5 Reasons why British Jews still favor Red Leftist Jeremy Corbyn, despite charges of anti-Semitism

Posted by DanielS on Monday, 05 June 2017 00:40.

“Labour Party” in line with Jewish interests.

Jerusalem Post, “5 reasons why some UK Jews support Labour, despite antisemitism charges”, 4 June 2017:

Relations between British Jewry and the country’s Labour Party, which used to be their political home, appear to be at a historic lowpoint.

Ahead of the June 8 general elections in the United Kingdom, a Jewish Chronicle poll from last week put support for the center-left party — which has seen repeated scandals involving antisemitic rhetoric in recent months — at 13 percent, compared to 77 percent support for the Conservative Party.

Relations between British Jewry and the country’s Labour Party, which used to be their political home, appear to be at a historic lowpoint.

Ahead of the June 8 general elections in the United Kingdom, a Jewish Chronicle poll from last week put support for the center-left party — which has seen repeated scandals involving antisemitic rhetoric in recent months — at 13 percent, compared to 77 percent support for the Conservative Party.

Despite the dismal results for Labour among the British Jewish community, that’s up from 8.5 percent in a similar poll from last month.

By comparison, 35 percent of the general population supports Labour and 44 percent of Britons said they would vote Conservative in a June 1 poll commissioned by The Independent.

The Jewish vote is of little consequence in electoral terms — Jews are a minority of 300,000 people in Great Britain — but it is widely seen as proof of the change that has gripped Labour since Jeremy Corbyn won the party’s 2015 leadership election. Corbyn is a far-left politician with pro-Palestinian sympathies who, critics say, has failed to address hate speech against Jews by his supporters.

Yet some prominent Jews, including Labour lawmakers Ruth Smeeth and Luciana Berger, remain loyal to the party under Corbyn — who was accused of being soft on antisemitism last year by an inter-parliamentary committee of inquiry on the problem.

For example, Corbyn did not kick out former London Mayor Ken Linvingstone, who was merely suspended for repeatedly suggesting that Adolf Hitler was in cahoots with Zionists. And then there was the suspension, readmission and re-suspension of Labour activist Jackie Walker, who said Jews led the slave trade and, later, said that there was no reason to offer special protection to Jewish schools. (Corbyn has refused to kick her out of the party as well, and she remains a member.)

Throughout these and other scandals, some Jews have remained loyal to Labour. Here are five reasons why.

1. Singled out for criticism?

Some of Corbyn’s supporters, including Jewish ones, believe Labour is being singled out for criticism on antisemitism, which they say occurs on the fringes of all political parties — including the ruling Conservative Party.

A case in point is Michael Segalov, the News Editor at Huck Magazine, a publication about art and politics.

“Since Corbyn’s election as Labour leader, unsupportive MPs, campaigning groups and journalists have been desperate to paint him and the movement who support him as antisemitic fanatics, despite knowing it’s really not the case,” Segalov, who is Jewish, wrote in September in a column published by The Independent.

Labour is certainly not the only British party with senior members who employ vitriol against Jews and Israel.

David Ward, a lawmaker for the Liberal Democrats party, was sacked last month for expressing a desire to see rockets hitting Tel Aviv and accusing “the Jews” of “inflicting atrocities on Palestinians”.

But the Liberal Democrats have taken “strong and decisive action” against such politicians, Leslie Bergman, the London-based former president of the European Union for Progressive Judaism, told JTA.

“It is irrefutable that Corbyn has not taken the decisive action that a party in a Democratic Western country would take when there is manifest antisemitism in its ranks,” he added.

2. This goes a long way back

The Jewish Labour Movement, a group within the party, was registered officially in 1920 — 20 years after the party’s establishment. It was the first non-Christian minority group within Labour, according to Christine Collette and Stephen Bird, the authors of the 2000 book “Jews, Labour and the Left, 1918–48.”

Once the party of choice for Jews, including impoverished immigrants from Eastern Europe, it lost some ground to the Conservative Party as Labour adopted an increasingly critical attitude towards Israel — part of a larger shift in the West of sympathy toward Israel from the center-left parties to ones on the right.

But in 2010, when the party was headed by Ed Miliband, who is Jewish, Labour was still slightly ahead of the Conservative Party among Jewish voters (31 percent to 30 percent), according to a poll.

3. Jewish values

Even Labour’s Jewish critics concede its mission aligns better with Jewish values than the policies favored by the Conservative Party, with its repeated cuts to welfare budgets and free-market economics.

Bergman, who does not support Labour under Corbyn because he believes Corbyn has failed to address hate speech in the party’s ranks, said he “can understand” Jews who vote for the party despite its problems. They “view Labour as more conscious of social issues, the need to support the less privileged in society. And that is a Jewish value,” Bergman said.

This is also one of the main reasons that Berger, a 36-year-old Labour lawmaker from Liverpool, who has come under pressure from the Jewish community to leave the party, has decided to stay, she told The Jewish Chronicle last week.

