European Jewish Congress
British Labour conference fringe event calls for expulsion of Jewish groups from party
United Kingdom
British Labour conference fringe event calls for expulsion of Jewish groups from party

A call to expel Jewish activists from Labour was greeted with cheers at a packed fringe meeting at the party’s conference in Brighton.

Members of the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel were targeted at the meeting on Monday, held by the Free Speech on Israel group, and chaired by leading Jewish anti-Zionist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi.

Wimborne-Idrissi won a standing ovation on Monday morning when, speaking in the international debate, she told Conference: “There is no problem with Jews in the Labour Party”.

Keynote speaker at the meeting was Miko Peled, a Jerusalem-born anti-Zionist who lives in America. His book, The General’s Son, describes his change of heart from growing up in the family of one of Israel’s most decorated soldiers, General Matti Peled.

Today, sporting a large pink Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions badge, Miko Peled and his enthusiastic audience roamed through every anti-Israel trope in the canon, from refusing to call Israel “Israel”, but rather “Palestine”, to concluding his remarks with “We can speak about the Holocaust, yes or no” — as though there were a choice in the matter.

Peled made a series of claims about the spending power of “the Zionists”, including a suggestion that “every person standing for city council in America gets a five star trip to Israel, all expenses paid”. “Billions” had been invested in a campaign to “silence the Palestinian voice”, he said.

Salma Karmi-Ayoub, the former chair of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, dated the campaign against Palestinians back to the 2001 Durban anti-racism conference in 2001. She said that Israel was “trying to silence the discussion about its legitimacy as a state”.

But it was a call from Michael Kalmanovitz, of the “International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network” for the Jewish Labour Movement and the Labour Friends of Israel to be expelled from the Labour Party which galvanised the crowd. “What are JM and LFI doing in our Party?” he asked. “It’s time we campaigned to kick them out”.

Jennifer Gerber, director of LFI, said: “It’s beyond disgraceful that at a Labour Party Conference there have been calls to expel LFI an JLM from the party. Supporting the world’s only Jewish state is a mainstream and longstanding Labour position, we hope the Labour Party leadership acts swiftly to condemn those who seek to bully pro-Israel and Jewish members out of the party”.

Click here to read the full article in Jewish News

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
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