A leading campaigner against racism has resigned from a Church of England advisory body in protest at the archbishop of Canterbury’s support for the chief rabbi’s comments last week on antisemitism in the Labour party.
Gus John, a respected author and academic, said: “As a matter of principle, I cannot continue to work with the Anglican church … after the archbishop of Canterbury’s disgraceful endorsement of the chief rabbi’s unjust condemnation of Jeremy Corbyn and the entire Labour party.”
Justin Welby backed the chief rabbi’s unprecedented intervention, which in effect called on British Jews not to vote Labour in next week’s election, because the way the party leadership had dealt with allegations of antisemitism was “incompatible with the British values of which we are so proud – of dignity and respect for all people”.
Three days later, John wrote to Elizabeth Henry, the C of E’s national adviser on minority ethnic issues, saying “those who occupy houses clad with stained glass should perhaps be a trifle more careful when they join others in throwing stones”. He could no longer serve as a lay member of the church’s committee for minority ethnic Anglican concerns, he added.
The media had responded to the chief rabbi’s criticism “as if he were the pope, speaking for all British Jews as the pope would for all Roman Catholics. Secular Jews and those who do not hold with the views of Jews for Labour are considered not to matter”.
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Source: The Guardian