Text of a letter sent to all Labour MPs and Labour Peers, 11th June 2019:
ANTISEMITISM THE LEFT AND LABOUR
We (Daniel Levy and I) attach a statement on ANTISEMITISM THE LEFT AND LABOUR. We would be grateful for your response since we remain extremely concerned at the manner in which this question continues to create a crisis in our Party.
In essence our argument is this:
Labour must unequivocally expunge antisemitism from its ranks. To do so while standing up for peace and Palestinian rights is possible. Denying the painful Jewish history that led to Israel’s establishment, or the attachment most Jews feel to the largest Jewish community in the world – Israel – does not advance the legitimate struggle of the Palestinians to achieve their full rights and freedoms in the face of Israel’s occupation and discriminatory policies. Labour must and can lead two struggles simultaneously – against antisemitism and for Middle East peace and justice.
Labour’s debilitating antisemitism crisis has so far focused upon process – are those charged with anti-Semitic behaviour being properly disciplined by the Party’s leadership or not? But a procedural solution cannot resolve what is primarily a political problem. Unless the political roots of the problem – which have become a crisis – are honestly confronted, the Party will neither be able to regain nor will it be deserving of the broad support necessary to win general elections.
Somehow the Party has managed both to alienate the vast majority of Jewish members and the Jewish community while doing nothing to advance the debate on Israel/Palestine, let alone justice for Palestinians. We must eradicate the curse of antisemitism paralysing the Labour Party whilst allowing space for genuine argument about all legitimate options for the future of Israelis and Palestinians.
We wish to see the statement attached adopted by the PLP, NEC and all Candidates and are happy to discuss it further.
Peter Hain Daniel Levy
Daniel Levy is a member of the UK Labour Party. He is currently President of the U.S./Middle East Project, and a former advisor in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office and Israeli negotiator in peace talks with the Palestinians under Israeli Labor Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin.
Labour Peer Peter Hain is a former Labour MP, British Minister for the Middle East, Cabinet Minister and is a longstanding campaigner for Palestinian rights and against apartheid.