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The Editorial


The controversy within the Labour Party has rumbled on for at least two years.

John Benton, Editor

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It shows no signs of abating. What needed to be dealt with root and branch has been the subject of hedging by the Labour leadership.

Summer shocks

Over the summer, various pieces of damning information were uncovered by journalists. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn came under fire for his presence in Tunis in 2014 at what appeared to be an event honouring the terrorists who killed 11 Israeli Olympic team members in 1972. In 2013 he made derogatory comments about British people who favour Israel. He had to apologise for hosting an event in 2010 which included a comparison of Israel to the Nazis.

Meanwhile, Labour’s National Executive Committee dithered over whether to fully adopt an agreed international definition of anti-Semitism. A number of Jewish Labour MPs disclosed that they had been bullied by Far Left members in the Party. It all culminated in September when the highly respected Labour MP Frank Field, who has represented Birkenhead for almost 40 years, resigned the Labour whip.


What on earth is the Labour Party thinking of? One suspects a number of things may feed into this stance which the UK Jewish community rightly see as such a threat to them.

First, with the collapse of an absolute moral vision in the West, the Labour Party has tended to adopt a politics based solely on victim culture. At present, the Palestinians (who do deserve sympathy) are seen by many as greater victims than the Jews. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Mr Corbyn has made a calculation that an ambivalence about anti-Semitism will play well with some Muslims in this country and therefore stand him in good stead at a general election. There are rumours of Iranian infiltration of the Party.

Second, of course, Israel and the Jewish cause have been supported historically by America. With the Presidency of Donald Trump, that commitment has found more momentum as the American embassy in Israel moved to Jerusalem in May, thus acknowledging the disputed city as Israel’s true capital. America is seen as the great bastion of capitalism and, therefore, anything which America supports the Left will automatically oppose.

Third, Ofsted has frequently criticised Jewish schools in Britain and is headed by Amanda Spielman who, with her call for ‘muscular liberalism’ in schools, has come across as anti-faith and pro political correctness. The Labour Party has bought into political correctness in a big way, and this too must fuel the fears of the Jewish community.

Fourth, every political movement thrives on having an enemy to blame and to hate. Whether we vote Labour, Conservative or Liberal, we are all fallen human beings and have a sinful self-righteousness which loves to condemn others. As Christians we need to be careful. In the past, the church has been caught up in the disgrace of anti-Semitism. The recent biography of Martin Luther by Professor Lyndal Roper of Oxford, exposed the great Reformer’s increasing intolerance of the Jews as he grew older. If Luther can go so wrong, then we must take warning.

Against the politics of division and demonisation, the Lord Jesus’ words ring in our ears loud and clear: ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5.44,45). True Christianity is about seeking the well-being of all our fellow men and women.