for forthcoming uk programmes of jewish or israeli interest

AQ: Labour anti-semitism

last friday evening (23rd september), 8.16-8.27pm, on bbc radio 4
any questions (chaired by jonathan dimbleby), with shami chakrabarti, tim farron, harsimrat kaur, and brandon lewis, includes …

“Is it right that Jeremy Corbyn, supposedly a man of prinicple and honour, should preside over a party where a Jewish Labour MP feels the need for personal protection when attending her own party’s conference?

Chakrabarti completely avoids answering the question, and diminishes the issue of anti-semitism in Labour by:
(i) saying it’s not just in the Labour Party,
(ii) treating it equally with “instability toxicity and misogyny“,
(iii) rambling about sandwiches, “stepping-up”, and party history, and
(iv) pleading “please don’t demonise every member of Momentum and call them anti-semitic

(Chakrabarti: 0:14:50) …

“I’ve had a pretty miserable summer looking into this pretty awful subject. In my opinion, its not just in the Labour Party, though it is in the Labout Party, but it’s in the country in general. There is some anti-semitism, no question, and there’s also just instability, and toxicity and misogyny and all the things that were talked about. And it’s not unique to any one party, but my view is that, we don’t have a competition about this, I am a recent recruit to the Labour Party, it is the party that produced every piece of equality legislation that this country has ever known, and it needs to step up, and if one person feels unwelcome on the grounds of their race or their faith, or their sex or their sexuality, in my party, that’s one person too many. And Jeremy Corbyn agrees with me, and something will be done, my report is in the process of implementation, I’m told that one of these 24-hour NEC meetings, you know the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party’s now become really famous because they have these like 24-hour meetings, with like lots of sandwiches and stuff, but despite the game of thrones, the press love all of this, the one thing they have agreed on is that my report needs to be implemented, and the party’s [interrupted]
~Is Jeremy Corbyn himself in your view doing enough as leader to combat what you have just described?
I think that he has listened and I think that he is stepping up, and I’ll say this as well, Tim has talked about Momentum, I don’t think Momentum should be demonised either, and I want to say this on the record, because I met lots of Jewish members of Momentum, and they are entitled not to be demonised in their political home either, you know and those young people, you know Momentum is chaired by a Jewish person, so please can we not demonise a grass-roots movement of any party. I don’t demonise people who voted for Brexit and say they’re all racists. please don’t demonise every member of Momentum and call them anti-semitic. [applause]
~I ask that question … because there was a video made very recently in which supporters of Labour party, activists, were filmed effectively saying that they were fed up with being constantly asked questions about anti-semitism, It was tweeted by Jeremy Corbyn, there were protests, not least I think by the Board of Deputies of the Jewish Labour Movement, and since that has been withdrawn and apologies have been made. Shouldn’t Jeremy Corbyn, if he’s as alert as you’ve described him as being, have been very careful not to tweet that film which would be open to that interpretation so easily?
It’s very very difficult isn’t it when you’re in a position of civil war in a party, it’s very very difficult to be your better selves. I engaged in this work because I wanted my colleagues to be their better selves, but when people are all throwing stones at each other, it’s very very difficult to civilise the discourse. I hope that this ends tomorrow, and the party will unite around its values, of race equality, more that anything else.”

(if you missed it, available from 0:13:45 to 0:25:00 at

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