Jewish papers combine to attack “stain and shame of anti-Semitism” in Labour
Britain’s 3 leading Jewish newspapers, Jewish Chronicle, Jewish News and Manchester-based Jewish Telegraph, have taken the unprecedented step of publishing the same front page.
The joint editorial attacks Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party and claims a Corbyn-led government would pose an “existential threat” to Jewish life in the UK.
“The stain and shame of antisemitism has coursed through Her Majesty’s Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015,” reads the editorial.
“From Chakrabarti to Livingstone, there have been many alarming lows. Last week’s stubborn refusal to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, provoking Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge to call her leader an antisemite to his face, was the most sinister yet.”
Labour said it was “committed to tackling and eradicating anti-Semitism in all its forms, in our party and our society” and that it understood the “strong concerns” raised in the editorials.
In 2016, the Chakrabarti inquiry into allegations of anti-Semitism in the party, led to a new code of conduct.
However, the code doesn’t reproduce the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. It does include the “working definition” of anti-Semitism and some behaviour likely to be seen as anti-Semitic, but it does leave out 4 specific examples.
Labour said the code of conduct “expands on and contextualises its examples to produce robust, legally sound guidelines that a political party can apply to disciplinary cases”.
It also explained that while the text wasn’t duplicated word-for-word, it was covered elsewhere in the document.
The editorial continued:
“Labour has diluted the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition, accepted in full by the government and more than 130 local councils, deleting and amending four key examples of antisemitism relating to Israel.
“Under its adapted guidelines, a Labour Party member is free to claim Israel’s existence is a racist endeavour and compare Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany, unless ‘intent’ — whatever that means — can be proved. ‘Dirty Jew’ is wrong, ‘Zionist bitch’ fair game?
“In so doing, Labour makes a distinction between racial antisemitism targeting Jews (unacceptable) and political antisemitism targeting Israel (acceptable).
The reason for this move? Had the full IHRA definition with examples relating to Israel been approved, hundreds, if not thousands, of Labour and Momentum members would need to be expelled.
“With the government in Brexit disarray, there is a clear and present danger that a man with a default blindness to the Jewish community’s fears, a man who has a problem seeing that hateful rhetoric aimed at Israel can easily step into antisemitism, could be our next prime minister.
“On 5 September, Labour MPs vote on an emergency motion, calling for the party to adopt the full IHRA definition into its rulebook.
“Following that, it will face a binary choice: implement IHRA in full or be seen by all decent people as an institutionally racist, antisemitic party.
“After three deeply painful years for our community, September is finally make or break.”