Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Jeremy Corbyn "enables" anti-Semitism, argues Jewish Chronicle editor
8 December 2019, 10:20
The editor of a Jewish newspaper responded to a leaked dossier on anti-Semitism in the Labour party in today's Sunday Times.
The Sunday Times reported today that leaked documents from Labour's disciplinary department show that the party has been overwhelmed with anti-Semitism complaints that have been left unresolved.
The Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mervis, described Jeremy Corbyn's complaint that Labour have a "zero tolerance" policy on anti-Jewish racism as "mendacious fiction".
Stephen Pollard, the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, referred to it as a "lie".
Pollard said: "The Labour Party has either been defending some of the anti-Semites or sitting on the sitting on the evidence and the bombshell dossier from the Sunday Times today is simply the, I describe it as a bombshell because it is, but it's also just another in the long line of leaks of evidence."
He referenced last week's evidence from the Jewish Labour Movement.
Pollard said you could describe the party as "incapable" of dealing with anti-Semitism but called it "clearly a deliberate decision" not to deal with it.
Andrew Castle referenced three Tories being investigated for anti-Semitism.
Pollard pointed out that there is anti-Semitism in the SNP and the Green Party too.
He said: "The issue is that it's endemic, it's institutionalised, indeed, the Labour Party is the only party other than the British National Party to be investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
"In the Conservative Party, in the SNP and the Green Party, it's not an institutionalised form of racism.
"It's not that the anti-Semites are protected by the leadership, or the Islamophobes.
It's that the difference is that in the Labour Party, it's the leadership that is the problem."
Andrew Castle said that he couldn't make a defence.
He referred to Joan Ryan who left the party because of anti-Semitism.
Andrew asked if Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic himself.
Pollard replied: "Well look, Margaret Hodge, veteran Labour MP, she called Jeremy Corbyn to his face a racist and an anti-Semite. We can't look into other people's souls and, to be honest, I'm not interested in the question of whether he's anti-Semitic in his heart as it were.
"All that matters is what action does he take or not take? I mean, he thinks of himself, I'm sure, genuinely, as an anti-racist.
"So he would, I'm sure, be horrified by the accusation that he himself is an anti-Semite.
But if you look at his consistent inaction, if you look at the people he, as you've just said that he allies himself with, it's difficult to draw any other conclusion that he at least enables anti-Semitism."