Shadow minister condemns Islamophobia in ‘minority’ of Jewish community
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Shadow minister condemns Islamophobia in ‘minority’ of Jewish community

Ivan Lewis
Ivan Lewis
Ivan Lewis at We Beleive in Israel conference during the Labour Friends of Israel
Ivan Lewis MP at We Beleive in Israel conference during the Labour Friends of Israel event

Shadow cabinet minister Ivan Lewis was critical of a minority in the Jewish community, whilst speaking at a well-attended session on the Labour Party and Israel at Sunday’s We Believe in Israel conference.

Sitting with MP Dame Anne McGuire, former MP for Hendon Andrew Dismore, and the director of Labour Friends of Israel Jennifer Gerber, Mr Lewis gave a robust response to those who made Islamophobic remarks.

He said: “I find it incredible that the Jewish community can have double standards on this matter. If we are out there fighting anti-Semitism and asking for zero tolerance on it, then if even a small minority engages in Islamophobia, we lose moral authority and legitimacy and we cannot have double standards.  I think we have a disturbing amount of anti-Muslim elements in our community, and if the Jewish community doesn’t call people out on what is frankly racism, then it is shameful.”

Mr Lewis also challenged those who attacked Labour leader Ed Miliband over his position on Israel.

“The Labour leadership is now prepared to make public criticism of Israel,” he said, “but the idea that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were not critical is simply untrue”.

Mr Lewis, whose constituency of Bury South is one of the country’s marginal seats, also said that there were Labour MPs whose attitude towards Israel was critical but fair. “But we are trying to bring those people back to us in Parliament, and if they are being demonised [by the Jewish community], how does that help us?”

Calling Prime Minister Netanyahu’s pre-election comments on Arab voters “unacceptable”, Mr Lewis added: “We have to say to our friends in Israel that they have to understand the impact of their public relations on the diaspora.”

He said that LFI needed more resources in order to help make the progressive case for Israel, and said that it was vital to reiterate support for the two-state solution.

Dame Anne McGuire suggested that it was “time to push back” on the BDS debate. “This is not just about oranges or university lecturers. It’s about mobile phones, about pharmaceutical drugs, about how Israel has become integrated into everyday British life.”

Andrew Dismore, a member of the London Assembly, noted that many British jobs could be lost as a result of boycott activities.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments