Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Jackie Walker’s Misjudged Comments on Holocaust Day.

with 42 comments


Completely Out of her Depth.

Fury At Anti-Semitism Event As Momentum Vice Chair Jackie Walker Criticises Holocaust Memorial Day.

A leading Labour activist was heckled at an anti-Semitism meeting on Monday after she wrongly criticised Holocaust Memorial Day for not including non-Jewish genocide victims.

In secret footage obtained by HuffPostUK Jackie Walker also stirred anger as she questioned the need for security at Jewish schools, and said she hadn’t heard an anti-Semitism definition she could “work with”.

To jeers, the Momentum vice-chair said “wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all peoples who’ve experienced Holocaust?”

When told the day was indeed for all post- World War II genocides, she said “in practice it is not circulated and advertised as such.

The Guardian notes,

Momentum’s vice-chair, Jackie Walker, is facing calls to resign after she incorrectly criticised Holocaust Memorial Day at a party antisemitism training session for commemorating only Jewish victims.

Walker also took issue with the definition of antisemitism used at the training event, which was organised for members at the annual Liverpool conference by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM).

“In terms of Holocaust day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced holocaust?” she told organisers, heard in a recording of the event.

Holocaust Memorial Day is intended to commemorate all victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and other genocides, including atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda.

After shouts from participants, Walker said that was not how she viewed the event. “In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such,” she said. “I was looking for information and I still haven’t heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with.”

Walker was previously suspended from the Labour party after posting during a Facebook discussion that Jews were “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade” and arguing “the Jewish Holocaust does not allow Zionists to do what they want”. She was readmitted to the party

During the training event, Walker also questioned why Jewish organisations, including schools, said they needed high security to protect themselves from antisemitic attacks.

“I was a bit concerned by your suggestion that the Jewish community is under such threat that it has to use security in all its buildings,” she said. “I have a grandson, he is a year old. There is security in his nursery and every school has security now. It’s not because I’m frightened or his parents are frightened that he is going to be attacked.”

One participant replied: “Are Isis going to attack your grandson like they attacked a school in Toulouse?”

Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the JLM, said Walker should resign from her position in Momentum. “I am appalled that somebody who has already caused great hurt and pain to so many Jewish people by promoting an antisemitic myth would come to a training session designed to help party activists address antisemitism and use the occasion to challenge the legitimacy of the training itself,” he said.

While awaiting Jackie Walker’s resignation, I note the following.

Holocaust Day is, as the reports indicate, about all Holocausts.

Walker’s comments come in the context of her claim to Jewish ancestry.

I have Irish ancestry, my paternal grandmother was a ‘Kelly’.

Does this give me special authority about the Irish famine?

Does Jackie think it “would be wonderful” if I could speak about my ancestors, people I did not know, and I  could ‘talk’ about their ‘pain’ at their experience?

By contrast I do know something about the Shoah and the Jewish experience.

I am circumcised by a Mohel.

The last words of my mother to me, Mavis, were about an elderly Jewish East End Communist, who had, despite his physical disabilities, travelled to see her at Saint Elizabeth Hospice (Ipswich) , “Cyril came, how kind.”

My closest friends, from my North London  comprehensive school, when a Jewish girl Yvonne, sat by me in class, to our little North London gang, of Paul, Nick (Rosen, his experiences of the Young Socialists are given voice, that is cited,  in the book Comrade Corbyn) and others, were, often, but far from always, you’ve guessed it ‘Jewish’.

Expect we never talked about this.

If somebody is going to talk asa (as a….) the first *real*  girlfriend I had, Jackie,  was the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She had come through the camps.

Jackie and her parents (who spent most of their time abroad) lived in a council flat just next to Swiss Cottage.

Her mother, who had the tattoo number on her arm, and who forbade any thing from the fridge being thrown away, was a Viennese Jew.

I cannot express in words the respect I have for this woman, the mother  of my beloved.

I commemorate Holocaust day, and do not need ‘comments’ about it, least of all of this nature.

Jackie should resign and shut up.

You are out of your depth.


Written by Andrew Coates

September 29, 2016 at 10:44 am

Posted in Anti-Fascism, AWL, Europe, European Left, Fascism, Jews

Tagged with ,

42 Responses

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  1. I’m still undecided as to whether she’s antisemitic or thick as mince. Although the two are of course not mutually exclusive.

    Either way, I can’t think of a good reason for her NOT to resign. It’s not like she’s much use.


