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, (see http://bit.ly/TomlinsonOpinion ). 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 (see http://bit.ly/Sedley-DefiningAntisemitism ).
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.
References Tomlinson, Hugh, 2017. In the matter of the adoption and potential application of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism. Legal Opinion, Hugh Tomlinson, QC, Matrix Chambers, 8 March. Sedley, Stephen, 2017. “Defining Antisemitism”, London Review of Books, Vol 39, No.9, 4 May.
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All signatories appear in a personal capacityInitial signatories: Andrew Maybury Secretary Dudley TUC and UNISONGail Mason, President of Dudley TUC & Joint Secretary, Dudley NEU (NUT Section); Martin Lynch, President of Walsall TUC; Lisa Pearce, Joint Sec. Dudley NEU (NUT Section);Rob Ferguson, Newham NEU, Publicity OfficerJames Warner, Assistant Secretary, Dudley TUC and Officer, Dudley NEU (NUT Section)
Additional signatories includeJohn Chalcraft, Professor of Middle East History and Politics, London School of EconomicsDonald Sassoon, Queen Mary, University of London Emeritus Prof. of Comparative European HistoryGlyn Secker, Secretary, Jewish Voice for LabourNita Sanghera, Vice President, UCUProfessor Megan Povey, University of LeedsClaude Baesens, Associate Professor, University of WarwickLindsey German, National Convenor, Stop the War CoalitionChris Nineham, Vice Chair, Stop the War CoalitionStuart Richardson, Treasurer, Birmingham TUCRay Gaston, Bishop of Wolverhampton Interfaith EnablerMehreen Ali, GP Principal for NHS in DudleyEric Willoughby, Palestine Media Digest, EditorSimon Murch, NEU NEC, South Yorkshire
Luisete Batista, UNISON, National Executive (Low Paid Seat)David Hughes, UNISON Local Government Service Group Executive (pc)Sandy Nicoll, UNISON NEC, (HE General Seat) John Mchoughlin Branch Secretary, Tower Hamlets UNISON and Local Government SGE.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)Jon Woods, UNISON Branch Chair
Fenik, Adham, UnittDaniela Alberici, Unite Neil Aldridge, UniteIan Allinson, Unite Greater Manchester Area Activists CommitteeIan Ampleford, Secretary, North Notts Unite CommunityRuth Appleton, Unison Camden Unison Labour Link delegate to GC & EC of Holborn & St Pancras CLPPaul Arkell, Unison Ben Armstrong, Unite the Union SE/6246 Branch SecretaryLinden Ash, Unite MemberSteve Atherton, Archdiocese of Liverpool Justice & Peace fieldworkerRosalind Austin, unite auditor 2 ,delegateRebekah Ball, UNITE COMMUNITY memberPenny Ballinger, GMBNigel Barber, UniteStuart Barton, NEU (NUT section) Dudley NEU committee memberNigel Bayton, PCSMark Bebbington, Greater Manchester Unite Community Member branch delegate to CLPSabrina Bi, Unite & Dudley CLPMahreen Bi, Dudley Resident Safeena Bi, Dudley Resident Yasreen Bi, Dudley Resident Anikha Bi, Dudley Resident Ian Birchall, UCU (retd)Richard Bornat, UCUJay Blackwood, Chair, Bristol Area Community Branch, UNITE Jane, Bramley, UNITELynda Brennan, NEURichard Bridge, IWWJanine Broderick, UNISONMick Brooks, UniteAlan Bull, UNITEAlan Burgess, Unite CommunityJohn Burgess , Unison Branch secretary Reg Burns, Unison & Dudley ResidentChris Byrne, Retired Unite Jane Calliste, UniteTerry Calvert, UCATT Press OfficerPatricia Campbell, UNISONSteve Campbell, UniteNeil Cameron, UniteDavid Cannon, Unite and Labour Party memberKaren Capovila, CWUCaster Unison MemberClarke Unison City of Wolverhampton Branch Steward David Castle, NEU, Dudley ResidentColin Challen, MP for Morley & Rothwell 2001 - 2010Mac Clarke, UniteElizabeth Clinch, NEU (retired)Ellen