Lively debate at ‘Anti-semitism and Politics – Cause for concern?’

May 19, 2016

Yesterday, 40 young professionals attended Y-UJIA’s ‘Anti-Semitism and Politics – Cause for concern?’ held at Fladgate LLP offices in central London.

The event was put on in response to the recent increase in news coverage of allegations of anti-semitism in the Labour Party. The committee felt it was important to educate young Jewish professionals on the facts as well as give them a space for their questions to be answered and discussed.

The panel consisted of Michael Dugher MP, Marilyn Ashton (Councillor for Stanmore Park), Mark Gardner (Director of Communications at CST), Jeremy Newmark (chair of the Jewish Labour Movement) and Hannah Brady (President of UJS), as well as Lee Petar who chaired the panel. The audience heard opening statements from each panellist as well as their response to questions.

Michael Dugher MP said that the Labour Party is not anti-Semitic but said there “is a problem of anti-Semitism in some parts of the Labour Party”.

“One of the challenges for Labour is that our membership has nearly doubled in the past year. This is to be welcomed. The vast majority of our new members are good, decent people committed to good, decent Labour values like fighting racism, prejudice and inequality. They also want to see our politics done in a better way.

“But we have to be honest that a small minority of our new members have come from the Hard Left. These are people who’s politics and view of the world has been on fringes and extremes. And there has always been a problem with anti-Semitism on the Hard Left.”

As well as the main topic up for discussion, there was also debate about the election of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Brexit, as well as how the Jewish Community can move forward.

For more information about Young UJIA please contact Jessica Lawrence at jessica.lawrence@ujia.org

See the gallery here.