UK chief rabbi: Labour anti-Semitism concerning

Chief rabbi of Britain says Labour members have become more open and confident in expressing anti-Semitic feelings.

Ben Ariel ,

UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Office of the Chief Rabbi

The chief rabbi of Britain, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, said on Thursday that he was concerned by the anti-Semitism within the UK's Labour Party, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Speaking before a parliamentary inquiry into anti-Semitism, Rabbi Mirvis said that Labour members have become more open and confident in expressing anti-Semitic feelings since Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

Rabbi Mirvis said the "overall context is that life is good for Jews in the UK", according to the Jewish Chronicle, but he also said the rise in anti-Semitism was "worrying, a deep cause for concern".

He expressed a number of "reservations" about Shami Chakrabarti's inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, saying some elements had been "disappointing".

Asked by Keith Vaz, committee chair, about the influence of social media, the Chief Rabbi said it was "part of the problem, but not the whole problem".

He called on social media companies to do more to stop anti-Semitism appearing on their sites and said he believed companies should introduce filters to block such hatred.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, has already given evidence to the inquiry committee, as has Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was also questioned on his controversial statements that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism, which caused him to be suspended from Labour.

In his remarks, Livingstone defended his remarks on Hitler, saying he had been deliberately misrepresented by people who wanted to discredit Corbyn.

Thursday's session concluded the committee's inquiry, noted the Jewish Chronicle.