UK probe finds Labour guilty of antisemitic discrimination

A UK government investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party found that equality laws were broken and the party was “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination,” officials said Thursday.

The report by the state anti-racism watchdog came at the end of a year-long probe into allegations of antisemitism in the party.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation found there were “serious failings” by the party’s leadership when it came to antisemitism, and that Labour had “inadequate processes” for handling complaints.

The EHRC gave the party an unlawful act notice, meaning it has to publish an action plan in response to the report within six weeks.

“The equality body’s analysis points to a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The watchdog found the party responsible for unlawful acts in three major areas: political interference in antisemitism complaints, failing to provide adequate training to those handling antisemitism complaints, and harassment.

There were 23 instances of “inappropriate involvement” by Corbyn’s office and others in the 70 files examined in the report, the EHRC said.

The EHRC, the main government anti-racism watchdog, had initially announced a probe into whether the main opposition party led at the time by Jeremy Corbyn had discriminated against, harassed or victimized Jews in violation of the UK’s 2006 Equality Act.

Keir Starmer, who replaced Corbyn in a party election earlier this year, has said he would fully cooperate with the EHRC’s report into antisemitism in the party.

Jewish groups have accused Corbyn, a far-left politician, of allowing a massive surge in antisemitism within the ranks of the party that was once considered the natural home of British Jewry. Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews had been recorded within Labour since 2015, when Corbyn was elected to lead the party.

Corbyn vowed to punish any party member caught making racist statements, yet he defended a number of members who made vitriolic antisemitic remarks, and expelled hardly any members despite more than 850 formal complaints.

Corbyn himself drew wide criticism for his own actions. Last year he expressed regret for having defended a 2012 antisemitic mural in London’s East End. The mural, named Freedom of Humanity, was painted on a property near Brick Lane by the Los Angeles-based graffiti artist Kalen Ockerman. It depicted a group of men — seemingly caricatures of Jewish bankers and businessmen — counting their money on a Monopoly board which is balanced on the back of naked workers.

Last year he was found to have authored a glowing foreword to a book that claims that Jews control global financial systems and describes them as “men of a single and peculiar race.”

In addition, the Hamas terror group has thanked Corbyn for his solidarity in recognizing Palestinian mourning over the 71st anniversary of the formation of the State of Israel.

The now former Labour leader has in the past been criticized for calling terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah “friends” when inviting members for a parliamentary meeting in 2009. He later downplayed the comment and said he regretted using the term.

Last year it emerged that in 2014 Corbyn attended a ceremony that honored the terrorists behind the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre. He later said “I was present when [a wreath] was laid, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”


Source: Times of Israel