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Labour should not give credit to false charges of anti-Semitism

26 July, 2019

• HAVING been one of signatories to the Guardian letter in defence of Chris Williamson MP, I was not surprised to learn that the charge of “anti-Semitism” against Selma James and Michael Kalmanovitz was made by “witch-hunters who don’t need to bother with facts or reasoned argument”, (An affiliate organisation is saying don’t vote for the Labour Party, July 18).

Indeed my own experience appears to confirm this particular point. Being aware of the unlawful discrimination and racist practices from which the Palestinians suffer by the state of Israel, I made an unsolicited submission to the cross-party inquiry into anti-Semitism (2005) where I pointed out that the only “anti-Semitism” I faced throughout my life in Britain is a “reverse anti-Semitism” – namely, being accused of anti-Semitism by Jewish groups and individuals who could not tolerate the fact that an Israeli Jew is prepared to criticise Israel’s policies and actions – https://www.redressonline.com/2016/06/the-truth-behind-the-charge-of-anti-semitism-in-britain.

I expect the Labour Party, of which I am a member, to defend robustly the rights of minority groups in Britain, who suffer an increasing number of violent attacks of Islamophobia, homophobia and xenophobia, instead of giving way to political expediency and unsubstantiated accusations of anti-Semitism which appear to be generated and inflamed by Israel’s apologists.

The charge of anti-Semitism ought to be backed by concrete evidence of racism and intended prejudices rather than by flimsy evidence based on social media messages which are greatly inflated by the press and leading members of the Jewish community.

Chris Williamson spoke the truth. The Labour Party ought not to be too apologetic or give ground over the charge of anti-Semitism for which there is hardly any transparent and concrete evidence.

The party should not give credit to false charges of anti-Semitism which virtually undermine the true meaning of the term, and debase the horrors of the Holocaust from which my maternal grand-parents and close family, along with millions of European Jews, have suffered at the hands of the Nazis.

RUTH TENNE
NW6

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