Enfield Southgate CLP has put back a meeting which Jewish Voices for Labour Group activist Roland Rance was due to speak at until January.
The decision came after Rabbi Daniel Epstein of Cockfosters and North Southgate United Synagogue and Rabbi Yuval Keren of Southgate Progressive Synagogue’s wrote to the constituency expressing “deep concern and anger” over the JVL gathering.
In a detailed letter to the branch chair and secretary, the communal leaders expressed forthright remarks in allowing a platform to JVL to speak about issues of major concern to the Jewish community.
“JVL is not in any way a representative body of the Jewish community or its opinions,” they noted. “They are out of touch with the vast majority of the Jewish community and lack a real understanding of the feelings and concerns of the community. They represent the view of a very small number of Jewish Labour supporters and an even smaller number of Jewish voters. Some of their own members and supporters are Holocaust deniers. We cannot emphasise the level of pain this causes to the vast majority of the Jewish community.”
They added, “JVL have been consistent in their claim that there is little or no anti-Semitism within the Labour party.
“Most of our community are concerned about anti-Semitism, know that it is increasing, and, at times, have experienced this at first hand, and so find such claims insulting at the very least.”
The rabbis explained members of the community had voiced concern over the meeting.
A Community Security Trust spokesperson noted, “Local constituency Labour groups in areas with sizeable Jewish communities, such as Southgate, know full well that the concerns expressed about anti-Semitism are deeply and genuinely held by their own Jewish members and local Jewish constituents. Sadly, if that Labour group then very deliberately shows favour to those who deny anti-Semitism whilst fostering contempt against mainstream Jewry, then it tells us all we need to know about the Labour group’s own hostility towards their Jewish members, neighbours and constituents.”
Southgate Enfield CLP said in a statement they had rescheduled the topic to its January meeting due to interest the session and stressed it “resolutely” opposed anti-Semitism.