November 14, 2018

Labour MP Walks Away When Confronted About Charedi ‘Costumes’ Comment

Screenshot from YouTube.

A Labour member of parliament recently said that Orthodox Jews are targeted for hate crimes due to their “costumes”; when confronted by a civilian about it she simply walked away.

Diane Abbott, who was appointed as Shadow Home Secretary in 2016, said on BBC’s “Question Time” program in April in response to a question about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, “In my constituency, I have a community of Charedi Jews that are actually subject to hate crime more than other Jews, because they wear that costume, they walk to synagogue. But because I take it seriously I’m not going to make it some sort of party political gain.”

Alex Rose, an 18-year-old London civilian, noticed Abbott was sitting in front of him last week on the London subway, so he confronted her about her “costumes” remark.

“Why did you tell us that we wear costumes?” Rose can be heard telling Abbott in a video. As Rose tells Abbott he watched her “Question Time” segment, Abbott can be seen making a face before getting up from her seat and walking away from Rose.

“It’s not called a costume, love,” Rose says to Abbott as she’s walking away. “It’s called a religious piece of clothing.”

Rose told the Jewish Chronicle that he thought Abbott’s description of charedi religious garb as “costumes” was “troubling.”

I’ve heard a lot of talk amongst left-wing figures about the need for politicians to be more accountable to voters, and not just allowing themselves to be stuck in the Westminster bubble,” Rose said. “But it was clear that Diane Abbott didn’t want to speak to me – which is a shame.”

Leading Charedi Rabbi Avraham Pinter, who was once a Labour councilor, defended Abbott’s comments, stating: “Most people don’t know what is going on in our community.” He also praised her for raising important issues with the community.

In July, the Community Security Trust (CST) found that “more than 100 anti-Semitic incidents are being recorded every month in Britain as monitors warn bigots are becoming ‘more confident to express their views,’” according to the UK Independent.