Definition of anti-Semitism
Definition of anti-Semitism iStock

The UK Labour Party is set to expel hundreds of members who were part of groups supporting former leader Jeremy Corbyn and who denied allegations of an internal anti-Semitism problem.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, the push to remove the members is seen as a purge of far left elements of the party loyal to the former leader, who was criticized for failing to tackle a growing problem of anti-Semitism within the party during his tenure as leader from 2015 to 2020.

Labour will reportedly task its National Executive Committee with overseeing the removal of four groups – Labour Against the Witch Hunt, Socialist Appeal, Labour in Exile and Resist – that supported Corbyn, denied the severity of the party’s anti-Semitism problem and have communist inclinations.

The groups have been criticized for signing up members who were expelled or suspended from the party over allegations of anti-Semitism.

The National Executive Committee’s Tuesday vote to ban the groups, which is expected to pass, will mean that anyone who is a member of one of the groups will face an automatic ban from the party.

The number of party members facing expulsion is said to be over 1,000.

“This is a clear signal that the Labour Party is committed to tackling anti-Semitism in its ranks,” said Mike Katz, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, in an interview with the Chronicle. “These groups have made it their mission to deny that antisemitism in our party is a real issue that needs to be addressed and actively work to undermine the progress that’s been made.”

Current Labour leader Keir Starmer has made it a goal of his tenure to route out anti-Semitism within the party.

In April, ahead of local elections, the party suspended 16 people at the municipal level in two regions over anti-Semitism complains.

The members suspended include nine current councillors and seven party activists.

One suspended councillor allegedly wrote in 2014 that “it appears to me the Israeli Zionists have control over the UN and the governments of USA, UK, Europe and most of the Muslim countries apart from the brave Palestinians in Gaza. They are showing the world they will not bow down to Israeli Zionist terrorism.”

Another reposted a comment in 2014 which using a swear word told Zionists and “those who support them” to “rot in hell.”