Israeli Opposition Urges Ouster of U.K. Labour's Corbyn, Charging He Shows 'Genuine anti-Semitism'

'Corbyn represents a consistent stance of hatred for Israel,' the head of Israel's main opposition Labor Party, Isaac Herzog, said, after Corbyn appeared to draw a parallel between Israel and Islamic terrorist groups.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wipes his eye at the launch of 'Labour In for Britain', London, U.K., May 10, 2016.
Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wipes his eye at the launch of 'Labour In for Britain', London, U.K., May 10, 2016.Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth, AP
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Israeli lawmakers severely criticized U.K. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday for drawing an odd parallel between Israel and Islamist terrorist groups at the launch of a report which cleared his party of accusations of anti-Semitism.

The head of Israel's opposition Labor Party, MK Isaac Herzog, called it a "shocking comparison," and also termed it a "betrayal of the values which the international labor movement represents."

"Corbyn represents a consistent stance of hatred for Israel," Herzog said.

Corbyn, who was speaking at a news conference marking the launch of the anti-Semitism report, said: "Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel than our Muslim friends are for the various self-styled Islamic states or organizations."

A Jewish Labour lawmaker, Ruth Smeeth, fled the news conference in tears after he spoke, the Jewish Chronicle said.

"We have nothing in common with the 2016 Labour leadership," MK Nahman Shai, also of Israel’s Labor Party, said. "Corbyn has lost not only the trust of his friends but also our trust."

Lawmaker Itzik Shmuli called Corbyn a “shameful” leader. “I suggest his peers throw him out on grounds of losing touch with reality.”

Former finance minister Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid urged Israel’s Labor to sever all ties with the British party until Corbyn is ousted.

“It is unacceptable that on such a difficult day for Israel in which an innocent young girl is murdered in a terrorist attack for being Jewish, the head of the British opposition will compare Israel to ISIS during a discussion about a report on anti-Semitism.”

“It’s a terrible comparison that shows ignorance, and genuine anti-Semitism,“ Lapid said.

Likud MK Avi Dichter, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that “if anti-Semitism were grass it could cover all of Wembley Stadium and a little would probably be left over for Wimbledon.”

“Mr. Corbyn has said in the past that he sees Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends.’ Only someone so linked to these terrorist groups could say such an anti-Semitic thing. Corbyn has learned nothing from British history, nor from the history of Israel or that of the Jewish people.”

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