British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers the keynote speech at a Labour conference in Liverpool, Sept. 26, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Phil Noble.
The Jewish Labour Movement may end its nearly century-long affiliation with the UK Labour party due to Labour’s failure to deal with antisemitism in its ranks.
The venerable organization has been connected to the Labour party for 99 years. Its roots lie on the Zionist left, and it began as a branch of the movement that eventually created the Israeli Labor party, which ruled the Jewish state for the first 30 years of its existence.
Sky News quoted the Jewish Labour Movement’s national secretary, Peter Mason, as saying at a London Labour conference, “It’s been a year since the Jewish community stood outside Parliament Square protesting enough was enough. It’s been a year since the Jewish community laid down six key tests to judge the party against their action in tackling antisemitism. And it’s been a year since we set the Jewish Labour Movement 19 key tests.”
“None of those have been met,” he stated, “and instead we have experienced a summer of hell in which the Labour party took upon itself the decision to redefine antisemitism and has failed.”
Labour has been wracked by antisemitism scandals since far-left MP Jeremy Corbyn became the party’s leader in 2015. Several of the scandals have implicated Corbyn himself and last month nine MPs left the party and formed an independent faction, citing antisemitism as one of the major factors behind their decision.
“What does the Labour party expect its Jewish members to do when faced with a barrage of antisemitism both from individual members within constituency Labour parties and within social media?” asked Mason. “Are we expected to somehow take it? Are we expected to somehow not take action or not demand action from the Labour party?”
“The reality is we are now in a situation whereby the party’s abject failure to tackle antisemitism has put a question mark over Jewish Labour Movement’s affiliation with the Labour party,” Mason added.