According to a report in the local press, Paul was suspended by Dudley Council for a Facebook post stating “Stand up for Palestine – Israel is a racist endeavor”.
Paul is a long-standing anti-racist activist and campaigner against antisemitism and all forms of racism. He is also an active campaigner for Palestinian rights.
Whatever one’s views on Israel or the nature of the Israeli state and its founding, there is nothing antisemitic about this statement.
Paul's suspension is an attack on every trade unionist’s right to engage in political and human rights’ campaigns outside work; it is an attack on employees’ right to freedom speech and specifically an attack on the right to campaign over Palestinian rights.
The complaint against Paul cited the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
According to the IHRA’s own website, the “working definition” has no legal standing. This has been further confirmed in a robust legal opinion by Hugh Tomlinson QC. The IHRA definition and examples have also been subject to a thorough examination of its status and premises by former Appeal Court judge, Stephen Sedley .
The proponents of the IHRA definition repeatedly gave assurances that it could not be used to suppress free speech on Israel and Palestine. These assurances appear to be empty in Paul Jonson’s case.
We are calling on all trade unionists and campaigners, whatever their views on Israel and Palestine, to sign this statement to demand Paul's immediate reinstatement and that any disciplinary action by Dudley Council against him be dropped.
 Tomlinson, Hugh, 2017. In the matter of the adoption and potential application of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism. Legal Opinion by Hugh Tomlinson, QC, Matrix Chambers, 8 March. Sedley, Stephen, 2017. “Defining Antisemitism”, London Review of Books, Vol 39, No.9, 4 May.
Initial signatories: Andrew Maybury Secretary Dudley TUC and UNISONGail Mason, President of Dudley TUC & Joint Secretary, Dudley NEA (NUT Section); Martin Lynch, President of Walsall TUC; Lisa Pearce, Joint Sec. Dudley NEA (NUT Section);Rob Ferguson, Newham NEU, Publicity OfficerJames Warner, Assistant Secretary, Dudley TUC and Officer, Dudley NEA (NUT Section)
Additional signatories includeJohn Chalcraft, Professor of Middle East History and Politics, London School of EconomicsGlyn Secker, Secretary, Jewish Voice for LabourNita Sanghera, Vice President, UCUProfessor Megan Povey, University of LeedsClaude Baesens, Associate Professor, University of WarwickLindsey German, Convenor ,Stop the War CoalitionChris Nineham, Vice Chair, Stop the War Coalition
Luisete Batista, UNISON, National Executive (Low Paid Seat)David Hughes, UNISON Local Government Service Group Executive (pc)Sandy Nicoll, UNISON NEC, (HE General Seat)Nick Ruff, Chair, Kirklees UNISONMark Sage, Portsmouth City UNISON, International OfficerDuncan Smith, Branch Chair, Edinburgh UNISONMirfat Suleiman, UNISON BME self-organising group Clare Wormald, Branch Secretary, Southend UNISON (local government)
Ian Ampleford, Secretary, North Notts Unite CommunityJay Blackwood, Chair, Bristol Area Community Branch, UNITE Janine Broderick, UNISONPatricia Campbell, UNISONJonathan Cooper, UNISON & EquityOliver Collenette, Birmingham Stop the War CoalitionAlison Cotteril, UNISONSteve Cushion, Branch Secretary, UCU London Retired MembersMichael Dance, NEU, repEugene Docherty, President Lancaster Trades Council & NEUSabina Ebert-Forbes, UNISONJenifer Flintoft, Secretary, Portsmouth Palestine Solidarity CampaignTony Foley, Committee member, Birminham NEU Morag Gillie, UNISONClive Healiss, UNISONTom Hickey, Committee member, University of Brighton UCUFatema Hickson, UNISONKonnie Lloyd, UNISONMarian Mayer, Chair Southern Region UCU Salman Mirza, UNISON repBeverley Molyneux, UNISONBen Morris, Assistant Secretary, Redbridge NEUJanet Morrow, UNISONSimon Murch, NEU NEC, South YorkshireDiana Neslen UNISONSimon O’Hara, NEUKieren Picken, Secretary, City of Derby NEUStuart Richardson, Treasurer, Birmingham TUCLM Santamera, Secretary, Central Branch, Liverpool Riverside CLPMichael Szpakowski, Branch Chair, Writtle University College UCUSam Strudwick, UNISONAndrew Stone, Branch Secretary, Wandsworth NEUBrian Todd, UNISONUrsula Walker, Treasurer, Walsall NEUPhil Ward, UNISONJulie Webster, PCS (rep)Ivan Wells, Notts NEU, International Officer