Why did Lansman and Rhea Wolfson stab Corbyn in the back and humiliate him at the September 4th NEC meeting, a few short weeks after declaring the LP’s Code of conduct to be ” The Gold Standard” ?
So far as Wolfson is concerned the story is a short one. Lansman told her to. She is entirely beholden to Lansman who is the bedrock of her strategy for winning a seat in parliament. In Lansman’s own case the story is rather longer and more tortuous.
The Labour Party, Lansman never tires of telling us, needs to regain the trust of the ” Jewish Community”. That’s as maybe. We will set aside the question of whether this “lost trust” is deserved. And we won’t, for the moment, go anywhere near the question of what the ” Jewish Community ” needs to do to regain the trust of Labour Party members
For Lansman, it would seem, this ” trust” has to be ” regained” at ANY price. Including the riding roughshod over the rights of the membership not least their rights to free expression as guaranteed by the Human Rights Act and the labelling of every Palestian, down tho the last man, woman and child as racist a la the batshit dogs dinner, the IHRA thing. The price also extends to the undermining of the socialist project that Corbyn is the inspiration and the figurehead for, not least by risking the forfeiting of the projects majority on the NEC, and the precipitation of a split in what we might call ” the Corbynite left ” between Lansmanistas and the rest ( now affectionately known as cranks).
Shortly after his declaration of the LP ” code” to be the Gold Standard, The Jewish News announced that Lansman was now lobbying for the “adoption” the IHRA thing “in full.” In the course of composing a brilliantly economical and incisive article Asa Winstanley invited Lansman to comment on the Jewish News claim. This he refused to do. At that point it was clear which way the wind was blowing.
Lansman arranged for Pete Willsman to be removed from the ” centre left” NEC election slate even though it was too late to find a replacement. Pete had had a bit of a rant at the July NEC meeting when the adoption of the Code of Conduct had been discussed. Someone ( not a million miles away from the racist Jewish Labour Movement ) had secretly recorded the proceedings. The secret recording of goings on in allegedly ” safe spaces” is an established tactic of the JLM. Attend any of their ” trainings ” at your peril. There was the usual hissy fit from the Israelists. There was nothing either untrue or unreasonable in the content of what Pete said. The manner was a bit OTT but that’s Pete. A long time associate commented ” Pete shouts when he is asking you if you would like a cup of tea. “
The outcome was the nine became eight so that Pete was effectively standing as an independent. This meanT that there was a real chance that the ninth place will fall into the hands of the right, which the slim socialist majority could ill afford and which would threaten the whole project. Democratisation, reselection, socialism and all the rest. This could but cause us to wonder just what are Lansman’s priorities.
Now the thing is Pete’s little wobbler was on July 17th. Lansman was present and sat through it all. He never expressed any kind of disapproval. As late as July 29th he was exhorting people to vote for Pete. Shortly thereafter he arranged for Pete to be removed from the slate. Obviously he had been paid a visit and had received the benefit of some political re-education.
Perhaps nothing is more indicative of where Lansman’s heart is than his twitter exchange with David Rosenhead. David tweeted a link to an account of his family’s treatment at the hands of Pollard’s Jewish Chronicle It included……
“Back in 2011 the Jewish Chronicle ran a piece on me, which also included mention of my parents and their politics, and my childhood and education, none of which had any bearing whatsoever on the story. One of the consequences of them running this piece is that my parents and I were profiled by far right racists and fascists. Some fascists got hold of my parents’ address, and some details about all of us were shared on extreme far right forums like Stormfront. I received death threats, while my parents had to find ways to secure their home. In all cases these threats were explicitly linked to us being identified as Jewish, by far-right antisemites. At the time my parents and I wrote to the editor, Stephen Pollard, and requested, given these grave antisemitic threats, that the article be removed from the Jewish Chronicle website (it had already gone out in a print edition.) He refused and the article remained online.
