Blog – Labour
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.