Cllr Darren Johnson comments on Toby Green’s resignation

Cllr Darren Johnson has a clear and helpful comment at BobFromBrockley:

In answer to the specific questions/points put to me, I do not sit on either of the party’s manin national bodies and haven’t been privy to all the discussions but will respond with as much as I know:

1) There have been clear examples of antisemitism within the Greens.

Any instances of antisemitism are unacceptable and any members responsible for antisemitism should be disciplined.

2) These have been dealt with in an unsatisfactory fashion, as Party members have argued.

The party needs to deal with such cases swiftly and fairly and any members responsible for antisemitism should be disciplined.

3) The Greens’ official Conference decided that a policy on antisemitism was required, so why was that decision overridden by a group of politically motivated activists, at variance with the spirit of the Conference decision.

I voted for the official conference motion like others. However, my understanding was that the Regional Council’s decision to adopt the EUMC definition proved controversial as it was thought by some to stifle legitimate criticism of Israeli policy. This was debated at a meeting of the London Green Party at which I was present. I was persuaded of the case that this definition was problematic. There was then a further vote at the London meeting on whether a separate statement on anti-semitism was needed at all. The proposers argued that a separate statement was not necessary because antisemitism was covered by our general policies on racism. I did not support this view and was the only person in the room to vote against. The fact that there is such unhappiness expressed on this website shows exactly why a clear unequivocal statement on antisemitism is needed and why the national conference was correct in voting to commission one.

4) There is a clear need to address these issues yet institutionally the Green Party seems incapable of doing that, why?

There are probably a whole range of reasons why this (and lots of other things for that matter) don’t get sorted out in the Green Party but I totally agree it needs sorting out.

I hope this helps.

Cllr Darren Johnson

12 thoughts on “Cllr Darren Johnson comments on Toby Green’s resignation

  1. Isca Stieglitz

    Dear Darren,
    you cannot know, that whatever happens from now on, your words have brought tears of relief.

    All political parties have intense conflicts, but to have recognition of ‘pain’ amongst that conflict matters; it matters a lot.

    I hope the same is extended, from someone, to my friend at her up and coming Tribunal, I want for her not to feel alone.

  2. Weggis

    Jim said:

    “If this was Darren Johnson or Jean Lambert that would be one thing but we’re talking about a very small clique which has almost no influence in the party – the fact the DF has noticed them does not change that.”

  3. Isca Stieglitz

    For me, it appears that when the EUMC was discussed there was no one to put the other side namely; state clearly what it is that cannot be said as legitimate criticism of Israel with the EUMC in place?

    I have not seen that expressed anywhere.

    Without a clear and open debate I’m at a loss as to see how this is democratic.

    You have been very courageous. Thank you.

    1. Anonymous

      And if anyone suggests that they are fighting for the right to use Nazi metaphor and analogy, then think about what it is you are asking for.

      ‘Fighting for the right to use Nazi terminology’

      Is it just me, or does that sound wrong on so many levels?

  4. modernityblog

    Fair enough, I give him credit for this post.

    His point three is clear and good.

    However, concerning points one and two as apparently no one has been disciplined over antisemitism in the Green thus far it seems unlikely.

    Whilst Clr. Johnson might understand this issue I believe he’s in a very small minority in the Greens.

  5. Anonymous

    They can say what they like but the actions in the meeting where Darren was the only one to vote against, speak volumes.

    Well done to Cllr Johnson though.

  6. Anonymous

    I am really confused. Were I Jewish* I would be putting as much clear blue water between myself and the Greens as I possibly could given their latest shennanigans.

    Where is the line in the sand for the Jewish members* who remain? What else must the Greens do to wake them up to the rot they spout?

    This really sounds like the triumph of hope over experience which has to be stupid.

    (*[removed by moderator])

  7. Raphaël Lévy Post author

    Anonymous: I have removed your last comment; we are not interested by who you count as Jewish and who you don’t.
    We stay in the Greens because of their policies on other issues of social justice and environmental challenges. The line in the sand is a matter of personal perceptions and local environment. For Toby, the line has been crossed. I know of at least two other members who have also resigned in the past few years and I know of more who are seriously considering it.
    I stay as a proud member of Liverpool Green Party because we have an active group with a good record and elected members and activists with an impecable anti-racist record. I do hope indeed that the party at a national level will address this issue: future may prove me stupid.

  8. Pingback: Ben Gidley on the EUMC Working Definition and the politics of defining antisemitism « Greens Engage

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