Labour’s antisemitism code | Letters

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Barry Edwards suggests sticking to the home affairs committee formulation, Eliazabeth York notes the reservations of the IHRA definition’s author and David Thacker says the NEC has produced a legally binding code

I think I understand the reasoning behind the Labour NEC’s view that if some International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance examples were in a disciplinary code it might rule out any critique of Israeli government policies. Eminent jurist Stephen Sedley and Dr Brian Klug have made this point clear. But with hindsight, it may not have been the best idea to rewrite some of the examples.

Instead, perhaps the way forward is to adopt the advice of the cross-party home affairs committee which, in its 2016 report on antisemitism in the UK, wrote: “We broadly accept the IHRA definition, but propose two additional clarifications to ensure that freedom of speech is maintained in the context of discourse about Israel and Palestine, without allowing antisemitism to permeate any debate. The definition should include the following statements:

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