Guys, I have, as planned, written my letter to Jennie Formby asking her to refer me to the compliance unit for ‘antisemitism’ in an attempt to add my voices to those trying to expose this witchhunt for what it is. Please feel free to copy and paste it and to use it as a template for your own. Let’s get this out there and try and reclaim the narrative!

Dear Ms Formby

Membership Number: L….
Submission to Compliance Unit

I should like to refer myself to your Compliance Unit, for ‘antisemitism’ for the reasons I detail below. Firstly, however, I should like to share with you a little bit of background about myself.

I gave up on politics a long time ago; because I believed all politicians to be corrupt and self-serving and those who were not would never have a chance within the structures that exist to effect any really change. Then Jeremy Corbyn, a man with a 40yr record of standing up for the most vulnerable in our society, both nationally and internationally came along. When he was elected as leader, this gave me a reason to hope, a spark was lit that made me begin to imagine that there was an awakening and that perhaps the movement that was being built could start paving the road to a fairer and kinder society. This hope led me to join, for the first time in my life, a political party, Labour. I campaigned hard, spoke for the first time to people about the need for them to vote, told them that for the first time in our generation we had the chance to vote for real change, a real alternative neoliberalism that is decimating our communities and planet.

Then the antisemitism accusations started. Now as an antiracist, with one of the first books I remember choosing to read as a child being ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, I was appalled and frustrated that there would be people holding such views within the party I belonged to, views that we know from history led to centuries of persecution and ultimately to an attempt to annihilate a people. After calming down I reflected upon it, as a pragmatist, I realised that any party would have members that unfortunately held the similar broad range of views that society does and this includes at times racist and bigoted views. I was relieved, however, when the investigation was undertaken and the figure was proven to be 0.08%, it needed to be dealt with, but made me feel confident that, as I would expect from a ‘socialist’ party, that this was a minority view and a very small minority at that. I was disappointed; however, that there appeared to have been no investigations into other forms of racism.

The situation didn’t end there, however, the accusations continued, we were apparently now suffering a ‘crisis’ and then we started seeing more and more people being suspended, but now it was different, members were being suspended for ill-informed and clumsy posts, indeed I have had to go on my own journey of understanding antisemitic tropes, given I knew very little about Jewish history outside of the basics of the Holocaust and what my first boyfriend, who is Jewish, told me. Others though, were being suspended for reasons that do not hold out under any reasonable scrutiny and the meaning of antisemitism began to change so it no longer appeared to be about protecting Jews, but rather protecting those and only those who adhere to a political ideology. A political ideology that in practice is used to dispossess, oppress and subject the Palestinian people to an apartheid system. These people included proven veteran antiracists, people of colour, lifetime socialists. Meanwhile, others, high profile individuals within the party who threatened members, who smeared our twice democratically elected leader, got a free pass to undermine our party, to weaken the movement and helped the re-election of what is clearly a far-right government that threatens to take our country into neofascism.

So now, I will set out the reasons as to why I should be referred to the compliance unit for antisemitism, according to your policies, according to the IHRA definition of antisemitism, a definition that even its creator, Kenneth Stern, said was not to be used in this way and is being abused by right wing Jews. Also, because I am and promise to continue to, violate the ‘pledges’ that the far-right supporting, Conservative voting Board of Deputies has demanded that all potential leadership candidates sign up to. Pledges, which of course they have promised to uphold, because when it comes down to it, politicians who are truly ambitious, as I had always expected, even if they were originally motivated by the desire to help and perhaps have convinced themselves they still do, lack integrity, they are self-serving and will water down their values for expediency, even if it means selling out their comrades, especially those with a limited platform.

So firstly, I would just like to highlight that I served as a Human Rights Monitor for 3 months in Hebron, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and that experience and everything I witnessed there taught me something. Although, I can acknowledge the centuries of persecution of the Jewish people and why this would lead some to feel that the only way they could ever feel safe was to have a Jewish state and thus the political ideology of Zionism was conceived; I also have to acknowledge that whatever its original aims, it in practice means perpetual ethnic cleansing, incremental genocide and the attempted erasure of the culture, history and identity of the Palestinian people. Zionism is an ideology adopted by the far-right, Trump supporting, Christian Evangelical movement, by individuals such as Richard Spencer, Tommy Robinson, Katie Hopkins and others. Zionism is a political ideology rooted in ethnic supremacy, despite what groups have tried to state, it is not inherent to Jewish identity and you would know that if you were actually listening and interested in keeping Jews safe and making them feel welcome. A significant number of Jews have categorically stated that it is not a necessary part of their identity, more than that, there are others who have explicitly declared that it is an affront to Judaism and yet you ignore them, more than that, you silence and enable the smears against them.

So let me state this, unequivocally, so that you are not confused about the viewpoint I hold: Israel is a racist, apartheid endeavour and was from its very inception, we know this because it was built on the destroyed villages and broken bodies of Palestinians. International law is on my side and so I do not fear, nor quake as I write these words.

I will continue to support and would share platforms, if ever I have the privilege to do so, with Jackie Walker, a black Jew, with Chris Williamson, who answered a question put to him by the audience that had many Jews who supported him in it, with Marc Wadsworth, with any and every Jew in the Jewish group, Jewish Voice for Labour and with Asa Winstanley and I am and would be proud to do so!

So there you have it and know this, I will not take part in a witch trial, which would even offend the accusers in The Crucible, you should cease with the charade of a ‘trial’ and rather just invite the accused to a body of water.

These are my final thoughts:

When you allow left-wing, non-Zionist or anti-Zionist Jews to be targeted, threatened and smeared and then suspended and expelled for stating proven truths, then it is YOU that is antisemitic.

When you expel veteran antiracists of colour for exposing racism and capitulate to far-right supporting, apologists for racist settler colonialism, then it is YOU that is racist.

When you allow the disgraceful undermining of our party, its members and its hope of winning an election, by neoliberals and/or apartheid apologists who label our leader, a man of honour, as a “f*cking anti-Semite” & target our BAME representatives to continue and these individuals to remain in OUR party, it is YOU who bring our party into disrepute.

When you allow the destruction of a desperately needed progressive, true democratic socialist movement, as we face neofascism; when you make an oath to adopt pledges that are rooted in racist, anti-Palestinian ideology, including pledges that are arguably illegal than YOU are neither progressive, nor socialist, more than that, when you suspend at this time, during elections for the NEC, popular, upstanding, inspiring and proven socialists, such as Jo Bird, not coincidentally I am sure, a non-Zionist Jew, than you are not only undemocratic, but rather exhibiting fascist like tendencies yourselves.

So by all means label me, label us, just as other shameful instigators and enablers of other historical purges have done similar before you. Your labels have no meaning because they do not come from a place of honour, nor truth. Our stances are rooted in international humanitarian law and if we, as the human race get through this dark period and the commencing catastrophe of climate destruction, then it will be US that is vindicated and history will record YOUR shame, each and every one of you that sold not just the Palestinians out, but left-wing Jews, antiracists, true socialists and people of conscience.

I will continue to stand proud as I call out racist Israeli apartheid and the political ideology that enables it, Zionism and recognise that I chose to keep my integrity, the question is will you?

I will conclude my letter to be submitted as evidence of my ‘antisemitism’ to the Compliance Unit with the words of Martin Luther King Jr. that I have etched in my memory:

‘in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends’.

Nat Sims

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