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Labour and AntiSemitism

October 17, 2016
In view of accusations of antisemitism in the Labour Party. I thought it appropriate to draw attention to a finding of the 10th report (HC136) of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Published on 13 October 2016, on ‘Antisemitism in the UK’. available at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/home-affairs-committee/
In the detail of the report the committee had to acknowledge that there is no evidence that Labout is any more antisemitic than any other party – see below for detail.
“Other political activity
120.
Despite significant press and public attention on the Labour Party, and a number of
revelations regarding inappropriate social media content, there exists no reliable, empirical
evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes
within the Labour Party than any other political party. We are unaware whether efforts
to identify antisemitic social media content within the Labour Party were applied equally
to members and activists from other political parties, and we are not aware of any polls
exploring antisemitic attitudes among political party members, either within or outside
the Labour Party. The current impression of a heightened prevalence of antisemitism
within in the Labour Party is clearly a serious problem, but we would wish to emphasise
that this is also a challenge for other parties.
121.
A representative YouGov poll carried out in May 2016 found that Labour voters were
no more likely than voters from other parties to express antisemitic attitudes, with UKIP
voters demonstrating the highest levels of antisemitism.
179
As outlined earlier in this
report, a survey of British Jewish people found that almost half of respondents felt that the
Green Party is too tolerant of antisemitism (compared with 87% in relation to the Labour
Party), 43% think the same of UKIP, 40% of the SNP, and over a third in relation to the
Liberal Democrats.
180
122.
Other political parties have not been immune to accusations of antisemitism, albeit
apparently with a smaller number of reported incidents, and with a lower profile. In April
2015, a Conservative candidate for Derby Council was expelled from her Party after she
said she would never support “the Jew” Ed Miliband.
181
In August 2014, the University
College London (UCL) Union investigated the university’s Conservative Society after it was
accused of creating a “toxic environment”, with one member reported to have said “Jews
own everything, we all know it’s true. I wish I was Jewish, but my nose isn’t long enough”.
Media reports suggest that the incident was never investigated by the Conservative Party,
182
but it is unclear whether it was ever referred to the Party, and questions have subsequently
been raised about the veracity of the complaint.
123.
A former Conservative Councillor who defected to the Liberal Democrats after losing
his seat, Matthew Gordon Banks, was suspended from his new Party in September after
writing on Twitter that “[Tim] Farron’s leadership campaign was organised and funded by
London Jews”, adding in a second tweet: “I tried to work with them. Very difficult.”

 

There is a very powerful Jewish lobby that insists that any criticism of Israel is antisemitic, although this lobby does not represent all Jews either inside or outside Israel.

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