Our message to Jewish Labour MPs and to members of the party
THE Jewish Telegraph today calls on all Jewish Labour MPs to quit the party while Jeremy Corbyn remains leader.
No self-respecting Labour politician can any longer serve under a man who was this week labelled “antisemitic and racist” by one of his own MPs.
Right-thinking members of the party of all denominations and none should leave, too, while this dreadful man is at the helm.
Dame Margaret Hodge, who was elected to Parliament 24 years ago, is the first Jewish MP to challenge her leader over antisemitism, in public and in words she did not mince.
In full hearing of other MPs of all parties, standing behind the Speaker’s chair, she shouted at him that he was a “racist and antisemite”.
Perhaps now her colleagues on the Labour benches will do the decent thing and dissociate themselves from a Corbyn-led party.
It was the final straw this week when Corbyn arrogantly refused to accept the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism and saw his party adopt an amended version which is grossly insulting to Jews. The fact that 31 countries, including Britain, have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, while Corbyn has dissented, speaks volumes.
Why does he have a problem with recognising as antisemitic accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel than their home country; claiming that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavour; requiring higher standards of behaviour from Israel than other nations or comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis?
The UK government, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly happily recognise the IHRA code, as do 130 local councils, including Bradford, which has a huge Muslim population.
Why, for that matter, does Corbyn seem to have a problem with Jews? Why does he openly allow his grossly distorted and biased view on Israel to destroy his and his party’s relationship with British Jewry — and with his own MPs?
Corbyn pays lip service to his own fight against antisemitism — and yet his actions have, over and again, helped legitimise it. He has tried to suggest that the IHRA definition of antisemitism precludes any criticism of Israel. It does not — and he knows that full well. The fact is that he can barely tolerate uttering the name of the Jewish state.
Now is the time for others in the Labour Party to follow Dame Margaret Hodge’s correct stand against an odious leader. It is all very well criticising him in private meetings or around the dinner table, but actually confronting the problem, which is Corbyn himself, is the solution. Racism within the party is rampant and while Corbyn remains at the helm, little will be done to eliminate it. ‘Leave now’ is very much in the British consciousness for an altogether different reason.
It now needs to be adopted by Labour MPs and grassroots members. In all conscience, they cannot remain in a party which is institutionally racist and helps render antisemitism acceptable.