By David Saffer
Labour Party backbenchers made it crystal clear to leader Jeremy Corbyn that anti-Semitism must be stamped out in a heated debate in Parliament on Tuesday night.
Numerous MPs received standing ovations after speeches during a three-hour session called by the Conservative Party in response to British Jews protests against the oppositions failure to tackle anti-Semitism.
Speakers repeated the slogan so prevalent at the Jewish community’s unprecedented rally last month “Enough is Enough.”
Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree, powerfully and eloquently spoke about anti-Semitic abuse, including death threats, she had experienced since her selection and election.
“I make no apology for holding my own party to a higher standard,” she said.
“One anti-Semitic member of the Labour party is one member too many.
“Within the Labour Party anti-Semitism is more commonplace, it is more conspicuous and more corrosive.”
Ms Berger told MPs she had been accused of having two masters.
“They have said I’m a Tel Aviv servant, they have called me a paid up Israeli operative. This is anti-Semitism of the worst kind, saying I’m a traitor to my country,” she explained.
“They’ve called me Judas, a Zio-Nazi, an absolute parasite and told me to get out of this country and go back to Israel.”
Ms Berger praised the Community Security Trust and police for their work keeping her family and Jewish community safe.
She added: “The heart and anguish of the Jewish community must be understood and taken seriously. This is not the time for games or divisive engagement.
“My party need to address this issue publicly and consistently, and we need to expel those people from our ranks that hold these views including Ken Livingstone.
“We have a duty to the next generation. Denial is not an option, prevarication is not an option, being a bystander who turns the other way is not an option.
“The time for action is now. Enough is Enough.”
Labour’s Ian Austin also called for Livingstone to be expelled from the party, stating he should be “booted out” immediately.
Ruth Smeeth lambasted the “poison” of anti-Semitism that was “engulfing” her party, whilst
Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne accepted the party “needed to do better”.
Conservative Communities Secretary Sajid Javid accused Corbyn of a “deeply worrying lack of leadership and moral clarity” on the issue of anti-Semitism.
Dame Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, who told parliamentarians how she had seen her uncle’s initials on a suitcase at Auschwitz, noted she had never felt as nervous and frightened about being Jewish.
“It feels that my party has given permission for anti-Semitism to go unchallenged,” she said.
And John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw – who chairs Labour’s all-party group on anti-Semitism, slammed those who defend Corbyn.
“Those who say it is a smear raising this issue need to publicly apologise and publicly understand what they are doing,” he said.
Communities secretary Sajid Javid opened the debate accusing Corbyn, who only stayed for part of the debate, to “once and for all” clarify his opposition on anti-Semitism.
Home secretary Amber Rudd in her conclusion called on the under fire-leader to finally “take action”.
“Labour is a noble and honourable party and it is absolutely wrong that this corner of anti-Semitism has been allowed to flourish,” she said.