    September 29, 2016 at 11:59 am

  2. I am deeply offended, for the reasons you can see from the post, though these are just the tip of the iceberg of what I could say, as a life-long friend of the Jewish People.

    Andrew Coates

    September 29, 2016 at 12:04 pm

  3. I do not have Andrew’s experience (I grew up in a very white English mining town in the Midlands). What I do have is my experience of Holocaust Memorials, which I wrote of here (my speech) http://paulcanning.blogspot.com/2007/10/remembering-sachsenhausen.html Then events sparked this follow up here http://paulocanning.blogspot.co.uk/2008/06/der-untermensch-lives-on.html

    I can place myself in the pit at Sachsenhausen and Jackie Walker can go fuck…

    Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

    September 29, 2016 at 1:02 pm

  4. She is a disgrace … both ignorant and malicious. Certainly anti-Semitic. It would be a mistake to argue for the Labour Party to expel her (it would only play into her claims of “victim”-hood), but Momentum must do something about her.

    Jim Denham

    September 29, 2016 at 1:46 pm

  5. Good post Andy. She is an anti-Semite and her views are abhorrent. Her statements are designed to piss off Jewish people and they’re cloaked by a facade of decency.

    Kevin Algar

    September 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm

  6. To me serious criticisms of Zionism and the state of Israel exist. Somebody of the stature of the (Jewish) Hannah Arendt, somebody I, like many of us on the left deeply admire, began them.

    Her remarks fall far short of this, so far short that they are worse than embarrassing.

    Jackie (I have met her, and really like her) has made some incredibly offensive remarks which cannot be excused by the fact that she has only been active on the Labour Left in the last couple of years.

    Andrew Coates

    September 29, 2016 at 3:34 pm

  7. “she has only been active on the Labour Left in the last couple of years.” Where was she politically active before this? I have my ideas, but not everyone like this was in the SWP.


    September 29, 2016 at 3:39 pm

  8. I would say her views on this topic and slavery are fairly common amongst many US looking British ‘Africans’, who show no interest in what’s happening in the République centrafricain, République démocratique du Congo not to mention other horrific wars and, hey I could go on for a long time,

    Or that, for example, do not even know that roughly 120 millions black Africans speak French and

    Just to begin with…..

    Andrew Coates

    September 29, 2016 at 3:56 pm

  9. Nothing makes common sense and decency fly out of the heads of some people than the word “Jew.”

    Evan Siegel

    September 29, 2016 at 4:08 pm

  10. Nothing flies faster than this kind of crassly false “apology”.

    “She says: ‘If offence has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do'”

    “Senior members of Momentum are “fuming” at her remarks, The Independent understands.”

    “Ms Walker’s comments reportedly led to one activist shouting “you’re telling lies” while others corrected her to say that not just Jews can commemorate the day. ”

    If you can be bothered it continues,

    “s Walker has said she is sorry for any offence called: “A number of people made comments in a private training session run by the Jewish Labour Movement. As we all know, training sessions are intended to be safe spaces where ideas and questions can be explored. A film of this session was leaked to the press unethically. I did not raise a question on security in Jewish schools. The trainer raised this issue and I asked for clarification, in particular as all London primary schools, to my knowledge, have security and I did not understand the particular point the trainer was making. Having been a victim of racism I would never play down the very real fears the Jewish community have, especially in light of recent attacks in France.”


    Andrew Coates

    September 29, 2016 at 5:01 pm

  11. Reblogged this on Redvince's Weblog.


    September 29, 2016 at 5:02 pm

  12. […] Sorgente: Jackie Walker’s Misjudged Comments on Holocaust Day. […]

  13. Maomentum strikes again. Jesus.


    September 29, 2016 at 7:11 pm

  14. worth watching:


    September 29, 2016 at 9:23 pm

  15. I understand that senior Momentum people now accept that Walker has to go.

    Jim Denham

    September 29, 2016 at 9:25 pm

  16. I am deeply offended by her comments, the more so when last night on Channel Four she claimed she was “Jewish”.

    Andrew Coates

    September 30, 2016 at 10:06 am

  17. The line that ” I continue to seek to bring greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimised” is somewhat undermined by the fact that her leader, Corbyn, signed an early day motion minimising Serbian war-crimes – and that his head of strategy, Seamus Milne, has penned a number of articles minimising the extent of the genocides carried out by the Soviet Union – contradicting the evidence provided by proper historians – both in Russia and the West.


    alex ross

    September 30, 2016 at 10:35 am

  18. Dean, would really love to listen to an hour and a half of Gilad “trying to purge the last traces of my Jewishness from me” Atzmon but a) I don’t have a degree in psychiatry and b) I have a life and work to get done. But it nicely underlines my comment above.

