Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown accuses his own Labour Party of demonizing “the entire Jewish people.”
Former British Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown has joined the Jewish Labour Movement in an act of solidarity with the Jewish community, denouncing his own party for allowing the “demonization of the entire Jewish people.”
Since far-left MP Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015, the party has been wracked by anti-Semitism scandals, several of them touching Corbyn personally. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of British Jews consider him personally anti-Semitic. Last month, several MPs quit the party, citing institutionalized anti-Semitism as one of the reasons.
In a video released by Brown on Monday, the former prime minister announced that he was joining JLM as an affiliated member. JLM is a venerable organization associated with the Labour party for nearly a century. It recently considered cutting ties with Labour due to its anti-Semitism problem.
In the video, Brown – who served at 10 Downing Street from 2007 to 2010 – cited Nicholas Winton, a Labour member who helped rescue Jewish children from the Nazis as part of what has come to be called the Kindertransport.
“The Labour Party has always had a long, proud, and noble tradition of standing up against all forms of prejudice and racism,” noted Brown. “But in the last few years it has let the Jewish community down.”
Speaking of the Labour leadership, he said, “They should never have allowed legitimate criticism of the current Israeli government to act as a cover for the demonization of the entire Jewish people.”
“The message to the Jewish community should be clear and unequivocal: You will never walk alone and we will never walk on by on the other side. We must never tolerate intolerance,” Brown added.
“Solidarity means standing up with those who are under attack and that is why I am joining as an affiliated member,” he said of JLM. “I urge all my colleagues to do the same.”
“Tackling antisemitism and racism and fighting for equality is not a diversion nor a distraction from our purpose as a party,” he stated. “It is our purpose as a party.”
“We will never allow evil to triumph over good and neither will the British people,” Brown promised.
Labour MP Margaret Hodge, a prominent critic of anti-Semitism in her party, tweeted in response to Brown’s video, “Thank you, Gordon…It’s what solidarity & rebuilding trust with the Jewish community looks like. A brilliant message on the anti-racism values that must underpin the Labour Party and a call to renew our commitment to the Jewish Labour Movement.”
Brown’s move was also praised by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.
— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) April 2, 2019