World Jewish Congress urges UK Labour Party to adopt IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism

02 Aug 2018

NEW YORK – “The World Jewish Congress strongly supports the unified stance of British Jewry in urging the Labour Party, and indeed the government itself, to adopt the working definition of anti-Semitism agreed upon by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.
“A solution to anti-Semitism is only possible once the problem has been clearly defined, in a universal manner acceptable at all levels of society. The working definition of the IHRA covers deeply critical and comprehensive points, including protecting the Jewish community from rhetorical and physical attack and defending the Jewish right to self-determination.

“Recent reports show that anti-Semitism remains at historically high levels in Britain, compounded even further by the Labour Party’s reticence to contend with the manifestations of this kind within its own ranks.
“The Labour Party must take a step forward and adopt the IHRA definition, including its working examples, in order to prove its willingness to fight anti-Semitism, and to regain the trust of the British community, whose long history of involvement with the party is waning quickly and forcefully in the wake of this new reality.
“We stand with our affiliate, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, in sounding the alarm that Labour has become a home for anti-Semites and anti-Semitism, and urge it to take the necessary measures to create a zero-tolerance policy for such hatred.
“Anti-Semitism and issues pertaining to the safety and well-being of the Jewish community cannot become partisan. These are issues that affect society as a whole,” Lauder said.
Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies, released a statement earlier saying, “Jeremy Corbyn is leading the Labour Party into a dark place of ugly conspiracy theories and it has become a home for overt ant-Semites and anti-Semitism. In 2018, Labour is not only a Party with extravagant levels of tolerance for antisemitism but one which deliberately obstructs measures to counter hatred and punishes those who speak out against it. Jeremy Corbyn needs to lead Labour out of this deep abyss and urgently demonstrate to the world Labour can return to being an anti-racist Party.”