Corbyn's Labour 'Worst Global anti-Semitic Incident,' Simon Wiesenthal Center Says

'No one has done more to mainstream anti-Semitism' than Corbyn, the Jewish human rights group says

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People hold up placards and Union flags as they gather for a demonstration organised by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism outside the head office of the British opposition Labour Party in central London on April 8, 2018.
People hold up placards and Union flags as they gather for a demonstration organised by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism outside the head office of the British opposition Labour Party in central LonCredit: AFP
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Haaretz

The Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party is the year's worst global anti-Semitic incident, the Jewish human rights and Holocaust remembrance organization Simon Wiesenthal Center announced Saturday.

"In a year awash with anti-Semitism on both sides of the Atlantic, no one has done more to mainstream anti-Semitism" in a democratic country than the U.K.'s Labour Party under Corbyn's leadership, the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote, in a blurb topping the list of "2019 top ten worst anti-Semitic incidents."

The Center leads with a quote from U.K. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who penned an article slamming the Labour leader for refusing to confront anti-Jewish racism within his party: "How complicit in prejudice would a leader of Her Majesty's opposition have to be in order to be considered unfit for high office?"

It also references Labour members who have been pushed out of the party for challenging the environment of anti-Semitism, saying it was they who were purged from the parties, and not party members who made comments like "Heil Hitler" or "Jews are the problem."

It is no wonder, the center posited, that 47% of respondents in a Jewish Leadership Council poll said they would consider leaving the country if Corbyn was elected prime minister.

Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights, has been dogged by criticism from party members, lawmakers and Jewish leaders that he has failed to tackle anti-Semitism in Labour despite a promise to do so.  

The Labour leader has previously been criticized for calling Hezbollah and Hamas operatives "friends" and inviting them to visit the British Parliament in 2009, which Corbyn has said he regrets. He also said he "sincerely regret[s]" defending an artist who painted a mural criticized as anti-Semitic in 2012.

Last week, a submission by the Jewish Labour Movement to an independent enquiry into allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour leaked, exposing further examples of the phenomenon.

It includes 70 testimonies from current or former Labour Party members. From the first sentence – “The Labour Party is no longer a safe space for Jewish people or for those who stand up against anti-Semitism” – the document is a damning indictment of the party and its current leadership.

It alleges that anti-Semitic abuse has become a common experience for Jews attending local party meetings, citing the experience of one respondent who detailed 22 separate instances of abuse at constituency meetings. These included being called “a Tory Jew,” a “child killer” and “Zio scum.” The report lays the blame squarely on party leader Jeremy Corbyn for “making the party a welcoming refuge for anti-Semites” since he became leader in 2016.

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