A Muslim candidate in the race for mayor of London is vowing to correct the anti-Semitism in the UK’s Labour Party, in which he is a member.
London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan is facing an uphill battle in his attempt to run for office partly due to anti-Semitic comments by officials from his Labour Party.
Khan told an event organized by the London Jewish Forum on Wednesday (April 6) that he knows what it is to suffer “hate crime.”
Moreover, he said, “I also know it’s unacceptable in 2016 that there is anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. It’s with sorrow that I wear that badge of shame.”
The candidate vowed to remedy the situation. “If it means members of my party, senior members of my party including members of [the ruling National Executive Committee] being trained about what anti-Semitism is, then so be it,” he declared.
“I have said at the outset I’m embarrassed and sorrowful about anti-Semitism in the party. I think the Labour leadership could have taken a tougher stance and needs to take a tougher stance,” he added.
Khan’s comments followed a firestorm aimed at Louise Ellman, a Jewish parliamentarian from the Labour Party, by party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers.
Ellman had called for Labour to clamp down on anti-Semitism in the party – but Piers Corbyn called her remarks “absurd” and said, “Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn backed his brother. He was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying, “My brother has his point of view and I have mine and we actually fundamentally agree. We are a family that were brought up fighting racism from the day we were born.”
Corby is a strong critic of Israel and a major supporter of the Palestinian Authority who has previously referred to himself as a “friend” of Hamas and Hezbollah. He lamented the assassination of Osama Bin Laden as well.
A prominent Labour Party politician recently threatened to leave if steps were not taken to deal with the party’s increasing acceptance of the anti-Semitism in its ranks.
Lord Michael Abraham Levy is a former fund raiser for Labour and a longtime friend of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Levy, who is Jewish, spent nine years as Blair’s special envoy to the Middle East.