UK's Labour Party adopts full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn NEC

Jeremy Corbyn NEC

Corbyn was sharply criticized after in July the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) refused to adopt fully the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in Labour's new code of conduct.

Ryan has been the subject of attacks from far-left Labour supporters for her critical statements on the party's inaction toward growing Jewish discontent with its values.

Some activists wrapped in Israeli flags condemned Labour as being "for the many, not the Jew" while others urged the NEC to resist calls to adopt the IHRA definition, one carrying a banner stating "criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism".

Before the hours-long meeting, protesters from both sides of the debate gathered outside the party's headquarters.

However, the NEC has faced backlash for also passing a statement of clarification that the changes do "not in any way undermine freedom of expression" on Israel or the rights of Palestinians.

A Labour Against Anti-Semitism spokesman said: "There can be no caveats, no conditions and no compromises with racism".

"They sit in the comfort of Israel's democracy, living off Israeli taxpayers, while they spend their time not working to represent their constituents and improving the lives of Israel's Arab community, but writing letters to the global media in support of anti-Semites and supporters of terror", he charged.

The debate has centered on the party's omission of four actions that relate to questioning the loyalty of Jews who support Israel, claiming that Israel's existence is a "racist endeavor", applying a "double standard" on Israel and comparing "contemporary Israeli policy" to Nazi policy.

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The photos appeared to show Corbyn in front of a plaque honoring members of the Black September terrorist organization, 15 yards (approximately 13 meters) away from the graves of those killed in a 1985 airstrike.

He argued that the IHRA definition was specifically created to associate anti-Semitism with criticism of Zionism and Israel.

The vote by Labour MPs was called weeks before, and if passed would strengthen the party's stance against claims it is failing to tackle antisemitism. She added that, even if the party adopted the full IHRA definition it would not be enough to fix the damage caused.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said the decision to accept the whole code on Tuesday was unanimous.

Corbyn, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice of all kinds have no place within Labour, but in an August 3 article for The Guardian, he added: "It is unfortunately the case that this particular example, dealing with Israel and racism, has sometimes been used by those wanting to restrict criticism of Israel that is not anti-Semitic". Their comments follow on from MP Frank Field's announcement last week that he was resigning after the party had become "a force for antisemitism in British politics".

The latest controversy to envelop Corbyn erupted after it was reported that he said at a Palestinian Return Center event in 2013 that "Zionists" in Britain "clearly have two problems: they don't appreciate history or understand English irony".

The row has dominated British media, prompting even some of Corbyn's allies to question why their leader had failed to stem the row quickly to allow the party to channel its energies into opposing the government, which is deeply divided over how to leave the European Union next year. "Not in my name" warned to those using "antisemitic poison".

In July the Labour national executive adopted a code of conduct on anti-Semitism that deviated from the widely accepted worldwide definition of anti-Semitism written by the global Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

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