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November 3, 2019 9:21 pm

Top UK Jewish Group Slams Senior Labour Official for Claiming Party Is ‘Doing Everything We Can’ Against Antisemitism

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

A major UK Jewish group slammed the Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer on Sunday after he claimed on television that Labour is “doing everything we can” to deal with antisemitism in its ranks.

Appearing on air with presenter Andrew Marr, shadow chancellor and head of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) John McDonnell was shown front-page headlines from three leading Jewish newspapers in the UK recommending that readers vote against party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the elections next month, with one paper calling him “the nightmare before Hannukah.”

“I’m so saddened by this,” McDonnell said. “I just want to reassure them: We’re doing everything we can; everything I said we’d do we’re doing, in terms of the Labour party eradicating antisemitism from the party.”

“We’re also doing everything we can to educate our own members, we’re doing educational courses,” he added. “Exactly all the things they’ve asked us to do, we’re doing.”

In response, the Board of Deputies of British Jews tweeted, “John McDonnell’s claim to @AndrewMarr9 that Labour is ‘doing all the things [the Jewish community has] asked’ over antisemitism stretches credulity. … Here is what we’ve asked.”

The Board then posted a list of demands it issued on July 19, asking for disciplinary cases to be concluded quickly and appropriate action to be taken; no collaboration, support, or readmission for membership for offenders; adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism; collaboration with Jewish community organizations; education about antisemitism; and transparency and openness on the problem.

The Board also called on Corbyn to take personal responsibility for the rise of antisemitism in the party and the failure to deal with it appropriately.

In March, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl wrote to McDonnell personally asking him to stand down from the LRC due to the group’s defense of antisemites within the party.

Referring to one notorious Labour party antisemite, the Board reiterated, “If Mr McDonnell really wants to show he’s serious about tackling antisemitism, he will resign from Labour Representation Committee, which campaigns against disciplinary action for antisemites & has the expelled Jackie Walker on its board, as we have asked him to do.”

Since far-left MP Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015, the party has been wracked with antisemitism scandals, resulting in the penalizing of a host of members and officials. Polls show the overwhelming majority of British Jews consider Corbyn personally antisemitic.

Watch the exchange between Marr and McDonnell below:

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