It’s official. The UK Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn no longer is a safe place for Jews. It no longer is a home for decent people. And it no longer is an institution that fights racism. It’s complicit in it.
Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) yesterday approved — without a democratic vote — its controversial new guidelines on anti-Semitism that were drafted last week by a party sub-committee. Labour’s highest disciplinary body consciously rejected the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism – a standard protocol adopted by over 30 countries, including the British government, to fight the evil of anti-Jewish hatred through coordinated efforts.
Jeremy Corbyn, who in March described himself as a “militant opponent” of anti-Semitism, was in the room when the Labour Party decided to slap the Jewish community in the face, again. More so, he supported the move.
With his deplorable actions, acts of betrayal, and empty promises, Corbyn hasn’t done much for the Jewish community. Something he has achieved, however, is to unite the entire spectrum of British Jewry in condemnation of his leadership.
Earlier in the week, 68 rabbis – including orthodox-leaders and female rabbis – signed a joint letter urging Labour to endorse the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism. In the House of Commons, the Parliamentary Labour Party also led a rebellion against their leader and voted against the party’s own code of conduct, and in favor of the IHRA’s protocol.
They all were ignored.
Labour’s governing body, with the consent of the party’s leadership, told the Jewish community to their face that they are not serious about fighting anti-Jewish sentiments in the party. They signaled to Labour’s anti-Semitic members – and there’s no shortage of Jew-haters in Labour considering the dozens of scandals that rocked the party in recent months – that being anti-Semitic and a member of the Labour Party are not mutually exclusive.
With their new guidelines, Labour gave a free pass to anti-Semitism and one cannot help but think this was intentional. Veteran Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge certainly thought so when she told Corbyn to his face that, “You’re an anti-Semite and a racist…You have proved you don’t want people like me in the party.”
For the many. Not the Jew.
Labour’s code of conduct is controversial because it leaves out central cornerstones of what should be included in any definition of anti-Semitism, including using “Zionism” as a smokescreen to conceal anti-Semitic sentiments.
Anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism because it’s every bit as discriminatory, demonizing, stigmatizing, and marginalizing than the old version. Anti-Zionism is the belief that Jewish people do not have a right to a homeland. That the State of Israel is legally and morally illegitimate.
It’s the kind of thinking you find in the Charter of Hamas, a terrorist group which openly preaches genocide against the Jewish people. It’s the ideology disseminated by the boycott, sanctions, and divestment (BDS) movement, which makes no secret of its desire to see Israel collapse. And it’s the politics of the leader of the British Labour Party.
Welcome to Britain in 2018, in living memory of the Holocaust.
The truth is we shouldn’t be at all surprised that the NEC rejected the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism. After all, they are led by a man who shakes hands with Holocaust deniers. Invites Palestinian hate preachers to a tour in parliament. Condemns his own country on Iranian state television. For cash, of course.
Hamas and Hezbollah are his “friends”. Jews, not so much.
The decision taken by the NEC was a dark day for the British Labour Party. It was an act of cruelty towards the thousands of decent Labour members and officials, who are every bit as horrified by anti-Semitism as their Jewish neighbors. And it was the final nail in the coffin in the minds of the Jewish community.
For as long as Jeremy Corbyn remains leader of Labour, there’s no hope for British Jews in the party. Members of the Jewish community, and those who stand with them, have been ignored, abused, reduced to tears, ridiculed, and deemed irrelevant.
Enough, is enough.
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