At our May 2018 branch meeting, we invited local Labour member, Nick Guy, to lead a discussion on Anti-Semitism. Nick described his mother`s story as a refugee from the Holocaust. He made a few suggestions regarding the debate about anti-semitism in the Labour Party:
- The need to separate out criticism of actions of the Israeli Govt from anti-semitism
- The fact that many jewish people are very sensitive to comparisons being made with Hitler or the Nazis, so care needs to be taken when talking about the Holocaust.
- Swansea has a history of a range of Jewish people living here; Swansea Council has organised excellent events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, aimed at schools and encompassing anti racism in general.
- The Labour Party should have a robust method of dealing more swiftly with allegations of anti-semitism.
There are ¾ million jewish people in the UK, and the branch meeting was held on 70th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel (actually to the day; the date was May 14th – 1948) . Jewish community welcomed the gentle inclusive politics of Corbyn but unfortunately anti-semitism is on the rise. Important but difficult to separate anti-semitism from legitimate criticism of Israel. There are three types of antisemitism : –
Prejudice – can be dealt with by educating members
Racism – No option but to kick offending members out of party
Race hate – violent threats etc – this is a police matter
There followed a lively discussion among members.