BBLBIA write to RT Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP
The London Bureau write to express our dismay at the NEC’s failure to uphold the IHRA definition of antisemitism
Report by Jeremy Havardi
House of Commons
19 th July 2018
Dear Mr Corbyn,
I am writing on behalf of B’nai B’rith UK and its advocacy arm, the London Bureau, to express our dismay at the NEC’s failure to uphold the IHRA definition of antisemitism with all its illustrative examples. By doing so, the Labour party is undermining not only the fight against antisemitism but its own credibility as an anti-racist organisation.
The definition of antisemitism has been rewritten so as to exclude some key ways in which people can be antisemitic when talking about Israel. While the IHRA definition considers comparisons of Israel with Nazi Germany to be antisemitic, the NEC says this is only the case if there is evidence of antisemitic intent. But this implies that if such intent cannot be found, then such sickening comparisons can be made with impunity.
The new code says it is not automatically antisemitic to accuse Jewish citizens of being “more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” Yet this is a classic racist trope that has been hurled at Jews for centuries. We believe fundamentally in the key principle enunciated in the wake of the McPherson report, namely that victim groups have the right to define the racism that they experience. By rejecting the IHRA definition, Labour has abandoned this position.
We urge the NEC to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism with its illustrative examples.
I look forward to your reply.
Director, B’nai B’rith UK, London Bureau
L O NDO N B UR EAU C H AIR MAN :
T O NY S WABE
D IR EC TO R :
B’nai B’rith UK is part of an international organisation focusing on Humanitarian, Human Rights, Advocacy and
Jewish Heritage. B’nai B’rith works for Jewish unity, security, and continuity and fights anti-Semitism and
intolerance around the world. B’nai B’rith London Bureau of International Affairs
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