Recently, pointedly in the days leading up to Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), the British Labour political party has suffered from several members being accused of making anti-Semitic comments.
The British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis wrote a fantastic article on the subject in the Telegraph:
The likes of Ken Livingstone and Malia Boattia claim that Zionism is separate from Judaism as a faith; that it is purely political; that it is expansionist, colonialist and imperialist.
It is unclear why these people feel qualified to provide such an analysis of one of the axioms of Jewish belief. But let me be very clear. Their claims are a fiction. They are a wilful distortion of a noble and integral part of Judaism. Zionism is a belief in the right to Jewish self-determination in a land that has been at the centre of the Jewish world for more than 3,000 years. One can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.
Open a Jewish daily prayer book used in any part of the world and Zionism will leap out at you. The innumerable references to the land of Israel are inescapable and demonstrative. Throughout our collective history we have yearned for a chance to determine our own future, to revive an ancient language and return to rejoice in our love for this tiny sliver of land. Zionism is a movement celebrated by people right across the political spectrum, all over the world, and requires no endorsement or otherwise of the particular policies of any Israeli Government at any time.
Prime Minister David Cameron also challenged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as his ‘friends’, during Prime Minister’s Questions and demanded he withdraw that they are his ‘friends’. But he refuses as you can see below:
Then on the BBC television program, Question Time, there was an debate about anti-Semitism in the party: