Monday, October 17, 2016

Trump Not Alone - Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn Also Accused of Anti-Semitism

Times |  Jeremy Corbyn has allowed “institutional anti-semitism” to thrive in the Labour movement and has made his party a “safe space for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people”, a damning report by an all-party committee of MPs has concluded.

In a withering judgment on the Labour leader, MPs on the home affairs select committee concluded that Corbyn has shown a “lack of consistent leadership” in tackling anti-semitic abuse within the Labour ranks.

The report — signed off by the Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and David Winnick — questioned whether Corbyn “fully appreciates” the nature of anti-semitism and said the party was guilty of “incompetence” over its handling of high-profile allegations of anti-semitism.

It also delivered a damning verdict on a report by the Labour peer Baroness Chakrabarti, saying her conclusions exonerating Labour in her investigation of anti-semitism in the party were “clearly lacking” and saying her decision to take a peerage from Corbyn had “completely undermined” her report.

The MPs said of Corbyn: “We believe that his lack of consistent leadership on this issue and his reluctance to separate anti- semitism from other forms of racism has created what some have referred to as a ‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people.

“The failure of the Labour Party to deal consistently and effectively with anti-semitic incidents in recent years risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally anti-semitic.”

In the damning report the MPs: 
  • Say comments by Malia Bouattia, president of the National Union of Students, attacking Zionists “smack of outright racism” and accuse her of a “worrying disregard for her duty to represent all sections of the student population” 
  • Demand that Twitter “devote more resources and employ more staff” to identify and ban “hateful and abusive” users of the social media platform 
  • Quote figures showing the number of people in Britain with anti-semitic attitudes rose by 50% from 2014 to 2015 
  • Found that one in 20 adults in Britain can be characterised as “clearly anti-semitic” 
  • Expressed concerns that police forces in large parts of the country are doing little to record and tackle incidences of anti-semitism. Corbyn gave evidence to the committee but the MPs questioned his understanding of the issue. 
The report reserves its most damning judgments, though, for the flourishing of anti-semitic abuse in Labour under Corbyn’s leadership.

“While the Labour leader has a proud record of campaigning against many types of racism, based on the evidence we have received we are not persuaded that he fully appreciates the distinct nature of post-Second World War anti-semitism,” it said.