ON 5TH NOVEMBER Richard Ferris and Matthew Mahabadi published a lengthy statement about their decision to resign as Peterborough Labour city councillors. They attacked their own party with charges of “pressure, bullying and alienation by a powerful minority of militant elements” they said were trying to silence their objections to antisemitism.
Central to this serious charge was their allegation that a party branch had “affiliated themselves with an organisation condemned by Jewish community leaders, which is intent on the dismantling of Israel and on the removal of Jews from the Levant (specifically, the so-called ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’).” These charges against Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) and Peterborough Labour Party are entirely false.
JVL has won considerable support from Jews and other party members who agree with our stand for justice and human rights for everyone in the UK, the Middle East and throughout the world. To state that we are “intent on the dismantling of Israel and on the removal of Jews from the Levant” attributes to our organisation views that bear no relation to JVL’s actual position.
We have been obliged to rebut a great many lies and distortions about our organisation. Ferris and Mahabadi’s statement is one of the most extreme examples we have faced. They have refused to respond to a request from us that they retract their potentially defamatory allegations.
Ferris and Mahabadi have clearly identified with factions hostile to the Corbyn leadership and have brought the party into disrepute with their latest public attacks on JVL and Peterborough CLP.