A veteran Jewish MP on behalf of Britain’s Labour party is facing a no-confidence vote which is scheduled for the evening of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Chronicle reports.
The St. Michael’s Labour branch in Dame Louise Ellman’s Liverpool Riverside constituency is to debate a motion calling for her resignation and has scheduled the debate for Tuesday evening, on which Yom Kippur begins.
A motion cites a Jewish Chronicle article that reported Ellman’s speech in which she said she said she “understands why Jews would seriously consider leaving Britain if Corbyn became PM".
The motion says, "We have no confidence that our MP Louise Ellman will carry out the wishes of our CLP and our Riverside constituency or that she will follow Labour Party policy.”
It adds, “This branch therefore call on our Riverside MP, Louise Ellman, to resign.”
In the speech in late September, Ellman lamented Jeremy Corbyn’s rise within her party, as well as the growth of anti-Semitism in Labour, adding that she “understood” why many British Jews would fear a Corbyn government to the point of leaving the UK if he were elected prime minister.
Ellman said in the speech that she had “never dreamed” her party would be led by “a man who would call Hezbollah and Hamas ‘friends’”.
A September 2018 poll by the Survation polling agency on behalf of The Jewish Chronicle found that 38.55% of British Jews would seriously consider leaving the UK if Corbyn became Prime Minister, with 85.9% saying they believed Corbyn is anti-Semitic.
The Jewish Labour Movement condemned the scheduling of the debate on Ellman for the night on which Kol Nidre is recited, calling it "truly despicable" and the "racially motivated targeting and bullying of a Jewish MP".
The Jewish Chronicle noted that Tuesday’s branch meeting begins at 8:00 p.m., after the time at which most Jews will be observing Yom Kippur.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said, “That a Jewish MP should be threatened with a vote of no confidence tabled for Yom Kippur – the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when she has no opportunity even to respond – ought to be a source of deep shame for the Labour Party.”
"That Labour shelters anti-Semites while attacking anti-racism campaigners is why the EHRC is investigating a political party for the first time since it looked into the activities of the BNP,” she added.
"Louise Ellman has fought bravely against anti-Semitism in her own party, and she should be applauded, not vilified.”
This move is the latest in a series of controversial moves involving Labour and the Jewish community.
Earlier this week, Corbyn sparked outrage following a Rosh Hashanah video in which he is seen alongside a left-wing activist who led a public Jewish prayer for dead Hamas terrorists during the 2018 Gaza border conflict.
Two weeks ago, Labour caused an uproar when it was revealed that it would convene on Shabbat for a discussion on the anti-Semitism in the party, thus excluding Jewish members from taking part.
Before the holiday of Passover, the Labour party made a blunder as it reached out to the Jewish community, when it tweeted a holiday greeting alongside a picture of a loaf of bread which is, of course, not eaten on Passover.
The party ultimately replaced the non-kosher tweet with another greeting that included no illustration.