Telegraph.co.uk — May 30, 2016
Another Labour anti-Semitism row broke out on Monday after a party activist refused to apologise for comments that had triggered her suspension despite anger from Jewish groups.
Jackie Walker, a senior figure in the pro-Corbyn activist group Momentum, had been suspended after it emerged she said “Jews were the chief financiers of the slave trade” in a Facebook post.
Last Friday her membership was reinstated after an internal investigation, prompting Ms Walker to welcome an end to what she called the “living nightmare” of recent weeks.
However the Jewish Labour Movement, which is affiliated to the party, was critical of the decision, claiming Ms Walker had made an “anti-Semitic slur” and “showed no contrition”.
Speaking on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, Ms Walker refused to apologise for her original comments.
She said: “I don’t have an apology to make. I’m saddened if I’ve upset people, but sometimes when we’re talking in political speech we upset people, and these issues are very upsetting.
“The issues about migration and refugees, and of what happened in the holocausts and not just the Jewish Holocaust, the African Holocaust and the other genocides that there have been.”
“All I’m saying is that every single death of every single person no matter what their race, no matter what their culture, is an awful thing.
“No one genocide, no one holocaust is in my opinion worse than any other. I’m an internationalist – that’s what it means to be an internationalist.”
It comes after Michael Dugher, the former shadow cabinet minister, recently warned that the party would be judged by how seriously they took claims of anti-Semitism.
After Ms Walker suspension was lifted, he said: “Actions speak louder than words. We will need a full and proper explanation as to why this person has been readmitted to the Labour party.”