Blog – Labour
13 Sep 2018 by Mark Gardner
Just in time for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Labour Party has relented and finally decided to adopt the same basic definition of antisemitism as used by everybody else. To be more accurate, they have relented a bit: because they still feel the need to additionally say that it is okay to “criticise” Israel. (Of course the tachless is that the word “hate” is probably a lot more accurate than the word “criticise”.)
13 Aug 2018 by Dave Rich
The scandal surrounding antisemitism within the British Labour Party continues to grow. The party’s recent decision to adopt a watered-down definition of antisemitism, rather than that of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, caused renewed outrage. Taken together with slurs against “Talmud Jews” from a local Labour councillor, it is clear that the rot goes to the heart of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
13 Aug 2018 by Mark Gardner
In an interview published in Sunday’s Observer newspaper, Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, warned that anti-Semitism must be dealt with, or the Party would “disappear into a vortex of eternal shame and embarrassment”.
13 Aug 2018 by Dave Rich
On Friday evening, Jeremy Corbyn tried to persuade Britain’s Jewish community, via the Guardian, that the Labour party is not a threat to their life in Britain. It is staggering that a Labour leader should feel compelled to make such a claim and a mark of how low Corbyn’s standing has fallen that he is the last person most British Jews would trust to give them that assurance.
24 Jul 2018 by Mark Gardner
The Labour leadership’s defences of its new Code of Conduct on antisemitism have unleashed a torrent of abuse, including antisemitism, within Labour’s Facebook, Twitter and constituency party circles. Indeed, Labour has received at least two complaints regarding behaviour within the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that discussed the guidelines.
23 Jul 2018 by Mark Gardner
This blog will detail the differences between the internationally recognised standard International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and the Labour Party’s new antisemitism Code of Conduct.
18 Jul 2018 by Dave Rich
In May 2016, a few weeks after Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah MP were suspended by the Labour Party for anti-Semitism, a Labour councillor in Burnley called Shah Hussain was revealed to have tweeted two years earlier to Israeli footballer Yossi Benayoun that “You are a complete and utter plonker, you and your country doing the same thing that Hitler did to ur race in ww2”. This was a period of near-daily headlines about Labour anti-Semitism and the Party wanted to look like it was cracking down, so Hussain was swiftly suspended.
18 Jul 2018 by Dave Rich
This week the Labour party achieved something remarkable, even unique, in the history of British anti-racism. They managed to get 68 rabbis from every religious stream in the country – Orthodox, Liberal, Reform and Masorti – to form a coalition to denounce antisemitism. These are religious leaders who normally agree on very little, some of whom would not even acknowledge each other as rabbis. But on this issue, they came together as one. The problem for Labour is that they did it to condemn the party’s handling of its own antisemitism problem under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
18 Jul 2018 by CST
.The Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies and CST respond to the result of the Labour NEC decision to defer adopting the full IHRA definition of antisemitism pending further consultation:
11 Jul 2018 by Mark Gardner
I attended the Jewish leadership meeting with Jeremy Corbyn in April and told the Labour leader that the bitter arguments over IHRA’s antisemitism definition epitomise the disgraceful blindness, evasions and double standards of the anti-Israel left towards Jews and our concerns.
10 Jul 2018 by CST
Mr Livingstone, did you intend to be anti-Semitic when you repeatedly hacked away at the most sensitive and painful point in Jewish history by claiming Hitler supported Zionism?” “Of course not! I am a lifelong anti-racist”. “OK then, off you go.” That is how Ken Livingstone’s disciplinary hearing might have gone under the Labour Party’s new Code of Conduct for anti-Semitism, which has been rejected by all of British Jewry’s leading organisations and by the Party’s only Jewish affiliate, the Jewish Labour Movement.
Council candidates suspended for antisemitism, racism, anti-Muslim hate and homophobia in run up to local elections
23 May 2018 by CST
Earlier this month, England went to the polls to vote in 150 council elections across the country. In the run up the election, news emerged of dozens of councillors being suspended, from all political parties, due to antisemitism, anti-Muslim hate, other forms of racism and homophobia. Unfortunately, many accused candidates still stood to be councillors and one was reinstated shortly after the poll.
29 Mar 2018 by CST
On Monday evening, over 1,000 members of the Jewish community and its supporters protested in Parliament Square to tell the leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, that Enough is Enough. Since Jeremy Corbyn was first named Labour party leader, in September 2015, there has been a growing focus on the problem of antisemitism in the party. Repeated cases of antisemitism from Labour Party members have not been dealt with quickly or effectively under Corbyn’s leadership and the Jewish community is now demanding action.
