With the exception of Cllr Leah Levane, who abstained, it is understood that all councillors present at the 21st October virtual Council meeting agreed to the adoption. Cllr Levane is a co-Chair of Jewish Voice for Labour, an antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation.
The motion was proposed and promoted by Cllr Dany Louise, who bravely resigned from the Labour Party in 2019, saying at the time that “sensible people have long ago abandoned the Hastings and Rye branch of the Labour Party” and that she had been “driven out” because Labour had become a “welcoming environment for antisemites”. Later in the year, she revealed the dismissive reactions of erstwhile colleagues when she rightly raised the issue of antisemitism, including that “Jews should complain quietly”, references to “the Jewish question” and that she herself might have a “right-wing motivation”.
Cllr Louise now sits as an Independent, and Campaign Against Antisemitism praises her and others for pushing adoption of the Definition, and welcomes Hastings Borough Council’s decision.
Cllr Louise gave an impassioned speech at the meeting, saying: “In the last few years, antisemitism has entered the national public discourse in a truly frightening and morally repugnant way. Where once it was the preserve of the far right, it has now become commonplace on the left as well. Shockingly, there has been widespread denial of this fact, with far too many people somehow casting it as yet another Jewish conspiracy theory. The denial itself has become another form of antisemitism, enthusiastically entertained by many who would otherwise call themselves part of the Community of the Good.”
She also rightly noted that the eleven examples “are indivisible from the Definition”, and that any “modified version” of the Definition is “no longer the…Definition”.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We are delighted that Hastings Borough Council has joined other local authorities in adopting the International Definition of Antisemitism, something for which we and others have long campaigned ever since we secured the adoption of the Definition by the British Government in 2016. We are particularly grateful to Cllr Dany Louise, formerly of the Labour Party but who quit over antisemitism and now sits as an Independent, for bringing and promoting the motion to adopt the Definition so passionately.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism recently published its first Audit of Local Authorities, documenting the campaign for widespread adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by local authorities.