561 sign letter criticising Corbyn over antisemitism
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561 sign letter criticising Corbyn over antisemitism

It's a response to another letter published by the Guardian last week urging readers to back Labour.

Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Broadcaster Jonny Gould and Tal Ofer are among the 561 signatories rejecting claims Labour is a “force for good” in the fight against antisemitism.

The letter published in the Guardian yesterday “acknowledges” the Labour Party was previously “a force for good in promoting anti-racism”, adding: “Sadly, that is no longer the case.”

It is a response to another letter published by the Guardian last week urging readers to back Labour, claiming Corbyn is a “crucial ally in the fight against antisemitism”.

Last week’s letter was signed by “over 200 Jewish members and supporters of the Labour party”, including Jewish Voice for Labour’s Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi.

“We are Jewish members and supporters of the Labour party concerned about the current rise of reactionary ideologies,” last week’s letter said.

The second letter reads: “The signatories to that letter plainly feel the need to rely on their Judaism to bolster its content.

“This may be because they consider it to be some protection from the view that many of your readers would otherwise take when reading their assertions, but it is essentially irrelevant.

“The vast majority of the UK Jewish community has made its view of Mr Corbyn clear. So too has the public in various opinion polls.”

Signatories also criticise last week’s letter for “suggesting a permissible link between the Labour leadership’s attitude to British Jews and Israel”, saying it is “both wrong and shameful.”

Last week’s letter contains an allusion to Israel. “Labour is correct to recognise that while prejudice against Jewish people is deplorable,” it reads. “criticism of Israel’s government and policies can and must be made.”

The second letter says: “We also disagree with the authors’ apparent belief that the ability to criticise Israel is critical to the debate on antisemitism.

“The discredited argument that antisemitism is invented by Jews to protect Israel is antisemitic.”

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