My resignation from the Labour Party
18th February 2019
Dear Jeremy Corbyn,
I joined the Labour Party 13 years ago as a student on the left of the party, a place I have remained throughout my time in Labour — supporting the trade union movement, the ‘soft left’ and voting for Ed Miliband to become Leader — a decision I now greatly regret.
My reason for becoming a Labour supporter, member and later an elected Councillor was my complete assurance of the shared values of the Labour Party and my own Jewish faith, community and heritage. A complete and utter commitment to anti-racism, social justice and the eradication of economic injustice. It has now become clear that under your leadership, the party has been corrupted and indoctrinated by people who are authoritarian in their approach to politics, encourage democratic structures that lead to bullying mob rule, and above all else — are racist towards Jews — which may well be a result of the approach of the two latter philosophies. History is clear to me that when political events like this begin with Jews, they never end with Jews. All minorities should, and I believe will eventually have significant reason to worry about your rise to the leadership of the Labour Party.
There can be no racial, social or economic justice whilst antisemites have completed a hostile takeover of the greatest force for achieving those aims. Antisemitism is a corrosive conspiracy theory that blocks the achievement of all justices. You represent the ultimate betrayal of Labour values. I thought naively that it and you could be changed. That very naivety or belief in the good in people is why I and so many others are part of the Labour Party. You have abused and manipulated the idealism of hundreds of thousands of good people, whilst allowing the antisemites to become evangelists for hate.
Too many people I have known for my whole life are now asking themselves for the very first time if they have a future in this country if you win power. Questions unimaginable for Jewish people just five years ago. People who are committed to the same values that the Labour Party once stood for. I cannot be part of helping you rise to become Prime Minister.
Mr Corbyn, you must take full responsibility for this. Prior to your leadership of this once great party antisemitism was minimal — during your tenure antisemites have roamed free, have spread their venom to people who previously had no experience, knowledge or feelings towards Jews and this poison has turned ordinary people who genuinely believe themselves to be anti-racists into bigots — all whilst you buried your own head in the sand because of a complete emotional inability to comprehend the harsh reality that you yourself have been surrounded by antisemites for decades and perhaps are an antisemite.
You, Seumas Milne, Karie Murphy, Len McClusky, the bullies at the top have all allowed this culture of institutionalised antisemitism to develop and grow. You have fed a culture of denial that has allow this sickness to spread. You brief Alt-Left media such as Skwawkbox, which disseminates your message to distrust Jews en masse.
I believe this is an institutional problem of antisemitism that cannot be eradicated on your watch. Some good people who are fellow travellers of yours do understand the issue but are powerless to do anything about it. Some of your own advisors have told me that they believe you to be an antisemite but want to try and change you. But you cannot be changed.
Out of respect for them I will not name them. However, whilst they may be able to live with this knowledge, I cannot.
Over the past year I have had too many conversations with people in and around your office and the leadership of the broad left who I believe genuinely wish to eradicate antisemitism within our party but are fearful of raising their concerns too loudly within your office out of fear of retribution, demotion or simply being locked out of a tight knit clique of those now running the Labour Party. This is why the problem is institutional, even the people who want to fix it are powerless to because of those at the top. A top team managed by you, perhaps even under instruction by you.
Our Party has become institutionally racist on your watch in just four short years. Every complaint I have submitted about antisemitism in our party remains outstanding. Laura Stuart, Jackie Walker, Steve Walker and a dossier of 250 people that JLM submitted, amongst too many others to name.
Many of the people who stay, including those in Momentum, I have the upmost respect for and they will come to their own conclusions in their own time. But I can have no further part in this.
My wife and I are having our first child in two weeks time. One day my son may ask me what I did to stop you from ever becoming Prime Minister. I can no longer look my family and friends in the face without complete shame.
Well this is something small, but I will no longer be part of this. I will no longer pay subscriptions to an antisemitic movement. I will sign one pledge and that is to stop a party led by antisemites from ever gaining power in this country and I will continue to live by the values on the back of my now torn up membership card.
Please consider this my resignation from the Labour Party.
Former Labour Councillor for West Hendon, London Borough of Barnet
Chipping Barnet CLP
Jewish Labour Movement National Executive Committee