‘UK Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn holds antisemitic views’
British Labour Party head Jeremy Corbyn holds “antisemitic views” which could drive Jewish Britons out of the country if he becomes prime minister, a senior Jewish leader said.
Jonathan Arkush, the outgoing president of the Board of Deputies of British Jewry, told the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph that British Jews are for the first time asking “do we have a future here?”, which he blamed on the Labour leader’s failure to rid his party of antisemitism.
Arkush, who was one of two Jewish leaders to meet in April with Corbyn to discuss antisemitism in the party, said in the interview that Corbyn’s views on Israel are born out of antisemitism.
“Delegitimizing the state of Israel is antisemitic,” Arkush told the Telegraph. He “was a chairman of Stop the War, which is responsible for some of the worst anti-Israel discourse.”
“If he shares the prevalent discourse about Israel, then that view is unquestionably antisemitic,” Arkush asserted.
Arkush said Corbyn would need to tell Jews that he “will not accept a discourse
which denies the existence of their own land to the Jewish people … I think we are all entitled to some clarity on his real views about Israel.”
Corbyn’s spokesman told the Telegraph that Arkush’s comments were “personal attacks without any evidence to support them … Jeremy has been absolutely clear that he is a militant opponent of antisemitism and is committed to driving it out of our movement”.
The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said in a statement following last month’s meeting with Corbyn that it was “a disappointing missed opportunity regarding the problem of antisemitism” in the party.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews and other Jewish groups have accused Corbyn, a hard-left politician, of tolerating and at times encouraging expressions of antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism or anti-capitalism by thousands of supporters who joined the party under him.
Corbyn has vowed to fight racism. His party has kicked out some members caught engaging in antisemitic rhetoric. But under Corbyn — who in 2009 called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” whom he said he was “honored” to host in parliament — Labour has also readmitted or refrained from punishing others who made statements perceived as antisemitic.
Arkush will turn over the presidency of the Board of Deputies this week to newly elected president Marie van der Zyl, who said after her election that she wanted to continue dialogue with the Labour leader.
Source: Israel national news