Machover told The Electronic Intifada that party bureaucrats had written “grudgingly” permitting him back into the party. He said they had backed down because they realized that they were “bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.”
But so far they have refused to apologize for initially accusing him of writing an “apparently anti-Semitic” article.
Machover is well known in scholarly and Palestine solidarity circles as an activist and a co-founder of Matzpen, a group of dissident Israeli socialists active in the 1960s and 1970s. He has lived in London since 1968.
The false allegation was contained in the initial letter expelling him at the start of October.
On Monday, Labour’s head of disputes Sam Matthews wrote saying that “The Party has reviewed the matters of fact surrounding your case and the decision has been taken to rescind your automatic exclusion.”
The letter can be read in full along with other recent correspondence below.
The retired University of London professor said that giving him back his Labour membership was “the least they could do.”
But he complained that they have not apologized for the “completely unacceptable” false allegation of anti-Semitism – which he described as an “insult.”
Matthews had previously written saying the anti-Semitism allegation would be “kept on file,” threatening that the “allegations may be reopened in the event that you reapply for membership in future.”
Machover had been expelled on the pretext of alleged support for the Communist Party of Great Britain and Labour Party Marxists – an allegation Machover has described as McCarthyist.
Machover said that the climbdown came only because party bureaucrats had been “facing a tsunami of protest” by ordinary Labour members.41 local Labour groups passed motions in support of Machover’s reinstatement.
The Labour leader’s office also seems to have privately put pressure on party bureaucrats for the decision to be reversed.
Labour Party Marxists on Tuesday published an email from an official in Jeremy Corbyn’s office saying that they were “very much aware of the public support for Moshé Machover and the distress and anger caused by his auto-exclusion.”
Laura Murray, Corbyn’s stakeholder manager, wrote that “there will still be outstanding issues on people’s minds around the reasons for his auto-exclusion, but I am glad that he is now a Labour Party member again.”
Earlier in October Machover took legal advice and wrote a detailed rebuttal to party bureaucrats appealing the decision and hinting at possible legal action.
His son is Daniel Machover, a renowned human rights lawyer, who is also active in the Palestine solidarity movement.
Moshé Machover told The Electronic Intifada that the movement to reinstate him was “beginning to be an international campaign.”
A US group called Science for the People has been collecting signatures for a new petition calling for Machover’s reinstatement. The group launched their petition soon after initial publication of this article, calling for an apology from Labour officials.
As for Machover, he concluded that “la lutte continue” – the struggle continues.
He said that many others have been unjustly excluded or suspended from the Labour Party over “anti-Semitism” – which in most cases turned out to be misrepresented legitimate criticism of Israel or Zionism, the state’s foundational ideology.
The party has been facing a series of exaggerated and in some cases fabricated allegations of anti-Semitism over the last two years.
The Israel lobby and right-wing Labour lawmakers have used the allegations to orchestrate a witch hunt against Palestine solidarity activists and left-wing supporters of Jeremy Corbyn since he became leader of the party in 2015.
Updated to add link to Science for the People’s petition.