The Labour Party’s National Executive Committee has decided that the Labour Party Conference should not vote on new rules that would enable the party to more easily expel antisemitic members.
The Party has been plagued by an ongoing antisemitism crisis which is being excruciatingly badly handled by the Party’s institutions and leadership. Campaign Against Antisemitism has said that “the Labour Party is no longer a safe place for British Jews.”
Responding to the decision in a speech to delegates at the Labour Party Conference, the Jewish Labour Movement’s Mike Katz said that he felt “beyond disappointed”. As he told the delegates that the Jewish Labour Movement would not be “going anywhere” he was met with contrasting open heckling and a standing ovation. He told the delegates that their applause “meant a lot” to the whole Jewish community.
The Labour Party has for some time made loud promises about tackling antisemitism and it is well past time that those promises were acted upon. Applause is very welcome, but it is utterly meaningless whilst the Party fails to act against antisemitism. We did not consider Labour’s proposed rule changes to be adequate as they do not include the definition of antisemitism, but for the discussion of even those deficient rule changes to be postponed by a year is the surest possible indication of the urgency with which the Labour Party intends to address its antisemitism problem.