In the JC we read that Jon Lansman called (On Radio 4 ‘Today’) for a “widespread programme of training and education” within the Labour Party on antisemitism. You might think that at last the people who have taken over Labour are beginning to ‘get’ the problem of antisemitism!
But today the Standard published a covert recording of Lansman at a private meeting, presumably of Labour/Momentum members. Here is a rough transcript:
“This has been a very difficult issue for the Party. It’s very unfair. Why … who are bringing these charges? Well, I can tell you that an awful lot of the cases that are brought to the attention of Compliance […] reporting office at the last meeting are brought by an organisation called the Campaign Against Antisemitism which is so right-wing that it has had a public spat with the Jewish Leadership Council . Undoubtedly … by the way most of the cases that come forward are people who aren’t in the Labour Party. There are many repeated cases against the same people. Yes it’s true that there are people on the Right who are opportunistically using this against the Labour Party. But I don’t think that means that if there are charges which are valid, that we should not take them seriously. One thing which does disturb me …. It does disturb me that I’ve seen – even from people that I regard as friends and comrades – what I regard as what you might call ‘unconscious bias’. Inadvertent, not deliberate, sloppy use of language. There is far more serious antisemitism in the Tory Party. There is a problem of ‘unconscious bias’, it’s similar to the ‘unconscious bias’ that is in all of us, that’s why we send people on Equal Opportunities courses. We don’t treat that as a matter of Zero Tolerance and expel people for that kind of unconscious bias, we use education and training to make people aware. Is it fair that Jeremy Corbyn [..indecipherable] No it certainly isn’t and it is being exploited by those who want to attack him. “
This is sickening. We are supposed to believe that Livingstone’s statement ‘Hitler supported Zionism’ was merely ‘unconscious bias’ and he should go on an Equal Opportunities course – as opposed to being expelled? And that Tony Greenstein referring to many Jews as ‘Nazis’ is simply ‘unconscious bias’? And that these cases are simply ‘unconscious bias? And that the CAA is not acting in good faith but is ‘right-wing’?
Mr Lansman …………
Lansman (Momentum founder and on the NEC) was on BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ this morning (for 12 minutes starting at 2:10:00). Nick Robinson gave him a very easy ride. Asked about Jewdas, Lansman said that they are “Orthodox Jews embedded in their Synagogue communities – they do not share the more secular approach to Israel in an ideological sense.” In all respects this is nonsense on stilts – and suggesting that ‘Orthodox’ Jews are not pro-Israel is downright offensive. He then had a potshot at Guido Fawkes who revealed Corbyn’s presence at the Jewdas event. He then said that Corbyn’s office ‘didn’t know‘ he was at the Jewdas event. Of course they knew. He is Leader of the Opposition and every minute is allocated in his diary. As regards antisemitism in Labour, Lansman said it is not a problem of “Holocaust Denial or those kinds of forms of Zionism [??] but there is a widespread problem of ‘unconscious bias’ “. More nonsense.
Robinson asked Lansman about Momentum’s attacks on MPs who attended the counter-antisemitism rally last week. Lansman said “you shouldn’t have to defend that“. But he said that “it’s fair enough to answer a question” but “it’s not fair to be deselected” for attending the rally (!). This suggests that Lansman will NOT try to get the resolution censuring Thangam Debbonaire MP (due for discussion in Bristol on Thursday) amended or cancelled.