Labour expulsion hearing set for anti-Zionist Jackie Walker

Jackie Walker

Jackie Walker

James Tye

After years of suspending her membership due to false allegations of anti-Semitism, the UK’s Labour Party has finally set a hearing date for Jackie Walker, The Electronic Intifada can reveal.

A Black and Jewish anti-racist activist, Walker will face a tribunal on 26 March.

She will answer charges before a panel of the National Constitutional Committee, or NCC, Labour’s disciplinary body.

“I’m so pleased to have a date for my hearing,” Walker told The Electronic Intifada.

“Whatever the outcome, it’s been amazing to be part of an anti-racist, anti-Zionist left that has refused to be silenced by what has been the worst political witch hunt of our generation.”

Since Jeremy Corbyn first ran for the Labour leadership in the summer of 2015, the party has faced an unrelenting witch hunt targeting the left and Palestine solidarity activists.

The NCC functions as the party’s internal trial court, sending accused members charge sheets and legalistic bundles of documents. But it is a highly politicized body.

Up until September, it was still controlled by Maggie Cosin, a member of Labour’s right wing once described as the party’s “witchfinder general.”

The new chair, Anna Dyer, has promised to bring change, after a pro-Corbyn majority was elected to the NCC at the Labour Party conference in September.

New NCC?

Walker said: “while some have hailed the new NCC as being an opportunity for justice, this remains to be seen. I expect the NCC to behave in a manner that reflects the politics of what’s happening.”

Walker is the last of three high-profile individuals who Israel lobby groups are demanding be expelled from the party on transparently baseless allegations of anti-Semitism.

Marc Wadsworth, another Black anti-racist activist of long-standing, launched legal action last year, after he was expelled in April, in what Labour leftists denounced as an “outrageous decision” and a “trial by media.”

The following month, veteran anti-racist and former Labour mayor of London Ken Livingstone was effectively forced to resign from the party to which he had devoted his life.

Walker faces expulsion for a supposedly anti-Semitic comment she made at the Labour Party conference in September 2016.

While at a Jewish Labour Movement training session, Walker was one of several people to voice disagreement with the pro-Israel group’s definition of anti-Semitism.

As The Electronic Intifada reported at the time, the only definition used that day was one which includes describing Israel a racist endeavor – something that would bar Palestinians from speaking about their lived reality.

“I still haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism I can work with,” Walker said, and this comment is at the top of the list of charges she faces at the NCC next month.

Israel lobby

Adam Langleben of the Jewish Labour Movement secretly filmed Walker’s contribution to the supposedly private training session.

The JLM, which has intimate ties to the Israeli embassy, leaked the video to journalists.

Media then whipped up a storm against Walker, which led to her removal as vice-chair of pro-Corbyn group Momentum and her suspension from Labour altogether.

Despite grassroots support for Walker from the left wing of the Labour Party, including many Jewish members, Walker’s suspension has dragged on for more than two years.

But her case exposed the JLM’s misleading definition of anti-Semitism to wider scrutiny, as well as the group’s pro-Israel agenda as a trainer.

Since then, many local Labour groups have rejected JLM’s politicized training.

Walker has raised awareness of the injustice of her case through a well-received one-woman play, The Lynching, which her director Steve Tiller is now fundraising to develop into a new version with three professional actors.

Walker is also at the center of a new political documentary, Witch Hunt, of which The Electronic Intifada viewed a rough cut in October.

The screening was by invitation only, since a previously scheduled public showing during the Labour Party conference in Liverpool last year had to be abandoned after a bomb threat.

Premieres of a new cut of the film will be held at secret locations in four major cities across the UK this weekend.

“We are determined to get it out whatever the threats,” Walker said.

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Comments

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All good wishes to Jackie Walker. She has faced down one of the most vicious, dishonest personal campaigns of vilification Israel has yet launched in Britain. If the Labour Party doesn't reverse her suspension, it will be a sign that the leadership still isn't willing to stand up to the Lobby, which is currently gearing up another media flap over false charges of antisemitism within the party. The current target is General Secretary Jennie Formby, on the receiving end in the past two days of smears from Margaret Hodge (styled the "Barking Yenta" by Norman Finkelstein) and other Zionist members.

Once again, thanks for all you've done and good luck at the tribunal, Jackie.

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Hear! Hear!

Those accusing Anti-Zionists should ask themselves:
• Is being against ISIS the same as being against Islam and Muslim Nations and ALL Muslims?
• Is being against Nazism the same as being against Germany and Germans?
• Is being against Fascism to be against Italy, Spain and ALL Italian AND Spanish people?
• Is being against the KKK the same as being against America and ALL Americans?

There is DEEP dishonesty and manipulation in these ac cusations and those using the accusation of "Antisemitism" to silence critics of Israel's Genocidal regime is tantamount to NAZI-FASCIST TACTICS!

NO PASARÁN!

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A correction. It wasn't a JLM training session as you write, but an official Labour Party training session which the JLM was tasked with running. It may sound a minor point, but that makes it even worse that it was filmed. The Labour Party has always refused to condemn the fact that its training session was secretly filmed.

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Good luck to Jackie, if nothing else she’ll certainly get her point across. The question that I asked and got no answer was, is antisemitism a graver form of racism than me being called a raghead or a P@ki. Crying wolf has made the situation worse for Ethnic minority’s by diverting everyone’s attention to antisemitism. Facism and The Hard Right are on the rise with media dialogue carrying undertones of Racism within it, Society is being desensitised to Racism.

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I left a comment on here earlier but didn't save it because I wanted to read it through again before I sent it. Where did it go? I didn't give anyone permission to delete it.
Criticizing the Israeli government means you are criticizing the government not all Jews. Everyone should speak out loudly and clearly against the illegal occupation and oppression of the Palestinians by the present Zionist Israeli government.
Anyway, you are right the media does absolutely nothing to stop the vile illegal acts of the present Zionist government.

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Dr. Hajo Meyer:"Zionists are Nazi criminals"

I think that statement says it all.

Jackie Walker is not guilty of anything. Others have been accused of being Anti-Semitic when they expressed their distaste of Israeli Zionist Nazi Criminals.

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I look forward to Jackie's return - unsullied - to Labour. Her suspension has been an utter disgrace to the Party, as have the comments of the outside wing of the Party, which I believe have had - and were meant to have - an anti-semitic encouragement to vilify Jackie, because she is Jewish, because she is black and because she is a woman.. Jackie is outspoken against wrongs, and will, I am sure, remain so. I congratulate her on her staying power.

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Jackie Walker does not need the Labour Party (nor does anybody). It only holds her back and hampers her. Why is she trying to get back in to it?

In the words of Groucho Marx, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." In that spirit, unencumbered and unfettered, we all should go out there now and make even more trouble. Agitate, agitate.

Zionism (which is racist and wrong) will end. Palestine shall be free!

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"Labour anti-Semitism-Gate" has been a transparently if successfully manufactured crisis from inception. It's another example of the Zionist lobby's desperation to avoid an open and fair discussion of Israel's egregious crimes against the Arabs in the illegally occupied territories and in Gaza; and of Israel's mendacious warmongering on a wider, regional stage in pursuit of regional hegemony and further colonial expansion. Labour in particular has been targeted because the perception has dawned that Corbyn might actually win, or find himself at the head of coalition government, in a general election. These manipulative fanatics will stop at nothing to perpetuate the reigning conspiracy of silence over the reality of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. I've never voted for Labour in my life but I find myself repeatedly compelled to defend left-wing Labour supporters' rights to basic freedom of speech and freedom to criticise a foreign government without immediately facing a baseless, hysterical sh*tstorm from the pro-Israel lobby that they're "Jew-haters" or "anti-Semites". I saw in the AJ documentary the way Ms. Walker was treated by some fellow-Jews in her party and found it beyond disgusting. Good luck on 26th March!

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I cannot overstate my support for Jacke (and Marc). That BAME Jewish anti racists can be suspended for so long is a tragedy for the Party. We have "lost" great talent and great understanding of the issues every day they have been blocked from the Party organisation.

Adam Langleben has shown himself to be a scab and a radical Zionist extremist of the most dangerous and duplicitous kind. NOTHING he says or does should be used as evidence against Jackie. He is a dreadful anti-Semite himself as a quick look at his twitter account would show. He is complicit with the Gnasher troll farm and abuses non Zionist Jews relentlessly.

Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.