30 March 2018

Message to the Jewish Community March 2018

Today marks the start of the Jewish Festival of Pesach. It commemorates the narrative of the Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. The community will eat unleavened bread, shared at this time of the year as a symbol of Moses’ rush to flee Egypt. This is a time for family and a period reflection.

That period of reflection should extend to us all, including in the Labour Party. I appreciate the deep sense of anger and hurt amongst many in the Jewish community, at the failure by our party to effectively deal with antisemitism within the party. I stand with our Jewish members and others, to call for all complaints to be dealt with speedily and fairly. I appreciate that some may not have felt confident at making complaints about anti-Semitism with the Hornsey & Wood Green Labour Party, but I would urge you to do so in order that they can be investigated and dealt with.

Yesterday the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in a letter to all labour party members, said:

“Prejudice against, and harassment of, Jewish people have no place whatsoever in our party.”

The next step is for the new General Secretary and the Party’s ruling body, to make tackling Anti-Semitism its top priority. Our approach and practice of equality for all must be above reproach.

The Jewish community in Haringey has always been a part of the ‘rainbow coalition’, well before the concept of diversity was an accepted norm in wider British society. I hope that you will join with me to ensure that our Labour community can go forward in a spirit of unity and solidarity, and where all racism is dealt with.

With sincere best wishes for the Passover season,

Catherine West MP

Member of Parliament for Hornsey & Wood Green

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