Activism and BDS Beat 3 December 2020
Three years after he managed to reverse an unjust expulsion from the UK’s Labour Party, Moshé Machover has been purged again.
The veteran Israeli anti-Zionist and socialist revealed to The Electronic Intifada on Thursday that he has now been suspended.
Machover is refusing to engage with Labour’s disciplinary process, describing a 20-page letter from the party as a series of “inquisitorial questions,” “full of lies” and “full of shit.”
In the letter, emailed to him on Tuesday, party bureaucrats gave him less than a week to respond to what Machover calls an inquisition of his political views.
“I refuse to play this game,” Machover said in an email to his supporters on Thursday. “I literally have no case to answer.”
He also released the letter, most of which you can read below.
He told The Electronic Intifada on Thursday that party bureaucrats were conducting a “Stalinist purge of the Labour Party” and that he was asking supporters only for “condemnation and exposure” of the purge.
Criminalization of solidarity
The list of Labour’s “allegations” against Machover is long and convoluted. But it includes the fact that he attended a Palestine solidarity demonstration against an Israeli film festival in London last year. The protest was organized by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.
The festival has a whole series of open links to the Israeli government – including the indirect sponsorship of the Israeli culture ministry, via the Israeli government’s Israel Film Fund.
But one film shown there in particular last year was used to raise money for the Garin Tzabar organization, which says it provides financial and logistical support for “those who wish to join the IDF [Israeli army] as lone soldiers.”
The admission of the financial link to Garin Tzabar seem to have been removed from the festival’s website. But a screenshot has been preserved on pro-Israel activist Jonathan Hoffman’s blog.
Machover’s suspension is only the latest sign of the recent upsurge in the Labour Party’s war against supporters of Palestinian human rights.
Machover is an anti-Zionist Israeli, who was effectively exiled to London decades ago. The retired University of London professor helped to found the small dissident socialist group Matzpen, the first known anti-Zionist group led by Israeli Jews outside of the orthodox religious community.
Since right-wing leader Keir Starmer took over Labour in April, there has been a steady stream of suspensions, expulsions and investigations targeting party members.
Starmer has accepted donations from at least one key Israel lobby donor and has made appeasing the Israel lobby his top priority – on the pretext of ending an alleged “crisis” of anti-Semitism.At a joint conference run by lobby groups Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement this past weekend, deputy leader Angela Rayner threatened to suspend “thousands and thousands” of members.
To add insult to injury, the one-day conference took place on 29 November – the United Nations’ International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Former party leader Jeremy Corbyn did not respond to a request for comment on Machover’s suspension on Thursday.
Corbyn was briefly suspended from the party In October, before readmission after a revolt by the membership.
But on the orders of Starmer, he remains suspended from Labour’s group in the House of Commons. He is reportedly considering a legal challenge.
“I bang the door after me”
In October 2017, Machover was summarily expelled from the party after an anti-Semitism smear.
But party bureaucrats faced a membership backlash and an international outcry, and soon reversed their decision.
On Thursday he told The Electronic Intifada that he would no longer engage with Labour’s disciplinary process: “I don’t want to dignify it with a response! It doesn’t deserve a response,” he said.
Labour would have found some pretext to get rid of him anyway, he said: “I bang the door after me. But they should still be condemned.”
In the current climate of purge, he said, he had been “weighing the possibility of just leaving the Labour Party. But leaving, you know, slinking away, is not my style.”
Note on redactions: The redactions in black in the PDF below are applied by The Electronic Intifada to protect Machover’s email address. All other redactions were made by Machover himself to protect the private details of others.
He explains: “They are individuals with whom the inquisitors apparently wish to insinuate that I am associated, and guilty by virtue of this association. One of them, whose name is redacted as xxxx, is known to me as a political adversary, against whose views I have publicly polemicised. The other, whose name is redacted as yyyy, is totally unknown to me.”
- Moshe Machover
- Labour witch hunt
- Labour Party
- Keir Starmer
- Seret (Israeli film festival)
- Israeli Film Fund
- Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sports
- Garin Tzabar
- lone soldiers
- Jonathan Hoffman
- Labour Friends of Israel
- Jewish Labour Movement
- Angela Rayner
- Jeremy Corbyn
I want my interrogator!
Permalink tom hall replied on
Have just gone through the questions put to Moshe Machover, I must say that this procedure mirrors that employed by Stalin in purging the CPSU. First, establish guilt. The initial act of answering the interrogator's questions constitutes the subject's confession. Then, watch him wriggle.
Moshe Machover is to be commended for telling these rats to go to hell. Starmer's mission is to effectively destroy the Labour Party. And he's well on his way to fulfilling that mandate.
Permalink Eric replied on
I doubt that Starmer intends to destroy the Labour Party. Surely he egotistically wants to be prime minister
-- but as head of a centrist 'liberal' Blairite party that can rotate in power with the Conservatives
without doing anything differently (except ending Boris's circus show). And to protect Israel,
among other things by ensuring supporters of Palestinian rights have no national voice.
