A motion has been submitted to Lewisham West Labour Party suggesting the Jewish Labour Movement should be barred from conducting antisemitism training.
JLM is the only organisation approved by the party to train members on the issue, although the controversial JVL has indicated it wants to expand its own programme.
Far-left activists have now pushing for Lewisham West CLP to endorse a motion claiming JLM, the party’s only official Jewish affiliate for nearly a century, is “not an appropriate body” to serve this role. Their motion says: “It is only one body among others representing Jewish opinion within the party.
“It is affiliated to organisations that promote racist practises in Israel/Palestine, and it takes a highly contentious view on the relationship between antisemitism and the struggle for equal rights in Israel/Palestine.”
Its proposers say they are “committed to the struggle against racism” and are “aware” that British Jews are anxious over increased antisemitism. But they also express concern over calls for the council to adopt the IHRA definition in full – as backed by every mainstream communal organisation – suggesting it could be used to pressure the local authority not to allow its resources to support the “struggle for democracy” in the Middle East. They urge “all Labour Party groups, councillors and the Mayor to stand up against intemperate and emotive calls for them to endorse, without caveats, the IHRA document “.
A JLM statement said: “The Jewish Labour Movement remains the only organisation that has been approved by the Labour Party, including its Leader and General Secretary to run training on antisemitism.
Any CLP that goes out of its way to bar the only Jewish affiliate should really be placed in special measures by the Labour Party. Lewisham West CLP members may want to reflect on what the Leader of the Labour Party has said on tackling antisemitism within our party.”
JLM conducted training at the party’s annual conference in 2017 but withdrew last year, suggesting elements of its session had been censored.