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British Labour branch votes down motion condemning Pittsburgh attack

(JTA) – A draft motion condemning the murder of 11 Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh was voted down in a branch of Britain’s Labour Party in a small constituency in the country’s north. Steve Cooke, the secretary of the Norton West branch in the Stockton North constituency of about 67,000 people near Scotland submitted the motion for a vote following the Oct. 27 shooting attack. When put to a vote, only two members backed the motion and it was voted down last week, The Independent reported Oct. 3. Cooke wrote on Facebook that he was “aghast” that the motion was voted down and that members claimed there was too much focus on “antisemitism this, antisemitism that.”

His draft motion said that the murders “demonstrate the dangers posed by the growth in antisemitic sentiments and hate speech internationally.” It spoke of a need to “stand in solidarity with the Jewish community around the world and send our condolences to all those affected by the tragic events in Pittsburgh.”

Critics of the text at the Labour branch said the text on the synagogue attack should condemn all racism instead of naming antisemitism, Cooke said.

Labour is facing a criminal investigation initiated last week by police in the London area over alleged antisemitic hate speech by members online.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has long maintained that Labour under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, has an antisemitism problem that the party is not doing enough to address.

CAP: Jeremy Corbyn meets with asylum seekers in Glasgow, Scotland, August 22, 2018. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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