"We are beyond reproach" say
Permalink Anon replied on
"We are beyond reproach" say the zionists. Who do they think they are. Gods?
Permalink William Bowles replied on
Well, anybody who still has any belief in the Labour Party, must surely by now, welcome its long overdue demise. Moshe Machover, is a lifelong socialist and anti-racist, kicked out of the party he's been in for decades!!
The one positive aspect to this, is perhaps NOW, people will realise the real role the Labour Party or is it just wishful thinking on my part?
It proves the point that in
Permalink Ben Barka replied on
It proves the point that in Britain there two main parties - right wing and extreme right wing
Permalink eGuard replied on
Bravo for Moshé.
About the 48 "questions", I note:
7) "xxxx" -- a name or personal info clearly; what is the question or claim?
10) "yyyy" -- a name or personal info clearly; what is the question or claim?
32) "Do you intend to send further unsolicited emails to people in the future?"
A note about the Spanish Inquisition/McCarthy: 'McCarthy' was just a US House Committee. The Spanish Inquisition however was a dedicated department ('ministry') in the Vatican.
'Stalinist Purge' is the best name for this.
Permalink Frank Dallas replied on
Read through that ludicrous document from the LP and what you have is the "gramophone mind" as Orwell called it, the mentality of the thoroughgoing authoritarian, the self-justifying power-monger who will twist every piece of evidence to uphold their distorted view. Last week I was a branch of Sainsbury's when who did I encounter in the cooked meats aisle but Chris Williamson. I said hello and shook his hand and he asked me how I was. Shall I now be expelled, put in the stocks, hung drawn and quartered? The suspended and expelled are lepers. They must be shunned. They are the unclean. They must consigned to the outer darkness. This is the first step towards the gulag and the gas chamber. The comparisons to the Nazis and the Stalinists are thoroughly apposite. The techniques employed by the Zionists are exactly those of totalitarians. Look at the reporting in the JC about the suspension of Naomi W-I, a Jew, a socialist, a woman with no record of discrimination. Oh, what a foul creature she is for she dares to say she wasn't offended by Ken Livingstone's remarks about the Havarra Transfer Agreement. She wasn't offended! Oh, how every Zionist heart breaks that a Jew can fail to respond as demanded, as insisted on. There you have anti-Semitism in its purest form: Ms W-I must be repulsed because her response isn't Jewish enough. All Jews must be offended if the Zionists say so. That's anti-Semitism. It subsumes all Jews to the same category. And, of course, anti-Semitism has always been at the heart of Zionism. Herzl said it. Arieh Altman said it. What is now in full flow is a rush towards totalitarianism. It begins with the Labour Party, it will be rolled out through society. Say you support the Palestinians, you will lose your job. Criticise the Israeli State, you'll have the knock on your door at three in the morning. Rebel. Rise up. The current leadership of Labour must be ousted and it may be necessary to dismantle Labour and found a new Party. But rebel.
Permalink Mark Smulian replied on
As a British and Israeli citizen I need to say that I abhor the behaviour of the Labour Party in this instance.. I served in the IDF as a paratrooper and this led me to recognise the deplorable situation of the Palestinians and led me to becoming a staunch supporter of the Palestinian rights for equality and recognition. Machover is what I consider a true Israeli Patriot...those who strongly criticise and question their country and political system are generally those who love their country the most. Also how can Machover possibly be an anti semite?...he himself is a semite. The exploitation of the term anti semite by so many factions and led by the Israeli government to associate racism towards jews with criticism of Israel will ultimately be the undoing of all bodies who support this point of view. All organisations that build their membership on the need to 'do the right thing' even when it is clearly not the' right thing' fail in the end. As the man said 'you can lie to some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time' Jeremy Corbyn made the same mistake, from another point of view...and it of course backfired on him.
Transparency, ethical behaviour and a real determination to hold oneself up as a light to honesty seem to be consistently feared and thus shunned...
(as an aside to call Keith Starmer a right wing politician and all that implies is equally repugnant in my mind-
'Since right-wing leader Keir Starmer took over Labour in April, there has been a steady stream of suspensions, expulsions and investigations targeting party members.) This implies that there is no issue with Anti semitism within the labour party...where there clearly was.
The Suspension of Moshe Machover
Permalink Tony Greenstein replied on
The absurdity of Starmer's campaign against 'anti-Semitism' reaches new heights with the suspension of Moshe and also Naomi Wimborne-Iddrissi, Secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour.
The pretence is barely worth keeping up it is so transparent.
Meanwhile the basis of Jeremy Corbyn's suspension, his pointing out that the Labour Party is not overrridden with anti-Semitism, is thrown into sharp relief by the revelation that the EHRC Commissioner responsible for the Report, barrister Alasdair Henderson, is or was a supporter of the late Roger Scruton, an anti-Semite, homophobe, misogynist and all round bigot.
You really couldn't make it up.
Unfortunately Corbyn's continued silence is as shameful and cowardly as his behaviour when leader when he inaugurated the fast track expulsion procedures that are being used to expel people. He is really the most unlikely hero.
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