Pair behind controversial Labour branch motion on antisemitism are JVL officials

Diana Neslen and Murray Glickman submitted motion that dismissed Board of Deputies as Conservative supporters


The authors of a controversial motion submitted to a branch meeting of Ilford South Labour Party that sought to downplay antisemitism and labelled the Board of Deputies as Tory supporting were two senior figures in the Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) organisation.

Diana Neslen, a member of JVL's steering group, and Murray Glickman, one the pro-Corbyn group's founder members, submitted the anti-Board motion, which was passed at Monday's meeting of the Cranbrook and Valentines branch of the local party.

Local Labour member Alex Holmes wrote on Twitter that he and another Jewish member were accused of being “agents of a foreign power” during the debate over the motion, after they objected to its wording.

He said it had been the "worst meeting I had ever attended."

Ms Neslen has a long history of controversial statements around antisemitism and Israel.

She once defended the use of the word "Zio" to attack pro-Israeli Jews, claiming there were "connections between Zionists and antisemites throughout history."

In another social media message, Ms Neslen wrote that "the lessons of the Holocaust is that all lives are worthy and since the Israelis learnt the wrong lesson their baubles no longer have any currency."

She has worked as a vice-chair with the Redbridge Equalities Community Council whose stated mission is to "build and strengthen community cohesion, participation, engagement and civic pride and promote inclusion of marginalised groups.”

Mr Glickman has been involved with anti-Zionist groups such as Jews For Justice For Palestinians and Free Speech on Israel.

He once authored an essay titled "Is Right To Exist Denial Really Antisemitic?"

Monday's motion was tabled in response to the Board's proposal of 10 pledges to help "heal" Labour's antisemitism crisis.

The motion included the claim: "The Board has been consistent in its support for the Conservative Party, fulsomely welcoming the election of Boris Johnson...

"Their demands reflect the views of only one section of the British Jewish community... they seek to proscribe the views of other Jewish groups who don't agree with them."

It added that the Board had failed to attack Boris Johnson's "racist, homophobic, antisemitic mindset."

This branch particularly notes that the pledges breach free speech and human rights and do not include all forms of racism."

It is understood the it was only heard at the meeting of around 30 local Labour members in verbal form on Monday, but was subsequently published online the following day.

Newly elected MP Sam Tarry initially suggested there were "conflicting accounts" of what happened and what was said at Monday's meeting in Ilford South.

On Wednesday he told the JC: "Having now seen the motion, and spoken to several members who were in attendance at the meeting, I’ve asked that any complaints go through the party’s formal channels to ensure that this matter is dealt with thoroughly and impartially."

Local Labour councillors Farah Hussain, Khayer Chowdhury and Varinder Singh Bola issued their own statement in which they “utterly condemned” the motion.

They wrote: “Last night Cranbrook and Valentines branch Labour Party passed a motion that minimised the scourge of antisemitism in the party and asked leadership candidates to ignore the Board of Deputies' 10 pledges.

“There are reports that members who spoke against the motion were bullied and antisemitic tropes used at the meeting.

“Let us be clear: we utterly condemn this motion and believe that all accusations of abuse and antisemitism should be investigated.”

The JC contacted Ms Neslen and Mr Glickman for comment about the motion and the allegations of intimidation of Labour members at Monday's meeting.

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