RESPECT Stands Up To Antisemitism

Yesterday, Ted Jeory and this website reported that a RESPECT National Council member Abul “Abs” Hussain has engaged in some pretty explicit antisemitic abuse on his Facebook page.

Hussain used the term “Jew” as abuse, suggested bartering a “Jew” with Israel in return for aid to Gaza, and made a racist joke which implied that Jews are money-grubbers.

I asked:

Are there any anti-racist members of RESPECT? Will any of them call for Abul Hussain to be expelled from the Party?

In the comments thread that followed Ted Jeory’s article, although some supporters of RESPECT diminished or denied Hussain’s racism, others were clearly horrified by it.

RESPECT has now issued the following statement:

The Respect Party is committed to opposing prejudice and racism wherever it appears. We believe that racism divides communities, undermines human dignity, leads to hate and allows those trying to reduce resources and facilities to find easy scapegoats. Anti-Semitism has been a favoured form of prejudice in Europe over the last century and Respect is totally hostile to it.

We are extremely upset to discover that recently published comments from one of our party members are indicative of anti-Semitism. The National Officers have conducted an investigation and met on Monday evening (27 September) to consider the matter. We have decided that such views are demonstrably incompatible with party membership. The individual has been removed from all positions held within the Respect Party and he has been expelled with immediate effect.

The Respect Party believes it , and its members, have a responsibility to uphold firmly anti-racist principles. It is one of our founding tenets and all forms of racist sentiment will not be tolerated.

Clive Searle, National Secretary

Dr Kay Phillips, National Chair

Chris Chilvers, National Treasurer.

Monday 27 September 2010.

RESPECT is to be congratulated for its swift action, which demonstrates a clear commitment to anti-racism.