Rhetoric and imagery which is pure and simple Jew hatred

My UK friends are disgusted with Corbyn and Labour. The refusal to sack Ken Livingstone is not a good move.

In an escalation of the controversy, nine senior members of Labour Friends of Israel, including Joan Ryan, Louise Ellman and Rachel Reeves, wrote to Corbyn urging him to call publicly for Livingstone to be expelled and to press the national executive committee to review its decision.

Around 100 Labour MPs, among them shadow cabinet ministers such as Barry Gardiner and Angela Rayner, also signed a statement saying saying the Labour decision “was not done in our name and we will not allow it to go unchecked”.

“This week the institutions of the Labour party have betrayed our values. We stand united in making it clear that we will not allow our party to be a home for antisemitism and Holocaust revisionism. We stand with the Jewish community and British society against this insidious racism,” they said.

Within Labour, Watson, the deputy leader, led criticism of the panel’s decision, saying it brought “shame on us all”. “I am ashamed that we have allowed Mr Livingstone to cause such distress,” he said. “It isn’t just Jewish people who feel disgusted and offended by what Mr Livingstone said and by the way he has conducted himself over this matter, and it isn’t just Jewish Labour members who feel ashamed of any indulgence of his views anywhere in the Labour party.”

Miliband said: “I am appalled that even now Ken shows no real remorse. His status should be revisited in the light of his continuing offensive behaviour.”

There were a string of reports that Jewish Labour members were leaving the party, with Lord Levy, the chief fundraiser under Tony Blair, among those saying he was considering his future as a member. Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, warned Corbyn that Jewish constituents were contacting her in despair and terminating their membership.

Livingstone said it was all a move to undermine Corbyn. That didn’t go down well either.

Livingstone’s claim that the charges against him were part of a move against Corbyn were challenged by Ivan Lewis, a Jewish Labour MP and former minister, who said: “Those who claim that these concerns are part of some ‘rightwing conspiracy’ against Jeremy Corbyn should be reminded that no one forced Ken Livingstone to go into a radio studio to speak about Nazi support for Zionism. They must also confront the reality that a minority who claim to be progressive seem to think that their opposition to the policies of the Israeli government entitles them to use rhetoric and imagery which is pure and simple Jew hatred.

“Equally, those socialists who seek to justify or deny antisemitism whenever it rears its ugly head are nothing more than apologists for racism. Enough is enough.”

So that’s more bad news.

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