RNA - In a meeting on Tuesday, Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) issued a clarification emphasizing the right to free speech when discussing the issue of Israel and Palestine.
The adoption of the statement came along with NEC’s full endorsement of an Israeli-endorsed definition of anti-Semitism.
Opponents of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had for weeks pressured him to accept a broader definition of anti-Semitism.
A party spokesperson said NEC had ensured that adoption of the multi-national code on anti-Semitism would not hamper the rights of those seeking to criticize Israel and its extensive crimes against the Palestinians.
According to Press TV, the official said the statement clarifying the issue should ensure that the anti-Semitism code ”will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians.”
The NEC meeting came as some 100 people supporting Corbyn and his pro-Palestinian positions gathered for a protest outside the party’s headquarters on London’s Victoria Street to express their dissatisfaction at the adoption of the anti-Semitism code.
The protesters said they fear the code could inhibit legitimate criticism of Israel, insisting that "Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism."
Corbyn and his allies in Labour’s leadership had come under immense attacks for their refusal to adopt a broad definition of anti-Semitism, especially one that could restrict criticism of Israel.
Corbyn sought to clarify that Labour wanted to allow Jews who were critical of Israel to practice their rights. He also announced repeatedly that his own criticism of Israel’s actions against Palestinians had nothing to do with the dislike of Jews.
Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson, said he hoped "today is the start of a new conversation with the Jewish community in Britain."