Israel's Labor Party Suspends Ties With Jeremy Corbyn for 'Enabling anti-Semitism'

Gabbay accuses Corbyn of crossing 'a dangerous line' between criticizing the Israeli government's policy and anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K. opposition Labour Party, speaks at a launch event for the party's local election campaign in London, U.K., April 9, 2018.
Bloomberg

Israel's Labor Party chief Avi Gabbay announced on Tuesday that his party will be suspending its ties with British Labour Party head, Jeremy Corbyn, "for enabling anti-Semitism."

"It is my responsibility to acknowledge the hostility you have shown to the Jewish community and the anti-Semitic statements and actions you have allowed as leader of the Labour party U.K.," Gabbay wrote in a letter to Corbyn, announcing the suspension, Gabbay's spokesman said.

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Gabbay's statement notes the announcement's proximity to Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is being marked on Thursday.

"You are not fulfilling your role in curbing anti-Semitism around you, and your public statements carry a load of hatred toward Israel," the statement said.

"We will not be able to agree to maintain contact with you, the leader of the Labour Party, when you do not play your part in curbing anti-Semitic phenomena,” Gabbay added.

Gabbay accused Corbyn of crossing "a dangerous line" between legitimate criticism of Israeli policy and anti-Semitism.

Gabbay noted in his letter that both parties can continue to work together despite the Israel Labor Party suspending ties with Corbyn.

Last week, Corbyn was criticized by Jewish groups and left-wing lawmakers for attending a Passover seder organized by Jewdas, a far-left Jewish organization critical of Israel.

Last month, the two main representative bodies of Britain’s Jews held a solidarity event in protest of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council organized an unprecedented demonstration in Parliament Square in London where they were incensed by the attitude of Corbyn.

British Jews at a protest against Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism in the party, outside the Houses of Parliament, London, March 26, 2018.
Tolga Akmen/AFP