Jewish nationality recruited on some loose and obscure principle of race and of ethnographic peculiarity.

LPM: And isn’t this the specific feature that you point to when you reference the limited ‘commonality’ of one aspect Zionism and the Nazis. The notion of the Jews as a race; the idea that they could not live amongst gentiles without constant conflict and friction; that assimilation was an illusion and, therefore, there was the need for the Jews to separate themselves from the Gentiles and vice versa?

MM: Yes, but let’s remember something about that Heydrich7)Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was a high-ranking Nazi SS commander during World War II, and a main architect of the Holocaust. quotation in my original article – the one that caused LPMers so much trouble from JLM activists outside the Labour conference!8)http://labourpartymarxists.org.uk/john-mann-mp-expel-labour-party-marxists/ In this, Heydrich is responding to a reciprocal overture on the part of German Zionists. Let me put this in its historical context.

This context was the publication of the notorious, abominable Nuremberg Laws against German Jews – probably the foulest racist laws enacted.9)The Nuremberg laws (1935) institutionalised many of the racial theories of Nazi ideology. The laws excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood.” These were published in September 1935. Of course, most German Jews felt the same as Lucien Wolf and the Montefiores in Britain: they regarded themselves as Germans by nationality and Jews by religion or religious background.

But a minority amongst the community – the Zionists – welcomed the Nuremburg laws! Here is a quote from the official organ of the Zionist movement in Germany – it is available in Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. The name of this journal was Jüdische Rundschau. Specifically, it was an editorial, signed by the editor, a certain Mr Brendt, which welcome the fact that Germany had recognised the Jews not as part of the German people, but as separate nationality/race. (In Germany – and in many other places at that time – the words ‘nation’ and ‘race’ tended to be treated as synonyms). Brendt refers to the resolution recently passed by the 19th World Zionist Congress (1935), held in Lucerne in Switzerland. He says that this resolution put an end to any talk of Judaism being simply a religion. And now, he says, speaking of the Nuremberg laws:

Germany has merely drawn the practical consequences from this and is meeting the demand of the International Zionist Congress when it declares the Jews now living in Germany to be a national minority.

So, according to this leading Zionist, by enacting the Nuremburg laws, the German Reich is implicitly accepting the position of the international Zionist Congress.

Of course, we look back at this history with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. We know the end of the story as it were; where the Jews of Europe actually ended up – facing physical extermination. And, of course, you cannot be sure that Heydrich himself was guilty of dissimulation when he responded positively to this overture. He may have been lying; or, as some historians argue, that at the point in history the ‘Final Solution’ was not yet the fixed policy of the Nazi state.

In some ways, this question of intention is a secondary matter. Heydrich, writing in the SS paper Das Schwarze Korps, is responding within days of that editorial in that official Zionist organ, and he explicitly states that “the government [ie, the Nazis in power] finds itself in complete agreement with the great spiritual movement within Jewry itself, the so-called Zionism, with its recognition of the solidarity of Jewry throughout the world and the rejection of all assimilationist ideas.”

It was very important for the Nazis state to insist that Jews were not simply a religion because it was not the policy – in general – of their state to persecute and discriminate in such an extreme way against religious minorities. Thus, they insisted that the Jews were a separate nation/race. In this respect, their view clearly coincided with that of the Zionist movement – which, remember, was a minority viewpoint amongst German Jews. In that sense, Heydrich was using the Zionists against the majority of the German Jews. He was using Zionism as a polemical stick against the majority viewpoint of German Jews – for assimilation and full civil rights in Germany, the country of their birth.

LPM: What’s your estimation of the Labour conference and what does the controversy around this sensitive question tell us about the current balance of forces between the left and right?

There are contradictions. One the one hand, Corbyn wins enthusiastic applause when he calls for an end of the oppressions of the Palestinians. On the other hand, we have an ongoing guerrilla war in the lower levels of the party – at the level of council votes, for example – where bad positions are being adopted, very dangerous votes taken.

So, the “weaponisation” of anti-Semitism continues, but can move into different arenas of struggle. We can make progress in the Labour Party itself, but then in local councils the rightwing Labour councillors can stop education on the issue of Israel-Palestine, they can close down actions and meetings in solidarity with the Palestinians, etc.

The fight isn’t over! This dirty war against us will continue and probably intensify as the pro-Israel apologists and rightist in the party lose ground.

 

References

1 Hasbara is a Hebrew word for the public relations efforts of the Israeli state to disseminate abroad positive propaganda about itself and its actions.
2 “…let’s give real support to end the oppression of the Palestinian people, the 50-year occupation and illegal settlement expansion and move to a genuine two-state solution of the Israel-Palestine conflict” (https://www.totalpolitics.com/articles/news/jeremy-corbyn%E2%80%99s-2017-labour-conference-speech-full-transcript
3 Mike Katz is a leading member of the Jewish Labour Movement. A fuller biography of the man can be read here – http://www.mikekatz.org/about-me/
4 Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and resolution, Haymarket Books, Chicago 2012. Also see lecture http://www.israeli-occupation.org/2006-11-30/moshe-machover-israelis-and-palestinians-conflict-and-resolution/
5 The Balfour Declaration was a public statement in the form of a letter to Lord Rothschild, issued by the British government during WWI announcing support for the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine. The area was then an Ottoman region with an Arab population and a tiny Jewish minority.
6 Lucien Wolf was a British-Jewish journalist and historian of Anglo-Jewry. He was a campaigner for Jewish civil rights and an outspoken opponent of political Zionism.
7 Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was a high-ranking Nazi SS commander during World War II, and a main architect of the Holocaust.
8 http://labourpartymarxists.org.uk/john-mann-mp-expel-labour-party-marxists/
9 The Nuremberg laws (1935) institutionalised many of the racial theories of Nazi ideology. The laws excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood.”

