Excellent news: Livingstone replaced by Zionist socialist on left slate for Labour NEC

May 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm (Andrew Coates, Anti-Racism, Jim D, labour party, left, Livingstone, zionism)

A cloud has lifted.


Rhea Wolfson: the Fresh Face of the Open Democratic Left.  

Left Futures has just reported this, and Comrade Coatesy comments:

“Let us hope we hear more from people like Rhea Wolfsom and a lot, a real lot, less from Ken Livingstone”.

This is worth noting (Myinforms)

A former president of Oxford University’s Jewish and Israel societies, and an ex-chair of the Zionist Youth Council, Ms Wolfson supported Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign last summer.

This is how she reacted to students shouting “Slay the Jews” at the Israeli Foreign Minister visiting  Oxford in 2010 (Cherwell),

An Oxford student yelled “Slay the Jews” at Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, when he spoke at the Oxford Union on Monday night.

According to eyewitness reports, the student was removed by security after he shouted the Arabic phrase, “IdhbaH al-Yahud”, which Cherwell understands to mean “Slay the Jews”.

A separate protest outside the Union, organised by the University Palestinian Society, began at 6.15pm. Demonstrators chanted slogans in support of Palestine, which could be heard in the Union chamber throughout Mr Ayalon’s speech.

Rhea Wolfson, President of the Oxford Israeli Cultural Society, explained that she believes “it was the wrong way to go about the issue. Protesters had a fantastic opportunity for dialogue last night and wasted it by shouting at the speaker, reciting prepared monologues and one member even launched a personal attack on his political career.”

She added that this “did not allow Danny Ayalon to discuss the remedies or the future, only the past; this kind of ranting and anger will get us nowhere.”

On the shouting of “Slay the Jews,” she remarked that “This is a disgusting thing to have happened. This student was obviously not representing the majority of the protesters … [and] crossed lines that should not have been crossed.”

Like many left activists I know some of this slate already, Ann and Christina.

They are hard-working democratic socialists who deserve wide support.


The pro-Corbyn Left Futures site  comments:

Momentum, the  grassroots network that arose out of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign, has decided to support Rhea Wolfson’s bid for Labour’s national executive committee (NEC). Wolfson, Co-Chair of the Co-op Party Youth, joins Ann Black, Claudia Webbe, Darren Williams, Christine Shawcroft, and Pete Willsman on the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate, which supports Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Wolfson, who actively supported Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for Leader last summer, replaces former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on the slate. Due to Livingstone’s current suspension from the party, he is ineligible to stand. Welcoming Wolfson’s NEC bid, Jon Lansman, chair of Momentum’s steering committee, said:

Rhea Wolfson is a very impressive young woman, committed to fighting for a more democratic party and a credible democratic socialist agenda. As a young, Jewish Scot, she will provide important perspectives that will improve the running of the Labour Party.”

Wolfson is a GMB activist in Glasgow, a human rights activist focused on Israel and the Occupied Territories and a former member of the Jewish Leadership Council. Announcing her application for the NEC, Wolfson said:

Britain needs a Labour Party that can deliver a confident and credible democratic socialist agenda; an alternative to the inequality of conservatism and the inertia of nationalism – with fairness and equality at its heart.”

As a Scottish Labour activist, Wolfson is committed to restoring Labour’s fortunes in Scotland:

Labour must be the party that stands against austerity to improve the lives of working people across borders.”

Wolfson is committed to a united, member-led party:

Our party needs to be strong and united, with all levels of the party working in a transparent and tolerant manner. I will work to empower members, local parties, and activists; to fight for a more democratic party that can deliver change – and ultimately, deliver victory.”

Nominations close on Friday 24 June. Please do your best to ensure that you constituency party nominates all left candidates for Labour’s NEC by that date. At present, candidates promoted by Progress and Labour First are generally ahead of CLGA candidates in nominations with the exception of Ann Black who is in the lead.  Rhea is a member of Eastwood CLP, L1205274. Other candidate details may be found here (leaflet to be updated).


  1. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    For the first time since Ken appeared on list I’ll be able to vote for all 6 Grassroots Alliance candidates.

    But ‘committed to restoring Labour’s fortunes in Scotland’? I’ve seen all you do guys do denial and then the anger – so guess this is bargaining and thus progress of a sort.

    Having said this having a candidate with some chance of winning who is not from a London or Oxford CLP is also a positive.

    And coming from Scotland but not from Edinburgh’s Morningside Rhea may well be the first NEC member hailing from a true no-hope CLP for God knows how many years.

  2. Joe in Australia said,

    And, of course, she’s being attacked by antisemites. Presumably antisemites from *outside* the Labour Party, the LP not having a problem with antisemitism.

