Labour leadership candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, is facing increasing questions from the Jewish community after new accusations emerge linking him to people with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views, including 9/11 conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers.
The concern has prompted British newspaper, the Jewish Chronicle, to take an unprecedented move in expressing its deep concern at the prospect of Mr Corbyn’s election.
Among the accusations are claims that Mr Corbyn defended Rev. Stephen Sizer, who posted an article on Facebook blaming Israel for 9/11.
In a letter to Anglican Church leaders, after they decided to ban Sizer from using the Internet for six months, Corbyn wrote that Sizer was unfairly “under attack by certain individuals intent on discrediting the excellent work [he] does in highlighting the injustices of the Palestinian Israeli situation.”
Also this week, reports claim that a 2014 pro-Palestinian event that took place in Parliament was organised by Corbyn. During the event an activist who has claimed Jewish elders control the world’s finances was allowed to speak, and called for the arming of Palestinian militias. Another anti-Israeli activist at the event compared the Jewish state to Nazi Germany.
Further to this, Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, who runs a pro-Palestinian group called Deir Yassin Remembered, has claimed to be a close friend of Corbyn. In a blog post referenced by the Daily Mail, Eisen said he and Corbyn had been close for 15 years, that Corbyn attended his group’s anti-Israel events each year, and that the MP donated money to the group.
The Corbyn campaign denied this, saying “Paul Eisen clearly holds some of the most extreme views that are entirely his, and Jeremy totally opposes them and disassociates himself from them.”
Mr Corbyn has also allegedly referred to terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah in the past as “friends.”
In response to concern surrounding Mr Corbyn, the Jewish Chronicle has published seven questions, stating, “The JC rarely claims to speak for anyone other than ourselves. We are just a newspaper. But in this rare instance we are certain that we speak for the vast majority of British Jews in expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.
“Because, although there is no direct evidence that he has an issue himself with Jews, there is overwhelming evidence of his association with, support for — and even in one case, alleged funding of — Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright antisemites.
“If Mr Corbyn is not to be regarded from the day of his election as an enemy of Britain’s Jewish community, he has a number of questions which he must answer in full and immediately. The JC asked him earlier this week to respond. No response has been forthcoming.”
The questions the JC asked are as follows:
- Did you donate, as alleged by its founder, to Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR), a group that publishes open antisemitism, run by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen — an organisation so extreme that even the Palestine Solidarity Campaign refuses to associate with it?
- Have you, as Mr Eisen claims, regularly attended DYR’s annual conference?
- Why have you accepted an invitation to appear at a conference on August 22 alongside Carlos Latuff, the notorious anti-Semitic cartoonist?
- Why did you write to the Church of England authorities to defend Rev Stephen Sizer, a vicar banned from social media because of his habit of posting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, telling them that Rev Sizer was “under attack” because he had “dared to speak out over Zionism”?
- Why do you associate with Hamas and Hezbollah and refer to them as your “friends”?
- Why have you failed to condemn the anti-Semitic posters and banners that dominate the annual Al-Quds Day rally, sponsored by the Stop The War Coalition, which you chair?
- Why did you describe Raead Salah, a man convicted of the blood libel, as an ‘honoured citizen’?
Christians United for Israel UK hopes that Mr Corbyn will take the time to answer questions set out by the Jewish Chronicle, so that Labour members can be clear about his views before voting. However, the allegations raise serious concerns about the potential next Labour leader’s position on Israel and the Jewish people. We ask Christians to pray that the Labour Party members elect a leader who will stand with Britain’s Jewish community and speak out against anti-Semitism.
Christians United for Israel UK