“On every level the Conservatives have failed because of the savage cuts they have dished out,” said Berger, an advocate of mental health issues who has cut short her maternity leave to campaign for Labour ahead of the election.

4. Not big on Israel? Not a problem!

Though they generally support Israel’s right to exist, British Jews are growing uneasy over its settlement policy and perceived occupation of Palestinian land – issues that are also key to criticism of Israel within Labour.

In a 2015 poll conducted among 1,131 Jewish respondents by the dovish Jewish Yachad group, 47 percent of respondents said the Israeli government was “constantly creating obstacles to avoid engaging in the peace process.” Three quarters of participants in that poll agreed that “the expansion of settlements on the West Bank is a major obstacle to peace,” and two thirds reported having a “sense of despair” whenever new expansion is approved.

Indeed, a Jewish anti-Israel lawmaker, the late Gerald Kaufman, who died in February, was among the Labour politicians accused of promoting antisemitic rhetoric. In 2015 he was recorded saying that the British government had become more pro-Israel in recent years due to “Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party.”

5. It’s a local thing

In the United Kingdom, which is a parliamentary democracy, voters elect a local representative from their constituency to represent them in parliament.

Some Jewish voters who may be uneasy about Corbyn are happy to vote for another Labour Party member whom they do trust.

This certainly applies to Linda Grant, a Jewish Labour volunteer from London who said that, while she believes Corbyn is not the right man to lead Labour, she nonetheless plans to vote for a party candidate who she says has an impeccable record on fighting antisemitism.

“If I was a few streets away, in Islington North, Corbyn’s constituency, I can’t say how I would vote. Probably not Labour,” Grant wrote in a column that appeared last week in the Chronicle. “But I will have no difficulty voting for Catherine West and delivering even more leaflets on her behalf.”



Comments:


1

Posted by Taxing robot work on Wed, 27 Sep 2017 21:59 | #

Ethno-nationalists cannot allow considerations like this to be associated with liberals like Corbyn.

Nationalists must take these issues as ours.

Not making matters such as this a more explicit concern cost Teresa May.

ZDNet, “Jeremy Corbyn wants to tax robots and their greedy overlords”, 27 Sept 2017:

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has warned that more needs to be done to deal with the challenges of robots and automation.

In his speech to the Labour Party conference today he said there was an urgent need for the country to face the challenge of automation and robotics “that could make so much of contemporary work redundant”.

He told the conference: “That is a threat in the hands of the greedy, but it’s a huge opportunity if it’s managed in the interests of society as a whole. We won’t reap the full rewards of these great technological advances if they’re monopolised to pile up profits for a few.”

Corbyn said that if the rewards of automation were “publicly managed” to share the benefits more broadly this could provide “the gateway for a new settlement between work and leisure. A springboard for expanded creativity and culture”.

While technology has always destroyed some jobs it has tended to create more as a result. But some experts and academics warn that the rise of artificial intelligence may be different, first by automating potentially what were seen to be safe middle class jobs, but also doing little to create many more new jobs in its wake.

However, one obstacle to Corbyn’s plan is that it would be extremely hard to isolate the profits that result solely from automation and robotics, in order for those returns be to taxed, even if this did allow for a fairer redistribution of the benefits. But he also said that re-training must be a priority for government too.

He said: “The tide of automation and technological change means re-training and management of the workforce must be centre-stage in the coming years.”

His comments echo the findings of a report from the UK’s Trade Union Congress earlier this month, which found productivity gains from technology tend to go to business owners in the form of profit, and are not shared with workers in better wages and working conditions.

It wants the looming wave of AI productivity gains to be handled differently than the huge industrial changes of the 1970s and 80s, which left communities traumatised and with few opportunities.

With robotics and AI-powered productivity gains likely over the next couple of decades, the TUC said more needs to be done to limit disruption to working people’s lives, and to maximise opportunities for working people to benefit.

It said income gains from higher productivity could be used to stop planned increases in the state pension age, and called for a right to a “mid-life career review” and new investment in workplace training.

“Previous technological revolutions have not seen a decline in the number of jobs. But they have seen a reduction in total hours worked. One potential benefit of technological change that should be embraced is its ability to improve the quality of working life,” the report said.

It’s not clear quite what the impact of AI and robotics on jobs is likely to be: some estimates suggest that up to a third of jobs could be automated; however there are likely to be new jobs created as well.

While some workers may see their productivity and wages improve as a result of AI and automation, workers with ‘lower’ skill levels could see their jobs change or disappear, and even fiercer competition for the few remaining jobs available may push wages down even further.


2

Posted by May gets social message of botched election on Sun, 01 Oct 2017 04:31 | #

Reuters, “I am sorry,’ British PM May says of botched election”, 1 Oct 2017:

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was sorry her Conservative Party lost seats in June’s snap election and pledged 10 billion pounds ($13.4 billion) of extra funding to help people buy new homes.

May said she had listened to the message given by the election in which she lost her party’s majority in parliament.

Announcing changes that would make university graduates 30 pounds a week better off, May said the university fee repayment threshold would rise.

($1 = 0.7465 pounds)



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