Today, the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party presented what it set out to present: a narrow set of recommendations on how the Labour Party should change its rules on racism.
The Inquiry did not examine the disgraceful cases of antisemitism in the Labour Party, or their even more disgraceful mishandling by the Party leadership, including Jeremy Corbyn who presides over a régime of the lightest slaps on wrists for even the most offensive and deliberate antisemites.
Inexcusably, the Inquiry proposes making it harder to suspend antisemites and keeping suspensions secret so as not to affect elections. Additionally the Inquiry dismisses any claims of antisemitism arising from sharing a stage with antisemites, and suggests that any antisemitic incident coming to light after more than two years should not be considered — a limitation period so short it has no parallel in any other disciplinary régime that we are aware of.
Apart from imploring Labour activists to stop calling Jews ‘Zios’ or accusing them of supporting Nazi policies, this Inquiry is a vague, meaningless whitewash that will do nothing to rid Labour of antisemitism or address the total absence of leadership it has shown on this issue.
As if to emphasise how far the Labour party are from dealing with their antisemitism problem, Jeremy Corbyn, during the launch, compared Israel to ISIS, and failed to intervene to defend a Jewish MP who left the event in tears after being very publicly racially abused by a Labour activist.
The Chakrabarti Inquiry has avoided addressing the well-documented postwar re-emergence of an insidious antisemitism of the ‘progressive’ Left, merely encouraging Labour members to not use abusive words. Instead of helping the Labour Party regain trust, this report will further harm its reputation in the Jewish community, as well as in the wider world.
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