Jackie Walker Attacked By Various Jewish Groups For Saying Holocaust Day Should Be For All Victims Of Genocide, Not Just Jews

One of Jeremy Corbyn’s most senior allies is facing calls to resign after suggesting that it would be “wonderful” if Holocaust Memorial Day was not just about the genocide of Jews.

Jackie Walker,


vice-chair of Momentum, who has previously been suspended over alleged anti-Semitic remarks, also questioned the party’s definition of anti-Semitism during the training session, prompting party members to shout and heckle in disbelief.

The chair of Jewish Labour has demanded Ms Walker resign over the “provocative and insensitive” remarks, the second time this week that members have called for her to be suspended from the party.

In a secret recording obtained by The Telegraph, she can be heard arguing that Holocaust Memorial Day, one of the most significant dates of remembrance of the persecution of the Jews, is not inclusive enough.

During the meeting Ms Walker said: “I came in here … and I was looking for information and I still haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with… [shouting from audience] and in terms of Holocaust day wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced holocaust… [shouting from audience] in practice it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.”

She later adds that there is a “catch-22 situation” within Labour where those who deny a remark is anti-Semitic are called anti-Semitic themselves.

In terms of Holocaust day wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced holocaustJackie Walker

She also questioned the need for the training session, claiming that the party does not have a suitable definition of anti-Semitism, and questioned claims that Jewish schools need security after a string of anti-Semitic attacks.

Her comments prompted one activist in the room to shout “you’re telling lies” while a group of others interrupted her to say everyone, not just Jews, can commemorate the day.

It came as Eitan Na’eh, the deputy Ambassador for Israel, accused Mr Corbyn of a “betrayal” of Jewish people as part of the left-wing movement.

Mr Na’eh welcomed the Labour leader’s decision to speak at a Friends of Israel event last night, but told The Telegraph: “He is part of the betrayal of the left. The Labour party, the left wing, they were talking about self-determination for the Jewish people but they have thrown us under the bus. Not just in the UK, but the left in general.”

During his address at the Labour conference Mark Regev, the Israeli Ambassador, chose to highlight Labour’s “proud history of supporting Zionism and the Jewish state” as Mr Corbyn stood alongside him.

A source at the meeting said the remarks were made to “remind” the Labour leader of his party’s long-standing support for the Jewish state after he refused to mention Israel by name in his address to the event last year.

Momentum chief Ms Walker provoked calls for her resignation earlier this week after she claimed that anti-Semitism within the Labour party has been “exaggerated” in a bid to undermine Mr Corbyn.

Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, called for Ms Walker to resign over the comments.

He said: “I am appalled that somebody who has already caused great hurt and pain to so many Jewish people by promoting an antisemitic myth would come to a training session designed to help Party activists address antisemitism and use the occasion to challenge the legitimacy of the training itself.

“To denigrate security provision at Jewish schools, make false claims about the universality of National Holocaust Memorial Day and to challenge recognised definitions of antisemitism is provocative, offensive and a stark example of the problem facing the Labour party today.

“As Vice Chair of Momentum Jackie Walker has consistently failed to demonstrate any sensitivity to the impact of her words and actions upon the Jewish community.  She must now consider her position, show some sensitivity and contrition or resign.”

Mr Newmark accused the Momentum chief of perpetuating “an anti-Semitic myth” after hearing the comments. It follows an outcry after National Union of Students members made the same claim during a debate over boycotting the memorial event.

Karen Pollock, the chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, told The Telegraph: “The Holocaust was a defining episode in history where 6 million men women and children were brutally murdered simply for being Jewish, the very epitome of man’s inhumanity to man.

“Whilst Holocaust Memorial Day rightly and proudly commemorates the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, one has to wonder why Ms Walker takes issue with commemorating the mass extermination of Jews in its own right.

“The deliberate use of term ‘HolocaustS’ – plural – undermines and belittles the distinct nature of the tragedy itself, ignores that genocides are the result of diverse and unique factors, and also deprives the Jewish community of their collective memory”.

The Holocaust Memorial Day website clearly states that other genocides and holocausts are also remembered with events around the world.