Jewish Voice For Labour members ‘appeared to see Jew-hate as fantasy’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jewish Voice For Labour members ‘appeared to see Jew-hate as fantasy’

Ian Saville said he 'had a feeling that I was bringing up an irrelevant debating point' when raising the issue

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Jewish Voice for Labour banners at the Enough is Enough counter-demonstration
Jewish Voice for Labour banners at the Enough is Enough counter-demonstration

A founding member of Jewish Voice For Labour has claimed that when he suggested the group should actually provide support for victims of antisemitism within Labour, committee members “looked at me askance.”

Ian Saville, a self-declared “socialist magician: and founder of the Jews For Jeremy Facebook group, shed light on his involvement with JVL in a new online article assessing failures amongst left-wing groups over antisemitism.

The Brent Central Labour activist wrote that as a result of what he said was a “relentless right wing onslaught” over allegations of anti-Jewish racism some left-wing groups treated all claims on the issue as “bogus.”

Saville writes on the Labour Hub website: “It came home to me when I was on the JVL Committee and we had decided that one Committee should have the job of supporting those who have been unfairly accused of antisemitism.

“I supported this, but then ventured the idea that there should also be support for people who had themselves faced antisemitism within the Labour Party.

“People looked at me askance, as though I was asking for an officer to support people who had been attacked by leprechauns. Nobody argued against such a move but I had a feeling that I was bringing up an irrelevant debating point.

“As far as I know my suggest was not acted upon.”

In another revealing incident Saville revealed how he was left arguing with a poster on his J4J Facebook page after he removed a comment which “alleged the Holocaust was a fantasy.”

He writes:”The individual, who came from a Jewish background, nevertheless thought that Jews had somehow contrived to bring about the Russian Revolution and the Second World War in order to bolster their banking empire.”

Saville said this person was “frantic in his eagerness to persuade me of his truth” and added:”Alarmingly he also supported Jeremy Corbyn.”

Saville also concedes that within the left “there were an abundance of conspiracy theorists… who were constantly posting tales about the Rothschilds’ control of the economy, or Israel running all of the media.”

JVL’s co-chair Jenny Manson told Jewish News: “For us it is not whether to address antisemitism in the Labour Party but how to do it. Our response is an educational one not a training or punitive one.

“We have been active in trying to improve both understanding and behaviour. This stream of work developed after Ian had left the committee so he is perhaps not aware of the energy and resources we have devoted to it.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments