Defend Jackie Walker

DESPITE a draconian purge of new members and supporters, Labour’s right-wing clique failed to stop the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn last month. Corbyn’s popularity has grown and even more people are being drawn to his anti-austerity banner since winning the leadership election for the second time in September. But the right-wing hasn’t given up the fight. They have now resumed their bogus campaign, in alliance with Zionist elements entrenched within the Labour apparatus, to target any pro-Palestinian left-winger they deem to be “anti-semitic” for expulsion.

Last spring former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah MP were their most prominent victims. Both were suspended from Labour Party membership and though Naz Shah has now been re-admitted Livingstone still remains in limbo. Now Jackie Walker has fallen foul of this hypocritical clique who pose as anti-racists to smear anyone campaigning for justice for the Palestinian Arabs but are rarely, if ever, seen to challenge the fascists and neo-nazis on the streets of Britain today.

Jackie Walker, who was briefly suspended earlier in the year, has now been removed as vice-chair of Momentum, the grass-roots movement organised to mobilise mass support for the Corbyn platform. Despite overwhelming support from the rank-and-file Jackie Walker was removed by seven votes to three.

Those voting to oust her shamefully included Momentum Chair Jon Lansman and four supporters of the “Alliance for Workers’ Liberty” — a pro-Zionist sect that masquerades as a Trotskyist movement within the Labour Party.

Walker, who is Jewish herself, was accused of making anti-semitic comments by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) that until 2004 was known as Poale Zion. The JLM is an affiliate of the Labour Party and the World Labour Zionist Movement, a faction within the World Zionist Organisation. Dubbed the British branch of the Israeli Labour Party, the JLM naturally has close ties with the Israeli embassy in London.

Last week Walker enraged the JLM for suggesting, at the Momentum festival on the fringe of Labour’s conference in Liverpool, that the problem of anti-semitism in the party had been deliberately exaggerated to undermine Corbyn. Later, at another fringe event organised by the JLM on anti-semitism, Walker called for Holocaust Day to be opened up to all communities that experienced genocide and challenged the Zionist definitions of anti-semitism.

Few would find these comments offensive. But Momentum’s steering committee majority did, claiming her remarks were “ill-informed, ill-judged and offensive”.

The JLM’s motives are transparently obvious — to assert its claim to represent all Jewish opinion within the Labour Party and purge anyone who supports the legitimate demands of the Palestinian Arabs and opposes Zionism. They are the natural allies of the rest of the right-wing within the Labour camp that will continue to undermine Corbyn’s base of support in preparation for another attempt to unseat him.

Why Lansman goes along with this is still a matter of speculation. He supported the Livingstone suspension. He refuses to challenge Zionist smears. He argues against the deselection of right-wing Labour MPs and he criticised the scathing comments from the general secretary of Unite the union about Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party behind much of the effort to oust Corbyn.

This is the man seen as the éminence grise of the Corbyn campaign. At best Lansman is a coward and an appeaser who backs down whenever the right take the offensive. If he can’t stand up to the right within his own party what hope is there for Labour in office when it faces the full wrath of the ruling class.

Now is the time to stand up and defy the right-wing and the Zionists throughout the labour movement to build the mass campaign needed to sweep Corbyn to victory at the next election and ensure that his progressive reforms are implemented.