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July 28, 2016 / 22 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Corbyn’

Herzog Slams UK’s Corbyn, Says ‘Views Represent a Consistent Hatred of Israel’

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

by Jesse Lempel/TPS

Israeli Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog slammed comments by his UK counterpart Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday that some criticized as comparing Israel with the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization.

“Corbyn’s suggestion of moral equivalence between Israel and ISIS is outrageous, unacceptable, and a betrayal of global Labour values,” Herzog tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “Corbyn’s views represent a consistent hatred of Israel. Like the notorious Ernest Bevin failed, so too will Jeremy Corbyn.”

During the launch of a review of anti-Semitic incidents in the party on Thursday, Corbyn decried stereotyping Jews, explaining: “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations.”

The comments received resounding applause, yet after a questioner asked about the comparison Corbyn attempted to clarify: “The point is that you shouldn’t say to someone that just because they’re Jewish you must have an opinion on Israel, any more that you say to anyone who’s a Muslim you must have an opinion on the vile actions being taken by people misquoting the good name of Islam in what they do.”

Yet it appears that some in Israel and around the world, including Herzog, interpreted Corbyn’s remarks as drawing a “moral equivalence between Israel and ISIS.”

Another Israeli Labor MK, Itzik Shmueli, tweeted: “Corbyn has finally lost it! Leadership that disgraces Labour. I suggest to my friends in Labour to kick him out on the grounds of losing contact with reality.” Shmueli, however, argued that Israeli Labor should remain affiliated with British Labour in order to influence the “internal struggle” in the party.

Meanwhile, MK Yair Lapid, of the centrist Yesh Atid party, called upon Herzog to sever ties with the British Labour party, describing Corbyn’s comments as “pure anti-Semitism.”

“I call upon the Labor Party in Israel to cut all ties with their counterpart in the UK until the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is replaced,” Lapid wrote on Facebook on Thursday. Lapid referred to the deadly terror attack earlier in the day, in which a 17-year-old Arab terrorist broke into a Jewish family’s home and stabbed 13-year-old Halel Yaffa Ariel to death.

“It is unacceptable that on such a difficult day for the State of Israel the Leader of the Opposition in the UK compares Israel and ISIS,” Lapid added. “It’s not only infuriating ignorance, it is pure anti-Semitism. The State of Israel lives by democratic values, morality and justice and fights every day against terror organizations sworn to the murder of innocents.”

MK Tzipi Livni, a leader of the Zionist Union faction partnered with Israeli Labor, tweeted: “Just as not all Muslims are responsible for ISIS, not all Brits are responsible for Corbyn.”

The latest controversy follows a months-long debacle in the British Labour party over anti-Semitic comments by several members who have since been suspended, including calling for the mass deportation of Israel’s Jews and claims that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism.

At the height of the affair in May, Herzog told Israeli media that he was “considering suspending ties” with the British Labour over the anti-Semitic comments, many of which pertained to the Holocaust.

Herzog even sent a letter to Corbyn inviting him to bring a delegation to visit Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, “to engage and better understand the scourge of anti-Semitism.”

Corbyn replied several weeks later, declining the invitation.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Analysis: One Scary Outcome of Brexit Could Be Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn

Friday, June 24th, 2016

As a million more Britons said no than yes to their country’s EU membership, Israel’s future relationship with the UK may take a downturn, and not because of the argument Prime Minister David Cameron was making during his campaign to remain in the Union.

Cameron earlier this week told an audience at the Jewish Care dinner in London that he wants to be at the EU discussion table, influencing policy whenever the EU decides on yet another anti-Israel move. Cameron also attacked Brexit proponent UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s message as being “opposite of everything that makes Britain great.”

“When we’re fighting terrorism and Islamist extremism are we better doing that out on our own or fighting together with our European partners,” Cameron said at the dinner (which raised almost $7 million). “When Europe is discussing its attitude towards Israel do you want Britain – Israel’s greatest friends – in there opposing boycotts, or do you want us outside the room, powerless to affect the conversation.”

