Charedi Shraga Stern objects to ‘second-class Jew’ dismissal
Shraga Stern is a member of London’s Charedi Orthodox Jewish community – and a member and supporter of the Labour party. Last week, Mr Stern was photographed meeting Jeremy Corbyn and Labour MP Dan Carden at Portcullis House in Westminster by Barking MP Margaret Hodge.
Ms Hodge tweeted the image to a Murdoch journalist:
Mr Stern, who told the Jewish Chronicle that the appearance of the image made him feel ‘quite intimidated’, has been the subject of recent claims that he is against the LGBT community because of his activism in the area of sex education. However, he has said that he merely wants Orthodox communities to be able to continue to teach sex education to their children at home, in accordance with their tradition.
But Stern also took exception to Ms Hodge’s description of him as a non-‘mainstream’ Jew – and has made a formal complaint both directly to her and to the Labour Party.
On Sunday, Mr Stern sent the following email to Margaret Hodge:
Stern attached a copy of a formal complaint of antisemitism, sent to party officials during the preceding week:
His complaint included a copy of Hodge’s tweeted to Zeffman with the image of him with Corbyn and Carden, along with screenshots and details of incidents during her time as Islington council leader which he alleges demonstrate a negative attitude to Orthodox Jews:
Margaret Hodge was invited to comment but did not respond by the time of publication.
Although she described Stern as not representing the ‘mainstream Jewish community’, there are around 67,000 Orthodox Jewish people – around a quarter of the Jewish population – in the UK and they are forecast to represent more than half of the country’s Jewish citizens within the next fifteen years or so.
The Labour Party does not comment on individual cases but says that it takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously.
Orthodox Jewish leaders have publicly thanked Jeremy Corbyn – and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott – for their support, including on the cemetery issue.
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