Brown: We have to move ahead true to our val­ues

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LEE HARPIN

GOR­DON BROWN has de­liv­ered a damn­ing re­buke of Jeremy Cor­byn’s at­tempt to re­de­fine what con­sti­tutes an­tisemitism.

De­liv­er­ing the key­note speech at Sun­day’s Jewish Labour Move­ment con­fer­ence, the for­mer PM said only the adop­tion of the full In­ter­na­tional Holo­caust Re­mem­brance Al­liance def­i­ni­tion would re­move a “stain” caused by the party adopt­ing a wa­tered down ver­sion in­stead in July.

Mr Brown said the de­ci­sion was “not just a pro­ce­dural is­sue but about the soul of the party”.

He spoke ahead of Tues­day’s vote by the party’s gov­ern­ing body, the NEC, on whether to adopt the IHRA def­i­ni­tion.

“The sore that ex­ists and the harm that has been done, and the hurt it has caused, has got to be un­done.”

At­tack­ing the fail­ure of Labour’s lead­er­ship to con­sult with the Jewish com­mu­nity over the def­i­ni­tion, he added: “Would you pro­duce a doc­u­ment on sex­ism pro­duced by men only?

“Or would you pro­duce a doc­u­ment on racism with­out con­sult­ing the black com­mu­nity?

“Would you pro­duce a doc­u­ment on ho­mo­pho­bia with­out con­sult­ing the LGBT com­mu­nity?”

He said of Jew-hate on the left: “We must be hon­est with our­selves that an­tisemitism and racism, yes it’s a prob­lem with the jack­booted right in our com­mu­nity, but it’s also a prob­lem with the con­spir­acy the­o­rists on the left.”

Mr Brown added: “The Labour Party has of­ten been the last line of de­fence for peo­ple fac­ing per­se­cu­tion and dis- crim­i­na­tion, and you know we must never al­low the last line of de­fence to be­come the first point of at­tack.

“We must never al­low our­selves to be in a po­si­tion where we are the prob­lem. Or the an­swer to the prob­lem.

“So I want to make it very clear to you to­day that the In­ter­na­tional Holo­caust Re­mem­brance Al­liance’s def­i­ni­tion of an­tisemitism is some­thing that we should sup­port unan­i­mously un­equiv­o­cally and im­me­di­ately.”

Mr Brown re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion when he called for ur­gent ac­tion to be taken against Labour’s an­ti­semites.

He said: “It can­not be hes­i­tant, it can­not be grudg­ing.

“We can’t just move on we have to move for­ward true to our val­ues and true to our prin­ci­ples of equal­ity and sol­i­dar­ity and in re­spect of the wishes of the Jewish com­mu­nity.”

Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon John­son and Board Of Deputies Pres­i­dent Marie van der Zyl were among those to stand and ap­plaud Mr Brown at the end of his speech.

JLM par­lia­men­tary chair Luciana Berger told Mr Brown: “There is no one I would rather have on the bar­ri­cades.”


Gen­uine friend: Gor­don Brown

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