    Dean, I notice that the video is taken by the Montague & Veronica Keen Foundation. Do you have any idea of who Veronica Keen is? Here’s a clue from a loyal friend of hers: https://wearelightbeings.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/who-is-really-veronica-keen/ And, from the Foundation itself, http://www.montaguekeen.com/

    And, Andrew, thanks for all the delicious spam from Dean. Look forward to many more servings on your blog. Really lends dignity to the discussion.


    September 30, 2016 at 4:02 pm

  19. Dean

    September 30, 2016 at 10:39 pm

  20. In refreshing contrast to Dean, Atzmon and Greenstein, here’s some sanity and decency from my old friend and comrade Alan Thomas, writing on Facebook:

    You know the day when the Labour Party will finally deserve to take itself seriously again? Let’s call it a litmus test. It will be the day when its various ex or wannabe student politicians finally drop their fetishistic, phoney war over Israel-Palestine (a conflict in which barely a single one of them would have the guts to physically participate), and acknowledge basic realities.

    1) Israel is now a fourth generation state. It is not going to vanish into the ether and neither should it. You might as well argue for the abolition of Brazil if you disagree. It has a vibrant free press which actually does a better job of attacking its own government than the UK press does. It does, nevertheless, have a government led by an ultranationalist, whose partners are off the spectrum to the right in European terms. If you want to help the left in Israel-Palestine, help the Israeli left. Otherwise in your mind you condemn a nation to ultranationalism.

    2) The Palestinians have been, and are, brutally oppressed, via blockades, settlements and military occupation. They, along with other stateless nations like the Kurds, want and deserve national self determination. They further deserve better political leaders than some bunch of theocratic headbangers who last “won” an election before I was 30, or a party led by some interestingly quickly imported bloke who has spent most of his life in exile. These are the oppressed in this situation. Don’t chuck them to the piranhas. Support the Palestinian left. It exists.

    See. Two steps, easy. Now stop playing student games regarding your various positions on this issue which are based around arguments about figures and groups in the UK. Drop it, grow up, agree a position, and become a serious political party once more.

    Should we not, Comrades?

    Jim Denham

    October 1, 2016 at 11:45 am

  21. Reblogged this on Socialist Fight and commented:
    Andrew Coates joins the racist Zionist witch hunt against Jackie Walker also. What an appalling racist bigot this man is? No criticism od racist Zionism is allowed, the mass media says so, he slavishle quotes them as proof of his own correctness. And accepts the spin that the Zionists but on her perfectly correct and reasonable comments.


    October 1, 2016 at 12:16 pm

  22. An anti semite writes:

    October 1, 2016 at 11:10 am · Edit

    Reblogged this on Socialist Fight and commented:
    And this from that appalling racist Zionist bigot, Jim Denham. His mate Andrew Coates is actually worse than him. He is a member of the AWL, Janine Booth has already joined the right wing witch hunt against Jackie Walker so we can be sure that Jill Montford will cast he vote for suspension/expulsion on the Momentum Steering Committee. What absolute class traitors these fake ‘Trotskyists’ are. They have no more in common with genuine revolutionary Trotskyism than their mentor Max Shachtman had when he supported the Bay of Pigs CIA-organised invasion of Cuba in 1961.

    It goes without saying that ‘comrade’ Jim’s definition of antisemitism is anyone who criticises the mass slaughter of Palestinians by Israel.

    Jim Denham

    October 1, 2016 at 3:28 pm

  23. I have lost patience: this is right:

    Labour suspends Jackie Walker over Holocaust comments

    Momentum’s vice-chair also faces being removed from campaign group following leaked footage from party’s antisemitism training event


    Andrew Coates

    October 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm

  24. Honest question — who constitutes the Palestinian left today? The Palestinian National Initiative? Other than the PFLP/DFLP (not groups I’m fond of), I can’t think of any others.


    October 1, 2016 at 7:58 pm

  25. Is anyone else apart from Gerry Downing actually in Socialist Fight, these days?

    Poor old scone.


