Joan Ryan left the UK's Labour Party this year over the rampant anti-Semitism among some of her colleagues - even from those at the top. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been known to call Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends."
"Over the past three years," Ryan said of her political change of heart last month, "the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has become infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism."
"I cannot remain a member of the Labour Party while its leadership allows Jews to be abused with impunity and the victims of such abuse to be ridiculed, have their motives questioned, and their integrity called into doubt," she continued.
Still shocked at how suddenly her party fell from grace, Ryan brought a warning for her American audience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. “Things can change quickly” for the worse here too, she declared.
Ryan, who had been a proud Labour Party member for 40 years, regretted that her party “now seeks to demonize and delegitimize Israel."
“Sticking to your convictions isn’t always popular, but it is always right,” she declared to more applause, noting that she had been subjected to a “torrent of abuse” when leaving Labour. “Those threats only strengthen my resolve,” she said, and would not stop her “standing by British Jews against the far left and the far right” and “standing up for Israel.”
“I never forget that Israel is not just a Jewish state but a democratic state in a neighborhood where democracies are few and far between” and “a country where Christians, Muslims and Jews are free to practice their faiths,” she said. (The Times of Israel)
Ryan was one of several Labour lawmakers to quit the party and form a new coalition, The Independent Group.