We, the Sussex Jewish Representative Council, the governing body of the Sussex Jewish community, are very disappointed by the video posted on Facebook by Daniel Harris, a local Labour activist. His depiction of three local councillors as Orthodox Jews surrounded by the Star of David is not viewed as ‘fun’ by the Jewish community. We see it as a crass uneducated insult aimed at our community. Does Mr Harris think it would be amusing to portray councillors dressed in hijabs or turbans?
We welcome his prompt suspension and acknowledge the many councillors that engage and work positively with the Jewish community. However, this is not the first time that there have been issues of antisemitism surrounding the local Labour Party. Whether they are real or perceived, the damage that that perception does is clear. We are very concerned to know that Mr Harris was being considered for selection to stand as a Labour councillor. We would call upon the local Labour Party to ensure that all potential candidates and current elected officials receive training in community awareness and sensitivity so that they are better equipped to understand what is funny and what is outright antisemitism and bigotry.