    • Makhno said,

      “And, of course, she’s being attacked by antisemites. Presumably antisemites from *outside* the Labour Party”

      That would certainly appear to be the case, as the one she mentions attacking her apparently got their information from a far right blog.

      It also seems she’s already been attacked by the right of the party for having the temerity to be left wing and in the Labour party.

  3. Ben said,

    “..On the shouting of “Slay the Jews,” she remarked that “…This student was obviously not representing the majority of the protesters…”

    How does she know? Why is she so eager to to exonerate the “majority” of the protesters when anyone who knows anything about the anti-Israel agitators active today knows that supporting violence against Israeli Jews is a core position of many of them?

  4. Steven Johnston said,

    You can’t be religious and a socialist…so the labour party is the best place for her!


    “As a young, Jewish Scot, she will provide important perspectives that will improve the running of the Labour Party.”

    How so? What is so special about young, Scottish of Jewish people in this regard?

    “Britain needs a Labour Party that can deliver a confident and credible democratic socialist agenda; an alternative to the inequality of conservatism and the inertia of nationalism – with fairness and equality at its heart.”

    Yet she is a Zionist. Isn’t that a conservative and nationalist movement?

    • ZINR said,

      A couple of minor points:

      1.) “Jewishness” in this case refers to her ethnicity; there is no indication that she is religious (though she may be, I have no idea, and it’s hardly relevant anyway).
      2.) The idea that one can’t be religious and a socialist is nonsense, as a huge amount of Jews and Christians and others will tell you. In fact there are quite a few parallels between socialism and Christianity (theoretically at least).
      3.) Zionism is certainly a nationalist movement (equivalent to any other struggle for self-determination) but a majority of the original Zionists were socialists rather than religious zealots (the kibbutz culture is a prime example of active socialism in Israeli society) and loads still are.

      I won’t provide you with links and references; there are a million of them out there. Do a bit of further investigation – socialism doesn’t exist in a vacuum, incompatible with any other thinking, I’m glad to say.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Funny when I rang a Kibbutz and asked them to send me food, they would not do this without me first paying them. When I said, you mean your goods are produced for sale, they are commodoties and not given for free. Yes they told, they are in it to make a profit. I thought socialism was a world of free access, where am I going wrong?

        Zinr, I have done my investigation and know that socialism does not exist in a vacuum. Marx did a tremendous amount of research and come up with the conclusion that religion was anti-working class as it inhibits class-consciousness.

        There is no socialism in Israel on anywhere in the World today, nor has there ever been any. I give you one link:


        Regarding her Jewishness, if she is not religious then why would she adopt that as her ethnicity? A socialist would consider themselves a member of the human race and leave it at that.

      • ZINR said,

        Terribly sorry Steven, I had underestimated the depth of your fanaticism and ignorance. I’m guessing A-level student? If you’re over 18 I pity you…won’t bother you again either way

  5. Andrew Coates said,

    The antisemites who have expressed their prejudices are well-known nutters, the problems will really come when those who are more guarded in publicly airing their views come to comment.

    On Rhea’s wider politics, I have only the most general information.

    Other candidates on the same slate have a very wide variety of views, to mention the names of Ann Black and Christine Shawcroft only gives an indication of this breadth.

    Her ideas, so far as one can tell, would fit within this alliance – one which would not stop people from disagreeing with the exact line of thought she takes on this or that issue, Israel included.

  6. Andrew Coates said,

    This comrade is under attack *now*:

  7. Andrew Coates said,

  8. Southpawpunch (@Southpawpunch) said,

    Isn’t it about time the Labour Party adopted positive discrimination for people serving in these posts.

    No Oxford graduates – I mean they appear to fill near all positions.

    It’s the Cambridge graduates I feel sorry for!

    Clearly this candidate is on the make (like most of the rest) as is very clear in her position in the Co-op party.

    What person would normally join the Co-op party – just possibly someone into the idea of co-ops.

    Just about everybody who does join the Co-op party is a Labour careerist.They join to look for a source of votes and/or funding to get them that seat or similar. Like this ‘socialist’. Why support your future oppressors?

    Incidentally, how did she get her place on the ticket?

  9. Political Tourist said,

    East Ren
    Edinburgh South
    Some of the richest parts of this island.
    Remind me again, this is the Labour Party we’re talking about here.
    False consciousness right enough comrade.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      Progressive Nat si Tory Bhoy speaks for the left of centre Scottish Nat si party that are overseeing mounting food banks and implement Tory policies. Scumbag,

      • Political Tourist said,

        Shouldn’t the Glasgow bigot be out helping Farage and the Little Englanders.

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