Labour fails to mention Jews in video that champions diversity

British Labour Party fails to mention Jews in elections campaign video that champions the rights of over 20 other groups.

Elad Benari,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
Reuters

The British Labour Party failed to mention Jews in an elections campaign video that champions diversity and the rights of over 20 groups, JTA reported on Monday.

The 68-second video, which was released this week and posted on the Twitter page of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, features images of British people, towns and cities, along with a September speech by Dawn Butler, who holds the party’s Women and Equalities portfolio.

Butler lists various population groups, including people who are LGBT, straight, Roma, black, white, Asian, disabled, “struggling to pay rent” or “wear a hijab, turban, a cross.” She assures that “a Labour government will value you, just be your true authentic self.”

But while Jews make up 0.37 percent of the United Kingdom’s population, they were not mentioned in the video, and leaders of major Jewish groups suggested the omission was not connected to the minority’s limited electoral strength.

Rather, they argued, it is linked to the anti-Semitism problem in Labour’s ranks following the 2015 election of Corbyn as its leader.

Dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements in recent years, and the party has been criticized for its failure to deal with the anti-Semitism within it.

Corbyn has faced ongoing accusations of anti-Semitism, both over his history of hostility towards Israel and support for anti-Israel terrorist groups, as well as the rise in anti-Jewish rhetoric within the party.

A 2018 poll found that nearly 86% of British Jews believe the Labour leader is anti-Semitic, compared to just 8.3% who believe he is not.

Just last week, the Chief Rabbi of Britain, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, published an article in which he criticized Corbyn and the party’s "utterly inadequate" response to anti-Semitism within its ranks.

In a subsequent interview with the BBC, Corbyn was asked four times whether he would like to apologize over the party’s failure to clamp down on the anti-Semitism within the party, and refused to do so.

Jewish Leadership Council Chairman Jonathan Goldstein told the Jewish Chronicle that the omission of Jews from the Labour video was “extraordinary and chilling” and “shows they don’t regard the Jewish community or anti-Semitism as equal to other communities or racism of other types.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that in the video, “The Jewish community is ‘erased’ as a minority group worthy of their support.”

Labour’s media team did not immediately reply to requests for comment from JTA.




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