Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Labour and Antisemitism per The Times

'Labour has strong historical links with the Jewish community. Under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn it has appeared perplexingly determined to sever them. Yesterday Labour's ruling national executive committee (NEC) demonstrated, yet again, that the party disdains the views of British Jews and is heedless of the urgency of combating antisemitism. Labour has already paid an electoral price for its record on antisemitism. Those costs should be much heavier still.

The latest incident in this dismal litany is the NEC's formal adoption of a code of practice for dealing with antisemitism. The code is inadequate. Instead of adopting a standard definition of antisemitism formulated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and endorsed by governments around the world, the NEC has amended it in unacceptable ways. Hence, excluded from Labour's definition of antisemitism are such actions as accusing Jews of having a "dual loyalty" to Israel and their home country, and describing Israel as being a racist state.

Let there be no doubt: these are unconscionable and antisemitic accusations. As party leader in the 1970s Harold Wilson sacked an MP (Andrew Faulds) from the front bench for uttering the "dual loyalty" canard — a claim that, because it purports to look into human psychology, is incapable of being disproven. The notion that the Jewish state, purely by being Jewish, is a racist endeavour is a preposterous inversion of the truth. For all its flaws and errors, Israel is a pluralist society and a thriving democracy that gives Jews a sanctuary from prejudice and persecution.

How can Labour, whose leaders have included such staunch sympathisers with Jewish values as Wilson, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, end up in such a state? It is a shame and a disgrace, and it should not only be left to Jewish voters to say so.'

Reproduced in full from The Times here  I'll keep an eye out for the BBC reporting this letter... 

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