Jeremy Havardi BBLBIA writes to Rt. Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP
Jeremy Havardi, Director of BBLBIA writes to Leader of the Oppostion Rt. Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP
Report by Jeremy Havardi
Rt. Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP
House of Commons
3rd April 2018
Dear Mr Corbyn,
I am writing on behalf of B’nai B’rith UK, one of the mainstream Jewish membership organisations in the UK. As a leading voice in Anglo-Jewry, our mission is to defend Jews and fight antisemitism as well as tackle intolerance and racism wherever manifested. For three years, we have witnessed with alarm the serious rise in antisemitism within the Labour party. We believe that you have failed to tackle this problem seriously and helped create a safe space for racism within the Labour movement. We note your desire to meet with representative groups among British Jews. Prior to any such meeting, we would like to ask you a series of questions relating to the issues mentioned above:
- The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council have asked you to declare that they had every right to organise the recent protest about antisemitism in Westminster, that the protest was not a politically motivated smear campaign and that MPs from your party were right to join them. We share their concerns completely.
Will you make this public statement about the demonstration?
- We believe your decision to befriend antisemites like Palestinian cleric Raed Salah and 9/11 revisionist Stephen Sizer, your description of terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’ and your association with Deir Yassin Remembered, a group with many Holocaust deniers, has emboldened antisemites in your party.
Will you accept that part of Labour’s antisemitism problem stems from your past actions?
- A Sunday Times investigation has looked into the official We Support Jeremy Corbynsite on Facebook which has 68,000 members, and similar Facebook accounts. It uncovered a torrent of antisemitic, racist and misogynistic comments from people on those sites.
What are you going to do about these Facebook groups?
- The Chakrabarti report has been seen as a politically compromised whitewash by the mainstream Jewish community.
Will you now establish a fully independent investigation that specifically deals with antisemitism on the left in the UK?
- You say there is no place in your party for antisemitism, a sentiment we naturally share.
Will you therefore lend your voice to those calling for antisemites to be expelled from your party?
- You recognise that some people often cross the line from attacking Israeli policy to outright antisemitic demonisation.
Will you publicly renounce all those in your party who use antisemitic tropes and imagery when they attack Israel?
- You say that you wish to tackle antisemitism within the Labour movement.
Will you commit to working with mainstream communal bodies within the Jewish community (the Board of Deputies, the JLC and B’nai B’rith) and not groups like Jewish Voices for Labour which have marginal influence among British Jews?
We look forward to receiving your response to our questions.
Director, B’nai B’rith UK’s Bureau of International Affairs