Cobb, Stoubridge Labour Party, Youth OfficerTom Cobb, Stoubridge Labour PartyAdam Cochrane, Cwu (pc)Sybil Cock, UCU London Retired branch Oliver Collenette, Birmingham Stop the War CoalitionAlison Cotteril, UNISONKen Connor, Unison Muicians UnionJonathan Cooper, UNISON & EquityBen Courtney, UniteAmanda Crawford, SIPTU SIPTUChris Crookes ,Unionen, SwedenJanet Crosley, PSC, JVLTyler Curtis,NWU UAW 1981 & NYC-DSA Labor BranchSteve Cushion, Branch Secretary, UCU London Retired MembersMichael Dance, NEU, repDoug Dands, Amblecote Labour PartyJohn Davies, Equity and Labour Party, Chair. St Michaels BLPRoger Day, Unite , Labour party memberDebashis De, GMBJames Dickins, UCUBoyko Djouranov, NUTWojciech Dmochowski, UCUEugene Docherty, President Lancaster Trades Council & NEUJames Donnelly, UNITEAnthony Dooley, Suffolk UNITE Community and Ipswich NEUClare Dove, UniteElla Downing, Unite community Jeremy Drinkall, Unison, Schools Convenor, Lambeth UNISONSimon Philippe, Duckett, NEU Keith Dunn, UNITE Damian Dunn, UNITE, Workplace RepresentativeSabina Ebert-Forbes, UNISONMartin Empson, Unison (pc)Regina Fattorini, Unite, CLP delegateHelen Faux, UCU, Dudley Resident Terence Flanagan, UNITE Camden Community, VICE CHAIRJenifer Flintoft, Secretary, Portsmouth Palestine Solidarity CampaignTony Foley, Committee member, Birminham NEU Bob Fotheringham, EIS Michael Foulkes, Unite Christina Freeman, UNITE Community, Former Branch Secretary H. FRIDMAN, Unite, Branch SecretaryKenny Fryde, NUT George Fuller, NEU Tony Foley, Committee member, Birminham NEU John Gibson, CWUDaphne Gilbert, Unite communityEsther Giles, UniteMorag Gillie, UNISONRene Gimpel, Unite and Labour PartyEllen Graubart, Unite the Union Tony Greenstein, Brighton & Hove UNISON LG/Brighton & Hove Trades Council Branch CommitteeShaun Hague, unison ,International OfficerSimon Hales, UNITE Richard Haley, SACC David Halls, UnisonAlan Harrison, UCU Sheila Harvey, when working was in the NUJ, at one time Mother of the chapel Helen Hay, Unison Daniel Hayes, NEU Sarah Hayes, NUJ Clive Healiss, UNISONTom Hickey, Committee member, University of Brighton UCU Russ Hickman, Unite Community, Branch ChairMike Higgins, UniteCeinwen Hilton, NEUFatema Hickson, UNISONHeather Hobbs, Amblecote Labour PartyTom Hobbs, Amblecote Labour PartyRob Hoveman, UniteAnna Hubbard, UnisonAlan Hubbard, UnisonZakaria Hussain, GMBMervyn Hyde, Unite retired memberSusan Hyett, LabourPete Jackson, PCSNigel James, Unite CommunityRuth Jamieson, Unite CommunityJohn C Johnston, unite the unionPhil Jones, NEUChris Jones, Retired member of NATFHE Michael Kalmanovitz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UKJason Kane , UniteRodger kendrick, Auditor, Stourbridge Labour PartyNeil Kenny, NUTIsrar Khan, BMADavid Kirby, Doctors in UniteSimon Korner, UCURichard Kuper, UCU/Labour Party Highgate branch Branh Political Education OfficerDavid Langford, Bideford labour party Roland Laycock, CWU Mike Layward, Labour Party, Ludlow CLP Diversity officerDennis Leech, UCUJulia Leewood, NUTMichael Letwin, Labor for PalestineDavid Lewis, York Constituency Labour Party Fred Lindop, UCUJohn Lipetz, UniteLois Lovell, NEUKonnie Lloyd, UNISONDorothy Macedo, Unite CommunityMoshé Machover, UNITENaeem Malik, West Midlands Palestine Solidarity Campaign Richard Manser, UniteMarian Mayer, Chair Southern Region UCU Katrina Mayer, GMB Jewish SocialistChick McKain, BECTUSteve McKenzie , Unite Martin McMahon, NEUPaul Meaney, Nottingham Palestine Solidarity Campaign Heather Mendick, UCUKate Miller, NEUAngie Mindel, NEU/JVLAnne Mitchell, UniteSalman Mirza, UNISON repBeverley Molyneux, UNISONDoug Morgan, Assistant Secretary