In light of the increasing hate crimes committed against Jewish people in Britain, a British Parliament cross-party committee investigated the issue and released a report last week. The report contains a number of recommendations for the British Parliament aimed at reducing the number of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the country.
The committee recommended that the British government and all the political parties adopt an identical and updated definition of the term anti-Semitism. According to the committee, the purpose of this recommendation is to promote a zero-tolerance approach and unite the policies while providing freedom of expression regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The committee members identified a connection between the words anti-Semitism and Zionism, expressing deep concerns over the increasing use of the term Zionist in an accusatory context. According to the committee, this type of use should be considered “inflammatory and potentially anti-Semitic.” The committee members also noted in the report that it is not anti-Semitic to criticize the Israeli government’s actions and policies as long as there are no indications that the criticism stemmed from anti-Semitic motives.
The report was written by the Home Affairs Select Committee in light of the accusations of anti-Semitism against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the National Union of Students (NUS). “The failure of the Labour Party consistently and effectively to deal with anti-Semitic incidents in recent years risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally anti-Semitic,” the committee members concluded in the report.