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Friday, 29 April 2016


Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party this week for alleged anti-Semitism

After Ken Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party this week for alleged anti-Semitism, the Director of the Council of Christian and Jews has warned that racism towards Jewish people is highly prevalent within politics. 
Speaking to The Tablet Dr Jane Clements said that not only is anti-Semitism on the rise in the UK, but “it has never really gone away”. Calling it ‘the longest hatred’, she said contemporaneous forms included all the usual elements of fear, stereotyping and criticism.
Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from his party along with Labour MP Naz Shah over comments made about Israel. The crisis has led to claims of a deep anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denied that there was a crisis in his party but said Mr Livingstone would face an investigation over the "grave concerns” regarding his use of language.
“While legitimate criticism of Israel is not anti-semitic, it can act as a cover for such thoughts,” she said.
A Labour MP who didn’t want to be named told The Tablet they found the recent news about Mr Livingstone “appalling and abhorrent”.
“It is quite right to challenge governments whose actions we find abhorrent,” said Dr Clements. “When these challenges also echo recognised racial slurs, they cross the line.”
She said that racism can be thwarted by “checking for the residue of the old anti-Judaism, by reading and taking to heart the Papal declarations on the anniversary of Nostra Aetate last year and by challenging even the smallest slur against others.”
She also raised the point that alongside anti-Semitism, people must also be aware of Islamophobia.
“Catholic teaching emphasises the fact that God cares for all humanity, regardless of status or background or identity,” she said

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