British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP) (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

The demands by the community for a proper independent process have not been met – just a promise to speed things up.

By Paul Charney, Chairman of the Zionist Federation UK and Ireland

The Labour Party have just announced another new initiative to deal with the anti-Semitism of their members. The UK Jewish community is seething with anger and even Jewish Labour members will be wary and skeptical. Labour cannot spend years allowing an anti-Semitic culture to flourish under Jeremy Corbyn and expect another plan like this to be accepted with open arms.

The demands by the community for a proper independent process have not been met – just a promise to speed things up.

Recently, the UK watched a BBC1 Panorama (broadcasted on the 10th July) exposé about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, and what was clear was even the non-Jewish whistleblowers showed little room for optimism as to how this party can come back from being labelled as the most anti-Semitic party since the Nazis, and worse yet, as to how they would behave in government. Furthermore, they are the second party other than the far-right nationalist British Nationalist Party (BNP) to be subjected to a full enquiry by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commissionsince its establishment.

Regarding Israel, while Labour talks of “two states”, it fails to ever add “an Israel within secure borders.” It talks about Palestinian refugees and their descendants, meaning a Palestinian “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to Israel but always under UNRWA’s endless generation rules. This would translate to the world’s only Jewish State ceasing to exist.

So What is Labour’s Aim?

Labour behavior shows it has little time for Israel supporters and certainly only accepts Israel’s legitimacy as conditional.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has provided a legitimate open space for people to feel safe not only in expressing unmitigated anti-Zionist rhetoric, but  it also allows for that thin veil of masked anti-Semitsm to be removed. Once you allow the disease of anti-Semitism to flourish, it becomes very difficult to eradicate it and most Jews will remain skeptical whilst the present leadership remains in place.

The rest of us will remain uneasy about the future leaders of a party that we know has been hijacked by anti-Western, anti-establishment extremists.

Whilst Zionism has finally found a safe, legitimate and justifiable place within UK politics, education and society –  including leaders outwardly expressing their Zionists credentials – there remain the critics who will gladly provide endless condemnation of Israel, claiming that no matter what Israel does, it’s simply not good enough because of the “occupation.”

We at the Zionist Federation continue to strive to rebrand Israel as it truly is. However, if you start off by hating Israel, then you will likely be blind to the facts. We must subsequently focus on those who have not been brainwashed and allow them to form a genuine opinion of a complicated issue that is simply not black or white.

The Next Generation of British Jews

Israel, particularly Zionism, is now an important issue for the next generation of Jews in the UK. For good or bad, Jewish youth are forced into a position by their peers to either support or condemn Israel. They feel that no matter how far they remove themselves from any discussion, since they are Jewish, they are seen as representatives of the Jewish homeland.

This compels future generations to identify one way or another. Whilst the rest of the country remain focused on dealing with Brexit.