Call for Jewish Labour MPs to split from party after Corbyn ‘antisemitism’ row

 

In H&D Issue 84 we speculated as to how far the Jewish lobby in the UK would be prepared to push their disagreement with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Now we know.

Earlier this week the senior Labour backbencher Dame Margaret Hodge (née Oppenheimer), who is probably best known to H&D readers for defeating Nick Griffin in her Barking constituency at the 2010 General Election, confronted her party leader at the entrance to the House of Commons and called him an “antisemite” and a “racist”. Several press reports stated that Dame Margaret had added an Anglo-Saxon epithet.

A day later, Blairite backbencher John Woodcock resigned from the Labour Party: he will now sit as an independent MP.

Both Dame Margaret and Mr Woodcock were responding to the Labour leadership’s refusal to adopt the full “working definition” of “antisemitism” devised by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Quite rightly, Corbyn and his allies felt that the IHRA’s definition demonised a wide range of anti-Zionism as “antisemitism”.

Senior Labour backbencher Dame Margaret Hodge launched a four-letter tirade at her leader Jeremy Corbyn this week, accusing him of ‘antisemitism’

The IHRA is the new name for the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research set up in 1998 on the initiative of then Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. This Task Force was behind the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, which issued infamous “Guidelines” for teachers in 2000, stating that schools had a responsibility to combat “Holocaust denial” and that in doing so: “Care must be taken not to give a platform for deniers … or seek to disprove the deniers’ position through normal historical debate and rational argument.”

This anti-debate, anti-rational organisation now presumes to dictate not only to schools but to the leadership of political parties!

Today’s latest move is the boldest yet: the Jewish Chronicle has the chutzpah to demand in its front page article that Jewish Labour MPs should break away from the party en masse and create a separate parliamentary group.

Two of the Jewish Labour MPs whom the JC is asking to break away from the Party are Ruth Smeeth (above left) and Luciana Berger (above right)

H&D understands that (depending on one’s definition of Jewish) there are eight Jewish Labour MPs: Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree); Dame Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside); Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East); Dame Margaret Hodge (Barking); Ivan Lewis (Bury South); Ed Miliband (Doncaster North); Ruth Smeeth (Stoke North); Alex Sobel (Leeds North West). One or two of these would be most unlikely to associate with any breakaway, but it’s easy to imagine non-Jews such as Mr Woodcock, Mike Gapes, Wes Streeting and John Mann getting on board.

The JC are however playing a dangerous game in asking MPs to put their Jewish identity (or their non-Jewish Zionism) ahead of their other presumed political loyalties. If Corbyn were eventually to be succeeded by a Zionist, would we see calls for Muslim Labour MPs to stage a similar breakaway? (Incidentally there are now twelve Muslim Labour MPs – the first time in history that the Parliamentary Labour Party has had more Muslims than Jews – but only one of them has ever expressed seriously anti-Zionist views.)

Comments are closed.

  • Find By Category

  • Latest News

  • Follow us on Twitter