New Jewish group launched in Labour

New left-wing group will 'uphold the right to boycott Israel' and oppose attempts "to widen the definition of antisemitism'


Left-wing Jews in the Labour Party have set up a group intended to rival the pro-Zionist Jewish Labour Movement.

Jewish Voice for Labour is due to launch officially during the party conference in Brighton next month.

Jenny Manson, a long-standing member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and a former Labour councillor, has been elected as chair of the JVL.

She told the JC the new group was “not anti-Zionist”.

However, she also described it as “an alternative voice for Jewish members of Labour” who do not support what she called the JLM’s “profoundly Zionist orientation”.

JVL, she said, would also work for those “unhappy with JLM’s claim, inherent in its name, to be the Jewish Labour Movement speaking for us all, when it does not reflect the diversity of Jewish views on the left and does not require its members to be Jewish or in the Labour Party”.

The new group’s “statement of principles” includes aiming to “uphold the right of supporters of justice for Palestinians to engage in solidarity activities” including boycotts of Israel, and “opposing attempts to widen the definition of antisemitism beyond its meaning of hostility towards, or discrimination against, Jews as Jews”.

A senior Jewish Labour figure said: “This is the first I’ve heard of JVL. The JLM has always been, and remains, the only Jewish affiliate of the Labour Party for nearly 100 years, and is the democratic voice of Jewish Labour members.”

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