Anti-Semitism problem reaches Welsh Labour

A Welsh Labour AM has been criticised for comments that try to ‘justify’ anti-Semitism in Wales.

Jenny Rathbone – the Assembly Member for Cardiff Central – was recorded stating that the behaviour of Israel “drives people to be hostile to the Jewish community in this Country”.

In the recording - which was picked up by the Jewish chronicle – Ms Rathbone also questions whether anti-Semitic hate crime ‘is real’ and whether the threat ‘is all in their own heads’.

Welsh Conservative and Shadow Minister for Faith – Mohammad Asghar AM – slammed the comments for being ‘flippant’ and ‘ignorant’.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in the UK, according to incidents recorded by charity the Community Security Trust (CST), which works with the community and with police forces.

The CST recorded 727 anti-Semitic incidents across the UK in the first six months of 2018 - the second highest figure recorded in more than two decades.

Speaking in response to the Jewish Chronicle article, Mr Asghar said:

“These comments are flippant and ignorant of anti-Semitism in the UK, and give complete disregard to the threat that the Jewish community has faced.

“Instead of brushing hate crime under the carpet, we should all be working actively to fight it – especially those of us in public positions.

“It seems that the disturbing tide of anti-Semitism has come to Wales and is no longer just Jeremy Corbyn’s problem – but Carwyn Jones and his successor’s too.”