Two of the most senior Jewish groups in the UK, The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, are going to protest against Corbyn in Parliament Square, and hand him a letter in which they accuse him of siding with anti-semites "time and time again". The opposition leader admitted last night that Labour does have a problem with "pockets of anti-semitism" but declined to apologise for comments where he appeared to defend the artist behind a mural depicting Jews as the Illuminati, secretly controlling the world.
‘Zionists are the new Nazis'
The Jewish Leadership Council's letter accuses Corbyn of "issuing empty statements about anti-semitism" but failing to follow up these words with actions because, "he cannot seriously contemplate anti-semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far-left ideology that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities."
Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, told the Daily Mail, "there are no safe spaces" in Labour for Jews any more, elaborating that Jews are often told that, "Rothschilds run the world, ISIS is a fake front for Israel and Zionists are the new Nazis."
Other issues raised in the letter include Corbyn's support for Hamas and Hezbollah, saying that, "Hizbollah commits terrorist atrocities against Jews but Corbyn calls them his friends, and attends pro-Hizbollah rallies in London. Exactly the same goes for Hamas… These are not the only cases. He is repeatedly found alongside people with blatantly anti-Semitic views, but claims never to hear or read them."
'Labour is an Anti-Racist Party'
Last night Corbyn responded to the accusations, saying, "Labour is an anti-racist party and I utterly condemn anti-semitism… We must stamp this out from our party and movement. We recognise that anti-semitisrn has occurred in pockets within the Labour party, causing pain and hurt to our Jewish community in the Labour party and the rest of the country. I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused."
FYI:— Chelley Ryan #RJCOB (@chelleryn99) 25 марта 2018 г.
I asked a close Jewish friend his opinion of the anti-semitic mural controversy. He spoke about his son who is no Corbyn fan & heavily involved in campaigns to tackle anti-semitism & this is what his son had to say (he gave me permission to share): pic.twitter.com/yen65FnxjT
However, he was criticised by Labour MPs, with Wes Streeting commenting, "To those who say there's no problem with anti-semitism in the Labour Party, or that it's being handled well, please ask why Britain's leading Jewish organisations are demonstrating to the Parliamentary Labour party. We should be ashamed that us come to this." Likewise, former Labour leadership candidate Chuka Umunna tweeted, "If you are incapable of seeing that Labour has a problem with anti-semitism, you really should not be in our party."
Others within the party came to Corbyn's defence, with Shadow Minister for International Development Dan Carden tweeting, "Jeremy Corbyn has committed his entire life to fighting all forms of racism and fascism — & under his leadership there is no place for anti-semitism in the Labour Party." Some people have suggested that this is merely the latest attempt to destabilise Corbyn's leadership, and smear the populist movement behind him.
This protest has got absolutely nothing to do with anti-Semitism, this is a co-ordinated campaign by the Israel Lobby and Blairites to try and topple Jeremy Corbyn— Socialist Voice 🌹 (@SocialistVoice) 25 марта 2018 г.
Anti-semitism has been weaponised to silence critics of Israel and supporters of Palestinehttps://t.co/g9JWAmu4FG