Ex-senior Labour MP takes out full-page newspaper advert to condemn party over antisemitism
A former senior Labour MP has taken out a full page newspaper advert to accuse the party leadership of being “having “deliberately turned its back on British Jewry.”
Jim Murphy, the former leader of Scottish Labour, wrote in the ad in the Jewish Telegraph, that his party’s stance towards the Jewish community was “as inexplicable as it is destructive”. and said Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership team was “intellectually arrogant, emotionally inept and politically maladroit”.
“And when in a hole of its own making, rather than stopping digging, Labour’s leadership has asked for a bigger shovel.”
Mr Murphy was MP for East Renfrewshire from 1997 to 2015. The constituency, at the edge of Glasgow, has the largest Jewish community in Scotland.
“There’s no other way to explain why Labour has provoked and sustained a row with Jews about the best way to challenge the racism that Jews face.
“There’s a small but growing minority of antisemitic conspiracy theorists amongst the membership of the Labour party.
“Jeremy Corbyn is not doing nearly enough to throw out the antisemites found within grassroots and online Labour.”
I’ve paid for a full-page ad in this week’s Jewish Telegraph. It’s an apology to the Jewish Community about the actions of the Labour Party’s leadership. JM pic.twitter.com/DALswTYuWI
— Jim Murphy (@glasgowmurphy) August 10, 2018
He discussed the problem with Labour ignoring the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in favour of its own definition, singling out the dual loyalties trope of suggesting that British Jews consider themselves to have a higher allegiance to Israel than Britain. The IHRA definition gives this as an potential example of antisemitism but Labour’s omits it.
“I’ve always believed this odious assertion to be antisemitic,” Mr Murphy said.
“The IHRA definition comes to a similar conclusion. But Labour’s much criticised alternative code of conduct has bafflingly changed the IHRA wording, meaning that it is no longer likely to be considered antisemitic to make this accusation against British Jews.
“This worries me. It’s but one example of why Labour must revert to the full IHRA definition immediately.”
He said that Mr Corbyn was “the elected leader and, along with the Shadow Cabinet, has the opportunity to shape party policy. But no party leader has the right to shatter the relationship between British Labour and British Jewry.
“The Jewish community and everyone else who is offended by Labour’s stance are being asked to accept quarter-baked, platitudinous Labour apologies for the ‘upset that has been caused’.
“Instead, what’s needed urgently is Labour action against the sickening anti-Jewish racism that is the actual cause of the offence in the first place.”