(December 3, 2019 / JNS) Britain’s Labour again found itself in the crosshairs of public opinion for leaving Jewish people out of a new campaign video released on Saturday about minorities valued by the party.
In the clip, which claims that “diversity is our greatest strength,” Labour MP Dawn Butler gives a long list of communities the party will support, including those who wear “a hijab, turban, [or a] cross,” and people who “are black, white [or] Asian.” Butler says the groups mentioned are “worthy of equality, worthy of dignity and worthy of respect, and a Labour government will value you.”
Jews were the only group not mentioned.
Daniel Sugarman, public-affairs officer for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, responded to the campaign video, saying, “You’re a party being investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission over claims of institutional anti-Semitism. Your latest response is to release a video assuring pretty much every other group which faces discrimination that you’re here for them, but not Jews. Subtle.”
He added: “Why not just end off with a postscript reading ‘not you, Jews’?”
A spokesperson for the Board of Deputies added that the video “gets to the heart of Labour’s problems with the Jewish community.”
“The Jewish community is ‘erased’ as a minority group worthy of their support. The plea for Labour to recognize and then tackle the racism facing our community is met only with contempt.”
Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said, “To deliberately create and promote a video which talks about minority communities in this current climate and not mention the Jewish community really shows the blind spot that the Labour Party has. It shows they don’t regard the Jewish community or anti-Semitism as equal to other communities or racism of other types. You cannot think anything other than that is chilling. If this is what they are like in opposition, imagine what they would be like in government.”
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