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Labour Party Chapter Votes Against Condemning Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack

Update 1:30 p.m.

A local chapter of the British Labour Party voted against a resolution condemning last week’s massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, with leaders reportedly saying that there was too much focus on “anti-Semitism this, anti-Semitism that.”

Steve Cooke, the secretary of the Norton West party group in England’s County Durham, wrote on Facebook that he he was “aghast to report that an emergency motion on the Pittsburgh synagogue attack which I took to my Labour Party branch meeting last night was voted down, with the leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the cabinet member for community safety among its most vociferous opponents,” the Independent reported.

Cooke said that his proposed motion condemned the murders and anti-Semitism in general, but people told him that the resolution should remove references to anti-Semitism and instead merely condemn all forms of racism. According to Cooke, past motions against Islamophobia and anti-migrant rhetoric were not forced to be watered down in such a manner.

Cooke also wrote that members told him there was too much focus on “anti-Semitism this, anti-Semitism that” and that a local councillor claimed the long-running controversy over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was “just a game being played.”

In the end, the resolution was voted down after only two people voted to support it.

The Labour Party and its leader, the leftist Jeremy Corbyn, have for years been condemned by British Jews for what they see as widespread acceptance of anti-Semitism within the party ranks and leadership. But Cooke said on Facebook that it was the more left-wing members of the party that supported his motion, while the “Corbyn-skeptic” members opposed it.

Elsewhere in Britain, according to the Independent, a local Labour Party branch in Southend West only voted to condemn the Pittsburgh attack after removing a line in the resolution vowing to “recognize that anti-Semitism exists in society and affirm our belief that all forms of anti-Semitism must be eradicated.”

The commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police said last week that they have launched a criminal investigation into anti-Semitic hate speech within the party.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

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Labour Party Chapter Votes Against Condemning Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack

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