This sickens me and leaves me cold. I know that there are millions of non-Jewish people in the UK who will be appalled by this but it confirms what I and so many people have been saying for a long time, that the political right does not have a monopoly on hatred and antisemitism, that the amount of antisemitism in the UK is scary and chilling and that Britain is no longer a county in which Jews can justifiably feel safe, secure and at home.
The article in ‘The Independent’:
‘A local (UK) Labour Party branch has refused to pass a motion condemning the antisemitic attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 people dead, according to a party activist.
“Steve Cooke, the secretary of Norton West branch in the Stockton North constituency, said he was “aghast” that the motion was voted down after members claimed there was too much focus on “antisemitism this, antisemitism that”.
……He wrote on Facebook: ”I am aghast to report that an emergency motion on the Pittsburgh synagogue attack which I took to my Labour Party branch meeting last night was voted down, with the leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the cabinet member for community safety among its most vociferous opponents.
“I imagined that the emergency motion I had drafted to condemn the Pittsburgh murders, criticise antisemitic hate speech and present the Labour Party as leading the way in opposing such prejudices would be approved without controversy.
“When we got to the emergency motion, however, it was soon apparent that there would be resistance to the whole idea with the chair of the meeting, Cllr Steve Nelson, the cabinet member for community safety, the most implacably opposed.”
According to Mr Cooke, members at the meeting opposed the motion on the grounds that there was too much focus on “antisemitism this, antisemitism that”. They suggested the text on the synagogue attack should not specifically refer to antisemitism but should instead condemn all racism, which Mr Cooke said it already did.
Mr Cooke said previous motions on Islamophobia and anti-migrant rhetoric had not been met with similar demands that they be made less specific and instead refer to all forms of racism.
……..The executive of Stockton North Labour Party had previously voted down Mr Cooke’s attempts to have antisemitism training delivered to members.
Recounting his conversation with Mr Nelson, Mr Cooke wrote on Facebook: ”’Are you seriously going to vote down a motion condemning the Pittsburgh killings?, I asked. ‘Is this for real?’
“’Yes, I am’, replied comrade Nelson whilst physically pushing away the sheet of paper with the motion on it.”
He said Robert Cook, leader of Stockton-on-Tees council, “said nothing to support us” and had voted against the motion condemning the synagogue attack.
Mr Cook and Mr Nelson have been contacted for comment.
Earlier in the week another Labour branch amended a proposed motion on the Pittsburgh attack to remove a pledge to oppose antisemitism.
Members of the Southend West party removed a line that vowed to “recognise that antisemitism exists in society and affirm our belief that all forms of antisemitism must be eradicated”.’
I appreciate that there is an argument that Jews should stay in the UK, not ‘run away’, that they should fight the antisemitism, not allow themselves to be run out of the country. However, my position is different: antisemites see it as a victory but the fact is that they have killed my love for the UK. I no longer consider myself to be a Brit. To millions of Brits, I’m just an f’ing Jew and that only serves to reinforce my sense of Jewish identity and my sense of gratitude that my home, my only home, is Israel.
There is, unarguably, not just a rising tide of antisemitism in the UK but a tsunami of antisemitism sweeping through the nation.