Voice Of The Jewish News: United We Stand
This week, the UK’s leading Jewish papers – Jewish News, Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Telegraph – carry the same front page on the community’s anger over Labour’s anti-Semitism row
Today, Britain’s three leading Jewish newspapers – Jewish News, Jewish Chronicle and Jewish Telegraph – take the unprecedented step of speaking as one by publishing the same front page.
We do so because of the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government. We do so because the party that was, until recently, the natural home for our community has seen its values and integrity eroded by Corbynite contempt for Jews and Israel.
From Chakrabarti to Livingstone, there have been many alarming lows. Last week’s stubborn refusal to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, provoking Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge to call her leader an anti-Semite to his face, was the most sinister yet.
Labour has diluted the IHRA definition, accepted in full by the government and more than 130 local councils, deleting and amending four key examples of anti-Semitism relating to Israel.
Under its adapted guidelines, a Labour Party member is free to claim Israel’s existence is a racist endeavour and compare Israeli policies to those of Nazi Germany, unless “intent” – whatever that means –
can be proved. “Dirty Jew” is wrong, “Zionist bitch” fair game?
In so doing, Labour makes a distinction between racial anti-Semitism targeting Jews (unacceptable) and political anti-Semitism targeting Israel (acceptable).
The reason for this move? Had the full IHRA definition with examples relating to Israel been approved, hundreds, if not thousands, of Labour and Momentum members would need to be expelled.
With the government in Brexit disarray, there is a clear and present danger that a man with a default blindness to the Jewish community’s fears, a man who has a problem seeing that hateful rhetoric aimed at Israel can easily step into anti-Semitism, could be our next prime minister.
On 5 September, Labour MPs vote on an emergency motion, calling for the party to adopt the full IHRA definition into its rulebook.
Following that, it will face a binary choice: implement IHRA in full or be seen by all decent people as an institutionally racist and anti-Semitic party.
After three deeply painful years for our community, September is finally make or break.