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Britain Delegitimization

Corbyn meets far-left group who called for Israel’s destruction

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The Labour chief attended a meeting of radical organisation Jewdas, which has criticised mainstream Jewish organisations for their protests against the party’s handling of the issue.
The far-left fringe group has attacked mainstream Jewish groups and dismissed the scandal hitting Labour as “cynical manipulation”.
 
In a statement last week, it accused the Jewish Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Labour Movement of “playing a dangerous game with people’s lives”.
 
But Mr Corbyn appeared to endorse Jewdas by joining members in North London for a Seder feast to mark the start of the Jewish holiday.
 
A leaked recording reveals guests booed the names of some British Jews during the event, according to political blogger Guido Fawkes.
Jewdas had previously branded Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard a “non-Jew”.

Last night Mr Pollard said it was likely Mr Corbyn knew what he was doing and “wasn’t serious” about tackling antisemitism in the party.

And Karen Pollock, the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “It was clearly deliberate. No question of intent. Mocking. And disrespectful.”

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said he attended the event in a personal capacity – and not in his official role as Labour leader.

“Jeremy was invited to a Passover Seder with Jewish members of his local community,” said the spokesman.

“He wrote to the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council last week to ask for an urgent formal meeting to discuss tackling antisemitism in the Labour Party and in society.”

But Labour MP John Woodcock called his leader’s actions “irresponsible and dangerous”.

He wrote on Twitter: “This is deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community days after they pleaded with him to tackle antisemitism.

“And he must know that meeting them now will give his members the message that the group’s extreme views are okay.”

Another Labour MP, Angela Smith, said Mr Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas Seder “reads as a blatant dismissal of the case made for tackling antisemitism in Labour”.

And the Campaign Against Antisemitism described Mr Corbyn’s attendance as “a very clear two fingered salute at mainstream British Jewry”.

Campaign chairman Gideon Falter said: “Given the antisemitism crisis engulfing the Labour Party, there is absolutely no way that Mr Corbyn can claim that this too was an oversight.

“It is hard to imagine how this duplicitous man can claim to be remedying antisemitism within the Labour Party.

“The party must consider the message that is sent to British Jews and other minorities by him remaining as leader.”

But Jewdas shrugged off the attack, posting a Twitter message: “Great that there’s so much interest in our work tonight! Please feel free to make a donation!”

The group said: “We are proud to be Jews and proud of everyone who attended, whether they were Jewish or not.”

But Labour MP Wes Streeting said: “It calls into serious question the sincerity of every public statement Jeremy Corbyn has made on antisemitism during the past week, just as many of us hoped we had begun to make progress.

“What on earth was he thinking? This demonstrates either extraordinarily bad judgement or a deliberate affront to the majority of British Jews. Probably both.”

The row came after Mr Corbyn’s grassroots support group Momentum admitted antisemitism in the party was “more widespread than many of us understood”.

The Corbyn-backing movement’s National Co-ordinating Group said: “Accusations of antisemitism should not and cannot be dismissed simply as right-wing smears nor as the result of conspiracies.

“Current examples of antisemitism within the Labour Party are not only a problem of a few, extreme ‘bad apples’ but also of unconscious bias which manifests itself in varied, nuanced and subtle ways and is more widespread in the Labour Party than many of us had understood even a few months ago.”

Speaking to Channel 4 News on Monday, Mr Corbyn said: “There is genuine concern and we are dealing with that concern… We are not tolerating antisemitism in any form in the Labour Party.”