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April 1, 2020 12:26 pm

Top UK Jewish Group Calls on Post-Corbyn Labour to ‘Work to Repair Itself’ From Antisemitism Scandals

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A young protester holds a placard at a demonstration against antisemitism in the UK Labour Party, at Parliament Square in London, March 26, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Henry Nicholls.

As the UK Labour party gears up to elect a new leader, a top British Jewish organization called on it to work to reconcile with Jews following a half-a-decade of tension over antisemitism in its ranks.

Under outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn, a staunch anti-Zionist and opponent of Israel, Labour was wracked by antisemitism scandals, several touching Corbyn himself. Labour’s overwhelming defeat in last December’s general elections was met with relief by many UK Jews.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews’ President Marie van der Zyl wrote in an article for the Times newspaper on Tuesday that her organization was calling for “the resolution of all outstanding [antisemitism] cases to be concluded swiftly under a fixed timescale — we expect that all such cases be resolved within four months of the new leader taking office.”

She also urged “the new leader to take determined and swift action not just against people who have committed such offences, but disciplinary measures against whole branches or [Constituency Labour Parties] when necessary.”

Van der Zyl called on Labour to “meet at specific intervals with key Jewish communal organizations” on the issue of antisemitism in the party.

Labour, she said, must “work to repair itself and once again become a place where Jews feel welcome.”

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