JLC accuses rabbi of 'victim blaming' for saying Jews must engage more with Labour over antisemitism

Rabbi Danny Rich said the current situation was 'not helpful'


The Jewish Leadership Council has accused the senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism of "victim blaming" for saying British Jews must engage more with Labour over antisemitism or be “in danger of being accused of only desiring regime change" in the party.

Rabbi Danny Rich, who is a Labour councillor and member of the Jewish Labour Movement, said it was "not helpful" that there was “no discussion” between the community and Labour.

He said the Jewish community had “an obligation to work very closely" with the party's leadership, adding: “Working closely with those who might form the next Government does not mean that, when one sees antisemitism, it shouldn’t be called out.”

On Wednesday, the JLC issued a statement attacking Rabbi Rich's remarks, saying: ”Holding the Jewish community accountable for the current impasse is a perverse form of victim blaming.”

The JLC statement added: "It is important to remember that this isn’t a fight the community wants to have, it is one we have been forced into.

"We have engaged with the Labour leadership in good faith and set out a series of reasonable steps for them to take to reduce levels of antisemitism in the party.

“That was six months ago – not only have they failed to deliver on a single one of those steps, they have bunkered down. All the evidence points to the fact that the Labour leadership are either incapable or unwilling to change.”

Rabbi Rich spoke out after he attended the controversial event where Jenny Manson, vice-chair of Jewish Voice for Labour, appeared on stage with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to promote her bid to become MP for Finchley and Golders Green earlier this month.

He later said he was subjected to “verbal abuse, being called a Kapo and a Nazi” by demonstrators outside.

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