Almost 300 Constituency Labour Party members have signed an open letter acknowledging “currents of unchallenged and somewhat normalised anti-Jewish oppression” in the left-wing of British politics.
CLP members across the country admitted “our collective failure to-date” and urged colleagues to help put an end to the “bunker mentality” and start naming and shaming online antisemites “wreaking havoc” for Labour.
Signatories said they supported Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership’s socialist programme while standing for anti-racist principles, and offered to work with the Jewish community “to expose and isolate antisemites” online.
However, the letter also acknowledged that “part of the difficulty” has been that those seeking to criticise Israel legitimately have been labelled as antisemitic.
In it, they said: “We sincerely apologise to the Jewish community, and our Jewish comrades in the party, for our collective failure on this issue to date. A small minority of antisemites are wreaking havoc in the Labour movement, alienating Jewish people, and sabotaging the project.”
In a snub to those who say the crisis has been manufactured to smear Corbyn, they added: “There is a much wider problem of denial about the problem, including shouting down those who raise it or take action.”
Pledging to “work with the party to urgently assign resources, in consultation with the Jewish community, to expose and isolate antisemites active online,” the signatories suggested “a dedicated page on the Labour Party website addressing antisemitism”.
They also urged the party to “address both new and outstanding cases in a timely manner and raise up Jewish voices speaking out about their experiences”.