Labour Party backbenchers have led a successful rebellion against Jeremy Corbyn’s allies by adopting in full the International Definition of Antisemitism within the Parliamentary Labour Party, though the vote does not bind the Labour Party as a whole.
The Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had rewritten the definition in a long-planned attempt to avoid having to take action against certain forms of antisemitism disguised as discourse about Israel which are clearly identified as antisemitism in the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Following an exceptional open letter from 68 Rabbis across all Jewish denominations, backbench Labour MPs have now won a vote within the Parliamentary Labour Party to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism in full, including all of its examples, which some Labour figures had attempted to argue were not actually part of the definition.
The NEC will meet tomorrow to decide whether to adopt its own rewritten definition, or the International Definition of Antisemitism backed around the world, and now even backed by Labour MPs.
The Jewish community is best placed to define antisemitism and it overwhelmingly backs the International Definition of Antisemitism, which is why the British Government and numerous official bodies such as the College of Policing have adopted the definition. We commend the brave Labour MPs who have stood up to their leaders today in defence of the Jewish community, and frankly in defence of decency. Tomorrow’s meeting of the NEC will be a watershed moment for the Labour Party. If it adopts its own rewritten definition in defiance of its own MPs, it will be hard to see how those MPs or any decent person can remain within the Labour Party.