Corbyn Slams U.K. Parliament anti-Semitism Report for Focusing on Labour

Findings 'risk undermining the positive and welcome recommendations made' by Labour Party in June, Corbyn says, after report accused him of creating 'safe space' for anti-Semitism.

Britain's Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a rally in advance of tonight's debate with Owen Smith at a Labour Leadership Campaign event in Glasgow, Scotland, August 25, 2016.
Russell Cheyne, Reuters

Jeremy Corbyn has accused a British parliamentary report on anti-Semitism of focusing too narrowly on his Labour party.

Corbyn told British media on Friday that the report issued by the Commons' Home Affairs Select Committee put "disproportionate emphasis on Labour," the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Analysis: British Parliament took a brave stance against 'goysplaining' anti-Semitism

He maintained that the vast majority of anti-Semitic incidents were committed by the far right rather than the political left, and that the findings' focus on Labour "risk undermining the positive and welcome recommendations made."

The 70-page report accuses Corbyn of creating a "safe space" for anti-Semitism by failing to stamp out the phenomenon inside his party. Corbyn thought he deserved more credit for taking steps to rout the problem.

The committee accused Labour of "demonstrable incompetence" in handling hostility toward Jews, and thereby giving the impression the party is "institutionally anti-Semitic."

The report singled out several in Labour such as Shami Chakrabati, a human rights lawyer, alleging she had failed to issue practical recommendations to combat anti-Semitism in the party in a report she issued in June, and for failing to adequately distinguish between hatred of Jews and criticizing Israel.

On a broader plane, the report also called for social media such as Twitter to act more forcefully against anti-Semitic trolling.

Corbyn supported that recommendation and said he would write both Twitter and Facebook "to request urgent meetings to discuss tackling online abuse."

Some Labour MPs disagreed with Corbyn.

Chuka Umunna, one of three Labour lawmakers on the committee that issued the report, found Corbyn's allegations "grossly insulting" and feared the party could be "putting our heads in the sand" by not owning up fully to the problem.

“Inevitably I have been criticized for this but I have no regrets - it would have been cowardly to do otherwise because people’s right to freedom from hatred and prejudice is bigger than any one individual or party in my view," Umunna said, reported.

Apart from the three Labour members on the committee, six others were from the Conservative party and a 10th was from the Scottish National Party.