7 Apr 2017 by Dave Rich
This week’s furore over Ken Livingstone’s ongoing membership of the Labour Party has once again put antisemitism at the top of the news agenda – and at the heart of the battle over the future of the party. A tribunal of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee found Livingstone guilty of bringing the party into disrepute with his claim that Hitler “was supporting Zionism” – a claim he has repeated and expanded in the year since he first made it – but decided that his offence was not worthy of expulsion.
6 Apr 2017 by Dave Rich
The former London mayor’s claims go well beyond lazy moral equations of Israel with Nazi Germany ubiquitous in anti-Israel circles. They have more in common with Holocaust denial.
5 Apr 2017 by CST
Ken Livingstone has dragged our Jewish community, Zionism and the Labour Party through the dirt. Labour’s NCC disciplinary panel agreed, finding he had brought the Party into disrepute.
3 Mar 2017 by Dave Rich
American Jews have been rocked in recent weeks by a wave of anti-Semitic incidents, including bomb threats and cemetery desecrations. These kinds of attacks are not supposed to happen in the Jewish utopia of the United States, and suddenly the sense of insecurity felt by European Jewish communities in recent years seems to be making its way across the Atlantic.
15 Feb 2017 by Dave Rich
Last month, Al-Jazeera broadcast a four-part documentary series called "The Lobby" that claimed to expose "how the Israel lobby influences British politics."
20 Oct 2016 by Dave Rich
The Home Affairs Select Committee report into anti-Semitism, published this week, is a serious body of work that should set the template for action against anti-Semitism in this country for the next few years. Ten years ago, a previous all-party Parliamentary inquiry into anti-Semitism, set up by John Mann MP and chaired by Denis MacShane, concluded that anti-Semitism was on the rise and had taken on new forms. Islamist extremists and obsessive anti-Zionists had joined the old-style neo-Nazis in posing new threats to Britain’s Jews.
2 Oct 2016 by Dave Rich
This first Labour Party conference of the Jeremy Corbyn era was a dispiriting place for those committed to the fight against anti-Semitism. The most telling moment came during the debate on anti-Semitism at the Momentum fringe festival. Anti-Zionist campaigner Jonathan Rosenhead recounted hearing the Chief Rabbi being interviewed on the radio about anti-Semitism. As Rosenhead told it, when the Chief Rabbi said that anti-Semitism is a serious concern, the presenter then asked if he personally had experienced any anti-Semitism, to which, Rosenhead said, the Chief Rabbi answered that he hadn’t – drawing a round of laughter from the Momentum supporters in the room.
30 Sep 2016 by Mark Gardner
The position of the Labour Party and mainstream Jewish opinion seems slightly improved after a Party Conference in which Jeremy Corbyn spoke more forcibly against antisemitism than ever before: but three ongoing cases will test that. The mood of Conference signalled that many Party members understand what the antisemitism row is doing to Labour, its Jewish members and prospective voters. Conference gave a standing ovation for the outstanding speech by Mike Katz of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM); and there was strong support for JLM’s rally against antisemitism, including from some within the Momentum bloc.
29 Sep 2016 by CST
Britain's Jewish community and its institutions are well placed to overcome the current surge in anti-Zionist activity and Jew hatred on the political left, a leading expert on antisemitism believes. Dave Rich says Anglo-Jewry is robust enough to combat the hostility in politics and left-wing activism. But he does express fears about the increase in street-based activism.
13 Sep 2016 by CST
This book review by Nick Cohen of Dave Rich's 'The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti‑Semitism' originally appeared on the website of The Guardian, where it can be read here.
5 Aug 2016 by Dave Rich
Appearances are everything in politics, and the peerage given to Shami Chakrabarti, author of the Labour Party’s latest inquiry into its own antisemitism, appears to be an act of stunning hypocrisy and cold political cynicism. Chakrabarti’s inquiry was commissioned by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in April, after a succession of scandals about anti-Semitic remarks by party members had reached such a crescendo that one of his MPs, Naz Shah, and one of his oldest political allies, Ken Livingstone, were both suspended from the party for antisemitism.
1 Jul 2016 by Mark Gardner
The launch event for Shami Chakrabarti’s Inquiry report into antisemitism (and racism) in the Labour Party could, and should, have given a much needed morale boost for those wanting assurance that the Labour Party understands the fears and experiences of Jews in and around Labour. Instead, thanks to the Jeremy Corbyn circus, the exact opposite happened.