Antisemitism in Political Parties

“Antisemitism is the organisation of politics against the Jews” — Ruth Wisse

Manifesto for fighting antisemitism in political parties

We call on all political parties to adopt our manifesto for fighting antisemitism in political parties.

Introduction

1. Antisemitism is a form of racism. It is a key component of extremist ideology espoused by Islamists, the far-right and the far-left alike. Antisemites and their supporters have no place in any political party.

Definition

2. Antisemitism will be construed in accordance with the International Definition of Antisemitism, as adopted by the British government. The Definition is published on the website of Campaign Against Antisemitism at antisemitism.org/definition.

Investigation

3. All disciplinary processes must be fair, transparent and efficient.

4. All allegations will be investigated as soon as possible, and in all events within a period of four weeks. Investigations will be carried out by an impartial, independent investigator.

5. In the case of corroborated, substantial allegations, the member will be suspended from the party pending the outcome of the investigation.

Enforcement

6. There is a presumption in favour of suspension for antisemitic speech or action by party members.

7. Where a suspension is imposed following a finding of antisemitic conduct, that suspension should only be lifted when an independent investigator is satisfied that the person suspended has demonstrated insight into their behaviour, and is committed both to not reoffending and to actively fighting antisemitism. If such insight and commitment cannot be demonstrated then the individual should be expelled from the party.

8. Where a finding of antisemitic speech or conduct has been upheld against a senior party member (which for this purpose includes any party member holding public office) there should be a strong presumption in favour of expulsion.

9. Education is not to be considered a disciplinary measure. It is a general preventative measure. In a disciplinary context, it may, at most, form part of a rehabilitation package for members returning from suspension or readmitted following expulsion.

10. An apology is not to be considered a substitute for a disciplinary investigation.

11. Independent investigators should be assisted by published disciplinary guidelines including a tariff for specific types of offence to ensure consistency, for example Holocaust denial is highly likely to lead to expulsion.

12. Where a disciplinary investigation leads to a sanction, this fact should be published on the party’s website along with a short summary of the case, including how the disciplinary tariff was applied. The name of the member who has been sanctioned should be published unless there is a good reason not to, for example there is a mental health aspect, supported by medical evidence. The need to protect a person from public embarrassment would not be a good reason for these purposes.

Ask your MP to back the manifesto

If you think that our manifesto should be adopted by your political party, ask your MP to help! To support your case, you may want to draw their attention to how Jewish people perceive their political party.

In 2019, we asked a nationally representative sample of 2,695 British Jewish adults: “Do you feel that any political parties are too tolerant of antisemitism among their MPs, members and supporters?” This is how they responded.

Labour: 86%
UKIP: 42%
Brexit: 39%
Green: 33%
SNP: 23%
Conservatives: 23%
Lib Dems: 21%
Sinn Féin: 20%
DUP: 14%
Plaid Cymru: 9%
Change UK: 7%
Don’t know: 6%
None: 1%