of Birmingham NEU (NUT Section)Ben Morris, Assistant Secretary, Redbridge NEUColin Morris, Unite & Portsmouth Labour Party Branch TreasurerJanet Morrow, UNISONBob Mountain, FDA/AITDiana Neslen UNISONPaul Neill, ICAHD UK Chris Neville, Unite David Nissen, UNITESimon O’Hara, NEUDr Joseph O' Neill, Chetser Stop the War Coalition, SecretaryDes O'Loughlin, UniteAdrian O'Malley, UNISONAveril Parkinson, Unite - retiredBridget Parsons , Stand Up To Racism Adrian Partridge, GMBSarah Perrigo, Labour PartyJeffrey Phelan, RMT retiredKieren Picken, Secretary, City of Derby NEUAlex Potter, UniteRichie Purvis, UniteAlex Pylypiw, UniteElizabeth Ramsden, Unite Andy Reid, PCSGeoff Roberts, Unite CommunityDave Rogers, MUJennifer Runham, UNITE CommunityJohn Sanderson, Musicians' UnionLM Santamera, Secretary, Central Branch, Liverpool Riverside CLPEsther Saraga, UCU retiredAnn Marie Saward, NEUMiriam Scharf, NEU Richard Seaford, UCUGilbert Sekerani, Stop the warLynda Sergeant, UniteAshok Sethi, NUTHamid Shadrokh-Cigari, Unite Robert Shaw, NUSClare Short, Unison retiredNeil Singh, CWUDuncan Smith, UnisonKarl Smout, PCSTony Souter, UNITEAngie Stack, Unite the unionBrendan Stebbings, UniteRonnie Steele, NEUSam Strudwick, UNISONAndrew Stone, Branch Secretary, Wandsworth NEUMichael Szpakowski, Branch Chair, Writtle University College UCUSusan Talbot, UNISONSue Tame, UniteBrian Todd, UNISONStephen Thomas GMBTony Tingle, UNITECath Travis, UniteMarlyn Tweedie, UnisonGaynorUnderhill, NAPOCarmen Vazquez, UniteUrsula Walker, Treasurer, Walsall NEUDan Ward, UCU, MemberPhil Ward, UNISONMarian Warner, NEU, Dudley Resident Julie Webster, PCS (rep)Ivan Wells, Notts NEU, International OfficerSam Weinstein, Unite the Community, Former Assistant to the National President Utility Workers Union of AmericaTina Werkmann, NUJ Steve West, PCS Janice Wheeler, Ambl;ecote labour Party Steve White, NEUPhilip Wilson, West Sussex Unison memberJon Woods, UNISONStephen Wornes, UNISONJohn Worton, NUT/NEU Michael Wright , UniteFran Yeldham, UNITE
Iman Abdel-Salam Phili Adams Mohammed Ahmad Parveen Akhtar MrsNader Alhussein Shahed Ali Syed Ali Gail Arden Janice Ayton Teresa Bailey Nina Barbosa Leonard Beighton Stella Beston Pam Bromley Eric Brooks Helen Brown Ken Brunton Anne Cahill Neil Cameron Con Carroll Paul Davis R Dawson Ian Day Jonathan de Rennes Bob Doyle Yunus Elias David Epstein Anthony Evans Dave Evans Janet Fisher Angus Geddes Helen Glazier Sharon Groves Marilyn Guider Vikki Harper Bargas Hatem Anthony Haydon Nicky Hayes John Hemsley Alan Mark Holt Diane Homer Trevor Homer Nick Horsefield Abul Hussain Ben Johnson Sam Johnson Eileen Jordan Dr Moncef Kallala Matthew Kay Geoffrey Kerr-Morgan Luqman Khan MrAkhtar Khan Eleanor Kilroy Agnes Kory Jane Lambe Lesley Lee Georg Lilie Damian Lowes, Dudley Resident David Lowton Marie Lynam Judith Mabbott John Macdonald Moshe Mankoff MrJeffrey Mansfield Jenny Manson Maggie Mariscotti Alexander May Pat Melia Clarissa Minns Abul Monsur Elizabeth Morley Lynn Morris Steve Moss Nicola Moxham Stephen Mynott Gary O’Dea Safiya O'Donnell Fred Pattinson, Dudley Resident Anna Phillips John Porter Anthony Rabin Mosh Rahman Dipak Rajgor Marylyn Rayner Ralph Reed Stephen Richards David Roger Pete Rossetti Carolyn Roth Geof Rouse Mr.Hazel Salisbury Jenny Sanderson Mohammed Shafiq Sarah Sheriff Elliott Smart Paul Sparks Bernard Spiegal Michael Stamper Emma Stevens John Stokes Jack T. Catherine Tanner Kasumi Todoh Julian Townsend Tofial Uddin Anwar Ulhaq, Dudley ResidentGabriel V. Helsing Bernice Walker Steve White Darren White Meirion Willams Carmen Williams Wahiduz Zaman
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