Dear Jennie Formby
When I joined the Labour Party I never imagined such a barrage of damaging accusations of anti-semitism against the party. It has never been a topic of conversation where I live or among any of the people I know and I suspect a large proportion of the population don’t know what anti-semitism is.
I watched with disbelief as the accusations multiplied, whipped up externally by right-wing groups and internally by disloyal MPs, either in the pay of these hostile groups or seizing the opportunity to undermine the democratically-elected party leader.
I’m appalled that a great MP, Chris Williamson has been hounded out of the party, suspended initially because he dared to say the party has been too apologetic over anti-semitism, a comment which thousands of party members, myself included, agreed with. It’s even more shocking that even Jeremy Corbyn, a life-long campaigner for justice and against racism of any kind was accused of being ‘a f***ing anti-semite’ by a Labour MP – a LABOUR MP for heaven’s sake! She should have been expelled from the party.
It now appears that any party member who criticises the State of Israel for its suppression of Palestinian rights, its illegal annexation of Palestinian land and bulldozing of Palestinian homes, its disregard for UN Resolutions etc., risks being suspended and expelled for anti-semitism. If we say we don’t like President Macron’s policies, does that mean we are anti-French, or if we believe President Trump is a repulsive liar who is a threat to humanity and the environment, are we anti-American? I have criticised Israeli atrocities on social media and will continue to do so. I believe the continuing suspensions and the adoption of the Board of Deputies 10 Commitments are an attempt to intimidate party members into saying nothing about the brutality of the Israeli government towards Palestinians its disregard for their human rights and will allow the openly pro-Tory Board to interfere in Labour Party matters.
I haven’t been a prominent party member and have no wish to be. But after the disappointment of the crushing election defeat I had hoped to be more active at local party level. In view of ongoing witch-hunts in the party based, as far as I can see, on the flimsiest of evidence, I’m not sure I want to be a member at all.
Our chance to elect a thoroughly decent man as PM has been lost though I have almost no criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. My one reservation is that he and the Party weren’t more robust in telling blatant supporters of the Conservative Party and those Labour MPs who have accepted large donations from pro-Israeli organisations and from wealthy individuals to bugger off. If that makes me an anti-semite then the Labour Party really has taken leave of its senses.
We now have the embarrassing spectacle of the leadership candidates scrambling to prove how anti-anti-semitic they are, sniping at each other over the issue and apologising for an alleged problem which, if it existed at all, was miniscule and not representative of the whole party. They should stop taking the bait. All they are doing is falling into the trap set for them and keeping the issue going. The Party’s opponents must be delighted.
Membership No. L1434386
Cc Olivia Darling-Finan, Yeovil Constitiuency Secretary
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
Lisa Nandy MP
Emily Thornberry MP
Keir Starmer MP