Former Chief Rabbi Says Jeremy Corbyn Comments are Offensive

Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi from 1991 until 2013, has launched an attack on Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, saying that his comments in 2013 were “the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech”.

In an interview with New Statesman Magazine, Sacks said:

“We can only judge Jeremy Corbyn by his words and his actions. He has given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map. When he implies that, however long they have lived here, Jews are not fully British, he is using the language of classic pre-war European anti-Semitism. When challenged with such facts, the evidence for which is before our eyes, first he denies, then he equivocates, then he obfuscates. This is low, dishonest and dangerous. He has legitimised the public expression of hate, and where he leads, others will follow.

Now, within living memory of the Holocaust, and while Jews are being murdered elsewhere in Europe for being Jews, we have an anti-Semite as the leader of the Labour Party and Her Majesty’s Opposition. That is why Jews feel so threatened by Mr Corbyn and those who support him”.

A spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn said that “the comments are absurd and offensive”.

Benjamin Netanyahu Condemns Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has said that Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, deserves “unequivocal condemnation” after it was confirmed that the Labour leader had attended a memorial service for the terrorists involved in the Munich Games massacre.

Corbyn rejected the criticism and referring to the wreath laid in memory of the terrorists, “I was present when it was laid. I don’t think I was actually involved in it”. He added on Twitter “what deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children”.

Luciana Berger, the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, posted on Twitter:

“Being “present” is the same as being involved. When I attend a memorial, my presence alone, whether I lay a wreath or not, demonstrates my association & support. There can also never be a “fitting memorial” for terrorists. Where is the apology?”

Calls for Labour NEC Member Peter Willsman to Resign

There have been calls today for the resignation of Peter Willsman, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC). Willsman, an ally of the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, questioned whether claims of anti-semitism in the party actually existed. The recording was made privately and Willsman made an apology after being confronted with the audio.

Willsman said in a statement:

“Not all of what I said has been accurately reported. But I accept that what I did say, and the way I said it, fell short of the requirement, which I accept, for discussions of contentious issues to be conducted in a fully civil and respectful way. I deeply apologise for any offence caused to those present and those to whom my remarks were reported”.

Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, condemned Willsman and said on Twitter:

“For the avoidance of doubt: Peter Willsman is and always has been a loud mouthed bully. He disgusts me”.

Jennie Formby, the General Secretary of the Labour Party, has also been questioned as to whether she intervened following Willsman’s comments. The President of the Jewish Board of Deputies said on Twitter:

“Was Jennie Formby there to hear what was said? If yes, why did she let Willsman off so lightly?”

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party, has yet to comment.

Jeremy Corbyn Embroiled in New Anti-Semitism Row

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has been criticised by the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust as being “mocking and disrespectful” after meeting with Jewdas, a left-wing Jewish organisation. A number of Labour MPs have also criticised Corbyn for not going to meetings with Jewish groups who had said they were concerned about the party’s direction.

John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, said:

“This is deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community days after they pleaded with him to tackle antisemitism. And he must know that meeting them now will give his members the message that the group’s extreme views are OK. Irresponsible and dangerous”.

Angela Smith, the Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said:

“Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas seber reads as a blatant dismissal of the case made for tackling anti-Semitism in Labour”.

Jeremy Corbyn is yet to comment on the allegations, but his office said that his visit was made in a personal capacity and not an official one.

Christine Shawcroft Plunges Labour into New Anti-Semitism Crisis

Christine Shawcroft, a member of the Labour’s governing National Executive Committee, has plunged the party into a new anti-semitism crisis after she has refused to stand down after backing a Holocaust denier party member. Shawcroft stood down from her disciplinary role on the committee, but has refused to resign from it.

Around 40 Labour MPs and Peers have today responded by writing a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, calling for Shawcroft to be suspended from the party pending an investigation. Some of the signatories of the letter are members of the Shadow Ministerial team, including Mike Kane, Jonathan Reynolds and Lord Hunt.

Corbyn has yet to comment on the letter, but John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, said that the leadership would not intervene, saying “it’s an elected position and it’s up to the electorate to decide if she should be elected again”.

When standing down from the disciplinary role Shawcroft said that she hadn’t been aware of the situation when she called for the candidate to be reinstated and she said in a statement:

“I have decided to stand down as Chair of the Disputes Panel to ensure my wrong and misguided questions on this case do not cause doubt or anxiety about our processes. We must eliminate anti-Semitism from our party and wider society. To do this we must make sure our processes are as robust as possible and have the faith and confidence of our members”.

Jeremy Corbyn Faces Criticism From Jewish Groups Over Anti-Semitism

A letter written by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council has criticised Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, for failing to tackle the problems of anti-semitism. The letter comes ahead of a protest march which is planned for later today in Parliament Square in London.

In a statement the organisations wrote:

“Today, leaders of British Jewry tell Jeremy Corbyn that enough is enough. We have had enough of hearing that Jeremy Corbyn “opposes anti-Semitism”, whilst the mainstream majority of British Jews, and their concerns, are ignored by him and those he leads.

There is a repeated institutional failure to properly address Jewish concerns and to tackle anti-Semitism, with the Chakrabarti Report being the most glaring example of this.

Jeremy Corbyn did not invent this form of politics, but he has had a lifetime within it, and now personifies its problems and dangers. He issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism, but does nothing to understand or address it. We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities.

