Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Jeremy Corbyn called an 'anti-Semite and a racist' by former Labour minister

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The move to adopt the IHRA's full version of anti-Semitism, which is already widely recognized by a number of British government institutions, comes as the leadership of the Labour Party amended the definition to leave out some formal examples of anti-Semitism that largely dealt with Israel.

Another clause omitted is that applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, is also not included in Labour's guidelines.

However, the decision has proved controversial as - although the policy states that "anti-Semitism is racism" and it is "unacceptable" - it does not conform to the full definition of anti-semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The original code of conduct and definition of anti-Semitism has been adopted by the UK Government, along with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, the Crown Prosecution Service and 124 local authorities.

The chief rabbi has said Labour's new definition of antisemitism sends "an unprecedented message of contempt to the Jewish community".

Rabbi Mirvis said it was "a watershed moment" for Labour and urged the National Executive Committee - the Labour's ruling body - to "make the right decision for Britain".

"It is astonishing that the Labour Party presumes that it is more qualified than all of the above and, in particular the Jewish community, to define antisemitism", wrote Mirvis.

Ex-minister Margaret Hodge challenged the Labour leader following crunch Brexit votes on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, 68 of the UK's senior rabbis penned an joint letter in which they accused the Labour leadership of acting in " the most insulting and arrogant way" by rewriting an internationally-adopted definition of anti-Semitism.

Labour says that while the examples are not reproduced word for word, they are covered.

Since socialist Jeremy Corbyn - who called anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah "friends" - was elected party leader, Labour has been embroiled in several cases of anti-Semitism amongst its ranks including the suspension of former London Mayor Ken Livingstone for claiming there was "real collaboration" between Zionists and Nazis before the Second World War and MP Naz Shah who was suspended for calling for the "transportation" of Israelis out of the Middle East on social media.

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