Labour has launched new antisemitism education material developed by the party itself, and Jeremy Corbyn has sent the first resources on anti-racism to all members this afternoon.
“Over the coming months, the party will produce educational materials on a number of specific forms of racism and bigotry,” the email reads. “Our first materials are on antisemitism, recognising that anti-Jewish bigotry has reared its head in our movement.”
The email includes links to an ‘antisemitism minisite‘ and a new five-page document that LabourList understands has been written up by party officials and particularly the leader’s office. Both are titled ‘No Place For Antisemitism’.
The website page is comprised of a video from the Labour leader released in August 2018, text from the document (on “understanding” antisemitism, its history, conspiracy theories and Zionism), “helpful links and resources” that include the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, an article by Corbyn in the Evening Standard and a Birkbeck university course, plus videos by Momentum.
The document specifically cites a number of examples of antisemitic claims, such as: “presenting Israel as controlling the world’s media and finances”, “Israeli responsibility for 9/11 or control of ISIS” and “holding all Jews in the UK and elsewhere responsible for what Israel does”.
Earlier this month, PoliticsHome revealed that Labour general secretary Jennie Formby asked both the Jewish Labour Movement and Jewish Leadership Council to endorse the document, but they refused.
JLM chair Mike Katz commented: “If they think we are going to mark their overdue homework for them then they have another thing coming.”
A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party has sought to consult Jewish community organisations. Jennie Formby sent a draft leaflet to the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Community and Security Trust and the Jewish Labour Movement and asked if they wished to share their views, which would have been welcome.”
Below is the full text of the email sent to Labour members today.
The struggle for liberation of all people is never complete and must always be renewed. As a movement, we educate ourselves and each other to better stand in solidarity with and unite all those facing oppression and discrimination.
That’s why we are launching education materials for our members and supporters to help them confront bigotry, wherever it arises. Over the coming months, the party will produce educational materials on a number of specific forms of racism and bigotry. Our first materials are on antisemitism, recognising that anti-Jewish bigotry has reared its head in our movement.
Hatred towards Jewish people is rising in many parts of the world. Our party is not immune from that poison – and we must drive it out from our movement.
While other political parties and some of the media exaggerate and distort the scale of the problem in our party, we must face up to the unsettling truth that a small number of Labour members hold antisemitic views and a larger number don’t recognise antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories.
The evidence is clear enough. The worst cases of antisemitism in our party have included Holocaust denial, crude Jewish-banker stereotypes, conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11 or every war on the Rothschild family, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.
So please engage with the materials we are producing, which will be placed on a page on our website, along with other resources, so our movement can be the strongest anti-racist force in our country.
I have learned so much, I hope you will too, so that together we can fight these evils.
Leader of the Labour Party