British Jewish group: Investigate Labour anti-Semitism

Jewish advocacy group in London accuses Labour Party of “endemic anti-Jewish behavior”, asks government to investigate.

Elad Benari ,

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

A Jewish advocacy group in London has accused the Labour Party of “endemic anti-Jewish behavior” and wants the government to investigate, JTA reported on Monday.

The report by Labour Against Antisemitism contains “15,000 screenshots taken from hundreds of Labour members ‘and officials’ promoting anti-Semitic views.” It was submitted to the British Equality and Human Rights Commission and seeks a “full-scale antisemitism probe”, according to the report.

The British Labour party has been embroiled in a series of controversies related to anti-Semitism in recent years. Dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn himself has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views by senior UK Jewish leaders. Corbyn has also been criticized for calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.

Much of the criticism against Corbyn is over his playing down the anti-Semitism in his party and alienating Jews.

Labour Against Antisemitism spokesman Euan Philipps said in a statement on Monday that a team of volunteers over the last two years “has systematically collected and detailed evidence of Labour Party members promoting antisemitic views and tropes across a range of social media platforms.”

“This has all been reported to the party’s compliance team, in a format suggested by them and including a significant level of detail,” he said.

Philipps said Labour took little effort to deal with the problem.

“Most distressing of all, reports containing the most appalling levels of racism have been given only the lightest reprimand,” he said. “The message again and again has been the same: we don’t care about this issue.”

Recently, nine Labour lawmakers left the party over its failure to tackle the problem of hatred toward Jews among party supporters and leaders.

Corbyn insists he is not an anti-Semite. In a recent interview with the BBC he described anti-Semitism “as a scourge in any society, I have opposed it all my life…I have spent my whole life opposing racism in any form and I will die fighting racism."