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May 1, 2016 12:36 pm

New Report Calls Rise in British Antisemitism ‘Core Part of Far-Left Ideology’

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Naz Shah with Ken Livingstone in April 2015. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Naz Shah with former London mayor Ken Livingstone in April 2015 — a year before both were suspended from the Labour Party amid allegations of antisemitism. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The rise in antisemitism in Britain is a “core part of far-Left ideology,” according to a new report released in the UK.

The report, which the Daily Mail referred to as “alarming, was published by the volunteer-led charity the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. And though it comes on the heels of a recent series of scandals surrounding the open expression of anti-Jewish sentiment in the Labour Party, its data refers to 2015 – during which, it revealed, there was a 50 percent increase in violent attacks against Jews from the previous year. Simultaneously, according to the Daily Mail, “[T]here was a worrying decline in the number of cases where suspects were charged.”

The publication quoted Campaign Against Anti-Semitism Chairman Gideon Falter, who stated, “This data should alarm those responsible for enforcing the law. They are failing British Jews badly. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the Jewish community will be faced with the kind of rampant anti-Semitism seen in other European countries, which has left Jews feeling fearful and abandoned, and many of them convinced that they have no choice but to emigrate. Britain’s fight against anti-Semitism and extremism cannot be allowed to fail.”

Meanwhile, as was also reported by the Daily Mail, a Jewish member of Labour took to Twitter to illustrate her own concern about growing antisemitism in Britain by showing the kind of posts she has been receiving for the past two years.

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MP Luciana Berger was among those who lambasted her suspended colleague, former London mayor Ken Livingstone, for saying Hitler “was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews” – as part of his defense of Naz Shah, another Labour lawmaker who was suspended for having posted her “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict — Relocate Israel into United States” on social media.

Berger tweeted: “‘For those in any doubt, this is just a little snapshot of what Anti-Semitism in 2016 looks like. It is very real.” She then provided the following examples:

Concern in the Israeli Labor Party over its British counterpart’s antisemitism spurred its chairman, MK Isaac Herzog to sent a harshly worded letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday. “I have been appalled and outraged by the recent examples of antisemitism by senior Labour Party officials in the United Kingdom,” he wrote. “Knowing that the British Labour Party has a proud and distinguished history of fighting racism in every form has only added to my profound disappointment of recent events, which must act as a red alert and prompt immediate action.”

After railing against Livingstone and Shah, Herzog concluded his letter by extending an invitation to Corbyn and a delegation from Labour to visit Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem, “in order to witness that the last time Jews were forcibly ‘transported,’ it was not to Israel, but to their deaths. While Ken Livingstone is clearly anti-Semitic and beyond hope of redemption, I’m sure there remain many Labour Party activists with a willingness to engage and better understand the scourge of antisemitism. By doing this, perhaps we can ensure that the antisemitism expressed in recent days is not the example set to [the] British young generation, but rather one of tolerance and acceptance of all people, regardless of faith.”

Herzog’s invitation, ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day this coming Thursday, was echoed by newly instated Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev on Sunday morning. As was reported in the UK’s Mirror, during an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Regev said he hopes Corbyn will take Herzog up on his offer.

When asked by Marr whether he would like to meet Corbyn and have a face-to-face conversation with him, Regev replied:

I’d love to, and I’d also say this: I think Jeremy Corbyn, from what I’ve seen, seems to be personally proud of the fact that his parents marched against the fascists, against the antisemites in the famous Cable Street battle. The left does have a proud history of fighting antisemitism. But it doesn’t mean the left have always been immune to antisemitism. I think it’s crucial that leadership stands up and says, “This is unacceptable.” Can you imagine someone in the Labour Party sharing a platform with someone who is an anti-black racist? Or someone who is homophobic and called for hatred of homosexuals? Why can you share a platform with someone who is openly antisemitic?

Corbyn responded to the barrage of criticism by tweeting on Saturday: “There is no place for anti-semitism or any form of racism in the Labour Party, or anywhere in society.”  

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