Starmer is trying to insist that we must all accept the EHRC Report in full and without question. No report is beyond question and this one demands it more than most, writes the Jewish Voice for Labour.
These are some of the main points that demand interrogation.
- There is no finding of institutional antisemitism in the Report nor does it provide any evidence of widespread antisemitism.
- At no stage does the report try to describe, how and when any Jewish member of the Party had suffered discrimination or disadvantage on account of being Jewish.
- Corbyn and Formby tried to fix a broken disciplinary system they inherited from McNicol and are given no credit for that.
- The EHRC say they read the leaked GLU report but they never asked for the emails and posts the report depended on or commented on the factionalism and sabotage it revealed. They quoted it where it helped their argument but not where it contradicted it.
- McNicol is given a free pass and all blame is laid at Corbyn’s door even though only two actions by Corbyn by name are cited in the report and one of those was his commitment to ending antisemitism in the Party (Report p.6).
- Those complained about suffered more from the poor practices than did the complainants.
- The Report is about a political party but totally fails to be interested in how this affected how anyone operated and ignored both factionalism and personal careerism as drivers of actions.
- Much is made of the three unlawful acts but each finding of unlawful activity is dubious
- It is stretching credibility to interpret the actions of Livingstone and Bromley as acts the Party was responsible for – irrespective of whether you believe them to be antisemitic
- Interference with the disciplinary process may be poor practice but it is only unlawful if it is detrimental to people with a ‘protected characteristic – the report does not even attempt to establish that
- There was more training about antisemitism, not less, than any other area of harassment – except sexual harassment and the Report mis-characterises that: that training was about case management not about the nature of sexual harassment.
- The Report confuses education about antisemitism and training about how to handle disciplinary cases. It dismisses the programme offered by the highly regarded Pears Institute on Antisemitism on the basis of one comment by one participant (report p.92) and is contradictory about whether the Party should be delivering Education or Training.
- The report makes no attempt to estimate the numerical size of Labour’s antisemitism problem nor whether it had been accurately reported. It only refers to a sample of cases without describing how they had been selected or whether they were representative. Therefore, discussion of the scale of the problem and whether it had been exaggerated in no way contradicts the report nor is it proscribed by the report. The EHRC makes this clear with its reference to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- The Report rests upon a notion of ‘The Jewish Community’ that is homogeneous and is alleged to take offence in a uniform manner. Despite its talk about consulting Jewish stakeholders, Jews who think differently are disregarded.
- The Report is elusive about the evidence it used to produce such damning conclusions.
- The Report grew out of an exclusive campaign about antisemitism in the Labour Party. The campaign and the Report were indifferent to any problems that Black people, people of Asian origin or any other non-Jewish group face. The campaign was also indifferent to antisemitism in other political parties.
- There are no comparisons with how other forms of racism were dealt with; this should have been of equal concern. The Report’s Terms of Reference embraced all forms of racism (Report p. 123).
- There are no comparisons with how other parties deal with antisemitism; without this there is no context.
- The unacknowledged context of the Report is deep conflict within the Party to the situation in Palestine/Israel. The whole campaign gagged Palestinian members of the Labour Party from speaking about their own experiences. The Report compounds this silencing.
- The over-concentration of the media on alleged Labour Antisemitism at the expense of concern about antisemitism elsewhere or discrimination against other groups produced a distorting environment for the Report; the Report neither acknowledged nor compensated for this.
Click here for a secure way to sign up, you will be supporting independent news. Click the button below.
Disagree with this article? why not write in and you can have your say? email us