An academic described as a ‘leading campaigner against racism’ has resigned from a Church of England advisory body in protest at the intervention of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in support of the Chief Rabbi’s editorial warning that Jeremy Corbyn is “unfit for office” and that “the very soul of our nation is at stake,” as antisemitic crime and antisemitism in public life reach record levels.
The Archbishop issued a statement following the publication of the Chief Rabbi’s article warning that there is a “deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews.” Stating that “None of us can afford to be complacent,” the Archbishop made a thinly veiled attack on those who continually deplore antisemitism whilst doing nothing against it, writing: “Voicing words that commit to a stand against antisemitism requires a corresponding effort in visible action.”
However, Gus John has now resigned his role on the advisory body saying: “As a matter of principle, I cannot continue to work with the Anglican church … after the Archbishop of Canterbury’s disgraceful endorsement of the Chief Rabbi’s unjust condemnation of Jeremy Corbyn and the entire Labour party,” adding that the Chief Rabbi’s criticisms were received “as if he were the pope, speaking for all British Jews as the pope would for all Roman Catholics. Secular Jews and those who do not hold with the views of Jews for Labour are considered not to matter.” Mr John proceeded to note issues of discrimination against minorities within the Church.
It is regrettable that Mr John sees combating antisemitism as somehow mutually exclusive with fighting for equal rights for all minorities.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right, and that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is the party leader of choice for those who hold multiple antisemitic views.
On 8th December, regardless of religion, race or politics, Jews and non-Jews alike will gather in Parliament Square to declare that they stand together against antisemitism in the face of Jew-hatred in politics and mounting anti-Jewish hate crime.
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Over 58,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”