Jackie Walker’s original comments about the slave trade were bad enough. But it is possible to fall into error, pick up misinformation, and then reflect and rethink – as Naz Shah has done. Jackie Walker, by contrast, seems to want to compound the problem. To remind readers, she wasn’t simply admitted back into the Labour Party – she is now Vice Chair of Momentum and has since been photographed alongside Jeremy Corbyn at a rally in Ramsgate.
Now it transpires that she came out with a series of offensive comments relating to antisemitism at a meeting on Monday. First she complained that she hasn’t been able to find a definition of antisemitism she can work with. There are many definitions – surely she can find one she can put up with, and even if she can’t, that doesn’t stop her trying to engage with the problem rather than find excuses to brush it aside.
Next she complained that Holocaust Memorial Day was too exclusive – ‘look at the website’ someone in the audience suggested. This would have informed her that HMD is a time to remember all victims of the Nazis, for example the Roma, and victims of other genocides too.
She then sought to trivialise the way Jewish schools (and other Jewish organisations and events) rely on security, and seemed unconcerned when reminded that Jews were targets for terrorist attacks.
Finally she completely garbles ‘the Livingstone theory’ (sic) – ‘if it is an antisemitic issue, if you deny it, it’s antisemitic’. I assume she was referencing the Livingstone formulation which in fact refers to the accusation that the issue of antisemitism is being raised in bad faith to deflect criticism of Israel.
Here’s is Jackie Walker’s response. If she’s now essentially backtracking on every single point she made, why did she make them in the first place?
habibi adds: here’s John McDonnell showing his solidarity with Jackie Walker at a Labour Representation Committee meeting in Brighton on 12 September 2016.
Walker also spoke at the meeting. She dismissed antisemitism charges as bids to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters and silence criticism of Israel.