Europe

UK Labour Party Suppresses Full Report on Anti-Semitism at Oxford

The UK Labour Party’s investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism at its affiliated club at Oxford University contained 11 recommendations for “immediate and sustained action,” but did not find institutional racism, a claim that was complicated by the revelation that the release of the full report is being postponed.

The report, which was compiled by Baroness Jan Royall and partially released Tuesday, also raised many issues that Royall promised to bring up in the Labour Party’s broader investigation into anti-Semitism, of which she is the vice chair. Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) refused to allow the full report to be released at this time, the Jewish Chronicle reported, though her findings may be rolled into the broader investigation.

Royall recommended that the NEC provide “leadership and training in equalities issues including antisemitism,” eliminate statutes of limitations on allegations of anti-Semitism, allow for quicker responses to such allegations, and do a better job vetting political candidates.

Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, told the Jewish Chronicle that he had met with Royall and shares “her frustration that the full content of her report was suppressed by the NEC.”

“For those who thought there wasn’t an antisemitism issue in the Labour Party, this report shows there definitely is,” said Labour MP John Mann, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism. Mann has been on the forefront of fighting anti-Semitism within his party, publicly confronting former London mayor Ken Livingstone after Livingstone suggested in multiple media appearances that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism. Livingstone was suspended and forced to give up his spot on the NEC. MP Naz Shah was also suspended after the discovery of old Facebook posts in which she supported moving the population of Israel to America.

The investigation into the Oxford University Labour Club began after the club co-president Alex Chalmers resigned, charging that many members of the club and the student Left at Oxford “have some kind of problem with Jews.” Subsequent reports alleged that members of the club referred to Jews as “Zios,” sang songs about rockets over Tel Aviv, and referred to the Auschwitz concentration camp as a “cash cow.”

Sadiq Khan, the new Labour mayor of London, said before his election last month that anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was “a badge of shame.”

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, has been criticized for his ineffectual response to anti-Semitism within the party, as well as his ties to anti-Semites and supporters of terrorism against Israeli Jews. For more on Corbyn, read Western Europe’s Most Powerful Anti-Zionist, written by Liam Hoare for the October 2015 issue of The Tower Magazine.

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