Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party

It is time to break Labour’s links with Labour Friends of Israel

I have just sent the following letter, from 104 members of the Labour Party/Momentum to Jeremy Corbyn MP. In the light of the four Al Jazeera programmes on the penetration and destabilisation of the Labour Party (including the National Union of Students) by the Israeli Embassy, with the use of large sums of money, we call on the Labour Party to make a clean break with the Labour Friends of Israel.

LFI are not a normal group of party members seeking to win people to their point of view but an extension of the Israeli state and its Embassy in London. It uses any manner of dirty tricks and black propaganda against its opponents in order to whitewash the Apartheid State of Israel. It is as unacceptable for the LFI to use the £1+ million to subvert the democratic processes of the Labour Party as it would have been for the Apartheid government of South Africa to have done so 20 years ago.

Tony Greenstein

Joan Ryan MP, Chair of LFI, wants to know where the loot is
Shai Masot, the Israeli Embassy agent has over £1m to disperse for dirty tricks, propaganda and of course MP visits to the land of Apartheid
The slush fund has been approved but is not yet in the bag as it were
Joan Ryan MP, Chair of Labour Friends of Israel makes a joke, delighted at having bagged over £1m in slush funds
Michael Rubin, LFI’s parliamentary officer boasting of his work with the Israeli Embassy

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Leader of the Labour Party

House of Commons

London SW1 1AA

Dear Jeremy,

We write as Jewish and non-Jewish members/ supporters of the Labour Party and Momentum.

We welcome the fact that you have called for a Government inquiry into the revelations in the recent series of programmes by Al Jazeera TV. However the programmes also raise very serious questions for the Labour Party, not least its relationship to Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement. We understand Free Speech on Israel has already called for a Labour Party Inquiry into the implications for the Labour Party. We endorse that call.

In the second programme Joan Ryan MP, LFI Chairperson asks Shai Masot, the Israeli Embassy’s Political Officer, who was caught trying to ‘take down’ Government Ministers:

‘What happened with the names that we put into the Embassy Shai? To which Masot replies ‘Just now we’ve got the money. It’s more than £1m, it’s a lot of moneyit’s not physical, it’s an approval’ to which Ryan jocularly responds ‘ I didn’t think you had it in your bag!’.

The LFI’s Parliamentary Officer, Michael Rubin was filmed boasting that he was trying to take-down the democratically elected President of the National Union of Students, Malia Bouattia. Rubin claimed to work “with the ambassador and embassy quite a lot”.

Joan Ryan in the third Al Jazeera programme was seen to concoct a wholly false allegation of anti-Semitism against a Labour Party conference delegate, Jean Fitzpatrick, who had come to ask Ms Ryan what LFI’s support for a 2 State Solution meant in practice and what they were doing to achieve it. Getting no answer, Jean said that LFI had a lot of money, which is clearly true, a lot of prestige and that a friend of hers had got a good job at Oxford University on the basis of having worked for LFI.

None of this was remotely anti-Semitic yet Joan Ryan had no hesitation in transforming this into getting a ‘big job in banking and the City’ and an ‘anti-Semitic attack’. On the basis of this Jean was suspended from the Labour Party. Subsequently the charge was dropped but this is an example of how false charges of ‘anti-Semitism’ have been concocted.

The reason for making false accusations of anti-Semitism, such as that against Ms Fitzpatrick, is to deter criticism of Zionism and the Israeli state. Those who make these false claims of anti-Semitism are deliberately jeopardising Labour’s chances of electoral victory.

Although LFI purports to support a 2 State Solution it is clear, as Jean Fitzpatrick demonstrated, that this is a smokescreen for its uncritical support for Israel’s military occupation and settlement of the West Bank and Gaza. At no time has LFI ever condemned or criticised the Occupation or the Settlements. LFI supports the 2SS knowing that it will never happen but also knowing that it will make them appear as reasonable and even-handed rather than an uncritical supporter of Israeli expansion and racism.

Prior to your election as Leader of the Labour Party you had never addressed a meeting of the LFI. At the 2016 Conference you addressed the LFI fringe meeting for the second time. It is clear from the Al Jazeera revelations that LFI operates as an emanation of the Israeli state within the Labour Party. We saw this clearly when Shai Masot introduced Al Jazeera’s reporter, Robin Harrow to people as the Chair of Young LFI, a non-existent organisation.

If you continue to speak at LFI meetings you will be taken to be endorsing a group which favours continued settlement expansion and which opposes their dismantlement. You will also be interpreted as lending support to those who wage war on Palestinians living inside Israel. Only last week a Bedouin village in the Negev, Umm al-Hiran, which had been there for 60 years, was demolished by bulldozers from the Jewish National Fund. One resident was killed by police gunfire.

Despite Palestinians occupying only 2% of the Negev, the Israeli government and the Jewish National Fund sought, as part of the programme of Judaisation, to demolish an Arab village in order to make way for the Jewish town of Hiran. This is comparable to, if not worse than, the demolition in the 1970’s of Black ‘squatter’ camps in Soweto.

Neither LFI nor the JLM, which are always eager to accuse supporters of the Palestinians and opponents of Zionism of ‘anti-Semitism’ have anything to say about apartheid in Israel. Ha’aretz newspaper recently warned, in an editorial ,that with the proposed annexation of Ma’aleh Adumim, ‘Israel will cease to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, and officially become an apartheid one’.

Ha’aretz also referred, in the same editorial, to the Israeli Labour Party ‘opposition’, of which the Jewish Labour Movement is the British wing: ‘It is pointless mentioning the opposition at this stage, since the dead cannot speak’.