    October 2, 2016 at 10:36 am

  26. Anti semitism, the socialism of fools.
    that’s true – Jackie Walker is a fool, not helping any cause, and giving the AWL the chance to rile up their moral upmanship by calling everyone anti semites.

    Jackie Walker is Jewish or part Jewish. How can she be anti semitic?
    this real issue is about the pseudo religious nature of the holocaust, and its ideological role.
    Jackie Walker did a Dieudonne, but not as funny. She posed the same question.

    Gerry Downing’s Socialist Fight is probably bigger than the AWL.
    I heard that the AWL all live in a house in Hackney somewhere.
    at least RT have given her a chance to speak:

    Why do you deny the African Holocaust Jim? Are you an anti hamite?


    October 2, 2016 at 1:08 pm

  27. “Jackie Walker is Jewish or part Jewish. How can she be anti semitic?” Ever heard of Gilad Atzmon, you ignorant clown?

    Jim Denham

    October 2, 2016 at 4:47 pm

  28. Jim, Dean loves Atzmon. See his post above.
    Dean thinks if he quotes Jewish Jew-baiters, he’s not an anti-Semite. Like David Duke quoting the late demented Israel Shahak’s medieval polemics against the Talmud.

    Kind of like the Islamophobes quote Ibn Warraq.


    October 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

  29. @Jim Denham – you’re anti hamitic, and animated by anti black racism that exists even in Israel against the Ethiopian ‘black Jews’ you’re also Islamophobic.


    October 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

  30. Well, if Dean can just make random irrelevant posts on this venue, guess I can too.


    October 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm

  31. This is a classic example of MacCarthysim and a witch hunt. People have forgotten Charlie Hebdo, where people actually DIED for the right to offend. Freedom of speech is now being sacrificed for some wrongly-conceived political correctness. I may get offended by Jackie Walker’s comments, and I may find them reprehensible, but I will fight for her right to express them, in a free, democratic country where freedom of speech which does not incite hatred and violence, should be held sacrosanct. People should reflect on this shameful witch hunt, and remember Charlie Hebdo. Walker did not abuse, express hatred, or draw offensive images. She asked questions respectfully, and later apologised if she had offended. She is a woman who has fought racism all her life and has been the recipient of racism herself. To accuse her, condemn her and then suspend her from her party is a clear sign of an alternative agenda. She is against the ideology of Zionism which purports to replace all Palestinians with Jews who decide to live in Israel. This is the real reason she is condemned. It is shameful that so many have jumped on the bandwagon and through fear of being accused themselves of antisemitism have condemned her equally.


    October 3, 2016 at 11:01 am

  32. You make a very good point Maria.

    Here is an article which expresses the issues very well: Jackie Walker is wrong about Holocaust Memorial Day – and should know better. Joe Mulhall.


    Jackie’s reply is important.

    “A statement from Jackie Walker

    “A number of people made comments in a private training session run by the Jewish Labour Movement. As we all know, training sessions are intended to be safe spaces where ideas and questions can be explored. A film of this session was leaked to the press unethically. I did not raise a question on security in Jewish schools. The trainer raised this issue and I asked for clarification, in particular as all London primary schools, to my knowledge, have security and I did not understand the particular point the trainer was making. Having been a victim of racism I would never play down the very real fears the Jewish community have, especially in light of recent attacks in France.

    In the session, a number of Jewish people, including me, asked for definitions of antisemitism. This is a subject of much debate in the Jewish community. I support David Schneider’s definition and utterly condemn antisemitism.

    I would never play down the significance of the Shoah. Working with many Jewish comrades, I continue to seek to bring greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimised. If offence has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do and I apologise.”

    2) On her Portuguese Jewish ancestors role in specific part of the slave trade:

    Jackie describes her background like this:

    I am Jewish, my Russian born Jewish father and Jamaican born mother of Jewish descent brought together in their shared political commitment to the Civil Rights movement of 1950s America. My mother brought me to England in the late fifties. My experience is not untypical of blacks of that generation. I have been a victim of violent, structural, and persistent racism ever since I arrived in this country in 1959. As a young child I was spat at and beaten by adult racists in the street. I was bullied and ostracised at school, have been victimised at work, been refused accommodation and consistently excluded from structures of power. My personal response to this, my own everyday resistance, was not to become a particularist or a separatist but to be a universalist.
    Indeed Jackie has been a long-standing antiracist activist, who used to train police in Dorset in anti-racism. Recently she played an important part in the defeat of Nigel Farage’s UKIP campaign in the Thanet constituency where she lives.

