Labour probe member over ‘some Jewish people didn’t learn lesson of Shoah’ claim

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Labour probe member over ‘some Jewish people didn’t learn lesson of Shoah’ claim

Exclusive: Party confirms it is looking into former Haringey councillor's speech made amid the recent war between Israel and Hamas which reportedly referenced Jews

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech during the party's last online conference.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech during the party's last online conference.

Labour is investigating allegations that a member of the Hornsey and Wood Green local party claimed “some Jewish people” had failed to learn the lessons of the Holocaust in a speech made at a meeting last week.

Lucy Craig, a former Haringey councillor, was moving a motion condemning the actions of Israel during the recent conflict with Hamas, when she is alleged to have made the reference to “Jewish people” as she spoke in defence of the Palestinians.

Labour sources confirmed to Jewish News that complaints about the speech, made at last Wednesday’s CLP meeting, had been logged and were now being looked at.

Hornsey and Wood Green CLP, served by the MP Catherine West, has been at the centre of numerous controversies around allegations of antisemitism over the past few years, with activists linked to the Momentum group frequently involved.

One source at last Wednesday’s CLP meeting, who contacted Jewish News, claimed: “We were discussing Israel and Palestine.

“The mover of the motion Lucy Craig began talking about Israel’s ‘power and wealth’ and then went on to condemn ‘some Jewish people’ who despite the Holocaust were now attacking Palestinians.

“The member who seconded the motion then went on to claim Israel had in fact ‘created Hamas.’

“Both of the speeches caused a lot of anger amongst many members.

“There was also a claim made that the actions of Hamas were irrelevant because of massacres committed by Israel since the war of independence.

“Several people, including myself raised concerns about antisemitism in the speech.

“But our CLP chair Anna O’Daly refused to intervene.”

Jewish News spoke with Craig on Monday, and sent her an email asking her to comment on claims made about her speech.

Having failed to respond to the email, on Tuesday she said over the telephone: “I am having conversations with people about this.

“I am afraid you might have to write the story without anything from me – but I will get back to you if I possibly can.”

One local Jewish Labour source, who also confirmed they had heard Craig’s comments, added: “It would be wrong to suggest the majority of Hornsey and Wood Green CLP were on the wrong side in terms of antisemitism in the party.

“Jewish members now can count on a lot of allies in the CLP, and voting on the amendment to last weeks’s motion on Israel/Palestine, even though it fell, was actually a tied vote 59-59.”

The motion, which was moved by Craig and passed at the meeting, called on Labour to  “urgently and unequivocally condemn the violence against and the displacement of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces.”

It also condemned “demonstrations by extremist far-right groups in Jerusalem chanting “death to Arabs”, forced evictions and displacement of residents in the occupied neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, and violent attacks by Israeli forces on Al-Aqsa mosque on the final Friday of the holy month of Ramadan. ”

The motion then called on Sir Keir Starmer to “speak out against this violent escalation by Israeli forces and stand up for the inalienable human rights of Palestinians.”

It is understood that a proposed amendment to the motion which condemned violence on all sides during the recent conflict in the Middle East failed to pass.

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