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Be prepared for an intense experience

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November 24, 2016 23:11

Labour's travelling circus moves to Liverpool from tomorrow for what promises to be a party conference unlike any other.

But for all the anticipation, many Jewish activists will head to Merseyside with an overwhelming feeling of trepidation.

Saturday morning's expected re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader is likely to set the tone for all that follows. The conference and fringe agendas are packed with sessions related to the ongoing antisemitism crisis.

The row over the Jewish Labour Movement's plan for a rally against racism on Sunday night rumbles on. Whatever format the event eventually takes, it is likely to be a flashpoint.

One big question surrounding Mr Corbyn and the community is whether he will attend Labour Friends of Israel's reception on Tuesday night.

Jeremy Corbyn's likely re-election will set the tone

A group of anti-Israel Jewish Labour supporters are due to run a debate asking whether the party has a problem with antisemitism. Jackie Walker - who was suspended for claiming Jews were behind the slave trade - is listed as a speaker, so you can probably guess the tone of Sunday's debate.

And of course there's the standard fare being organised by Labour Friends of Palestine and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign focusing, this year, on occupation and settlements. Should they be graced by Mr Corbyn's presence, the groups' receptions are likely to be jubilant affairs.

If that was not enough, the hard-left pro-Corbyn Momentum group is running its own parallel conference. The World Transformed promises speakers including Green party co-leader Caroline Lucas, National Union of Students president Malia Bouattia, and the group's own panel debate on antisemitism.

Amid all of this, the JLM is running a training session at the main conference for party members "exploring how to challenge antisemitism and build relationships with Jewish voters".

Let's just say they've got their work cut out.

November 24, 2016 23:11

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