June 02, 2016

Rhea Wolfson hoist by her own petard

So the witch-hunt in the Labour Party has devoured another Jewish Momentum member though Rhea Wolfson hasn't been suspended by from the party.

Here's her statement from facebook:
"Over the past few weeks, I have been delighted to receive support for my candidacy for Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) from a broad spectrum of opinion within the party, including nominations from dozens of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). It is clear that many members want to see me elected to the NEC.
However, I am now concerned that a faction of the party are trying to take that option away from the membership. To appear on the ballot I needed to secure, amongst other things, the nomination of my home CLP.
Last night Eastwood CLP, where my family home is, met to nominate candidates for the NEC. It was proposed that, given I am currently a member of the CLP, there would be a straight vote for or against my nomination. I made my case and answered questions from the room. I was then asked to leave the room while they discussed my nomination further. Once I had left, the ex-leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy, appealed to the CLP to not nominate me. He argued that it would not be appropriate to nominate me due to my endorsement by Momentum, which he claimed has a problem with anti-Semitism. The constituency has a large Jewish population. The CLP then voted to not endorse me, before re-inviting me back into the room.
Needless to say, this is hugely disappointing. It is disappointing because I am the only Jewish candidate in this election, because the wide range of organisations endorsing me includes the Jewish Labour Movement, and because I have a long record of challenging anti-Semitism and have in fact faced it on a daily basis since my candidacy was announced. But above all, it is disappointing because I know there are many members who want to vote for me, who could now have lost that opportunity. I am considering my options going forward."
Now this is more bizarre than all the previous episodes of this sordid show.  The reason she was slated for the NEC in the first place was because of Ken Livingstone's suspension and Ken Livingstone's suspension arose out of his support for Naz Shah.  She was supported by so-called Jewish Labour Movement, formerly known as Poale Zion or Workers of Zion and she was just thrilled to get that support in spite of all the harm they have done to the Labour Party recently:

And so to her rejection by her own Constituency Labour Party which was down to the antisemitism smear campaign largely got up by her endorsers in so-called Jewish Labour.

So what actually happened?  This wasn't a procedural manoeuvre by apparatchiks. This was a rejection by the rank and file with the encouragement of a largely discredited figure, Jim Murphy.  How did Rhea Wolfson not know that Momentum was so out of sorts with her own CLP?  Jim Murphy raised the bogus antisemitism issue.  Why wasn't the CLP impressed by Rhea Wolfson's endorsement by so-called Jewish Labour?

Rhea Wolfson had the support of the left at first until she reveled in the support she got from the Zionist movement but it wasn't her alienation of the left that lost her this selection thing.   Clearly, for the Blairites, merely supporting Zionism isn't enough.  They want people to support the whole neocon shebang and poor old (well young) Rhea didn't fit that bill.

I feel her supporters protest too much.  Her constituency voted against her and she should have known them better.  They must be a very right wing bunch to be swayed by a Blairite like Murphy. But they are the rank and file and if their say is crucial, they are entitled to it and they had it.  If she was a bit more deft she would have joined a constituency party that wasn't so right wing.  But there's the rub.  If they're so right wing they can't accept someone tainted with anti-Zionism they won't vote for her.  But if they're that left wing they won't support a candidate who has the endorsement of so-called Jewish Labour. I don't want to be dramatic here but this really is a struggle for the soul of the Labour Party.


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