It’s a nice argument, made by the same greatest friend of Israel who only last February called Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem “genuinely shocking” during a discussion in Parliament. “I am well-known for being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what had happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem, occupied East Jerusalem, it is genuinely shocking,” Cameron said during a weekly question-answer session.

With friends like that…

But that’s water under the bridge now, on Friday morning, after Cameron has already announced he is quitting his post as Prime Minister since Britain had voted to leave the European Union after being a member since the 1970s. “We must now prepare for a renegotiations with the EU,” he said, explaining that “above all this will require strong determined and committed leadership. I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in that direction.”

The Labour party’s response to the referendum results was a masterpiece of spin. Unlike the Conservatives, who were split over Brexit, Labour was all out in favor of remaining in the EU. Now read the Labour talking points as sent out to members Friday morning:

“Clearly many communities across our country feel left behind and cut off by the political establishment in Brussels and Westminster. This was a rejection of the status quo by millions of people who are not sharing in the wealth of this country, for whom the economy is not working.

“After this divisive campaign and close vote, the first task is to come together and heal the divisions. Our country is divided and things need to change. Politicians on all sides must respect the voice of the British people, who have spoken.

“Labour is the only party that can meet the challenge we now face. We realize that people want politicians who put them first. As the party that stands up for working people, Labour is best placed re-unite the country – we can do so as we did not engage in project fear, and we share people’s dissatisfaction with the status quo, which is why we put a critical case for both remain and reform.

“In making this argument Labour showed that it is far closer to the centre of gravity of the British public than other political parties. Jeremy is uniquely placed as a critical remainer. He understands why people voted to leave, he understood people’s criticisms of Europe – and is the only leader of a major party in Britain to whom that applies.”

The talking points document concluded:

“The Tories cannot possibly provide the leadership we need — they are divided from top to bottom. It is hard to see how David Cameron has a long-term future as Prime Minister, but Labour’s immediate priority is to stabilize the country and the markets.”

Possibly. Which would throw a new, more menacing light on Cameron’s warnings regarding Israel’s only friend in Great Britain: should the Tories exit stage-right, Israel would not need to worry so much about facing a more hostile European Union, rather it should be concerned about facing arch-anti-Israel Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

JNi.Media

Corbyn Never Bothered to Answer Herzog’s Letter on Labour Anti-Semitism

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn never replied to a concerned letter about revelations of deep-seated anti-Semitism in the UK Labour party, sent a month ago by Israeli sister party chairman Isaac Herzog, The Guardian reported. Herzog sent his letter after MP Ken Livingstone had been suspended from the Labour party at the end of April for making highly controversial remarks about Hitler and Zionism. Appearing on the Vanessa Feltz Show on Radio London last month, Livingstone said: “When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel.”

Herzog wrote to Corbyn that he was “appalled and outraged by the recent instances of anti-Semitism by senior Labour party officials in the United Kingdom.” Herzog added: “I would like to take this opportunity, in the week leading up to Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, to invite you to bring a delegation from the British Labour Party to Israel’s national Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem. By doing this, perhaps we can ensure that the anti-Semitism expressed in recent days is not the example to set to British young generation, but rather one of tolerance and acceptance of all people, regardless of faith.”

Herzog also commented: “As someone whose father served in the British army and risked his life fighting against Hitler and the Nazis, the views expressed by Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London and member of Labour’s national executive, in which he claimed that Hitler ‘was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews’ were particularly horrific, and unthinkable for a British politician and the 21st century.”

The Guardian cited an Israeli Labor party official who confirmed rumors in the London Jewish community that they had received no reply from Corbyn.

Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North, told The Guardian, “It should be a matter of common courtesy to reply to a letter from the leader of one of our sister parties, particularly on an issue as important as tackling antisemitism. But this is fairly typical of the flat-footed and lackadaisical attitude that we’ve seen from the outset. It is simply unacceptable.”

Ian Austin, MP for Dudley North, said he was shocked that his party leader had not sent Herzog a reply.

Corbyn suspended Livingstone, a personal ally, over his comments, and established an independent investigation. He reassured his MPs last week that he was giving this issue a high priority.

