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Three kinds of anti-Semitism in Labour ranks, Momentum leader admits

The Labour Party has three separate “categories” of anti-Semitism but has “a lot of denial” that the problem exists, the founder of the Corbynite group Momentum has admitted.

Jon Lansman, who is himself Jewish, said Labour must do more to “stamp out” anti-Semitism in the party, though he said there is no “one size fits all” solution to the problem.

Mr Lansman, 60, has successfully shifted the Labour Party to the far Left by marshalling support for far-Left candidates in the general election, as well as backing Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

The party has been dogged by growing accusations of anti-Semitism under Mr Corbyn, who has in the past described the anti-Israeli militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”. Speaking at the Limmud Festival of Jewish learning and culture in Birmingham, Mr Lansman said: “There is anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, I think it falls into three categories.

“There’s the kind of petty remarks about big noses, which are dreadful, completely unacceptable anti-Semitism. People make petty xenophobic remarks and some are made against Jews. I don’t think there’s much of that in Labour.

“There’s the anti-Semitism that arrives from the Israel-Palestine conflict. We all understand that when that conflict heats up, it results in dreadful anti-Semitism. It shouldn’t result in that, but it does.

“The third type is extremely rare, it’s the real old-school anti-Semitism that believes in blood libels and so on. I don’t think there’s a lot of that. But there is a lot of denial of anti-Semitism.”

Momentum founder Jon Lansman

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A number of members suspended from the Labour Party in the past two years over allegations of anti-Semitism have been Momentum campaigners.

Mr Lansman, whose group has repeatedly said it opposes all forms of racism, put the blame on the fact that “Jeremy had not expected to be a candidate for leader. He had not researched the backgrounds of people on panels many years earlier”. 

We wanted a candidate to shift the debate left. Jeremy Corbyn was not the first person I thought ofJon Lansman

The Jewish Chronicle reported that Mr Lansman said Labour must tackle the problem and “stamp it out, oppose it, make clear it is unacceptable. It has to be dealt with. It was obviously right that the party introduced the rule change at the last conference – I and Momentum argued for that. We have to challenge every form of anti-Semitism and I do.

“I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all method of dealing with it. There are some lesser forms of anti-Semitism where what’s really required is education. People need to understand the effect of their words.”

Asked whether he had chosen Jeremy Corbyn as a potential leader of the party, Mr Lansman said: “It was most certainly not planned in advance. We wanted a candidate to shift the debate left. Jeremy Corbyn was not the first person I thought of.

“I thought of dozens of other people. With hindsight, he was the only person on the Left who could have gone on the ballot paper.

“He was someone with no enemies in the party. He had always fought for what he believed in and people saw him as having integrity and being principled.”

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/29/three-kinds-anti-semitism-labour-ranks-momentum-leader-admits/

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