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Mar 25, 2018

The Telegtraph | Jeremy Corbyn branded 'hostile' by Jewish leaders as Labour anti-Semitism row deepens on March 25,2018

Jeremy Corbyn branded 'hostile' by Jewish leaders as Labour anti-Semitism row deepens

Jeremy Corbyn
A letter from the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council describes Jeremy Corbyn as 'ideologically fixed within a far-Left world view that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities' Credit: PETER BYRNE/PA WIRE 
Jeremy Corbyn has been accused by Jewish leaders of holding “conspiratorial views” about their community and treating them like a “hostile entity”.
The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, two of the most senior Jewish groups in Britain, will on Monday take the unprecedented step of holding a protest against Mr Corbyn in Parliament Square.
They will tell Mr Corbyn that “enough is enough” and hand him a letter in which they accuse him of siding with anti-Semites “time and time again”.
Mr Corbyn on Sunday admitted that Labour has a problem with “pockets of anti-Semitism” but declined to apologise for comments that appeared to defend the artist of an anti-Semitic mural.
The Jewish Leadership Council said it was the first demonstration by Jewish leaders against the leader of a mainstream political party since at least the Second World War.
Their letter says that Mr Corbyn “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 world-view that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities.
It continues: “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 world-view in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy.”
In a meeting on Monday evening, Labour MPs will confront the Labour leadership about Mr Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism. Mr Corbyn had been expected to attend but Labour MPs were left furious on Sunday when it emerged that he would not be going.
“There will be hell to pay,” said one MP. The Labour leader has faced a furious backlash from Jewish groups and his own MPs since it emerged he had questioned a decision to destroy an anti-Semitic mural of bankers playing Monopoly and counting money on the backs of men.
Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies, and Jonathan Goldstein, the president of the Jewish Leadership Council, say in their letter that Mr Corbyn “personifies” the failure to challenge anti-Semitism.
They say that not a day passes without “fundamental anti-Semitic slanders” being uttered in “Labour spaces”.
Describing Mr Corbyn as the “figurehead” of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, the Jewish leaders allege that he has consistently sided with enemies of the British Jewry.
Mr Corbyn has previously described Hamas as “friends” and invited a radical Islamic cleric, who used the blood libel, for tea in Parliament.
Last year, The Daily Telegraph revealed that the Labour leader was also found to have supported an anti-Israel group called Deir Yassin Remembered, whose members include Paul Eisen, a Holocaust denier, and Gilad Atzmon, a Holocaust “revisionist”, though Mr Corbyn said he had no knowledge of Deir Yassin’s views.
Mr Corbyn also faced criticism for handing a peerage to Shami Chakrabarti two weeks after she delivered a report on anti-Semitism, which was described as a “whitewash”.
The letter says: “When Jews complain about an obviously anti-Semitic mural in Tower Hamlets, Corbyn of course supports the artist. Hizbollah [the Palestinian terrorist organisation] 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 [a Palestinian extremist] 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.”
Labour MP Luciana Berger condemned Jeremy Corbyn's response to an anti-Semitic image mural in Tower Hamlets (left) as 'wholly inadequate' Credit: Rii Schroer
When Kalen Ockerman, the US artist behind the mural in east London, complained about its removal in 2012, Mr Corbyn appeared to side with him, saying he was in “good company”.
Last week, a spokesman for Mr Corbyn said the mural was “offensive” and “anti-Semitic”, but stopped short of an apology, stating only that Mr Corbyn “sincerely” regretted not looking at the image “more closely”.
The response was branded “wholly inadequate” by Luciana Berger, chair of Jewish Labour, while more than a dozen of her fellow MPs publicly criticised Mr Corbyn for his handling of the controversy.
John Mann, a Labour MP, said the mural was "no different to the stuff" that the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels was "putting out".
On Sunday, Mr Corbyn said: “Labour is an anti-racist party and I utterly condemn anti-Semitism, which is why as leader of the Labour Party I want to be clear that I will not tolerate any form of anti-Semitism that exists in and around our movement. We must stamp this out from our party and movement.
“We recognise that anti-Semitism has occurred in pockets within the 
Labour Party, causing pain and hurt to our Jewish community in the Labour Party and the rest of the country. I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused.”
Wes Streeting, the Labour MP, said: “To those who say there’s no problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, or that’s it’s being handled well, please ask why Britain’s leading Jewish organisations are demonstrating to the Parliamentary Labour Party.
“We should be ashamed that it’s come to this.”
Fellow Labour MP Chuka Umunna tweeted: "If you are incapable of seeing that Labour has a problem with anti-semitism, you really should not be in our party."
Gideon Falter, the chairman of the Campaign Against anti-Semitism, said: “Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party has been seized by racists. Jeremy Corbyn is at home amongst them, having spent his political career seeking out and giving his backing to Holocaust deniers, genocidal anti-Semitic terrorist groups, wild anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and Jew-haters.”
Karen Pollock, the chief executive of the Holocaust Education Trust, told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour on Sunday night: “An apology about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party is important. But I wonder whether an apology will also come from him.”