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Fathom Report – institutionally antisemitic: contemporary left antisemitism and the crisis in the British Labour party

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Source: fathomjournal

A new report published by Fathom Journal today has set out why the Labour Party is institutionally antisemitic and concludes that the scale of the antisemitism crisis has been underestimated.

The report, written by Fathom Editor Professor Alan Johnson and launched this morning in Parliament with Labour MP John Mann and Dave Rich from the Community Security Trust, examines 130 cases of antisemitism and antisemitism denial in the Labour Party. The report says the party has failed to prevent itself from becoming a host for contemporary antisemitism, failed to effectively tackle antisemitism and has failed to root out a culture of antisemitism denial and victim-blaming.

It states that three types of antisemitism are currently present in the Labour Party: the type which identifies Jews with finance and capitalism and a threat to to world peace; the type that stereotypes Jews as all-powerful, evil, and money-grabbing; and the type that is dressed up as anti-Zionism.

Professor Johnson said: “I hope this report is a wake-up call to the party’s high command: end the culture of antisemitism denial and victim-blaming, face up to your failure, put yourselves to school about contemporary antisemitism, and drive the haters out of the party before the party splits and antisemitic discourse turns into anti-Jewish violence.”

He added: “One reason for the party’s failure is the record of the leader, and some of his closest aides, of support for antisemitic forms of ‘anti-Zionism’. That record is an obstacle to the party’s efforts to tackle the crisis because in the absence of fundamental self-criticism of that record by Jeremy Corbyn, the defence of that record by party members will go on, and therefore, so too will the normalisation of antisemitism.”

A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: “This [report] is full of factual inaccuracies, baseless claims and personal opinions, to which the party was not afforded the opportunity to respond. We completely reject claims of institutional antisemitism. Antisemitism complaints received since April 2018 relate to about 0.1 per cent of our membership, but one antisemite in our party is one too many. We are determined to tackle antisemitism and root it out of our party.”

Mark Gardner from the Community Security Trust, described the report as: “The best piece of work we currently have regarding the weight of examples of antisemitism and the weight of examples of institutional responsibility and failure.” Peter Mason, the National Secretary of the Jewish Labour Movement said the report is  “A compelling and comprehensive read that focuses on precisely the reasons we have referred the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission for institutional racism.”