When Jews complain about an obviously anti-Semitic mural in Tower Hamlets, Corbyn of course supports the artist. Hizbollah commits terrorist atrocities against Jews, but Corbyn calls them his friends and attends pro-Hizbollah rallies in London. Exactly the same goes for Hamas. Raed Salah says Jews kill Christian children to drink their blood. Corbyn opposes his extradition and invites him for tea at the House of Commons. These are not the only cases. He is repeatedly found alongside people with blatantly anti-Semitic views, but claims never to hear or read them.

Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy.

When Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, Jews expressed sincere and profound fears as to how such politics would impact upon their wellbeing. Our concerns were never taken seriously. Three years on, the party and British Jews are reaping the consequences.

Routine statements against anti-Semitism “and all forms of racism” get nowhere near dealing with the problem, because what distinguishes anti-Semitism from other forms of racism is the power that Jews are alleged to hold, and how they are charged with conspiring together against what is good.

This is not only historic, or about what Jeremy Corbyn did before being party leader. It is also utterly contemporary. There is literally not a single day in which Labour Party spaces, either online or in meetings, do not repeat the same fundamental anti-Semitic slanders against Jews. We are told that our concerns are faked, and done at the command of Israel and/or Zionism (whatever that means); that anti-Semitism is merely “criticism of Israel”; that we call any and all criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic”; that the Rothschilds run the world; that Isis terrorism is a fake front for Israel; that Zionists are the new Nazis; and that Zionists collaborate with Nazis.

Rightly or wrongly, Jeremy Corbyn is now the figurehead for an anti-Semitic political culture, based on obsessive hatred of Israel, conspiracy theories and fake news that is doing dreadful harm to British Jews and to the British Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn is the only person with the power to demand that it stops. Enough is enough”.

Jonathan Goldstein, the Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said:

“This is the first time in my life time that the Jewish community has felt the need to take to the streets to campaign against the leader of a major political party. Rightly or wrongly Jeremy Corbyn is now the figurehead for an antisemitic political culture based upon obsessive hatred of Israel, conspiracy theories and fake news and that is doing great harm not just to the Labour party but to Britain in a wider sense”.

Jeremy Corbyn said on Twitter:

“Labour is an anti-racist party and I utterly condemn antisemitism, which is why as leader of the Labour Party I want to be clear that I will not tolerate any form of antisemitism that exists in and around our movement”.

Jeremy Corbyn Criticised for Anti-Semitic Comments

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has been criticised for anti-semitism after he called for a mural to be kept which was anti-semitic. The mural, entitled ‘Freedom of Humanity’, was removed from East London in 2012.

At the time Corbyn had posted on Facebook referring to its removal:

“Why? You are in good company. Rockerfeller [sic] destroyed Diego Viera’s mural because it includes a picture of Lenin”.

Luciana Berger, the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, had earlier said on Twitter:

“I asked the Leader’s Office for an explanation about this Facebook post first thing this morning. I’m still waiting for a response”.

After being asked about his comments Corbyn said:

“I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic”.

Berger responded by saying that Corbyn’s response had been “wholly inadequate”.

Ian Austin, the Labour MP for Dudley North, also criticised his leader, saying:

“Jeremy would never have defended racist imagery aimed at any other group”.

Jeremy Corbyn Sacks Owen Smith from Shadow Cabinet

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has sacked Owen Smith from his position as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland due to Smith’s article in the Guardian on Brexit. Smith had called in the article for the public to be given a vote on the final deal reached in the Brexit negotiations.

Smith said on Twitter:

“Just been sacked by @jeremycorbyn for my long held views on the damage #Brexit will do to the Good Friday Agreement & the economy of the entire U.K. Those views are shared by Labour members & supporters and I will continue to speak up for them, and in the interest of our country”.

Tony Lloyd has replaced Smith as the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, moving from his current position as the Shadow Housing Minister.

Owen Smith, the former Labour Leadership Candidate, Calls for a Public Vote on the Brexit Deal

Owen Smith, the Labour MP for Pontypridd and former candidate for the Labour leadership, has called for a public vote on the final Brexit deal. Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Smith said “Labour should ask if Brexit is the right decision, not just push for a softer version”.

Smith wrote:

“Labour needs to do more than just back a soft Brexit or guarantee a soft border in Ireland. Given that it is increasingly obvious that the promises the Brexiters made to the voters – especially, but not only, their pledge of an additional £350m a week for the NHS – are never going to be honoured, we have the right to keep asking if Brexit remains the right choice for the country. And to ask, too, that the country has a vote on whether to accept the terms, and true costs of that choice, once they are clear. That is how Labour can properly serve our democracy and the interests of our people”.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has previously ruled out a second vote, but is yet to comment on Smith’s proposals.

John McDonnell Says Vladimir Putin was Responsible for Salisbury Attack

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has clarified Labour’s position on the Salisbury attack and said that he considers that the Russians were responsible. He also denied that Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, had a different policy and said that the Labour Party was supportive of the Government’s position.

When asked if McDonnell thought that Putin was responsible for the attack he said:

“He is responsible whichever way you look at it, he is responsible and all the evidence points to him”.

When asked if Jeremy Corbyn had a different policy and was critical of the Prime Minister, McDonnell said:

“It was a critique. It was asking questions about investment in diplomacy, it was asking questions about where you go from here in building that international coalition. That is what oppositions do and it was a constructive critique, I think others have misread that”.