Europe

Labour Party Readmits Politician Who Had Been Suspended for Anti-Semitism

A Scottish councillor, who was suspended for her anti-Semitic comments on social media, has been readmitted into the British Labour Party, The Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Mary Bain Lockhart wrote on Facebook in July that a joint editorial by three Jewish newspapers against rising anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was an attempt by the Mossad, Israel’s secret intelligence service, to discredit Jeremy Corbyn.

The JC, Jewish News, and the Jewish Telegraph published a front page saying, “Enough is Enough” over the party’s anti-Semitism crisis and warned that a government led by Corbyn would pose an “existential threat to Jewish life in this country.”

In response, the Scottish councillor wrote: “If the purpose is to generate opposition to antisemitism, it has backfired spectacularly. (I)f it is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader, it is unlikely to succeed, and is a shameless piece of cynical opportunism.

“And if it is a Mossad assisted campaign to prevent the election of a Labour Government pledged to recognise Palestine as a State, it is unacceptable interference in the democracy of Britain.” Lockhart added: “Israel is a racist State. And since the Palestinians are also Semites, it is an antisemitic State. It is time we stopped propitiating.”

She later deleted her comments.

The councillor was suspended while comments she made about the anti-Semitism row surrounding the party were investigated. Lockhart was reinstated into the party this week.

A Labour spokesperson said at the time that the party took complaints about anti-Semitism “extremely seriously.” Corbyn made similar remarks in an op-ed published in The Guardian in August 2018, when he vowed, “Driving antisemitism out of the party for good, and rebuilding that trust, are our priorities.”

However, Ex-Labour MP Thomas Docherty, who reported Lockhart’s comments to the party, said the decision was evidence that Labour was “not a safe space for Jewish people.”

He told the Dundee Courier: “At one level I’m not surprised that the party is clearly institutionally racist and does not take antisemitism seriously.” Docherty added: “She accused, without any evidence whatsoever, Jewish journalists of acting on behalf of a foreign government. It’s a classic antisemitic trope.”

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “Ms Lockhart’s suspension has been lifted following the conclusion of the investigation and she has been reminded of her future conduct.”

Julie Lenarz, a Senior Fellow at The Israel Project, warned in a op-ed published in The Times of Israel in March 2018 that Corbyn’s “anti-Western, and by extent, anti-Israel ideology is deeply rooted in his political DNA and has created a personality cult around him in which anti-Semitism can flourish unabated” in the Labour Party.

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