“So excuse me when I can’t quite believe my ears, when you protest there is an ‘existential threat’ to Jews. The one time in my life I was profiled and violently threatened by known antisemites because I was Jewish, you refused to help. It turns out safety should only be guaranteed to the ‘right’ sort of Jews, and only when it serves your political agenda”
Lansman responded with comradely support right? Well not quite. He said…….
“I have every sympathy with you & your family on this David, but now is a time when
@UKLabour has to rebuild a relationship with the mainstream Jewish community to prevent the breakdown of trust from empowering real antisemites around the UK from spreading their hate with impunity. “
In other words he tells David to stop whining. We need to regain the trust of the hard right racist Pollard, and he ( David ) just has to take one for the team.
Now it would be a mistake to think that Lansman’s Israelism is recently arrived at. When this whole thing kicked off I was amazed at how it developed. Under Lansman’s malign influence Corbyn and the Party rolled over at the first wiff of grapeshot. They rolled over again at the second wiff, and so on. I couldn’t believe the naivety. Did they have no understanding of what they were dealing with ? Did they not get that every concession is pocketed without so much as a ta very much and, with barely a pause for breath, they are back for more ? Did they not get that every concession is Danegeld ? Did they not get that there is no drawing a line under it ? Or not until the last pip has been squeaked. And even then you are not free. You are on probation. Once you have indulged in what Mark Braverman calls the Fatal Embrace, your chances of finding your way out are slim. And the LP’s embrace of the Israelists is as close now to fatal as makes little difference.
You would have thought the natural leaders of resistance to all the politically motivated batshit would be the influential democratic left. But what we found from Lansman and the opinion formers of the glam left, the Jones’, the Zarb-Cousins, the Segalovs the Shabis etc. was not no pasaran, but complicity. Be clear. Without this complicity, and it must be reluctantly said, without the complicity of Corbyn and McDonnell themselves, what we are experiencing today would not be happening. It would be ancient history. I have seen time after time, particularly in the context of the churches, what doesn’t work, and what does. The Israelists are not as powerful as they may seem. They only seem powerful when their targets are VOLUNTEERS. Left to just howl at the moon they soon get tired and move on to what they think may be greener pastures.
At first I put it down to the inexperience of Lansman and others around Corbyn. After all not everyone has had the benefit of hanging on their every word for ten years plus. But as time went on, as experience was gained but there was no sign of any learning taking place, as Lansman dragged Corbyn from one humiliation to the next, the inexperience theory became increasingly untenable and eventually had to be abandoned.
So my next theory was that it was all about money. The threatening by Jewish donors and stuff a la the Milliband days. But I was never very sold on it, It was just that, at the time, I couldn’t think of anything more feasible. Eventually, the penny dropped. For Lansman ( and for Jamie Schneider, don’t underestimate his influence) it was ideological. Lansman is an ideological Israelist. This explains his behaviour over the past few weeks. He is an ideological socialist too, but this is secondary to his Israelism. He will try as far as he can to keep these ideologies compatible with each other. So he broke his back over the LP code thing. However, whenever there is what he perceives to be insurmountable dissonance between the ideologies he will go with Israelism. The truth of this he is currently clearly demonstrating.
In late March 2016, I was horrified to find a longish article written by him published in the Jewish Chronicle. It’s appearance clearly indicated that he hadn’t quite grasped what he was dealing with. He didn’t quite get how the Chronicle’s wildly zenophobic and rabidly racist editor operates. The article was a lukewarm defence of the two ” Oxford names “. Less a defence more an apologia. Sure enough it was all a set up. Pollard set Lansman up as a pin for Mark Gardner to knock over a week later, in the most dismissive and contemptuous terms imaginable. Sadly, Lansman learnt NOTHING from the experience. On the contrary it was the beginning of the ongoing Lansman/Pollard love in. Lansman was assigned the role of ” delivering the left”. A role he has played with barely concealed enthusiasm.
Lansman got into his stride immediately. He soon after told us that antisemitism in the LP is much more extensive than the pitiful number of alleged cases would suggest. He told us that he was working closely and constructively with Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement. He excitedly announced that they were willing to build bridges, even with Corbyn. On their terms of course.
