Israeli Lawmaker: UK Labour Leadership Tainted by Anti-Semitism
The leadership of Jeremy Corbyn’s UK Labour party has been accused of being anti-Semitic by a senior Israeli cabinet minister.
The Jewish state’s public security minister, Gilad Erdan, expressed the concerns he shares with his country’s government about the views of senior Labour figures while speaking at a conference in Brussels. He said:
We recognise and we see that there are antisemitic views in many of the leadership of the current Labour party. We hope it will be changed.
That they will come to the right decisions about people in their party who don’t understand that Hamas is a recognised terror organisation, that you cannot have a regular relationship with a terror organisation.
The Guardianreports Mr. Erdan was in Brussels to lobby key European parliament figures to stop funding anti-Israel groups campaigning for boycotts of Israeli goods.
When asked specifically whether he believed Mr. Corbyn himself was an anti-Semite, Mr. Erdan paused, before adding: “I didn’t say it. I said there are views that are very close to antisemitism in the leadership of the Labour party today in the UK.”
However he pinpointed a 2016 review of anti-Semitism carried out by Shami Chakrabarti, the former director of the civil rights group Liberty, that was prompted by the suspension of former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Bradford West MP Naz Shah over inflammatory comments, saying it had been “empty”.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, Chakrabarti was rewarded with a peerage just weeks after she published that report finding no indication of institutional anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. It was variously called a “fraud” and a “whitewash” by UK Jewish community leaders.
A subsequent press conference called to proudly announce that the Labour Party was “not overrun” by anti-Semitism dissolved into chaos when fresh allegations emerged of anti-Semitism within the party, Mr. Corbyn compared the Israeli government to Islamic State, and a Jewish MP fled the room in tears after being accused of conspiring with the right wing press.
More recently the historians Simon Schama and Simon Sebag Montefiore, and the Booker prize winner Howard Jacobson, wrote a letter published in the Times expressing their concern over the “tone and direction of debate about Israel and Zionism” in the Labour party.
A spokesman for the Labour party said: “Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party campaign against and condemn all forms of anti-Semitism and the Labour party conference recently adopted new tough rules on anti-Semitism.”