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Friday, December 28, 2018

Corbyn and Labour on Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s ‘antisemitism’ list

Jeremy Corbyn's problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party does not appear to be going away, despite the efforts of his party's NEC to correct their earlier misjudged response to the crisis.

As the Times reports, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a human rights organisation which researches the Holocaust, has placed Corbyn and the Labour Party fourth in their list of the top ten anti-Semitic incidents around the world.

The Labour leader was dogged by accusations of antisemitism for much of the summer after The Times’s revelation that he had hosted an event comparing Israel to the Nazis. This was followed by claims that he had been present as a wreath was laid for Palestinians involved in the Black September terrorist group:

The centre, which is based in Los Angeles, wrote: “Allegations of antisemitism on the part of key members and officials of the UK’s Labour Party officials have piled up in recent years, injecting the world’s oldest hatred into the mainstream of society. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn stands directly responsible.

“In July Britain’s three leading Jewish newspapers published a joint article warning of ‘the existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Corbyn government’. A poll conducted at the end of the summer concluded that 40 per cent of the Jewish community would consider leaving the UK if Labour took the election.”

First on the list was Robert Bowers, the white supremacist who killed 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. Second was Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, who described Jews as “termites” in October.

Others on the list include AirBnB, the rental company, for its decision to “delist 200 rentals in Israeli communities on the West Bank” and Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd singer, who the centre accused of having “crossed the line between anti-Zionism and antisemitism”.

In last year’s list the Labour Party was tenth after the historians Simon Schama and Simon Sebag Montefiore and the novelist Howard Jacobson “denounced Jeremy Corbyn for not doing enough to fight antisemitism in his own party”.

It seems that Labour still has work to do if it is to win back the trust of the Jewish community.
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