The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council have announced that they “see no reason” to attend a “round table” event staged by the Labour Party next week.
The Labour initiative is scheduled for the day after a long-awaited meeting that the Board and the JLC are due to hold with leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday, April 24. The two mainstream representative organisations say they plan to discuss with Mr Corbyn, and the new Labour general secretary Jennie Formby, “a set of specific actions which we have already proposed and published, and which can help the Labour party tackle its antisemitism problem.”
But Mr Corbyn announced a second meeting on the following day, to which not only the Board and the JLC had been invited, but also the Jewish Voice for Labour group, which is utterly opposed to the characterisation of antisemitism in Labour as expressed by the Board and JLC, and accuses them of “weaponising” the issue in order to undermine Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
In a strongly worded statement the Board and the JLC say this second meeting has no agenda for action, and they urge “other Jewish communal organisations to follow our lead and to focus on how Mr Corbyn and Ms Formby respond to the concrete actions that we have proposed.”
If Labour is serious about tackling antisemitism, say the Board and the JLC, “they will take up our suggested actions at our meeting on April 24.”