JNi.Media

Corbyn Skips London’s First Muslim Mayor’s Swearing In

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Sadiq Khan (Labour) was sworn in as London’s first Muslim mayor on Saturday, having beaten Conservative billionaire Zac Goldsmith by a wide margin of 1,310,143 to 994,614 votes. It was a rare glimpse of sunshine for the Labour party, which has been enduring a string of defeats in both national and local elections over the past year, including a massive loss in local councils and in the Scottish parliament Thursday.

Mayor Khan, 46, was born in London to a working-class British Pakistani family. A Member of Parliament for Tooting since 2005 and a member of the Labour Party, he is a social democrat.

Jeremy Corbyn did not attend London’s Muslim mayor’s swearing-in ceremony. Khan had not supported Corbyn for the role of Labour party leader, voting instead for Andy Burnham. He distanced himself from Corbyn, and as mayoral candidate criticized Corbyn’s friendship with Hamas and Hezbollah, saying it gave Labour an “anti-Jewish” image. Khan also slammed Corbyn for not singing the national anthem last September. Corbyn, an anti-Royalist, stood in silence while God Save our Gracious Queen was played during a Battle of Britain remembrance ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral attended by the Prime Minister, Defense Secretary and military leaders. “He was very unwise. You are trying to be the British prime minister,” Khan told reporters at the time.

“I can’t quite believe the last 24 hours,” Khan told his supporters at his swearing-in ceremony at London’s Southwark Cathedral. “I’m determined to lead the most transparent, engaged and accessible administration London has ever seen, and to represent every single community and every single part of our city as mayor for Londoners,” he said.

Goldsmith, as well as Prime Minister David Cameron, repeatedly accused Khan of offering “platform, oxygen and cover” to religious and political extremists, including known anti-Semites such as Suliman Gani, a south London Islamic leader. Khan also attended a conference that was addressed by Yasser al-Siri, a convicted terrorist, and Sajeel Abu Ibrahim, a member of the now banned al-Muhajiroun group, which trained and activated the July 7, 2005 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan.

JNi.Media

Jewish Human Rights Watch Suing 3 Councils in High Court over BDS

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) has taken Swansea, Gwyneedd and Leicester councils to the High Court in London, alleging their boycott of Israeli goods is anti-Semitic and violates the 2010 Equality Act.

The group noted on their Facebook page: “We’re in the #‎HighCourt today and tomorrow about The Labour Party’s Leicester City Council & City and County of Swansea & Gwynedd Council’s #‎Antisemitic #‎Boycott motions. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.”

Several local councils across the UK voted to boycott Israeli goods after 2009, when Israel refused to embrace the Hamas’ need to shoot rockets at its civilian population.

In 2010, Swansea council was seeking contracts with Veolia, a company connected to a project building a light railway in eastern Jerusalem. But then a motion was put before the council stating the project “not only contravenes UN demands but is in contravention of international law,” since the UN “has demanded that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported.”

Several council members called on the council to not do business with “any company in breach of international law or UN obligations or demands, so long as to do so would not be in breach of any relevant legislation.” The motion was approved.

Andrew Sharland, an attorney for Leicester’s council, which in 2014 approved a similar boycott of Israeli goods, said the JHRW is trying to “stifle criticisms of Israel.”

“What this challenge really concerns is criticism of the State of Israel, and the claimant’s desire to suppress it,” he said.

Following the 2014 vote, JHRW issued a statement saying, “Leicester City Council has taken steps down an anti-Semitic path under the guise of helping community relations in Leicester. Frankly this amounts to a get-of-out-town order to Leicester Jews.”

In 2014, Gwynedd council also passed a motion calling for a trade embargo against Israel, condemning the “attacks by the Israeli state on the territory of the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.” Just to make sure they did not come across as anti-Semites, Gwynedd council added, “It must be made clear that the proposal condemned the Israeli state and not the Jewish religion.”

The British government earlier this year issued guidelines for public authorities which say these boycotts are “inappropriate” without formal legal sanctions or embargoes by the national government. In fact, the Cabinet Office has said these boycotts “undermine good community relations, poison and polarize debate, weaken integration and fuel anti-Semitism.”

But Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party has been ridding itself of an industrial-size stash of anti-Semitic members in recent days, criticized the government’s warning against BDS as an “attack on local democracy.”

David Israel

Chief Rabbi of Britain Says Labour Has ‘Severe’ Problem with Anti-Semitism

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis came out in The Telegraph on Tuesday with a surprisingly hard-hitting, sharply critical op-ed taking up the gauntlet tossed at the Jewish world by dozens of members of the UK Labour Party.

The chief rabbi began by stating pointedly that claims of figures on the hard Left of the British political spectrum that Zionism is separate from Judaism, “are a fiction. They are a willful distortion of a noble and integral part of Judaism.

“Zionism is a belief in the right to Jewish self-determination in a land that has been at the center of the Jewish world for more than 3,000 years. One can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

“Comments from senior and long-standing members of the Labour Party, both Jewish and not, show just how severe the problem has now become,” the chief rabbi wrote.

“In recent days, we have heard anti-Semitism in the Labour Party described variously as “a smear” and as “mood music” being manipulated by political opponents of [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn. There has been nothing more disheartening in this story than the suggestion that this is more about politics than about substance,” he continued.

“If this inquiry turns out to be no more than a sticking plaster, designed to placate and diffuse until after the elections this week, the problem will surely get worse and not better,” he warned.

“Jeremy Corbyn has stated that his party “will not tolerate anti-Semitism in any form,” and I very much hope that this inquiry will deliver on that pledge and be followed by decisive action. All political parties share in the responsibility to rid our society of anti-Semitism but we cannot achieve that objective with political posturing or empty promises of action never to be fulfilled.”

Corbyn, Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron, and former London mayor and Labour Party member Ken Livingstone are set to give evidence to an inquiry by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee into UK anti-Semitism, according to The Guardian newspaper.

Labour itself launched an independent probe into allegations of racism and anti-Semitism within its own party as well.

But as The Telegraph pointed out in a piece on Tuesday, Corbyn appointed a non-Jew – Shami Chakrabarti, former director of the Liberty human rights campaign group – to investigate the allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

“Anti-Semitism is defined as prejudice or discrimination against Jews (italics original). By excluding a lead Jewish voice, well isn’t the Labour inquiry doing exactly that?” posited journalist Angela Epstein – a secular Jew.

Hana Levi Julian

UK’s Labour Party Secretly Suspended 50 Members Over Anti-Semitism, Racism

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The British Labour Party has apparently been quietly suspending one member after another for anti-Semitism and racism over the past two months – a total of 50 members, in fact.

But few of those suspensions ever saw the light of day in the media, and the 13 that were made public “are said to be just the tip of the iceberg,” The Telegraph reported Tuesday.

“Senior sources reveal that Labour’s compliance unit has been swamped by the influx of hard-left supporters following Jeremy Corbyn’s election” as head of the party, according to the report.

Corbyn himself admitted for the first time in an interview with the Daily Mirror on Monday night that although there is a problem, it is “not huge.” He worked hard to minimize the crisis, saying, “What there is is a very small number of people that have said things that they should not have done. We have therefore said they will be suspended and investigated.”

London residents go to the polls on Thursday, but the latest analyses by pundits predict Labour stands to lose more than 100 seats thanks to the racist and anti-Semitic remarks over the past two years by party lawmakers.

Labour suspended three councillors within seven hours Monday over virulently anti-Semitic posts on Twitter and Facebook last week. Two called for Israeli Jews to be “relocated to America” and the third compared a former Premier League soccer star to Hitler.

One of the councillors was Ilyas Aziz, from Nottingham, who said on Facebook, “it would be wiser to create Israel in America it’s big enough. They could relocate even now [sic]”.

Former Blackburn mayor Salim Mullah was the second, and Shah Hussain of Burnley council was the third. Hussain tweeted to Israeli soccer star Yossi Bennayoun, “you and your country doing the same thing that hitler did to ur race in ww2 (sic).”

According to The Telegraph, up to 20 Labourites were suspended within the past two weeks, though not all were made public.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/uks-labour-party-secretly-suspended-50-members-over-anti-semitism-racism/2016/05/03/

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