When I heard that the essentially Tory Board of Deputies of British Jews has again called Labour “institutionally anti-Semitic” I had to smile.
It suggests that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is unlikely to say the same after its investigation into Labour concludes – so these right-wingers are getting desperate.
It’s hardly surprising, really. The inquiry into Labour anti-Semitism would have to find evidence that the party habitually discriminates against Jewish members for no other reason than because they are Jewish.
This means, for example, that Jews would be specifically required to identify themselves as such in applications for party membership, and would have to be excluded from certain activities – such as candidacy for election – because they were Jewish.
I wonder how Louise Ellman would square that with her own position as a member of Parliament?
For a handy list of other requirements, see this article.
In fairness, we should not expect the Board of Deputies to treat such considerations with much respect – all of its members are appointed, not elected, and while they claim to speak for all British Jews, ultra-orthodox synagogues are not affiliated and Jews who are not affiliated to synagogues have no representation at all.
It is not a democratic organisation and as such is poorly-placed to criticise one.
Also criticising Labour is the Jewish Leadership Council – a charity which has been criticised for claiming to act for Jewish interests in the UK, it is self-appointed and unaccountable.
This criticism has come from major Jewish Organisations including the Jewish National Fund.
So when the JLC says, “The Labour Party currently attracts anti-Semites and repels Jews… It is the undeniable truth,” we can only conclude that it is what the vested interests in that organisation want you to believe, rather than any empirical “undeniable truth”.
Isn’t it time these organisations came clean?
They are taking issue with one of the largest democratic organisation in Europe, but they are not democratic themselves; in fact they claim to represent a constituency that has disowned them to a large degree.
Perhaps newspapers like the Metro should ignore these organisations until such time as they reform themselves into bodies that truly stand for all the people they currently only claim to represent.
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