The Simon Wiesenthal Center has Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as its top anti-Semitic person or event for 2019, and warned Britain would become a “pariah” if it elects the him as Prime Minister 12th December.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Centre chief Rabbi Marvin Hier – whose organisation is named after a famed Nazi Hunter - said “no one” had done more to “mainstream anti-Semitism into the political and social life of a democracy” than Corbyn.
“If Jeremy Corbyn wins, he will make Britain a pariah on the world stage. To have a person seeking the highest office who ignored anti-Semitism for years, who did everything in his power to encourage it is shocking. We don’t want to get it wrong again. We cannot sit back and watch this happen again,” he despaired.
— Matt Kennard (@DCKennard) December 8, 2019
Corbyn’s placement this year puts him ahead of John Earnest, a gunman accused of opening fire on a California synagogue in April, killing one. The list is typically published in late December or early January, so the earlier release this year suggests it may have been timed to coincide with the upcoming UK vote.
In a statement, Labour branded the ranking “ridiculous and grossly offensive”.
“Putting Jeremy Corbyn at the head of a list containing neo-Nazi synagogue shooters is a transparent political attack and has nothing to do with tackling antisemitism,” a spokesperson said.
On 5th December, a dossier compiled by the Jewish Labour Movement accused Corbyn of personally engaging in anti-Semitism in nine separate cases, as part of a 53-page report filed to a body tasked with probing anti-Semitism within Labour. Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews have been recorded within the party since Corbyn's election in 2015.
Corbyn has repeatedly insisted he isn’t anti-Semitic and his party has dealt with the problem robustly – and his denials have been supported by certain Jewish organisations. For instance, in November Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis warned voters of the “new poison” he alleged had gripped the Labour party, expressing fear for the future of Jews in the UK should Corbyn become prime minister.
— Clwyd South Conservatives (@ClwydS) December 7, 2019
In response, the Executive Board of the United European Jews organisation wrote a letter of support for Corbyn, calling the Rabbi’s declaraction “unusually disturbing” and stating it collectively “totally [rejected] and [condemned]” the remarks in “no uncertain terms”.
“We believe such assertions are due to propaganda with a political and ideological agenda. An agenda diametrically opposed to fundamental Jewish values as well as the opinions of tens of thousands of Jews in our community. At this time we also relay our gratefulness for [Corbyn’s] numerous acts of solidarity with the Jewish community over many years and also welcome [his] assurances Labour will do everything necessary to defend the Jewish way of life and protect our rights to practice our religion,” they added.