THE Labour Party still has a long way to go to prove that it has zero tolerance on antisemitism, the co-chairman of North West Friends of Israel has said.
Anthony Dennison made the comment after Tony Greenstein, who is Jewish, was expelled from the party for three breaches of Labour’s regulations on Sunday.
These were “offensive comments online; offensive posts and comments on his blog; and an email in which he mocked the phrase ‘final solution’”.
He was also known for using the term ‘Zio’ towards anyone who supported Israel on social media.
“His expulsion from Labour Party is the first in what we hope will be many similar expulsions from the Labour Party for those who conduct themselves in an abusive and antisemitic manner,” Mr Dennison said.
“There are no circumstances where the use of the word ‘Zio’ can ever be acceptable.
“This expulsion is a welcome start, but the Labour Party has a long way to go before the Jewish community will accept that the party is serious about its zero tolerance policy
Ooutgoing Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush added: “This had to be the right decision.
“Tony Greenstein’s long record of noxious behaviour makes him an unsuitable member for any respectable political party.
“It is to be hoped that significant outstanding Labour Party disciplinary cases will follow swiftly and yield the same result.
“The Jewish community has waited long enough for the Labour Party to show that it is serious about zero tolerance of antisemitism.
“This result is a step in the right direction, but there is a way to travel yet.”
The ruling from Labour’s National Constitutional Committee came after an all-day hearing in Greenstein’s home city of Brighton.
The news was welcomed by the lobby group Labour Against Antisemitism, which said that he had “over many years made his abhorrent views widely known via public speeches, social media and on his personal blog”.
A spokesman added: “Anyone who has witnessed them will know that these views have often been antisemitic, highly offensive and entirely incompatible with Labour’s anti-racist ethos.
“Mr Greenstein has also personally targeted some Labour Party members for bullying.”
And Joe Glasman, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s head of political and government investigations, said: “Even following the verdict, Tony Greenstein has continued to shamelessly call people ‘Zios’ on social media as he had done with impunity until today’s decision.
“We must not forget that this is still a party that counts Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone and hundreds of others like them among its members.”
Ivor Caplin, on behalf of the Jewish Labour Movement, said: “His (Greenstein) continued membership is at complete odds with our collective values of solidarity, tolerance and respect.
“Despite the unacceptably long time it has taken to reach this conclusion, we are heartened that the party has sent out a clear message on this today.”