The Jewish Labour Movement has been told it will remain the only official Jewish affiliate of the Labour Party after senior figures appeared to suggest that Jewish Voice for Labour could be considered too.
It comes after the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) leadership, including Jewish MP Luciana Berger, met Labour’s new General-Secretary Jennie Formby and a represent of the Leader’s Office.
Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is a new group formed last year which is against the Party’s adoption of the working examples given in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, because some can limit legitimate free speech on Israel.
JVL members attended a counter-protest to that organised by the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party earlier this year, saying allegations that Jeremy Corbyn is soft on anti-Semitism is a smear.
A JVL spokesman said after the event: “There is a massive difference between saying that more needs to be done within the party and a demonstration like this which is implicitly trying to force him out…This protest is unnecessary, inflammatory and politicised.”
This week a JLM spokeswoman said: “We were relieved to hear directly from Jennie Formby that there will be no change in our unique status as the Labour Party’s only Jewish affiliate, and that we will continue to play a central role in delivering the Party’s anti-Semitism training.”
She said Formby “articulated her understanding of contemporary left wing anti-Semitism, accepted that it is a serious issue that the wider Labour movement must resolve and agreed that this was the reason we lost in Barnet and other areas of high Jewish populations”.
The JLM spokeswoman added: “We were disappointed that too much of the conversation focused on process. We called for the kind of sincere, competent leadership required to overcome this crisis now entering its third year. Ultimately this can only be solved through political will.
“We wanted to see greater understanding that both [Formby] and [Corbyn] are willing to take very public, very urgent and very vocal steps required to give the our members, the Jewish community and others the assurances they so desperately need.”
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