Later today the Equality And Human Rights Commission will publish the findings from its report into antisemitism in the Labour party. This is a serious day, and the findings will have widespread ramifications for the party. The one positive here is it may be a way of accepting the recommendations and putting this damaging saga behind us.
There’s something we all need to be reminded of today: yes, antisemitism was wielded as a political weapon by bad faith actors during Corbyn’s tenure as leader, and yes the issue was weaponised. But, there is also genuine antisemitism experienced in the Labour party, as in society, and this is a genuine issue that need to be addressed. Do not attack or dismiss the whole thing, deal with it carefully and sensitively.
I’ll thoroughly study the findings upon release later, and see the incoming statements from both Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn, and the views of a wide range of voices from the Jewish community, and then later today I will provide my full thoughts on the findings of the report; what the left should make of it, what the lessons are, how we address this, and what we do moving forward.
As a wholehearted supporter of the prior leadership; and someone who would and will vociferously defend their intentions and motives and actions to the end, and the credentials of Jeremy Corbyn as an antiracist who rejects antisemitism, this is a strange day. And it’s a day for humility. Let’s digest this, and see what happens.
Those calling for the resignation or dismissal of Jeremy Corbyn or other friends of that leadership from the party are unequivocally bad faith actors; as are the tabloids salivating at this ordeal. The leadership DID NOT attempt to impede with investigations into antisemitism, full stop. Nor did the leadership address antisemitism in bad faith.
This is an extremely sensitive and painful issue for Jewish comrades, and dismissal and aggressive denial (something we all develop after years of smears from all directions) isn’t the way forward here, we need to listen and we need to learn. Accepting there are lessons to learn (or just the need to listen) doesn’t mean you accept the last leadership of the party was antisemetic; it wasn’t. Let’s study this and move forward as a movement.