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UK Left: Labour Group REJECTS Pittsburgh Killings Motion, Too Much ‘Anti-Semitism This, Anti-Semitism That’

Pittsburgh
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
JACK MONTGOMERY

A branch of the British Labour Party rejected a motion condemning the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania because there is too much focus on “anti-Semitism this, anti-Semitism that”, according to its secretary.

Steve Cooke, who proposed the motion to the Norton West branch in the Stockton North constituency, said he was “aghast” that what he thought would be an uncontroversial gesture in the wake of the killings by an anti-Semitic, anti-Trump extremist was met with such resistance, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

“I am aghast to report that an emergency motion on the Pittsburgh synagogue attack which I took to my Labour Party branch meeting last night was voted down, with the leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the cabinet member for community safety among its most vociferous opponents,” he wrote on social media.

“I imagined that the emergency motion I had drafted to condemn the Pittsburgh murders, criticise anti-Semitic hate speech and present the Labour Party as leading the way in opposing such prejudices would be approved without controversy.

“When we got to the emergency motion, however, it was soon apparent that there would be resistance to the whole idea with the chair of the meeting, Cllr Steve Nelson, the cabinet member for community safety, the most implacably opposed.”

Cooke’s motion said that the synagogue killings “demonstrate[d] the dangers posed by the growth in anti-Semitic sentiments”, that the branch was committed to “stand in solidarity with the Jewish community around the world and send our condolences to all those affected by the tragic events in Pittsburgh”, and that it recognised “that anti-Semitism exists in society and affirm our belief that such prejudice must be confronted and eradicated wherever it arises”.

He claims members complained there was too much focus on “anti-Semitism this, anti-Semitism that” — the leftist party has been embroiled in a number of anti-Semitism scandals under anti-Zionist leader Jeremy Corbyn — and that it should condemn hate and racism more broadly instead.

Similar generalisations have not been requested when motions condemning alleged ‘Islamophobia’ or anti-migrant sentiment were put forward, Cooke claims.

Cooke further alleged that Councillor Steve Nelson, who chaired the meeting, accused him of trying to “bring the [Labour] party into disrepute by associating us with anti-Semitism” in proposing the motion, and downplayed the ongoing scandals surrounding anti-Semitism within the party as “just a game being played”.

Israel’s envoy to the United Nations has publicly denounced Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite who “gives oxygen to incidents of racism by embracing his terrorist friends” in groups such as Hamas — and polls suggest the Jewish community in Britain seems to agree, with some 85.9 percent saying they believe he is anti-Semitic.

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