Ex-UK PM Tony Blair Denounces Antisemitism in Labour Party

Ex-UK PM Tony Blair Denounces Antisemitism in Labour Party

Ex-UK PM Tony Blair Denounces Antisemitism in Labour Party

So far four of them have not been included in the Labour Party's code of conduct.

Pete Willsman, who was recorded questioning 68 rabbis and right-wing Jews when discussing anti-Semitism earlier this summer, retained his place on Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) in voting on Monday.

Jewish communal organizations believe that any such caveat will be created to permit the kind of anti-Zionist rhetoric that has morphed into antisemitism which has so plagued the Labour Party in recent years, including among its leadership and party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

She said she was determined to continue working from within the party in the wake of MP Frank Field resigning the whip last week, but explained that she feared deselection, particularly with upcoming rule changes potentially making it easier "to get rid of MPs".

The calls came after the issue continued to rock the party with former minister Dame Margaret Hodge standing by her claim that Mr Corbyn was an "anti-Semitic racist".

The MP for Barking warned that even if the party's ruling National Executive Committee embraces the full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism - which it had refrained from doing - it would not be enough to fix the damage. "Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward [s] Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward [s] Jewish community institutions and religious facilities".

Party sources said it was felt that some of the IHRA examples were unclear and could stifle legitimate criticism of the Israeli government, in particular the example of antisemitism it gives of "claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour".

The group said it wanted a more transparent system in order to end the "divisive practice of forcing activists to campaign against sitting MPs".


On Sunday, ex-prime minister Gordon Brown added his voice to the debate, saying Labour must make a statement by "unequivocally" adopting the guidelines and all the examples.

Sacks the BBC's Andrew Marr he knows of Jewish families that are already planning to leave Great Britain due to their fear that the Labour leader-should he become prime minister-would unleash a new wave of anti-Semitism.

"We won't do that if we carry on in the way we have", he added.

"It might have been enough three months ago, it might have just enabled us all to start talking to each other and bring trust again, but I think that moment has passed", she said.

"It will be resolved, and there will be a balance about acceptance", he said.

At the same time, he insisted freedom of speech must be protected so "people are free to criticise Israel and its policies and free to advocate the rights of Palestinians".

BBC political correspondent Ben Wright said the NEC may also make it clear that the adoption of the IHRA examples would not lead to the retrospective disciplining of party members.

Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman said: "The election of Peter Willsman to Labour's NEC following his reprehensible comments about Jews is deeply concerning".

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