UK Labour Party accepts full definition of anti-Semitism

September 5, 2018 by JNS
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After only adopting part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, the U.K. Labour Party on Tuesday reversed its course and adopted the meaning in its entirety.

Thousands gather outside of Parliament in London to protest anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party on Sept. 3, 2018. Credit: Labour Against Anti-Semitism via Twitter.

However, the Jewish community has been anything but fully satisfied due to party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s long anti-Semitic history.

Labour taking this step finally sounds “positive,” said Gideon Falter, chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, but doing so “should never have been in question.”

“It is appalling that it has taken them until now, two years after the government adopted the definition, to finally accept something as basic as what constitutes antisemitism, albeit under duress,” he said.

“However, those who surround Jeremy Corbyn have succeeded in adding an addendum based on a fallacy that the definition prevents free speech,” continued Falter. “Any such addition is an attempt to undermine the definition’s validity, despite its adoption around the world and the fact that the definition is already heavily caveated. We have also seen an amendment that Jeremy Corbyn attempted to add to the definition, which adds to the clear evidence that he himself fears the undiluted definition because of his past actions.”

Along with the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the European Jewish Congress welcomed the move, but called for Labour to apply the IHRA standard and purge its anti-Semitic members.

“Now that the Labour Party has adopted the IHRA definition in full, it must be used to root out antisemitism because its adoption is only a first relatively small step and not an end in itself,” the EJC said in a statement. “If the Labour Party does not root out and punish all those who contravene the definition, then this will be meaningless and mere window-dressing.”

The World Jewish Congress echoed the aforementioned sentiments.

“Corbyn must now do everything in his power to ensure that all such cases are dealt with as a matter of priority,” said WJC CEO and executive vice president Robert Singer. “At a time of heightened populism and extremism in Europe and beyond, we have been disheartened to see a lack of leadership from a once well-respected party on this issue. We hope action will be forthcoming.”


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