He removed all comments from a Left Futures post declaring them to be antisemitic. LF, now defunct, was at that time the house journal of Momentum. I did not get to see these comments but judging from the overall tone of the post, it is likely that the crime was the use of the expression ” Zio” which was now antisemitic but which hadn’t been antisemitic six months earlier.
He hurriedly deleted a comment on the next post.
June 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm
You should be more worried that you participated in a New Labour/Zionist witch hunt of Palestinian supporters in the Labour Party which has left activists and elected representatives vulnerable to murderous fascist assaults.
He welcomed the eight point plan to deal with antisemitism in the party, describing it as ” very good“. This was a “ plan ” published by Richard Angell, chair of the hard right Progress group, that included rule changes, Re-Education programmes ( presumably at regional Gulags) and vetting processes, to be put before the 2016 conference. This, although published by Angell, was spoon fed to him by the notorious perjurer, would be union buster, money launderer, and serial embezzler, the then chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, Jeremy Nemark. Angell testily denied this yet at the same time affirmed that he would happily put his name to “anything written by Jeremy.”
A major problem that Lansman encountered was that local Momentum branches were having trouble sticking to Pollard’s script.
Haringey Momentum decided they would have a meeting on Friday 27th May to talk about the Labour Party problem with Jews thing. They invited Jackie Walker who had been suspended from the Party on the say so of the Israelist Ultras, and Annie Cohen, a member of the extremely loose association that call themselves Jewdas. This didn’t go down well with the Ultras who proceeded to have one of their famously well rehearsed melt downs.
The Jewish Chronicle went into its usual routine. Jackie Walker’s alleged ” crimes” were once again cynically misrepresented and Annie was described as a member of ” the anti Israel organisation Jewdas.” The Jewdas guys and gals would probably describe themselves more as a ” get Israel the fuck out of my Jewish life ” association. Annie is a charming, bright and funny young woman. That the Israelists couldn’t stomach the thought of her presence is a good indication of the sickness they are infected with.
Dave Rich, the designated twitterato of the highly dubious organisation known as The Community Trust, whined that Jackie’s presence was inappropriate since she was suspended by the Party. Rich had no issue with the then suspended Naz Shah’s presence at a meeting organised by the Leeds Representative Council, because Naz has been fully tamed and was there as a supplicant, to grovel and apolagise. Being suspended by the Party was not here an issue.
However, the timing of the meeting was made into the real big deal. Didn’t they know that Friday eve was the beginning of the Jewish Shabbat and observant Jews would not be able to attend ? Seriously, that is what they said. I mean, the number of strictly observant Jews that would have wanted to attend this meeting but ” couldn’t” because of the religious imperative would be, well, I am guessing, zero.
Haringey fiddling the start time, to make attending and respecting the religious observance possible, wasn’t good enough. It wouldn’t have been. Because the crying and whining was entirely a red herring.
The Jewish Chronicle summoned Lansman and told him to sort it. Lansman hastily assured Pollard that…..
” I wasn’t involved in the planning of the meeting and didn’t know about it until yesterday
” The timing of it is regrettable and unfortunate”
“ I am not happy about it.”
Come Thursday Haringey had CANCELLED the meeting.
“ I am relieved that Haringey decided to POSTPHONE the meeting.”
Then it was announced that the Meeting would in fact take place but now under the auspices of MomentumThanet, Jackie Walker’s own branch. Before it could take place Jackie had been pressured into stating that the meeting was not, in fact, an enterprise of Momentum.
What Lansman learned from this is that he couldn’t have Momentum branches running around on frolics of their own, and upsetting the Israelists that he was having a “constructive dialogue” with. So he identified a compliant branch, Lewisham, and had them organise a meeting on the subject and selected himself and his protege Rhea Wolfson as speakers. This got around the charge of having stifled debate and yet kept Lansman firmly in control of who speaks where and when, and in control of what is said.
