Hampstead and Kilburn constituency’s full submission to Chakrabarti inquiry into anti-Semitism

There’s been a lot of interest in seeing the full wording of the submission which Labour members in Tulip Siddiq’s Hampstead and Kilburn constituency will send to the Chakrabarti inquiry into anti-Semitism within the party, and not just the striking parts about factionalism. Here you go:

Hampstead and Kilburn CLP submission to the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry

Our commitment to combating racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

Hampstead and Kilburn CLP unhesitatingly condemns anti-Semitism. It is unacceptable. It must be rooted out. It has no place in the Labour Party, in politics or anywhere else. While each individual case must be judged soberly and carefully on its own merits, this CLP reiterates that anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated.

The experiences of our Jewish members reflect that anti-Semitism remains a sadly real problem in British society and has sometimes been a problem in the Labour Party.

Islamophobia and other forms of racism are widespread in society and have seen worrying upswings in recent years. These problems are more virulent in wider society but they sadly also sometimes occur within the Labour Party.

No member of our party should ever feel that the party tolerates discrimination against them. No section of society should ever feel that the Labour Party tolerates discrimination against them. We must always be the leading force against discrimination.
We commit ourselves to rooting out all racism from our party, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and to continuing the Labour Party’s long-standing lead in campaigning for their complete eradication from society.

Factionalism

Jeremy Corbyn has rightly taken a stand against anti-Semitism and has been swift to take action to suspend and investigate members where allegations have been made. It must be recognised that the thankfully small number of allegations about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party mostly pre-date Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and have been amongst members whose membership pre-dates his leadership. Jeremy Corbyn is a life-long anti-racist and it is wrong that some have tried to link him to allegations that have emerged.
The factional use which a few within the party have tried to make of anti-Semitism is wrong and has been counter-productive in dealing with the problem. The problem could undoubtedly have been tackled better if it had not been used factionally. Left-wing members of the party should not have been made to feel they were being collectively accused of anti-Semitism. Prominent politicians on the right of the party who have in recent days used false accusations of anti-Semitism to exclude the only Jewish candidate from the NEC ballot should be investigated fully for their actions.

Jewish members are clearly genuinely hurt by anti-Semitism which they have witnessed inside and outside the party. The recognition that others have misused accusations for factional ends should not in any way detract from our recognition of Jewish members’ genuine experiences and our commitment to tackling anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of racism wherever they are found.

Free debate

The Labour Party must be a forum for free debate. This includes debate on the ongoing crisis in Israel-Palestine. Members must be free to hold views on opposing sides of this debate and to express these views freely. These views are normally expressed in a respectful and constructive manner, even when passionately held and voiced. However, it can never be acceptable for these views to be expressed in a way which denigrates the race of the opposing side in the argument and the Labour Party must ensure that debate is not allowed to take place in this way. Anti-Semitism is not a part of legitimate pro-Palestinian discourse and all sides have an interest in ensuring it is not tolerated. Equally it is not helpful to combating anti-Semitism if all criticism of Israel is mischaracterised as anti-Semitism, as this distracts from dealing with the true incidents that occur.

Investigations

Allegations of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism should be carefully investigated by the party with harsh action taken where they are proved to have occurred. Incidents should be investigated as hate incidents where the victim believes that they were motivated by hostility towards a protected characteristic. Where the NEC decides that an incident has been proven to be motivated by hostility towards a protected characteristic, disciplinary action should reflect the increased seriousness of the offence. If the Labour Party Rule Book does not allow for this approach then rule changes should be considered along these lines.

 

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