Jewish Labour members, speak out against Jeremy Corbyn now – he could be prime minister if we don't

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Sunday 07 April 2019 17:06
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Today, at the Jewish Labour Movement’s (JLM) annual general meeting, Jewish members have voted on a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn which states he is unfit to be prime minister.

The fact that such an action is being proposed is in itself extraordinary. We are part of the Labour movement precisely to enable the creation of a future Labour government and enact the progressive change we are desperate to see. The notion we could pronounce the leader of our party as unfit to govern, should therefore be taken seriously.

Under Corbyn’s leadership, we have seen a crisis of antisemitism. There is a culture of antisemitism from too many party members, an institutional culture enabling and sustaining it, and a culture of denial that such a problem even exists.

The evidence has been laid bare for all to see over the past few years. At all levels in the party, members and elected Labour officials have indulged in overt antisemitism – from councillors, to MPs and a former London mayor.

The party has become institutionally antisemitic. Incidents of racist abuse are rarely addressed thanks to a glacially slow and inefficacious disciplinary system. In some instances, the leadership has intervened in disciplinary cases to exonerate members responsible for grotesque and overt antisemitism. It even attempted to deny Jews the opportunity to define the very prejudice we face.

So egregious is Labour’s structural problem that it met the very high bar for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to consider an investigation, with the independent body intervening to say Labour may have “unlawfully discriminated” against its Jewish members.

All of this falls squarely at the door of Corbyn.

Our own leader has condoned antisemitism. The writing was on the wall last year when it came to light he had previously defended an openly antisemitic mural. Only this week it was revealed he apparently once blamed the “zionist lobby” for the deportation of an individual who had promoted the blood libel. This is besides other instances where he has condoned antisemitism and antisemites.

Corbyn has never shown leadership on this issue. Weeks ago, our parliamentary chair was driven out of the party due to the antisemitism she faced. Corbyn offered no solidarity. He stood by.

Corbyn has never responded with the requisite action that such a moral iniquity deserves. Instead his response has been defined by inaction and equivocation. This has been in defiance of sustained national pressure, unprecedented Jewish unity calling for intervention and the clear paths for practical action formally outlined by the JLM and Jewish community bodies. The bar for action, not in the least from a party purporting to be anti-racist, is pitifully low.

Attempts at engagement over the past few years have demonstrably failed. Corbyn has never shown any understanding of the problem or how deep it is. He has never acted on his responsibility to educate members and help them identify antisemitism so they can avoid unconscious abuse.

It is often said that Corbyn has been on the right side of history. On this issue, history will show that he failed to take a side, and by doing so, effectively sided with the oppressors. You cannot compromise on racism. If you meet racism halfway, the racists win.

Our experience as Jews in the Labour Party is testament to the fact that a Labour government led by Corbyn would not be in the interests of British Jews.

Corbyn is seeking high office, the power of the British state, bureaucracy and its apparatus. The treatment of our community at the hands of Corbyn’s Labour Party is a warning for all minority groups. We have a duty to speak out.

The Nolan principles are the basis for the ethical standards expected of holders of public office. They state that a public servant should maintain their selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. On Corbyn’s stewardship of this issue alone, he has failed to uphold a single one of them.

How can he govern in the interests of the many when he has tolerated the abuse of the few? It’s an open secret this view is widely held within the Jewish community, today Jewish members have voted on whether to formalise it.

The authors of this piece, who wish to remain anonymous, are behind the motion of no confidence to be debated at the Jewish Labour Movement’s annual general meeting today

Democrats can support who they like

Hey Barack, don’t worry about a “circular firing squad”, it’s called democracy! Anyone can have a go. Not dreary top-down party control.

You want Beto. I am hoping Bernie will win.

We have only 11 years and six months to save the planet, and Bernie is the person to tax the rich and fix gross inequality in the US, from my perspective.

I notice you are silent about the lecherous habits of your former vice-president, Joe Biden.

Disqualifying?

Genevieve Forde
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand

The privately educated anti-establishment

Quite right, James Moore (Anyone who criticises ‘the elite’ should be asked if they shop at Lidl – I doubt many would even know what it is), and if you ran into any one of those frauds in your local, you would either move swiftly to the other bar, or find another pub!

Ron Mure
Mansfield

Unfortunate names for our elected officials

I did laugh at the opening line of the fine article, by Sean O’Grady (Brexit fatigue sufferers need to get it together or else), “The inaptly named, Huw Merriman”.

For a while now I have rather enjoyed pointing out another inaptly named MP, that is, James Cleverly from the constituency of Braintree. We should do a top 10.

Robert Boston
Kingshill

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Seeing the light

Gaslighting is defined as a form of persistent manipulation and brainwashing that causes the victim to doubt her or himself, and ultimately lose her or his own sense of perception, identity, and self-worth.

Gaslighting can occur in personal relationships, at the workplace, or over an entire society. Am I, and the rest of the country, in an abusive relationship with the government?

Dr Chris James
Southampton

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