Britain's Labour Party accused of censoring antisemitic material

Jim Sheridan, a former MP and Corbyn ally, was suspended from Labour over the weekend after writing a Facebook post accusing Jews of plotting against Corbyn.

By JTA
August 20, 2018 14:49
2 minute read.
Britain's Labour Party accused of censoring antisemitic material

The leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, delivers a speech in Manchester, Britain, March 22, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE)

 
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A Jewish group affiliated with Britain’s Labour movement has accused the heads of the left-wing faction of trying to “censor” material it had planned on presenting at a party conference in September.

Amid charges that the party condones antisemitism and harsh anti-Israel rhetoric, the group had planned on presenting a training session making reference to two Labour members accused of antisemitism.

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Ivor Caplin, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said the group had withdrawn from the planned training session because its “content was censored.”

He accused party officials of acting “in a manner to deliberately undermine” their efforts and “add to further tension,” The Independent reported.

At issue was Labour’s decision last month to adopt parts of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, but to exclude portions that specifically related to the ways anti-Israel activism can be seen as anti-Semitic. The Jewish Labour Movement had planned to discuss ways in which party members had crossed the line between anti-Israel rhetoric and antisemitism.

Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under increasing scrutiny over allegations that he has both engaged in anti-Semitic behavior himself and failed to take action against anti-Semitic behavior by members of his party.

On Friday it was reported that Corbyn had been filmed endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Last week it emerged that he had met with the leader-in-exile of a Palestinian terror group in 2014 weeks before its members carried out an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in which six people were killed. The meeting took place at an event in Tunis in 2014 at which the British politician was photographed laying a wreath near the graves of terrorists involved in the 1972 massacre of 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympics.
Corbyn on wreath laying for Munich terrorists, August 13, 2018 (Reuters)

An old clip that surfaced several days earlier showed Corbyn saying in a 2011 interview with the Iranian Press TV station that the BBC has “a bias towards saying that Israel is a democracy in the Middle East, Israel has a right to exist, Israel has its security concerns.”

Jim Sheridan, a former MP and Corbyn ally, was suspended from Labour over the weekend after writing a Facebook post accusing Jews of of plotting against Corbyn.

Sheridan wrote that he had  lost “respect and empathy” for Britain’s Jews over their opposition to Corbyn. He lamented what the Jewish community “and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain who need a radical Labour government.”

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