    So an accusation of antisemitism against Jackie is bizarre, to put it mildly. What was the accusation?

    The accusation was based solely on a quote taken out of context from Jackie’s Facebook page on 27th February 2016. It was not a public posting but part of a private discussion with a Zionist friend and others about the African holocaust and the fact that Jews – notably Jackie’s own Portuguese Jewish ancestors whose history she has researched – had been involved in the sugar and slave trade. Her Facebook contribution was reduced to a sensationalist and inaccurate headline in the Jewish Chronicle (in an article which appeared on the same day the Labour party sent her a letter notifying her of the suspension, well before Jackie could have even received official notification): “Momentum Activist says the Jews Caused the African Holocaust.”

    It turns out that her discussion was made public courtesy of the Israel Advocacy Movement which had hacked Jackie’s Facebook page, no doubt as part of its campaign to target and attempt to discredit critics of Israel, particularly those who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

    The lifting of the charge and after

    The Labour party is never very forthcoming about allegations, charges and suspensions or how it comes to its disciplinary decisions. But before the end of May, the charges against Jackie were dropped: “Following the outcome of an investigation, Jacqueline Walker is no longer suspended and remains a member of the party.”

    For Jackie it wasn’t so simple – first being charged, now not, it was impossible to go back to the status quo. The world of hate which unfolded following her suspension might have been extreme – it got a lot worse after the suspension was lifted. Jackie says:

    “As soon as the Jewish Chronicle wrote the first article, trolls circled for the kill, posting spooky blacked up faces (and worse) to my account. The Jewish Chronicle led the attacks, querying my Jewish identity (a racist move in itself), my work as an anti-racist activist and my political commitment.

    When my suspension was lifted the Spectator added its journalistic spleen. Indignation at my alleged breach reached the heights of irony when Nigel Farage, anxious not to miss out on the fun being had by, among others, Labour MPs and officers of the Party, dedicated an article in Breitbart and a good dose of righteous indignation on national TV to publicly calling me out as a racist. This widespread hate campaign led to public abuse, strangers shouting ‘racist’ as I walked to the tube. With the murderous racist political discourse now taking the place of debate I became conscious I was recognisable on the street.

    Then there were the smears, grist to the mill of every witch-hunt, the guilt by association innuendos like reproducing my Facebook post alongside the nonsense peddled by the Nation of Islam. These are barely worth a response except to say the Nation of Islam is an antisemitic group which seeks to set Jewish and Black people against each other. Any examination of my work, my writing, my life, would make clear my opposition to this ideology.”
    What exactly did Jackie write on Facebook?

    Jackie says:

    My aim was to argue that there are no hierarchies of genocide; there is no way to quantify or qualitatively describe the indescribable, the indescribably inhumane acts that are part of our histories. When a friend raised the question of “the debt” owed to the Jews because of the Holocaust I replied “Oh yes – and I hope you feel the same towards the African holocaust? My ancestors were involved in both – on all sides as I’m sure you know, millions more Africans were killed in the African holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews… and many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and perpetrators to some extent through choice. And having been a victim does not give you a right to be a perpetrator.”
    She elaborates:

    Yes, I wrote “many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”. These words, taken out of context in the way the media did, of course do not reflect my position. I was writing to someone who knew the context of my comments. Had he felt the need to pick me up on what I had written I would have rephrased – perhaps to “Jews (my ancestors too) were among those who financed the sugar and slave trade and at the particular time/in the particular area I’m talking about they played an important part.” The Facebook post taken by itself doesn’t, and can’t possibly reflect the complexity of Jewish history, of the history of Africa, the history of people of the African diaspora and the hundreds of years of the slave trade. The truth is while many peoples were involved in this pernicious trade it was the rulers of Christian Spain and Portugal that ordered the massacre and expulsion of thousands of Jews from the Iberian Peninsular who forced Jewish communities to seek refuge in the New World and the Caribbean. It was European and American Christian empires that overwhelmingly profited from the kidnap, enslavement and death of millions of Africans and I’m happy to make explicit and correct here any different impression my Facebook post gave. The shame is, at a time when antisemitism has been weaponised and used against certain sections of the Labour Party, nobody asked me before rushing to pin the racist and antisemitic label on me.”
    And further:

