Anti-semitism row causes schisms within the Labour party.

Jeremy Corbyn is under increasing pressure to address Anti-semitism within his party.

Jeremy Corbyn has been told to act to remove the stain of anti-semitism that has been an issue of contention within the party in recent weeks and has seen a number of internal suspensions and resignation within Labour.

MP’s are pressing the labour leader to take more action to address the root causes and tackle the issue of anti-semitism after he issued an open apology to Jewish group following a mass demonstration rally outside the Houses of Parliament on Monday.

‘Jewish people must not be held responsible or accountable for the actions of the Isreali Government’ the Labour leader told Jewish groups in an open apology in regards to anti-semitism within his party.

Luciana Berger chair of the Jewish Labour Party claimed that anti-semitism was a stain on the conscience of the party.

The Labour party has a rather murky recent history when it comes to claims of anti-semitism. Naz Shah, MP for Bradford West was suspended by the party in 2016 for a social media post with Israel’s outline superimposed onto a map of the United States with the caption ‘ Solution for the Isreal-Palestine conflict, relocated Isreal into the US.’ In a number of other Facebook posts, Ms Shah drew comparisons between the Isreali State and Nazi Germany stating ‘The Jews are rallying’.

Naz Shah – Former MP for Bradford West

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone made comments of his own when defended Ms Shah that was deemed anti-semitic during a radio show. ‘When Hitler won the election in 1932 his policy was that the Jews should be moved to Isreal. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews. This lead to widespread condemnation of Mr Livingstone’s remarks with the Labour MP John Mann accused the former London Mayor of being a Nazi apologist.

Earlier this month Labour suspended prospective Peterborough councillor Alan Bull after it emerged he had shared material on social media calling The Halocaust a hoax and implied that Isreal and Islamic State were in ideological cahoots.  Mr Bull shared a link to an article with the title ‘international red cross report confirms that the holocaust of six million Jews is a hoax’.  In his defence, Mr Bull has claimed in an interview with the Peterborough Telegraph that the screenshots were doctored.

This week a prominent member of the Grassroots Labour movement ‘Momentum’ and head of Labour’s dispute panel Christine Shawcroft resigned from her post after she inadvertently asked for the suspension of Alan Bull to be reconsidered. In an e-mail sent to Labour officials, Ms Shawcroft stated that the suspension of Mr Bull was a factional Labour dispute rather than an anti-Semitic problem that warranted an investigation.  In response, Jewish Labour MP’s Ruth Smeeth, Luciana Berger and Jennifer Gerber, the head of Labour Friends of Israel called for her resignation and after being contacted by The Times Ms Shawcroft left her post.

Ms Shawcroft said in an official statement tendering her resignation, ‘ I sent this email before being fully aware of the full information about this case and I had not been shown the image of his abhorrent Facebook post. Had I seen this image, I would not have requested that the decision to suspend him be reconsidered. I am deeply sorry for having done so.

David Aston

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