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Politics: Labour Expels Jewish Activist Jackie Walker for “Detrimental Behaviour”

Michael East, Red Revolution

The Labour Party have expelled former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker for misconduct, the latest in a series of actions taken against left-wing and pro-Palestine activists within the party.

Walker, who identifies as Jewish, was expelled for “prejudicial and grossly detrimental behaviour against the party” over a period of time, including actions on social media. Despite claims or suggestions in the MSM, Jackie Walker was not expelled for antisemitism.

Walker has been a long-standing critic of the state of Israel and the power and influence of the Israeli Lobby in the United Kingdom. An active member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Walker appeared in the landmark 2017 Al Jazeera TV series The Lobby which exposed the Israeli regime’s interference in the British political process.

The action against Jackie Walker has come-in for considerable criticism, with Walker not being informed of the details of the charge against her until days before her hearing, being left ignorant of exactly what statements or postings were deemed problematic. This lack of time meant that there was insufficient opportunity to conduct a meaningful defence, a shameful action by the party which unfortunately is in-keeping with the treatment of Jackie Walker as a whole.

Critics of the move to previously suspend Walker include Chris Williamson MP, George Galloway, Ken Loach and Noam Chomsky.

“I wholeheartedly support the right of anyone to criticise Israel without being branded antisemitic. That goes in particular for Jackie Walker.”

Noam Chomsky

The move to expel Jackie Walker is the latest in a series of moves by The Labour Party against left-wing pro-Corbyn Jewish critics of Israel including the suspensions of Jo Bird, Tony Greenstein and Cyril Chilson.

“The antisemitism allegations against Walker are devoid of factual basis… The attack on Walker is being driven by pro-Israel activists… Walker is the only genuine anti-racist in this controversy… Labour is acquiescing in a fraudulent smear campaign…The antisemitism-mongers have over-reached. It’s time to push back.”

Norman Finkelstein

The left of the party, notably the Jewish Voice For Labour, have defended Jackie Walker against the claims against her, sponsoring the premiere of the documentary The Political Lynching of Jackie Walker, the JVL saying that the film “is an incisive and chilling exposé of attempts to silence critics of Israel, in particular those who support the socialist project of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. It connects the global struggle against racism and the far right with the Palestinian cause.”

A second film featuring Jackie Walker was distributed by the Jewish Voice For Labour in 2019.

Witch Hunt, which centres around the recent allegations of antisemitism within the Labour Party and the Israeli regime’s global support and alliance with the far-right, was due to be shown at the Houses of Parliament by Chris Williamson MP. The Board of Deputies, backed by Labour MPs Tom Watson, Lilian Greenwood and Ruth Smeeth ensured that the screening was stopped, the JVL saying this was a result of intimidation. Chris Williamson was subsequently suspended.

Witch Hunt has been described as both “chilling” and as “telling a story we just aren’t hearing at the moment,” with the film both exposing the links between global far-right movements and the Israeli regime, placing the false claims of antisemitism surrounding Labour into this context.

The treatment of Jackie Walker, Chris Williamson and others expelled or suspended in this affair are a shame upon The Labour Party, a party where a significant number of MPs and officials are willing to do the dirty work of the far-right. The shocking content of The Lobby and Witch Hunt casts new light on the expulsion of Jackie Walker and other pro-Palestinian voices both in the Jewish Labour movement and Labour as a whole. All evidence points to the expulsion of Walker and other left-wing pro-Corbyn Jews as being completely in-line with the already exposed activities of the Israeli lobby, activities that have allied the state of Israel with the global rise of the far-right.

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