Corbyn’s Islington North CLP to debate rejecting international definition of antisemitism

EXCLUSIVE: The motion for the Junction Ward branch meeting also laments the “unjust expulsions of many good socialist comrades”


Jeremy Corbyn’s local Labour Party will this week debate a motion calling for an internationally recognised definition of antisemitism to be rejected.

The motion also says that the “expulsions of many good socialist comrades” for anti-Jewish racism were “deeply unjust”.

The agenda item, which will be debated at Wednesday’s meeting of Islington North’s Junction Ward branch, also suggests the Board of Deputies’ ‘Ten Pledges’, which aimed to help Labour win back the trust of the Jewish community, “deliberately conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism”. They included adopting IHRC and making Labour’s disciplinary processes independent.

The lengthy motions were proposed by local party member Michael Ellman, a supporter of the pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group.

Topping the agenda for Wednesday’s ward meeting, Mr Ellman’s motion states: “Islington North CLP to call upon the Labour Party nationally to repudiate the IHRA misdefinition of antisemitism, along with its so-called examples, and also repudiates acceptance of the Board of Deputies `Ten Pledges’.

“These deliberately conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism, in effect, defining support for the rights and safety of Palestinians in Israel and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign with antisemitism.

“We consider that expulsions, suspensions and investigations of many good socialist, anti-racist comrades, nationally on grounds of supposed ‘antisemitism’ are deeply unjust and unjustified.

“We are deeply committed to opposing all forms of racism, including antisemitism. We are also deeply committed to opposing what we regard as false accusations of antisemitism.”

Mr Corbyn has been the MP for Islington North since 1983. Two years ago, Russell Smith-Becker, who served for several years as Islington North CLP’s treasurer and as chair of Islington’s local campaign forum, resigned citing the former Labour leader’s “often tolerant” attitude towards antisemitism and claiming that the party had become “somewhere where antisemites feel comfortable and many Jews feel uncomfortable”.

The Labour-run Islington Council had previously adopted the IHRA definition with controversy.

A second motion proposed for debate by the CLP calls on Labour’s NEC to instruct Sir Keir Starmer  put maximum diplomatic pressure on the Israeli government over annexation plans “if necessary by a threat of sanctions”.

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