John Mann MP: “Expel Labour Party Marxists”

It had to happen sooner or later. Now Labour Party Marxists has been accused of being “anti-Semitic”. John Mann MP and the Holocaust Educational Trust demand our members be expelled from the Labour Party for the crime for carrying an article in our latest edition of Labour Party Marxists by Moshé Machover, which discusses if Zionists really did collaborate with the early Nazi regime.

We call on socialists to read the actual article and make up their own mind.

Below is the article in today’s The Times (September 27) carrying the accusations.

And here the article by Moshé Machover, a lifelong anti-Zionist Jewish Israeli campaigner.

The Times: Throw out antisemitic party members now, Corbyn urged

Jeremy Corbyn has been called on to investigate a left-wing group accused of producing and circulating antisemitic literature on the fringes of Labour’s conference.

Labour MPs and the Holocaust Educational Trust demanded a personal intervention by the Labour leader to identify and discipline members of the Labour Party Marxists group, which disseminated a leaflet quoting a prominent Nazi.

The organisation is not affiliated with Labour officially, but James Marshall, a senior figure in the group, said that all of its supporters, including himself, were card-carrying members.

The leaflet handed out in Brighton discussed the “commonality between Zionists and Nazis”. It quoted Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi architect of the Final Solution, saying in 1935: “National Socialists had no intention of attacking Jewish people.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “I don’t understand how it is acceptable to be handing out such disgusting literature outside Labour’s conference quoting one of the 20th century’s most notorious antisemites and architects of the Final Solution, Reinhard Heydrich.”

She added: “The Labour Party Marxists’ guide to motions at the conference suggests that at least some of their supporters are party members — Labour needs to identify who is linked to this group.”

John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw and chairman of the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, said: “The Labour Party Marxists should all be thrown out of the party, every single one of them. We want them investigated and then thrown out. Their scurrilous publication, which contains antisemitic material, is good only for the recycling bin.”

As the row threatened to overshadow the party’s four-day gathering, the Labour leader of Brighton & Hove council warned that it could be the last time the party hosts its conference in the seaside town unless it gets a grip on the problem. Warren Morgan said he was very concerned at “the antisemitism being aired publicly in fringe meetings and on the floor of conference”.

Ken Livingstone, the former Labour mayor of London, also joined the row, telling TalkRadio: “Some people have made offensive comments, it doesn’t mean they’re inherently antisemitic and hate Jews. They just go over the top when they criticise Israel.”

Mr Livingstone, 72, has been disciplined by the party for comments he made about Hitler last year and is banned from holding office in Labour until next April, but is still a member of his local party.

A heated debate took place in the conference hall on a rule change on antisemitism. Mike Katz, a delegate from the Jewish Labour Movement, welcomed Mr Corbyn’s backing for the new rule, which strengthens the party’s disciplinary process for dealing with antisemitic and other forms of prejudicial views and behaviour.

During the debate one delegate, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, accused the party of policing “thought crime”, saying: “Obviously if you express hateful opinions you’ve got to be disciplined, or at least educated — but holding them? We can’t be having it.”

Yesterday the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said Labour needed to do more to prove it was not a racist party.

Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North, said: “Anyone who says Labour doesn’t have a problem with antisemitism is in cloud cuckoo land.”

Mr Corbyn rejected accusations that Labour had become the new “nasty party”. “Nobody should be abused, whoever they are,” he said. “We have just passed a motion on racism and antisemitism which is comprehensive and inclusive and is supported by all wings of the party and unanimously agreed by our national executive.

“Anyone using antisemitic language, anyone using any form of racist language, is completely at odds with the beliefs of this party.”

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, last night claimed the row was “mood music created by people trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn”.

Mr Marshall, of the Labour Party Marxists, said: “The idea the Labour Party Marxists article in question is antisemitic is risible. It was written by Moshé Machover, a Jewish Israeli. They [the critics] are equating antisemitism with antizionism.”

Jewish Labour Movement
The only Jewish community socialist society officially affiliated to Labour. The pro-Zionist organisation boasts MPs and councillors among its supporters. The JLM helped to devise the rule change that Labour backed yesterday strengthening the party’s disciplinary process. Some Labour members, including Jewish party backers, have complained the JLM does not represent their views.

Free Speech on Israel
The independent group says it “was founded as a predominantly Jewish campaign group in Spring 2016 to counter the manufactured moral panic over a supposed epidemic of antisemitism in the UK. Criticism of Israel and of its founding ideology, Zionism, has been misrepresented as antisemitic.”

Labour Party Marxists
The independent group has published many articles about Israel. It was accused of producing literature quoting Reinhard Heydrich, architect of the Final Solution, that was antisemitic — an allegation it rejected — and handing it out on the conference’s fringes.