Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), the main organisation for left-wing Jewish Labour members, has responded to the call by right-leaning groups for a rally outside Parliament this evening against Jeremy Corbyn – by calling their own, emergency rally to show that Labour Jews support Corbyn and condemn the weekend’s attacks on him as politically motivated:
In a strongly-worded statement, JVL attributes the current furore to ‘party politics’, points out the prevalence of antisemitic views on the right of politics and condemns the behaviour of the Board of Deputies as unrepresentative of the views of most of Labour’s Jewish members:
We are Jews in the Labour Party currently actively campaigning for Labour in local elections. We are appalled by the actions and statements of the Board of Deputies. They do not represent us or the great majority of Jews in the Party who share Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for social justice and fairness. Jeremy’s consistent commitment to anti-racism is all the more needed now.
As the British people call time on May and the Tories, they are getting more desperate. There is massively more antisemitism on the right of politics than on the left. Any organisation claiming to represent Jews in the Labour Party should be holding up for criticism, the senior ex adviser to the Prime Minister who recently used a national newspaper to dredge up antisemitic conspiracy theories, and the local Conservative party which issued a dogwhistle leaflet aiming to mobilise racism in their local election campaign. The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council have been silent on both. They have nothing to say either on the global rise of the far right and the toxic anti-immigrant rhetoric of the tabloid press. Jewish history surely gives us an imperative to speak out against both racism and fascism.
The BoD and the JLC and those supporting them must be aware that this is an attempt to influence local elections and has nothing to do with the real and necessary task of challenging racism and antisemitism at all levels of political life. We call on them to stop playing party politics and start representing what our community needs. We believe that is best represented by the politics we fight for and hope to see win on May 3rd.
The rally takes place this evening at 5pm outside Portcullis House, opposite the Houses of Parliament. Will the mainstream media feature this event with the prominence it is expected to give to the anti-Corbyn rally.
Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn of all faiths and none are encouraged to attend.
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