    “If my historical understanding is shown to be wrong by future research I will of course adapt and change my views as necessary. For the record, my claim, as opposed to those made for me by the Jewish Chronicle, has never been that Jews played a disproportionate role in the Atlantic Slave Trade, merely that, as historians such as Arnold Wiznitzer noted, at a certain economic point, in specific regions where my ancestors lived, Jews played a dominant role “as financiers of the sugar industry, as brokers and exporters of sugar, and as suppliers of Negro slaves on credit, accepting payment of capital and interest in sugar.” [1][2]

    No people are exempt from truth. No people are better, more moral than any other. None deserve higher protection from the eye of history. All of us are subjects, products of material historical development. As Kagan & Morgan point out, “Jews in the Atlantic constituted a stateless minority, a ‘nation within a nation,’ the counterpoint to imperial cultures of early modern Europe; and yet from the fifteenth century onwards, Jews were also key participants in the effort to expand European empires into the western hemisphere and the broader Atlantic world. In short, they were, as Jonathan Israel has noted, simultaneously agents and victims of empire.”[3]

    This was the point I was attempting to make on Facebook, in a comic-strip, abbreviated, inadequate, deficient sort of conversational way. This was my point, as the Israel Advocacy Movement could see even as they decided to weaponise my words. No peoples have a monopoly of suffering or virtue. No peoples are special or free of the complexity of history. That is as true in the Middle East now as it ever was anywhere, in all places, with all peoples, across the diversity of our globe and so it will remain until, and unless, we achieve the goal of all internationalists – the liberation of humanity.

    [1] Arnold Wiznitzer, in Jews in Colonial Brazil, quoted in Jane S Gerber (ed.) The Jews in the Caribbean (The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2014) p51

    [2] Indeed, Eli Faber says in his book Jews, Slaves and the Slave Trade: Setting the Record Straight: ”However, their contributions to the sugar industry were far more significant when it came to providing capital, exporting sugar, and advancing credit for slaves. As creditors, according to the historian of the Brazilian Jewish community, “they dominated the slave trade.” Faber’s footnote refers to Witnitzer, The Jews in Brazil, 67-73

    [3] Preface ix, Atlantic Diasporas: Jews, Conversos, and Crypto-Jews in the Age of Mercantilism 1500-1800, (ed.) Richard L. Kagan & Philip D. Morgan (The John Hopkins University Press, 2009)


    Jackie Walker’s memoir Pilgrim State appeared in 2008 and was described by Good Reads as “a stunning memoir which tells the story of Dorothy Walker – equal parts beautiful, headstrong, brave and tragic. Her life is lovingly recreated by her daughter Jacqueline in homage to the remarkable woman she was.” In an interview by Tamara Gausi, Time Out says: “Jacqueline Walker’s remarkable Pilgrim State employs the story of her mother, Dorothy, to create a mythically charged meditation on blackness, Britishness, and belonging.” Louise Carpenter reviewed the book in the Guardian (13 April 2008) in Who are you calling a bad mother?

    Andrew Coates

    October 3, 2016 at 1:05 pm

  33. Nobody’s saying Jackie Walker doesn’t have the right to express her anti-Semitic views: just that the Momentum and the left as a whole should disavow them and exclude her.

    Jim Denham

    October 3, 2016 at 3:43 pm

  34. I really don’t like the expression “witch-hunt” – it is over-used when people are simply challenging stupid things someone has said (whether in the “should know better” category or the “genuinely vile and malicious” category – and my mind isn’t entirely made up into which category she falls).

    Incidentally, my (late) mum was a historian who spent a lot of time researching actual witch trials in the early modern period in Northumberland – and I can say with confidence that they were not the same as someone just being told they are talking bollocks on the interwebs.

    Walker is right that the Transatlantic Slave Trade was an atrocity that deserves greater public attention (I was close to throwing my UK passport into the sea when being guided around Slave forts in West Africa – but thought better of it!!). However, it doesn’t have to be on the same day as HMD – nor should there be a competitive element to suffering. Also, the equally vile Ottoman and Arab Slave Trades need recognition – but some Muslim campaigners (e.g. Mo Ansar) get shirty when that suggestion is made . At least, the UK educates it’s citizens about the horrors of the Slave Trade and the darkness of its past. The same can’t be said of Turkey or the countries of the Arabian peninsular.

    alex ross

    October 3, 2016 at 5:04 pm

  35. Like many people I was deeply affected by Claude Lanzmann’s documentary, the Shoah.

    The word la Shoah has passed into the French language, and is the normal term used in French speaking communities today.