Interestingly the pre event publicity blurb contained a photo of a group of people one of whom was holding a placard declaring HITLER WAS RIGHT. WELL DONE ISRAEL. We are not told who this person is but are clearly meant to assume that this is a leftie Labour Party Member. The purpose is to establish the point that the Labour Party DOES indeed have a problem with Jews. Lansman establishes this as the starting assumption of the meeting. None of this Jackie Walker nonsense for Jon.
Then there is the murky Ken Livingstone/ Rhea Wolfson business.
Now I am not here to defend Ken Livingstone over his remarks. They were typical Ken. Were they racist ? Obviously not, but you will have bought or rejected the notion that Ken is antisemitic long before now. The concensus of thoughtful, informed opinion seems to be that there is a grain of truth in what he said but not much more than that. Nonetheless, in his inimitable style, Ken stands resolutely by his comments.
There are a couple of interesting issues here.
Firstly, Ken’s membership was suspended for something that, prior to the very recent invention of the idea that the Labour Party has an antisemitism problem, would have provoked nothing apart from a bit of gnashing of teeth by the usual suspects. That is, the sincere expression of a doubtfully accurate historical claim now brings the Party into disrepute, while senior Party figures sitting on the policy council of the Muslim baiting/hating HJS and people perjuring themselves in an attempt to falsely brand a Trade Union as antisemitic, is all just fine.
Secondly, there is the reaction of Jon Lansman. It will be recalled that Lansman’s mission is to “deliver the left” to an acceptance of the idea the Party has an antisemitism problem, and a consequent acceptance of the ” remedies” of the Tory dominated ” mainstream Jewish organisations” and their army of sans culottes internet trolls.
Lansman declared that Jeremy Newmark is “ very upset” . ( like who, apart from Lansman cared about the one man crime wave Newmark’s emotional state). Then Lansman goes on to tell us that Ken is yesterdays man and “should retire from any kind of public life” . There is a clear communality of interest here between Lansman, the racist Jewish Labour Movement and the hard right of the LP. This explains why there was an initial Lansman inspired delay in dealing with Ken’s case. The pressing issue for this communality of interest is ” Keep Livingstone off the NEC“. If there is to be an acceptance of the Israelist remedies the attitude of the NEC is crucial, and its attitude is a function of its make up at a particular time.
Of course this is not the only time Lansman has been distressed by Newmark being upset. After Jackie Walker had been stitched up by Adam Langleben at an officially sanctioned JLM led ” antisemitism training” session at the 2016 conference Lansman’s response was depressingly predictable. No condemnatory outrage that JLM had violated the Party’s trust by secretly recording participants. But rather…..
“I spoke to Jeremy Newmark this morning. He is very upset. I have been working closely with Jeremy. “
The ” Centre Left ” slate for the NEC elections contained six names, reflecting the fact that six members were to be directly elected by the membership. Ken’s was one of those names and he would have been a shoe in. Ken was suspended on April 28th. He must, at all costs remain suspended on June 24th when nominations closed.
Of course, Ken would have to be replaced on the centre/left slate. Lansman and Newmark had that covered. Step forward Rhea Wolfson.
Rhea was simply perfect for the purpose. Her Corbynista credentials seem , on the face of it, to be impeccable. She is also an ex chair of the Zionist Youth Council. The ZYC is a constituent of the Jewish Leadership Council. The JLC is rabidly Tory and operates as an extension of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Its recently departed chair, Mick Davis, bought a knighthood off David Cameron for £1.4 million and enjoyed a spell as Party Chairman. A noisy recipient of JLC welfare handouts is, of course,Adam Langleben.
Rhea, is also a vociferous member of the racist Jewish Labour Movement and so we had the bizarre situation of there being a communality of interest so strong that she found herself being nominated by JLM and being the Momentum choice for the left slate !!! Rhea proudly announced that she ” had the confidence of both sides.”
Needless to say Rhea has played her part well. It was her emotional outburst at an NEC meeting that ensured the referral of Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth to the NCC.
And so it has gone on.
And so it goes on.
Lansman now finds himself lobbying for the IHRA thing and jointly headlining with Margaret Hodge at the JLM annual conference on September 2nd. You can be sure they will find his contribution highly satisfactory.