We would urge you to cease giving any support to the Labour Friends of Israel and not to speak at any future fringe meetings of theirs. Both Tony Benn and Eric Heffer resigned from LFI in 1982 as a result of its support for the invasion of Lebanon. Over the past quarter of a century they have not changed.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Airs Riverside CLP Liverpool

John Airs Riverside CLP Liverpool

Peter Angell Castle Point CLP

Ben Armstrong Brighton Momentum/Hove CLP

Clare N. Ayton-Edwards Kenilworth & Southam (Warwickshire) CLP

Georgina Baidoun Milton Keynes CLP

Hilary Barker Penrith CLP

Abdul Basīr Brighton Pavilion CLP

Peter Bloomer Selly Oak CLP

Tarin Brokenshire Cambridge CLP

Andrea Burford Leicester East CLP

Jackie Cairns Preston Labour Party

Neil Cameron Sheffield Central CLP

Valerie Gene Cane Brighton & Hove Momentum

Marilù Cavaliere CLP: Luton South

Ches Chesney Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP

Brian Chinnery Enfield Southgate

Mollie Collins Momentum and CLP South Dorset

Andy Coombes Stroud CLP

Graham Coupe South Norwood CLP

Patrick Darnes Congleton CLP

Deborah Darnes Congleton CLP

John Davies Riverside CLP

Theresa Dunningham Central Suffolk & North Ipswich CLP

Sally Rebecca Eason East Surrey CLP

Simon Milner-Edwards Withington CLP

Pete Firmin Hampstead & Kilburn CLP

Jenifer Flintoft Meon Valley CLP/Portsmouth Momentum

Philip Foxe Enfield South gate CLP

Christopher Fraser Rushcliffe CLP

Craig Fraser Cheltenham CLP

Suzanne Gannon Vice Chair Membership, Colne Valley CLP

Daphne Gilbert Hexham CLP/Momentum

Lynda Gilbert Milton Keynes North CLP

Tony Goss Torbay CLP

Val Graham Chesterfield CLP

Judy Granville Hove CLP

Tony Greenstein Brighton Kemptown CLP

Jenny Hardacre South Cambridgeshire CLP

Dr. James Hall South Cambridgeshire Constituency Labour Party

Martin Hall Wythenshawe and Sale East CLP

Abe Hayeem Harrow East CLP

Rosamine Hayeem Harrow East CLP

Professor Dave Hill Brighton and Hove Momentum

Simon Hinds Islington North

Doug Holton Hackney North and Stoke Newington CLP

Carole Hope Tewkesbury CLP

Anna Hubbard Southport CLP

Saying that LFI have lot of money is an anti-Semitic ‘trope’ — even though it’s true!
This used to be called ‘verballing’ when the Police made up a confession
Jean Fitzpatrick, the LP delegate accused of anti-Semitism never even mentioned the City of London but in the hands of these racist frauds she didn’t stand a chance
If you oppose Zionism and Israeli racism, it is a ‘trope’ — their favourite word
Inventing an anti-Semitism allegation — they call them ‘tropes’ probably because they think the victims are dopes

Steve Jansky North West Cambridgeshire CLP/Momentum

Helen Jenner Otley and Yeadon CLP/Chair Leeds UNISON

Peter Jenner Otley and Yeadon CLP

Helena Kearns Northern Ireland Labour Party

Chris Knight Streatham Momentum Group,

Kay Lawrence Torfaen CLP

Marie Lynam Hamsptead and Kilburn CLP

Doug Macari Canterbury CLP and Momentum

Professor Moshe Machover Hampstead and Kilburn CLP

Dr Alan Maddison Houghton and Sunderland South CLP

Miriam Margolyes OBE Lambeth Constituency Party & Vauxhall CLP

Helen Marks Riverside CLP

Becky Massey Hove CLP

John Metson Durham City CLP

Steve Mckenzie Bexhill and Battle CLP

Tricia Neda McLaughlin Gillingham and Rainham CLP

Ellen McNay Sunderland Central CLP

Anne Mitchell Hove CLP

Brian Mogford Gower CLP

Brendan Morgan N. Ireland CLP

Wendy Morgan Aberconwy CLP

Elizabeth Morley Ceredigion CLP/Momentum

Suresh Nesaratnam Milton Keynes

James O’Sullivan East Worthing and Shoreham CLP

Gill Page Richmond (Yorkshire) CLP

Pam Page Brighton Kemptown CLP

Frankie Patterson Gosport CLP

Allan Pearson South Ribble CLP a

Nicola Pratt Coventry South CLP

Claire Pyper South Birmingham Momentum

Daniel Read Portsmouth CLP

Janine E Reed Islwyn CLP

Joan Rudderham Coventry North West CLP

Professor Richard Seaford Exeter CLP

David Selzer City of Chester CLP

Lynda Sergeant Riverside CLP

Mehrnaz Shahabi Bristol West CLP

Paul Stygal Rochford & Southend East CLP

Jean Sullivan Warrington South CLP

Anne Tanner Cardiff West CLP

Max Tasker Clwyd West CLP

Andrew Thompson Birmingham Ladywood CLP/Momentum/LRC

Julian Townsend Camberwell and Peckham CLP

Gareth Walker Tottenham CLP tr

Jackie Walker Thanet CLP

Clive Walder Birmingham Northfield Momentum

Adam Waterhouse Southampton and Romsey CLP

Daniel Waterman International Member Labour Party

David Watson Walthamstow CLP

Ian Watson Edinburgh Pentlands CLP

Sarah Wilkinson Ludlow CLP

Eric Willoughby Editor, Palestine Media Digest

Sara Wood Hampstead and Kilburn CLP

Ken Willingale Southend West CLP h

Charley Young Ceredigion CLP

Sue Young. Ceredigion CLP

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