Activists at Camden Momentum are planning a demonstration against the international definition of anti-Semitism, ahead of Labour NEC’s vote on the issue next week.
A Jewish ex-councillor has asked left-wingers in Camden to side with the community over the “absolute cranks” ahead of the Labour Party’s decision on IHRA.
Phil Rosenberg, a member of Hampstead and Kilburn Constituency Labour Party and until recently a councillor, was responding to calls for a “mass lobby” of Labour’s National Executive Council (NEC) on 4 September.
The NEC is due to decide next week whether to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism together with its 11 working examples within the Party’s code of conduct.
However, there is now a concerted effort among some grassroots Labour supporters in London to push the NEC into giving Labour Party members a vote on the IHRA definition.
Some supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have suggested adding caveats that they feel would protect free speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after concerns were raised by barristers about the use of some IHRA examples.
The grassroots push follows an emergency meeting on 20 August, called by Camden Momentum, with support from other Momentum groups across the capital.
In a Facebook post, the group said there was “mounting pressure from the pro-Israel lobby, including right-wing Labour MPs,” for the Party to adopt the full IHRA definition, which they said “equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism”.
The group added: “Members elected Jeremy Corbyn. The IHRA definition would return the party to the right which we voted down by a large majority – twice. Therefore, the members, not the NEC, nor the [Parliamentary Labour Party] PLP, must decide whether or not to adopt the IHRA examples.”
However Rosenberg said Camden Momentum “should side with Jews over racists,” adding that if the Battle of Cable Street was to take place again, “it is no longer clear whose side they would be on”.
In his letter in Camden New Journal, Rosenberg added: “Camden Momentum’s leadership seems determined to make Labour a safe space for bigots and a hostile environment for Jews.”
— Philip Rosenberg (@PhilR_R) August 30, 2018