Event to Show Corbyn Isn't anti-Semitic to Be Held on Yom Kippur

Supporters of U.K. Labour Party chief hosting 'Corbyn, Antisemitism and Justice for Palestine' event on Judaism's holiest day

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn faces the media after delivering the Alternative MacTaggart lecture exploring the role of the media, at the Edinburgh Television Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday Aug. 23, 2018.
Jane Barlow/AP

A group hoping to defend British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn from mounting public claims that he is an anti-Semite is hosting an event to defend him on September 18 — which happens to be Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

The event, called “Corbyn, Antisemitism and Justice for Palestine,” will take place in Bristol. Two of the five listed speakers are Jewish.

“Jeremy Corbyn - a lifelong anti-racist in all respects and prominent figure in the Palestine solidarity movement - is being labelled an anti-Semite and a racist by those who oppose his politics and leadership of the Labour Party,” the event description says. “This meeting will discuss the importance of challenging any attempt at a witch hunt, strengthening the struggle for Palestinian freedom while maintaining zero tolerance for antisemitism and all forms of racism.”

Commenters on the event’s Facebook page pointed out the irony of the panelists, especially the Jewish ones, defending Corbyn from anti-Semitism charges on the day when most Jews will be in synagogue.

>> 'We'll fight forever': Labour's Jewish supporters won't back down on anti-Semitism row with Corbyn ■ What young Jewish Labour voters think about Corbyn

Allegations that Corbyn has allowed anti-Semitism to fester in his party have been ongoing for years, and grew stronger still when the party attempted to water down its institutional definition of anti-Semitism.

But more and more people – including Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Britain (“given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map”), as well as previously supportive left-wing pundits – have outright accused Corbyn of anti-Semitism in recent weeks after a series of reports revealed that he had laid a wreath on the graves of the planners of the Munich Olympics massacre, and claimed in 2013 that Zionists who have lived in Britain their entire lives “don’t understand English irony.”

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