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Labour’s antisemitism code is the gold standard for political parties

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12.07.2018

Last week, the Labour party introduced a code of conduct on antisemitism, stronger than anything of its kind adopted by any political party in this country. This follows our adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) full definition of antisemitism in 2016 and Labour’s annual conference voting overwhelmingly last year to strengthen its rules against antisemitism and racism.

But as well as some welcoming this positive and progressive move, Labour has come under criticism from some MPs and Jewish communal organisations for not simply reproducing the IHRA’s working examples word for word. But, far from lowering the bar for what constitutes antisemitism, this code lifts it. It requires a higher standard of behaviour than the IHRA examples do. Labour’s code should be seen as the new gold standard.

I have been vocal in talking about my experiences of antisemitism and in calling out the blindness to antisemitism and unconscious bias towards Jewish people that pervades our society and politics, including when it appears on the left. I have argued for a long time that Labour must lead the way in tackling this evil within our own party, and pressure other political parties to follow suit. That’s why I was so pleased to support this code when it was unanimously approved by Labour’s national executive committee last week, of which I’m a member.

The code fully adopts the IHRA definition, and covers the same ground as the IHRA examples, but it also provides additional examples of antisemitism while giving context and detailed explanations to ensure it can be practically applied to disciplinary cases within the party. Three of the four examples that the party has been falsely accused of omitting are explicitly discussed in the code. It states that Jewish people should not be accused........

© The Guardian