Jewish community leaders issued a set of demands

Jonathan Arkush

Jewish community leaders issued a set of demands.

Jewish community leader Jonathan Arkush has made a number of demands before meeting Jeremy Corbyn to discuss antisemitism in the Labour party.

They have said they are ready to meet Corbyn but the list of demands they want are to be met before agreeing on a time and place.

These demands include the expulsion of Ken Livingstone, the former London mayor who has been suspended after refusing to withdraw claims that Jews collaborated with Hitler. On Tuesday, Arkash said: “Ken Livingstone really cannot remain. His views are shameful and disreputable. He will have to go.”

Demands for the the expulsion of Jackie Walker, a former vice-chair of Momentum, were also expected. Walker has been suspended after being filmed saying there was no definition of antisemitism “that she could work with”.

Arkush said he would also like action to be taken against those who minimise reports of antisemitism, including the Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, who suggested it was “mood music” to undermine the leadership; and the Labour MP Chris Williamson, who claimed the Labour right was “weaponising” antisemitism.

It was informally agreed that the recommendations from Shami Chakrabarti’s report (pdf) into antisemitism and other forms of racism in Labour must be implemented in full. That will require a significant overhaul of party machinery, including appointing a general counsel, and an in-house team of lawyers to ensure procedure is followed properly. It is understood Corbyn will make that a priority for the party’s new general secretary, Jenny Formby.

“It is now accepted that there are two things going on,” said one shadow minister. “The problem [of antisemitism] is real, and it is also being used deliberately by Corbyn’s opponents. But because it’s true it’s being used against Jeremy doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. That’s what people had to grasp.”

However you view this and not all the jewish community agree with Jonathan Arkush the timing stinks.
Again we will see Labours local election campaign derailed and sidelined.

The Mural was first reported in 2012. If it’s waited this long why now?

So on that bases there are questions to be asked  Why not in one weeks time? after the Local Elections!

It is clear that Jonathan Arkush voice is not the voice of all the Jewish community.

Statement from Jews in the Labour Party

We are Jews in the Labour Party currently actively campaigning for Labour in local elections.  We are appalled by the actions and statements of the Board of Deputies.  They do not represent us or the many Jews in the Party who share Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for social justice and fairness.  Jeremy’s consistent commitment to anti-racism is all the more needed now.

As the British people call time on May and the Tories, they are getting more desperate.  We would hope that any organisation claiming to represent Jews would be calling them to account when, to cite two examples in the last two months, the Prime Minister‘s ex Chief of Staff uses a national newspaper to dredge up an antisemitic conspiracy theory, and Havering Conservative party issues a dogwhistle leaflet hoping to mobilise racism in their local election campaign.  The Board of Deputies has been silent on both. It also says nothing on the global rise of the far right and the toxic anti-immigrant rhetoric of the tabloid press, despite the imperative from Jewish history to speak out against racism and fascism.

The Board of Deputies and those supporting them must be aware that this is an attempt to influence local elections and has nothing to do with the real and necessary task of challenging racism and anti-semitism at all levels of political life.  We call on them to stop playing politics and start representing what our community needs.  We believe that is best represented by the politics we fight for and hope to see win on May 3rd.


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