This is the hardest issue and one that will require serious dialogue and discussion. I stick by my comments in the Progress piece on this issue.
The leadership and the party corporately need to understand antisemitism not as a political judgement, but how Jews experience antisemitism. We after all have a duty of care to our Jewish members. They have the same right to be involved in events and campaigns, to stand as our candidates and decide policy as every other member. On most issues my Jewish friends joke about ‘two Jews, three opinions’. This is the same on Middle East policy too and this should not be forgotten. However, there are ways that the debate can be become poisonous and offensive. The way the word ‘Zionist’ is spat by some on the left is a case in point. There are intellectual critiques of Zionism, and many of them should be considered and openly debated, but the fact that ‘Zio’ is a form of abuse the way ‘gay’ was shouted at me in the school playground by homophobes should worry the most ardent supporter of Palestine, of which I include myself by the way. On closing the comments section of an article on antisemitism over at Left Futures, its editor Jon Lansman remarked ‘it is not acceptable to use the term “Zionism” as a term of abuse’. I agree.