Antisemitism across Europe has been increasing over the past couple of years. This week, a number of UK Labour Members of Parliament broke away from the UK Labour Party due to antisemitism within the party (and their Brexit policies). In France, there have been numerous incidents including the murder of Jews. As a result of the most recent incidents this week, Israeli Immigration Minister Yoav Galant, called for French Jews to move to Israel. The message is clear: Come home!
I’ve included a documentary from Vice news and the news reports about Yoav Galant and UK Labour MPs resigning below:
Is 2019 the new 1939?
Cabinet minister to French Jews: ‘Come home’
Minister Galant says vandalism of French Jewish cemetery “reminiscent of dark days in the history of the Jewish people.”
Minister and Cabinet member Yoav Galant on Tuesday condemned anti-Semitism in France in the wake of the vandalism discovered at a Jewish cemetery, calling on French Jews to “come home” to Israel.
Earlier on Tuesday, swastikas were found sprayed on some 80 graves in a Jewish cemetery in the village of Quatzenheim, close to the border with Germany in the Alsace region.
The vandalism was discovered ahead of planned rallies in Paris and other French cities to denounce a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in the country, culminating with the harassment of Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut at a “yellow vest” protest on Saturday.
Galant tweeted that the vandalism at the Jewish cemetery was “reminiscent of dark days in the history of the Jewish people.”
“Last week I visited the French Jewish community, which faces anti-Semitic attacks and a process of assimilation.
“The State of Israel is the protected national home for the Jews of the world. I strongly condemn the anti-Semitism in France and call on [its] Jews – come home, immigrate to Israel.”
Seven MPs leave Labour Party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership
Seven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism.
They are: Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.
Ms Berger said Labour had become institutionally anti-Semitic and she was “embarrassed and ashamed” to stay.
Mr Corbyn said he was “disappointed” the MPs had felt unable to continue working for the policies that “inspired millions” at the 2017 election.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the “honourable thing for them to do” would be to stand down as MPs and seek to return to Parliament in by-elections.
- Kuenssberg: What next for Labour’s breakaway MPs?
- Who are the Labour MPs resigning?
- ‘Cowards and traitors’ – how Twitter reacted
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, in a video message on Facebook, urged the “hard left” to stop celebrating the departure of the seven MPs, saying it was “a moment for regret and reflection not for a mood of anger or a tone of triumph”.
“Betrayal narratives and shouting insults at the departed might make some feel better briefly but it does nothing to address the reasons that good colleagues might want to leave,” said Mr Watson.
He said Luciana Berger’s decision to quit was a “wake-up call for the Labour Party” over anti-Semitism, saying: “We were slow to acknowledge we had a problem and even slower to deal with it.”
Labour had to “broaden out” and become more tolerant, he said, adding: “I love this party. But sometimes I no longer recognise it, that is why I do not regard those who have resigned today as traitors.”
What is the new group trying to do?
The seven MPs, who all back a further EU referendum, are not launching a new political party – they will sit in Parliament as the Independent Group.
But Chuka Umunna said they had “taken the first step” and urged other Labour MPs – and members of other parties – to join them in “building a new politics”.
“It is time we dumped this country’s old-fashioned politics and created an alternative that does justice to who we are today and gives this country a politics fit for the here and now – the 21st Century,” he said at a launch event in central London.