Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth Gets Police Protection After Receiving Antisemitic Threat
A Jewish member of the British Parliament is receiving police protection following an antisemitic death threat made against her on a social media platform, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Friday.
The Facebook message in question called Ruth Smeeth, who represents the Stoke-on-Trent North district, a “Yid” and said “the gallows would be a fine and fitting place” for the 37-year-old House of Commons Labour legislator “to swing from.”
Smeeth told the UK’s Sun newspaper she held Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “personally responsible” for the threats she has received. Earlier this summer, as reported in The Algemeiner, Smeeth said she was “verbally attacked” by an activist linked to the left-wing organization Momentum — which supports Corbyn — during the conference revealing the results of Labour’s investigation into antisemitism allegations within the party.
At the time, Smeeth said her party was no longer safe for Jews after Corbyn failed to intervene when she was publicly accused of “colluding” with the right-wing press.
Following the latest threat against her, Smeeth told the Sun, “I expect Jeremy to show true leadership, which means calling out individuals at times by name to say what they are doing it is unacceptable. He must stand up and say enough is enough, and he has done nowhere near enough yet.”
In a Twitter message published on Friday, Smeeth wrote, “Huge thanks for the solidarity and supportive messages. I’m very touched and will keep fighting the good fight against abuse.”
A Corbyn spokesperson said, “No abuse is carried out in Jeremy’s name, and no one responsible for abuse is a genuine supporter of Jeremy’s, who has repeatedly called for a kinder, gentler politics.
“This is why Jeremy launched ‘Respect and Unity’, a code of conduct calling on all Labour members and supporters to conduct themselves with a high standard of behavior.
“All evidence of abuse should be reported to both the party and to the police so that action may be taken against the individuals responsible.”
The spokesman later said Corbyn had spoken with Smeeth “to express his outrage at the abuse and threats directed against her.”
Furthermore, Corbyn had “consistently spoken out against all forms of antisemitism,” the spokesman claimed.
The Jewish Chronicle quoted Marie van der Zyl, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, as saying, “The disgusting antisemitic slurs and violent threats against Ruth Smeeth show the depths which some so-called Labour supporters are plumbing.
“This needs to be roundly and swiftly condemned by both the leadership candidates (Corbyn and Owen Smith) and the party needs to act to drain the cesspit of antisemitism that has become so apparent in recent months.”
Smith said in a statement, “Antisemitic abuse and violent threats against Ruth Smeeth, or anyone else, are completely unacceptable. I condemn them unreservedly and Ruth has my full support.
“Anyone responsible for abuse like this has no place in the Labour Party. There can be no excuses for abuse, and it should never be ignored.”