'Over 100 “prominent members of the Jewish community”, including Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, have signed a letter in support of MP Chris Williamson.
Williamson was originally suspended from the Labour Party in February after video footage emerged of him saying:
The party that’s done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party. I’ve got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we’ve backed off far too much, we’ve given too much ground, we’ve been too apologetic.
He was then readmitted on 26 June with a formal warning following a disciplinary panel’s decision; but the party decided on 28 June to remove his whip again. In the two-day period that Williamson was readmitted, a group of MPs led by deputy leader Tom Watson professedoutrage at the decision.
A poll conducted by LabourList shortly after found that the party’s grassroots overwhelmingly supported his reinstatement.
Signed by public intellectual Chomsky, academic Finkelstein, CODEPINK founder Medea Benjamin, Jewish Voice for Labour co-chair Jenny Manson, and over 100 others, the letter reads:
We the undersigned, all Jews, are writing in support of Chris Williamson and to register our dismay at the recent letter organised by Tom Watson, and signed by parliamentary Labour party and House of Lords members, calling for his suspension…
Chris Williamson did not say that the party had been “too apologetic about antisemitism”, as has been widely misreported. He correctly stated that the Labour party has done more than any other party to combat the scourge of antisemitism and that, therefore, its stance should be less apologetic. Such attacks on Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters aim to undermine not only the Labour party’s leadership but also all pro-Palestinian members.
It was originally published in the Guardian, which has repeatedly misreported Williamson’s (and others‘) words in the same fashion.
“We regard Chris as an ally”'
Read more: Chomsky, Finkelstein and over 100 prominent Jewish figures send letter in support of Chris Williamson