The Labour Party is finally trying to sort out its anti-Semitism problem. Sort of.
For a long time, they’ve adopted the method that Tracy Ullman so expertly and comedically explained in one of her sketches: “I’ve told the anti-Semites, in no uncertain terms, to tone it down a bit!”
The party has created a new anti-Semitism "code of conduct" which hasn’t proven popular so far.
It’s amazing that a political party today would even need such a code of conduct, but that’s what happens when anti-Semitism is ignored and often encouraged by figures in Labour leadership.
Campaigners and community groups have slammed the new code of conduct as "toothless."
The new code of conduct explains:
“Anti-Semitism is racism. It is unacceptable in our party and in wider society” – but campaigners are suggesting that instead, the party should be looking to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.
Responding to the announcement, the Board of Deputies of British Jews explained:
“It is for Jews to determine for themselves what antisemitism is. The UK Jewish community has adopted in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Definition of Antisemitism, as have the British Government, Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament, 124 local authorities across the country and numerous governments around the world. It is impossible to understand why Labour refuses to align itself with this universal definition. Its actions only dilute the definition and further erode the existing lack of confidence that British Jews have in their sincerity to tackle antisemitism within the Labour movement.”
So what’s the issue here?
Well, it seems that Labour has not included common references to Jews being more loyal to Israel, and the creation of Israel being "racist," as part of the definition of anti-Semitism.
Labour appears to be stuck between a rock and a hard place:
If they fully tackle the anti-Jew, anti-Israel sentiment in their party, they’ll lose a lot of support from pro-Palestine groups across the country. They’ll also lose support from Islamists who have a natural dislike of Israel and, so often, Jews. This anti-Israel sentiment coming from Islamists and the far-left is essentially a replacement of the traditional anti-Semitism seen in some European countries. It’s a new phenomenon, and it’s a difficult trade-off for the party.
But if they don’t tackle the problem, then they risk losing more mainstream support.
The new code of conduct doesn’t say that those who call Israel racist, or attack the state of Israel for its mere existence, are actually breaking party rules. Instead, it states that they may be "at risk" of breaking the rules.
For a long time, I’ve been slammed by the real "far right" in this country for my support of Israel – the only democracy in the Middle East. But I am unashamed in my support for the nation, and see it as a beacon of hope in the battle between jihad and civilisation.
The Labour Party obviously doesn’t see it the same way, and for now, they must maintain a balance between keeping the masses happy, and keeping the anti-Israel vocal minority of cranks happy. No doubt they’re doing this in the hope that as the demographics of the country changes, their hostility towards Israel becomes more widely accepted.