Statement by the Steering Committee of WLG on the subject of anti-semitism in the Labour Party.
Welsh Labour Grassroots (WLG) deplores the repeated allegations made in recent days that Jeremy Corbyn has allowed anti-semitism to flourish in the Labour party and that he may even harbour such prejudices himself. Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of Jeremy’s character and record will be aware that he has been unstinting in his opposition to all forms of prejudice and discrimination throughout his political career. To suggest otherwise is to do a gross disservice to a man rightly respected for his decency and integrity.
We in WLG utterly abhor anti-semitism, which has no place whatsoever in the Labour party. We recognise that, in an organisation of more than half a million people, it is unfortunately to be expected that there will be a few individuals with anti-semitic ideas, just as there will be some who have sexist, racist, homophobic, islamophobic and other prejudices. Labour’s disciplinary process provides a range of measures that deal effectively with anti-semitism when proven. Equally, those found to have made false accusations of anti-semitism for political purposes may be in breach of Labour’s membership rules and should also therefore be dealt with under our disciplinary procedures.
We would point out that, contrary to recent suggestions, neither the Chakrabarti report nor the 2016 report by the Home Affairs Select Committee into anti-semitism found evidence of a higher prevalence of anti-semitism within Labour than in any other party and we reject the hypocrisy of newspapers like the Daily Mail and parties like the Tories and the DUP, whose own record of bigotry is quite shameful, pointing an accusing finger at Labour.
We believe that the supposed extent of anti-semitism within our party has been systematically exaggerated by those on the political right – with the support, sadly, of some Labour MPs – in an attempt to discredit Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist left and supporters of the Palestinian people. It is an acknowledged fact that racism, including antisemitism, is on the rise, and is unfortunately prevalent in all sections of society. It seems odd, therefore, that the Board of Deputies has chosen only to focus on the antisemitism within one political party, rather than in all political parties, or across society as a whole.
We note that the current unfounded allegations against our party and its leader come just weeks before the English local elections and follow similarly inflated public criticisms over other matters. Jeremy has gone out of his way to offer reassurance to the Jewish community of his continuing commitment to fight anti-semitism and welcome those within that community – including Jewish Voice for Labour and the Jewish Socialist Group – who have reaffirmed their confidence in Jeremy.
We in WLG remain unwavering in our support for Jeremy’s leadership and are determined to resist cynical attempts to exploit concerns over anti-semitism to attack our party, at a time when it is more committed than ever to oppose all forms of racism. At the same time, we fully support any evidence to support specific charges of anti-semitism being presented and investigated in a timely fashion, with any appropriate action being taken.
If, like us, you are disturbed by the malicious use of allegations of antisemitism as a political weapon, join us and the Labour party in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn, and help us elect a Prime Minister and government who stand on a platform of peace, tolerance, social justice and a commitment to work towards a society free of racism, hatred or bigotry of any kind.