    Andrew Coates

    October 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm

  36. Jackie Walker Responds to Accusations of Antisemitism.


    news seeker

    October 3, 2016 at 11:26 pm

  37. “A statement from Momentum’s Steering Committee.

    Momentum’s Steering Committee has voted, seven to three, to remove Jackie Walker as its Vice Chair, a position it elected her to. She remains a member of Momentum and its Steering Committee.
    Jackie’s actions at Labour Conference, in her subsequent Channel 4 interview, and by not understanding concern caused by her statements, have led the Steering Committee to view her behaviour as irresponsible and lose confidence in her as Vice Chair.

    Having read reports of what Jackie Walker is alleged to have said, listened to the leaked video, and heard Jackie’s version of events, the Committee does not regard any of the comments she appears to have made, taken individually, to be antisemitic. However, the Committee does consider her remarks on Holocaust Memorial Day and on security of Jewish schools to be ill-informed, ill-judged and offensive. In such circumstances, the Committee feels that Jackie should have done more to explain herself to mitigate the upset caused and should have been careful about statements on this and related subjects, whatever her record as an anti-racist, which the Committee applauds.

    Momentum is concerned that footage of a training session was leaked to the press. The leak is unacceptable and undermines much needed political education. Momentum also calls on Labour to apply the principles laid down in the Chakrabarti report in its investigation of Jackie. On the basis of the evidence the Committee has seen, Jackie should not be expelled from the Labour Party.

    Andrew Coates

    October 4, 2016 at 10:36 am

  38. My view, over at Shiraz Socialist, on the Momentum Steering Committee’s decision, and the subsequent statement:


    Jim Denham

    October 4, 2016 at 3:29 pm

  39. I wonder who the next victim will be? After all, JW is merely so much collateral damage in a campaign to bash Momentum to get at Corbyn, thereby to undermine the left in Labour and restore the right to its rightful place at the top of the party. Her case has served it purpose and has now outlived its usefulness – time to move on to someone else…


    October 4, 2016 at 10:19 pm

  40. what utter nonsense. Jackie Walker is a fine fighter against fascism and racism, including anti-Semitism. She was the subject of a sting by the misnamed Jewish Labour Movement – Zionists were never very popular when there was a Jewish labour movement. Today’s JLM is merely an extension of the Israeli Embassy.

    Jackie was right on two counts – the extermination of the holocaust has been omitted from the Nazi holocaust by Jews as our letter to today’s Guardian states https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/04/jackie-walker-ruling-betrays-momentum-members

    There is a whole debate between Yehuda Bauer and Sybil Milton about whether the Gypsies (& by extension the Disabled) should be included in teh Holocaust. This is very common to Zionist ideologues – Wiesel, Dawidowicz etc.

    As for there being no standard definition of anti-Semitism, certainly not the EUMC ‘working definition’ that is a fact.

    The attack on Jackie is a calumny and those who support it are chauvinists and racists. In Jim Denham’s case he is acting as a scab and supporting the witch hunt, ironic since it is claiming AWL members as well.

    Tony Greenstein

    October 5, 2016 at 2:56 am

  41. You are being rather reticent about your increasingly absurd claims Tony.

    “…Lansman told Ken Livingstone, just before he was suspended, quoting the late Enoch Powell, that all political careers end in failure and he should retire. This is now our advice to Lansman. You have outlived your usefulness and you should retire to manage your property empire.

    Jackie was the victim of a political sting by the Jewish Labour Movement. The JLM has just appointed as its Director, Ella Rose, who was previously working for the Israeli Embassy. When challenged by journalist and investigator about the JLM’s links with the Israeli Embassy, Chair Jeremy Newmark remarked how ‘odd’ it would be to suggest that they shouldn’t have such link.

    Indeed it would be odd.The Israeli Embassy, which undoubtedly works closely with the American Embassy over anti-Corbyn propaganda, co-ordinates and liases with most Zionist groups in this country. The so-called ‘training session’ at Labour Party conference was a honey trap. Complete with secret recording of participants, it was intended to use comments of anti-Zionist participants to secure the suspension of Jackie Walker.”

    Honey trap?

    What odd thoughts are going round your head.


    Andrew Coates

    October 5, 2016 at 3:07 pm

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