In a Tuesday interview with Andrew Neil on BBC, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he “regrets” the anti-Semitic incidents in his party, but stopped short of personally apologizing, in response to UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s harsh criticism.
Piers Morgan said on Good Morning Britain the next day that Corbyn “must be anti-Semitic.”
“Four times you’re invited to just say ‘look I’m really sorry Jewish people feel this way, I know we’ve made some big mistakes we’re trying to correct them now. He couldn’t do it, and if you can’t do it, what does that say about you?” Morgan said.
“It’s very, very hard to watch that interview and not come to the conclusion, and I don’t like to say this, that Jeremy Corbyn must be anti-Semitic,” Morgan insisted. “Otherwise he would say sorry, he would literally just say sorry. He has deliberately decided not to make an apology.”
When the PA news agency asked if he would apologize, Corbyn reiterated that the degree of anti-Semitism within Labour “is very, very small,” and pointed out that “Jennie Formby our general secretary has written a substantial article in the Jewish News today making clear the party deeply regrets and is very sorry for what happened before the new rules came in and obviously I support everything that she has said on that.”
When asked if citing the article is the same as a personal apology, Corbyn couldn’t let even that one stand, and insisted: “I have made it very clear that our party will not tolerate racism in any form or anti-Semitism in any form, and our party obviously deplores it and regrets what happened to those people who received that abuse, and they have received the appropriate sanctions within the party, some of whom have been expelled.”
Earlier this year, Corbyn received a heartfelt endorsement from old friends: following a pro-Palestinian rally in London, Hamas thanked Jeremy Corbyn for his message of solidarity, and stated: “We have received with great respect and appreciation the solidarity message sent by the British Labor Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to the participants in the mass rally that took place in central London.”
Well, it was just 4,000 demonstrators, but do you now get Rabbi Mirvis’s point? The Labor leader just cannot denounce his own anti-Semitism. He can’t help it.
Hamas praised Corbyn for taking an “advanced moral and political position worthy of all praise and thanks.”
MK Yair Lapid (Blue&White) said at the time: “Jeremy Corbyn, here is a free piece of advice: if Hamas is thanking you then you’re on the side of terrorism.”
But Corbyn’s spokesman insisted: “Jeremy Corbyn has a long and principled record of solidarity with the Palestinian people. That is the right thing to do.”
And so on.