The veteran Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman, who is Jewish, delivered a powerful attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over his record on antisemitism at a Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) reception the sidelines of the Labour Party Conference. LFI had opted not to host a stand at the Conference for fear of abuse to those manning the stand.
In her speech, Dame Louise condemned Mr Corbyn as someone “who would…label a propagator of the blood libel a ‘very honoured citizen’ and would peddle and endorse vile, trope-laden conspiracy theories,” and remarked, in a thinly-disguised reference to Mr Corbyn, that “too many claim to abhor racism ‘in all its forms’, while ignoring the racism against Jews which stalks party meetings, social media and the highest institutions of the party.”
She went on to ask: “what does it say about Jeremy Corbyn that he looks at a grossly antisemitic mural and apparently cannot see how grotesque and offensive it is; that he was active in an antisemitic Facebook group whose members discussed reading Mein Kampf, used the terms ‘ZioNazi’ and ‘JewNazi’ and discussed whether the BBC was controlled by Zionists, but, again, never seemed to see any of this; and that he was willing to take the pay of Press TV, the mouthpiece of a regime which denies the Holocaust and threatens to annihilate Israel — and even now refuses to apologise for having done so.
“What does it tell us about Jeremy Corbyn that he can describe the words of Hamas terrorists as ‘fascinating and electrifying’? Men who blew up families as they sat enjoying a meal in a pizza restaurant. Men who murdered Israeli teenagers as they excitedly waited to enter a club on a night out with friends. Men who butchered Holocaust survivors as they shared a Passover Seder.
“And what are we left to think when Jeremy Corbyn finds the time to lay wreaths at the graves of those who masterminded the torture and murder of Israeli athletes at Munich, but repeatedly refuses invitations to visit Yad Vashem — the museum and monument to the greatest crime in human history?”
Dame Louise expressed astonishment at the idea that the Labour Party could “find itself the object of an investigation by one of Labour’s proudest creations, the Equality and Human Rights Commission.” She was referencing the full statutory investigation launched by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on 28th May, following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Dame Louise also said, “I never believed we would see the day when many British Jews would so fear our leader, that they would seriously consider leaving the country if he entered Downing Street,” before insisting that “I not only understand those fears. I share those fears.”
“Yesterday,” she added, “on the conference floor, we saw a standing ovation given to a delegate who denied there was any antisemitism in the Labour Party. Not only that but a motion supporting boycotts was passed for the first time in Labour history. Let us be clear about what this means, the only country the Labour party calls to boycott is the world’s only Jewish state.”
“This,” Dame Louise lamented, “is not the party I joined.”
Over 55,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”