[T]here is a surreal quality to the debate about Labour’s attitude to anti-Semitism. . . .
Within the community, the Board of Deputies added heat to the situation last week when its president, Jonathan Arkush, warned that British Jews ‘can’t trust Labour’.
No one doubts the seriousness of antiSemitism, but such language is unhelpful, even dangerous, in mischaracterising the true nature of the problem.
Since the General Election, Labour’s membership has more than doubled, so there is perhaps a statistical inevitability that this increase in numbers means there will be more cranks and haters within our ranks than was previously the case. This is deeply regrettable and must be tackled robustly.
However, the problem should not be overstated. Both of us have been involved in Labour Party, at the grassroots, in local government and as candidates for many years. As Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Golders Green at the last election and its GLA candidate in the upcoming London elections, respectively, neither of us has ever experienced any incidence of anti-Semitism from within the party. (Emphasis mine.)