Israel’s new Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev has joined the fray over the rising anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Regev has jumped right in the middle between party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Jewish Labourites. Corbyn denies any anti-Semitism exists and says if it does, he will find it in an internal investigation he’s just launched and will root it out. Jewish party members meanwhile have been threatening to leave over the rising number of anti-Semitic Labourites whose hate-filled remarks are being exposed by media since Corbyn became party leader.
In an interview published today on the front page of The Sunday Times, Regev said flatly, “I have no doubt that part of the Left is in denial. They say, ‘Anti-Semitism, that’s the Right, that’s the fascists.’
“That’s a copout. It doesn’t stand up to serious historical examination,” Regev said. “Anti-Semitism should concern everyone. When it does raise its ugly head, it should be condemned across the board, and failure to condemn it has to be in itself condemned,” he added. “If someone wouldn’t dream of sharing a platford with an anti-black racist or an anti-female sexist, shouldn’t one be equally concerned about sharing a platform with an anti-Jewish racist?” Regev asked.
The Sunday Times said Regev’s remarks would likely be interpreted as an attack on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose members have been cited for anti-Semitic remarks or activities, one after another.
Corbyn has defended most of them, but Friday finally himself called for an independent inquiry into the question of anti Semitism and racism within the party.
This past week two Labour members were suspended: MP Naz Shah, whose anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Facebook posts in 2014 were ‘outed’ by the Guido Fawkes political website, and former London mayor Ken Livingstone declared Adolf Hitler was a Zionist before he “went mad” and killed six million Jews in WWII.
The offensive language was deliberately calculated to provoke a maximum number of Jews, according to British journalist and historian Andrew Roberts. He wrote Thursday in an article on CapX that “the sole reason Ken Livingstone brought up the Fuhrer in his interview was to be as vicious and loathsome as he possibly could to any Jews listening, rather than genuinely intending to make some valid historical point about the migration policies of the putative Third Reich in the 1930s. He must know perfectly well that the very insertion of the word ‘Hitler’ in the context of a debate over anti-Semitism would create precisely the effect that it has.”
Livingstone claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also pointed out last October that Hitler originally intended only to expel the Jews. Jerusalem Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini urged Hitler to murder them all instead, he noted during a meeting of the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu later clarified the point in a long Facebook post, noting that the concept of the “Final Solution” came from Hitler and the Nazis alone. “The Nazis saw in the mufti a collaborator, but they did not need him to decide on the systematic destruction of European Jewry, which began in June 1941,” Netanyahu wrote.