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Antisemitism witch-hunt claims 'atrociously offensive', says Jewish activist who quit Momentum

Joshua Garfield, from East London, cited "deep-seated prejudices" as he stepped down from Momentum last week

    Joshua Garfield resigned from his local Momentum branch last week
    Joshua Garfield resigned from his local Momentum branch last week

    A Jewish Momentum officer who resigned because he felt “unsafe and untrusted” has said claims of a witch-hunt in the Labour Party are “atrociously offensive”.

    Joshua Garfield, from Newham, East London, stepped down as the youth officer of his local Momentum branch’s steering group last week, posting his resignation letter on Twitter.

    In it Mr Garfield, 23, said he has witnessed “more antisemitism in the past week than in eight years of Labour Party membership”, alleging “deep-seated prejudices” among fellow Momentum members.

    He told theHuffPost UK yesterday that those who deny the existence of antisemitism in the Labour Party were “part of the problem”.

    He said: “When people ignore the concerns of Jewish members it does undermine the values of the party.  Labour is a party of equality, it is a party of anti-racism and nothing should trump that.

    “You have to tackle the inherent prejudices that exist first before you can argue that something is being used for x, y, z.  I think that’s inappropriate.

    “We are seeing things as extreme as the people who claim this is a witch-hunt, which is of course atrociously offensive.”

    This week Avi Gabbay, the leader of Israel’s Labor Party, suspended all formal relations with the UK Labour Party over Mr Corbyn’s “fail to adequately address the antisemitism”.

    But Mr Garfield, who is running in the Stratford and New Town ward of Newham borough in next month’s London council elections, said he still supports Mr Corbyn.

    He said: “I think that the statement Jeremy (Corbyn) put out last week was very comprehensive and he was right to acknowledge that mistakes have been made. It would have been wrong to say otherwise.

    “I do believe that he and his team are committed to eradicating antisemitism. They acknowledge there is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

    “(Mr Corbyn) has always been a campaigner against racism and I have got no doubt in me that he is a believer in anti-racism. But it was right that he acknowledged some things had been overlooked and hadn’t been dealt with quickly enough.”

    He also called for Constituency Labour Party officers to be given extra resources, support and training to educate members and discipline members who “work against party values”. 

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