Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush has reacted to the report into antisemitism in the Labour Party led by Shami Chakrabarti.
He said: “We agree with Shami Chakrabarti that the Labour Party has experienced unhappy recent incidents of antisemitism, although this is a complete understatement of events.”
“We welcome aspects of her report such as her rejection of the use of abusive language including the term “Zio” and also her rejection of Hitler and Holocaust metaphors. However, the report was weak on the demonisation of Israel and omitted any mention of party figures who have displayed friendship towards terrorists.”
In his remarks accompanying the launch of the report Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn rightly described ‘Zio’ as a vile epiphet and asked ‘can we please leave Hitler and Nazi metaphors alone (especially in the context of Israel)’ but it is deeply regrettable that he went on to establish some sort of equivalence between Israel and terrorist groups such as Isis. This is completely unacceptable.”
“We appreciate the careful way in which Shami Chakrabarti has engaged with our community and that she took on board and addressed some of our concerns with commendable speed.”
“We hope that the implementation of this report will be rigorous and swift and the Labour Party will become again a welcoming space for Jews. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”