Anti-Zionist activist Jackie Walker was expelled from the Labour Party on Wednesday.
She told The Electronic Intifada on Thursday she was “livid” at the injustice, which included “racism at the heart of the process” against her.
Left-wing group Jewish Voice for Labour called the expulsion “a travesty of justice” and a “shameful conclusion” to a flawed process.
The group said in a statement that Labour would “come to be deeply ashamed of this passage in its history.”
The move comes two and a half years after Walker’s membership was suspended by party bureaucrats.
For the last few years, Walker has been targeted by Israel lobbyists as one of the high-profile cases of Labour activists they demanded expelled.
At a training session run by the Jewish Labour Movement in September 2016, Walker had questioned the defintion of anti-Semitism the pro-Israel group used.
“I still haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with,” Walker had said in reference to the material presented at the Jewish Labour Movement training.
The trainer, Mike Katz, had used a definition which included talking about Israel as a “racist endeavor” as a supposed example of anti-Semitism.
Walker, along with many other Labour activists, rejects this definition as a political weapon created to attack and silence Israel’s critics, smearing them as racists.
The definition could ban Palestinians from talking about their lived reality under Israel’s system of apartheid, or from advocating a single democratic state in historic Palestine with equal rights for all its citizens.
At the training Walker also advocated for Holocaust Memorial Day to be expanded to “all peoples who experienced holocaust.”
Although it has been falsely reported by The Guardian and others that she accused the day’s organizers of “only commemorating Jewish victims,” Walker in fact said no such thing.
As The Electronic Intifada reported from the training session in question at the time, Walker was advocating for the day to include the millions of African victims of Britain’s transatlantic slave trade – what she and many other Black activists term the African holocaust.
Although it condemned Walker, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust soon confirmed that the day was indeed limited to comemorating the Nazi Holocaust “and subsequent genocides.”
Denied a voice
On Tuesday when the Labour Party hearing against her opened, Walker asked to briefly address the panel.
Subsequently, Walker said in a statement, she felt she had no choice but to walk out of the hearing.
This “forced me to have to withdraw, or put myself through racist abuse protected by the Labour Party,” Walker told The Electronic Intifada.
“What is so dangerous about my voice that it is not allowed to be heard?” she said in her statement on the day of the hearing.
“After almost three years of racist abuse and serious threats; of almost three years of being demonized, and now being ambushed by a batch of last-minute changes, I was astounded that the Labour Party refused to allow me a few short moments to personally address the disciplinary panel to speak in my own defense,” she said.
Her lawyers twice asked that several examples of racist statements against her be removed from Labour’s bundle of “evidence” against her.
Party officials refused the requests.
Examples included statements calling Walker “a white middle-aged woman with dreadlocks” who “claims to be part Jewish.”
Although Walker expected much of the hearing to be on the African holocaust, she told The Electronic Intifada that, “The only Black person in the hearing was a silent notetaker.”
She criticized the party for taking “No Black advice, no advice from anybody of African decent.”
Result leaked to the press
The outcome of the hearing was published by the Jewish Chronicle “before any of us were told,” Walker said on Thursday.
The Labour Party has habitually leaked suspensions to the press before the affected party members were even informed.
Walker is now considering her legal options.
“The Labour Party has already been put on notice about the legal response to my expulsion and its inclusion of abusive racist material to be used against me,” she said. “My legal team and I are now consulting on the way forward.”