September 24, 2018

Labour Party MP Calls Leader Corbyn Anti-Semitic; Party to ‘Take Action’ Against MP

Photo from Flickr.

Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) Margaret Hodge confronted the leader of her party, Jeremy Corbyn, and told him that he’s anti-Semitic. The Labour Party is planning to punish her for doing so.

Hodge decided to confront Corbyn after the party, at Corbyn’s urging, decided to uphold their new rules on anti-Semitism that have been criticized as being too weak.

“It is not what you say but what you do, and by your actions you have shown you are an anti-Semitic racist,” Hodge told Corbyn.

Hodge defended her actions in an op-ed in The Guardian.

“Under Jeremy’s leadership, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has been allowed to infect the party’s approach to growing anti-Semitism,” Hodge wrote. “It appears to have become a legitimate price that the leadership is willing to pay for pursuing the longstanding cause of Palestinians in the Middle East. Because of that, anti-Semitism has become a real problem in the Labour party. In the last year my colleagues and I have been subjected to a growing number of anti-Semitic attacks on Facebook, Twitter and in the post.”

Hodge noted that while she is a secular Jew, numerous members of her extended family were murdered by the Nazis, including her grandmother and uncle.

She added that the party has been uninterested in dealing with complaints of anti-Semitism and that under the new rules, party members could refer to a Jew as a Nazi and not be punished for it.

“A definition of sexual harassment agreed without the explicit endorsement of women would be unconscionable,” Hodge said. “A definition of Islamophobia that was rejected by the Muslim community would never be entertained. Yet a definition that rolls over the sensibilities of Jews who are the victims of this racism is somehow OK.”

The Labour Party signaled that it is planning on retaliating against Hodge for her actions.

“Under the terms of PLP [parliamentary Labour party] rules, behavior has to be respectful between colleagues and not bring the party into disrepute,” a senior party official told the Guardian. “The behavior was clearly unacceptable between colleagues. Jeremy’s door is always open to discussions with members of the PLP. Action will be taken.”

Seven-hundred people protested the Labour Party’s rules on July 19; no one from the Labour Party attended.