Letter from Eastwood Labour – 29 March, 2018
29th March 2018
It is with a deep sense of shame that we write to you with respect to the current issues that
the Labour Party is facing in relation to anti-Semitism.
It is intolerable to us that leaders of the Jewish faith are placed in a position that they feel
they have to issue an open letter dealing the hurt our party has caused, and lead a public
protest before a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
We do not believe that anti-Semitism exists only in pockets, nor that it is a matter of a few bad
apples, within the party. We believe that it is present to an unacceptable extent in the party at
all levels. We are sorry for this.
We know that anti-Semitism is about more than clearly expressed hatred of Jews. We know that
we must also focus our attention on more insidious types of anti Semitism such as those found in
conspiracy theories, and the automatic ascribing of responsibility for the policies of
particular Israeli Governments to all Jewish people. We know that for too long too many party
members have been involved in defending the indefensible.
We know that anti-Semitism exists across British society and in all political parties. We know
that it did not begin as an issue in the Labour Party two and a half years ago.
But is is our responsibility to deal with the issues in our party here and now.
We are determined not to shirk that responsibiltiy.
We therefore passed the following motion at our Constituency Labour Party meeting this
week and have already undertaken the first three actions it sets out
Eastwood Constituency Labour Party (CLP) condemns in the strongest possible terms recent incidences
of anti-Semitism that have occurred within the Labour Party.
We believe the Labour Party has failed to do enough to tackle anti-Semitism, and that it, and we, must act at all levels to put that right.
We believe that it is not enough for us locally to just talk about the unacceptability of
anti-Semitism, but we must take action to rid the party and wider society of it.
We will therefore:
1) Write to the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party expressing our concern that our
party’s action on anti-Semitism thus far has been too slow and too piecemeal.
2) Invite the Jewish Labour Movement to deliver training on anti-Semitism for local members.
3) Ask the CLP to consider a further motion at the April meeting to adopt the IHRA definition of
4) Write as per the circulated letter [this letter] to local leaders of the Jewish
Community expressing our shame, anger and solidarity; apologising that our party has let them down
and asking for a meeting to seek their advice about further practical steps we can take.
It is with humility that we ask to meet with you to discuss these issues, to seek your
advice about how we might discharge our responsibility most effectively.
We will also share this letter more widely as a public statement of our concern.
Yours in apology,
Chair, on behalf of Eastwood Labour Party
Councillor Paul O’Kane
Labour Group Leader, East Renfrewshire Council
Chair of the Labour Group, East Renfrewshire Council