(September 19, 2019 / JNS) The Jewish Labour Movement is frustrated that the British Labour Party will discuss proposed changes to how it deals with anti-Semitism complaints at an event on Shabbat, as part of the annual Labour Party Conference.
Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) decided on Tuesday that the party would change its current process for dealing with members accused of anti-Semitism and other types of abuse.
Under the proposed rule changes, panels of NEC members would have the ability to rule on cases and expel members when necessary as opposed to only the party’s National Constitutional Committee having that power, which is the current rule. The proposed changes are required to be debated at the Labour conference, which runs from this Saturday until next Wednesday.
JLM, the Labour Party’s Jewish affiliate, said the timing of the debate is “the latest example of institutional failing” by the party and that the NEC decision to make changes to its rules on anti-Semitism was reached “without consulting us, it’s only Jewish affiliate, or any communal organization [sic].”
“To add insult to injury, they will debate these changes at conference on the Jewish Sabbath, when religiously observant Jewish Labour delegates will be silenced, unable to participate in the debate,” said JLM.
It continued, “The Jewish community has zero confidence that proposals to hand the NEC more powers on disciplinary matters will solve this crisis. There have been countless examples of NEC members either engaging in anti-Semitism or turning a blind eye to it. It will simply streamline the process of letting anti-Semites off the hook.”
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