Britain’s Labour expels Jewish anti-Zionist activist over ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks
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Britain’s Labour expels Jewish anti-Zionist activist over ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks

Jewish group praises opposition party's dismissal of Tony Greenstein for mocking the phrase 'Final Solution,' using the term 'Zio'

Illustrative: A young Labour Party supporter shows off his T-shirt with the face of Jeremy Corbyn, before an election campaign speech by the opposition leader in Basildon on June 1, 2017. (AFP/Justin Tallis)
Illustrative: A young Labour Party supporter shows off his T-shirt with the face of Jeremy Corbyn, before an election campaign speech by the opposition leader in Basildon on June 1, 2017. (AFP/Justin Tallis)

Britain’s Labour Party expelled a Jewish anti-Zionist activist following a disciplinary hearing.

Tony Greenstein’s membership in the party was revoked on Sunday after a meeting of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee.

He was found to have breached three of the party’s rules: “offensive comments online; offensive posts and comments on his blog; and an email in which he mocked the phrase ‘final solution.’”

Among the offensive comments was the use of the term “Zio,” an anti-Semitic term used to describe supporters of modern-day Israel. Greenstein was first suspended from the party in 2016.

“This had to be the right decision,” Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said in a statement. “Tony Greenstein’s long record of noxious behavior makes him an unsuitable member for any respectable political party.”

“The Jewish community has waited long enough for the Labour Party to show that it is serious about zero tolerance of anti-Semitism. This result is a step in the right direction, but there is a way to travel yet,” he also said.

In seeking to delay the hearing, Greenstein had told Britain’s high court: “Despite being Jewish, I was suspended as part of the false anti-Semitism witch-hunt in March 2016.”

Greenstein became a member of the party in October 2015.

The Labour Party has been accused of failing to act on complaints about anti-Semitic incidents and behaviors from party leaders and members. Under Jeremy Corbyn, who has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends,” thousands of people, many from the far left, joined Labour in a development that leaders of British Jewry said has generated an anti-Semitism problem in the party’s ranks.

Amid unprecedented media attention to Labour’s anti-Semitism problem, Corbyn vowed to kick out anyone making racist statements. Dozens of Labour members have been kicked out on rhetoric deemed anti-Semitic, but many others have been allowed to stay or were readmitted.

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