The atmosphere is tense after an at times raucous debate at the Labour Party Conference on whether to adopt new rules which would make it easier to expel antisemites.
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, of the Jewish Voices for Labour group, said those seeking changes should “be careful”. She also claimed that those promoting the rule change had been briefing the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, to loud approval from the conference floor, but booing from the journalists gathered in the media centre, and the Daily Telegraph’s tweet chief political correspondent felt compelled to that Jewish Labour members were not briefing him. Ms Wimborne-Indrissi has her own section in our research into antisemitism in political parties, which we launched earlier today.
One Jewish Labour activist reported that leaflets were being passed around the conference floor demanding the expulsion of the Jewish Labour Movement from the Party, whilst Izzy Lenga, the Vice President of the National Union of Students tweeted: “I didn’t think it was possible, but I feel a whole lot more unsafe, uncomfortable and upset as a Jew on [the Labour Party Conference] floor right now than I do at NUS”.
The proposed rule change to make expelling antisemites easier could have already been voted on earlier, had activists not spent an hour attacking the proposals. Indeed, the proposals should have been debated by the Labour Party Conference a year ago, but they were shelved without explanation.
The attacks on and dismissal of Jews in Labour who make allegations of antisemitism was also exposed in the media earlier in the day, when Ms Wimborne-Indrissi could not control her laughter when questioned about antisemitism in the Labour Party during an interview on LBC. Later on, filmmaker Ken Loach, who made the official Labour Party video and is an activist within a group called “Free Speech on Israel” told the BBC’s Daily Politics show that allegations of antisemitism were a fallacy “without validation or any evidence” despite the fact that Campaign Against Antisemitism has just published detailed evidence.
Yesterday, a packed conference fringe event run by “Free Speech on Israel” reportedly heard from American-Israeli activist, Miko Peled, that people should be free to ask “Holocaust, yes or no” because “there should be no limits on the discussion”, for which he was cheered, and the audience began cheering and chanting when another speaker demanded that the Jewish Labour Movement be expelled from the Labour Party.
So depressing being Jewish at the Labour conference. Leaflets calling for the expulsion of JLM. We've been affiliated for 97 years. #Lab17
— Marlon Solomon (@supergutman) September 25, 2017
I didnt think it was possible, but I feel a whole lot more unsafe, uncomfortable & upset as a Jew on #lab17 floor right now than I do at NUS
— Izzy Lenga (@izzyjengalenga) September 26, 2017
To be clear JLM did NOT "run to the Daily Telegraph" last night. I went to a fringe, and reported the speeches about anti-semitism. End of. https://t.co/KWm8WWXdH5
— Christopher Hope 📝 (@christopherhope) September 26, 2017