A Jewish Labour activist has criticised her party for concluding “Jewish lobby” doesn’t contravene antisemitism rules.
Luisa Attfield complained after two members of her local constituency party in Barnet made allegedly antisemitic remarks.
A comment was made to Attfield during a telephone canvassing session in October, when she was asked whether Mike Katz, the parliamentary candidate in Hendon, supported Palestine. She said she “can’t help but feel that this was only asked as Mike is Jewish.”
The person added, that he would support Katz, who is Jewish, because he would be the best person to counteract “the Jewish Lobby” which is “particularly strong in Hendon.”
After reporting the incident which occurred over the phone in October, Attfield, who is a member of the Jewish Labour Movement, heard from the party last week that no action would be taken.
Attfield took to Twitter to say: “I’ve finally heard back from compliance. And apparently claiming that there’s a Jewish Lobby which is especially strong in Hendon (Barnet) is not breaching party rules.”
The party said the incident had been “fully reviewed” by its legal team and determined “this does not amount to a breach of Party rules”.
Labour responded, they “understand you may find this response disappointing”, but they took “due care and consideration” in reaching the decision.
Speaking to Jewish News, Attfield said: “It’s a really disappointing result because this is a clear cut case of antisemitism. The use of the phrase ‘the Jewish Lobby’ to describe a force that is working against the Labour Party in an underhand way even falls under the definition of antisemitism Labour briefly adopted before they adopted the full IHRA definition.”
““I think that people in the party who are worried about antisemitism have a responsibility to show people examples of issue and where Labour is failing”.
She also reported a second incident in which a man reportedly told her they would “not vote for Mike as he wanted a candidate who would “put British people first, not other countries” but received no response from the party.