This local election once again shows that Labour has a problem, in fact the Jewish people have a problem, and Labour needs to tackle it.
For the last two years Labour has been plagued with claims of antisemitism. For the last two years, nothing has been done about it.
Barnet, the council with the biggest Jewish population in the UK, was expected to go red. Who are they kidding? The result didn’t swing in Labour’s favour, rather the Conservatives gained overall control.
For many Jews this election was not one of free choice. Don’t get me wrong, there was a choice but it was between safety and political values.
Not choosing political values seems mad in an election doesn’t it? Housing – secondary, education – secondary, social welfare – secondary. None of it matters if people do not feel safe.
The Jewish people do not feel safe. They do not feel like they can vote for a party (which many have voted for loyally in the past) who doesn’t support them and tolerates antisemitism.
Voter turnout was 43.7%, an increase from 41.1% four years ago. People came out against antisemitism and against Corbyn and his Labour party.
A statement from the Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Barry John Rawlings, read:
“I want to speak directly to our Jewish brothers and sisters.
I am extremely grateful to all members of the Jewish community who cast votes for Labour yesterday.
But too many didn’t. It wasn’t because they disagreed with our manifesto, but because they felt the Labour Party has failed to deal with anti-Semitism at a national level. They are right.”
Cllr Rawlings understands that there is a problem in the Labour party, and Jewish voters made it clear once again yesterday. Jewish labour voters were unable to vote on issues which mattered to them, Jewish Labour candidates lost/failed to be elected for one major reason; antisemitism in the Labour party.
When will Corbyn do something about antisemitism? When will he take action? A long overdue meeting with the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies (just last week) did not produce results, rather Corbyn failed to agree with simple proposals.
Will Corbyn apologise for Labour losses in Jewish areas or will he continue as if the problem of antisemitism does not exist?
The Jewish community are upset, Labour and Conservative supporters alike, and something needs to be done about it Mr Corbyn. Until then, there seems to be one party and it’s not yours.