EHRC investigation 'an unprecedented day of shame' for Labour, says JLM's Mike Katz

He clashes with author on live TV who accuses JLM of 'manufacturing' complaints of Jew-hate


The Equalities and Human Rights Commission probe into Labour antisemitism is "an unprecedented day of shame for a party founded to fight prejudice", Jewish Labour Movement chair Mike Katz has said.

Mr Katz was sharing an article he wrote setting out JLM's role in securing the probe - only the second probe by EHRC into a political party, after the far-right BNP.

The EHRC announced the formal investigation on Tuesday, after the party failued to dissaude it in its earlier response to preliminary investigations it began in March.

JLM submitted a 1,000-page dossier of evidence of Jew-hate by party members to the EHRC. The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) also submitted its own dossier.

Writing on Wednesday, Mr Katz said: "For a party founded on the principles of equality, tolerance and fighting fascism, this is a tragedy. For a party to whom much of the Jewish community has always looked for fellowship and solidarity, it is a betrayal...

"At every stage, JLM has tried to be an honest broker with the Labour leadership. All we’ve asked for is actions rather than words.

"But instead of action, all we’ve had is the same tired excuses, the same obfuscation and denial, while the party becomes an ever-more hostile environment for those of us who point it out."

He asked: "Why does someone who believes sick conspiracies like that “Jewish Israelis” were behind 9/11, or someone who accuses Jewish Labour MPs of being in the pay of Israel, think that today’s Labour Party is their natural political home?"

Mr Katz also appeared on Channel 4 News, where he told presenter Jon Snow: "Every time we asked for concrete action, all we got was warm words."

He clashed with author Karl Sabbagh, who said JLM was among organisations that had "created" the antisemitism crisis by "found or manufactured" complaints.

When Mr Sabbagh said the group had an "axe to grind", Mr Katz said: "My axe is purely to fight racism.

"My axe is purely to stand up for Jewish members. Ninety-nine years we've been affiliated to Labour. We don't throw that away lightly. We don't use these words like 'crisis' lightly.

"The idea we have manufacturered all the hate that has spewed out on social media... I'm not happy with that charge."

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