Aug 5, 2017: A new organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour, today announced its foundation as a network for progressive Labour Jews united in opposing all forms of racism.
“Our mission is to contribute to making the Labour Party an open, democratic and inclusive party, encouraging all ethnic groups and cultures to join and participate freely,” the group said in its founding statement. “We stand for rights and justice for Jewish people everywhere, and against wrongs and injustice to Palestinians and other oppressed people anywhere.”
Unlike the (Labour-affiliated) Jewish Labour Movement, JVL does not make promoting the centrality of Israel to Jewish life a condition of membership. Also unlike the JLM, full members of the JVL must be Labour Party members who identify themselves as Jewish.
JVL chair Jenny Manson, a long-standing member of Finchley and Golders Green Labour Party, said the new organisation has a valuable role to play in strengthening the party in its opposition to all forms of racism including antisemitism. It rejects attempts to extend the scope of the term ‘antisemitism’ beyond its meaning of bigotry towards Jews, particularly when such accusations are directed at activities in solidarity with Palestinians such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
Manson said JVL will provide a much-needed forum for Jews who want to celebrate and debate the long and proud history of Jewish involvement in socialist and trade-union activism and in antiracist, antifascist and anti-colonial struggles.
“We invite everyone of Jewish heritage in the Labour Party to join us in continuing these great traditions,” said Manson.
JVL will hold a public launch on September 25 in Brighton, during the 2017 Labour Party conference.