Jewish leaders label Corbyn talks 'a missed chance'

Jewish leaders label Corbyn talks 'a missed chance'

Jewish leaders label Corbyn talks 'a missed chance'

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has admitted for the first time the problem and scale of anti-Semitism within his party, as he looks to draw a line under the row that has dogged his leadership and threatens to harm his party at the ballot box.

They said the proposals they had put forward - which included a fixed timetable for dealing with outstanding case of anti-Semitism, expediting long-standing case like that of Ken Livingstone, and the "transparent oversight" of the party's disciplinary process - was the "minimum level of action" they expected. Corbyn said that these need to be "confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively" than has been the case until now.

He adds: "Their determination to divide the party into pro-and anti-Corbyn factions, despite the huge increase in Labour's vote secured previous year under Corbyn's leadership, ultimately pollutes everything it touches..." Anti-Semitic attitudes began to enter Labour politics in the 1970s, in response to Israeli policy in the disputed territories.

The veteran Unite chief said "Corbyn-haters" were whipping up the controversy for their own ends and warned them that they face mandatory deselection as Labour election candidates.

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This seemed to be a very promising start to the day.

The Labour leader met with representatives from the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews on Tuesday night, but refused to agree to any of their demands. But other, more cynical people were inclined to say that words are cheap and they would wait for concrete commitments before becoming excited.

A meeting earlier this week between Corbyn and Jewish leaders went badly.

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Berger, who spoke during the same debate, told reporters: "She has an incredible amount of support here.because we want to see action taken against anti-Semitism". Corbyn, for his part, called the meeting "positive and constructive".

In a joint statement, the board's president, Jonathan Arkush, and JLC chair Jonathan Goldstein said Mr Corbyn had failed to adopt any of the measures they had proposed following last month's demonstration outside Parliament against anti-Semitism in Labour.

Mr Streeting responded: "I've said it before and I'll say it again: no abuse, intimidation or threats of deselection will prevent me from voicing the concerns of my Jewish constituents about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party".

In his Evening Standard article, Mr Corbyn said that anti-Zionism was not in itself anti-Semitic but he acknowledged that "individuals on the fringes of the movement of solidarity with the Palestinian people can stray into anti-Semitic views".

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