Future of the Labour Party, ICC Investigation, Black-Jewish Relations
Liam whore is the Europe editor for moment magazine. It has been covering Labor's antisemitism awesome scandal since two thousand fifteen. He joins us now to help us understand. What's next for that party for British Jews and for the United Kingdom Liam? Thank you so much for joining us. I thank you for inviting me for the most part analysts are chalking up. Labour's defeat to having the wrong message on Brexit but there is is no doubt that Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour leader was historically unpopular. And no doubt that a part of that unpopularity was due to the anti eighty. Semitism that he let grow in the party. Are there grumblings on the far left that Jews are responsible for his defeat. And that's something that British Jews are worrying about. I think what we've seen since the election is people on the far left at Labor constituency meetings and online researching the British Jewish Institutions. Such as the Board of Deputies or indeed the chief rabbi Were in fact stories or conservatives I should say and innocent intervening in the election on their side. That's what he wanted to the things that the board of Deputies hope that the future Labour leader will expunge from the and that is one reason why they've come forward with the ten pledges in recent days. You mentioned the list of ten pledges that the Board of Deputies the kind of umbrella Ella Organisation for British Jews that the Board of Deputies released just a couple of days ago they basically say that these are the ten things or perhaps the first ten things the Labor Party needs to adopt needs to do in order to heal its relationship with the Jewish community. And we don't need to go through them one by one but broadly what are these ten pledges calling calling for. Well as you say broadly the first thing is that Outstanding Cases Anti Semitism in the Party needs to be resolved and the discipline under reprocessed to have to be made independent again and sh- interference from the leadership team sort of around. Jeremy Corbyn in this process must come to an end thereafter. What's I think? What's important folder? The board is to reestablish a working relationship with the leader of your party after all when a function is to be a conduit between the panoply of organizations they represent and and the government Foreign bodies and so forth and finally just add that one of the things they want to see done is that the full I h Ra the definition of Anti Semitism. With all of these examples applauses will be introduced and used in disciplinary cases within the party. That was a major eric. Eric disputes within the party last year or earlier this year. And that's one of the things I want to get done here at. AJC We're very proud of having been a part of authoring during the era definition but for our listeners who aren't familiar with the definition and why it's so important. Can you just say a word about that. Well because of dispute within the party I should say making making more specific is that People on the far left of the party were concerned that this definition would prevent them from Criticizing sizing Israel or Israeli policy. Which of course? He's not well. The definition does he's indicate ways in which rhetoric concerning Israel Israel can tip over into antisemitism I believe for example if people would say that the actions of the Israeli government towards what's the Palestinians in some way resemble the actions of Not Towards Jews in Europe in the nineteen forties So really they had nothing to worry about. But this is all tied to a much larger augmented. It was rambling on throughout the entirety of Jeremy Comex leadership of the Liberal Party concerning anti Israel rhetoric break and wearing that becomes at. You haven't ISM or for example. If someone challenging British Jews were to somehow hold them accountable for the actions actions of the Israeli government. I think that would also be seen as anti Semitic under the IRA definition which is really important. Considering the way that often we've seen across Europe and perhaps in Britain specifically people tried to do that. Try to discredit jus. I think there's a slur that has cropped up in the UK. Zayas people who you you know. They're interested in defaming and demeaning. They don't really have any way to do it except to try to tie them to Israel so I think it's important that the Labor Party adopts the definition in order to make very clear to its constituents that that kind of thing is anti Semitic well quite an in recent days we have an example of that which is that There's no sort of I would say online activists By the name of Rachel cousins. Who goes by the alias? Rachel Swindon who has a following of tens of thousands of people on twitter. It's unclear whether she is or is not in fact a member of the party but she's nonetheless very close to the sort of cold and leadership and in response to the boards pledges. She tweeted that as I previously said that the board was essentially a conservative organization and also came out with is her own or Or perhaps found only list of pledges for the board which more or less argue that the board had to come out and condemn Israeli military action. In the West Bank thank or condemn what she calls the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in in the West Bank in other words as you said holding British Jews accountable for the actions. uh-huh office ready government. which if they at the very least a dangerous road to go down and she somebody who has previous four in this regard having tweeted about the rothschilds and the so-called influence