The United Kingdom Labour Party’s 2017 annual conference was marred by several anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements that reignited concerns over the party’s stances on several issues in recent years.
Anti-Israel activist Miko Peled said at the event people should be allowed to express skepticism about the Holocaust, saying it’s a matter of freedom of expression and freedom to express criticism and “discuss every issue, whether it’s the Holocaust, yes or no, whether it’s Palestine liberation – the entire spectrum.”
Peled compared Israel to the Nazis, saying “We do not invite Nazis and give then an hour to explain why they are right,” according to the Daily Mail. “This is the same thing. You did not invite South Africa to explain why apartheid was good for the blacks. In the same way, you do not invite the Zionists.”
Other reports from the event said several speakers also made statements condemning Israel and claiming that the Jewish state had committed genocide. Some had even refused to utter the country’s name, referring to it as the “Zionist state,” Israel Hayom reported.
Following an outcry by the Jewish Labour Movement over Peled’s statements, Labour leadership, backed by party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who himself has been criticized for past remarks expressing admiration for Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist groups, are set to adopt new rules to tackle anti-Semitism and other forms of hate speech.
“This rule change puts it right. Repairing the once-strong relationship between our party and the Jewish community, with so many shared values, is a political imperative as well as a moral one,” said Jewish Labour Movement head Mike Katz, the Guardian reported.