David Rich of the Community Security Trust and author of ‘The Left’s Jewish Problem: Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism’ said:
“Anti-Semitism shouldn’t be a national, political issue but we have been seeing it rear its ugly head in political spheres, especially in relation to Corbyn’s recent rise as leader of the Labour Party.”
In an event held in London ‘Crisis in the Labour Party: What Next?’, Mr. Rich suggested that the majority of Labour Party members still fight anti-fascism and object to discrimination. However some party members have held “worrying associations” in the past which have been brought to light during Corbyn’s leadership.
“Corbyn’s hard left political stance has previously existed on the fringes of the party, but now as leader it brings to light a number of questions around the anti-Zionism associations of party members, and some clear anti-Jewish rhetoric have been openly expressed from his camp that has for too long been ignored.”
— CST (@CST_UK) 20 October 2016
On the other hand, one of the event’s attendees told Sputnik that anti-Semitism is deeply ingrained in Britain as a whole, and so no political party is immune from it.
“The Jewish community numbers somewhere from 300,000 to 350,000 in the UK, and so it is not a significant demographic for any of the political parties to even be concerned with for votes. This is very much why I feel issues of rising anti-Semitism in the UK have very much been ignored by the establishment.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Lee Jones, a Reader in International Politics at Queen Mary’s University in London, chaired a separate debate in London and provided Sputnik with his theory on the allegations of anti-Semitism towards the Labour Party.
“Many experts claim that the allegations have very much been blown out of proportion by the media as well as those factions of the Labour Party that were intent on jeopardizing Jeremy Corbyn’s recent rise during the leadership contest.”
Speaking about the recent inquiry conducted into anti-Semitism allegations in the Labour Party and published by Labour’s now Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti, author Dave Rich also commented.
“Chakrabarti’s report has many useful aspects such as outlining the kind of language used within the party which indicate anti-Jewish sentiments. But what her report doesn’t address is the complex reasons why party members use such language in the first place. The answer to this question, many would say leads very much to Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn and his own past associations.”
A strong sentiment was expressed amongst the mostly Jewish audience members that in order to address the anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, its leader must address it through open dialogue with communities and re-education within the party.