in the past so the point of this is to say that changing the Leo Party is only the first step? They won't be root and branch Tusk to erotic antisemitism from the Ponti it is always interesting to see how those people who take part in what is called the new antisemitism this kind of attacking Jews shoes on the basis of what Israel does how at the end of the day they are also just old antisemites in the way that she brings up Rothschild conspiracies and things like that. I wanted to ask you about one of the pledgers. In particular number eight is entitled engagement with the Jewish community to be made via its main representative groups and then in explains Labor must engage with the Jewish community Levi its main representative groups not through fringe organizations and individuals. That sounds like it's referencing. Something like there's some history there. Can you tell us a little bit about that. Sure I mean I mean Jeremy Corbyn is somebody who was throughout the time he was leader of the party. Never very much interested in the views and concerns all mainstream British Jewish ortganizations. He has historically been in most of the time that he was leader. Always much more comfortable with what the board calls fringe organizations for example He wasn't much interested in The Jewish Labor movement which is sort of the mainstream Organiz ation all Jews in Labor Party or affiliated with the party rather Jewish Voice Labor whose membership I think could fit into a phone box. I mean if you look at their rallies and meetings the the next in the Guardian newspaper. It's always the same ten fifteen twenty people who assigning these latches At the same time At one of the times when the relationship between Jerry in British Jewish groups was was at his lowest he attended a Saito organized by a group called choose. Who are legitimate tendency in the Jewish community and represent people who have felt themselves felt this affiliated pushed away from the mainstream left-wing clock but they themselves I'm sure would say the reps and also a a very small number of people also Jeremy's also been affiliated with sort of anti-zionist ultra Orthodox people who live in his community but he did not have a working relationship with the board he did not have a working relationship with the chief rabbi in so far as I know and not that he had a working relationship with with the Jewish Leadership Council? which sort of is a you might say a rival organization to the Board of Deputies also a representative group so this point eight? This engagement group is really about the board wanting to reestablish Atlantic communication and a working relationship with the party which is sort of one of the sort of raison. d'etre foil for the board. It sells I'm going to move on in just a moment. Kind of forward-looking questions but there is one more retrospective effective thing that I'm curious about. which is what are we to make of people who are real friends of the Jews or certainly seem to be who campaigned for Labor in this last election? I'm thinking of people for example like London. Mayor Sadeq Khan who has said all the right things about anti Semitism done many of the things about about antisemitism but nevertheless tried to make Jeremy Corbyn the next prime minister should we hold that against him. I case if someone likes to Econ we should not hold that against against him and I think I think you know people who reunite kind of position which is to say supposedly oh party but not supposed to Jeremy Corbyn were very torn because the reality is the British electoral system that much like the Americans. There's it ends up becoming a two-party system Elections to the House Elsa parliament more or less function like elections to the House representatives. There are six hundred fifty constituencies. Each insurance becomes its own kind of to race and in many any of them the racist between Labour and the Conservatives and so sort of I would say anti anti Semitic Labor supporters found themselves in a very Korea unenvious position of having to decide. Do I vote for the Conservatives and put into power party that I oppose my entire adult life likely. ooh Aw do I grit my teeth and vote for the Labor Party on the basis that I am somehow voting for the Party and voting for the candidate in my constituency. But somehow not Jeremy Corbyn and I you know I as a journalist. I love about the free in this regard. So I don't have to make such compromises but I nonetheless feel for people who know people like I said Connor or you could answer this people like just flips. Who is now a candidate for leadership who it's not about Anti Semitism in the pause About the kind of compromises. They had to make that time. So no we we. We shouldn't hold I bet against As you intimate in about a month the voting will begin to elect a new leader of Labor this kind of an interesting quirk for our American listeners. The voting voting will actually stay open for more than a month through the beginning of April and people can vote. I guess anytime in that span. Who are the names that we need to know who are likely Lee to win the election and are any of them going to be you know kind of on their own? The answer to Labour's antisemitism problem tackling the antisemitism crisis is not as simple as for lack of a better way of putting removing the head from the snake Having Jeremy Corbyn leader suddenly a good thing because the cost was it the crisis could not be it's solution But in terms of who will become the next leader There this prison time probably two main candidates on the one hand you have Rebecca Long Bailey who is perceived to be the continuity Corbin candidate the date.