Citing antisemitism, Labour MPs demand answers from party leaders

The motion “asks some entirely reasonable questions of the leadership,” Luciana Berger, a Jewish senior member of Labour, wrote in an op-ed in The Times of London.

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA
February 5, 2019 10:03
1 minute read.
Jeremy Corbyn

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in London, Britain, April 2, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)

 
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The lawmakers of Britain’s Labour Party unanimously passed a motion demanding that party leaders provide detailed data in writing on the handling of complaints about antisemitism.

The internal party motion passed Monday at the party’s weekly parliamentary meeting in the lower house, escalating internal rifts over the issue. The motion called “on the party leadership to adequately tackle cases of antisemitism, as a failure to do seriously risks antisemitism in the party appearing normalized and the party seeming to be institutionally antisemitic.”

It “asks some entirely reasonable questions of the leadership,” Luciana Berger, a Jewish senior member of Labour, wrote in an op-ed in The Times of London.

The questions include: “What is the true number of cases of antisemitism that have been dealt with? What is the backlog of cases at every stage of the disciplinary process, and when will it be cleared? How many staff are working on such cases? Which Jewish organizations have been consulted?”


Over the past year, Berger wrote, “it feels like we have gone backwards” in the fight against antisemitism within Labour.

In 2015, Jeremy Corbyn, a far-left politician who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends,” became Labour leader. Corbyn has been accused of allowing antisemitism to grow among many thousands of supporters who joined the party in support of his policies. He has denied this, vowing to punish hate speech promoters.

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