Norwich MP condemns ‘very real problem of left-wing anti-Semitism’ but calls for unity to defeat it
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Norwich MP Clive Lewis has condemned 'the very real problem of left-wing anti-Semitism' in a debate in Parliament.
Speaking in the House of Commons during an debate on anti-Semitism on Tuesday Mr Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, said: 'I am not Jewish, but as a black man I know what it feels like to experience racism of both the individual and the institutional kind.
'I understand how a racist insinuation is not just offensive, but isolating, making you suddenly feel vulnerable and excluded. I know how the repetition of a well-worn stereotype or trope, followed by the inevitable denial that it is racist, can be undermining and exhausting. I know, because I have seen it and felt it, as well as read about it, that hostility to Jewish people and age-old antisemitic stereotypes, are becoming more common.'
It comes as eight former Labour MPs quit the party this week, in part over leader Jeremy Corbyn's handling of anti-Semitism.
They were joined by three Tories to form The Independent Group.
You may also want to watch:
Mr Lewis said 'it is clear that most of the well-documented rise in antisemitic incidents here and in many other parts of Europe is driven by the alt-right, the far right and the fascist right' but he added: 'The fact that the left is opposed to racism in principle does not mean that it is immune to being, consciously or unconsciously, racist or anti-Semitic in practice.
'It can be all the more difficult for us to face up to this fact given the extent of unacknowledged racism in other parties, which goes deep.'
- 1 Man dies in hospital after fight near Norfolk pub
- 2 Huge seaside home with indoor pool for sale for £600,000
- 3 The Bill star reveals he has moved to Norfolk and why he loves it
- 4 Queues form at Norfolk petrol stations - despite reassurances over stock
- 5 Petrol stations close nationally as HGV driver crisis worsens
- 6 Spectacle of light with 'Norfolk's biggest ever firework display' announced
- 7 Some queues - but business largely as usual at Norfolk's petrol stations
- 8 Delays on A47 after lorry overturns
- 9 SOLD! Royal Arcade goes for £2m MORE than guide price
- 10 Harley-Davidson motorcyclist dies in A134 crash
He gave the example of George Orwell, who wrote in 1945 that while looking at anti-Semitism people should look to themselves rather than just condemning others.
Mr Lewis said: 'This is good advice, even today, that I know some people in my party seem to find quite difficult to follow.'
He also referenced a report by group Hope Not Hate, which he said ' affirmed the seriousness of modern anti-Semitism, online and off, including the very real problem of left-wing anti-Semitism'.
He added: 'Above all, we know that racism can be defeated only if we stay united and refuse to be divided by any of the current tensions that swirl around us.'
• Follow the EDP's political correspondent on Facebook to keep up with the latest politics news from Norfolk and Waveney.