The Jewish Labour Movement’s statement on the Labour Party’s proposed rule changes on antisemitism being debated on the Shabbat (Saturday) at conference makes it clear that, not for the first time, the scheduling means observant Jews will not be able to participate. They have done this before and it can’t be accidental.
Time and again, the Party leadership and the NEC have demonstrated a complete failure in both judgement and commitment to tackle antisemitism. With a statutory investigation by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission well underway, this is the latest example of institutional failing.
We have learnt tonight from press reports that the Party wishes to make sweeping changes to the disciplinary rules on antisemitism, without consulting us, its only Jewish affiliate, or any communal organisation. To add insult to injury, they will debate these changes at conference on the Jewish Sabbath, when religiously observant Jewish Labour delegates will be silenced, unable to participate in the debate.
The Jewish community has zero confidence that proposals to hand the NEC more powers on disciplinary matters will solve this crisis. There have been countless examples of NEC members either engaging in antisemitism or turning a blind eye to it. It will simply streamline the process of letting antisemites off the hook.
Let’s see if the protests mean the debate will be rescheduled…