Anti-Semitism Claims Hound Party Led by Darling of U.K. Left – 41 NBC News

Posted By on July 26, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn watches the annual Durham Miners Gala from a hotel balcony on July 8. Reuters

Among those reporting anti-Semitic abuse were several Jewish members of Parliament, including Louise Ellman, who represents Liverpool Riverside. Not long after Corbyn took power, Ellman faced rowdy meetings in her district, with pro-Corbyn party members reportedly making anti-Semitic remarks and attacking her position on Israel.

She said the party is investigating the events.

There are some individuals engaging in traditional anti-Semitism, such as making references to Jews financing slavery, and others who are anti-Zionist to the degree that they become associated with people who denigrate Jews as a whole, said Ellman on the phone from her office in Parliament.

Anti-Semitism is of concern, but there are many in the party who are outraged about whats happening, she added.

To understand how extraordinary it is for a particular group to feel alienated from Labour, one must look at the partys history.

Labour has traditionally stood against discrimination and many of its most influential members and vocal supporters have been Jewish. There are scores of former and current Jewish Labour members of Parliament, including former party leader Ed Milliband, who has Jewish heritage, but grew up an atheist.

And while there are only around 250,000 Jews in Britain today, their influence at the ballot box may be significant when no political party has an outright majority in Parliament.

According to an

analysis by Allington, the sociology professor, there was a statistical relationship between a constituencys Jewish population and its swing to the Labour candidate in this past election, belying trends in similar areas.

The higher [an areas] Jewish population, the lower the rise in the Labour vote this election, he said. If just two seats had gone the other way with things being so finely balanced it would have been much harder for the Conservative Party to form a government.

The Conservative Party is eight seats short of a majority in Parliament and needed to secure the agreement of a small party from Northern Ireland to get their governing agenda through Parliament last month.

One of the main problems, according to Fletcher, is that Corbyn acknowledges individual incidents of anti-Semitism but does not see them as part of systemic problem.

The Jewish community was seeing [anti-Semitic incidents] as a course of conduct and Labour was seeing it as isolated events, said Fletcher. They saw it as a pattern which led them to conclude that there must be deep-rooted anti-Semitism with Corbyn and the Labour Party, and he saw it as incidents he dealt with.

With Corbyn and his left-wing of the party looking firmly entrenched for the foreseeable future, there does seem to be a desire to find a new working relationship between Labour and the Jewish community.

Since the election the [inter-Labour] factional fight has died down a bit, and hopefully that will open space for trust, engagement and reconciliation on both sides, said Alex Nunns, author of the upcoming book The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyns Improbable Path to Power.

The Jewish Leadership Council, as well as the office of Shadow Minister Dawn Butler, who is responsible for interacting with minority communities on behalf of the Labour Party, declined to comment noting that while discussions are ongoing they arent ready to speak publicly yet.

Despite what seems like a public dtente between Corbyn, his supporters, and the Jewish community at the moment, Ellman notes there is still a lot of work to do to fight anti-Semitism in the party.

There is a greater understanding of the nature of the problem, said Ellman. Its an ongoing issue. It is changing slowly, but a lot more needs to be done.

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Anti-Semitism Claims Hound Party Led by Darling of U.K. Left - 41 NBC News

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